The presence of Marc Márquez ‘El Canibal’ disturbs the harmony at Ducati | Motorcycling | Sports

Even before Marc Márquez confirmed his farewell to Honda and his signing for Team Gresini, a Ducati client team, the head of the factory that sets the pace in MotoGP did not hide the challenge that posed on the horizon. “He is a difficult driver to handle for many reasons, and there is concern that he could upset some balance. In the end, that will be part of the game and it will be up to us to manage it,” said Gigi Dall’Igna during the 2023 Japanese GP, days before the final announcement of the arrival of the new member of the family.

That management exercise began from the first minute the official statement of Márquez’s incorporation into the Faenza team was known, first with good words and then with evasion. Now, an accident during the intense Portuguese GP opens Pandora’s box. The defending champion and main rooster of the brand, Pecco Bagnaia, collided with the Spaniard while they were fighting for fifth place, and both ended up in the gravel to sign their first zero of the year. The anger of the current two-time world champion in the premier category was visible when both exchanged glances on the asphalt, although they later had a civil conversation away from the cameras.

They did not have the same point of view, and they both made it clear to the stewards, who did not penalize the action and defined it as a racing incident. “It was difficult to do it differently. “I tried to cross the line, he tried to close his to be in front and we touched,” noted the number one. “They are very difficult situations to read and understand. One tries to give the most for oneself, and we have touched each other. I am satisfied that there are no sanctions,” concluded the Ducati leader, who emerged much more smiling than his rival from the race management offices.

Márquez was more forceful when giving his point of view. “It was a mistake that I didn’t expect from Pecco, he wanted to give me back the overtake and he was a little too optimistic, at the limit of everything,” said number 93. Faced with cross-questions from the media who traveled to Portugal, he sharpened his skills a little more. words in that psychological struggle of which he is a master. “Thank goodness that in this one I wasn’t the one inside, but rather I was the one who received,” the Cervera driver acknowledged in statements collected by Ace. “Ducati has the telemetry, and there you can see very well what has happened. I have seen it, but telemetry is private and is never taught,” he added. For now, no official from the Bologna factory has spoken publicly about the incident.

Without the need to say a word, Davide Tardozzi’s gesticulation and Dall’Igna’s long face in the red-tinted garage spoke for themselves. In Portimao he lit the fuse and burned part of the harmony within the factory when two grand prix weekends have been held and another 21 remain. Before getting on the bike for the first time in 2024, in his first appointment with the media after the holidays, the presentation of the official Ducati team in the Dolomites, Bagnaia had ended up fed up with the questions about his new brand partner. “Tell them that I don’t want any more questions about Marc,” he asked one of the press officers on a lift on the ski slopes in Madonna Di Campiglio.

Throughout the preseason, the champion avoided speaking as much as he could about his uncomfortable neighbor in Gresini, but despite himself the questions continued and will continue to come after their first encounter on the track. “I have never played psychological games, for me the differences are only achieved on the court. I make my way, I go my way,” Bagnaia assured EL PAÍS before the start in Qatar.

Although the fault of the collision was not at all the 93, as several pilots and former pilots indicated when analyzing the incident – ​​“Marc could do little,” Pol Espargaró concluded; “Perhaps Pecco should have given in,” Jorge Lorenzo concluded in DAZN, “his good debut with Ducati in just two races and 12 days on the bike disturbs the balance of forces of the championship’s reference factory. His mere presence, as the brand’s leaders feared, will be one of the biggest challenges of the season for the Italians. “We will try not to ruin the balance that has been created over the years, making the climate calm for everyone,” Dall’Igna stressed when the arrival of Il Cannibale. This is what the Italians have nicknamed the eight-time world champion. Now they have three intense weeks in the offices until they reach the GP of the Americas, one of Marc Márquez’s favorite circuits, while they try to control the atmosphere inside the garage.

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