Honda Racing Corporation has announced the signing of 2019 Moto2 champion Alex Marquez as their second rider for the 2020 MotoGP season.
With the announcement of Jorge Lorenzo retiring at the end of 2019 MotoGP season, Honda had to fill the void alongside Marc Marquez with names lie Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco and reigning Moto2 champion Alex Marquez being run around the Valencia paddock.
It looked more likely that the Spaniard would get the seat which Honda eventually announced on Monday ahead of the two-day test at Valencia. Interestingly, Marquez gets only a one-year contract to race alongside his brother and reigning MotoGP champion.
It is a big leap of faith from the Japanese manufacturer to get a rookie Marquez in the factory squad when they have LCR as its satellite team. For Crutchlow, it is another blow after getting overlooked when Lorenzo was signed on in 2019 in place of Dani Pedrosa.
The British rider, though, has had a troubled time with injuries as well and his age may have worked against him. Marquez was already announced to stay back in Moto2 in 2019 with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, but will take the MotoGP step now.
Marquez should get his first taste of the Honda RC213V at Valencia this week. His move ends any chance of Zarco staying within the Honda stable after his three-race deal to end the 2019 season, with Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami to continue with LCR.
The Frenchman may get a lifeline still with Ducati looking to hire him to race for Reale Avintia Racing, who announced an extension of its deal with the Italian manufacturer. They are to become an official satellite outfit like Pramac Racing.
The statement stated: “The structure will be a satellite team of the Italian manufacture and will have significant improvements that will allow the team do a step forward with the goal of being a reference team in the paddock.”
The Spanish team has Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham currently racing for them but should Ducati changes its mind and fits Zarco in, it will mean that one of them gets dropped. The Frenchman was spotted speaking with Ducati at Valencia.
Here’s the story of Alex Marquez staying back in Moto2
Here’s the last message from Reale Avintia