Marquez “never had feeling” Ducati MotoGP bosses didn’t want him

The eight-time grand prix world champion will race for Gresini on a year-old Ducati in 2024, after his 11-year partnership with Honda came to a premature end last season following a difficult 2023 campaign.

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Marquez’s first test on the Ducati in Valencia last November made headlines, as he ended up fourth overall and just 0.171 seconds off the pace.

But ahead of that test, Ducati general manager Gigi Dall’Igna told the media that “Ducati’s position was surely that they did not want Marquez”.

This didn’t stop Ducati senior management from expressing great interest in what Marquez did in the test and what he can bring to the manufacturer as a racer in 2024.

Speaking at a press conference in Madrid on Wednesday, Marquez insists he has never felt unwanted by Ducati.

“I’ve never had that feeling, because if not, I wouldn’t have taken the step,” Marquez said. “You don’t go to a brand that doesn’t love you.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Dorna

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

“I always try to avoid the headlines. I have always been very supported by Gresini, it gave me my time at all times. That’s why I took the step.”

Despite Dall’Igna’s comments ahead of that Valencia test, former sporting director Paolo Ciabatti – who has since left his MotoGP role to helm Ducati’s off-road racing division – said Marquez was very much a candidate for a factory team seat in 2025.

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Marquez admits expectations are high but getting away from that will be key as he adapts to the Ducati.

“Expectations are already very high,” he notes. “And one of my jobs this year, I also include Alex [Marquez], is to escape from all that.

“Expectations are high, but it’s as difficult as ever, even more so. I’m going to give it my all, you know me, but I can’t give expectations before starting the season.”

He added: “If a bike is good, the rider adapts more easily. But the great unknown of being fast is consistency. I can be fast on specific circuits, I think so.

“But I don’t know if I can be fast consistently on all of them. It’s the difference that [Francesco] Bagnaia and [Jorge] Martin make over riders who are fast, but not constant.”

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