Paolo Ciabatti Shuts the Ducati Door For Marc Marquez...For Now
Rumours about a possible signing of Marc Marquez by Ducati do not cease. Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti, however, shuts the door for now.
With Honda’s renewed failure to provide a competitive bike for Marc Marquez for the 2023 season, rumors of a possible exit clause and a signing by Ducati continue.
This comes as Honda looks to engineer its way out of its second winless campaign in three years in 2022, with pre-season testing so far revealing HRC is a long way from being competitive.
Marquez signed a four-year contract with Honda in 2020 shortly before suffering a compound arm fracture.
Since then, things have not been going well for the Japanese. In 2022, the manufacturer, which is used to success, did not even manage to win a race.
"Never say never, but.."
In line with the decline in performance, rumours developed about a possible exit clause in Marquez’s contract, which could allow the Spaniard to leave Honda after 2023. However, this has not been confirmed by any side.
Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti has now closed the Ducati door on the eight-time world champion for the time being.
In an interview with Motorsport.es, the Italian states:
“The time for Marc [Marquez] to sign for Ducati was a few years ago, now it’s no longer the case.”
Ciabatti is looking further into the future and knows that Marc Marquez has probably passed his zenith.
“Never say never, but Marquez is 30 years old and we have riders five and six years younger, with room for growth. I don’t think Ducati needs Marc, and I say that with the utmost respect.”
He feels its current stable of young riders, which includes 2022 champion Francesco Bagnaia, means the Spaniard does not fit into the equation.
“We already have enough riders who are eager to make it to the factory team without thinking about signing him.”
Of course, in an extreme case, there would be at least a conversation with the MotoGP top star, but a signing would still be unlikely.
Ciabatti keeps one foot in the door: “Obviously, if he calls us tomorrow to ask for a meeting, we won’t hang up on him.”