Ducati Lenovo Team manager Davide Tardozzi used Italian journalists to create serious pressure on Honda Racing and personally on Marc Marquez: Davide gave the Brand a “big hello”, using for this… his brother Alex.
Alex Marquez joins the Gresini Racing team, Ducati’s satellite in MotoGP, after three years of cooperation with Honda. Alex was recruited to Repsol Honda quite suddenly, after the end of the 2019 season, when Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement. Everything happened at the final stage of MotoGP in Valencia, and HRC was unprepared for the “news” – they did not have a backup option up their sleeve to replace Jorge. I had to make decisions “on the run”, which Honda categorically avoids.
At that moment, the least of the evils was the candidacy of Alex Marquez. Alberto Puig summed up the choice of Honda: Marquez-ml. He is a 2-time world champion (Moto3 and Moto2) and is well aware of the essence of this status. In fact, Alex was literally snatched out of the hands of Ducati and other possible employers, which, of course, somewhat spoiled his career.
In 2019, Honda was guided by the principle of not harming the Brand that dominated the championship. But after Mark was injured in August 2020, the approach was changed, and HRC chose to quickly replace his partner with his top pilot, choosing Paul Espargaro for this. Alex was moved to the LCR Honda satellite in order not to spoil relations with him (and not to anger Mark). But in fact, Mark has said many times that HRC decisions are HRC decisions, and they have nothing to do with his opinion. Moreover, Marc Marquez himself is a Honda man by 150%, and his first goal is the well-being of the factory project. So, at least, it was in words.
And so, Alex Marquez announced his transfer to the Ducati team!.. This was due to the “need for self-realization” and the rejection of the status of the “shadow of Marc Marquez”.
And Ducati has never hidden that their strategy is to steal the Brand from Honda – all means are good!!!
In an interview with GPone, Davide Tardozzi used this moment to send a message to Mark. It’s no secret that Ducati has been casting a fishing rod into the Marquez camp for a long time, and Luigi Dal’igni’s old dream is to lure Mark to the Borgo Panigale camp. Before, the Italians had already launched a big campaign on the air that Marquez is an “inferior” world champion since he won all his titles on the same motorcycle; to prove his exclusivity, he needs to try to win the title in MotoGP on something else… for example, on Ducati. This campaign was carried out by a number of Italian publications loyal to Ducati in 2018 and 2019.
It looks like a new wave of pressure is starting: “I think that his brother Alex, after three years in MotoGP, never managed to show his talent, to give his all [with Honda],” Tardozzi quipped. – The Gresini team is able to make him a 100% pilot. It will be a good advertisement for us.”
“In my opinion, Alex will be able to convey to his brother the real difference between Ducati and Honda. Then we’ll see what he says to him in response. They are very close. Who, if not Alex, can convey to Mark all the charms of Desmosedici? We often joke that the future of the Brand belongs to Ducati. Now he is Honda, we are Ducati, but in fact, we have a very good human relationship with Mark, we regularly exchange jokes in the paddock and in the closed park.”
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“But we cannot discuss with him the details and features of our prototypes. I hope when Alex tries our bike, he will tell Mark about it. And then, it will be my duty to approach Mark and once again ask: “How are you?” Do you understand?,” – Tardozzi concluded his maxim with a smile.
Alberto Puig, of course, instantly took the hint and immediately reacted to the publication of GPone, speaking in the Spanish edition with Tardozzi’s response: “Sorry, but Marc Marquez is busy in the next couple of years.”
Alex Marquez’s place in the Honda LCR has already been given to Alex Rins, while the second place in the LCR is up to 80% likely to be taken by a rookie from Moto2 Ai Ogura. The name of Mark’s partner in 2023 has not yet been officially named, but with the maximum probability, it will be Joan Mir. Thus, HRC outbid both Suzuki pilots who could be out of work due to the closure of the factory project from Hamamatsu.