Honda finds a place for Márquez in MotoGP

By Alberto Gómez

It’s too soon. True. Only three races have been contested. True. Marc Márquez only thinks about Moto2. Also true. A title is a title. Too much fishing to get lost looking at the horizon in the middle of the sea. But you can already see meetings between trucks and orchestral maneuvers in the darkness of a paddock in which it is difficult to hide small secrets. It’s too soon. True. But the first comments about the future, the speculations, the interrogations have already emerged. It is too complex a year beyond workshops or technology. The magnificent four – I include Valentino, always magnificent despite what happens from now on – fulfill contract. And there are not many bikes. At least those for which all the pilots sigh in the motorhome when they dream. And above, below, the children of Moto2 are screaming. Especially Márquez. His exuberant piloting and a character that has fallen in love with a good part of the population are claims, apart from if he wins the championship, with many carats for any factory. Especially for Honda. Especially for her. And Yamaha? Except that Repsol perverted its relationship with Honda, something undeniable seen the fraternal relationship of both brands, is not the chosen place. Ducati? Emilio Alzamora, former driver, would never let Marc play his future with a motorcycle that, to date, only Stoner has been able to tame and that is stabbing Rossi’s reputation. In addition there is Lorenzo. Two Spaniards would have no place for a factory team that, moreover, is not pressured by a sponsor. And Jorge and Lin Jarvis want their relationship to extend as much as possible. Both fought against Valentino. And they came out winning. The natural place – I repeat, respecting the intentions of Repsol – is Honda. First, as written above. Later, because the boy dazzles Shuhei Nakamoto and has a similar profile to Pedrosa but even with more media hook. In Alcañiz, last year, after asking him, during an HRC dinner, Nakamoto, about Márquez and his possible connection with Honda in 2012, he laughed, took a long pause and said. “He has to stay one more year on moto2”. He said it with paternalism and the conviction of someone who had it already contracted. Curious, because 99.99999% of the paddock saw him ready to debut among the greats. You had to endure a year. And check if the regulation changed and where. And the other day a meeting with Dorna and the MSMA made it very clear that the only way left for Honda is to change, in some way, a regulation that Carmelo Ezpeleta does not intend to change. Honda said that not only were they interested in eliminating the anti-rookie rule, there are other teams that suggest it. In Dorna they do not think so and point to Honda as instigator. Marquez is too valuable to leave him a year relegated on a satellite motorcycle. Because that could be the natural way out, as with Marco Simoncelli in Gresini, or Rossi, that year 2000 when he debuted with a 500-seat Honda and the team of technicians that Mick Doohan had left with his retirement. But the regulation is installed in an approach with only four factory bikes and the idea is to maintain it. In HRC they already have Stoner, who the other day said he would not retire this year -although, as he published some media, it is something not very reliable-; to Pedrosa, questioned in many places except by Honda (“Would someone do it better than Dani? We have the best possible team,” Livio Suppo told me), to Bradl, Nakamoto’s interesting bet with the Lucio Cecchinello Team; and Baptist who, probably at the end of the year will have optimal performance. Honda would make one more bike, but they will not let him. Less now that Ezpeleta intends to reinforce the CRT concept and reduce the role of the factories. The position of Pedrosa is not in danger. This is confirmed by Repsol and HRC. And its results. Being on the podium in each race is not easy, although it may seem so. And he is calm, although it makes him uncomfortable to be asked if he thinks Márquez could be his natural replacement. “In my sports career, whenever I had to renew, I felt the same,” he said in Estoril. Nothing new, because every two years new questions arise until a firm clarifies everything. “It is true that when you have to renew what you have done at that moment, not what you have achieved in the past, you have to earn it day by day and that is why I try to get the best out of myself. I have less difficulties to renew than many, “he added. A fifth bike would solve the mess. Graffiti of CX, Monlau, RACC or FC Barcelona. In Japan they would already be in charge of giving you first class material, first class technicians and first class salary. Without a doubt.