The brother of four-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez, will test the Marc VDS RC213V Honda at a test in Jerez next week according to team boss Michael Bartholemy.
The Marc VDS MotoGP team will field an all-new line-up in 2018 in the form of 2017 Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli and the series’ runner-up Tom Luthi, as Jack Miller and Tito Rabat depart for Pramac and Avintia Ducati respectively.
Luthi, however, will not get to test his 2018 MotoGP bike until next year’s Sepang pre-season outing after fracturing his ankle in a crash in Malaysia last month.
With a new crew chief and technical team coming into Marc VDS on Luthi‘s side of the garage, the team will give Alex Marquez a run out on the bike in Jerez in order to allow the team to get used to the bike for when Luthi takes to the track for his first laps in Sepang at the end of January.
“We will make one and a half days next week in Jerez, because of Tom’s injury,” Bartholemy told MotoGP.com when asked to comment on rumours of a MotoGP test for Marquez.
“We had also the problem that the team is actually new, we have a new crew chiefe, we have a new mapping person, new mechanics.
“And I don’t want to come to Sepang test with a rider that was never on a MotoGP bike and a team that has absolutely no idea about the MotoGP bike, the tyres, the set-ups.”
HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi is filling in for Luthi this week as he takes on a more prominent MotoGP testing role with Honda as current factory tester Hiroshi Aoyama steps aside to become team boss of the Honda Team Asia squad in Moto2 and Moto3.
This will be the second time in his career that Marquez has tested Honda MotoGP machinery, as he was awarded a handful of laps on a factory bike in the Valencia test in 2014 after winning the Moto3 title for the Japanese marque.
Marquez will remain in Moto2 next season with Marc VDS, where he will be aiming to add to his tally of three wins and fight to retain the intermediate class crown for the Belgian outfit.
2017 Moto3 world champion Joan Mir will partner the Spaniard, having penned a three-year deal with the team during the Catalunya weekend.