The true impact Marc Marquez could have by leaving Honda
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Still with so much of the 2023 MotoGP campaign left to run, the eight-time world champion is still yet to announce his plans whilst those around him have made big moves already.Alex Rins to Yamaha, Marco Bezzecchi staying with Mooney VR46 and Johann Zarco to LCR Honda are some of the biggest signings ahead of next season.Nakagami: HRC “committed to fixing current situation, but no massive difference” Bagnaia: Pedrosa “was always impressive, has one of the best riding styles”But perhaps the biggest move is still yet to come as Marquez has been heavily linked with a switch to Ducati.Not Pramac as the seat alongside Jorge Martin looks set to go the way of Franco Morbidelli, but instead it’s the Gresini ride alongside brother Alex.Some believe Marquez is lapping up the talk around him but plans to stay at Honda, however, other MotoGP circles think a switch to Gresini is not only realistic, but the most likely outcome. Marquez leaving Honda would be a shock, while also making Ducati a near-unbeatable force given the talents and form that Francesco Bagnaia, Martin and Bezzecchi have been in of late.But what would it do to Honda, who even with the mercurial talents of Marquez are struggling to score top ten finishes.Related Marquez on Rossi: “10th-14th for years, how did he come back every weekend?” Lorenzo: Honda “lost a lot when Pedrosa left”, has ‘proved’ his worth at KTMFirstly, Marquez leaving Honda would result in the Japanese manufacturer losing a rider that is nearly impossible to replace, while also giving them an even bigger re-build job to do in terms of direction and ideas on how to improve.But in terms of riding moves, Marquez joining Ducati would likely mean Zarco goes to Repsol as opposed to LCR.That would then leave the second LCR seat alongside Takaaki Nakagami open to Iker Lecuona.A Moto2 rider could also be of interest to Honda, however, it’s thought that Lecuona could be the rider set to join Honda permanently if Marquez jumps ship. Honda’s first 2024 RC213V sample at the Misano test was underwhelming for all its riders and Marquez might not want to put up with another year of lacklustre results, hefty numbers and risks of injuries. Honda themselves appear to be confident that Marquez will stay, while the Spaniard has always maintained that he has a contract until the end of 2024, but that hasn’t stopped him flirting with the idea on social media. If Marquez does move to Ducati, expect the Italian manufacturer to be even stronger and Honda to find themselves in even bigger trouble next season.
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