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Ducati’s 2025 Dilemma: Bagnaia’s Teammate Decision Looms as Mugello Deadline Approaches

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Is Ducati decided on its 2025 official team roster?

With the informal Mugello deadline approaching, questions still linger about who will join Francesco Bagnaia in Ducati's 2025 premier team.

Marc Marquez, Jorge Martin, or Enea Bastianini? The upcoming MotoGP race in Catalunya is anticipated to be the final occasion before Ducati announces who will join Francesco Bagnaia as his teammate for the 2025 MotoGP season, with the decision expected to be revealed at Mugello.

Has the choice already been determined?

"Pete McLaren, the MotoGP editor, highlighted on this week's Crash.net MotoGP podcast that there's a distinction between declaring a decision and actually executing it."

The Mugello date has been a topic of conversation for some time. Gigi has brought it up, suggesting that it's the 'fair play' move, aiming to give the riders who are left without a seat ample opportunity to secure positions elsewhere if they desire.

"It's quite a fair gesture indeed. However, my belief is that if they're unveiling it at Mugello, it's likely because they've already made their choice. Reflecting on Dovi's scenario in 2020, as well as the prolonged deliberations over Bastianini and Martin a few years earlier, it's evident those situations dragged out until much later in the season."

"In the past, Ducati would typically delay decisions if they were uncertain. However, their indication of Mugello, coinciding with Catalunya this weekend, suggests they've already made their choice."

"Clearly, Gigi excels in engineering. He has a knack for data and figures. He focuses on outcomes and achievements, and it seems he's observed what's necessary."

Podcast presenter Jordan Moreland responded, "What level of challenge does Ducati face in evaluating a rider like Martin, who has been with them and grown over several years, against someone like Marquez, who has only participated in a handful of races with the team?

"McLaren mentioned that the focus would be on forecasting the progression trajectory for every cyclist: What is its inclination? What are the expectations regarding its future direction? By the beginning of the following year, at what stage is each cyclist anticipated to be?"

"It's quite challenging, isn't it? Considering we have Jorge Martin, a young and exceptionally talented rider. What else could he possibly achieve right now? He's clinched victories in several Grands Prix and Sprint races, and he's currently topping the World Championship standings. Remarkably, he's outperforming Pecco, whom Ducati has already secured, and that too, from a satellite team.

"However, Marc is competing against these competitors with a bike that's a year old, having participated in only five Grand Prix races on a Ducati. So, one wonders about the trajectory of his performance. Moreover, Gigi's comments regarding examining the track records of the racers have caught everyone's attention, particularly because there's one racer among them with a more storied history than the rest!"

In an ideal scenario, if you represent Ducati, your ultimate aim would be to retain both riders. That's the ultimate aspiration. With Bagnaia on board, if you could also secure Martin and Marquez for the upcoming season, ensuring they all have factory bikes, imagine the strength of that team!

"It's possible that Bastianini might find more joy, for instance, by trading places with Marquez and returning to Gresini, a team where he previously secured victories and appeared to be quite at ease."

"Essentially, it's possible to retain all these riders, but this hinges on securing Martin for the factory team. Signing Marc to the factory lineup means losing Martin, assuming he sticks to his statement. He has no interest in remaining as a satellite rider for additional seasons."

"Marc hasn't been very explicit regarding his non-negotiable conditions, yet it seems there's a good possibility he might remain with Ducati, riding a factory bike but within a satellite team."

"Thus, if you're part of Ducati and aim to retain all these talents, your best shot at achieving this is by getting Martin on board for the factory team."

Moreland mentioned, "Currently, aside from Pecco, Fermin Aldeguer is the only Ducati competitor with a contract, but his future destination remains uncertain. This is particularly true as Pramac has not yet announced whether they will continue their partnership with Ducati.

Additionally, the ripple effect hinges on Aleix Espargaro's decision regarding his future with Aprilia and the potential candidates for his position.

"Our audience has shared their thoughts, with some advocating for Martin's move to the factory Ducati team, while others believe they'll offer Marquez the spot following Gigi's reference to the riders' backgrounds.

"However, it's undeniable that from a business perspective, Marquez remains a major attraction and stands out significantly in this regard compared to other competitors. The sheer volume of Gresini jerseys visible among the audience this season speaks volumes."

"Marc possesses immense celebrity appeal and promotional influence, and Ducati must consider all aspects. However, letting Martin go isn't desirable either! It's like juggling various elements at once," McLaren responded.

"In my opinion, the most practical option, considering the marketing aspects, would be to place Marc on a bike with factory colors and specifications within the Gresini team, since they lack a main sponsor."

"He's riding a Ducati that's bright red, resembling the official team bikes. It's somewhat similar to when Pirro enters as a wild-card competitor. Plus, if he secures the championship title, the full marketing advantage of having Marquez decked out in Ducati's vibrant red still stands."

"It would create a visual link to the official Ducati bikes, mirroring the closest instance to the 2011 scenario when Repsol Honda fielded three motorcycles for Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, and Andrea Dovizioso to address their lineup issue."

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