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MotoGP Japanese GP

Ducati boss flattered by Marquez's interest in year-old MotoGP bike

Ducati MotoGP boss Gigi Dall'Igna says it is ‘pleasing’ to see Marc Marquez show interest in riding a year-old Desmosedici and suggested he might have already decided to leave Honda.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Speculation regarding Marquez’s future has dominated headlines in the past month, amid question marks over whether the Spaniard will see out his Honda contract in 2024.

Gresini has emerged as the best alternative for the six-time champion should he decide to walk out of his Honda deal, a scenario that would see him team up with brother Alex Marquez and race a GP23 next year.

Marquez himself has been tight-lipped about his next career move, stressing after his first podium of the season in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday that the result won’t impact his decision.

But Dall’Igna suggested at Motegi that Marquez may have already made up his mind and could be planning to move to Ducati with a year still left on his Honda contract.

"Marc is one of the strongest riders in history, so the fact that he strongly wants to get on a Ducati can only be pleasing,” Dall’Igna told Sky TV

“This is the most important comment I can make. He decided to leave a Honda to get on an unofficial Ducati, even more so it underlines the fact that he wants our bike and [that] can only please [us].”

Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse general manager

Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse general manager

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pressed further on his comments, Dall’Igna said a potential Ducati move for Marquez was far from done and the Spaniard will still need to find a way to be released from his Honda contract.

"This is what I heard, then clearly there is no official announcement yet,” he added. “I believe that there are many things to do, that there is a complicated contract to break, in the event that he clearly wants to break it. 

“It seems to me that, however, the statements he made are these and from our point of view it is pleasing.”

Dall'Igna said he is aware of the impact Marquez could have on Ducati, with his arrival having the potential to unsettle its existing line-up led by 2022 champion Francesco Bagnaia.

“The arrival is all to be defined and evaluated, because there isn't an official announcement yet - I only commented on the statements that Marc made about our bike,” he said.

“This year we are still focused on the championship, which has many things to say. 

“Then Marc is certainly a cumbersome rider for many reasons and there is a concern that he could break some balance. This will eventually be part of the game and it will be up to us to manage it.”

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