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Motorcycling-Marquez says commitment to Honda is ‘maximum’ amid exit rumours


(Reuters) – Honda rider Marc Marquez said he is committed to the Japanese manufacturer and already has an eye on next year’s project after a disappointing season.

Six-times MotoGP champion Marquez signed a four-year extension in 2020 that will keep him with Honda until 2024, but he has struggled to match his title-winning performances due to injuries and a machine that is unable to compete with Ducati.

Marquez pulled out of last weekend’s German Grand Prix after crashing five times prior to the race at the Sachsenring – a track where he had won at eight times in his MotoGP career.

He has yet to finish a race this season as he attempts to ride his bike beyond its limits to catch up with the Ducatis, fuelling rumours of a potential exit, but the 30-year-old Spaniard has laid them to the rest for the time being.

“If I’m here, my commitment with Honda is maximum. I want to work with them to improve for the future, improve our project,” Marquez told the MotoGP website ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

“At the moment, of course I’m here to work with them for the future, which means next year’s project. This year, life will not change a lot.”

Marquez’s crash in Sunday’s warm-up left him with a fractured left thumb but he said he was now ready to race within certain limits, especially in the absence of Honda’s injured riders Joan Mir (fractured finger) and Alex Rins (broken leg).

“In Germany when I crashed in the warm-up, in the first hour I felt ready to go. But as time passed I felt more and more pain, especially on the ankle and fractured thumb… there was also a crack on the second rib,” he said.

“These will be most painful this weekend, but we will try to start step-by-step and let’s see. It’s important to be here because two of the main Honda riders are injured – Mir and Rins.

“Honda need bikes on track to improve for the future.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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