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Alex Marquez was blocked by Yamaha from joining SRT in MotoGP

The 2019 Moto2 champion made his MotoGP debut in 2020 with the factory Honda squad, replacing three-time premier class champion Jorge Lorenzo when he retired at the end of 2019.

Marquez spent three years with Honda, scoring two podiums in 2020, before joining the Gresini Ducati squad in 2023, winning two sprints and two grand prix podiums.

In a documentary on DAZN charting Alex Marquez’s career, he revealed that he had an offer to stay in Moto2 for 2020 and step up to Petronas SRT for 2021 when Fabio Quartararo moved to the factory squad.

Former SRT and RNF team boss Razlan Razali confirmed this, revealing that a deal was signed but Yamaha blocked this move, stating that “no member of the Marquez family can be in Yamaha”.

This is related to the falling out Valentino Rossi – then at Yamaha – had with Marc Marquez in 2015 at the Malaysian Grand Prix, when the pair came together in the race a few days after Rossi had accused the Spaniard of conspiring to sabotage his championship hopes.

“It was the fifth year in Moto2, I had been criticised for that,” Alex Marquez said.

“I’d wanted to get to MotoGP for years. In the middle of the year, in Brno, I had an offer to do a year in Moto2 and I think it was two years in MotoGP, with Petronas Yamaha.

“Fabio Quartararo was in front, fighting with Marc [in 2019], and it was a bike I liked. I thought it was good for my riding style, but didn’t end up working for ‘x’ reasons.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

Razali picked up the story, adding: “In 2019 we [SRT] had a bike in Moto2, but Dorna gave us another seat for the 2020 season.

“I like Alex and he was on my shortlist. So, we had some secret meetings and we signed at the Marquez’s motorhome for him to be with us for one year in Moto2, and in 2021 when Fabio went to the factory team, to move Alex up to MotoGP with us.

“And I have a picture here [on my phone] because I signed it and then Marc and Alex came.

“We actually signed the contract for Alex to be with us. This was in August 2019, at 10 o’clock at night.

“I told Yamaha that I wanted to sign Alex for Moto2 and then for MotoGP. And Yamaha said ‘no, no member of the Marquez family can be at Yamaha.’

“I said, ‘Why? This is my team’. It was because of Marc and what happened in 2015. It became personal from them [Yamaha].”

Rossi was given a back-of-the-grid start penalty for causing the collision with Marquez in Malaysia, with the 2015 title ultimately being won by Lorenzo.

To this day, Rossi maintains that title was stolen from him. Tensions between Marquez and Rossi thawed during the 2016 season, but reignited in 2018 when the pair collided at the Argentina GP.

Alex Marquez moved to LCR Honda in 2021, while – ironically – the second seat at SRT went to Rossi, who was moved out of the factory team to make way for Quartararo, who would win that year’s world title.

Next season, Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez will be team-mates again, with the latter joining Gresini Ducati having quit Honda with a year left on his current contract.

Marc Marquez’s debut on the Ducati at the Valencia test last month ended with him in fourth, just 0.171 seconds off the pace.

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