The six-time MotoGP champion’s ambition to add to his immense tally is already under serious threat, just two rounds in 2023.
His crash at Portimao, the subsequent injury and penalty and the ongoing limitations of his Repsol Honda bike mean Marquez’s talent alone is unlikely to be enough.
Three-time champion Lorenzo spent his final MotoGP season as Marquez’s teammate at Repsol Honda but is now urging him to consider other options.
“They offered him four years when it was not usual and for a lot of money,” Lorenzo said.
“Now things have changed and Ducati is far superior.
“When the time comes to renew the contract from Honda, he will have to assess whether he wants to have a better bike or continue with Honda’s economic conditions.”
Marquez crashed out of the season-opening Portuguese MotoGP, and missed the second round in Argentina due to injury. It is unconfirmed if he is healthy enough to compete at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas next weekend.
He has a double long lap penalty looming over him, although Honda have appealed it and the MotoGP Court of Appeals are still considering whether Marquez must serve it in Texas.
The original penalty was worded that he must serve it in Argentina, a race he missed through injury. It was then reworded so he must be penalised whenever he returns which is why Honda have appealed.
“What is written, is written and cannot be changed,” said Lorenzo, insisting that Honda will be successful with their appeal.
“It’s not fair change for Marquez, they would almost certainly have to win.”
Marquez received criticism for his crash into Miguel Oliveira in Portimao, arguably the result of trying to extract too much from his below-par bike.
“Marc has that DNA,” Lorenzo explained.
“That makes him always have the knife between his teeth, but what he always wants to do is win and that’s why he risks more.
“He has the worst Honda for a long time and he has to decide if he wants to continue racing like this or if he decides to change his riding way with less risk to fall less and score more points.”
The two rounds of sprint races so far have meant that incidents and injuries have racked up.
Both Repsol Honda riders – Marquez and Joan Mir – missed Argentina due to injuries. Oliveira, Pol Espargaro and Enea Bastianini have also missed races already.
Lorenzo’s verdict: “I loved sprint races, I am very much in favour but I do think that race direction should be very attentive and be able to punish if it has to be done.
“It’s a spectacle. There are more races and the risk of it has doubled. The fight for podiums and victories is between 5 and 7 riders.
“The race direction needs to be stricter.”
So, can Lorenzo’s ex-rival and teammate Marquez storm back into title contention this season?
“No one can know if Marc Marquez will return to his best version,” Lorenzo said. “If he’s good physically, he’s capable of the best.”
Read More: Jorge Lorenzo: Marc Marquez to leave Honda? “Contract not usual, things have 2023-04-10 14:44:23