Alex Márquez’s continuity at LCR Honda had been in doubt, but after Alex Rins’ statements on Friday, there is little doubt left that Marc Márquez’s brother will indeed leave the Honda structure to make way for the arrival of Alex Rins.
Asked to comment on the more than likely switch to the LCR, Rins responded this afternoon at the end of FP2 in Assen, during a conversation with the press: “We hope to be able to announce something when the race is over on Sunday or the following week.”
Awaiting him at the Honda satellite team is an official factory RC213V that looks a lot like the factory riders, along with a two-year contract. Rins then left open the possibility of continuing to be factory teammates with Joan Mir, one in the official team and the other in the LCR satellite team:
– That would be curious. The conditions in terms of material will be the same, we spoke to LCR because they did not give us the possibility to compete in the official team. I wouldn’t be unhappy if I could compete in Repsol colors, I competed for them before in 2013 and 2014, and I was hoping, or at least hoping, to have that opportunity [to compete for Repsol Honda].
Asked if he expects any problems switching from an inline engine, which gives the bike more agility, like Suzuki’s, to Honda’s V4, Rins said: “It’s a big challenge, it will be a big change to switch to a V4, but we are prepared, we are not afraid.”
Confirmation of the move is expected in the coming days, with Alex Márquez left standing in the exit door given HRC’s desire to have a Japanese rider in the premier class, swapping Takaaki Nakagami for Ai Ogura. Alex Márquez will now negotiate with Gresini Racing and RNF Aprilia, taking €1m from title sponsor Estrella Galicia.