SportMotoGPAlex Marquez says he "wasn't motivated" to stay with...

Alex Marquez says he "wasn't motivated" to stay with Honda

Alex Márquez, with two MotoGP podiums under his belt, made his debut with Honda in the 2020 season. However, the Spaniard will get on a Ducati in 2023, after having signed a one-year contract with Gresini, where he will take the place of Enea Bastianini.

After a promising start to the campaign in which he stood on the podium twice, Márquez had to struggle to maintain his performance on the RC213V (a problem that could also be seen among his brand-mates). Arriving at Silverstone, the Spaniard occupies the 18th position in the general classification, with only 27 points in his locker.

Alex Rins, forced to leave Suzuki at the end of 2022, has announced in the summer break his signing for the LCR, having signed a contract with Honda for the next two years. Rins thus occupies the vacancy left by the youngest of the Márquez.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport, Márquez admits that both he and the team needed a change of scenery. In addition, it reveals that at the time he agreed to leave the LCR he still had nothing signed, and the option of staying off the MotoGP grid in 2023 was real.

“I spoke with Lucio at the Sachsenring about my future, bluntly, which is the best way to understand what the other party wants,” answers Márquez when asked about the reasons for his departure to Gresini.

“I opened up to him and said ‘Lucio, I think I need a change. I think your team needs it too, and I don’t have the motivation to continue with you. I’m very happy with the team, but I think I need a change of bike. ‘”.

“At that time I still didn’t have any offer on the table, so I told [Lucio] that maybe in 2023 I would have to stay at home. But I’m not going to continue in a team where I don’t feel motivated, especially when it comes to the bike.

“From that moment on, they [the LCR] started talks with Rins, and I started negotiating with other teams. Luckily, I had the opportunity to sign with Gresini to ride a Ducati.”

“Honestly, [staying at home in 2023] was an option, because at that time I did not value moving to Superbikes or to another championship.

“I said to myself ‘OK, if I don’t have a seat in MotoGP, I’ll stop for a year and then I’ll see what goals I set for myself in life’. Fortunately, Gresini’s option arose, but to be honest, dedicating myself to other things in my life was something that was on the table.”

Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda

Márquez also stressed that Honda intended to review its driver roster and was at risk of being replaced. He acknowledges that this reinforced his decision to leave.

“I think both parties felt the need to make changes, because Honda, for whatever reason, intended to make changes between their drivers,” he continues.

“I’m not going to delve much deeper, because it’s an opinion that I don’t share. But my departure was also a decision by Honda. They wanted to change their riders, like Pol or me. And it remains to be seen what ends up happening with ‘Taka ‘”.

“It was clear to me that my continuation at Honda was not an option.”

In recent weeks, Honda have said that they need a change in mindset to get out of the hole they are currently in, and that is why they are renewing their 2023 driver roster with Rins. Joan Mir, world champion in 2020, is also expected to join the official team to fill the gap for Pol Espargaró.

But Márquez believes that changing riders will not be the magic solution to end Honda’s problems, especially when testing days are as limited as in MotoGP.

“In the end it doesn’t matter if the new riders come from Suzuki, Yamaha or Ducati. In a single test [at the end of the season] you don’t get to change the bike for the following year,” says Márquez when asked if he thinks the Suzuki riders will get the change that Honda expects of them.

“They have good feedback on what they have to change for next year, because the four drivers complain about the same things and have the same problems. I think they need a change of mentality if they want to change their situation.”

“It is true that there was a moment of the year in which they lost a bit, but I think that now they are trying to follow the right path. We will see what we have between now and the end of the season.”

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