Motor Sports

Former world MotoGP champion Marquez to join Gresini Racing

LOMBOK, Indonesia: Marc Marquez will join Ducati satellite team Gresini Racing for the 2024 season, the team said today, days after it was announced he would leave Honda, where he won six world MotoGP titles.

"The Gresini Family is pleased to announce the arrival of Marc Marquez for the 2024 season," the team said in a statement on the MotoGP website.

"Starting next season, he will be the new standard bearer of Gresini Racing MotoGP alongside his brother Alex," it said.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who has been hampered by injury since the start of the 2020 season, had one year left on a four-year deal with Honda.

Both parties agreed to go their separate ways a year early.

"I'm excited about this new challenge. It wasn't an easy decision because it's a big change in every way," Marquez said in the statement.

"But sometimes in life, it's important to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself through the paces in order to keep growing."

He said he would likely have to adapt his riding style for the new team after so many years at Honda.

"It won't be easy. But I'm also sure that the whole Team Gresini will help me a lot. I can't wait to get to know the team and start working with them," he said.

Gresini owner Nadia Padovani said it was "a historical moment" for the team.

"The fact that Marc Marquez chose to race with us in the upcoming season is absolutely fantastic and I'm extremely happy to be able to make it official," she said.

Marquez joined Honda after winning the Moto2 title in 2012.

Padovani said they were sure "he has all the potential to be competitive" next season.

The announcement comes ahead of the Indonesian GP on the resort island of Lombok, with just six races left in the season with the Japanese team.

Marquez became the youngest race winner, at Austin, Texas, in his first season in the premier class and ended the season the youngest champion.

He won the title in five of the next seasons and has 59 wins, 101 podium finishes and 64 pole positions so far in 11 seasons with Honda.

But he has missed 30 starts in the past four campaigns and has not won since Emilia Romagna in October 2021.

Marquez fractured his right arm in the first GP of the 2020 season and underwent a fourth round of surgery in June last year. --AFP

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