Red Bull to follow Marc Marquez in ending Honda MotoGP relationship

Red Bull has sponsored the works Honda team since the 2006 season, when it ran Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa.

But the Austrian company’s logos only appeared on the bike’s livery in 2015, two years after Marquez made his debut in MotoGP and won the title in his rookie season.

Red Bull’s logos have featured on all of Repsol Honda’s bikes since, but the energy drink brand’s contract with the Japanese maker included a clause that allowed it to break the deal should Marquez leave the team.

The six-time MotoGP champion announced last month that he will part ways with Honda — with which he had been since his debut in the series in 2013 — at the end of the 2023 season to ride for Ducati at the Gresini team.

Following Marquez’s decision, it is understood that Red Bull has communicated to Honda that it will end its partnership this year.

The deal between the drinks company and Honda not only stipulated that it could be terminated in the event of Honda losing the Spanish rider, but also that the works Honda team would not be allowed to carry any advertising from another energy drink brand until 2025.

A Honda source confirmed to that Red Bull would enforce the clause releasing it from sponsoring the team in 2024, while Honda will also be forbidden to carry advertising from any Red Bull competitor until the end of next year.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

In addition to Red Bull’s departure, which according to reports could become a sponsor of the Gresini team since it is Marquez’s personal backer, Honda sources said that the contribution from other partners could be reduced.

For the moment, everything seems to indicate that Repsol will continue with Honda for another year and will fulfil the agreement that links the Spanish oil company until the end of 2024, as stipulated.

However, next season could be Repsol’s last as Honda’s main sponsor after 30 years of uninterrupted partnership.

For Honda, losing Red Bull’s sponsorship and, possibly reducing the contribution from other brands, will not mean an insurmountable problem in the short term as it will save 20 million euros by not paying Marquez’s wages in 2024.

This figure will compensate for these losses and that is hoped will help the short-term development of the Tokyo manufacturer’s bike.

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