Martin, Bagnaia and Marquez vying for the MotoGP Game of Thrones

The pair driving the Desmosedici GP24 has the advantage, but from mid-championship onward several outsiders, including Marquez, may slot in. At this point the vacancy will be hot, and whoever sits there will be the true and only No. 1. By the way, to whom did Bagnaia make the umbrella gesture at the end of the race?


It might be a good idea to start asking ourselves today: who will sit on the MotoGP Game of Thrones at the end of the year? By now, the only thing clear, while we are less than a third of the way through the championship, is that the fight could be narrowed down to Martin, Bagnaia and Marquez.

Occasionally there could be some rider getting in amongst the three. Think of young Acosta, still hunting for his first win; Espargarò or a revived Vinales or, why not, a proud move by Bastianini or Di Giannantonio. There could also be a wet race with Binder, a resurgence by Bezzecchi, although I don't see the Desmosedici GP23 in much shape, Marquez aside.

In short, six Grands Prix to weigh up what are pompously referred to (and pumped up) as the 22 fastest riders in the world. The reality, of course, is first and foremost to be fast and there at the front of the pack you have to have the right bike, and this is dramatically clear by seeing the performance of the Honda and Yamaha riders. Fabio Quartararo, who is one of the best and already has a title on his back, finished in 9th place accumulating more than 20 seconds from the winner. On the other hand, Nakagami, on the RC213-V finished +33" ahead of Mir, Zarco and Luca Marini in that order.

Barring unpredictable miracles, then, and based on reality, we can narrow the title fight down to the two factory Ducati GP24s, with some possible inclusion (read victory) of Marquez's GP23 on tracks particularly favorable to him.

Then, of course, there is room for the occasional flare-ups of KTM and Aprilia riders, adding that while the Noale manufacturer is paying for an up-and-down performance of its two starters, Aleix and Maverick, as for that of Mattighofen, the arrival of Pedro has greatly downsized the two official riders. We are not talking so much about Jack Miller, who seems lost to us, but also about Brad Binder to the point of having to wonder what the real performance of the RC16 is.


In fact, at the end of the game, despite the aerodynamics, the lowerers and the electronics, in motorcycle racing fortunately the rider still counts - and a lot - and Marc Marquez's performance is there to prove it.

The first of the GP23s after the eight-time world champion's number 93 is that of Fabio Di Giannantonio, currently 9th in the world championship at -93 points from the top and -52 from Marc.

OK, we're talking about the bike that won the 2023 title with Bagnaia last year but doesn't it say anything to you that only one rider is riding it at the level of the frontrunners? Let's also take a look at the numbers: Martin, who leads the standings, in the last three Grands Prix has scored 75 points, Bagnaia 66, Marquez 78.

So right now, after taking a little bit of measure, while not completely dominating it, the experience and class of the eight-time world champion has made all the difference. But as the world championship goes on, the two GP24s will improve, and even if Marquez might benefit from "those parts he doesn't have because they are difficult for a private team to handle," as Gigi Dall'Igna put it, he will technically always remain one step behind.

However, the maths tell us that Enea Bastianini is still in the game, and we do not say this out of friendship with Carlo Pernat, but because it is clear that the Beast has not yet been able to square the circle with the GP24...but the solution is there just around the corner, and when he does unearth it, the best potential of Borgo Panigale's latest will be all there to be explored.

Let's say that from mid-championship onward the situation will become more intricate, because the performance of the outsiders could count for or against the two major candidates, Pecco and Jorge.

At this point in the story we take it for granted that Ducati will not want to deprive itself of any of the three protagonists of this start of the world championship, promoting Martinator to red and trying to convince Marc to accept Pramac's offer, obviously perhaps and probably, with even more official treatment. But this is only a supposition of what would be the simplest solution.

The doubt to be clarified, in Borgo Panigale, if Marquez does not accept, is who Ducati could do without without risking too much of a beating from the exile. On the other hand, a Marquez in Pramac would represent a very high risk for the sponsors of the Bologna team. I mean, you get the most valuable rider in the entire championship in your hands and you give him to Pramac? Who would you sponsor if you were in the place of the investors, which of the two teams?

We have a feeling, at this point in the story, that one of the key men in the problem might just be Mauro Grassilli, the new sporting director. In fact, his previous assignment was precisely sponsor management. And we doubt that the decision will be made without hearing from him or, perhaps, even from someone higher up.

Mauro has promised us 'special effects,' and in my opinion in 2025, we will see a rapprochement of the two teams. Provided, of course, that Paolo Campinoti does not accept the kiss of death and run away with Yamaha. Possible, but not likely.

By the way, let us not underestimate, in view of the decision Ducati will have to make a week from now, the alternative that both Martin and Marquez have of signing for KTM. They are both Red Bull riders.

Ducati has a nice trio in hand, but could open 2025 with only a double pair.

By the way, to whom did Pecco Bagnaia make the umbrella gesture? To the corner or to the marshals celebrating Marquez? Definitely unexpected from him, but it figures, and we like it!


 

Translated by Julian Thomas

Related articles

 
Privacy Policy