Marc Marquez and Ducati: another all-time great dons red

The #93 becomes the latest multiple premier class title winner to jump into Ducati’s factory set-up, following in the footsteps of Stoner, Rossi and Lorenzo

And so it’s official. Marc Marquez will be a Ducati Lenovo Team rider in 2025 alongside back-to-back MotoGP™ World Champion Francesco Bagnaia. Talk about mouthwatering prospects. Wow.

After claiming six premier class crowns with Repsol Honda, then making the switch to Gresini Racing in 2024 to give his career a new lease of life, Marc Marquez will now etch his name alongside some other all-time greats in riding for the factory Ducati team.

Three names in particular stick out: Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. All three achieved at least two MotoGP™ title wins, and all have their own story to tell when they donned Bologna red. Let’s have a little look at each of their stories as we get set to watch Marquez write his own chapter in red ink for the first time next year.


Until Pecco won the 2022 title, Casey Stoner sat as Ducati’s sole Riders’ Championship winner. After an eye-catching debut premier class season with LCR in 2006, the Australian hopped onto Ducati’s GP7 missile in 2007.


10 wins and 14 podiums in 18 races later, and Stoner was a MotoGP™ World Champion for the first time. The famous #27 won the 2007 title by a staggering 125 points, and in doing so – at the Japanese GP – became the first rider to win the premier class crown on non-Japanese machinery since 1974, when Phil Read won on his MV Agusta.

Unfortunately for Ducati and Stoner, a second title win didn’t come to fruition. The closest they came was a year later in 2008, when six wins and 11 podiums were achieved on their way to finishing P2 to Rossi and Yamaha.


Despite health issues and an increasingly tricky-to-tame Desmosedici, Stoner won seven more times in 2009 and 2010 to take his Ducati win tally up to 23 before making a successful switch to Honda for his final two years in MotoGP™.


Waving goodbye to Stoner would have been difficult for Ducati, but welcoming Rossi through the door at the end of 2010 eased the pain – replacements don’t get much better than that. Rossi and Ducati. Two Italian icons. It was a match made in heaven. Or so we thought. It didn’t quite play out as expected for the nine-time World Champion and the Bologna marque.


One podium in 2011 led to Rossi finishing P7 in the Championship, 211 points adrift of Stoner and Honda. In 2012, two P2 finishes were pocketed in Le Mans and Misano on his way to P6 in the overall standings. Having struggled to get to grips with the feisty Desmosedici, Rossi moved back to Yamaha at the of the season, seeing his time at Ducati extracting just three podiums and no wins.


At the end of the 2016 season, five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo replicated Rossi’s move by swapping factory Yamaha for factory Ducati. And like Rossi, in the beginning at least, the adaptation was tougher than anticipated for the #99.

Still, three podiums in his debut season wasn’t a disaster for Lorenzo – but it wasn’t enough. And neither was the start of 2018. After picking up just five points from the first four races, a slow start convinced the Ducati hierarchy to let Lorenzo go at the end of the year.


Some would say that decision was made in hast – with the aid of hindsight of course – because once Lorenzo clicked with the ever-improving Desmosedici, he proved a very difficult rider to beat. Back-to-back victories at Mugello and in Barcelona were secured before Lorenzo made it three wins in six races when he won in Austria.

Unfortunately, injury curtailed the rest of Lorenzo’s final year with Ducati, but we got a taste of what could have been.


As we look forward to seeing how the rest of this fascinating season plays out in 2024, 2025 signals the start of another all-time great’s journey in Bologna red. A chapter that promises so much. Marc Marquez, the eight-time World Champion, lining up alongside Pecco Bagnaia, the three-time World Champion. We’re in for one hell of a ride.