Marquez and Yamaha – The Long Game

Here’s a guest post from Mark A.

Towards the end of the 2015 MotoGP season there have been accusations that Marc Marquez was actively working to impede Valentino Rossi on the hunt for his 10th world title. At first glance the question is why? Was it previous in-season race drama that finally got Marquez to boil over? Is all of this in Rossi’s head? Was Marquez actually impeding Rossi or helping Jorge Lorenzo?

It is known that Marc Marquez has a contract with the Repsol Honda team through the end of the 2016 season. It is also known that Valentino Rossi’s team Movistar Yamaha contract is set to expire at the end of the 2016 season at which point he will most likely retire. Marc Marquez can easily secure a ride with any team, but it is possible he wants a ride with Yamaha. Yamaha has proven they can win championships and Marquez knows Jorge Lorenzo will push him to perform at his best. To stay competitive in the 2017 season and beyond, Yamaha would need to secure two top tier riders. If Rossi retires at the end of 2016, what better combination could be created with the current grid than Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez?

Although tension between teammates creates interesting journalism and in-season drama, it does not help with engineering, development, and testing. As a show of good faith, (and possibly even to secure an unofficial seat at Yamaha in 2017) Marquez might have helped his future teammate by protecting him on his road to the 2015 MotoGP world championship. This would allow for a drama free entrance into team Yamaha and the hopes of a positive working relationship with Jorge Lorenzo.

At this point in his career, Valentino is unlikely to run to the media with unfounded accusations. He has nothing left to prove. So, accusing Marc Marquez of impending him without some kind of data to back it up is unlikely. If there are rumors circulating within the Yamaha halls it is not completely out of the questions that a faithful Rossi follower would tip him off. Obviously Rossi knows something is going on, but it is unclear if he knows the extent. It is not out of the question that at a minimum Marc Marquez has an ulterior motive. At this point, it is unclear if Movistar Yamaha or Jorge Lorenzo are involved or if Marc Marquez is just playing the long game to maximize his earning potential for 2017 and beyond.


Thanksgiving 2015