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MotoGP Japanese GP

Crutchlow thinks MotoGP field ‘may as well not turn up’ with Marquez on Ducati

Cal Crutchlow says he has always thought “the rest may as well not turn up” if Marc Marquez rides a Ducati MotoGP bike, which will be the case in 2024.

Race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda

On Wednesday afternoon, Honda announced that it had mutually agreed with Marquez to terminate his four-year contract a season early.

He will now join Gresini to race a year-old Ducati, though the Italian outfit is yet to say anything publicly.

This comes amidst a difficult year for Honda and Marquez, in which he has scored just one grand prix podium in 14 rounds aboard the uncompetitive RC213V.

Yamaha test rider Crutchlow raced for Honda from 2016 to 2020 with LCR, with his time coinciding with Marquez’s dominant period with the marque when he won four of his six premier class titles.

Speaking last weekend at the Japanese GP prior to Honda’s announcement, Crutchlow reiterated his belief that Marquez is the best rider on the grid, even under his current Honda troubles. 

“I’ve always said if Marc goes on a Ducati, the rest may as well not turn up,” Crutchlow said.

“I’ve always said this. So, for this reason, I don’t want him to go. I want him to turn it around with Honda.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But I also don’t care. I want to watch a good race on the TV, so Marc is still I believe the best rider – talent – I’ve had the privilege to ride with, because obviously I was riding the Honda at the same time [as him].

“I knew what he was doing, I understood it – I just couldn’t do it. The talent was incredible. I don’t think he has lost this talent.

“I just think at the moment the bike is not letting him do what he used to be able to do. If it did, I still think he’d be in the front of the championship.”

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Marquez wrote on social media earlier on Wednesday that he was thankful for all Honda had given him, branding his tenure with the Japanese brand as “unrepeatable”.

To date, Marquez has won six world titles with Honda, 59 grand prix victories, 101 podiums and scored 64 pole positions.

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