“I know” Jorge Martin had KTM option; Marc Marquez “must have had it” too

“But a better rider? We have to be careful about that…”

Marc Marquez, Jorge Martin
Marc Marquez, Jorge Martin

Pol Espargaro believes either Jorge Martin or Marc Marquez could have joined KTM for next season.

The 2025 MotoGP rider line-up is taking shape after Marquez won the fight for the factory Ducati seat, leaving Martin to go to Aprilia.

KTM will field Brad Binder and Pedro Acosta in their official team, and Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini in a new-look Tech3 squad with factory machinery.

"I know that Jorge Martin has had the option of getting on a motorcycle from the Pierer Mobility Group," KTM test rider Espargaro told Motorsport.

"That he has had an offer to be able to get on a [KTM].

“Just as Martín has had it, probably, I'm just talking about it, Marquez must have had it and other top riders have had it.

“In other words, it means that the factory is betting, trying to bet on top riders.”

KTM have insisted that they never held serious talks with Marquez, who also played down any contact.

Pramac’s Martin is leading the MotoGP championship ahead of the next round, at Assen next weekend.

Factory star and champion Pecco Bagnaia is 17 points behind Martin.

Gresini’s Marquez, on a year-old bike, is trailing in third, 35 behind Martin.

Espargaro commented: "Either Jorge Martin is better or worse than Marquez because Marc has an older bike, it is very difficult to know exactly who is better.

“We talk about the best because he wins more titles not because he is better at riding.

“Maybe you take Bagnaia and put him on a KTM and he starts winning, or as happened with Jack Miller, he doesn't win, and Jack had just won with Ducati.

“Or you take Luca Marini who was making podiums with Ducati and put him on a Honda and he has been [finishing] last in all the races, and he was making podiums with the Ducati.

“Is Marini a worse rider now this year? Well, I don't think so.

“Is Alex Rins a worse rider now than when he won with the Suzuki? Well, I don't think so.

“Therefore, it is very difficult to know if a rider is better or worse.

"That he earns more, that he has more titles, that he is better in the media, that he is better commercially, I agree.

“But a better rider? We have to be careful about that…”

Espargaro insisted that KTM can soon boast the best rider in MotoGP.

“Does Brad Binder have the same tools right now as Pecco? Well no,” he said.

“Has Pecco had the same tools that Pedro Acosta has right now?

“What would Pedro Acosta be doing on a Ducati?

"The factories work as hard as they can to be the best on the grid and I am convinced that KTM will reach the point where Ducati is sooner or later.

“But we talk about the best riders because of the titles they have, as is normal, but...

“I mean, are they the best riders? I mean, is Pecco better than, for example, Pedro Acosta right now, with what he is doing with GasGas?”

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