Motorcycling-Marc Marquez joins Ducati factory team on two-year deal

  • Cycling
  • Wednesday, 05 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix - Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain - May 26, 2024 Gresini Racing MotoGP's Marc Marquez celebrates on the podium after finishing third place in the Catalunya Grand Prix REUTERS/Bruna Casas/File Photo

(Reuters) -Six-times MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will join the Ducati factory team on a two-year deal from 2025, the Italian manufacturer said on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who was also has world championships from 125cc and Moto2, is racing this season for the Ducati satellite team Gresini Racing and is third in the standings.

Marquez, who remains the sport's biggest name despite injuries and operations, will replace Italian Enea Bastianini alongside the team's reigning double world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

"I am very happy to be able to wear the red colours of the factory Ducati team in MotoGP next season. Basically, from the first contact with the Desmosedici GP, I enjoyed riding it and adapted well straight away," said Marquez in a statement.

"From that moment on, I knew that my goal was to continue this path, to continue to grow, and to move to the team where Francesco Bagnaia has been the World Champion for two years in a row.

"I am happy to be able to take this big step in 2025 and grateful for the trust Ducati has placed in me."

Ducati Corse general manager Luigi Dall'Igna said there had been a list of strong riders to choose from and thanked Bastianini and championship leading Spaniard Jorge Martin for their contributions.

Martin's move from the Pramac Ducati team to Aprilia on a multi-year deal was announced on Monday. Bastianini is expected to move to KTM.

"In the end, our choice fell on an unquestionable talent like Marc Marquez," said Dall'Igna.

"In just a few races, he has managed to adapt perfectly to our Desmosedici GP, and his innate ambition pushes him to grow continuously."

Marquez had made clear in April that he wanted a full factory ride after leaving an uncompetitive Honda for Gresini at the end of 2023. Gresini use a Ducati Desmosedici GP23, as opposed to the factory Desmosedici GP24 machines.

He had also reportedly ruled out a move to Pramac.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge)

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