Silly season: Dovi, Lorenzo and co talk futures

With Zarco’s move to KTM announced, the riders gave updates on their own contract talks

Ahead of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was joined in the pre-event Press Conference by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), with the riders commenting on their futures.

The reigning World Champion has already signed a new two-year deal to stay with Repsol Honda, but the question remains as to who will join him on the other side of the garage from 2019 onwards. “Regarding my teammate, I’ll only say I want a strong teammate” - something Marquez has always maintained. However, commenting on who that might be from the riders who haven’t yet signed a contract for 2019 and beyond, Marquez only pointed out two names who are strong.

“The only riders that I would say are really strong are Pedrosa and Dovi. But I have my contract and so I’m happy!”

Dovizioso has yet to agree a new deal with Ducati, and when asked if talks had progressed between the two parties, the former 125cc World Champion was clear in his response. “No not really, there’s no reason to speak about it yet.”

What about his teammate Lorenzo, then? After a difficult opening three rounds, the five-time World Champion has been linked with a move away from the Bologna factory, with Suzuki the team favorites to secure his signature. However, Lorenzo seemed focused on improving his results on the GP18 before talks with anyone can progress. “In this sport your last result is important and my last result isn’t great so I’m not in a position to negotiate. I want to focus on improving my results and my value.”

Iannone, who’s seat Lorenzo has been rumored to take if a deal was to be agreed, is another rider whose whereabouts for next season is yet to be decided. The Italian was confident about his feelings inside the Suzuki garage when commenting on his future, as he also focuses on his current results. “At the moment no. I’ll focus on the present. It’s an important moment for me and not the future. At the moment I have a really good feeling in the garage, I feel well. I will remain focused for the race.”