Why Marc Marquez should be considered a title favourite at Ducati

With the eager eyes of the entire MotoGP paddock watching his every move at last month’s Valencia test, Marc Marquez delivered a very, very big message to his rivals.
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023

The eight-time world champion jumped aboard a Ducati MotoGP bike for the first time in his career, and in the process gave little reason to think he can’t be a force with this year’s title-winning package.

Marquez, who left Honda after one of the most successful stints the sport has ever seen, finished the Valencia test in fourth.

But it wasn’t just the final position that gave an indication of how strong he could be, but rather his level of confidence with the bike, which was only enhanced when he stepped off his machine and looked happier than we’ve seen him in many seasons. 

Grinning and raising his eyebrows after returning to pit lane, Marquez looked very pleased with the GP23 bike before getting stronger and stronger as the day went on.

Marquez put together several runs where he set very fast lap times, to the point where he challenged his fastest laps from the race weekend on the Honda. 

Marquez has not lost any of his talent, that’s clear, but the RC213V has stopped him from showing that on a consistent basis.

But that does not appear to be something he will struggle with doing at Ducati, especially after inheriting last season’s championship bike.

Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin contended for the title with that bike, which is one very strong reason to suggest Marquez could be a title threat.

However, just as important is the fact Ducati produces a bike that can be competitive for more than just one season.

Alex Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio all won races in 2023 whilst riding a year-old bike.

Those three riders are very, very good, but it won’t come as a surprise if I said Marquez is a more complete and talented rider than those three mentioned.

His talent, which is unquestioned, and the Ducati bike which is unquestionably the best package on the grid at present, is enough to warrant putting Marquez in the same bracket as Bagnaia and Martin when we think of possible title contenders in 2024. 

Ducati are also very fair when it comes to its riders and letting them fight for the title, even if it’s against a factory rider.

Sure, team orders can come into play, but that is unlikely to be the case if the non factory rider has a legit chance of claiming the championship.

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