Marquez Gresini announcement ends MotoGP’s wild curveball rumours
Ducati MotoGP satellite team Gresini has announced six-time champion Marc Marquez as a signing for the 2024 premier-class season, banishing all speculation about his short-term plans.
Marquez’s split with long-time employer Honda at the conclusion of the current campaign was confirmed last week, with it widely understood that he had agreed a an early termination to his four-year Honda deal to head to Gresini.
However, a lack of an immediate Gresini follow-up announcement was fertile ground for speculation over whether there was a late curveball or new party engaging in the situation.
Yet an announcement of Marquez joining brother Alex in the 2024 Gresini roster finally followed on Thursday at Mandalika.
“I’m excited with this new challenge,” Marquez was quoted as saying, which in itself is perhaps unusual – as factory riders who have signed for different teams while still under contract are often not quoted in their new teams’ announcements for contractual reasons.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because it’s a big change in every way. But sometimes in life it’s important to get out of the comfort zone and put yourself through the paces in order to keep growing.
“Bike-chance wise, I know I will have to adapt my riding style to a few things, and it won’t be easy. But I’m also sure that the whole team Gresini will help me a lot. I can’t wait to get to know the team and start working with them.
“I’d like to thank Nadia [Padovani, team CEO], Carlo [Merlini, commercial and marketing director] and Michele [Masini, team manager] for the trust and respect they showed me.”
Padovani, the widow of the late team founder Fausto Gresini, added that this was “a historical moment” for the team – while also thanking incumbent rider Fabio Di Giannantonio, replaced by Marquez, “for his professionalism” and wishing him “all the best for the continuation of his career”.