Having found himself pushed to the very final round of 2017 by an unexpected challenge from Andrea Dovizioso, Marc Marquez is keeping an open mind on his likely 2018 MotoGP rivals.
But the Spaniard does name Johann Zarco, looking to build on a stellar rookie season, and triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, starting his second year at Ducati, alongside this year’s race winners on his 2018 watchlist.
“I cannot say one name because one of the things that I learned this season is that you need to consider all the riders in the same way, the same level,” Marquez told the official MotoGP website.
“I didn’t expect Dovizioso like this, so next year I will keep focus a little bit more on for example Dovizioso, Valentino, Vinales, Pedrosa – but also I think Zarco and Lorenzo can be very fast too.”
Like all of the riders he named, Marquez is out of contract at the end of 2018.
While nothing is certain until a new contract is signed, it seems unlikely that Marquez will leave Honda at this stage, where he has won four titles in five years and is surrounded by a hand-picked group of loyal team members.
“My contract finishes at the end of 2018. So it will be time to negotiate your contract, speak with the team, with manufacturers…
“But of course always I never forget that Honda gave me the opportunity to be in the world championship and Honda give me the feeling that I need at the moment. “So we will see, but at the moment I feel really good [at Honda].”