Although Honda has a contract with the six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig has hinted that the company would not interfere with Marquez's departure from the team at the conclusion of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship. After Marquez pulled out of the MotoGP Dutch TT at Assen due to a rib injury incurred in a morning warm-up incident at the Sachsenring seven days earlier, the Repsol Honda team manager made these comments. His injury-plagued first half of the season culminated in his retirement from the Dutch race. Marc Marquez had started just three of eight full-length MotoGP races and had failed to finish any of them. There is widespread conjecture that during MotoGP's six-week summer break, Marquez will decide whether or not to extend his long-term deal with Honda.
MotoGP: Repsol Honda Boss Accepts Chance of Losing Marc Marquez in 2024
Despite signing a four-year contract in 2020, Honda MotoGP president Alberto Puig said the talismanic rider was free to leave at the end of 2023 if he wanted to. According to Alberto Puig, while Marc and Honda have a contract, everyone has the freedom to make their own choices in life. Furthermore, Honda is not the kind of corporation that uses employees who are unhappy in their current positions. So naturally Honda has a contract, but the Japanese behemoth has a great deal of respect for Marc. Puig hopes that the deal will convince him to stay.
After signing a four-year contract with Honda, with whom he had won six MotoGP championships, the 30-year-old suffered a career-ending injury in the first race of 2020, ruling him out of title contention for the next three years. And now that Marquez considers himself to be back to appropriate shape overall despite the myriad of shorter-term problems he's endured in 2023, he no longer views the current Honda machinery as capable of driving him to a championship contender.
After being very supportive of Marquez's efforts until 2023, Puig finally admitted that the circumstance is really not good at all for Honda.
MotoGP: Honda Sits Last in 2023 Championship
In the last two grand prix, Honda has plummeted to an all-time low. Their top three riders, Marc Marquez, Alex Rins, and Joan Mir, all missed the last two races at Sachsenring and Assen due to injuries.
The most egregious example is that of Marquez who pulled out of the German race after suffering several broken bones in five separate crashes over the course of two and a half days. The Spaniard went all the way to the Dutch GP and practised on both Friday and Saturday, but he was unable to compete in the long race due to fractured rib.
Many in the paddock are worried that Honda and Yamaha might leave MotoGP because of their declined performance. There are also concerns among the riders' loved ones that the uncompetitive machinery may result in further injuries.