MotoGP

Marc Marquez reveals Ducati approach, may consider changing teams

Marc Marquez reveals Ducati approached him about a possible shock move for 2021 as he admits he may switch teams once his Honda deal ends in 2024

Marc Marquez has revealed Ducati contacted him about a possible move to its team for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship prior to him penning a new four-year deal with Honda.

The six-time MotoGP champion agreed an unprecedented four-year deal that would keep him at Honda until the end of 2024 before the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.

Having made his debut with Honda in 2013, Marquez has gone on to dominate MotoGP and remains well on course to surpass both Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini’s record total of seven premier class titles.

Despite his success, such is Marquez’s influence in the Honda fold, rival teams have generally focused on defeating the partnership rather than attempt to get the Spaniard on its books.

However, that doesn’t mean enquiries weren’t made in the run up to Marquez’s current 2020 deal concluding, with Ducati – who is also said to have approached a number of other leading riders – about the possibility of a shock defection.

While Marquez quickly put that to bed by signing a long-term deal with Honda, he admits that post-2024 he could be motivated to challenge himself in a new team. 

"I am 27-years-old, I have a contract for another four years. You never know," Marquez told SkySport.it when asked whether he will ever leave Honda for another manufacturer.

"I heard people say that I have to win with another bike too, but I made a decision of the heart. They [Honda] gave me the opportunity to switch to MotoGP from Moto2 and to win.

"I heard [from] Ducati, who asked for information, but the Honda project was the best from a sporting point of view. At the moment I say no [about riding another bike], but in the future you never know." 

Ducati’s busy winter sourcing new riders

While it’s completely normal for teams to enquire about riders in the run up to the end of their contracts, Ducati’s efforts to lure a new rider into its team were rife over the winter.

Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins and Joan Mir were all reportedly approached about joining in 2021, despite having a bevy of front-running riders in Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia and now Johann Zarco on its books already.

It doesn’t send out a particularly encouraging signal to those riders for their future, though with each of those five riders now confirmed elsewhere, it’s what Ducati is most likely left with.

As for Marquez, his words here are the first indication the long-term deal with Honda could be his last before he ventures on to pastures new.

The Spaniard may well become a record-breaker during that period in terms of title wins, but the argument of him being the fabled ‘GOAT’ will always remain unless he can prove himself on something other than a Honda.
 

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