Marc Marquez and Honda will part ways at the end of the 2023 MotoGP season.
Weeks of speculation about six-time MotoGP champion Marquez's future has been brought to an end following official confirmation that he manufacturer he claimed those titles with will prematurely part ways for 2024, with the Japanese manufacturer confirming the news in a brief statement on Wednesday.
Marquez's current four-year deal with Honda was due to conclude at the end of next year.
“With a year still remaining on the four-year contract between HRC and Marc Marquez, both parties have mutually agreed to end their collaboration upon completion of the 2023 MotoGP world championship season,” the team announced.
“Both parties agreed it was in their best interests to each pursue other avenues in the future to best achieve their respective goals and targets.”
It’s been something of an open secret for months that Marquez has been looking at alternative options for his future, with a Gresini Racing option on the table - which would involve him joining the satellite Ducati squad alongside his brother Alex for one year only - believed to be his best plan for the future.
With Honda now officially confirming that Marquez is departing, it remains only a matter of time before Gresini in turn announce the biggest signing in its history and, arguably, complete the highest-profile rider team switch in the modern history of MotoGP.
Marquez has endured a largely miserable 2023 campaign on Honda's RC213V; he was third in the season-opening sprint race at Portimao but was then at fault for a crash in the Sunday race that not only earned him a penalty but also ruled him out of the subsequent three rounds.
Things scarcely improved even when Marquez returned for round five at Le Mans in May - he subsequently sat out the rounds at the Sachsenring and Assen before the summer break too - and it would be another three months until Marquez scored his first points in a Sunday race, with 12th in Austria.
GRACIAS por este gran viaje @hrc_motogp. ❤️ 11 años juntos.— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) October 4, 2023
Hemos compartido momentos inolvidables: 6 Campeonatos del Mundo, 5 Triples Coronas, 59 victorias, 101 podios y 64 poles. Risas, lloros, alegrías, momentos duros pero lo más importante: una relación… pic.twitter.com/6rYLNfQrC2
But the announcement of his exit from Honda comes just three days after his first Sunday podium of the campaign with the team, having finished third at its home race at Motegi.
Honda concluded its statement by saying both it and Marquez "will continue to give their full support for the remaining rounds of the 2023 MotoGP world championship season".
"HRC wish Marc Marquez the best in his future endeavours," it added.