Three-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says Fernando Alonso’s decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete in the Indianapolis 500 is “difficult to understand.”

The Spaniard, who currently trails championship leader Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales by 37 points after two rounds, was surprised by the news.

“The decision on my side is difficult to understand because Monaco is one of the good tracks that maybe with McLaren he can get a good result,” Marquez said.

“[The Indy 500] is a race that’s difficult to understand from outside.You must be really lucky, slipstream is very strange.

“But the talent of Alonso, all of the drivers in Formula 1 say is one of the best ones in a car.

“His talent is there, I think he’ll be really fast.”

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One of Marquez’s closest rivals MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi, was also shocked at Alonso’s choice and admits it will be a real challenge.

“It was a surprise because it’s strange that Alonso won’t race in Monaco,” Rossi said.

“But I think the situation with the car [McLaren] is difficult and he wants to try something else.

“It will be very interesting to understand the potential of Alonso at Indy because it’s completely another world, especially when you race on the oval.

“The one time I went [on an oval] with NASCAR and it was very interesting, but you understand it’s very different.

“It will be a great challenge and very interesting to see.”