In a bid to allow Yamaha and Honda to improve their competitive form after difficult 2023 campaigns, MotoGP has introduced a new concessions system for 2024.
Yamaha and Honda benefit the most from this, through things such as unlimited testing and unrestricted engine and aerodynamic development.
Ducati suffers the most under this new ruleset, with the world champion marque limited on test tyres, private testing, engine development and unable to field wildcards.
While Bagnaia agrees with the concessions, he feels nothing needed to change for Ducati outside of the current rules it already operated under – which saw it unable to test in-season with race riders, not allowed to develop its engine during the season and restricted to one aero update per year – given the advantage others now gain.
“For sure, having more tests… they’ll [Yamaha and Honda] start in Malaysia with three more days,” Bagnaia said at Ducati’s 2024 launch event on Monday. “Then they can do tests everywhere. So, I think it will be a big step for them.
“It’s true that they need it, but I think that from my point of view the concessions for Ducati didn’t have to change. For me, for Ducati, it had to be the same and not reduce days of testing or the number of tyres, or the wildcards.
Photo by: Ducati Corse
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
“So, I didn’t understand it because the concessions for others are huge, if we consider Honda and Yamaha. I think it’s good for them because they can do more things.
“Yamaha right now has Massimo Bartolini, who has come to them [from Ducati], and for sure this will be a big step in front for them. So, they’ll have a big advantage from my point of view.”
On Saturday, Gresini Racing unveiled the livery for its 2024 MotoGP bike, which will be raced by Marc Marquez following the eight-time world champion’s switch from Honda at the end of last year.
Having made an instant impression on the Ducati in the post-season Valencia test last November, in which he was just 0.171s off the pace in fourth, Marquez is widely expected to shake up the competitive order within the Italian marque’s ranks.
But Bagnaia moved to downplay the threat of Marquez, saying: “I think that a lot of riders are very competitive for this season.
“The 2023 bike he will use is a winning bike and for sure better than the one he was using last season. So, let’s see.”