Ducati riders after Marquez debut on a Ducati: “We expected him to be fast”

The likes of Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi didn’t shy away from addressing Marc Marquez’ impressive Ducati debut at the MotoGP test in Valencia.
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023

Marquez finished the one-day test fourth fastest and was leading the timingsheets heading into the final hour of the session.

Only bettered by Maverick Vinales, Brad Binder and Bezzecchi, Marquez sent a firm message to his rivals, including fellow Ducati riders who hope to be a serious contender in 2024.

Two-time champion Bagnaia was first to five his thoughts about Marquez’s Ducati debut, telling MotoGP.com: “I said some races ago that he was first in the first test. I missed it by a few positions but he can be very happy with the bike. We did a wonderful job with this bike all season and he can enjoy it.”

Without question his biggest ally at Ducati, Alex Marquez then said: “I didn’t speak with him so I cannot say anything about that but he was fast. 

“I know where he is coming from because I did the same step and I knew he would be fast. It was the day I was expecting.”

If Marquez is to become a title contender next season, getting the better of Bagnaia, but also Martin will be key.

The latter was sensational in 2023 and challenged Bagnaia until the final race of the year, however, Martin is already looking for ways to beat Marquez. 

“It was not a big surprise and he was super competitive,” said Martin. “So let’s try to understand how to beat him.” 

Another rider who could be under pressure from Marquez but for very different reasons, is Enea Bastianini.

The Italian was at threat of losing his factory ride for 2024 to Martin, and with Marquez now in the fold, Bastianini will need a big campaign in 2024.

Speaking about the eight-time champion, Bastianini added: “He is Marc and it was fantastic. Amazing riding style. It will not be easy for him either because all the Ducati riders are fast so it will not be easy.”

Lastly, is Bezzecchi, who had a falling out with Marquez during the race weekend before showing more frustration with the former Honda rider during the test when he was held up on a fast lap. 

“We expected him to be fast,” stated Bezzecchi. “Everyone was executing this so I was not surprised. It was very good. 

“I saw him a couple of times on the track and he was already riding very well. We know Marc Marquez very well. He doesn’t need any explanation.”

Read More