Marquez will come roaring back for the 2023 season and is expected to be at full health and strength, having recovered from a career-threatening arm surgery that scuppered his 2022 season.

But the six-time premier class champion will return to find a grid full of younger and hungry competitors - Francesco Bagnaia is the defending champion, Fabio Quartararo wants his title back, Joan Mir is in the mix, and Bastianini is eying glory for himself.

Pecco Bagnaia & Ducati will use NUMBER 1 in 2023! | MotoGP 2023

"He knows he was No1,” Bastianini told Marca about Marquez.

“At this moment I don't know. The results say that now the No1 is Pecco. But we'll see."

Bastianini won a promotion from Gresini Racing to the factory Ducati team to partner Bagnaia this year, edging out Jorge Martin and replacing Jack Miller.

Only Bagnaia won more races last year than Bastianini, who finished third in the MotoGP standings.

What caught the eye was Bastianini’s ruthless willingness to fight Bagnaia wheel-to-wheel, even with Ducati’s faith in him potentially at stake.

That attitude will come under the microscope this year when the Italian duo share the same garage for the iconic Italian brand who are finally back on top of the MotoGP world.

“In life never say never, but for the moment I have always had a good relationship with Pecco,” Bastianini said.

"The more Italian riders in front of us, the more interesting the situation will be.

"I think we know the bike is very competitive. I think the team is at the top, but it's my first year with them, so I'll have to give one hundred percent. My teammate is already world champion, so I will have to follow in his footsteps to achieve the goal.”