MotoGP: Marc Marquez to leave Repsol Honda at the end of 2023

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Marc Marquez will leave Repsol Honda following the conclusion of the 2023 MotoGP season.

The Spaniard’s future has been the biggest talking point within the MotoGP paddock for several weeks, with his name constantly being linked with the Gresini Racing Ducati team alongside brother Alex Marquez.

Marquez’s departure comes despite there still being one year remaining on his contract, but after being less than impressed with the 2024 RC213C prototype he tested at Misano, and having talked with HRC bosses in Japan, Marquez has decided to step away from the Japanese giant.

Today’s statement from the Honda Racing Corporation said:

“Honda Racing Corporation and Marc Marquez have mutually elected to terminate their four-year contract prematurely at the end of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season.

“With a year still remaining on the four-year contract between HRC and Marc Marquez, both parties have mutually agreed to end their collaboration upon completion of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season. Both parties agreed it was in their best interests to each pursue other avenues in the future to best achieve their respective goals and targets.

“Both parties will continue to give their full support for the remaining rounds of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season.

“HRC wish Marc Marquez the best in his future endeavours.”

Marc and Alex Marquez will be teammates again

Marquez has spent his entire MotoGP career with the Repsol Honda team, clinching the title at the first attempt in 2013 before dominating the following season with 10 consecutive victories at the start of the year.

A tough 2015 was quickly forgotten when Marquez won four straight titles from 2016-2019, finishing either first or second in all of the races he completed in 2019. That year, Marquez won the title with an astonishing points lead of 151.

Since signing his current four-year deal Marquez’s career has suffered hugely due to injuries and an uncompetitive, aggressive RC213V Honda. Marquez broke his humerus at Jerez in 2020 and underwent four operations between 2020 and 2022 to fix the damage, which was arguably made worse in a failed attempt to return the following weekend.

Marquez secured three emotional victories upon his initial big return in 2021 – despite not being fully fit – but a huge crash in Indonesia in 2022, plus a training accident at the end of 2021, saw the return of his double vision (diplopia) problems.

2023 was supposed to be the year where things changed; Marquez was back to full fitness and ready to return to the top, however the bike continues to struggle. Marquez was injured at the first round at Portimao and has suffered 20 crashes in total this season – including five at his beloved Sachsenring where he withdrew from the Grand Prix race.

Marquez and Honda celebrate capturing the 2019 title

Marquez, Repsol Honda teammate Joan Mir and LCR Honda’s Alex Rins have all missed several races through injury this year, whilst Marquez has had to change his approach in order to come home in one piece, even if that’s outside of the top 10. Rins will swap LCR Honda for the factory Yamaha team next season.

All eyes will now be on Gresini for confirmation of Marquez’s move to the team next season. It’s likely that Marquez will have signed a one-year deal so that he has all options available to him for the 2025 season, with most contracts up at the end of 2024.

The Gresini team are set to run Desmocedici GP23s next season as part of their contract agreement with Ducati Corse. Marc and Alex Marquez were technically teammates at Repsol Honda in 2020, however Marc only completed one race that year after breaking his right arm.

It’s currently unknown who will take Marquez’s spot at Repsol Honda, however current World Superbike Championship rider, and former KTM MotoGP racer, Iker Lecuona has stepped in as a replacement rider for both Honda teams this season.

Coinciding with the departure of Marquez, it was revealed at Motegi last weekend that Technical General Manager of HRC Shinichi Kokuba had been relieved of his duties. He has been replaced by Shin Sato.