Luca Marini was under the spotlight in the second press conference in Valencia, the event that opens the last racing weekend of the 2023 season. What was also indicated by many as Luca's final weekend dressed in the colours of VR46 before passing under the wing of HRC, replacing Marc Marquez on the Honda Factory in the two-year period 2024 and ‘25. The official announcement that many were waiting for has not arrived, but certainly the words with which Luca opened the conference leave little room for imagination.
Words that sounded like a farewell to VR46, at least to the team that accompanied him from Moto2 to MotoGP, helped him to mature and express all his talent. Skills that allowed him to win a place in Honda HRC, one of the most sought-after seats in the paddock despite all the problems of the Japanese manufacturer this season.
“News will come soon – commented Marini - There is not much I can say at the moment, we will see in the next few days. It has always been my dream to be in a factory team, develop a bike and bring the manufacturer to victory. So, in my opinion, it’s the right moment. There was this opportunity because, after Marc’s decision, there was a shock for everybody. But I think that in general, if not next year, this is something that was going to happen in the future. So now there is a good opportunity for me, and I will try to do my best and this is the maximum that I can say for now."
You have a message for VR46, so it will be your last race with them.
“It was a fantastic journey. I shared the best moments of my career with the team. I want to say thanks to all the group now, but also the members that were part of the group in the past in Moto2. I enjoyed every moment and I want to enjoy this weekend here in Valencia because there is something more to do here also."
Do you expect to be competitive here in Valencia?
"I think this track is tough, qualifying will be difficult and important because being in the right place on the grid is fundamental. It will be important to understand the new asphalt and also how the tyres will react to this asphalt temperature. But I remember that last year in the tests I was ahead of everyone, so I think I can start with a good base. We'll see after Friday's tests where I'll be."
Marc Marquez spoke about the Sprint and the many injuries. What do you think?
"I think like Marc, there are too many sprints and there is no time to recover from injuries, you always push your body 100%, while last year it was different. But this is the program and it will be like this in 2024 too, perhaps we need to adapt today and for the future. I think we need to think about having a complete grid with all the starting riders in every race."