Motorcycle Racing

How 24 hours changed the trajectory of Jorge Martin’s MotoGP career

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing.

On 30 May, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, it looked certain that the eventuality everyone was anticipating for 2025 was coming to pass.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that championship leader Martin would be promoted to the factory Ducati team and the Italian marque was now waiting to get Marc Marquez’s answer on whether he would race for Pramac on a factory GP25.

When Marquez faced the media and told them that Pramac was “not an option”, it turned the situation on its head. The eight-time world champion’s demands were a factory bike at Gresini or the factory team, or he walks away altogether.

Given the talent of Marquez, how quickly he has adapted to the Ducati in 2024, as well as his marketing might, the Bologna-based marque’s bosses had a dilemma on its hands.

The resolution was to make a U-turn on its initial decision, informing Martin on Sunday afternoon at Mugello that Marquez will be getting the factory seat instead. And so he entered the rider market and Aprilia’s race office.

“As I always said to you if someone asked me, since Aleix [Espargaro] decided to retire we started speaking to everybody,” Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola said on Monday after the Mugello test where Martin’s signing was announced.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“The strategy was quite clear not to do it in the first move, because we didn’t want to do any gift to anyone. But when we felt there was an opportunity, and actually it was last night, we were quite quick in making action rather than talks.

“We found a deal very, very quickly. I have to thank Aleix for that as well and here we are.”

He added: “I think timing was a factor, because really we were very fast. Last night I called my boss and I said ‘we have a chance’, and he said ‘get him, go for it’ and I did.

“So, we have all the team, the legal guys working during the night to get it done, and I don’t know if it’s based on emotion, but I liked to think the choice of Jorge is done because Aprilia did a persistent growth over the years.

“We are the only one so far who has won races, as an alternative to his current bike. So, it’s another item of the puzzle to fix.”

Rain hit the post-race test at Mugello, which led to Martin electing not to turn any laps. While others wobbled around in the conditions, he was sat warm and dry in Rivola’s office putting pen to paper….

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