The questions left unanswered by Marco Bezzecchi’s decision

Marco Bezzecchi will remain with the Mooney VR46 team next season, meaning the Italian decided against a full factory Ducati MotoGP bike.
Marco Bezzecchi, Ducati MotoGP Red Bull Ring 2023
Marco Bezzecchi, Ducati MotoGP Red Bull Ring 2023

Bezzecchi could have jumped ship to Pramac Ducati in place of Johann Zarco, but the three-time winner in 2023 has remained loyal to MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.

It’s a move that means Bezzecchi stays with one of the best teams on the grid and has familiarity.

But what does it do for the bigger picture, both in MotoGP and his own hopes beyond 2024?

Longterm plan/factory Ducati hopes

Bezzecchi’s decision not to sign for Pramac is not one that rules him out of joining the factory Ducati team going forward, but it could make it harder.

Enea Bastianini went from Gresini Ducati to the factory team, showing that if results are good enough then the Italian manufacturer will make such a move.

But joining Pramac and being aboard identical machinery could have given Bezzecchi the chance to test himself more accurately against Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin, the two riders he’s battling for the 2023 title with.

There’s no doubt that every rider wants to ride for a factory team, something Bezzecchi has already stated, and therefre doing so with Ducati given the fact they are the brand to beat is unlikely to have changed for the 24-year-old.

Can Bezzecchi win the MotoGP title in a satellite team?

Bezzecchi will be looking to do two things that have never been done in the MotoGP era, which are to win a world title on a satellite bike, while also doing it on a year-old machine.

The Italian, has at times been the rider to beat this season, as Bagnaia has struggled to live with Bezzecchi when he’s been at his absolute best.

The pace is certainly there to do it, not to mention Ducati’s bikes are very evenly matched which gives Bezzecchi a better opportunity than ever before.

Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Austrian MotoGP, 20 August
Marco Bezzecchi, MotoGP race, Austrian MotoGP, 20 August

But it’s perhaps not the bike that will make the difference, as Bagnaia is quickly showing himself to be the best rider in the premier class. 

Winner of eight races already in 2023, that’s as many wins as Bezzecchi, Martin and Brad Binder combined. 

Odds favour a factory rider and in this case Bagnaia, but it can’t be ruled out that Bezzecchi could be the rider to buckle that trend. 

Who gets the coveted Pramac ride?

With Bezzecchi choosing to stay put and Zarco off to LCR Honda, Martin will have a new teammate in 2024.

Expected to be an experienced rider, Franco Morbidelli looks like he could be the rider to fill that void. 

Yamaha’s woes are continuing again this season but Morbidelli, who has been closer to Fabio Quartararo in 2023, would be a very solid addition to Ducati’s line-up.

Mooney VR46 to Yamaha

The Japanese brand want to return to having four bikes on the grid, while Rossi’s love affair with the M1 has continued beyond his racing days.

Bezzecchi remaining with the team is unlikely to have any impact on whether they stay with Ducati or switch to Yamaha, but what it could do is make the Italian less competitive in the future.

Bezzecchi’s decision at the moment could be one that pays off in 2024, but if he commits beyond that due to his loyalty to the team and Yamaha don’t find the necessary improvements, then choosing not to join Pramac could backfire. 

Rossi’s team is considered the most likely satellite outfit to switch to Yamaha.

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