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Honda Makes It Official: Espargaro Joins Marquez on Repsol Team Beginning 2021

As we reported earlier, in a surprise move, Honda was rumored to be negotiating with KTM’s Pol Espargaro to become the teammate of Marc Marquez on the factory Repsol MotoGP team next year. Part of the surprise related to the rumored demotion of the younger Marquez brother, Alex, to the satellite LCR Honda Team.

Both of these rumors were made official by a Honda announcement earlier today. Espargaro will join the Repsol Team next year (a two-year contract), while the younger Marquez brother moves to the LCR squad, replacing Cal Crutchlow. Crutchlow is rumored to be negotiating with Aprilia to join its MotoGP effort next year.

Here is a brief announcement from Honda:

Honda Racing Corporation are pleased to announce the signing of Pol Espargaro.The former Moto2 World Champion will join the Repsol Honda Team on a two-year contract. He will join eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez aboard the Honda RC213V. Espargaro is one of the most experienced riders on the grid, having raced in the World Championship since 2006 and with 104 premier class Grands Prix contested.

11 Comments

  1. Mick says:

    Poor guy has to trade in his cool KTM leathers for a Honda hobo suit.

  2. fred says:

    Nothing unexpected. Whatever the reasons, things are working out okay for the fans. Well, except for the fans who attend races in person.

    2020 s/b filled with interesting races. 2021 won’t see huge tech improvements, but the racing should continue at the top level. The soap opera part is mildly interesting during the off-season, so there is something for everybody.

    I enjoy the sub-plots, but don’t take them too seriously. How will Marc & Alex interact? Will Jorge come out of retirement? When will Vale go into retirement? Can Fabio dethrone Marc? Will Maverick become top gun? Will Pol excel on the Honda?

    Often it feels more like a show than a sport, but the riders and the machines are real.

  3. Tom Reece says:

    So now he is with a brand/team that actually IS Ready to Race.

  4. BeatriceKiddo says:

    Boy, that’s got the shortest career move ever in MotoGP. Alex never even got a chance to run a race and he is demoted out. Does anyone now if there was extensive testing and the poor guy just wasn’t fast enough?

    • Dave says:

      I remember when Marc came into Repsol Honda an exception had to be made to the rule that stated a rookie had to begin MotoGP in a satellite team. I never learned if that rule was scrapped after that or not. Maybe that figured in? Alex has never been the same talent as Marc.

      • VLJ says:

        Nope, that rule had nothing to do with Alex’s demotion. Had the Covid thing not hit, Alex would have raced this entire season on the factory Repsol Honda. As it is, he will still race his abbreviated rookie season on the Repsol bike.

    • mickey says:

      Moving to the LCR squad actually takes some of the “performance pressure” off Alex, plus he got a 2 year contract that means he gets 2 1/2 years riding a MotoGP bike to prove whether he has the talent or not.

      With the one yer contract he had, had he done poorly this year, he might not have a ride at all for the next 2 years.

      This is actually a good move for Alex.

      • Jeremy says:

        I agree. He should be thanking his lucky stars actually. Alex didn’t look very impressive at all during the preseason.This move at least gives him some time to wrap his head around the Honda and premier class racing.

        • Dave says:

          It may also benefit him that he’s getting on Cal’s old bike/settings, which may be more conventional than whatever they’ve been doing in the Repsol garage the past couple of years where Marc could ride it but another great of the sport couldn’t. Cal was fast in pre-season testing.

    • fred says:

      Alex has a 3-year contract with Honda without having raced a single MotoGP lap. That really doesn’t sound like he is being mistreated.

  5. mickey says:

    going to be interesting.

    also official A Marquez to LCR Honda…Cal out.

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