Bastianini finds it «strange» facing potential factory Ducati MotoGP exit

Bastianini’s two-year contract with Ducati expires at the conclusion of the 2024 season and the Italian marque is yet to decide who will partner Francesco Bagnaia at its works team in 2025.
Although the 26-year-old is still in the running for that coveted spot, his chances of extending his stay at the team are looking bleak due to the current success enjoyed by championship leader Jorge Martin and the star power of new Gresini recruit Marc Marquez.

A decision between the three riders is expected to be announced at the end of the month at the Italian Grand Prix, a race where Bastianini has never finished higher than ninth in the premier class.

Asked how the talk about Ducati potentially replacing him with either Martin or Marquez is impacting him, he said: “The feeling is strange because I have the speed. 

“But sometimes you have to be lucky and you have to mix some things. And at the moment this has not happened for me. I’m also angry for this.

“I think Ducati see my potential and see what I can do. But Ducati also see what Jorge does at the moment. He also won the race [at Le Mans] and is a really fast rider. 

“I know the Ducati decision is too difficult.”

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

After an injury-ridden 2023 season in which he scored no podiums other than his stunning victory in Malaysia, Bastianini has rediscovered his form this year and is yet to finish lower than fifth in a Sunday race.

His results, highlighted by rostrum finishes in Portugal and US, have put him a joint third in the championship, on the same score as Marquez and only two points off Bagnaia.

In last weekend’s Le Mans event, Bastianini recovered from a long-lap penalty for cutting a corner to take fourth at the chequered flag after lapping quicker than leaders running at the front of the pack.

The Ducati rider explained that a breakthrough during the post-Spanish Grand Prix test at Jerez allowed him to extract more speed out of the GP24, but his weekend was compromised by mistakes of his own making.

“In Jerez we tried some new solutions and one was really good for me,” he revealed. “And from that moment I was much faster from the start, with the new tyre, with the old tyre. 

“And I was confident for that this weekend. At the end I was fast, but many mistakes, many errors during the race weekend. 

“Nothing [to show for the progress]. Two fourth places.”

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