Marc Marquez says it’d be ‘wise’ to freeze contracts for 2021 MotoGP

Marc Marquez suggests it'd be fairer for teams to ensure 2020 MotoGP contracts are carried over to 2021 - but where would that leave Fabio Quartararo?

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda 1200

Marc Marquez has suggested teams should be freezing their rider contracts to carry over into the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season to give them some stability in these uncertain times.

The Spaniard is one of five riders together with Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Tito Rabat to have signed new deals that take them beyond 2020, though only one of those – Quartararo – will be changing teams.

However, with no firm certainty the 2020 MotoGP season will get underway as the world battles back against COVID-19, Dorna has already revealed it will be freezing development on aero and engines through to 2021 in order to take the pressure off budgets.

It is a move that Marquez believes should be backed up by a freeze on rider contracts, using the example of his rookie brother and Repsol Honda team-mate Alex Marquez as allowing him a chance to prove himself without the pressure of a potentially race-laden second-half of the year.

“The situation is difficult,” he told Marca. “In my case, I had already renewed for four years with Honda. But it is true that there are many who have not signed a contract yet, including my brother [Alex Marquez], who all want to show that they deserve a place in MotoGP, Moto2 or Moto3.

"Perhaps the teams will have to have a slightly more open mind, because one of the things already done is to freeze the motorcycles from 2020 to 2021.

"I think it is a wise move because the teams' budget will also be affected by this virus. With rider contracts, why not do something similar? Freeze it and as if this year had not happened.

"But these are things that are not in my hands. I am calm because I have everything signed. But I still want to race because that's where you show your value and level."

Could MotoGP initiate a contract freeze for 2021?

Marquez isn’t the first person to raise this. Razlan Razali suggested Quartararo should potentially remain with his Petronas SRT team in 2021 in order to honour his contract, though this was quickly dismissed by Yamaha who are keen to get hold of the Frenchman for 2021 as planned.

Indeed, the fact some riders – 5 of a possible 20 – have settled deals for 2021 makes it seem unlikely they’d want to defer those deals on by another year, even if for four riders it wouldn’t result in any change of scenery.

Regardless, teams may come to this conclusion on their own anyway. By now much of the grid for the following year is normally decided, but as Quartararo showed in 2019, it only takes one stellar season to transform your reputation… but that can only be done on track.