Mark this date down: 28 November 2023, because it will be the day on which Marc Marquez will get on the Ducati Desmosedici for the first time, during the Valencia tests. Honda will leave him free to try the new bike and the confirmation came directly from team manager Alberto Puig. “It's normal, this is something very important for all riders when they’re changing teams so we understand - he declared to motogp.com – This is something that happens and the process must keep going the way it normally goes, so there will be no objection from Honda’s side”.
Marquez therefore has the green light to test the Ducati for a day before the winter break, an opportunity that he absolutely did not want to miss. “I would spend the winter more relaxed” he had said in recent weeks. It will now go ahead, and Honda has behaved very correctly towards him, something that is not such a foregone conclusion. Suffice to say that in SBK Yamaha has denied permission for Razgatlioglu to test the BMW next week in Jerez and the Turk will have to wait until December to discover his new bike. Going further back in time, at the end of 2003 Honda did not allow Valentino Rossi to ride the Yamaha until the following year.
Puig, however, did not say too much about the negotiations for Marquez's replacement in the official team next year. Fabio Di Giannantonio seems to be the main candidate for that place, but the manager explained that “we are not only talking to him, but also to others. There are not so many possibilities, but we are having two or three discussions at the same time, and we'll see."