Opinion: Ducati’s Game-Changing Move to Sign Marquez

Opinion: Ducati’s Game-Changing Move to Sign Marquez

As the dust settles on the biggest MotoGP rider market bombshell of the year, it's clear Ducati made the right decision by signing Marc Marquez, despite the sacrifices involved.

Tech3 rookie Pedro Acosta described the situation as a “soap opera.” Motorsport.com's revelation on Monday, June 3, that Ducati reversed its decision to promote Jorge Martin in favor of Marquez wasn’t accompanied by a dramatic cliffhanger, but it was the seismic shift the 2025 MotoGP rider market needed.

Martin, who was Ducati’s first choice for 2025, found himself out of favor after the Italian Grand Prix. Disappointed, he quickly signed a multi-year deal with Aprilia, a remarkable turnaround for a team that was struggling not long ago.

Ducati officially announced Marquez's promotion from Gresini to the factory team on Wednesday, June 5. But the power Marquez wields became evident even before the official word.

Initially, Ducati tried to place Martin in the factory seat and Marquez on a Pramac works bike. Marquez rejected this, forcing Ducati to reassess. With Martin’s departure, Ducati had to let go of a promising rider with two grand prix wins and three sprint victories in 2024, leading the championship by 18 points. Marquez, in comparison, has had no wins but has secured several podiums on a less competitive Ducati.

Martin's performance is stellar, but Marquez’s potential on a top-tier Ducati is immense. Despite his struggles since his 2020 injury, Marquez’s past dominance is undeniable, with six MotoGP world titles and a remarkable 2019 season on an underperforming bike. Given a top Ducati, Marquez's potential is sky-high.

Marquez also brings unmatched marketing value. Studies show Marquez’s social media popularity is five times that of any other rider. His ability to excite crowds rivals that of Valentino Rossi, and a championship win on a Ducati would elevate his legend and benefit Ducati’s brand immensely.

Despite the purists’ preferences, Marquez’s marketability and competitive edge made him the right choice for Ducati. Letting him join a rival could have been disastrous for the team.

Ducati now faces new challenges. Bagnaia, who has already had on-track clashes with Marquez, might be unhappy with Marquez’s influence. Rossi, Marquez’s old rival, is also likely displeased. Martin, now with Aprilia, might no longer collaborate with Ducati, and the Pramac team’s future with Ducati is uncertain, potentially shifting to Yamaha and affecting VR46's relationship with Ducati.

These challenges are daunting, but having Marquez, the best rider of the past decade, in Ducati’s factory colors is worth it. Disrupting their rider ecosystem to secure Marquez was a necessary move, avoiding the potential catastrophe of watching him win for a rival team.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.