February 26, 2018 / 10:13 AM / in a month

Spanish ace Marquez signs new two-year deal with Honda

(Reuters) - Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has signed a new two-year deal at Honda to keep him with the factory team until the end of the 2020 season, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO - Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez of Spain rides his bike during the second qualifying session ahead of the Valencia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, near Valencia, Spain, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Heino Kalis. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Marquez, 25, made his premier class debut with Repsol Honda in 2013 and has gone on to become the youngest rider in history to win four MotoGP titles, the latest of which came after a dominant 2017 season.

“I’m excited to continue to race for Honda’s factory team... I’m proud to race as a member of the Honda family, and I appreciate how Honda and the team always do their best to provide me with everything I need,” Marquez said in a statement.

The highly-rated Spaniard previously won the 125cc championship in 2010 and the Moto2 title in 2012.

“Marquez has consistently pushed himself to the limit and matured as a rider, and given Honda many titles. We were able to announce the contract renewal at such an early stage due to our mutual trust, and our common passion for racing,” HRC President Yoshishige Nomura said.

Marquez’s compatriot Maverick Vinales, who finished third overall last season, signed a contract extension with Yamaha for two more seasons last month, while veteran Valentino Rossi is also expected to remain with the Japanese manufacturer.

The MotoGP season starts in Qatar on March 18.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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