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Ducati’s Bold Moves: Marquez Signing Sparks Key Questions in MotoGP Rider Market

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Four Major Queries Arise Following Ducati's Signing of Marc Marquez

The rider market has seen significant developments with Ducati securing Marc Marquez for its factory squad, while Jorge Martin has committed to Aprilia.

Can Ducati keep the peace between Bagnaia and Marquez in the pits?

Since entering the top-tier racing series in 2019, Francesco Bagnaia has competed with teammates Jack Miller and Enea Bastianini.

Both riders had already secured grand prix victories, but teaming up with Marquez – who has successfully outperformed teammates like Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Pol Espargaro, and Joan Mir – presents a unique challenge.

"Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna expressed no concern about the development of the bike regarding the Bagnaia-Marquez team."

"We adhere to a philosophy that includes supporting multiple riders…"

"What concerns me more is the management of the sports team. The atmosphere within the Ducati garage is fantastic, and our aim is to maintain this environment next year."

How will Martin’s exit impact his chances for the 2024 title?

"First and foremost, this is a sport, so we must maintain sportsmanship," stated Dall’Igna when asked if Martin’s move to Aprilia would affect Ducati's backing of his current bid for the title.

Dall'Igna promised that Martin would consistently receive comprehensive support, both technically and personally, for the rest of the year.

However, this situation could hinder Martin's opportunity to become the first satellite rider to win a MotoGP championship in the modern era, even if it just introduces a small amount of uncertainty for him.

Is Pramac switching to Yamaha, and who will be the rider for the GP25s?

By fully committing to Marquez on their factory team, Ducati has ended up losing both their current official rider, Enea Bastianini, who has secured five MotoGP victories, and the championship leader, Martin.

The future of the Pramac team with Ducati is still uncertain. With Martin leaving and the suggested high-profile replacement, Marquez, openly rejecting the offer, the situation remains unresolved.

Would Pramac, the sole satellite team with factory-spec Desmosedicis, reconsider Yamaha's satellite offer in light of this dual setback?

Dall’Igna acknowledges that “there is a genuine risk” of losing Pramac, which would be “a disappointment on both a personal and professional level.”

A strong strategy to keep Pramac would involve Ducati finding a notable replacement, in addition to newcomer Fermin Aldeguer (who is signed but not yet assigned to a specific team) for the upcoming season.

Among the racers still available, Martin's teammate Franco Morbidelli stands out, along with former MotoGP champion Joan Mir.

When looking at the 2024 season outcomes, Maverick Vinales is notable for being the sole rider not on a Ducati to secure a grand prix victory this year. The Spanish racer has emphasized that his future team choice will be determined solely by his performance.

It's clear that the RS-GP is doing great, and Vinales is being seen as the new leader for Aprilia following Aleix Espargaro's retirement. However, the standings indicate that Pramac is currently at the top of the world championship…

Race for the last KTM spot intensifies?

While it's not yet confirmed, Enea Bastianini, who currently races alongside Bagnaia, appears poised to embark on a new phase in his career by moving to KTM through the Tech3 team.

Following the announcement by the Austrian factory that Pedro Acosta will join the factory Red Bull team next year, alongside Brad Binder who has a current contract, only one RC16 seat remains available for 2025.

Jack Miller, who is presently racing alongside Binder, seems to be considering a move to Tech3, a team that also uses factory-spec motorcycles. Nonetheless, similar to Augusto Fernandez, who is currently Acosta's teammate, Miller likely requires a standout performance to make this switch happen.

Miller last secured a spot on the MotoGP podium at the Jerez race in 2023, while Fernandez achieved his career-high fourth place at the subsequent French Grand Prix. Presently, Miller and Fernandez are positioned 16th and 17th, respectively, in the world championship standings.

Bastianini has secured three top-three finishes this year.

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