It goes without saying that Suzuki’s decision to leave MotoGP at the end of 2022 shaken up the starting lineup for 2023.
While both Suzuki drivers are world class winners and a world champion in Joan Mir’s case, uncertainty remains about their current roster at Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, KTM and Aprilia, so yes, the whole grid.
While this is not the first driver signing announced, it is perhaps the most important as he will be 99% sure that Fabio Quartararo will stay at Yamaha.
A big contract is expected for the French driver, given that he is the current world champion, leading this year and beating his M1.
Teammate Franco Morbidelli has signed a contract with Monster Energy Yamaha until the end of 2023, but their recent performance has been very poor and it is believed Yamaha may look elsewhere.
In fact, Alex Rins has confirmed that he is in talks with Yamaha and other manufacturers after last weekend’s MotoGP Le Mans race.
Yamaha has not yet reserved its satellite team for next season, as Razlan Razali-owned RNF is reportedly considering switching to Aprilia machines that could jeopardize the chances of Raul Fernandez (Tech 3 KTM) and/or Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha). It will come from WorldSBK.
While Yamaha is expected to have four bikes on the grid next season, it is not yet clear what the second team will look like as Rins, Morbidelli, Fernandez, Razgatlioglu and Darryn Binder can only fight for three places.
From a driver’s point of view, the Quartararo is no doubt the main attraction, but that statement also applies to Ducati from a team’s point of view.
A decision regarding Francesco Bagnaia’s factory team partner is expected in the next round at Mugello, and this now looks questionable, though early indications suggest that Jorge Martin, who has reportedly received a Ducati contract for 2023, will replace Jack Miller.
Instead, the Lenovo Ducati factory headquarters would be the direct rivalry between Miller and Enea Bastianini, who won the third MotoGP race of the year at Le Mans.
Bastianini has a good chance of leaving Gresini Ducati, with Martin withdrawing from five races out of seven, four of which were his own fault.
If Bastianini took the factory seat next to Bagnaia, Miller or Johann Zarco would have to leave Ducati as Martin would later be retained by Pramac.
Will Miller join Brad Binder at KTM?
A move to Ducati may be possible for Miller, and while Miguel Oliveira looks set to leave KTM by the end of 2022 (there may be an option for LCR Honda Oliveira), then the move to the Austrian manufacturer makes a lot of sense.
Whether it’s Red Bull as the team’s title sponsor and also Miller’s sponsor, or whether Australian coach Aki Ajo is working for KTM (Moto2 and Moto3), moving to KTM is a decision that simply cannot be reconsidered. – Revive not only Miller, but also KTM, who once again began to fight for the European part of the championship.
Joan Mir and Honda for MotoGP deal?
Like Rins, Mir is a hot property right now, following Suzuki’s aforementioned decision to leave MotoGP.
Honda is probably the manufacturer to see the most changes next season, and while Pol Espargaro is struggling, it’s in Repsol Honda’s interest to sign Mir.
Even before Suzuki’s announcement, Italian and Spanish media hinted that Honda wanted to sign the Mir, which has only increased since the Jerez test.
Actually, don’t take our word for it, but rather the words of Mir and Repsol Honda team principal Alberto Puig, it was confirmed at Le Mans that the talks between the two sides have started.
Marc Marquez is insured at Honda and if Mir joins him, which is expected, the next priority will be to fill the two LCR seats. One of them will likely be Moto2 title contender Ai Ogura, who will replace fellow countryman Takaaki Nakagami. The five-year MotoGP veteran is considering either returning to Moto2 or joining WorldSBK.
Given that Maverick Vinales isn’t performing well enough with the Noale-based team, joining a team at Aprilia, which his good friend Aleix Espargaro has confirmed to have discussed himself, may be a very realistic possibility for Rins.