Although Honda broke its win drought with Alex Rins at COTA, it was one of only two GP podium finishes for the RCV this year.

Marquez’s own losing streak exceeded two years by the time he officially announced a split from Honda, days after claiming the factory’s second and final podium of the season in a rain-shortened Motegi race.

While engine output has traditionally been a Honda strength, Marquez echoed the comments of Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in outlining how the shift to high downforce aero soaks up horsepower due to the extra drag.

“It’s been very difficult to fight against other riders without top speed,” Marquez said after being ranked 13th fastest through the speed trap during the penultimate Sprint of the season, in Qatar, which he finished in 11th place.

Those words seemed at odds with Marquez’s own comments during pre-season testing, when he had been in search of traction rather than top speed. But the explanation was the aero.

“[In pre-season testing] we were using very small aerodynamics. Now we have bigger aerodynamics, and less top speed,” he said. “So, of course, if you want to use the big aerodynamics, you need to have more horsepower.

“As a rider, I’m trying to do my best at the racetrack and I’m trying to give the best comments to Honda. I’m trying to advise them which is the direction for the future even if I leave [for Gresini] in one week.

“I try to say very precise comments and today I said to them that without top speed you cannot fight for a championship.

“Because every time we pass along a straight, I was losing one position. So like this it’s super difficult. They have a lot of work to do but they know, and I believe they can do it in the future.”

Another issue Marquez feels Honda must tackle is why the RC213V seemingly needs a tow to set a competitive lap time in qualifying.

“I will answer easy and honest: Alone I was one second slower. This bike with a slipstream becomes another bike,” Marquez stated.

“I understand that people say, ‘why is he following all the time?’ Although in the past many riders followed me and, if you are just focusing on yourself, they didn't disturb me.

“But [in the case of the 2023 Honda] for example, a rider like John Mir that last year was with Suzuki and never looking for a slipstream, this year every practice is looking for a slipstream.

“It's a point that Honda must improve for the future because you can save one weekend like this [by finding a tow]. But, for example, in Malaysia I didn't find a good [tow] and then I started 20th.”

Luca Marini is taking over Marquez’s Repsol seat alongside Mir for 2024.