Marc Marquez says Honda has 'priority' in 2019 contract talks
Marc Marquez has stressed securing an extension on his current contract with Honda remains his priority as rumours regarding the 2019 rider market begin to mount.
The Spaniard has been a mainstay of the factory Honda squad since he stepped up to the premier class in 2013, securing four MotoGP titles for the marque in his five seasons in the top tier.
With his current agreement with HRC expiring this season, rumours of a potential switch from Honda – most notably to KTM – picked up steam towards the end of last year.
However, the reigning world champion has since moved to claim re-signing with Honda remains his ultimate goal and what his “heart asks for”.
“I always look for the best sporting option for me and I've always said Honda will be the first I listen to and they always have priority,” Marquez said.
“That's what my body and heart asks for, they're the ones who gave me the opportunity. But you always need to know how to listen to and pay attention to other factories.
“With Honda, we've spoken, talking about a few things. At the moment there's no rush, but if it comes up we'll see.”
While speculation regarding a potential KTM move for Marquez has failed to disappear, the Austrian marque's CEO Stefan Peirer insisted the only rider he has on his radar for a '19 seat is current Tech3 rider Johann Zarco.
“When I look at the championship table, there's no-one I can think of except Zarco (to join KTM), to be honest,” Pierer told German media following last year's Valencia Grand Prix.
“He won the Moto2 world championship for two years with Aki Ajo, and won the Red Bull Rookies Cup on a KTM. He knows KTM.
“If you ask me, I would say this is the only MotoGP rider that I'm seriously considering for 2019.
“I'm quite honest: Marquez is such a unique talent, in a league of his own. If he wins, it is Marquez.
“If he loses, my motorcycle is to blame. Moreover, such a signing would be counterproductive to our junior program, which we have built so carefully.”