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MotoGP Austrian GP

Marquez would “welcome” Zarco joining Honda with LCR MotoGP team in 2024

Marc Marquez would “welcome” Honda signing Johann Zarco to join LCR and replace Alex Rins for the 2024 MotoGP season, with the Frenchman set to decide his future soon.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Rins elected to sign for the factory Yamaha squad for next season and exit a two-year works deal with Honda having felt a lack of support from the Japanese manufacturer this season.

Over the British Grand Prix weekend, Zarco became linked to the vacant LCR seat and on Saturday morning at the Austrian GP, French television network Canal+ effectively announced that a deal was done.

That proved to be incorrect, with Zarco simply having the offers from both Honda and his current manufacturer Ducati given to him.

Honda is offering a two-year deal with an option for a third for 2024, while Ducati is proposing a one-year contract to stay at Pramac with a view to moving him to its World Superbike project in 2025.

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When asked about Zarco potentially joining the Honda stable, Marquez – who was 10th in the Austrian GP sprint on Saturday – said: “Welcome. If it’s like this, [it’s] welcome, especially if it’s a fast rider that is fast with other manufacturers with a lot of experience.

“So, in the end, [it would be] welcome. I cannot say a lot. Honestly, I don’t care who will take the other Honda in LCR.”

Zarco says he hopes to have his future decided by the end of Sunday in order to focus on the rest of the season having been distracted by it on Saturday, in which he qualified 10th and retired from the sprint following an early crash involving team-mate Jorge Martin.

The Frenchman sees both options as solid, but doesn’t feel like a WSBK move is something he should be doing given how competitive he remains in MotoGP.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“The decision, I think I will have it tomorrow because I don’t want to make this decision at home,” he said about his future.

“I want to feel free next week. The two proposals are quite clear. Honda is offering a good project in MotoGP, I would be glad with my consistency and experience to give good information and develop the bike for at least two years, because I have also an option for a third year.

“So, this is always a good project in MotoGP. With Ducati it’s one year and then they already see me in Superbikes for the future.

“That could be an idea, but as long as I can perform in MotoGP it’s tough to see me in Superbikes.

“But on the other hand, in Superbikes and MotoGP they have the winning bike at the moment.

“I still have half a season to try and win races, but I have to decide what project I will go with.

“It’s quite clear these two offers, I had this idea a week before and now I have the proposals. But the announcement this morning [from Canal+] was a bit too much ‘blah-blah’.”

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