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Ducati MotoGP boss got “positive” response from Marquez, Bagnaia after Portugal clash

Ducati MotoGP sporting director Mauro Grassilli says he received a “very positive” response after he messaged Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia following their clash at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

While battling for what would have been fourth place, Bagnaia and Marquez collided on lap 23 of 25 of the Portuguese GP last month.

The collision was deemed a racing incident by the FIM stewards, but Gresini’s Marquez felt the fault lay at Bagnaia’s door for a retaliation he felt was unnecessary.

The incident marked the first flashpoint of the season Ducati was warned about last year when eight-time world champion Marquez signed with Gresini to race a year-old Desmosedici in 2024.

Opinion: The MotoGP civil war threat Ducati must now delicately manage

While both sat in the same press conference on Thursday ahead of the Americas Grand Prix, neither was asked about the incident.

Speaking to motogp.com during second practice, Grassilli says he sent both a message after the incident and the response suggested both had already moved on.

“Very easy: I sent both of them a message on, I can’t remember [if it was] Monday or Tuesday [after the race],” Grassilli said when asked what he did to defuse the situation.

“Just [saying] ‘hey guys, everything under control?’

“And Pecco and Marc answered me like ‘yes, everything under control, looking forward to COTA’. So, positive, very positive.”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing and Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team crash

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing and Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

In the same interview, Grassilli also touched on Ducati’s current discussions with satellite squads VR46 and Pramac about extending their respective partnerships.

Both had reportedly been in contact with Yamaha for 2025, though VR46 team director Uccio Salucci recently told Autosport that Valentino Rossi’s squad intends to stick with Ducati but is seeking a factory bike. 

Pramac has a clause in its current deal that stipulates an automatic renewal with Ducati beyond the end of this contract in 2024, but could leave if a suitable offer comes its way.

“We have some table [discussions] open, we are talking with VR, we are talking with Pramac,” Grassilli said.

“Our goal is to have the same situation for the future. So, my target is to be with Pramac and VR46 even next year and for the future.”

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