Ducati’s Gigi Dall’Igna reminded “sponsors play a part” in crunch rider decision

“But if you look at history or a marketing point of view..."

Gigi Dall'Igna
Gigi Dall'Igna

The value of sponsorships must also be considered by Gigi Dall’Igna when he selects Ducati’s 2025 riders, he has been told.

The Ducati boss is faced with a crucial decision which the entire 2025 MotoGP rider line-up hinges on.

Current incumbent Enea Bastianini, Pramac’s Jorge Martin and Gresini’s Marc Marquez are in the mix for the ‘25 factory Ducati seat alongside Francesco Bagnaia.

“Sponsors play a part, as well,” broadcaster Simon Crafar said from the Le Mans paddock for this weekend’s French MotoGP.

The finances involved with including Marquez in the Ducati team will surely tempt the Italian manufacturer.

Dall’Igna dropped a major hint in Le Mans about how he will make his decision.

“We must not only consider the 2024 races,” he said. “We have to consider all the history of our riders.”

That was interpreted by some as an indication that Marquez - whose history is as an eight-time world champion - would get the nod.

Jack Appleyard analysed: “My first instinct was: Marquez is going to be Bagnaia’s teammate.”

Crafar replied: “I read exactly the same. But maybe he didn’t mean it…

“But there was only one thing to read into that. Marc has all the history.

“Maybe he is looking at the last years. Is that what he meant? We could be reading it wrong. But I read it the same as you…”

Dall’Igna vowed to decide by Mugello, at the end of May, to give the overlooked two riders a fair chance to find another bike.

“They are so sought-after. They are his choices,” Crafar said about Bastianini, Martin and Marquez.

“They are contenders for the second factory Ducati seat for a reason - they are great riders.

“Other manufacturers will be looking at them.

“If you’re looking at it purely on performance, right now, which is what we were doing until Gigi said that, you have to look at all three.

“But if you look at history or a marketing point of view? Marc is the choice. He gets all the headlines.”

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