Marc Marquez has become the third rider to sign a new contract for the coming season. Today, HRC announced that the reigning world champion will be staying with the Repsol Honda team for two more years, for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The news doses not come as a surprise, despite recent comments by Marquez that he was open to listening to offers from other factories. Marquez is very happy with Honda, and at this point in his career, his main ambition is to keep winning races and championships. He has proven that he is capable of doing that with Honda.
The improvement in the Honda RC213V may also have factored into his decision to sign now. Throughout winter testing, the Honda riders have been much more positive in their comments than they have been in previous years. Marquez has been both very fast and very comfortable in winter testing, his long runs an indication of just how fast he is, even in race trim. With Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow also quick on the bike, the RC213V looks like being extremely competitive this year.
Marquez is the third rider to sign a new contract before the season has even begun. Maverick Viñales announced that he would be back with Yamaha for two more years at the Movistar Yamaha team launch, before he had even swung a leg over the bike, and Ducati announced they had signed Pecco Bagnaia to the Pramac team for two years before the Italian has even started his second year in MotoGP.
With Cal Crutchlow, Franco Morbidelli, and Xavier Simeon all having contracts for 2019 with their current teams, that brings the total number of riders already signed for next year up to six. More are almost certain to follow before the season opener at Qatar on 18th March.
Below is the press release from the Repsol Honda Team:
Honda Racing Corporation Renews Contract with Marc Márquez for Two Years
Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) is pleased to announce the extension of its contract with 25-year-old Spanish rider Marc Márquez, currently competing in the FIM MotoGP World Championship for the HRC’s factory team “Repsol Honda Team,” that will see him continue to race for two more years beginning in 2019.
After winning the 125cc Championship in 2010, Márquez moved on to Moto2 racing in 2011 to win the title in 2012. In 2013, in his debut year in the premier class, he became the world’s youngest champion after taking the title for the Repsol Honda Team.
In 2017, he became the youngest rider in history to win four titles in the premier class.
Marc Márquez’ World Championship Achievements
World Champion: 4（2013, 2014, 2016, 2017）
Podiums: 63（35 x 1st, 19 x 2nd, 9 x 3rd）
Fastest Race Laps: 37
World Champion: 1（2012）
Podiums: 25（16 x 1st, 6 x 2nd, 3 x 3rd）
Fastest Race Laps: 7
World Champion: 1（2010）
Podiums: 14（10 x 1st, 4 x 3rd）
Fastest Race Laps: 9
“I’m excited to continue to race for Honda’s factory team in the MotoGP class. I’m proud to race as a member of the Honda family, and I appreciate how Honda and the team always do their best to provide me with everything I need. I would also like to thank everyone who has given me such warm support over the years. The first two official tests went well and, with my contract renewed, I can focus on racing in the new season. I will continue to enjoy racing, share my joy with everybody and do my best to reach our shared goals. Thank you!”
“I am very pleased that Marc Márquez will continue to ride for our factory team. Márquez has consistently pushed himself to the limit and matured as a rider, and given Honda many titles. We were able to announce the contract renewal at such an early stage due to our mutual trust, and our common passion for racing. I am certain that we can provide an environment for him to concentrate on the final tests in Qatar this week and in the lead-up to the opening round, and that we can start the 2018 season strongly. HRC will continue its challenge with Márquez, a vital rider in the future of MotoGP. I appreciate and look forward to everyone’s continued support for the Repsol Honda Team.”