Álex Márquez is Repsol Honda’s new rider for 2020, in a big challenge for the 2-time World Champion as he moves up to MotoGP
Just over two months before the MotoGP World Championship season gets underway, the Repsol Honda Team are preparing for 2020 with a new rider in their ranks: current Moto2 World Champion Álex Márquez. Following initial testing time together in November in Valencia and Jerez, Álex Márquez is ready for his return to Honda and Repsol -with whom he won the Moto3 title in 2014- and has become acquainted with his new bike and leathers.
This is the first time wearing the Repsol Honda colours, what does it mean to you?
“Well it’s a dream come true, it’s an incredible honour to have these colours on and to have this shirt on. I’m really happy with this opportunity to go to MotoGP with the Repsol Honda Team. I’m really proud. It’s a new situation for me, I’m used to seeing Marc in these colours but not me! It’s special.”
What does it mean to you to be a rookie in a historic team like the Repsol Honda Team?
“After winning the Moto2 Championship your target or your wish is to be in a factory rider, so this has come true for me. To be in the Repsol Honda Team, a team with the most history in the MotoGP paddock is an honour. I know it’s a challenge, but it’s a nice challenge. From the first moment I said I wanted this opportunity, 100% and now I try to enjoy it.”
What is your goal for the season?
“I can say that I want to be the Rookie of the Year – that’s the first goal. But to put a goal about positions or something like this, right now I am focused on understanding the bike and aiming to have more feeling to build my confidence. Before the Qatar race, I will be able to see a little better what our real position is and what we can do from the first race.”
How was the first time in the Repsol Honda garage knowing you’re a factory rider?
“It’s really special. In the stomach you have butterflies when you put on your leathers, you walk in and you see your team and you know it’s your team. Both bikes sitting there, it’s like continuous special feelings during the first test. Now in Malaysia I think everything will be more under control, less nerves and more relaxed but the team already helped me to relax a lot in Jerez.”
“When you start, you imagine things like this can happen in your best dreams”
You will be one of the tallest riders in MotoGP – do you think it can help you?
“Being tall can have some advantages such as maybe moving the body and how you can use your weight. Maybe in the wet it’s a bit easier but maybe there are disadvantages and some things can be a little bit worse. But you know, you need to live with this and be strong where you can and lose as little time as possible where you are weaker.”
Being a Repsol and a Honda rider isn’t new for you…
“When you start, you imagine things like this can happen in your best dreams but it’s difficult. There are many hours of training, many races, many things that can happen in a rider’s career. I started already in the Spanish Championship with Repsol where we won in 2012 and it was really special. Then in 2014 we started a new project with the Honda Moto3 and HRC, the factory was behind me and it was incredible that year to win in the first year of the project. After all these years to come back to Honda is a dream, I’m looking forward to working with these amazing people, this factory and of course Repsol.”
It’s the first time in history that two brothers will share a garage in MotoGP.
“It’s a special moment, a special year but we need to be natural and approach it like a normal situation. We know we are brothers but inside the team we need to be professional, we are different riders. We each have our own teams, so we need to work in our own way. For sure for me it’s an advantage to have a six-time MotoGP World Champion in my garage because I can see a lot of data from him and see how I need to ride this Honda machine, to help find the secrets. So, I will try to take all the information from him and all the Honda riders to try and learn as much as possible.”
What is the strongest point of your teammate?
“Marc has a real talent and never gives up. He is always trying to learn something, he’s always willing to listen to people and try to understand things. He has already won eight titles, but the key is that he never stops learning, he always wants to win and then see what he can improve. I think this is the key as to why he is so competitive every year.”