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Why Ducati gives all the time in the world to Jorge Martín

With the statistics in hand, that second red Desmosedici that in 2023 will share a workshop with Pecco Bagnaia’s should already have the signature of Enea Bastianini. The Beast occupies third place in the general points table and is the brand’s best-placed driver, ahead of Johann Zarco (fourth) and Bagnaia (fifth).

The Gresini rider has won a third (three) of the races that have been held so far (nine), more than anyone else in MotoGP, a circumstance that, in itself, gives him a certain advantage in that ‘fight’ with the Madrilenian, who appears 12th and has 43 points less than him, a deficit motivated by the five zeros that he drags.

Under normal conditions, one would think that Ducati’s choice would go in the direction of the boy from Rimini , who has been able to lead the championship in as many as two stages. However, the situation and the nuances that surround the season of one and the other, demand a look that goes beyond the results.

From the outset, Bastianini drives a Ducati from last year, something that, on paper, would be a point in his favor and against Jorge Martín, who has a 2022 model. However, the prototype for this course has given many more problems than expected, while the Desmosedici GP21 is “the perfect bike”, as Bagnaia defined it at the end of 2021, a feeling backed by the numbers: that model has won seven of the last 15 grands prix.

Jorge Martín, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martín, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

After publicly acknowledging long ago that it did not have Jack Miller for its official structure beyond this exercise – the Australian will compete in KTM – Ducati’s goal was not to let any of the riders in whom it has deposited the most escape. expectations. Renewed Bagnaia until 2024, the efforts were focused on retaining Martín and Bastianini, and then deciding where each would run, based on different interests.

The first point of that sequence has already been given, and now we only need to know what colors two of the youngsters who have the most projection in the short and medium term will wear. One thing is clear, the two will receive the same treatment regardless of the team that welcomes them, and they will have the same material as Bagnaia.

The fact that Ducati has been postponing the announcement of its decision is a fairly clear indication of its preference, for obvious reasons. It is also true that Martín’s contract included a clause that gave him Miller’s bike in 2023, in case he reached Mugello ahead of the Townsville rider, something that did not happen.

Paolo Ciabatti , sports director of the Bologna manufacturer, commented at the beginning of the year that the identity of Bagnaia’s teammate would be known around the Italian Grand Prix, or at the latest in Catalonia. In Mugello he transferred the matter to Assen, and in Montmeló he commented that it is very likely that nothing will be known until after the summer break, in July.

Caída de Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing

Caída de Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

For a brand as international as that of Borgo Panigale , which, moreover, relies so much on its MotoGP division as a claim, having a line-up in which both riders are Italian is not exactly in its favour.

As important or more than that is the undoubted pure speed that Martín has always exhibited, one of the most explosive members out there, someone capable of accumulating four pole positions in his debut in the heavy bike category, the first of them in his second test in the queen class (Doha).

Between that and the predisposition shown by the #89 when it comes time to test things, it seems clear that the boy is the perfect candidate in the eyes of Gigi Dall’Igna , the general manager of Ducati, the brains behind most of the the innovations that hide the new generation Desmosedici, and the person with the most specific weight in the factory aside from Claudio Domenicali , its CEO.

Far from pressuring Martín to straighten out his inertia, Ducati gave him air and conveyed all their confidence, and the boy from San Sebastián de los Reyes responded with a second place, two weeks ago, in Montmeló. If this dynamic continues, that second red Desmosedici seems to be his. More than anything, because it would be difficult to understand that Ducati has been postponing its decision to end up giving it to Bastianini.

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