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The immediate fallout from Marquez's Ducati MotoGP powerplay

In a bombshell move, Ducati went back on its decision to promote Jorge Martin to its factory MotoGP team for 2025 in favour of Marc Marquez in a show of immense strength from the eight-time world champion. This is what it cost Ducati and what it means going forward

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

In just four days, Marc Marquez has brought Ducati to its knees, irritated reigning double world champion Francesco Bagnaia and surely his mentor Valentino Rossi, and redoubled his chances of winning this title to justify his choice ahead of Jorge Martín.

As much as there were people within the paddock who felt that the Spaniard had lost influence as a result of the ordeal he went through over the last four years, with a badly broken arm at Jerez in 2020 followed by Honda's waning competitiveness, the move that will see him wear red for the next two seasons confirms that he remains the cornerstone of the championship.

Marquez is the perfect product if we take into account that he mixes the ingredients that any brand seeks to project itself to the world. In his new stage on a Ducati that is not even the latest specification at Gresini, he has shown that on the track he is still the same as always, a competitive animal with a huge ability.

In addition, when he gets off the bike no one sells the world championship like the Catalan. Ducati could not miss such an opportunity and went for him, even if it meant sending its careful policy of training young talents for a ride.

The ways of executing the offensive were not the best if we consider the treatment given to Jorge Martin. However, Ducati gave in to a figure as close as Machiavelli, who said that the end justifies the means. Finally, the Borgo Panigale company has already tied up the multi-champion after signing a contract that has a series of implications that give an idea of the power of #93.

Despite the fact that he will not join the official workshop until next year, his incorporation in 2025 is so relevant that it will surely have immediate effects that may even define the current campaign.

In just four days, Marquez has been able to bend the will of Ducati executives, who in their heads had imagined a strategy that would allow them to keep him and Martin by promoting the latter and offering the former a works bike at Pramac.

Marquez has effectively forced Martin out of Ducati

Marquez has effectively forced Martin out of Ducati

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

On the other hand, the only plan that worked out perfectly was that of the boy from Cervera - who forced those in charge of the team that has won the last two crowns to break the word they had given to current championship leader Martin after the challenge that Marquez made last Thursday when he publicly refused to join the brand's second team: “Pramac is not an option for me. I'm very calm about my future, because I have three options with which I would feel comfortable."

The Spaniard's forcefulness caused the Ducati bosses to panic about the possibility of him joining a rival manufacturer - especially Aprilia. From the moment Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali arrived at Mugello on Saturday, the priority of the red bike company changed radically: the only thing that mattered was to get Marquez's signature, which the firm announced on Wednesday morning.

The signing goes much further than it seems. In those four days, those that passed since Marquez said no to Pramac until Mauro Grassilli, Ducati's sporting director, was forced to tell Martin that Ducati could not fulfil what he had promised him on Sunday afternoon, the former Honda rider achieved much more than securing the best prototype on the grid for the next two years.

“When we told Pecco he had a champion's reaction. He sees it as a great motivation, to keep growing as a rider.” Ducati

When the operation was underway, Pecco Bagnaia, the flagship of the 'Reparto Corse', simply asked that the person chosen to occupy the opposite side of his garage should respect the “harmony” established in the team. Considering the gibberish that Marquez has set up to get his way, it is very likely that the two-time world champion senses that this is not going to be the case.

“When we told Pecco he had a champion's reaction. He sees it as a great motivation, to keep growing as a rider,” Ducati told Autosport.

It is also difficult to think that Valentino Rossi is jumping for joy. For two reasons: with Marquez at Honda, the MotoGP legend's inheritance in the championship was assured, as Bagnaia set the pace on the track and the team that bears his name - VR46 Racing - increasingly tightened its ties with Ducati.

In fact, it makes sense that the group led by Uccio Salucci would inherit Pramac's status, should Pramac decide to make the switch to Yamaha. But that's not to mention the uneasiness that will have entered the Tavullia, considering the possibility that his enemy will add two more titles to his tally and outnumber his premier class record of seven.

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But there's more. Marquez has pushed Martin to sign with Aprilia with his push to secure the factory Ducati seat. At this point, it is not strange to conclude that Domenicali would not be very happy if the #89 rider took the #1 plate to the Noale brand next year should he go on to win the title in 2024.

Marquez has not only eliminated from the equation a very tough opponent in his quest to win championships in 2025 and 2026, but has very much unsettled Martin in the 2024 battle. With Ducati not wanting to see a potential world champion go to a rival in 2025, Marquez has ensured that the Italian marque will spare no resources to help him achieved a ninth grand prix title in total and seventh in the premier class to help justify its decision to choose him and not Martin.

Bagnaia can now prove his worth against Marquez on equal terms

Bagnaia can now prove his worth against Marquez on equal terms

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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