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Marquez sees "no sense" in Honda snaring top MotoGP riders when bike is bad

Marc Marquez says there’s “no sense” in Honda trying to pursue top MotoGP riders while the bike is uncompetitive, as he weighs in on the latest rumours on his replacement.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

With Marquez off to Gresini Ducati next season, Honda is in the midst of securing a replacement for its factory squad.

Five-time MotoGP race winner Miguel Oliveira was its first choice, but HRC’s apparent unwillingness to sign a rider for longer than one year closed this door.

This placed Fabio Di Giannantoniowho will be replaced by Marquez at Gresini – as favourite, though rumours have since emerged prior to the Malaysian Grand Prix that Moto2 frontrunner Fermin Aldeguer is also in the frame.

When asked by Autosport what Honda should do in terms of his replacement, he replied: “It depends on the strategy they want to have.

“I will not go in on those plans, because I respect them.

“Of course, they try to do the best for the project right now and the best for the project is to invest all the money into the bike.

“That is what I believe, because there’s no sense to have a bike that is not performing at the moment in a good way and have the best rider on the grid.

“First of all you need to have the bike, and then go to catch the best rider.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

“It doesn’t matter who it is. This is my opinion. They have their own strategy and I know a little bit, but I will not say, because if they need to inform, they will inform.”

Joan Mir says he would prefer an experienced rider to partner him in 2024 to help provide Honda with more usable information.

“It’s difficult to say something about it,” said the 2020 world champion. “But as a rider and in the situation that we are in at the moment, all the information we can get from the outside can be very helpful for us.

“It’s true that the comments we gave are there, so they understand what the problem is and they just have to do it.

“But if another rider with experience can give an opinion and maybe a way, that is always help.

“In this situation to have a rookie for the team, honestly speaking for me, I want an experienced rider. But I don’t know for the project, they have to decide.”

Di Giannantonio told the media on Thursday in Malaysia that there was no news on his future, noting that his current standing in the situation is “average”.

Honda World Superbike rider Iker Lecuona, who is deputising for the injured Alex Rins in Malaysia and Qatar, has re-signed with HRC for next year to remain in the production-based series.

Iker Lecuona, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Iker Lecuona, Repsol Honda Team

But Lecuona says it would be “a kick in the balls” for him if Honda were to select a young rider without experience over him.

“I would be 100% fucked [off], you can't imagine what a kick in the balls that would be, I say it that clear,” Lecuona, who spent two seasons with Tech3 in MotoGP, said.

“I think Honda is not ready to take a young rider with no experience. I'm young, but I have two years of experience in MotoGP and I've done very good races with MotoGP, going fast, I've done five races with the Honda and I've been with the others.

“It would be a kick that hurts and you need half an hour to recover.”

Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova

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