Marc Marquez 2024 predictions: Race wins, bust-up with rivals, his ‘25 decision?

How will Marc Marquez fare at the Qatar MotoGP? Can he win the title? Do we expect clashes with rival Ducatis?

Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February
Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February

Marc Marquez dominates the spotlight heading into the 2024 MotoGP season.

The season-opener this weekend in Qatar is his race debut on a Ducati, after making the seismic decision to quit Honda.

Marquez, at Gresini Ducati, will ride a GP23 this year while his factory Ducati and Pramac rivals step onto the updated ‘24 version.

But can Marquez arrest the decline of the past couple of years?

Our journalists make their big predictions for the eight-time world champion’s season.

How will Marc Marquez fare in the season-opening Qatar GP?

Peter McLaren: Inside the top six, fighting for the podium. Maybe on it.

Robert Jones: Marc Marquez has been strong so far in testing and so challenging for the top five, or even a podium, does not appear to be out of the question.

Jordan Moreland: If he finishes inside the top five or on the podium, it'll be the perfect start.

How many races can he win? And where? Can he fight for the title?

Peter McLaren: The anti-clockwise tracks are his favourites. Marquez’s record is second to none at COTA and Sachsenring, so they are the obvious places to expect something special. Then there’s Aragon, Phillip Island, Valencia…If Marquez wins races he can fight for the title, but then so can probably 7-8 others!

Robert Jones: I'm predicting that Marquez will win a total of eight races including sprints, with COTA, Argentina, Le Mans, Sachsenring, Buriram and Phillip Island the places he will enjoy the most success.

Jordan Moreland: I think Marc will win 8 races, probably more Grands Prix than Sprints. The obvious circuits like COTA, Sachsenring and Aragon are ones that Marquez has been so good at in the past. Of course he can win the title! He wants that ninth World Championship.

Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February
Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February

Are fireworks inevitable with other Ducati riders?

Peter McLaren: I think his only penalty last year was for the Miguel Oliveira collision at Portimao, a mistake he made from pushing the Honda too hard on the brakes. The Ducati should give him much more margin in battle than the Honda did. 

We also saw the more rational ‘only-take-risks-if-I-have-a-chance’ Marquez last season. But if a race win is on the cards, there’s no doubt Marquez is not afraid to go on the attack. Especially since he hasn’t won since 2021.

The towing in practice and qualifying has irritated some riders in recent years. Marquez insisted it was due to the character of the Honda, which lacked speed on a time attack, and other RCVs did do the same. But we’ll see if Marquez continues the tow-seeking at Ducati.

Robert Jones: Fireworks will undoubtedly light up during the 2024 season for Marquez, as he will likely be contending for race wins against other Ducati riders more often than not. 

I believe Ducati will allow him to race fairly, although team orders will also come his way if he is not in contention for the title, something he might find hard to cope with given he has never encountered such scenarios before.

Jordan Moreland: It is inevitable that Marc will ruffle some feathers with the other Ducati riders, which is what MotoGP needs to be honest. 

But the fact he is on pretty much the same machinery, he will learn a lot from the other Ducati riders & personally I think for most of the season he will be very clever with them on track in battles.

Which team will Marc Marquez commit to, for 2025 and onwards?

Peter McLaren: It’ll be a big decision and interesting to see how long he takes to decide. The longer he holds out, the better he can judge the competitiveness of each bike and team, including his own Gresini Ducati. 

But the longer he waits, the fewer options will be available. If he’s fast and having fun at Gresini, something he said was his main goal when leaving Honda, I wouldn’t be shocked if he stays put. 

But if his top priority is to win a ninth title, his best chance will clearly be to join a factory team, either Ducati or KTM.

Robert Jones: If Marquez performs anywhere close to the level many expect in 2024, Ducati will want to keep him and I think that would mean a switch to either the factory team or the Prima Pramac Ducati outfit, where he would be aboard the up-to-date machinery from the Bologna-based manufacturer. 

KTM could rival Ducati if they want to make a splash signing but Marquez remaining at Ducati is the most likely scenario.

Jordan Moreland: Hard to say, part of me thinks he will stay with Gresini if it goes well and he is enjoying himself. It is the perfect team setup for him as it's family orientated. But if Honda seems to be progressing with their bike for 2024, I could see Marquez going back to Honda for 2025! 

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