Honda has moved swiftly to stop any speculation about the future of their four-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, tying the Spanish superstar to the team for a further two years following the conclusion of the 2018 season.
The upcoming 2018 season was set to be the last on Marquez’s existing contract, and the bosses at Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) clearly weren’t keen on letting things drag into the season and possibly prove a distraction.
As a result, Honda and Marquez have agreed terms on a two-year contract extension that will see him continue to race in Repsol Honda colours in MotoGP until the end of the 2020 season.
The deal was announced this morning in a press release by HRC, whose president Yoshishige Nomura said: “I am very pleased that Marc Marquez will continue to ride for our factory team. Marquez 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 Marquez, a vital rider in the future of MotoGP. I appreciate and look forward to everyone’s continued support for the Repsol Honda Team.”
Marquez was understandably delighted to secure his future with Honda, whose machinery he’s piloted to MotoGP world titles in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, accounting for four of the six Grand Prix world titles he’s captured in his stellar career to date.
“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,” he said, via press release.
“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!”
With his contract now sorted, Marquez will head into the new season distraction-free, and that only bodes well for his ambition to capture a fifth MotoGP world title – and third in a row – in 2018, where he’s the betting favourite to retain his title.
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