After Yamaha, Honda also put their cards on the table for the future and bet on the best horse there is, who was already in their own team. Marc Marquez will remain with Honda for another 4 years, until 2024. If a renewal with the Spanish rider was foreseeable, the duration of the contract was the real surprise, especially when contracts are all two-year ones lately.
This surprises Carlo Pernat to a certain extent since he has signed many and had many contracts signed throughout his managerial career.
“I'm not that surprised," he commented. "Marc is taking the road to Doohan again and has decided to commit himself entirely to a team. I think that's great, especially for Honda. That's loyalty, which reminds us of the relationship between Schwantz and Suzuki."
Is there anything contrary to signing such a long contract?
"There is always a downside, because when you attach yourself to a rider for so long, you also become a slave to him. Honda is Marquez-dependent, and the contrary is also true, but this is more logical from a rider's point of view."
What would you have done as a manager?
"In my career, I've never gone beyond a 3-year contract with a rider because there are many things that can change in such a long period of time. Relationships can deteriorate, lots of unexpected events can happen."
Are you criticizing Honda?
“No, they didn't do well, but really well in holding on to Marquez. This will be a guarantee for him to race in the World Championship every year."
As for Marquez, what will happen now?
“He has created an indissoluble combination. He has his brother by his side, and I think money isn't a problem. The only flaw? He probably doesn't care but, in what he did, he'll win with only one bike, unlike what Valentino did, who he tried to imitate."
Yamaha confirmed Vinales and Quartararo, Honda has Marc Marquez, and Suzuki is very close to doing so with Rins and Mir. And Ducati?
“I expected something different from them. I don't think they handled it well for the future. They're either want to continue to focus on Dovizioso, or they're hoping for Miller and Bagnaia. I don't see any alternatives. Not taking on Vinales, I repeat, was a big mistake. They should have closed the deal first. Instead, the big shots at Yamaha in Japan should have seen what was coming."
It seemed like there were going to be lots of changes for 2021, but nothing has changed for now.
“It's happening this way thanks to Yamaha and to Ducati. If I had to assign votes, Yamaha would get a 10 cum laude, and I'd give Honda a 10. And Ducati? A barely passing grade, and I'm stretching it."