Puig brushes off Marquez distraction concerns

Oriol Puigdemont

Reigning Moto2 champion Alex will step up to MotoGP with the works Repsol Honda outfit this season, after being selected to take the seat vacated by the now-retired Jorge Lorenzo.

Alex’s promotion has been seen as a step into the lion’s den, given the difficulties most Honda riders had with the RC213V last year and the dominance of his brother on the bike.

Some, including 500cc champion Wayne Rainey, have also theorised that Alex’s arrival to the team and potential struggles on the bike could have a destabilising effect on Marc.

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But, speaking to Motorsport.com, Puig said he doesn’t see how Alex’s arrival can “negatively affect Marc”, and believes he would be more worried if Alex had joined another team for his maiden campaign.

“Marc would worry much more if his brother debuted in MotoGP with another team,” said Puig. “I don’t know how Alex’s arrival can negatively affect Marc. In fact, he is delighted.

“He is only going to care that the bike is going well. That is the only thing that affects him and he has in his head. He is a champion, and the day he has to go wheel to wheel with his brother, he will do it – end of story.”

Commenting on the task that lies ahead ahead of Alex, Puig added: “I think it is a big opportunity for him. You have to value him by the level of the category and where it ends.

“The results and the learning curve will dictate whether he has done well or not. Alex has to work, sacrifice and strive. Talent is not controlled, but the effort is.”

The younger Marquez spent four days on the Honda last November at the post-race Valencia test and the following week’s Jerez test.

Pre-season testing resumes at Sepang in Malaysia for three days from February 7, though Alex will be able to take advantage of a new rule allowing rookies to take part in the three-day shakedown from February 2.

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