Motorcycle Racing

Martin signs for Aprilia as Marquez nears factory Ducati MotoGP promotion

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Autosport broke the news on Monday that Ducati had made a U-turn on its decision to promote championship leader Jorge Martin from Pramac to its factory squad.

With Marquez stating at the Italian Grand Prix that racing on a factory bike at Pramac was “not an option” for him, Ducati’s plans to keep both riders were scuppered.

The form Marquez has shown on the 2023-spec Ducati at Gresini already in 2024, coupled with his high marketing value, meant the Italian manufacturer could not justify letting him walk to a rival marque.

Martin, having been informed that Ducati had changed its mind, elected to take matters into his own hands and walk away – paving the way for Marquez to move to the factory team.

On Monday evening, Aprilia took to its social media account to announce that Martin will race for the Italian brand next year.

Martin will replace Aleix Espargaro at the Italian manufacturer in 2025, after the three-time grand prix winner announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of this year.

Autosport revealed over the Italian GP weekend that Espargaro is set to become Honda’s test rider in 2025.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin joining Aprilia raises questions over the future of Pramac as a Ducati satellite team.

With Marquez shunning the idea of riding for Pramac and it losing star rider Martin, the prospect of it switching to Yamaha machinery has gotten stronger.

If that is to happen, Autosport understands VR46 could get the two factory Ducatis currently raced by Pramac next year.

Maverick Vinales is yet to finalise his plans for 2025 and denied reports from Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola that his place in the team is confirmed beyond this year.

Enea Bastianini, who will be moved aside for Marquez at Ducati, had been a favourite candidate to join Aprilia – though has options with the Italian brand, KTM and Yamaha with Pramac.

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