until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Is Ducati using Marquez as a Pramac bargaining tool?

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

With MotoGP in the midst of a rather intense rider market that has so far centred around Ducati’s factory rider vacancy alongside Pecco Bagnaia, the fate of its current top satellite squad Pramac has been something of an afterthought for many.

Rumours have been that it will either take whoever is left after the factory team musical chairs are complete, or defect to Yamaha for 2025.

But maybe it’s actually Pramac - not the factory team - that’s the lynchpin of the entire process as Ducati looks to use six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez as a bargaining chip to try to resolve all its issues.

Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati Barcelona MotoGP 2024

So far, the possible resolutions to the Ducati conundrum have been well documented: either Jorge Martin becomes the factory rider and Enea Bastianini and Marquez are forced to look elsewhere or settle for satellite machinery at Ducati, or it’s Marquez who gets the nod to join Bagnaia, a decision that would likely send Martin into the waiting arms of Aprilia so he can get the factory team seat he’s desperate for.

However, it’s obvious that Ducati is desperate to keep all three riders within its ranks - something that comes as no surprise at all given their respective performances so far this year.

Each has their demands to make that happen, of course. Martin is focused on a factory team spot, while Marquez has made it clear that he won’t settle for a second season on year-old machinery. But he’s happy enough to be in a satellite team with a top-spec bike.

Marc Marquez Gresini Ducati Barcelona MotoGP 2024

And it’s that clause that means Ducati could use him as a trump card in an attempt to both have its cake and eat it.

Right now, it seems that Pramac is on the verge of departing for Yamaha, something that wouldn’t just dent Ducati’s dominance of data gathering from its current eight machines on the grid, but would also mean that there are two seats fewer for Ducati to squeeze Marquez, Martin, Bastianini and the already-signed rookie Fermin Aldeguer into.

It’s not certain that the prospect of Aldeguer and Bastianini would be enough to keep Pramac onboard given the terms of what’s believed to be a very generous offer from Yamaha to try to lure it away.

But the possibility of having MotoGP legend Marc Marquez on its bike certainly would be, given the added hype it’s certain to bring Pramac and its sponsors.

That’s what Ducati is understood to be trying to use so it can give both Martin and Marquez want they want, and give Pramac enough reason to stay put.

And it also seems right now that trying to progress this scenario is what is delaying any firm news out of Ducati about its 2025 line-up.

But Ducati might be promising more than it can deliver, considering it seems that Marquez doesn’t really have any intention of leaving the Gresini camp unless he really, really has to.

Marc Marquez

Happy in his new family-ran satellite squad and not really wanting to make a second team shift for 2025 (a move that would in fact only be his second in a 12-year premier class career), a Pramac switch will only come if he has no other choice.

But that could happen, if the Ducati factory line-up is full and Ducati sticks to its contractual commitment to Pramac in providing it a full set of 2025 bikes - which would logically make then unavailable to Gresini (and thus Marquez if he doesn't join Pramac).

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