With strong rumours that Pol Espargaro will join Repsol Honda next season, we look at his past rivalry with potential 2021 team-mate Marc Marquez, including a controversial clash in Moto2.

Marquez and Espargaro began racing against each other when they were just kids, Espargaro reaching the 125cc world championship in 2006 and Marquez in 2008.

Pol was the first to win a grand prix, in 2009, but couldn’t match the speed of Marquez the following year, who romped to the title with ten victories while Espargaro finished third.

The next season saw both move up to Moto2, the former on a Suter chassis at a team run by his manager Emilio Alzamora and the latter on an FTR frame at Speed Up.

Marquez had a very competitive debut Moto2 season, but an injury to his optic nerve would force the Spaniard to withdraw from the Valencia season finale, confirming Stefan Bradl as champion.

On the other hand, Pol finished 13th, with only one podium - a third in Malaysia. The lacklustre season would prompt Espargaro to switch to the Pons team and a Kalex chassis for 2012, where he immediately took the title fight to Marquez.

Marquez had taken two wins and Espargaro one by the time they reached round five in Catalunya, which began with Pol holding a one-point lead in the standings.

The controversy occurred on lap 21 of the race, moments after Marc had saved a near lowside fall through turn ten, at the end of the back straight.

Pol dived for the inside gap that opened up ahead of him while Marquez fought to control his Suter. However, Marc then cut back across the racetrack to rejoin the racing line, hitting Espargaro…

Do you think Honda will make the switch between Alex and Pol? If so, how will Pol fare against Marc? And how will Marc feel about Honda potentially letting his brother go from the factory team before he has even turned a wheel?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

 

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