Marquez made contact with Martin, before wiping out Miguel Oliveira, at the Portuguese MotoGP, incurring a double long lap penalty to be served upon his return and causing the talking point of the opening weekend.

Marquez and Oliveira will miss this weekend’s Argentina MotoGP due to injuries sustained in the crash, while Martin will battle on despite toe and ankle knocks.

Marc Marquez to MISS Argentina GP ❌

“He misjudged the braking, it was a dangerous move,” Ducati sporting director Ciabatti told BT Sport.

“Honestly, with all the respect I have for Marc, I don’t understand how a rider with his experience makes such a mistake. It was dangerous.”

It was an early setback to Marquez’s hopes of a seventh premier class championship, on the first weekend of the 2023 season, but it had knock-on effects.

Pramac Racing’s Martin gamely continued after he was bumped by Marquez, directly prior to the big crash with Oliveira, but he later crashed out of the race himself.

Martin had briefly led the race in Portimao.

“It mainly affects Oliveira, but if we speak about the race and the championship? Martin had the pace to stay with the leading group,” Ciabatti said.

“I don’t know if he would have been first, second or third. But it’s points for the championship.

“He was back behind after the accident, trying to recover. He made a mistake and crashed.

“What can I say? It’s… disappointing. That’s what I can say.”

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, the MotoGP champion, emerged from the first weekend with maximum points having won the first-ever sprint race then Sunday’s full race.

But his teammate Enea Bastianini suffered a broken shoulder blade, ruling him out of Argentina, after fellow Ducati rider Luca Marini crashed into him during the sprint.

Gresini’s Alex Marquez, meanwhile, on his first weekend since swapping Honda for Ducati, finished fifth.

“For sure, as you can see from so many riders doing well with Ducati, it’s an easier bike to ride,” Ciabatti said about Alex.

“Riders with different styles can find a set-up on a Ducati, and be fast.

“Alex was competitive, and was a faster rider than we remember in the past few seasons."

Martin’s teammate Johann Zarco threatened to steal the show with a sublime late run into P4.

“Alex, in the last few laps, struggled. Zarco came all the way from behind and made his last pass, which was great.

“I’m happy to see Zarco fighting hard. Hopefully this is a sign for the rest of the season.

“He’s still missing his first GP win. We look forward to that.”

Marco Bezzecchi was a second Ducati rider to finish on the podium on Sunday.

“I’m happy for Marco, he was fantastic. He’s a great guy, we’re happy for VR46,” Ciabatti said.

“They are on ‘22 bikes but we know there is very little difference from the ‘23 bike. They, and Gresini, can get very good results this year.”

Overall, Ducati have started the season looking like the team to beat, as expected.

“This year we had a more conservative approach,” their sporting director said. “A few things to improve the bike without going far from what we had last year.”