Factory Honda MotoGP outfit is set to hold talks on an agreement for a new two-year title sponsorship deal with Spanish oil magnate, Repsol as Racetrackmasters.com has learnt.
Repsol became title sponsor to the works Honda outfit back in 1995, beginning one of the most enduring partnerships in MotoGP and yielding 15 riders’ world titles spread between Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez. Rumours in recent weeks emerged from the paddock suggesting Repsol could be set to end its association with Honda in 2021. It was said energy drinks giant Red Bull would take over as a title sponsor, though the company’s branding already features prominently on the RC213V as a secondary partner.
Red Bull is also currently the title sponsor of the factory KTM squad, and counts Marquez as one of its most high-profile athletes. All of this made the Red Bull rumours suspect. We can now confirm Honda and Repsol are set to continue their partnership, with a new two-year deal to run through to the end of 2022 imminently. Honda has endured a tough 2020 campaign, with reigning world champion Marquez out of action since the Spanish Grand Prix owing to an arm injury.
Marquez will continue to watch from the sidelines at this weekend’s Aragon GP, with HRC test rider Stefan Bradl to deputise once more. Though his chances were remote should he have staged a comeback this weekend, Marquez’s continued absence means he now mathematically cannot win the 2020 MotoGP title. Honda’s first podium of the campaign came last weekend at the French GP when Marc’s rookie brother Alex Marquez guided his RC213V to second having started 18th.
HRC’s top runner is currently LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami on the year-old Honda in fifth in the standings, 34 points off the championship lead. In other sponsorship news, the Tech 3 squad is set to lose its Red Bull sponsorship for the 2021 season. Herve Poncharal’s outfit took on the Austrian brand when it became KTM’s satellite squad, having previously been backed by Monster Energy when it ran Yamaha machinery.
Tech 3 will continue to field KTMs next year, though it is unclear if this loss in sponsor ship will force the team to look tying up with another manufacturer in 2022.