Marc Marquez Signs Monster Contract Extension, Stays With Honda Through 2024

Marc Marquez has signed an almost unprecedented new contract extension with HRC, which will see him remain in the factory Honda team for four more years after his current contract expires at the end of the 2020 season. That means Marquez will be a factory Honda rider until the end of 2024.

Marquez' contract renewal had been widely anticipated, although the length of it is unexpected. It is a sign of the commitment of Marquez and Honda to each other, and a clear indication of the reigning world champion's objectives and intentions. Marquez races to win, individual races, but especially titles. He clearly sees Honda as his best bet for achieving that.

There are good reasons for Marquez to stay at Honda. The Spaniard drives and controls the development of the Honda RC213V, demanding a bike that will do the things he needs to win. The control he has is unprecedented, Honda breaking their normal cycle of rotating engineers in and out of HRC on a regular basis. Marquez has been able to ask for engineers to stay inside HRC beyond their normal period.

It is also a sign that HRC are all in on Marc Marquez. Their strategy for success is simply to give Marquez what he asks for, and trust him to deliver. It is a strategy history has proven to be correct: since his arrival in 2013, Marquez has won the title for Honda in six of his seven seasons. He starts the 2020 season as strong favorite, despite coming off his second shoulder surgery in two years.

Marquez' signing also closes a door for other factories, most notably Ducati. The shortcut to championships - signing Marc Marquez - is no longer available, and so the other factories must look for the Next Big Thing, the young rider who might be able to take the fight to the champion. Yamaha have already shown the way in this with their signing of Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo to the factory team in 2021. Expect other factories to follow similar paths.

Marquez' deal is unique for its length. Whereas most contracts for MotoGP riders are two years at most, none have been publicly announced as being for four seasons.

That does not mean that riders have not signed what are effectively four-year deals before: paddock rumor had it that Brad Binder had signed a contract with KTM which was effectively two-plus-two, two years in Moto2, followed by two years in MotoGP. But these deals are surrounded by various conditions: in the end, Binder spent three years in Moto2, only moving up to MotoGP this year.

After the loss of Maverick Viñales, Suzuki are also believed to be signing contracts which more closely resemble four-year deals. Joan Mir ostensibly signed a two-year contract with Suzuki, but it is rumored that the contracts contains clauses which allow Suzuki to extend the contract, making it harder for Mir to simply leave at the end of his two-year deal.

The Honda press release appears below:


HRC renew with Marc Marquez through to the end of 2024

Honda Racing Corporation are delighted to announce six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez has signed a four-year extension of his contract and will continue to race with the factory team until at least December 2024. So far, Marc Marquez has claimed 56 victories, 95 podiums and 62 pole positions with his RC213V in the premier class. These results have established him as the most dominant Honda rider in the premier class.

Yoshishige Nomura
HRC President

“We are happy to announce that, after the end of the current season, Marc will stay in the Honda family for four more years. We started talking a few months ago, as both parties wanted to stay together and continue winning. Marc started his career in the premier class in 2013 and with him we have won six of the last seven MotoGP titles. As a unique champion, he deserves a unique deal. I am very confident in this partnership and I wish everyone involved continued success."

Marc Marquez 93
Rider – MotoGP

“I am very proud to announce my renewal with Honda Racing Corporation for the next four years. Honda gave me the opportunity to arrive in the MotoGP class with a factory bike in 2013. Since the first year we have achieved success together and I am very happy to continue being part of the Honda family. HRC gives me the confidence to extend this partnership to obtain our common goal and continue our story of success.”

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Comments

Seems like Honda and MM93 are gonna laugh their way into record books in the next five years

What does Ducati do now? Everyone they were interested in have already committed themselves elsewhere. 

To those who complain that Marc is making MotoGP dull with his constant winning, just imagine him on a Yamaha/Ducati/Suzuki - he would win every race in the year, and every championship for the next decade!

Be grateful he's on the hardest bike to ride on the grid.

Five stars from me!

I must say I miss the rating option. It was nice to see what the general thinking was among readers about certain ideas. And it gave a sort of satisfaction to give my thumbs up to comments that I appreciated or agreed with. And also to see if others agreed with my comments. It saw it as a nice bit of extra interaction.

