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Ducati, Marc Marquez is coming: my friend's enemy is my enemy

The 2024 world championship will be a continuation of the Rossi-Marquez duel. A story that truly never ended with that offer of a handshake rejected at the Misano 2018 press conference table. The 'sons' of Rossi, Bagnaia, Bezzecchi, Morbidelli, will have the task of retying the threads of time

Ducati, Marc Marquez is coming: my friend's enemy is my enemy

I hope they won't say it's all journalistic stuff, because, instead, it will be remembered by sporting history. Rivalry excites the fans, and this is the spice of the battles because in the end competitive competition is a healthy war. And as in all wars an 'enemy' is needed.

Or at least the one who, as current events sadly teach us, is by definition considered the bad guy.

I don't want to go too far back in time, otherwise those who aren't passionate about history might get bored, but let's think back to the Valentino Rossi-Max Biaggi duel. Two great sportsmen, two champions, and it doesn't matter if Vale had more success than Max in MotoGP.

As in the times of Agostini and Hailwood or Ago and Paso, Giacomo and Phil Read, the need to put two men face-to-face with each other appears to be one of the necessities of sport.

Warning: this does not simply mean opposing two protagonists. One of the two must be the black knight, the representative of a dark force, he will certainly have positive sides too, otherwise he wouldn't have his part of the crowd to incite him, but the public must identify in the other the representative of good, of right. Even if a deep analysis would then reveal profound identities to those who had taken the trouble to do one.

This is why the current duels, the current panning out of the world championship, certainly have their battles, which are sometimes fantastic and interesting, but which are lacking the depth of differences.

When Bagnaia beats Bezzecchi, or vice versa, they are two brothers competing. Even if Bez presents himself differently with a more vulgar dialogue than the very controlled Pecco.

And this also applies to Martin, who presents himself as an opponent, implacable of course, but with haughtiness towards Pecco Bagnaia identified as 'team leader', a man who has the task of demonstrating that he is the real owner of the number 1, while Jorge is simply the outsider, but with respect.

Who can identify with one or the other, images reflected in the same mirror?

The 2022 championship was a bit different with Enea Bastianini. All those walks by Tardozzi to the wall of Team Gresini had identified him as the white hope in the boxing of black champions. The satellite team that challenged the official team.

Any expectations of a clash between the two, now in the same team, evaporated in the incident between Enea and Luca Marini and the challenge dissolved.

With Marc Marquez's truly unique decision to abandon the colossus Honda to reinvent himself in what is a small team, but founded on the shoulders of that little giant that was Fausto Gresini, also finding his brother Alex, the pieces of the great battle fit into place.

Why? Because many of the protagonists of the 2024 battle, Bagnaia, Bezzecchi, Morbidelli, all on Ducati, are the competitive sons of Valentino Rossi, who Vale fans consider even now that the dust of the clash has settled, the 'enemy'.

This is why every battle for victory, every braking point, every mistake in 2024 will have a different flavour.

The children of the Jedi in yellow will be involved in a mission: to prevent Darth Vader, or Emperor Palpatine, from ascending the throne that he considers his.

It will be a continuation of the Rossi-Marquez duel, albeit in a different period. The rekindling of a story that truly never ended with that offer of a handshake that was rejected at the Misano 2018 press conference table.

And this time, at the age of 31, it will be Marquez the old man against the advancing kids.

It's history repeating itself. We need to identify with someone: there were those who supported Muhammad Ali, in boxing and those who, later on, waited to see their opponents collapse in front of the baddest man on the planet, Mike Tyson.

Sport is a great, unique, moment of catharsis for spectators and for those who practice it. It naturally expels, or exudes, if you prefer, all the good and bad that is in us. Making us better, in the end.

So now, choose your side of the ring. This will not make you the best or the worst. It's sport, guys.


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