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Marc Marquez will leave Honda MotoGP team for Gresini Ducati in 2024

Marc Marquez will race for Gresini Ducati in MotoGP next year after Honda announced on Wednesday the eight-time world champion will leave the Japanese manufacturer at the end of 2023.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

By mutual agreement, Marquez and Honda will break one of the most fruitful alliances in the history of MotoGP, which has yielded a total of six world titles over eleven seasons between 2013 and 2023.

The Spaniard made his debut with Honda in 2013 and won the championship, before adding a second in 2014. Marquez then dominated from 2016 to 2019, winning the championship four years in a row - with his last coming by a whopping 151-point margin.

FEATURE: How one Marquez's Ducati switch may have inspired the other's

A serious arm injury at the start of 2020 derailed his run, with Marquez requiring four surgeries across 2020 and 2022, while two bouts of diplopia (double vision) also forced him to miss races in this time.

While able to win three races in 2021, Marquez hasn't stood on top of a grand prix podium since October of that year, with the competitiveness of the RC213V worsening over the last two seasons.

Read more: Marquez thanks Honda for “unrepeatable” MotoGP tenure

In recent weeks, Marquez has been linked with a move to Gresini to ride a year-old Ducati, with that speculation only intensifying after a lukewarm reception to the 2024 Honda prototype he tested at Misano in September.

With this move - which is yet to be officially announced by Gresini - Marquez will compete next season with the Faenza-based team and will have his brother Alex as his garage neighbour, who has obviously played a decisive role in the #93 team's decision.

Alex Marquez, who partnered Marc briefly at the factory Honda squad in 2020, switched from LCR to Gresini for 2023 and has scored a podium in the Argentina GP and a sprint win at Silverstone.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Although the Italian team would have preferred to close a deal that would go beyond 2024, the alliance will have an initial validity of only one year, since the rider wants to have absolute freedom to consider his future in 2025, when the bulk of the contracts expire.

In principle, the structure of Nadia Padovani, widow of Fausto Gresini, has been assigned two Ducati Desmosedici GP23 with a view to 2024.

Although, no one would be surprised if Ducati made a move in that direction so that a rider of the calibre of Marquez could have the latest version of the prototype - the same with which factory duo Francesco Bagnaia and. Enea Bastianini, and Pramac's Jorge Martin and Franco Morbidelli will race.

Autosport understands that Marquez, at 31, will face this new stage in his career without the complicity of the human group that has accompanied him since his days in Moto2.

Despite attempts to take his technicians with him, Marquez will land at Gresini alone, after Ducati showed its reluctance to show the innards of the most dominant bike of the moment to engineers who in 2025 could sign for any competing company.

Despite the various reports that have appeared in recent weeks, some of them indicating that Marquez's intention was to remain at Honda, and others stating that he had already closed his move to Gresini, he hesitated about which suit he would wear next season until the last few days.

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In fact, both parties set a deadline of Tuesday to unravel a situation that was becoming uncomfortable for all parties involved.

Alberto Puig, HRC's team manager, has worked in recent weeks on a plan that had no other objective than to try to avoid the departure of Honda's main claim.

However, the little room for manoeuvre that the executive had (he did not receive the green light from the top brass at Honda to the hiring plan until the Austrian Grand Prix) and the refusal of the most renowned European engineers to join the fold, played a major role in the outcome of this soap opera.

In Japan last weekend, it emerged that Honda had decided to dispense with Shinichi Kokubu as technical general manager.

However, the promotion to his place of Shin Sato, another internal piece of the Japanese factory, has proved to be an insufficient stimulus to convince Marquez to continue betting on what until now had been his home for the past 10 years and with whom he has taken 59 wins, 101 podiums and 64 poles.

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