Marc Marquez has identified one rider who can threaten Ducati's dominance

Marc Marquez predicts non-Ducati title contender to keep an eye on

Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Marc Marquez insists that Brad Binder will be in the mix for the 2024 MotoGP championship.

Last year’s title came down to three Ducatis - Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi.

Bezzecchi fell away in the final rounds before Bagnaia won his second consecutive title, but the next-best rider was KTM’s Binder.

Binder ended fourth in the MotoGP standings - a career-best finish - after five podiums.

Marquez told DAZN that Bagnaia and Martin will begin the year as the favourites to win: “They are the two riders to beat.

They are the ones who have done the most complete 2023.

“Pecco at the level of consistency and managing situations and Martin at the level of speed.

“They will be there, for sure, and the third one I would put is Brad Binder, depending on the evolution of the KTM.”

KTM is arguably the best-placed manufacturer to fight the dominant Ducatis this season.

Jack Miller has claimed: “If you weren't able to get the red bike, I'm pretty sure [KTM] would be the second on the list. And soon it’ll be the first.”

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But what about Marquez’s own title aspirations?

After three nightmare years he has quit Honda and will debut for Gresini Ducati, riding a GP23, at the season-opener in Qatar on March 8-10.

He confessed: “I am at the level of being able to fight for it, which is the most important thing."

Marquez said about the postseason Valencia test when he rode his new bike for the first time: “I was very nervous.

“I had been on the same bike for ten years and, as much as the bike seemed to be going well, I had that concern of seeing if I would know how to do it, if I could go fast, if I would adapt well...

“No matter how much you want to work on getting away from the expectation, seeing so many cameras when you leave the box impresses you.

His smile, delivered after his first run on the Ducati, sent the paddock into a frenzy.

“It was a smile of 'thank goodness I went out and it went well’.

"I have changed brands and there is a lot of excitement from people.

“They tell me: 'You're going to win the world championship!'

“I tell them that I haven't won a race in two years.

“If I haven't won a race in two years I can't expect to sweep, I can't expect to win a championship, first I have to build.”

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