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The three-way fight for the Ducati factory ride reaches fever pitch…

The fight for the Ducati factory ride is getting hot and speculation regarding Pecco Bagnaia’s teammate for 2025 is now fully amped up, with Enea Bastianini, Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin all in the frame.

On Thursday at Le Mans, Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna enigmatically stated the factory would consider a rider’s form over the past “six years, not just one” when making a decision.

Gigi Dall’Igna has a big decision to make… and soon

For his part Bagnaia stated, “I don’t care. I just want to beat them all, try to be always the best and keep going like this.” Dall’Igna also stated post-race, “I have something to really think about this week.”

And Martin was philosophical in the wake of rumours that Ducati is poised to choose Marquez for the seat over him.

“I would understand it,” he said. “It’s Marc Marquez, eight-time world champion, marketing-wise he’s a beast and I would understand that position. It reassures me that I have the rest of the manufacturers waiting to see what happens to, in that case, me. Whatever happens, I won’t be without a bike.”

Bagnaia is signed up but Bastianini will surely be replaced

Paddock whispers indicate Dall’Igna is enamoured with Marquez’s arrival into the fold and loves having an all-time great among his ranks. The eight-time world champ may only be five rounds into his Ducati career, but comments from fellow Ducati riders indicate his riding technique is catching their attention, as well as Dall’Igna’s, which will surely play a factor into the decision.

After Marco Bezzecchi had admitted Marquez was already faster than other Ducati riders in left corners in Jerez, teammate Alex Marquez already believes his brother is “one of the best” in terms of braking skill.

“He has a particular style. The strong point that he had with the Honda, which seemed impossible with the Ducati, I don’t know how he did it. But he is doing it again.

“I thought I couldn’t do it with the Ducati that strong point of entering the corner so quickly, but he’s achieving it. The Honda was critical, but you always understood what was happening.”

By Sunday Marquez’s challengers for the factory seat were already talking as though Dall’Igna’s decision had been made.

Jorge Martin wants a factory ride in 2025, even if with another manufacturer

“I think it won’t change,” said an almost downbeat victor Martin. “I am the same rider as yesterday, the same rider as Thursday, so if they have to take a decision, I think they already have chosen. I really want to go to the Ducati factory team, but if they don’t want me, for whatever reason, that we don’t know, then we will give my talent to other people.”

Likewise, Bastianini cut a frustrated figure, and not only because his victory hopes had been thwarted by a long-lap penalty.

“The feeling is strange, because I have the speed,” he said post-race. “But sometimes, you have to be lucky. And at the moment, this is not happening for me. I’m angry also for this, but I think Ducati see my potential and see what I can do. But also, Ducati sees what Jorge is doing at the moment. He won the race also today, and he’s a really fast rider, and I know Ducati’s decision is so difficult.”

Bastianini has been heavily linked with Aprilia should he lose his seat. Martin, meanwhile, could have his pick of the other factories, with Aprilia, Honda – and even KTM – sniffing around the Spanish star.