Honda denies Aldeguer, Espargaro denies Honda in bid to replace Marquez

Pol Espargaro has ruled himself out as Honda’s Marc Marquez replacement. Image: Red Bull Content Pool

The saga that is finding a replacement for MotoGP champion Marc Marquez at the Repsol Honda Team has taken multiple further twists.

Moto2 rising star Fermin Aldeguer has been ruled out while GasGas MotoGP incumbent Pol Espargaro has ruled himself out after he became a surprise name in the mix.

Aldeguer had claimed that he had been contacted by Honda about filling the hole at its factory squad but Team Manager Alberto Puig unequivocally denied that.

“No, I don’t know where that came from,” he told Spanish network DAZN during Practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“It’s 100 percent false.

“Yesterday, I spoke to Aldeguer’s manager and I asked him where it came from and he didn’t know what to say.”

Puig then raised the prospect of Espargaro returning to Repsol Honda.

The Spaniard has only just left the Japanese marque but is being demoted to testing/wildcard duties at KTM/GasGas next year.

“Pol is also a real possibility,” said Puig.

Espargaro, though, has already turned down that chance to stay on the grid as a full-time rider.

“I’m really grateful to Alberto, and for a manufacturer to want you back, for whatever reasons or conditions, is something nice,” Espargaro told MotoGP’s official website.

“It means that the job done there was not too bad and the relationship with them is good.

“I had talks for sure with Alberto. We had a talk about the contracts and all this, but also on the other hand, I’m tied with my contract with KTM and also my relationship with KTM is very nice. I’m very comfortable where I am, also looking to the future.

“Maybe I would like to continue [full-time racing in 2024], but the situation is like this and I take it with responsibility knowing that 2025 is open again.

“I want to really give a hand to this manufacturer, the Pierer Mobility Group, to make them grow, to be world champion one day, hopefully very soon.

“That’s my position right now.”

Luca Marini, who had been confirmed for another season with VR46 in September, has hinted that he is a candidate for a move from Ducati machinery to Honda.

On talks about the switch at some point, he said, “Ah, this is… you need to talk with my manager.”

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