Ducati MotoGP boss Dall’Igna confirms Honda approach for 2024
On Wednesday, Honda announced that it would be parting ways with Marquez at the end of the current season, one year earlier than his contract expiration date.
Though yet to be officially confirmed, Marquez will move to Gresini next season to ride – in principle – a year-old Ducati bike.
Dall’Igna, who has transformed Ducati from a struggling midfielder to MotoGP’s conqueror over the last 10 years, was thought to be a target for Honda’s recruitment drive for 2024 in order to convince Marquez to stay.
He confirmed as such to Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview, but felt leaving Ducati was not “logical”.
“As is probably normal, some thinking has been done,” Dall’Igna said on 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.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Honda
Dall’Igna threw his support behind the idea of Marquez joining one of its teams next year at the recent Japanese Grand Prix, but insists this decision has had nothing to do with the factory.
“The operation is all thanks to Gresini, they are the ones who took him, not Ducati,” he added.
“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.”
Marquez will slot into a stable of riders already fighting for championships, with the top three in the standings – Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi – all on Ducatis.
Dall’Igna concedes the potential for its ecosystem to be destabilised is a concern, but believes Ducati is well equipped to manage this.
“This is a concern, one of the challenges to be faced,” he said of the amount of top riders Ducati will field in 2024.
“We will have to be good at managing strong riders, with strong characters.
“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.”