Marc Marquez looks set to pair up with Joan Mir’s 2020 championship-winning crew chief Frankie Carchedi for 2024, as his move from Repsol Honda to Gresini Ducati ends a decade-long relationship with current chief engineer Santi Hernandez, who will remain at Honda
Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez looks set to pair up with Joan Mir’s 2020 championship-winning crew chief Frankie Carchedi for 2024, as his move from Repsol Honda to Gresini Ducati ends a decade-long relationship with current chief engineer Santi Hernandez, who will remain at Honda.
Marquez has worked with Hernandez and many of his current crew since before he even debuted in the premier class, first partnering up with Hernandez in 2011 while still fighting for a Moto2 title – something that they achieved together the following season before progressing together to MotoGP and winning six further championships there.
However, when he finally announced the open secret that he was breaking his Honda contract a year early and heading to Gresini next season, Marquez also confirmed that most of his crew would not be making the move with him.
“Still we are in discussions because just this morning we signed the MOU [memorandum of understanding] with Gresini,” said Marquez when asked on Thursday about who would be moving with him.
“On Wednesday we started to talk about the contract, because before I didn’t want to have any distraction, any option B, because my main priority was Honda.
“But yeah, one of the big reasons, or the biggest doubt, was all my team.
“It’s true that in the end, I had a very big talk with all of them and in the end they are my friends, and they advised me in a friendly way, not in a team way.
“So this was a talk that helped me a lot to make the decision.
“I’m trying to bring at least one mechanic, that I think will not be a problem… but I cannot bring all the team, for two reasons.
“One, I will not destroy the Repsol Honda team because we are in October.
“And second one, I will not destroy the Gresini team because they are a big family and they have their mechanics.
“I must adapt to the situation. I took the decision so I must adapt.”
While Marquez might be parting ways with his championship-winning crew chief, it seems he’s gaining another according to The Race’s sources in the MotoGP paddock.
Marquez is set to inherit the highly experienced British engineer Carchedi from current Gresini racer Fabio Di Giannantonio.
A world championship winner with Mir at Suzuki in 2020 before moving to Gresini when Suzuki unexpectedly withdrew from the series at the end of the 2022 season, Carchedi has a long CV that includes success with names like Gregorio Lavilla and Leon Camier, with whom he took an utterly dominant 2009 British Superbike title.
An electronics expert by trade and highly experienced with Ducati thanks both to his season working with Di Giannantonio and past experience at Aspar before departing for a factory spot at Suzuki, he was widely expected to head to Repsol Honda this season with Mir, a move that eventually didn’t materialise.
Instead he joined Di Giannantonio, who hasn’t been shy in his praise for the British-Italian crew chief and his style of working within the garage.
“The thing is that Frankie is like an engineer without the mentality of an engineer,” Di Giannantonio told The Race earlier this season.
“It sounds funny, but it’s his strength.
“I’ve worked with other people like this, and last year when Alberto Giribuola [now in a senior role at KTM], the crew chief of Enea [Bastianini], was in my team, it seems like he was thinking in the same way, more or less.
“Frankie is like this too. Maybe there are things that you can’t really see from the lines [on the computer]. Then he’ll stop and say, ‘OK, let’s go old-school!’.
With this approach, we really match, we really go forward with the problems.”