Gigi Dall’Igna Reveals Talks With Honda on Possible MotoGP Cooperation
Published: 6th October 2023
In order to convince Marc Marquez from staying with them, Honda tried anything possible – even approaching Gigi Dall’Igna.
On Wednesday, Honda revealed its decision to part ways with Marquez at the end of the ongoing season, which is a year earlier than his contract was set to expire.
Although not yet officially confirmed, Marquez is expected to join Gresini next season and ride a Ducati bike that is a year old, as per the current plan.
Dall’Igna, the mastermind behind Ducati’s transformation from a struggling team to a dominant force in MotoGP over the past decade, was a prime target for Honda’s recruitment drive in 2024 to persuade Marquez to stay.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, he acknowledged Honda’s interest but felt that leaving Ducati at this point wouldn’t be “logical.”
“As is probably normal, some thinking has been done,” Dall’Igna stated regarding Honda approaching him for 2024.
“I am fine in Ducati. I have struggled so much to get to a situation where Ducati is considered a model, to leave now perhaps would not have been logical.
“Then, it is true that what I had to do here I did, it could have been a challenge won and archived and Honda is an equally interesting and important challenge.”
He expressed support for the idea of Marquez joining one of their teams at the recent Japanese Grand Prix but emphasized that this decision was solely made by Gresini, not Ducati.
“The operation is all thanks to Gresini, they are the ones who took him, not Ducati,” he clarified. “With Marc I talked about many things, but I want to reiterate one thing: it’s not my idea.”
“It’s a team that decided to make a deal with a rider. Clearly, then I am happy to see on my bikes riders who are going fast.”
In the 2024 season, Marquez will be part of a group of riders already contending for championships, with Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin, and Marco Bezzecchi, all riding Ducatis.
Dall’Igna acknowledges the potential challenge of managing a team with multiple top riders but believes Ducati is well-equipped to handle the situation.
“Beyond Marc, even now there is a concentration of important champions. One more unwieldy one may come along, but it’s a job we know how to do.”