Impact of Ducati’s big-money sponsors considered amid Marc Marquez doubts

“Marquez is hugely popular worldwide. He would potentially sell you more motorcycles"

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

The influence of Ducati’s sponsors could benefit Marc Marquez’s hope of landing the 2025 factory bike, it has been suggested.

Gresini’s Marquez, Pramac’s Jorge Martin and current factory Ducati rider Enea Bastianini are jousting over riding the best machinery next season.

The 2025 MotoGP rider line-up hinges on Ducati’s decision between their current rider, the in-form championship leader, and MotoGP’s most high-profile star.

“It’s a complex decision,” Sylvain Guintoli said on TNT Sports in Barcelona.

“Both choices make sense for different reasons.

“Martin wasn’t picked, he was disregarded when Bastianini was put in the factory team.

“Martin still performed and almost won the title last year, if it wasn’t for a few issues he had at the start of the season.

“Look at what he’s doing this year. Unreal. He deserves it.

“But then you’ve got Marquez. He’s adapting to the Ducati, he’s fully fit, and he’s an eight-time world champion.

“Marquez in red makes sense as well. It would be exciting. He’s somebody, on the media side, if he’s in the factory team it would be a bigger thing than Martin.

“There are arguments for both riders. It is a tough choice.”

Gavin Emmett said: “I’ve heard people say that the simple thing might be to put Martin in red, and keep Marquez on a factory bike in a satellite team.

“That might be the easiest option. However, Ducati have a lot of sponsors spending a lot of money and they expect to win.

“If you are putting Marquez in a satellite team on a factory bike, and thinking he could win the championship, then you want him in your team for your sponsors!”

Michael Laverty said about Marquez: “Commercially, it makes sense.

“But that is the double-edged sword. You put Marquez in the Pramac squad, Prima have signed a new three-year deal. Pramac will be happy if they win a title with Marquez.”

Laverty considered that Ducati sponsors might think ‘why is Marquez winning the championship with somebody else’s livery and colours?’

He added: “It’s a tough one. I wouldn’t like to be in Gigi Dall’Igna’s shoes if he’s the one who makes the final call. And I believe he is.”

Ducati have major partners who will possibly all have a view on whether they want Marquez’s star power on their priority bike.

Emmett asked: “Do Audi have a say in it?”

Guintoli replied: “They are paying for it. So yes, definitely.

“It will be a discussion. Gigi’s opinion is a big one. It is a difficult choice.”

Problematically, Marquez’s personal sponsors such as Red Bull and Oakley clash with some of Ducati’s team sponsors.

Marquez has previously hinted that it is an obstacle he could overcome, but nevertheless it is an added financial complication.

Marquez has already left huge quantities of money behind when he quit the biggest rider contract in MotoGP at Honda to join Gresini.

“You would get Marc at the cheapest you could ever get him,” Emmett said.

“There was a time before the long renewal that the rumour was he’d been offered money to go to Ducati.”

Marc Marquez 'would sell more motorcycles'

Suzi Perry said: “It’s an insane situation we find ourselves in.

“When he didn’t get the factory seat, he went out and nearly won the world championship. He took it down to the final wire.

“Now, he’s leading the championship. He’s riding beautifully, absolutely bossing this paddock.

“Yet, he’s still having to fight. And he’s fighting an eight-time world champion!”

Neil Hodgson replied: “He’s fighting with one of, if not the, greatest motorcycle racer we have ever seen. That is the reality.

“Marquez is hugely popular worldwide. He would potentially sell you more motorcycles, on the commercial side of it.

“Marquez would certainly please the factory team’s sponsors more.

“When you sit, and you are Gigi Dall’Igna or Claudio Domenicali, what are you going to do? You sit around the table and say ‘these are the facts’.”

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