Pol Espargaro has given the first formal acknowledgment of his courtship by the HRC Repsol Honda team for a move alongside Marc Marquez during the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

Speculation in the media has been rife that Espargaro is being chased by title-winners Honda to leave the KTM project he has headed up since its debut in 2017 and replace Alex Marquez, who hasn’t started a MotoGP race as yet.

While Honda has remained coy as to their intentions for 2021, simply reiterating that it is happy with its current line-up, Espargaro confirms the talks are ongoing with Honda but nothing has been agreed as yet.

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“Nothing for sure official, at the moment,” he told the official MotoGP website. ”The situation in MotoGP is that there are some seats and I have a contract until the end of this year, so the MotoGP factories are asking riders and I am free to listen to what they offer.”

Espargaro stepped up to MotoGP in 2014 on the back of his Moto2 world title, but after stints at Tech 3 Yamaha and the developing KTM project, a move to Honda would represent his most significant career move yet.

“It is a good situation when you are in a factory, with KTM, a big name and a big factory fighting for something interesting at the end of the year with a bike project on my shoulders, then having some other offers. It is a dream offer to have two factories on the table with an offer. Also, there are other factories in the game, so we are talking with all of them.

“I don’t know what is going to happen, or the future but the situation is good for my side, I’ve done a good season last year and we have improved a lot.”

Honda or maybe even Ducati?

Discussing the allure of the Honda package, though Espargaro acknowledges the abilities of Marc Marquez as six-time MotoGP World Champion, he says the strength of the RC213V itself makes the move to Honda a tempting one.

“We have seen in the past few years that the one who is winning is Marc Marquez. Marc is a legend, he is an amazing rider but in the end he is riding with HRC, which means that bike is able to win and he is showing every race, with a big gap to the second rider in terms of points.

Espargaro then goes on to throw an unexpected name into the mix in Ducati, possibly a reference back to earlier in the interview when he said he was talking to more than Honda and KTM.

“I think Honda is the bike most of the grid wants. This is something clear, everyone wants this bike and everyone can want a Ducati Factory bike, those are the two best bikes on the grid at the moment.

“For sure, I would like to go to one of them but I also need to see what the situation is with KTM and what we can do. For that reason, I say it is really early but who doesn’t want to go to these two bikes at the end, it is the dream bikes to fight for the title. “