On Sunday, Motorsport.com reported that Honda was in negotiations with Marini about extracting him from his VR46 contract for 2024 to join the factory HRC squad.
Espargaro has already ruled himself out of the frame to remain as a KTM test rider, while Di Giannantonio had nothing new to offer on his future situation in Malaysia.
Marini also remained cagey on this, though Marquez says he is “happy” for the Italian – all but confirming that the deal is close.
“Of course, I don’t know exactly the strategy of Honda because, in the end, I try to go,” he stated, after finishing the grand prix 13th.
“Of course, they try to find the best strategy and I was thinking it would be Di Giannantonio two, three races ago.
“But already in Thailand I started to hear something, and it looks like he will take my place. I’m happy for Luca.
“With Luca I have a very good relationship and this is the good thing. We must separate things and I’m happy for him, he’s a young rider.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team
“So, if in the end it will be made official, he has a good challenge to move from the competitive Ducati in his brother’s team.
“The main reason to move to Honda, I don’t know? But in the end I move to a competitive bike, he will move to a project that needs to work a lot.”
He added: “I mean, I don’t know exactly his riding style because he’s changing a lot his riding style from one track to the other.
“Because he’s a young rider, of course the natural step would be Di Giannantonio for one year.
“But looks like now the rumours start more and more to be Marini.
“And if it’s like this, because I don’t know, I wish the best to him because I have a very good relationship with him.
“We separate: it’s not new that I don’t have a good relationship with Valentino, but with Marini yes.”