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MotoGP, Pirro: “For Marquez there is nothing to improve on the Ducati”

VIDEO INTERVIEW: “Marc couldn't come to Ducati in 2016 because he cost too much, now he has chosen a Desmosedici to get back to winning. We must be proud: when I arrived in Borgo Panigale we copied from the Japanese, now it's the opposite"

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The event organized at H-Farm, to crown the 2023 educational season of the Motomorphosis project, was the perfect opportunity to have a chat with Michele Pirro about the tests in Valencia. The setting for Marc Marquez's debut on the Gresini team's Ducati. The Catalan's first contact with the Rossa was one of the key subjects of Riccardo Guglielmetti's interview with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer's tester, who told us what it was like to see a rider of Marc's calibre climb on the creature which he contributed to developing: "the positive aspect is that Marc also confirmed with his times that the Ducati is a versatile bike and even from an important rider like him, positive sensations emerged", said Pirro.

Michele, did you expect him to go so fast?

“Leaving the fans aside for a moment, for those who experience this world closely it was an indisputable fact that Marquez could find the right sensations on the Ducati, because he is an eight-time World Champion and a rider who has won a lot. It's clear that he has experienced some difficult recent years, but he had already demonstrated with Honda that, on occasions when he wanted to take a few more risks, he was still among the fastest. Personally it didn't surprise me, on the contrary, he confirmed that our bike is versatile for all riders. I'm proud of this and we must be proud of the work we've done with all the guys at Ducati, and of the fact that Marquez chose a Ducati."

What did Marc say to you during the tests?

“One thing we said to each other is the fact that in 2016 he couldn't come to Ducati because he cost too much, while now he has chosen a Ducati to get back to winning and this is a positive aspect. He didn't say much, but what we saw, like his face, or the fact that he did about fifty laps without taking big risks, I think are the best answers. As a Ducati rider and test rider, who has to transfer information and sensations to the technicians, I was clearly concerned about asking him what things could be improved and, at the moment, the sheet of paper remained very blank. There is satisfaction with this, because when I arrived at Ducati we were the ones who had to copy the Japanese manufacturers while now the situation has been reversed."

You must be proud of that.

“It took us 12 years to get to this situation, we won two World Championships and not seven or eight in a row like the others, or six in a row like Marquez won; so we can still say a lot. The thing that I regret is that these new regulations do not give me the possibility of being able to do wild cards in the first part of the championship and it annoys me that those who have worked well in recent years have been penalised, also because the wild cards were also an award for the Test Team working behind the scenes. We'll get over it, but the aspect that must stand out is that we have very decent riders on our eight bikes and it's complicated to think of scoring less than 85% of the points. On the one hand I have to hope that Ducati wins as many races as possible, but on the other I say: 'if we win a lot...'".

Do you think the Desmosedici GP24 can give Bagnaia an advantage in the comparison with Marquez?

“We saw this year that Ducati won with different riders, with different bikes. So, if you think that Di Giannantonio managed to win a race with last year's bike without updates, and in the last few races he has always been fighting for the podium, you can understand that the difference with the 2024 bike will not be exaggerated. What will make the difference will be the sensations and feeling the rider has. Di Giannantonio built the bike around himself and then he made the difference. Same thing for Bagnaia. The positive thing, and what we were concerned about, was ensuring that Pecco had the same basic sensations as the 2023 bike. He considered them even better, or at least very similar, and this was precisely the primary objective we had set in the tests carried out in Jerez, because in the past two years in which we had a bit of concern, Pecco had doubts up until Sepang. Marquez, like Di Giannantonio, will certainly be among the protagonists, but we hope that Enea can also have a normal season, because MotoGP right now doesn't give you anything if you're not completely okay."


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