Ducati are on top of the world having crowned Francesco Bagnaia as their first champion since Casey Stoner in 2007, and having added Enea Bastianini to their factory team to give the 2023 MotoGP rider line-up an ominous look for rival teams.

Marquez is seemingly at a disadvantage in his quest for a seventh premier class title due to his ongoing physical recovery from surgery, and more significantly the limitations of his Repsol Honda bike that caused him to demand more from the team after riding a 2023 prototype.

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"If Marc is physically fit and finds a certain level of understanding with the bike, he can dismantle Ducati's plans,” his ex-teammate Pedrosa told DAZN. 

“He's a very unpredictable guy, he can do things that sometimes you don't expect. It's a piece you can't place.”

Marquez and Pedrosa spent six seasons as Repsol Honda teammates - a golden period for Marquez who established himself as the man to beat.

But whether he can recapture those glory days will not only depend on whether his arm, which has needed four major surgeries, holds up. It also depends on whether the Honda bike, which caused nightmares for each of its riders except for Marquez last season, can give him a decent shot.

"Marc has a special ability to win with less than perfect bikes,” Pedrosa said. 

“The years in which we went from Bridgestone to Michelin, we had difficulties, I had many but he managed to win the championship, to adapt to the tyres. 

“Marc is a different rider, on track he was impressive because he did special things that I couldn't match."

Marquez’s new teammate will be Joan Mir, the 2020 world champion who switches from Suzuki.

Their personal relationship will come under the microscope, as will Mir’s own ambitions to add to his solitary championship.

Pedrosa offers a reminder of Mir’s ability: "One day his mechanics in Brno made a mistake in assembling a piece, but he went out and set a very good time, he didn't even notice.

"If I had fallen like he fell, I would have gone to the hospital because I would have broken."