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Honda ‘Will Always Be’ Márquez’s First Choice

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Marc Márquez Selfie with Repsol Honda

Four-time MotoGP champion Marc Márquez is out of contract at the end of 2018, leaving many wondering where he will go. As the most coveted rider on the MotoGP grid, Márquez could join just about any team he likes—but his manager Emilio Alzamora believes the Respol Honda team, with whom he made his debut in 2013 and won four of the five available titles since, will always be his first choice.

“Marc never forgets that Honda was the manufacturer that gave him the opportunity to make his debut, to win races and MotoGP titles,” Alzamora told El Periodico, a Spanish newspaper. “Honda will always be Marc’s first choice.”

Honda will be keen to avoid the mistake it made in the early 2000s when it underestimated Valentino Rossi’s role in the team’s success, who as a result chose to move on to Yamaha. According to ex-team principal Livio Suppo, Honda is willing to increase its financial commitment to ensure Márquez stays with the team.

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“Marc is the best rider, he’s irreplaceable,” Suppo told Motorsport. “We know he’s the rider everyone would choose to have, and that’s why we really appreciate having him. Resigning him will depend on whether he has a willingness to win for another manufacturer and also on his feelings with next year’s bike. But, financially, I don’t think Honda will have a problem in making him a good offer.”

Márquez last renewed a contract with Honda in May 2016 worth approximately €9 million a year. However, his close ties with Red Bull have led to speculation that he may switch to KTM in the future; and as Jorge Lorenzo is currently earning €14 million per year at Ducati, it seems Honda will have to raise Márquez’s salary if they hope to keep him.

Related: What’s so appealing about Honda?

News Sources: El Periodico, Motorsport