Motorcycle Racing

Why Marquez refused to fight with Martin on track for 2025 Ducati MotoGP seat

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing Team

On Wednesday, it was announced that six-time MotoGP champion Marquez will step up from Gresini to join the official Ducati squad next year, partnering Francesco Bagnaia in an all-star line-up.

It was the culmination of a series of events that took place over the last seven days, which completely changed the trajectory of his career and that of current points leader Jorge Martin.

Initially, Ducati had chosen Pramac rider Martin for the seat set to be vacated by the outgoing Enea Bastianini, and the 26-year-old was duly informed of the move by the Italian marque’s management. However, this option hinged on Marquez accepting the offer to join Pramac on a full-factory move, something the former Honda rider ruled out during the press conference for the Italian Grand Prix.

In its attempt to keep both riders on its payroll, Ducati came up with a solution that involved pitting the two Spaniards against each other on track, with the winner getting the coveted factory seat for 2025. So although Martin was originally selected for the ride, Marquez would have secured an automatic promotion by winning the 2024 title.

However, the 31-year-old turned down this option and, amid the risk that he could take his talent and marketing power to another manufacturer, Ducati took a U-turn on its original decision and elected to sign Marquez to join Bagnaia in 2025.

Martin was unimpressed by Ducati’s change of stance and turned his back on the Borgo Panigale squad, signing a deal with Aprilia on Monday after the Mugello race.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

In his first interview since the announcement, Marquez explained that he didn’t feel he had the right machinery to take Martin head-on in the 2024 title fight. The Gresini rider is competing with a year-old GP23 bike, while his compatriot has the latest-spec Desmosedici, with Pramac being the only-factory supported satellite squad in Ducati’s line-up.

“It’s simple. If you have to earn it on the track, you have to have the same weapons, and now I don’t have them,” he told the SER channel in Spain.

“But it’s no excuse and I’m proving that I can be competitive.

“Athletes not only have sporting contracts, but there are other [deals] with sponsors who have followed me all my career and a multinational closes [its sponsorship agreements] in September for the next two years and cannot wait. It was unfeasible.”

Marquez hailed the…

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