The 2023 MotoGP rider line-up will feature the two young, exciting Italians as teammates in Ducati’s factory team after Bastianini earned the step-up from Gresini to join the 2022 world champion.

Their personal relationship - and Ducati’s team orders - is a key talking point ahead of the new season because Bastianini has already shown willingness to go wheel-to-wheel with Bagnaia.

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Carlo Pernat, Bastianini’s manager, explained the terms of his deal with Ducati: "The contract expires at the end of 2024. If he makes first, second or third, his salary triples.”

Pernat revealed Bastianini’s other income: “But it's not just Ducati, we have Alpinestars, KYT with decent figures. And other sponsors that are equivalent to other bonuses. 

“Between first and second there is a big difference."

The final incentive for riders to finish even slightly higher may ultimately trump team orders when the season gets underway, particularly for someone like Bastianini who is hungry for his maiden championship and is riding a bike which is the envy of many of his rivals.

Reigning champion Bagnaia may discover that the biggest obstacle to retaining his title is actually on the other side of the same garage.

"That rivalry was built by Ducati unconsciously,” Pernat said.

“At a certain moment there was talk of teamwork, but at that moment a dualism was created. 

“Enea was playing for the world championship, or at least [within] the first three positions. In the financial field it is worth a lot of money. 

“Many times I asked Ducati to guarantee us at least third place, but there was always a postponement."

Bastianini was snapping at Bagnaia’s heels at Misano, even when his future as 50 percent of the factory Ducati line-up was guaranteed.

"Enea is a tough guy, he is not there and will not be there at team games,” Pernat said.

“They are two completely different riders: Bagnaia is fast and consistent, Bastianini is more like Casey Stoner, a tightrope walker, overtaking clean but at times when it is more difficult to pass. It will be a good battle, but it's normal."

Pernat said about the changing life of a MotoGP manager: "Managing a rider is like managing a company, several riders came to me, including Dennis Foggia, many parents of 12-13 year olds.

“The life of a manager is very hard, I am 75 years old! Our generation was on the handshake, on friendly contracts. Today you make a contract with your lawyers, but they can change at any moment."