Ducati feared “a climate of tension” over Marc Marquez, Gresini boss admits

Gresini boss Nadia Padovani says some people inside Ducati feared that the addition of six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez would add tension between riders.
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023
Marc Marquez, Ducati MotoGP Valencia 2023

Did Ducati’s already stellar line-up of MotoGP teams need an eight-time world champion to take them to the next level? No. But did that stop Gresini from going big in the rider market? That would also be, no. 

Marc Marquez was signed in place of Fabio Di Giannantonio, and Padovani has since admitted that some members of Ducati management feared it would cause tension.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera, Padovani said: “There were those who were afraid of creating a climate of tension with the riders of the official team, but in reality there were conflicting visions inside. 

“I believe that it will be a source of pride for them too to have an eight-time world champion on a Ducati.

“It seemed impossible that an eight-time world champion could leave Honda for a private team, it made headlines and will do so again."

“It also seemed like a dream to have Marc. Only when I saw him riding in the test in Valencia did I say: “So it's true”. And even now it seems unreal to me, but he is with us…

Padovani, who now has an all-Marquez line-up at her Ducati team, said the approach to sign Marc came from his side of management, not the team’s.

“We would never have gone looking for him, his manager contacted us but he had an agreement with Honda until 2024,” she said. 

“The obstacles were not few. I said to my parents: "Let's try to wait for him". I absolutely wanted him in the hope that all the planets would align. I believed in it until the end, and it happened."

2024 will be the first season for Marquez in which he’s not a Honda rider but also a factory rider.

Still, the expectation is that he can win races and even mount a title challenge, not only because of his ability, but also because Gresini have shown they can consistently win races despite being a satellite team. 

Asked if it was a fluke that Marquez chose Gresini, Padovani quickly shut that notion down, saying: “No, we are professional: and the results obtained with other riders in recent years speak for us. Otherwise he wouldn't have come. 

“Of course, the fact that his brother Alex was already with us also had an impact. From the GPs [Alex] came home with a smile and told [stories]...

“Marc will stay with us for at least a year, then we'll see. We already know Alex, he is "our boy" and we get along very well with him, we will manage them as best we can."

Marquez ‘humble, different character from Alex’

While brothers, Marc and Alex are quite different riders and personalities, but Padovani admitted she was very pleased with the type of person Marquez was, calling him a ‘rock.

“Humble, calm, lovable, determined,” began Padovani. “It seems to me that he has a different character from Alex who is sweet and sensitive. It seems to me to be more "rock".

Read More