Alex Marquez admits that he would have “stopped” his MotoGP career if a switch away from the Honda camp couldn’t have been secured for the 2023 campaign.
The 2019 Moto2 world champion managed to secure a seat with the independently-run Gresini Ducati operation for this season having been replaced at the LCR Honda squad by Suzuki refugee Alex Rins, the Spaniard so far showing much stronger form at the controls of a Ducati following three largely tough years with Honda.
He has already secured a debut podium on the Desmosedici by taking third in the Argentinean Grand Prix – an event he also secured a maiden class pole position at – and currently sits 12th in the riders standings despite having suffered two DNF’s in the past three races.
Speaking to Austrian publication Speedweek, Marquez revealed that the biggest benefit he has found switching to the Ducati fold this season has not just been having access to a more competitive machine, but rather the fact he feels greatly more “considered and valued” than he did at Honda, despite not being directly contracted by Ducati in the same way he was at Honda.
He also added that he would have rather “quit” being involved in MotoGP than taking a role as Honda’s test rider should he not have found a new race berth, conceding he “lacked motivation” after three years within the Japanese manufacturer.
“For some time last year there were no options for me to continue,” explained Marquez.
“We talked about what to do, but I said, ‘If I can’t be in MotoGP, I’ll quit.’ A year for sure, after that I would see what was possible, maybe a role as a test driver… I also said: “No, if I have to continue at Honda, I’ll stop too.”
“I lacked motivation and didn’t feel the recognition I wanted. I want to be part of a project where I am listened to and valued.
“I don’t have a Ducati contract so the situation is a bit different than when I was at Honda.
“But at Ducati, they listen to all riders, not just the guys on the factory team.
“They’re open to everyone’s opinions and for a driver that feels good. They listen, help solve your problems and you are considered and valued. I really like that.”