Christina Bulpett |
Picture: GeeBee Images
Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig has confirmed the Suzuki riders are in contact but that HRC are in no hurry to decide on next year’s MotoGP lineup.
With the Suzuki Ecstar squad told the Japanese manufacturer is aiming to depart the championship at the close of 2022, Joan Mir and Alex Rins, both previously deep in negotiations to continue with the GSX-RR for future seasons, are now on the rider market.
The shock addictions have seen rumours abound as to their potential destinations with Honda top of the list of possibilities.
“I think it changed not for us but for everyone,” Puig explained from Le Mans on Friday. “There will be two more riders available.
“It’s completely unexpected but it’s as simple as that now. There will be more riders and less bikes.
“Obviously, when these guys receive the news, I think they contact everyone.,’ he continued. “They will contact us also and of course, they will ask and of course, we will listen to what they have to say. This is clear.”
While the 2020 Champion and his teammate – who currently sit fourth and sixth in the rider standings after six races – are sought after talents, Puig is , as always, keeping his cards close to his chest on who may partner Marc Marquez next season.
“To be honest, our policy didn’t change at all,” he confirmed. “We decided time ago that we wanted this year to check and wait a little bit longer and see the market, explore the possibilities of other types of riders, even young riders or even the current riders that we have, but that we were not going to go in a hurry to decide.
“But then suddenly, this story appears in Jerez which is a little bit, for everyone it was quite surprising, but it will not change our target or our concept of what we wanted and how we wanted to take decisions and the timing.
“So it’s just as I say, two more options but our approach for the next year, understanding of riders, it was planned way before this Suzuki story happened so it will not modify our strategy. I don’t know what other guys will do. We will follow our plan and we have some something in our minds and we have to check how the results are going, how the races are going and what we understand.
“I think every team or every company, do what they believe. We will clearly not change our strategy only because Suzuki decided to stop the championship and now there are two riders available.
“They contact us and they wanted to talk, we had some chat. Of course if a rider wants to talk to Honda, Honda always listen. We respect the riders and we have to listen to what they have to say,” he concluded.