Want a ’25 bike, no matter what brand!

Marc Marquez has finally arrived at Ducati. At the most recent two MotoGP race weekends in Jerez and Le Mans, he collected 53 points – more than any other rider. In the World Championship he has already worked his way up to third place. Marquez feels right at home in the Ducati camp. With the Desmosedici GP23 he finally has a competitive motorcycle at his disposal that doesn’t regularly throw him off without warning.

With his recent achievements, Marquez has also become a candidate for a place in the Ducati factory team. So far only Francesco Bagnaia has a contract in his pocket for next year. He extended early for 2025 and 2026 before the start of the season. Now the management in Borgo Panigale is looking for his stablemate and is confronted with a real luxury problem.

At Le Mans, Marc Marquez fought against Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia, Photo: LAT Images
At Le Mans, Marc Marquez fought against Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia, Photo: LAT Images

In addition to MotoGP superstar Marc Marquez, World Championship leader Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini also want to end up or stay in the factory team. “I have a lot to think about,” admitted Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna on Sunday evening in Le Mans after Martin took victory ahead of Marquez and Bastianini also finished in a strong fourth place despite the long lap penalty. It is currently completely unclear what decision the committee around Dall’Igna, CEO Claudio Domenicali, team manager Davide Tardozzi and sports director Mauro Grassilli will make. An announcement is expected at the earliest at the Italian GP in Mugello (May 31st to June 2nd), but the discussions and negotiations could also extend until the summer break starting on July 8th.

Marquez recently publicly formulated relatively clearly what his ideal scenario for 2025 would look like: a factory bike, preferably from Ducati. That could also happen if Marquez doesn’t get the factory place. Restructuring is underway in the Italian luxury manufacturer’s MotoGP project. All three customer teams – Pramac, Gresini and VR46 – have been linked to a switch to Yamaha in recent months. The situation is constantly changing, and currently the pendulum seems to be swinging back towards Pramac. It is quite possible that in the future VR46 and Gresini will each receive a current motorcycle and a machine from last year. Marquez could therefore remain loyal to the Gresini team, which has taken the heart of the former Honda veteran by storm with its family atmosphere, and at the same time sit on a Desmosedici GP25.

Marc Marquez on a factory Ducati in 2025 thanks to Yamaha? (07:05 mins)

For Marquez there seem to be enough options in the Ducati camp: switch to the factory team. Switch to Pramac Racing if team boss Paolo Campinoti’s team doesn’t switch to Yamaha motorcycles. Or staying with Gresini including an upgrade to the latest specification of the Ducati Desmosedici. All of these variants seem logical and to some extent expected. But logical and expected are adjectives that have gone massively out of fashion in the MotoGP transfer market in recent years.

Ducati just an interlude for Marc Marquez?

So it was Marc Marquez himself on Sunday evening in Le Mans, who threw out an imminent transfer bomb involving his participation. “Next year I want to have a motorcycle of the last stage of evolution. No matter what bike, no matter what color, no matter what brand,” explained Marquez in an interview with the Spanish press.

In 2024, Marquez will drive a machine from last year at Gresini Racing, photo: LAT Images
In 2024, Marquez will drive a machine from last year at Gresini Racing, photo: LAT Images

It is doubtful whether Marquez would actually take any motorcycle just because it corresponds to the latest specification. Yamaha and Honda have initiated trend reversals at the organizational level, but their gap to the European manufacturers is still far too large to be an attractive option for Marquez, who will already be 32 years old at the start of the 2025 season. So what alternatives to Ducati do Marquez have? In the Pierer Mobility Group camp it can be assumed that Brad Binder (contract until the end of 2026) and shooting star Pedro Acosta will form the pairing in the KTM factory team next year. Two places could become available in the GasGas-Tech3 team. Because Jack Miller’s MotoGP career – the 29-year-old has only scored 24 World Championship points this season – could be coming to an end and Augusto Fernandez (13 points) has also slipped into a massive dip in form. Marquez maintains good contacts with the Pierer Mobility Group and made his debut in the motorcycle world championship there in 2008 on a KTM. In addition, his long-time personal partner Red Bull is the official title sponsor of the KTM and GasGas teams.

But Aprilia could also land Marc Marquez. Aleix Espargaro, leader of the team from Noale since 2017, is now almost 35 years old and is thinking out loud about retiring, which would free up a place in the factory team. And at Trackhouse Racing, where the contracts of Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez expire at the end of the year, two current Aprilias will most likely be available in 2025. Marc Marquez has many trump cards in his hand after his return to the top MotoGP field. We have an exciting transfer period coming up.

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