No, Marc Marquez is not racing for free next year

Marc Marquez has revealed that he will not be racing for free in 2024, contrary to recent reports that suggested he will go unpaid next year

Marc Marquez, 2023 MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

Marc Marquez will not ride for free when he switches to Gresini Ducati in MotoGP next year, the Spaniard has confirmed.

The confirmation from Marquez came in an interview conducted by Visordown sister site ahead of this weekend’s MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix.

“No, it’s not true,” Marquez said. “I never go [into details] on that aspect because, as you know, nobody really knows what my salary is now at Honda. Nobody knows.

“I’ve heard many numbers, but nobody knows exactly. But next year still I will be super happy with what I have.”

The rumours of Marquez’s lack of pay for arose from comments made by Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti, who suggested as much in an interview published by earlier this week. 

While it is true that Ducati will not directly pay Marquez, the same is true of Alex Marquez, who will be Marc’s Gresini teammate next year. Gresini is a true satellite team, and its riders are contracted to it, rather than to Ducati. 

Of course, Marquez’s income will remain from his personal sponsors, such as Red Bull and Allianz. That said, there’s little doubt that Marquez left millions on the table when he decided to leave his HRC contract one year early. The five-year deal he signed in 2019 with Honda is rumoured to be worth between €10 million (£8.7 million) and €15 million (£13 million) per year.

Marquez’s future beyond next year is uncertain. His one-year agreement with Gresini keeps him in sync with the contracts of the rest of the grid and means he will be open to moves to,  theoretically, his choice of factory team. Ducati, KTM, Aprilia, and even HRC are all plausible options for Marquez in 2025. With the possible exception of Aprilia, any such move would likely put Marquez back among the top-paid riders in MotoGP.