Gigi Dall’Igna’s first verdict on Marc Marquez’s Ducati debut

Marc Marquez called "a fearsome contestant on a bike that is completely new to him" by Gigi Dall'Igna

Luigi Dall'igna, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February
Luigi Dall'igna, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February

Gigi Dall’Igna has delivered his first assessment of Marc Marquez's Ducati debut at the Qatar MotoGP.

Marquez finished fifth in the sprint then fourth in the grand prix at his first MotoGP round since leaving Honda.

Although the races were won by Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia respectively, Marquez’s first competitive outings on a Ducati were widely considered to be encouraging.

The Ducati general manager called Martin and Marquez’s weekends “a significant high” for the team.

Dall’Igna added: “Marc has already shown all his talent and class through an innate ability to adapt: he is already a fearsome contestant on a bike that is completely new to him, the first of our 2023 bikes at the chequered flag.

“The experience and desire of a Champion wanting to once again have his say will make the difference in this new adventure.”

Marquez is getting to grips with the GP23, the same bike as Gresini teammate Alex Marquez and VR46 pair Fabio di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi.

Pramac’s Martin has hopped onto the GP24 which is struggling with chatter, but didn’t stop him winning the Qatar sprint.

Dall’Igna assessed: “Jorge, as combative as ever, reaffirmed from the start in Pole and in the Sprint, but also on Sunday, showing all the grit and speed that we know so well and that we had left at the end of last season: whoever will be battling for the title will have to reckon with him, and that's for sure.”

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Dall’Igna said about the factory Ducati duo: “Pecco dominated the race with the authority of a Champion, immediately setting a pace impossible for others to match, a show of supreme strength just when it was needed.

“Enea Bastianini lacked the expected punch, however it is comforting to see him in fifth position, scoring the points needed to stay with the best, waiting to return to being the protagonist he deserves to be.”

Dall’Igna summed up Ducati’s round in Qatar: “Wonderful victory in an all but perfect race, with a start that can only be described as outstanding.

“No exaggeration, really: chapeau!

“A very important achievement, not just because winning the début race means getting off to the best possible start and providing a strong signal to ourselves as well as to everyone else, but above all because it is the outcome of a weekend that hadn’t started well at all: in fact let's say it was a complicated start, swiftly solved and in the best possible way.

“Finally, a consideration: this weekend, between qualifying, Sprint and GP, has once again demonstrated, without it being necessary, how nothing is ever easy or predictable, and even less of a foregone conclusion, even when everything would seem to point that way.

“Each race is a story unto itself. There are many unknowns to be dealt with and moreover, in a challenge with fierce and competitive opponents who have grown a lot in recent months, as they have clearly demonstrated.

“Not letting the guard down and never giving up becomes fundamental, with the commitment and effort that can reward us with victories like the one we have just achieved.”

KTM’s Brad Binder was the only non-Ducati rider in the top seven of the Qatar MotoGP.

The Desmosedici has picked up where it left off in 2023 as MotoGP’s most outstanding machine.

The question marks for Dall’Igna’s team now include: can Martin solve his chatter issue? Can Bastianini find the form to rival Bagnaia? Why is Bezzecchi struggling with the ‘23 bike? And can Marquez emerge into the title picture too?

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