The MotoGP has the shortest offseason. One weekend will find a rider racing with a team-mate in the final event of the year, in MotoGP that would have been Valencia, and then two days later one or both of them may find themselves on a different team aboard a different machine. The start of the 2020 season commenced with testing of bikes and riders directly following the last race of the previous season. Last year at the end on the 2018 season Marc Marquez said goodbye to Dani Pedrosa, his team-mate on the Honda Repsol team and hello to Jorge Lorenzo, his new teammate for the 2019 season. Lorenzo had moved from the Ducati factory team to the Honda factory team and anticipation was probably high that the combination of the reigning multi-year champion and previous multi-year champion would bring some big acclaim to the Honda team. But that isn’t the way it worked out. Lorenzo was plagued with injuries from a long and successful career and turned out to not much of a factor in the points standing for 2019. Repsol Honda still won the team championship by a slim margin which proved all the more impressive as Marquez garnered the vast majority of points on his own.
MotoGP riders represent a small pool of fish – numbering about twenty regulars. When Lorenzo acknowledged that the time had come to retire as the end of the 2019 season, Repsol Honda had to look around and find a new rider to join the astoundingly good Marc Marquez. Whoever it turned out to be was going to play second fiddle, there was no getting around it. The other riders in the series were either under contract or not moving so the pool of applicable talent wasn’t huge. Marc Marquez might have dropped his brother’s resume somewhere along the way as Alex Marquez is an up and coming rider in the Moto2 having won the championship for 2019.
So Repsol Honda will be an all Marquez affair for 2019. Big brother can do the heavy lifting but the younger will likely contribute to the effort. It likely occurred to someone at Honda that it would also provide some great marketing opportunities.