Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez contract question put to Ducati CEO

Ducati CEO quizzed about speed of Marc Marquez contract agreement

Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP, 14 November
Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP, 14 November

The speed that Marc Marquez’s deal with Ducati came together is in contrast to Valentino Rossi’s final MotoGP contract.

Rossi spent months finalising his 2021 deal with Yamaha’s satellite Petronas team, after leaving the factory outfit.

However, Marquez and Ducati seemingly struck a deal in just days after a dramatic U-turn involving Jorge Martin.

Ducati offered their 2025 factory seat to Martin and wanted Marquez to ride a GP25 at Pramac, but he refused and caused a rethink.

Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali was asked if negotiations to structure Marquez’s two-year deal were difficult.

“In truth, everything went quite smoothly,” he told MOW.

“It's clear that there are many more details that don't even make sense to talk about now and that there's no reason to list.

“but Ducati, together with Marquez's staff, were quick in this too.

“There were no particular difficulties.”

The addition of the Catalan rider, whose rivalry with Rossi is the stuff of MotoGP legend, could cause a stir in Ducati’s homeland of Italy.

“He is a great champion and like all great champions, as Gigi Dall'Igna also said, he is loved and not loved,” Domenicali admitted.

“There are those who let us know that we couldn't have made a better choice.

“And those who, however, claim the opposite.

“A decision had to be made and we are convinced that we have made the best one possible for Ducati and to be increasingly competitive.”

Ducati have lost Martin, and current factory rider Enea Bastianini, as a result of choosing Marquez.

Martin will join Aprilia, Bastianini will go to Tech3 KTM.

Domenicali was asked about an emotional embrace with the outgoing Bastianini.

“Goodbye is a word I don't like. Maybe it was simply a goodbye,” he said.

“Unfortunately in sport, in our sport, there are choices to make and it is not always possible to move forward together.

“If it were up to me, I would send dozens and dozens of Desmosedicis to the track to still have all the riders who passed through Borgo Panigale and with whom a special relationship had been established. But you can't.

“Enea is a great rider and an extraordinary boy and it is clear that at this moment there is suffering on our part. But this is sport.”

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