In an interview Italian outlet moto.it, Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti said it was his understanding that Marquez would be “racing on practically zero contract”, which is to say without a salary.
Marquez announced after the Japanese Grand Prix that he would be breaking his current contract with Honda a year early, with his move to Gresini Ducati for 2024 confirmed on the eve of the Indonesian GP.
On Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Thailand GP, Marquez responded to Ciabatti’s comments.
And while he didn’t discredit the statement, he also clarified that he won’t be racing for free in 2024.
“As an ambitious person who wants to achieve his goals, I always put sports first,” Marquez began. “But I have not said that I am going to run for free. Maybe the team will also pay me, no one knows that.”
He added: “As I have always said, it is prioritising other things, and I am lucky that I can do it and always prioritise sports in my career.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
“Whenever I have decided I have done it that way and I will continue to do so until I retire.
“If later when I retire, I’ll look for a different life, we’ll see. But for now, the track is where I want to enjoy myself, and that’s where you can see who’s worth it and who’s not.”
It is not inconceivable that Marquez could race without a salary from Gresini in 2024, with money from personal sponsorship and any potential results bonuses ensuring he will still earn.
Read Also:KTM now “super close” to Ducati after Australia MotoGP round, says BinderOn Thursday, Autosport revealed that Fabio di Giannantonio, whom Marquez will replace at Gresini in 2024, is now best placed to replace the eight-time world champion at Honda.
Initially, RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira was top of Honda’s list, but Honda’s insistence on offering only a one-year deal has severely limited its options.
Di Giannantonio achieved his first MotoGP podium last weekend in Australia, having the week prior scored his previous career-best result of fourth in Indonesia.