MotoGP: Alex Marquez in talks with Pramac Ducati for 2020
French Grand Prix winner Alex Marquez is eyeing up a move out of Moto2 and into the premier class for 2020, and manager Emilio Alzamora has admitted that they are already in talks with the Pramac Ducati team about the world champion’s brother joining VR46 rider (and former Alzamora protégé) Pecco Bagnaia in the squad for the coming year.
The move comes amid fresh paddock speculation that Marc Marquez is also eyeing a dramatic switch from Honda to Ducati at the end of his current contract next season. That means that brother Alex could be the perfect opportunity for the seven-time world champion to scout out the manufacturer before making the switch to their factory squad himself.
With current Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller on a one-year deal and making no bones about his ambitions to replace Danilo Petrucci on the factory bike for next season, it could mean that there is a space available in one of the paddock’s best-supported satellite teams. And, speaking to Italian website GPone in Le Mans, Alzamora (manager to both of the Marquez bothers) admitted that there was talks ongoing.
“It’s true, we’re talking to Pramac. We have a nice friendship with them. It’s normal that Alex is thinking about the possible options for switching to MotoGP. Of course, you have to earn a place in a satellite team and Paolo Campinoti’s is a great team. Alex is still very young, but to get to the premiere class he has to find a good place.”
The news comes as Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna issued a stern warning to his current crop of factory riders, telling them that despite Sunday’s double podium behind the senior Marquez brother, Andrea Dovizioso and Petrucci haven’t been employed to finish second. Still to win an elusive world championship under the technical guru’s leadership, their last gamble for the title failed in 2018 when Jorge Lorenzo was unable to adapt quickly enough to the Desmosedici.
But, now widely believed to be the best bike on the MotoGP grid, the late-braking style required for the current Ducati would mean that Marquez’s transition should in theory be relatively smooth, unlike that of others such as Lorenzo.
And, with the reigning champion on track to potentially equal Valentino Rossi’s record of nine championship wins by the time his current contract with Honda ends in 2020, it could be the perfect opportunity to try something new. Still judged by some to be unable to lay claim to the title of one of the sport’s all-time greats until he wins with two manufacturers, Marquez has so far remained coy about his intentions for the future.
The junior Marquez brother is now in his fifth season in the intermediate class since winning the 2014 Moto3 crown, but has yet to clinch the championship. Finishing fourth three years in a row and affected by last year’s civil war within the team, he got things back to winning ways at Le Mans by taking his first victory since Motegi in late 2017.