Casey Stoner answers if Marc Marquez can win MotoGP title on a satellite bike

The last rider to win a premier class title on a satellite bike was Valentino Rossi in 2001.
Casey Stoner answers if Marc Marquez can win MotoGP title on a satellite bike

Even then, Rossi’s accomplishment was largely on a factory-spec Honda run in different colours to the official factory bike.

Marc Marquez can become the first rider since Rossi to become champion on a non-factory bike when he races for Gresini Ducati next season, riding a year-old Desmosedici.

Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner was asked if Marquez could win without factory machinery, and told AS: “I don't think it is that easy. 

“With Ducati he will probably have a slightly better bike than the one he was riding, but he knows Honda very, very well. 

“Now that he is going to Ducati we are going to see if he is able to adapt to this, because we see that many Ducati riders are still capable of losing the front. 

“You know, the Ducati is not a bulletproof bike in this area. 

“So we'll have to wait and see how Marc performs. 

“You don't just get on a bike and then go and win the championship, but I still think Marc is probably the best rider on the grid. 

“We have to get Marc's confidence back and hopefully the injuries and everything else will be a thing of the past and he can focus and give us some great moments. 

“I think when I was with Honda and LCR, the only reason it was difficult to win the championship was because of Michelin, and a little bit because of Honda, because of course they want their factory riders to do better than the satellite. 

“But I don't think there's any problem winning that way. 

“Especially nowadays there is much less difference between factory bikes and satellites.

“So I don't think there's any problem, no reason why it can't be done. 

“As long as you have a good mentality and don't look for new things to always be the best.

“Everything they bring to the bike is not always an improvement, and does not suit everyone. You just work with what you have and make the most of it. 

“Most of the time it's easier, because last year's bike is already known, it works very well, everyone knows the set-up, everyone knows what to do if you have these new bikes and new parts arriving. There are many things to understand. 

“So I think there is no reason why that team can't be competitive in a championship with a satellite bike.”


Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez has even hinted that he might be able to earn better upgrades to his ‘23 Ducati if his results merit it.

He is bringing an 11-year affiliation with Honda to an end.

“It's very difficult to understand why he did it,” said Stoner whose MotoGP titles came with Honda and Ducati. 

“I mean it's obvious from the outside that it's because of the performance but knowing Marc, he probably would have liked to stay with Honda.

“Obviously, he had conversations with senior management and understood that perhaps they are not putting enough in, that they are not going to increase the effort to improve the bike for the next few years. 

“So I think, on the one hand, Marc could stay there and try to fight his way back to the top. 

“On the other hand, he could at least go to the bike that he knows wins races, to find out if it is him or the bike.”

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