Next weekend’s home Misano round should see Ducati announce whether Enea Bastianini or Jorge Martin will join the factory team alongside Francesco Bagnaia for the 2023 MotoGP season.
The pair have been in a duel for the prized ride ever since Bagnaia’s current team-mate Jack Miller, aware that Ducati were looking for alternatives, signed for the factory KTM team in early June.
Whatever happens, Bastianini and Martin will both be factory contracted riders on the very latest Ducati machinery, next season. One of them will be placed alongside Bagnaia, with the other riding for the satellite Pramac team alongside Johann Zarco (Martin’s current place).
Both are 24-years-old and currently competing in their second MotoGP seasons, so who would you choose for the factory seat?
|Enea Bastianini vs Jorge Martin: 2022 season so far|
|Enea Bastianini||Jorge Martin|
Enea Bastianini’s season so far
While Martin and the other GP22 riders worked through early set-up issues, Bastianini and last year’s GP21 blasted to sensational debut victories in Qatar, Argentina and France.
The Italian remained the top Ducati rider in the world championship until round ten, in Germany, and is the only Desmosedici rider other than Bagnaia to have won races this season.
On the other hand, Bastianini’s results outside of those victories have been far less impressive. Barring a strong fourth at Silverstone, with a broken wing, he has finished 11th, 10th, 8th, 10th and 11th, plus four DNFs.
Jorge Martin’s season so far
First or second on the grid in the opening four rounds underlined Martin’s raw speed, but his season began on the back foot when he was taken down by Bagnaia in Qatar.
A further DNF in the Mandalika rain meant his first points came with second place and a victory challenge in Argentina.
The Spaniard wasn’t seen on the rostrum again until another runner-up finish, in Barcelona, but was trying to pass Miller for third when he fell on the last lap in Austria last weekend, scene of his debut MotoGP victory a year earlier.
While Martin can’t match Bastianini for wins or points this season, he does have the edge over the Italian for the last six rounds.
Despite undergoing hand surgery, Martin has collected 83 points during that period compared to just 24 for Bastianini, who was forced out of fourth place at the Red Bull Ring due to front-wheel damage while battling Martin for third.
While all eyes are on Ducati’s decision, it’s worth nothing that Miller has now climbed ahead of both Bastianini and Martin to reach fifth in the world championship standings.
The Australian has been a podium contender ever since a set-up change at the Barcelona test, also helping Ducati pull clear at the top of the teams’ standings, reminding the factory of what they will be missing next season.