What we already know
Let’s start with the teams that have already confirmed their lineup (total or partial) for the 2023 season:
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP (Yamaha) : Fabio Quartararo – Franco Morbidelli
Ducati Lenovo Team (Ducati) : Francesco Bagnaia
Repsol Honda Team (Honda) : Marc Márquez
Aprilia Racing (Aprilia) : Aleix Espargaro – Maverick Vinales
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (KTM) : Brad Binder – Jack Miller
Gresini Racing (Ducati) : Fabio Di Giannantonio – Alex Marquez
All that is missing is the signature
On the Pramac (Ducati) team, Johann Zarco’s extension is an open secret. Although there is still nothing official, the Frenchman, third in the world championship with the status of best Ducati rider, is not worried: “We have good relations, he said during the press conference, before the Dutch GP “I’m alone to talk to them, without a manager. I’m my story and I’m old enough to talk to them directly. They know what I’m thinking: staying at Ducati is the best thing for me to keep improving and winning.” a factory bike in the Pramac team is already doing very well for me. Continuing with Ducati is not signed, but it is almost 100% safe. It would be a bad surprise not to have a contract (…) “
Other Ducati representatives include Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team. The first, half-brother of Valentino Rossi, head of the eponymous team, is playing his second season in MotoGP and it would be hard to believe he could leave the boat. Keep in mind that since her debut in the queen category, Marini has finished all her races with a fifth position as the best result last year in Austria (on the rain) and this year in Germany. Bezzecchi makes his first steps in MotoGP this year and ranks as the best rookie in the hierarchy. He just won his first podium in MotoGP; a performance that should secure his handlebars for next year.
In the official Honda team, it is Joan Mir who comes to ride alongside Marc Márquez. Negotiations fail and the performances shown since the start of the season are not there to help him; his best result was a fourth place recorded in Argentina, Austin and Barcelona. But for Honda, Mir is one of three world MotoGP champions on the grid (along with Fabio Quartararo and Marc Márquez) and while his queen-class victory tally shows only one drive, he is one of the most usual. The Japanese factory has no choice … unless it decides to take on the bold and risky gamble of poaching Pedro Acosta, who fractured his femur during training before the Dutch GP. However, Aki Ajo, head of the Ajo team in which he leads the Spaniard, has recently confirmed that his contract was for two years. On the other hand, Mir was expecting a Yamaha, but Morbidelli, his runner-up in 2020, should not leave the chest of the firm Iwata despite the more than disappointing results (19e total with 25 points).
Ducati takes its time
We will have to wait until the end of August, probably after the Austrian GP, to find out who will be Francesco Bagnaia’s teammate Enea Bastianini or Jorge Martin next year. While Bastianini has three MotoGP wins against one from Martin, it’s not as simple as Borgo Panigale’s signature. The most logical thing would be to bring up the Spanish and Italian: Martin would move to the factory team while Bastianini would inherit an official machine in the Pramac structure next to Zarco. That way everyone would be happy.
Following Jack Miller’s announcement at KTM, Miguel Oliveira found himself without a handlebar for next season. He was seen in Gresini, but it is finally Alex Márquez who will run in the Desmosedici in 2023. Therefore, the Portuguese should take the lead of Razlan Razali’s RNF team in an Aprilia RS-GP with the aim, in long-term, from switching to factory equipment.
The future of Pol Espargaro is no longer assured, but the Catalan should find the KTM clan within the Tech3 team for which he rode from 2014 to 2016 with a Yamaha. Although some rumors see that Hervé Poncharal’s structure is moving to GasGas, there will always be two KTM RC16s. It remains to be seen who will be the second representative of the French team …
After joining MotoGP with KTM, Raul Fernández could join the RNF team alongside Oliveira. Remy Gardner, his current teammate and reigning Moto2 world champion, should continue the adventure in the Tech3 clan.
In LCR, a Honda satellite structure, Alex Rins should retrieve the handlebars of Alex Márquez who marched towards Gresini. The Spaniard, who co-led the championship after the Portuguese GP with Quartararo, has not yet formalized his arrival on Lucio Cecchinello’s team, but recently posted on Instagram photos of him featuring the two Honda of the LCR team … something. this has not escaped the sharp gaze of Marc Márquez who seems bored since his operation … The eight-time world champion commented on Rins’ post with: “I don’t know why, but in the last photos I have you hung up there is always a LCR team bike 🤔😂 “That says it all …
The second RC213V for the LCR team is packaged by Idemitsu, the team’s titular sponsor and the choice will be between Takaaki Nakagami and his compatriot Ai Ogura, third in the Moto2 general, to a point of the two leaders. The latter still does not say that he is ready to rise to the top category … but if he gets to crown the crown in Moto2, he could return to his words …
The announcement of Suzuki’s withdrawal has disrupted negotiations for the 2023 season. With two seats less, there are sure to be two drivers who will have to look elsewhere. Let’s think first of Darryn Binder, who could finally get down to Moto2 after making the big leap in Moto3, but also Andrea Dovizioso who this time could retire permanently. However, among the rumors heard in Assen is the arrival of BMW in MotoGP from 2023. In the idea, it would be to run Suzuki with the colors of the German manufacturer until it develops its own MotoGP to in 2024. It looks like the talks are underway, but will it happen …? If that’s the case, there would be two more handlebars … and the transfer window would have to be turned upside down again.