Bagnaia ‘will be happy if Marquez comes to Ducati, a rival like him is great’

Francesco Bagnaia says the idea of Marc Marquez joining Ducati for the 2024 MotoGP season could make for a ‘good fight’ as a move to Gresini appears to be closer than ever.
Francesco Bagnaia Ducati, Marc Marquez Honda, MotoGP Motegi 2023
Francesco Bagnaia Ducati, Marc Marquez Honda, MotoGP Motegi 2023

Marquez secured his first grand prix podium of the season at the Japanese MotoGP, after overcoming treacherous conditions to finish behind Jorge Martin and Bagnaia.

And although Marquez has been in better form of late, Honda’s struggles have still been too much for the eight-time world champion to become a factor regarding race wins.

Marquez has confirmed he will leave Honda at the end of 2023, and he's expected to ride for Gresini Ducati next season.

A rider who will be on similar machinery to Marquez should he switch to Gresini Ducati is Bagnaia, with the world champion keen to see Marquez make the switch: "I am happy for that. Because we can have a good fight. 

"If Marc arrives at Ducati he’ll be absolutely super-fast from the start. A rival like him is always great so I’m happy for that."

Bagnaia will be on a GP24 bike and Marquez on this season’s package which is likely to be a title-winning package in the hands of either Bagnaia or Martin. 

"I will be happy if Marquez comes to Ducati," re-confirmed Bagnaia to AS. "He is an added value, an eight-time world champion, so seeing the data of someone like that will serve as encouragement and help, and then we will see what he is capable of doing."

In terms of this season, Bagnaia has seen a comfortable championship lead reduced to just eight points after Martin completed a third clean sweep of the year.

After already winning the sprint and main race at Sachsenring and Misano, Martin converted pole into another double win at Motegi, bringing his win tally to eight for the year. 

Asked if Martin is stronger than himself at this point in the season, Bagnaia stated: "They are working well, for sure. Whether he is stronger, I don't know."

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