After lots of speculation, the riders market seemed to finally be navingating calmer waters. With Marquez and Bagnaia already signed on, Quartararo convinced himself not to change, just like Mir, as his manager had confirmed. Rins stated that he received guarantees from Suppo on the chance of his remaining on the team. Until Suzuki announced on Monday (to the team, because an official statement still hasn’t been made) that it would be retiring from the MotoGP at the end of the year.
So now there are two pawns on the market (important ones): a MotoGP world champion (Joan) and a very fast rider (Alex). That’s enough to disrupt the balance of things, except for the fact that at least two official teams are already set: Yamaha, has a contract with Morbidelli as Quartararo’s partner, and then there’s Ducati, which is deciding who to choose to team up with Bagnaia.
For Mir, the most likely option will be to wear the Honda Repsol colors. The Spanish rider could have done it years ago, when he debuted in the MotoGP, but he instead chose Suzuki. But now the match can be made, also because Pol Espargarò’s performance doesn’t satisfy HRC, and Joan would be the best option to replace him. We’re talking about a very stable rider who could provide important information coming from the very well-balanced GSX-RR, and also thanks to his very young age, 24.
For Mir, this would mean entering the lion’s den, namely Marquez. A move that has already burned other riders, but now is no time to be picky.
For Alex Rins, instead, the future is more uncertain. If we’re talking about official teams, only two are left (if we’re taking Mir’s move at Honda for granted): KTM and Aprilia. The former, however, doesn’t seem too interested in the Spanish rider at the moment while, with the latter, the situation is more fluid.
After the results of this beginning of season, they’re practically forced to renew with Aleix Espargarò at Noale. All they need to do is agree on money and contract term. Instead, with Viñales, things aren’t going so well and, in Jerez, there were insistent rumors that his manager would be knocking on Pramac’s door to evaluate a move to Ducati on the satellite team.
This wouldn’t be a setback at all if Viñales decides to bid his farewell, and even Alex couldn’t complain, considering the RS-GP’s performance this year, also because, if he wanted another bike, Rins would have to settle for private teams.
But they still need to tread cautiously. Firstly, because the news of Suzuki’s retirement was sudden, so everything is still in progress, with managers who are probing possibilities and future scenarios. It’s no mystery that Leopard has been wanting to get into the queen class for years, like KTM is investing in the GasGas brand, with which it already races in the Moto3 and Moto2. Now they’re saying that they might be constructing 2 more bikes, in white and red. As of now, it’s all a guessing game.
If Dorna wants to keep the 24 bikes, then a constructor will have to guarantee them. KTM certainly, but also Aprilia, would need a satellite team for its young riders and also develop its bikes better, especially now that it has lost its concessions.
A team like Leopard (perhaps in collaboration with Max Biaggi) could be a candidate, but there’s also Razali who must decide his future. In fact, the WithU team signed a one-year contract with Yamaha and, if it’s not renewed, it could move to another constructor.
There’s also a lot of speculation as to where the orphaned M1s would end up. Some say Iwata could do without them, and that they’ll go to the VR46 (that actually has a 3-year contract with Ducati).
So, the games are far from over and, even if there’s a week-long break from the races, the managers will still be on the job.