Iker might ride the eight-time champion’s RC 213V during the first races of 2022, but will Marquez be back?
If the rumour we’ve heard from one of our trusted moles proves to be true, then this is bombshell news. Rumour has it that: "Iker Lecuona will race in place of Marc Marquez during the first MotoGP races of 2022". Wow, but this would mean two things, namely that number 93 is not yet ready to return and that the SBK rookie might not make his expected debut in the production-derived series.
What do we mean by the ‘first races’? Well, considering this remains a rumour for now, coming via relatively reliable sources but still to be checked out, we don’t know how many rounds the eight-time champion might miss. Perhaps two, three…
It depends on his state of health. The championship kicks off on 6th March in Qatar, before moving on to Indonesia on the 20th, with two weeks between the opening rounds. Enough for MM93? It’s then straight on to Argentina, and Texas, the Spaniard’s hunting ground. And if they decided on Portimao, where he returned in 2021?
You might not believe it, but the 2022 MotoGP is all about the rider market. We’ll also be taking in the results and performance of course, but the focus will be on the changes to rider line-ups. If Marc Marquez were to abdicate, and we wouldn’t be surprised considering the current situation, a factory RC 213V would suddenly become available.
That of the Repsol HRC team that is. And would Honda stand idly by? No, it would aim high. Fabio Quartararo’s contract with Yamaha will be up for renewal, Joan Mir seeks an alternative to Suzuki, Jorge Martin hopes for a factory Ducati, but is not yet sure he’ll get it.
And so there it is, the Japanese four-cylinder, as hotly debated as it coveted. But the question is this – will HRC field Lecuona during the first races, having him perhaps miss some SBK rounds? We know that MotoGP takes priority over the production-derived series, so Iker would choose the first over the second, in fact we have the feeling the decision has already been made. Perhaps because the fear that Marc will no longer be the rider he once was is significant and real.
Translated by Heather Watson