With his third-place finish in the Valencia Grand Prix earlier this month, Marc Marquez earned his fourth MotoGP title in the last five years, which almost certainly means he’ll be in for a big raise when his contract expires following the 2018 season.
The only question is which team will be signing his checks.
Like many other MotoGP riders, Marquez is set to become a free agent after next season and he’s sure to have plenty of suitors.
When his last contract was renewed in May 2016, it was for approximately 9m euros ($10.6M USD) annually. However, that’s significantly lower than the 14m euros ($16.7M USD) per year that Jorge Lorenzo is making with Ducati, according to Motorsport.com.
Due to his strong ties with Red Bull, it’s been widely speculated that Marquez could eventually find his way to KTM, especially since Red Bull is the main sponsor of the Austrian team. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Marquez’s agent, Emilio Alzamora, from telling a Spanish newspaper the 24-year-old rider is unlikely to leave his Repsol Honda team.
“Marc never forgets that Honda was the manufacturer that gave him the opportunity to make his debut, to win races and MotoGP titles,” Alzamora told El Periodico, according to Eurosport.com. “Honda will always be Marc’s first choice.”
While this certainly is good news if you’re a Honda fan, everyone knows that it takes two to tango, but a high-ranking official with HRC recently expressed interest in continuing this championship-winning partnership.
“We know he’s the rider everyone would choose to have, and that’s why we really appreciate having him,” Livio Suppo told Motorsport.com earlier this month, before he left his position as team principal at HRC. “Resigning him will depend on whether he has a willingness to win for another manufacturer and also on his feelings with next year’s bike.
“But, financially, I don’t think Honda will have a problem in making him a good offer.”