Here's When Ducati Will Decide On Marco Bezzecchi's Future
The MotoGP contract poker is currently hanging on Marco Bezzecchi. Paolo Ciabatti reveals when the VR46 rider will make his decision.
Even though the crash at Silverstone has dampened Marco Bezzecchi’s spirits, the Italian is attracting attention with great performances in 2023.
Ducati would like to “promote” Bezzecchi to the Pramac customer team, but the decision is up to the 24-year-old himself.
Bezzecchi would displace Johann Zarco as the actual fixed starter at Pramac, the Frenchman is already said to be in talks with Honda about a possible LCR Honda commitment in 2024.
Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti explains the tricky situation at Ducati to SPEEDWEEK.com:
“The problem is: we have Bagnaia and Bastianini, plus Martin and Bezzecchi, who have all scored victories – in 2022 or 2023. And when you sign a rider, you have to set certain priorities. One of them is age.”
The Italian regrets that a good rider like Johann Zarco, who has put his bike on the podium several times in 2023, could be forced to leave the Ducati structure.
“Johann is also a very good and fast rider. We saw that again in the sprint at Silverstone. [In the main race] he was fifth again. That’s a very remarkable performance.”
“Johann is one of the best MotoGP riders there is. There’s just a little spark missing and he can win.
But despite the good performances, Ciabatti sets the focus on the young riders in the Ducati camp. The Italian would like to commit Marco Bezzecchi in particular to Ducati for the long term, as a possible VR46 involvement with Yamaha in 2025 cannot be ruled out.
“We don’t know how the balance of power will develop in the future. Honda will improve next year, and Yamaha as well. KTM already has too many riders. But in 2025, Aprilia could also be interested in Bezzecchi.”
"Will be decided between now and the Austrian GP"
The fact that Bezzecchi wants an in-year bike with full factory support for 2024 is something the Ducati supremes would like to use to bind the two-time race winner to Ducati.
“Things can change. But as it looks at the moment, Marco [Bezzecchi] will have to move to Pramac if he wants a GP24.”
Of course, he wouldn’t fall behind if he stayed with the VR46 team: “If he prefers to stay with his VR46 team, we’ll do everything we can to put the best possible bike in the box for him, just not a GP24.”
The fact that uncertainty about Ducati’s contract situation for 2024 continues doesn’t bother Ciabatti, however, the Italian wants things sorted out as soon as possible.
“In which team Marco will compete in 2024 will be decided between now and the Austrian GP.”