Honda announced last week that it had reached a mutual agreement with eight-time world champion Marquez to terminate his current contract at the end of the 2023 season.
Marquez will move to Gresini Ducati, which was announced on Thursday morning, to try to once again fight at the front of the field having struggled immensely on the uncompetitive Honda this season.
On Tuesday, Motorsport.com revealed that former KTM rider, current RNF Aprilia runner and five-time grand prix winner Miguel Oliveira is Honda’s preferred option to replace Marquez.
Commenting on this on Thursday ahead of the Indonesian Grand Prix – which Oliveira won last year – he said: “I think this season we have seen a lot of unprecedented things.
“We’ve seen riders sent home [who had signed] with contracts, we’ve seen riders breaking contracts and go to other places.
“So, anything is possible. It’s true that it’s a pleasure to be considered by another manufacturer as big as Honda, especially when it’s a factory seat on offer. That’s it.
“As I told you, I don’t have it in my mind to change. But there is nothing on the table. There is just an approach, but nothing concrete.”
Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
It is thought Oliveira has a clause in his current Aprilia contract that states he can leave at the end of 2023 if a factory team offers him a seat.
Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola disputed this earlier this week, telling Italian outlet GPOne that “as far as Aprilia is concerned, we have signed contracts, so stop bothering us. Contracts must be ironclad.”
Oliveira dodged questions on Thursday about a clause in his contract stating he can leave early if a factory team offers him a seat.
“It’s true that Aprilia has a right to offer me a factory seat for ’25 and ’26, not ’24,” was all he said on the matter.
Oliveira currently sits 13th in the standings heading into this weekend’s Indonesian GP.