Francesco Bagnaia says he will be ‘happy’ to see Marc Marquez on a Ducati

Francesco Bagnaia is cheerful about competing against Marc Marquez on similar machinery.

Francesco Bagnaia says he will be ‘happy’ to see Marc Marquez on a Ducati

Francesco Bagnaia, and Marc Marquez (via imago)

Marc Marquez made waves throughout the Motorcycle world as he announced his eventual departure from Honda at the end of 2023. The 8-time World Champion is slated to ride a Ducati in 2024. The current reigning World Champion, Francesco Bagnaia, the main rider for Ducati, commented about the upcoming season. Bagnaia acknowledged the Mercurial rider about his pace and looked to be inviting the ‘Marquez challenge’ with open arms.

If Marquez rides for Gresini next year, he will have the 2023 Desmosedici as his bike, while Bagnaia will get the updated GP24 model. Older models are on par (sometimes even faster) with the newest Desmosedici models. This means that Pecco will be racing against Marquez on similar machinery for the first time. Bagnaia spoke to, saying, “If Marc arrives at Ducati he’ll be absolutely super-fast from the start. A rival like him is always great, so I’m happy for that.”

The Italian added, “I am happy for that. Because we can have a good fight”. The pair have put up some memorable fights in the past, with the 2021 Aragon GP being the highlight. Bagnaia is one of the 4 VR46 academy riders on the grid, with Franco Morbidelli, Luca Marini, and Marco Bezzecchi being the other three. The interesting thing is that all four of these riders will be on a Ducati in 2024 and will try their best to outperform their Master’s famous rival – the menacing Marquez.

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Marc Marquez versus Valentino Rossi’s students in 2024, who will triumph?

Valentino Rossi started his own academy in 2014 to promote young Italian talents to the biggest stage in Motorcycle racing. The first batch of the academy riders have matured and landed in the premiere class. That, in itself, is a marvelous achievement. But the young Italians have proven themselves to be a class apart. Pecco Bagnaia became the first academy rider to become a World Champion in the Premiere class.

Valentino Rossi, Francesco Bagnaia, and Marc Marquez (via Imago)
Valentino Rossi, Francesco Bagnaia, and Marc Marquez (via Imago)

With Marquez moving to Ducati, the VR46 boys face a challenge deeper than statistics. The Rossi-Marquez rivalry is already fabled for greatness in the sport’s history. The two legends of the sport, both contenders of being the ‘Greatest of all time,’ have had a torrid relationship on and off the track. The famous 2015 World Championship seems to divide the two forever.

In 2024, all four academy riders will compete against Marc on equal machinery, and it would be an understatement to say that they will fight their best to keep the 8-time world champion behind their rear wheel. Marquez will be chasing his 9th World Title next year; the Spaniard will be chasing to equal the nine titles of Rossi, and he will be tracking Motorsport history. Let’s see if the Master’s apprentices can hold him off.

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