Marc Marquez says Alex must earn his ride, won’t ‘veto anyone’

Marc Marquez insists he wasn't involved in Honda's decision to sign Alex for the 2020 MotoGP season and he won't influence its choices for 2021

Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez - Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez has played down the assertion he had any say in getting his brother Alex to join the Repsol Honda team ahead of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season and insists he will have to earn his ride for 2021.

The six-time MotoGP World Champion will be joined in the title-winning HRC team by his younger brother Alex, who was snapped up at the tail-end of the 2019 season after Jorge Lorenzo unexpectedly retired mid-way through his two-year contract.

At the time the deal caused some stir, not least because it seemed Johann Zarco – who was out of a ride and been substituting the final few rounds on Honda machinery - was considered the favourite, before Honda opted for the Moto2 champion instead.

Though brothers do already share the circuit – Pol and Aleix Espargaro – this is the first-time brothers have shared the same pit box.

However, amid rumours Marquez has an inordinate amount of say into who is his team-mate at Honda, the champion maintains he wasn’t involved in the decision to sign Alex.

With the younger brother on a one-year deal for now, Marc insists he won’t influence future decisions to keep him there.

“I have never vetoed anyone, I did not veto last year the arrival of Jorge Lorenzo, nor will I impose on Honda my brother or anyone else.

“If Alex wants to stay with Honda, he will have to earn it himself; if he doesn’t another team-mate will come to the team. Alex is old enough to make his own career, I’m focusing on my own.”

Did Marc Marquez influence Alex's signing?

While Marc is unlikely to have said the exact words, Honda will have surely seen the benefit of having Alex on the other side of the garage than another more contentious figure.

There clearly wasn’t all so much harmony in the HRC garage in 2019 when Lorenzo came on board, albeit at least until the disparity in their performance became clear.

As such, having two riders – regardless of their results – pulling in the same direction and sharing data will be large benefit for Honda, who will no doubt now be starting to feel the absence of Dani Pedrosa, who was a critical component in the development of its machines for many years.

Then there is the influence of title sponsor Repsol, though it is expected they will exit the sport in 2020 and be replaced by a new backer, rumoured to be Shell.

As for 2021, it would take a disastrous season for Alex not to be retained – especially if Cal Crutchlow retires at the end of the year – but it’s hard to believe the question won’t be asked of Marc…