The suggestion that six-time MotoGP champion Marquez could leave Honda when his contract expires at the end of 2024 and move to Ducati has been kept alive by Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez’s former teammate Lorenzo has claimed that Ducati will offer Marquez the opportunity to chase an elusive seventh championship on a more competitive bike.

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But Domenicali told Sky: “These things are nice because they make people talk, like in the sports bar. 

“But I think it's not the right thing for us. 

“We have an amazing group of riders that we have raised ourselves. 

“Francesco Bagnaia is a crazy talent, he's underestimated, he still makes some mistakes but he's there. 

“If he hadn't made a mistake we would have already talked about [another] championship.

“But there is not only Pecco, we also have Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, many young people who we are following. 

“Marquez is an extraordinary talent, he doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. 

“But Ducati draws its strength from the way we work with our riders. 

“Ours is a family spirit, today we are fine like this and we will continue like this. The results are giving us reason.”

Gigi Dall’Igna, Ducati’s general manager, previously gave a jovial answer: “I don’t think Marc would agree to go to an unofficial team.” 

However, Honda’s inability to deliver machinery that could propel Marquez to another championship is the root cause of speculation about his future.

He is now aged 30, and despite his ongoing brilliance, time is running out.

His injury record is also mounting. Despite entering 2023 injury-free for the first time in years, he broke his hand on the first weekend of the season and, after an absence to recover, has been playing catch-up ever since. 

He is 82 points behind championship-leader Bagnaia heading into the Italian MotoGP this weekend.

Next season will be the last of Marquez’s current contract which is the most lucrative in MotoGP today.

Honda must either fork out another big-money deal for a rider who is getting older, and whose injuries are regularly keeping him sidelined.

Or, the unthinkable happens, and Marquez finds a new home for 2025.