Did tennis star Rafa Nadal just hint at Marquez’ MotoGP future?

World tennis legend Rafa Nadal has posted a picture on social media with MotoGP racer Marc Marquez, along with a not-so-cryptic message…

Marc Marquez and tennis star Rafa Nadal

THE future of one of MotoGP’s biggest names is seemingly hanging in the balance, with talk of retirement and moving teams swirling around the six-time World Champion.

The catch is that nobody, apart from his closest inner circle, will really know what is going on. Although a tennis star and multiple Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal, seems to have an inkling.

The news comes from a social media post from Nadal, himself a much-loved personality in his native Spain and beyond. He’s also been a friend of Marquez for some time, with Marc even describing the 37-year-old Majorcan as his idol and saying ‘One of the most important guys in Spain is Rafael Nadal’. It’s this close bond that might mean Nadal is privy to MM93’s future plans, either in MotoGP or beyond.

The post accompanying the picture of the two stars reads:

‘Visits [views] that make you very excited. Thanks @marcmarquez93 for coming to meet the Rafa Nadal Academy By Movistar. We see each other soon and good luck on your new challenges.’

The key element here is the use of the phrase ‘on your new challenges’, possibly pointing to Marquez’ next move in MotoGP, or possibly something the Spaniard is planning to do instead of racing in the premier class.

While Marquez is locked into a further year with the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll remain there until the end of 2024. Honda boss, Alberto Puig, has already gone on the record to state that he wouldn’t want to have to force Marquez to stay in a team he was happy with. It seems Puig is aware that an unhappy rider rarely returns positive results (see Lorenzo and Rossi at Ducati, and Maverick Vinales at the end of his Yamaha contract), although that doesn’t mean Honda will let him walk away scot-free.

KTM is the team in MotoGP that is in a bit of a purple patch, and taking the entire field into account seems to be the only bike that can take the fight to the all-conquering Ducatis. Should Marquez and KTM agree for him to move before the end of his current contract, it’ll likely cost KTM a significant amount of cash as compensation.

There is another kink in the road, in that both KTM’s current riders, Brad Binder and Jack Miller, also have contracts until the end of 2024. A three-bike team is not out of the question in 2024, although given the amount of money KTM would have to fork out to sign Marquez in the first place, running another bike specifically for the Spaniard seems unlikely.

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