MotoGP: Marquez joins Ducati factory team; Martin to Aprilia

    Marc Marquez will partner Francesco Bagnaia at the factory Ducati MotoGP team next year.

    Published On Jun 05, 2024 03:14:00 PM

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    Ducati has finally confirmed that eight-time world champion Marc Marquez will join its factory MotoGP team next year, alongside Francesco Bagnaia. Marquez has signed a two-year deal with the team that runs till the end of the 2026 season.

    This announcement comes just days after Aprilia signed current MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin.

    1. Marquez signs two year deal with Ducati
    2. Martin joining Aprilia on two year contract

    After years of racing for Honda, where Marquez won all six of his MotoGP titles, the Spaniard switched to Ducati satellite squad Gresini this year. And he’s already made quite an impression. Despite racing on a 2023-spec bike, he’s currently third overall in the championship – just 35 points behind championship leader Jorge Martin.

    With reigning champion Bagnaia contracted with Ducati until 2026, the battle for the second factory seat boiled down to Marquez and Martin. It is understood that Ducati was hoping to keep both riders within its camp. However, with Marquez publicly stating that Pramac was “not an option for him”, those plans were scrapped.

    Instead, it looks like Ducati believes Marquez’ form this season, along with his high marketing value, outweighs what Martin had to offer. “Deciding on Bagnaia's new teammate in the Ducati Lenovo Team was not easy, as we had a list of very strong riders to choose from. In the end, our choice fell on an unquestionable talent like Marc Marquez,” explained Luigi Dall'Igna, general manager of Ducati Corse.

    “In just a few races, he has managed to adapt perfectly to our Desmosedici GP, and his innate ambition pushes him to grow continuously. In the box, we will have two riders who together hold 11 World Titles, and being able to count on their experience and maturity will be invaluable for our growth as well.”

    “Basically, from the first contact with the Desmosedici GP, I enjoyed riding it and adapted straightaway. From that moment on, I knew that my goal was to continue this path, to continue to grow, and to move to the team where Pecco Bagnaia has been the World Champion for two years in a row,” Marquez added.

    Jorge Martin joining Aprilia

    Martin will leave the Ducati fold to join Aprilia on a two-year contract. He’ll replace close friend Aleix Espargaro, who will retire at the end of the current season.

    “Jorge is a building block to reach the goal we are all looking for with great hunger at Aprilia Racing,” said Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola.

    Enea Bastianini, meanwhile, has been linked to a switch to KTM next year, likely with the Tech3 team. 

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

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