Ducati drop clue over Marquez’s factory future - but there’s a huge money hurdle

Ducati have admitted that Marc Marquez could ride for the factory team, although finances could scupper his chance.

Marquez shone on his Ducati debut at the postseason Valencia test, heightening excitement for his arrival at Gresini Racing for the 2024 MotoGP season.

He has penned a one-year deal meaning all options - now including the factory Ducati seat - are open for 2025.

“Since we haven’t yet defined the riders for 2025, I would say without problems that Marc is one of the contenders for the official team,” sporting director Paolo Ciabatti told GPOne.

“Obviously there is an important aspect to underline, which is that from an economic point of view we are no longer in the pre-covid period, where a rider like him can earn super-millionaire wages.”

Marquez has previously told us exclusively that rumours he would ride at Gresini for free were wrong.

But it now seems he stands little chance of earning the type of money from Ducati that he was paid at Honda.

Marquez ended his lucrative Honda contract a year early in order to go to Ducati next season.

That Honda deal - a four-year contract signed in 2020 - was the largest on this season’s grid, and one of the biggest ever.

But Marquez’s Ducati contract, and the contracts of most MotoGP riders, will expire next year to create enormous market opportunities for the 2025 season.

Ducati are at risk of losing Marquez - or one of their other stars - amid the chase for the best bike which cannot appease everyone.

“Of course,” Ciabatti admitted. “The risk exists and we are well aware of it.

“I think, for example, of Jorge Martin. A talent like him, if he doesn’t go to the official team, could certainly arouse interest from other manufacturers.

“But he is not the only one.”

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For now, the Marquez-Ducati alliance is just for a single season.

He has ended 11 wonderful years at Honda in the hope of a machine which can spur him on to win a ninth world championship.

“We all know Marc’s talent, there is very little to say about it,” Ciabatti said.

“In my opinion, given the results obtained in this last season by Ducati, with three bikes in front of everyone, there was no need to add a further load.

“At the same time, as a Ducati man, it is the source of great pride for the company to see a champion like Marc on a Desmosedici.

“For us it is further recognition of the work that we are doing, as is the fact that Ducati is currently the best bike in MotoGP.

“Marc is obviously a winner, and his world titles say so, therefore if he chooses Ducati it is because he wants to win again.

“For all of us, it will be something new, and a new situation to manage.”

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