Today in Motegi, Marc Marquez said his final goodbye to the Honda team and the Japanese fans. https://twitter.com/HRC_MotoGP/status/1731099451245355112?t=rar2IPj2mpBcUYSlS9CabA&s=19 Although the Spanish racer has already tested Ducati's motorcycle for next season, he was last seen in the colors of the Japanese manufacturer today at Honda's Thanksgiving Day in Motegi. In addition to him, there were also many stars of other sports who are connected to the Japanese manufacturer. In addition to Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda, Joan Miro, Takaaki Nakagami, our Tim Gajser was also there. https://twitter.com/HRC_MotoGP/status/1731138426324557965?t=mgfuthO2kGDcBxyh09BW8A&s=19 Marc did not get on the bike today due to a recent operation. Is this in
Joan Mir will switch sides of the Repsol Honda pit garage in the 2024 season and will work with the team that prepared Marc Marquez's motorcycle in the future. Santi Hernandez will thus be the boss of Miro's team of mechanics, while newcomer to the team, Luca Marini, will work with Giacomo Guidotti, Miro's boss of mechanics. Hernandez has worked with Marini's brother Valentino Rossi in the Honda garage in the past, and Marini's new team includes some mechanics he has worked with in the lower categories. Mir and Marini will work together with the new teams of mechanics for the first time already tomorrow at the tests in Valencia.
Yesterday, the story of Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda team came to an end. A connection that is considered one of the most successful in the history of the Moto GP class. The successes of the Spanish racer are well known to everyone, but at such an event it is good to remember what they all achieved together. Marc made his MotoGP debut in 2013 when he replaced Casey Stoner at Honda. Already in his premiere race in Qatar, he stepped onto the podium with third place. Only fourteen days later, he won for the first time in Austin, becoming the youngest winner in the elite class. At the end of the season, he became the youngest world champion. He was in a class of his own in 2014 after winning the opening ten races of the season. After a slightly worse 2015, which will forever be marked by his incident with Valentino Rossi in Sepang
The Repsol Honda team has now also officially confirmed that Luca Marini is coming to their garage in the 2024 season, where he will take over the place vacated by Marc Marquez. Marini competed for his brother's VR46 team for three seasons, and the 26-year-old Italian wanted new challenges and the opportunity to race for the factory team. Marini has signed a two-season contract with an option to extend. The vacancy in the VR46 team will probably be filled by Fabio Di Giannantonio, who lost his job in the Gresini Racing team, where Marc Marquez is coming.
As is known, Red Bull will no longer sponsor the Repsol Honda team after the end of this season. The Austrian manufacturer of energy drinks will follow Marc Marquez to the Gresina Ducati team. This is not the only bad news for Honda. In fact, there is a clause in the contract with Red Bull that forbids the Japanese team from cooperating with a rival energy drink manufacturer next season. This means that Monster Energy, currently sponsoring Luca Marini in the Mooney VR46 team, will not be allowed to join Honda. Red Bull was able to withdraw from the contract with Honda precisely because of a clause that stipulated that the cooperation could be terminated in the event of Marc Marquez's departure.
The German Speedweek reports that at the end of the season, not only Marc Marquez is saying goodbye to the Repsol Honda team, but also one of the major sponsors, the Austrian Red Bull, who will follow the Spaniard to the Gresina team. In the Italian team, Red Bull will join the Spanish brewer Estrela Galicia, which supports the Marquez brothers, the team's racers in the 2024 season. However, the Spanish Repsol, which has a contract with the team until the end of 2024, will continue its cooperation with Honda, when they will celebrate their thirtieth anniversary of cooperation. Red Bull's departure opens up advertising space for Monster, Red Bull's energy drink rival, which could bring some new colors to Honda's otherwise traditional motorcycle livery in 2024.
The Italian Luca Marini is expected to officially confirm his transfer from the VR46 team to Repsol Honda this week, where he will race for at least the next two seasons. Marini will, it seems, follow the path of his half-brother Valentino Rossi, who also raced with Honda at the beginning of his career, and in the Japanese manufacturer's garage he will in all likelihood work with the same chief mechanic, Santi Hernandez, who has worked closely together in recent years with Marco Marquez. The most important part that should convince Marini to transfer is the duration of the contract, as Honda initially offered the Italian a contract for one season, and at a meeting between Marini's manager and Honda in the paddock in Malaysia, they apparently reached an agreement on a longer-term cooperation. For now, the deal has not been officially confirmed, although it was unofficially confirmed by Marc Ma
Pol Espargaro has confirmed rumors that he was contacted by Honda about the possibility of participating in the next season, but the Spaniard has decided to remain part of the KTM team. The younger of the Espargaro brothers competed for the Honda factory team in the 2021 and 2022 seasons and then returned to KTM before the start of this season. This time to their satellite team GasGas. The Spaniard lost his seat to Pedro Acosta after just one season and will therefore be a test driver for the Austrian team next season. Today, Alberto Puig admitted to the press in Sepang that Espargaro, along with Luca Marini and Fabio Di Giannantonio, was among the main candidates to replace Marc Marquez. At Honda, they want to offer the racer only a one-year contract and thus have more choice at the end of the next season,
Marc Marquez was only partially satisfied after Friday's events in Sepang. The eight-time world champion was in the lead at the beginning of the second free practice session, but when the other racers began to seriously attack, the fast lap time slipped to fifteenth place. He is comforted by the fact that at least the rhythm for the race is not among the worst. "On some tracks we are good for one fast lap, but we don't have the right rhythm for the race. Here in Sepang it's the other way around. We have a solid rhythm, but for one fast lap we are far behind," Marquez was clear at the end of the day. "We expected something like that, so we're not surprised. I started both training sessions well, but in the following I couldn't find that little bit more to be fast for one lap." "Qualifying will be so very important. I will give my maximum and we will see
Miguel Oliveira also officially confirmed in Sepang that he will not compete for the Honda factory team next season. The main reason is only the one-year contract that the Japanese manufacturer was willing to offer him. That would be too risky a decision for him. "They want a driver for one season, which is too risky a move for most drivers at the moment, regardless of the fact that it is the biggest team that, despite the current crisis with its resources, can quickly become the best again." "Most of the drivers are out of contract at the end of next season, which means that many opportunities will open up. But at the moment, I don't see any reason why you should take so much risk with a transfer if you don't have a guaranteed future."