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MotoGP Malaysian GP

Martin to let Ducati make call on taking Bastianini factory MotoGP spot in 2024

Despite his close duel with Francesco Bagnaia for the MotoGP title, Jorge Martin has no intention of pressuring Ducati to promote him to the factory team next season.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

If it happens, this move would cause Enea Bastianini's departure, Bagnaia's current team-mate and who, so far at least, has failed to meet the expectations at the factory team.

That has been largely due to several injuries that derailed his first half of the season.

After finishing third in the 2022 championship, riding a Desmosedici from the previous year, Bastianini crashed out of the season opener at Portugal, where he fractured his collarbone which left him out of action for five races.

He returned to action at the Italian GP in June but crashed again in the Turn 1 melee at Barcelona in September which forced him to sit out the Misano, India and Japan races due to right ankle and wrist fractures.

Ahead of the Sepang round, Bastianini is 19th in the overall standings and the last of the eight riders competing on a Ducati.

Ducati bosses have been repeating for months that Bastianini is assured of his current position in 2024, as he deserves another chance to prove his talent – the talent which led to him replacing Jack Miller in the factory team.

A few days ago, the newspaper AS suggested Ducati could reconsider the possibility of intervening for Martin to wear red as early as 2024, especially if he is crowned champion riding for satellite team Pramac.

"Until today, at Ducati we have not talked about this hypothesis," a team source told Autosport.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

This answer, however, does not seem to be as forceful as before, which could hint at the idea to manoeuvre Martin alongside Bagnaia at the factory team a year earlier than initially considered.

It is worth bearing in mind that the contracts of Bagnaia, Martin and Bastianini, in addition to that of Franco Morbidelli who joins from Yamaha in 2024, each link them directly to Ducati.

Martin's contract expires at the end of 2024 and gives him total freedom in what is expected to be a very hectic rider market for 2025 onwards.

But Autosport understands that Martin and his personal team will not put pressure on Ducati to get him Bastianini's bike.

Firstly, because he is very comfortable at Pramac, and also because his own thoughts go further: "Jorge's intention is to secure that red [factory] bike in 2025 and 2026.

"Reaching the factory team in 2024 would be the consequence of his great year. But that is in the hands of Ducati, they are the ones in charge and, so far, they have not told us anything," Albert Valera, Martin's agent, told Autosport.

It is logical to think that the outcome of the championship will have an influence on what may happen.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

If it is Martin who wins the title, it will be difficult for Ducati to resist taking the new champion to the factory team, while if he stays at Pramac his threat from outside the factory team would join Marc Marquez’s movement following his switch to Gresini.

At the same time, it would not be easy to explain to Bastianini the decision to drop him when his continuity at the factory squad had been assured, unless he considered it appropriate to take a step back, and move to a team without so much pressure.

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