By the way, back on topic and a bit more serious: I have a feeling/hope Marc is not going to run away with it this year as he has done last year. He may get quite a bit more competition, from more than one challenger. And if that happens, I'm curious to see how he will respond. But in the form he was in the past couple of seasons, he would indeed have won on the Ducati, Yamaha en Suzuki even easier, I agree. 

 

He'd probably have won on a lawnmower last year, he was that much above the competition. Okay, okay, something of an exaggeration but I can't help feeling any projections we make for 2020 that don't see him winning the title are tinged with wishful thinking. That said, my money (Monopoly money of course) is on quartoraro as most likely to give him a run for his money, though it sounds like others think vinales is looking good. I read somewhere on here that Marquez doesn't see quartararo as a threat - but think that may be sandbagging. I wondered too whether Vale might be indulging in a bit of that, he has form in that department, though another title is quite a stretch. Whatever the case, it seems as though Yamaha are expected to be the main challenger. Roll on Dubai, and we can see what might be.

I've never really bought into this. Arguably it's the hardest bike to others due to it being so well suited to Marc. I don't doubt that Marc could win a champoinship on other bikes, but I doubt that he'd find it easier to do so.

It's a given that he'd win more races than their current riders, but as well as his tallent he'd also have the advantage of not being up against a Marc on a well suited Honda.

Ease of use may not be that big of a factor in how difficult it is to win at this level. The general view on the Yamaha seems to be that it's rider friendly, but in a race scenario it's coner speed strength is often negated by other bikes being in the way, and it's speed weakness is easily exploited.

But you forget that Honda is the most riches factory by a long shot, maybe still much richer than even Yamaha/Ducati/Suzuki combined. There a reason for Honda domination in the past (Doohan, Rossi era). Honda have chance to create rider friendly bike by following Cal & Jorge input, but no....they focusing all of their massive resources and following the input of Marc only.

Fun fact only Honda capable of running MotoGP and F1 projects at the same time, both are the most prestigious & most expensive racing series in the world and Honda doing both of that in the same time.

... I mean, I figured he would re-sign with Honda, but for 4 more years?! I must say I'm a bit disappointed as a fan who loves the game of musical chairs that can occasionally shake up MotoGP. Seeing Marquez on any other bike would've been a treat. I think the chances of that happening have now shrunk to nil.

I suppose the one remote risk of such a long-term contract is if Honda slips into a period of technical-confusion sometime over the next few seasons, leaving Marc on an uncompetitive motorcycle. It's happened before folks!

Given the level of control Marquez wields within the team and at HRC (supposedly), it would not be surprising to discover that the new four-year contract could be broken by him if certain conditions arise. What a near continuous stream of championship winning seasons brings is humbleness at the managment level (they know they need Marquez's help; the bike is difficult to ride) and a balance of egos. Postulating on what Marquez would do if he were to ride for a different manufacturer, in a different team structure with different management heads and egos is imaginary, since all that one knows is what's happening. What we see now is HRC and Yamaha bowing to the riders and Ducati kinda claiming the riders are the problem and not the bike. In the motogp era Honda have won ten championships, Yamaha seven and Ducati one. And we see the level of humility inversely proportionate to the number of championships won and how recent the last winning championship season was. This is interesting. The glory of winning and being winners keeps buried the suffering of losing and (the worst of all) the admittance of the ego to itself that it's a loser. The ego can't stand admitting it's a loser. This can distort clear seeing and result in finger pointing at other egos. Winning brings egos together and losing can pit them against each other.

It didn't surprise me that HRC went for a longer deal, or that Marquez agreed to it.  They've did nothing but win since they started together - no need to change when you're the best in the world.  Besides, HRC - Marquez = 3rd place manufacturer finish, best case scenario.  Only Marquez can tame that bike, and HRC has apparently learned from the Rossi dismissal and Ducati's post-Stoner championship desert.  Given the current parity between manufacturers, the nut between the handlebars has never been more important. Could longer term deals become the new normal? 

HRC locked up Marquez, but will they keep Repsol around too?

Looks like the end of my idea that Marquez would take on the KTM Challenge in a couple of years time! And keeping the Repsol link will be easier with MM on the bike too. Is there a risk though that HRC's dedication to making the RCV as MM wishes it may hamper them as the other factories continue to build on their own strengths?