You are here

MotoGP, Ciabatti: “Bagnaia, Marquez, Dall’Igna, Ducati and… a light”

INTERVIEW - “In 2013 we were lost, I said to Gigi: what are you waiting for to come to us? Both Bagnaia and Ducati want to continue together. Marquez? There was no need to add a further load, but Marc will be among the candidates for the factory team in 2025, aware that someone might leave"

MotoGP: Ciabatti: “Bagnaia, Marquez, Dall’Igna, Ducati and… a light”


It could be defined in all respects as a season worth remembering, also because it is the most successful ever. With all these victories, a sporting director like him couldn't ask for more, considering where he started from.

In this long interview, Paolo Ciabatti wanted to tell us about the season just gone by, which saw Ducati play the role of absolute protagonist. Now that we are in December, the manager from Turin is pampering himself with his successes and at the same time looking towards the year to come.

“I think all of us are happy with the results obtained on the field – he told us – this is the most successful season ever and all of Ducati must be proud of what we have achieved. We have won in MotoGP, Superbike, World SuperSport, MotoAmerica Supersport, Daytona, CIV, BSB while in other categories we have come close to success such as in the Australian Superbike. The numbers are obviously encouraging and we will have to work hard to reconfirm ourselves in 2024."

And just think that when you arrived at Ducati the situation was very different.

“I remember very well. It was 2013, the situation was really complex and we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. In agreement with Claudio Domenicali we decided to focus on the figure of Dall'Igna. I spoke with Gigi on a couple of occasions during that year, but I would like to point out that Domenicali personally led the negotiations to bring him to Borgo Panigale. In the end, with Dall'Igna a new course began, we managed to see the light, achieving the successes that we all dreamed of."

Do you still remember your conversations with Dall'Igna?

"Absolutely yes. Gigi is a great engineer and we all know his qualities well, given how much he has been able to demonstrate in the racing world. In 2013, when he was still at Aprilia, I said to him: what are you waiting for to come to us? In the end he decided to embrace our project."

About three weeks ago you won the title with Bagnaia.

“Pecco had an extraordinary season. Without the injury in Barcelona he probably would have won the title with one or two races to spare. After that bad accident he demonstrated incredible strength and in my opinion the title represents the culmination of a 2023 worthy of applause. He has shown great growth in these two seasons and together with him our entire Racing Department has never stopped working hard."

Are you ready to renew with Pecco?

“Now we will enjoy the party in Bologna, then the holidays, then we'll talk about the contracts at the beginning of the year. What I can say is that both Bagnaia and Ducati want to continue this journey together."

Next year we will also see Marc Marquez on a Ducati. Some say that Marc's arrival at the top didn't make everyone happy. It is true?

“We all know Marc Marquez's talent and I think there is very little to say about it. In my opinion, given the results obtained in this last season by Ducati, with three bikes in front of everyone, there was no need to add a further load, because in my opinion there was no such need. At the same time, as a Ducati man, I think that it is a source of great pride for the company to see a champion like Marc on a Desmosedici. For all of us it is further recognition of the work we are doing, as is the fact that the Ducati is currently the best bike in MotoGP."

Do you think the balance will change with him next year?

“Marc is obviously a winner and his world titles say so, therefore if he chose Ducati it is because he wants to win again. For all of us it will be something new and at the same time a situation to manage."

All the contracts of the current Ducati riders will expire next year. Will Marc Marquez be one of the contenders for the factory team?

“Since we haven't yet defined the riders for 2025, I would say without problems that Marc will be one of the candidates for the official team. Obviously there is an important aspect to underline, which is that from an economic point of view we are no longer in that pre-covid period, where a rider like him can earn super millionaire wages."

In this cauldron the risk is that Ducati could lose one of its jewels.

"Of course! This risk exists and we are well aware of it. I think for example of the name Martin. A talent like him, if he doesn't go to the official team, could certainly arouse interest from other manufacturers. But he is not the only one”.

You mentioned Martin, Bagnaia's rival. Did his season surprise you?

“When we chose Jorge it was because we were convinced of his value and we thought he could become a world champion. This year he didn't succeed, but he came very close. Sometimes I'm disappointed to hear certain things from people about Ducati who don't want Martin to win. If Ducati didn't want Martin to be able to compete for the World Championship, they wouldn't give him the same options that Bagnaia has."

Will we see eight Ducatis on the track again in 2025?

"Honestly I do not know. With Gresini we also have an agreement for 2025 while with VR46 the contract will expire next year. We will have to see and evaluate the situation carefully, considering that the competition will try to play their own game."


Related articles