“It has been the most difficult decision of my life, guided by my head and courage. NOT by the heart. My team at heart will always be you, the ones ALWAYS, those who have supported me and will support me. But I have one thing clear, I want to try to be the best rider in the world again and for that I need to enjoy riding the bike.”
Marc Márquez Alentá30 years old, eight-time motorcycling world champion, six of them at the controls of a Honda MotoGP, shipment a message to a member of his team that, among other things, said thatwho needed to test himself, to feel like a racing driver again, but a winning driver, a contender for the title and who, if he really wanted to know if he was still a leading driver or not, he had to leave Honda and try other things, despite “I don’t know if I’m doing right or wrong, I don’t know what will happen in the future, I don’t know if all this will turn out well, but what I do know is everything we have achieved together.”
Too much pain
Márquez has suffered blood (he is on track to break his own record for falls in a single season), sweat and tears before making a decision, which has been delayed for months. Despite having a contract in force next year (2024), Márquez was very clear that he did not want to spend another year without owning a competitive motorcyclewhich allowed him to fight for the podium in each race.
The season, the Misano test where he suffered a new disappointment when testing the first ‘proto’ of 2024 and, above all, the few arguments that the top of Honda, despite promising a revolution in its competition department (HRC), gave him given in the various conversations he has had in recent months, they have ended up convincing him that, if he wants to test himself, if he wants to know if he is still a winning driver, He must change teams and brands, even though it hurts his soul..
From the first moment, Honda knew that it was in danger of losing Márquez if it did not demonstrate to him with actions rather than words (“the moment of words has long since concluded,” MM93 even said in August) that the revolution was in It is going ahead with a change of ideas, of projects and, above all, of engineers in Japan. That did not happen and, as he acknowledged Alberto PuigTeam Manager of the Repsol Honda team, in August, “despite the fact that Marc has a contract with us for next year, if he wants to leave, he will leave, because Honda does not retain anyone who does not want to be on their team.”
Márquez’s conversations, sometimes with the same HRC leadership, with Hikaru Tsukamotohead of Honda’s two-wheeled division, with whom he met at Silverstone and Spielberg, and, later, with Koji Watanabedirector of the competition department of the winged firm, were always sincere and open, although they always had a point of rigidity on the part of the Japanese bosses.
“I don’t know if I’m doing right or wrong, I don’t know what will happen in the future, I don’t know if all this will turn out well, but what I do know is everything we have achieved together”
To demonstrate to the Honda staff that his main intention in abandoning the brand and the team of his entire life (everything seems to indicate that, wherever he goes, Márquez will not be able to take his technical team, his second family, headed by his technician Santi Hernández) was to test himself, to try to feel again the tingle of being able to win, of conquering his seventh MotoGP title, the champion from Cervera (Lleida) promised, before his Japanese bosses, to return in 2025, as long as Honda demonstrates that it has taken a step forward in 2024 and once again has a competitive motorcycle. Márquez, as El Periódico de Catalunya, from the Prensa Ibérica group, has learned from three different sources, even raised the possibility of returning to Honda “if one of your riders simply finishes in the top five at the end of the next World Championship.” .
Márquez’s suggestion, which, like so many other things throughout these months, surprised the top of HRC, was rejected outright by the Japanesewho, aware that they are going to lose the best rider in their history and a true idol of the MotoGP grid, want to get back on track without thinking that, if they get a competitive bike, they will be able to get him back.