“Marc Marquez wants to surpass Valentino Rossi - so he has to be at Ducati”

Can Marc Marquez edge Valentino Rossi's total of nine world titles now he's riding a Ducati?

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez’s desire to beat Valentino Rossi’s tally of championships means he must ride a Ducati, says Pol Espargaro.

Marquez’s eight world titles is one behind the total achieved by his great rival Rossi.

Switching from Repsol Honda to Gresini Ducati this year has restored Marquez to the front of many expert onlookers’ minds to challenge for a ninth championship.

His teammate of two seasons, Espargaro, reacted to Marquez’s huge decision to quit Honda, the team where he has won all of his titles so far.

“In the world of sport, the years go by very quickly,” Espargaro told Marca.

“Especially in the world of motorcycling, where riders rise to the premier class so young, the level rises very quickly.

“It is true that you can say ‘well, I only had a year of experience’.

“But a year is very long and it becomes very long in elite sport, not only mentally, but also technically, how the new riders who come to the factory ride.

“How you have to readapt and reinvent yourself all the time.

“One year is a long time, so obviously I understand it.

“He has the ambition to continue winning, he wants to win another world title.

“He wants to surpass Valentino Rossi in the number of titles.

“So if he wanted to do that, that was what it meant to be at Ducati right now. That's what he's trying to do.”

Many riders on the ‘24 grid have earmarked Marquez to be among the title contenders, after three years absent from the front of MotoGP.

He will ride a year-old Desmosedici, the bike that Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin contested last year’s title with.

Bagnaia and Martin step onto the revised GP24.

Espargaro predicted his title contenders: “Without a doubt there is Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia.

“And be careful with Enea Bastianini, who had bad luck with injuries last year and that prevented him from being at the top.

“But I think ‘The Beast’ is going to be a rider to follow this year.

“And I would also include Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder.

“And, obviously, I also have to include Jorge Martin.”

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