until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Ducati's next MotoGP line-up moves as Gresini keeps Alex Marquez

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Gresini Ducati racer Alex Marquex will remain at the satellite Ducati MotoGP team for at least two more seasons, so what next for the remaining Ducati seats for 2025 amid a busy driver market?

Marquez - who along with Gresini had hinted heavily at a contract extension at the Dutch TT last weekend - will therefore remain with the squad he currently races for alongside brother Marc even after the six-time champion leaves to join the Ducati factory team for next season.

Alex, the younger Marquez, who by the end of his new contract will have raced for Gresini for four years, has been inconsistently fast but is nevertheless a proven race winner for the team thanks to his sprint successes at Silverstone and Sepang in 2023.

While at the start of 2024 he is yet delivered on that potential, it is something that team boss Nadia Padovani insisted is not far away.

"Alex is our pupil,” explained Padovani in announcing the new deal. “Since he joined two years ago, the synergy between him and the team has been incredible and has strengthened with each race.

“We know his potential; he has already shown it and just needs consistency. Renewing with him was an obvious move for us because we are aware of his value both on and off the track. The results will come this year too, I am absolutely certain of it."

The next moves at Ducati satellite squads

The news of Marquez's signing, even if it was expected, means that there's officially one seat fewer left on the 2025 grid and one less satellite Ducati machine for the factory to place already signed rookie Fermin Aldeguer (pictured above) on.

Aldeguer was expected to end up as Marc Marquez's replacement at Gresini, but it's believed that there's still some ongoing negotiations happening there as Ducati bosses try to negotiate a space for him at both Padovani's team and Valentino Rossi's VR46 squad.

That, however, may be largely determined by current VR46 racer Fabio Di Giannantonio. He delivered a strong fourth-place finish at Assen on Sunday just when he needed to boost his capital, and is currently a key target for the newly announced Pramac Yamaha squad - which is switching from Ducati - despite his own desire to remain at Rossi's team.

Where Ducati's factory-spec machines end up next year might also influence that Aldeguer decision, although the bikes that are currently contractually Pramac's are set to be redistributed between VR46 and Gresini in a move that could further strengthen Di Giannantonio's desire to remain.

There's already a free seat at VR46 following the confirmed departure of Marco Bezzecchi (pictured below) to the factory Aprilia squad. But with VR46 Academy racer Franco Morbidelli unlikely to want to remain at Pramac as it switches to Yamaha, he admitted to The Race at the weekend that replacing Bezzecchi is now his number one target, and likely a seat that he could be able to secure relatively painlessly.

For his part, Marquez admitted that his only real goal for 2025 was to remain with the family-run Gresini team, somewhere where he’s very much been able to enjoy himself as well as finding the support structure needed to perform.

That was evidenced even by the press release announcing his new deal, in which he poked fun at Italian team boss Padovini and their long-running discussion on acceptable pizza toppings.

“Staying with Gresini was my main goal,” he said. “Since I joined this team, my target has been to consistently get close to the best, and it's something I haven't achieved yet.

“The start of the season wasn't what we hoped for, but the team is strong and I know where we can go.

“So, I just want to thank Nadia for the trust, and I'm sure we'll soon repay her with some celebratory pineapple pizza.”

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