until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Marquez set for factory Ducati ride after bombshell Martin exit

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marc Marquez is set to become a factory Ducati MotoGP rider in 2025, following the stunning announcement that championship leader Jorge Martin will join Aprilia.

It represents an incredible u-turn in the MotoGP '25 rider market, as just several days prior Martin looked a shoo-in for a Ducati factory promotion and the big question was about how Marquez would fit into either Ducati's satellite team structure or a rival manufacturer's factory team.

A three-way fight for the Ducati seat alongside Pecco Bagnaia had been narrowed down to just Marquez and Martin, and a report in the lead-up to the Italian Grand Prix by the reputable Gazzetta dello Sport claimed the decision had gone in Martin's favour - albeit without pen being put to paper.

Martin's demeanour coming into the weekend suggested the reporting was accurate - yet his factory Ducati dream now appears to have evaporated in the span of three days.

Motorsport.com's Spanish edition and Sky Sports Italy say that Ducati's top brass, comprising CEO Claudio Domenicali and general manager Gigi Dall'Igna, have now settled on Marquez as Bagnaia's future team-mate.

Martin's Aprilia move corroborates that - and creates the potential scenario of him taking the #1 plate next year from the Bologna factory to its Noale-based counterpart.

What happened?

Ducati's ideal solution would've been fitting both Martin and Marquez on factory-spec bikes into 2025, and Marquez - currently campaigning a year-old Ducati for Gresini - had sounded amenable to staying in a satellite ride to make that happen.

Yet he stunned the MotoGP paddock during the weekend by insisting he had no plans to go to Pramac, Ducati's top satellite team - which the manufacturer had been hoping to entice into staying within its ranks (against interest from a potential new partner in Yamaha) by dangling the prospect of a signing of Marquez's calibre.

Now, Marquez - who is 35 points behind Martin in the standings but also on a bike widely understood as inferior to Martin's Ducati GP24 - is to suit up in Ducati red.

In the process, it will likely mean he ends his partnership with Red Bull for the time being, given Red Bull's energy drink arch-rival Monster is a major sponsor of the Ducati works team.

For Martin, any scenario in which he was overlooked for the works seat made a future with Ducati untenable.

The Spaniard already felt slighted by being overlooked for a factory promotion from Pramac in favour of Enea Bastianini for 2023, and repeatedly stated publicly both last year and this that he felt he has done everything that could've been asked of him to prove his suitability for a factory seat.

A move to Aprilia, effectively as a replacement for his retiring great friend Aleix Espargaro, indicates that Ducati has indeed chosen Marquez over him, and that it has proven a slight too far.

Aprilia announced the news with a video of CEO Massimo Rivola and Espargaro himself introducing Martin as a signing.

The other knock-ons of these two seismic moves are yet to fully reveal themselves - whether it be for Pramac and its suitor Yamaha, for Marquez's current team Gresini or for incumbent Bastianini - albeit he has been reported as heading in the direction of a Tech3 seat and a factory-spec KTM RC16 currently being exploited to impressive effect by Pedro Acosta.

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