Ducati CEO refuses to “bite” at Marc Marquez-Francesco Bagnaia controversy

Claudio Domenicali asked if Marc Marquez arrival has increased tension with rival Ducati riders

Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

The Ducati CEO has been quizzed about his stance on the clash between Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia.

Race Direction ruled that the collision at last weekend’s Portuguese MotoGP was merely a racing incident.

Marquez agreed although he laid the blame with Bagnaia, and insisted the manoeuvre was on the limit of legality.

The wider issue is that it pits Ducati’s star man and the reigning MotoGP champion against its illustrious newcomer.

Claudio Domenicali, the Ducati CEO, was asked if Marquez’s arrival at the Italian manufacturer has heightened tension with other riders.

“There are so many good champions here, we even saw Pedro Acosta have a crazy race,” he was quoted by GPOne.

“So I don’t know if one more or less changes what, in the end.

“They are all very strong, some are world champions like Pecco and Marc who always want to win.

“I understand that they like the topic as a journalistic cue, but I try not to get pulled into the controversy if I can. I don’t bite.”

Domenicali was asked for his thoughts on Bagnaia’s unsuccessful attempt to cut inside Marquez, which left them both in the gravel.

Bagnaia failed to finish the race, Marquez ended in 16th, after they battled for P5.

Domenicali reacted: “We did first and second with an official Ducati, so I’m happy anyway.

“But it’s clear that when things like that happen, between Pecco and Marc, we all feel a little bad.

“But that’s how races are made.

“They are two great champions and he didn’t want to give up on either of them.

“I followed the analysis that was on TV and depending on where you watch it from, you tend to give some reason to one or the other.

“Maybe two with their experience could have been more careful, but on the other side, neither wanted to give up.

“So even though only a fifth-place was at stake, they played it a lot and they both took risks.

“It’s easy to make an analysis here, but when you’re inside and you have the adrenaline on, it’s all different.

“I understand them but I don’t completely justify them. That can be a good summary.”

Who will earn 2025 official Ducati seat?

Ducati have tied Bagnaia down to a long-term contract but the hunt for the second bike in 2025 is on.

Jorge Martin, the winner of the Portuguese MotoGP who currently leads the standings, claims he will quit Ducati if he is overlooked again.

Enea Bastianini, the current incumbent, was second in Portimao.

Domenicali was asked about Ducati’s big decision.

“Having so many strong riders also means that we have invested well in these guys, that we are making them grow and that, by now, they have already grown up,” he said.

“They are all riders capable of aiming for the title.

“Martin last year fought with Pecco until Valencia, while Enea had some crazy races including [Portimao last weekend].

“Let’s say it is a choice that, on one hand, is not easy. But it is also a privileged choice.”

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