Although there’s just one rookie coming into MotoGP for 2023 as opposed to the five that joined the grid last season, plenty of changes have still taken place.

Joan Mir and Alex Rins have moved to Honda following Suzuki’s withdrawal from competitive racing, while Enea Bastianini has replaced Jack Miller at the factory Ducati team, with the Australian crossing over to KTM alongside Brad Binder

11 - Alex Marquez & Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati)

The perfect prove it opportunity, Marquez has moved from LCR Honda to the team that won four races with Bastianini in 2022.

In what’s likely to be his last chance at showing just how good he is, Marquez will be on arguably the best package on the grid with the Desmosedici GP-22.

Marquez has not recorded a podium since his rookie season but has a great chance of changing that, despite competition being very fierce across Ducati’s eight bikes and riders.

Di Giannantonio showed glimpses of being a very good MotoGP rider last season - the highlight was his pole position at Mugello - however, a step forward in performance and consistency needs to be made next season. 

10 - Pol Espargaro & Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Tech 3) 

Making his return to KTM machinery following two very difficult seasons with Repsol Honda should provide Espargaro with the spark needed to rediscover his form of 2020.

A challenger for race wins prior to moving to Honda, Espargaro also makes his return to a team he knows well having been with Tech 3 previously. 

Fernandez moves up to the premier class after having won the Moto2 title at the final round in Valencia. Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez struggled aboard the RC16 during their debut season, so Fernandez will be aiming to change that and make a real impact as the lone rookie.

9 - Miguel Oliveira & Raul Fernandez (Aprilia RNF) 

Like the rider pairing that’s ranked one spot ahead of them, Miguel Oliveira will be expected to lead the team and fight for top ten finishes or better.

A two-time winner in 2022, Oliveira once again showed that on his day he has what it takes to win.

Although both his wins came in wet conditions, Oliveira also has two victories in the dry which came at the Red Bull Ring and Portimao in 2020.

How competitive the RNF Aprilia machine will be is yet to be seen, as is what rider they will be getting in Fernandez.

If the Spaniard, who was desperate to find a way out of KTM, can find the type of form that saw him win the most number of races in Moto2 as a rookie (2021), then Aprilia’s satellite team could be in very good shape. 

8 - Alex Rins & Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) 

Based on the last few races of the season there’s an argument to be made that a rider line-up with Rins included should be ranked higher than ninth.

But with Nakagami having failed to claim a podium finish in MotoGP thus far and Honda expected to struggle once more unless significant upgrades are brought forward, putting the LCR duo any higher is tough to do. 

Rins won two out of the last three races for Suzuki so if Honda can provide him with a competitive package then the Spaniard should be fighting at the front of the field, despite it being his first premier class campaign not on Suzuki machinery. 

7 - Luca Marini & Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati) 

Marini and Bezzecchi formed one of the better partnerships as the season went on, as they both secured several top five finishes.

Bezzecchi was by far the most impressive rookie as he comfortably took home rookie of the year honours.

A podium in Assen was his best result while victory in Buriram looked like a real possibility after clinching his maiden MotoGP pole. The Italian led the early laps before being demoted one position due to gaining an advantage whilst off-track on the opening lap - which then began a slide that saw him finish outside of the points.

If Bezzecchi can make a jump in his second year then fighting for victories can’t be ruled out, as is the case for Marini who showed he can challenge the very best on more than once occasion.

6 - Jorge Martin & Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati) 

The potential of Martin and Zarco both individually and as a team should have them ranked higher but as we saw this past season, potential didn’t always equal results.

Martin had as many poles as Francesco Bagnaia, while Zarco looked like an early-season contender, however, consistency was a big issue for both riders.

Martin’s raw speed should put him back in the hunt for victories in 2023, while Zarco will be looking to finally get his first MotoGP win. 

5 - Aleix Espargaro & Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) 

The first team to crack our top five is Aprilia Racing with Espargaro and Vinales, who at times in 2022 were nothing short of sensational.

Espargaro was a title contender for much of the season which included a maiden MotoGP win in Argentina, while Vinales was beginning to show his best form once he fully got to grips with the RS-GP22.

Vinales came close to winning at Silverstone after a late charge saw him pick off riders lap after lap, while Espargaro put in one of the best individual performances at Assen to come back from contact with Fabio Quartararo that left him 14th and instead finish fourth. 

For all the good steps Aprilia and both its riders made in 2022, technical issues and a lack of performance towards the end of the year hampered them more than once and is something that needs to be addressed next season.

4 - Brad Binder & Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM)

A team that has incredible upside, Binder and Miller could be the most exciting pairing to watch in 2023. 

Binder once again delivered Sunday after Sunday this past season and is arguably one of the top three riders in MotoGP, while Miller showed a side of him that has rarely been seen.

The Australian’s performance at Motegi when he came from the second row to thoroughly dominate was as good a ride as anything we saw during the year.

Binder failed to win a race in a world championship season for the first time since 2017, but as he demonstrated in Valencia, if KTM can find a little extra pace in qualifying trim then he will be a contender for victory on most weekends. 

3 - Fabio Quartararo & Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha)

If we’re taking the 2022 season as our guide for this ranking then it's fairly obvious that Quartararo is the major reason for making the top three.

Although he squandered a 91-point lead to Bagnaia over the final ten races, Quartararo was often competing against several Ducatis that had more performance and the Frenchman remained exceptional for the majority of those races.

Yes, mistakes in Aragon and Phillip Island played a huge role in him losing out to Bagnaia, however, it was clear that Quartararo was fighting the Italian with an inferior package.

Quartararo will automatically start next season as a clear favourite to win the championship, but the 2021 world champion needs help from the Japanese manufacturer.

On the other hand, Morbidelli is heading into a make or break year. With his contract up at the end of 2023 - Morbidelli is the only factory rider to be in that position - finding his best form will be vital.

Signs were there towards the end of the season that improvements were being made and if the Italian can revert back to the rider that finished a vice-champion in 2020 then this rider pairing is without question one of the best. 

2 - Marc Marquez & Joan Mir (Repsol Honda)

Runners up on our list is the Repsol Honda pairing of eight-time world champion Marquez and Mir.

In what was another injury-hit season, Marquez looked to be making major progress during the final few rounds of 2022.

A pole position at Motegi was topped by finishing second at the Australian Grand Prix. If Marquez can get back to full fitness and show the level we saw prior to his first right shoulder injury in 2020, then the Spaniard would be the favourite to win the title even with Honda struggling compared to Ducati.

Marquez is joined by Mir, giving the most successful team in MotoGP history their first double world champion line-up since 2019 when Jorge Lorenzo was alongside Marquez.

Mir himself had injury problems to contend with last season, however, the former Suzuki should be back to his best for the start of 2023.

MotoGP champion in 2020, Mir is one of the most consistent performers when healthy and should play a big role in helping Honda find their way back to the front of the grid. 

1 -  Francesco Bagnaia & Enea Bastianini (Lenovo Ducati) 

The current world champions will no doubt be a stiff test for anyone in 2023, and with Bagnaia now joined by Bastianini, the factory Ducati team has the two riders who won the most races inside their line-up.

Bagnaia and Bastianini dominated the second half of the season as they fought one-another for victory on three occasions, and although the relationship between the two appears to be less harmonious than the one Bagnaia enjoyed with Miller, the two Italians should be the strongest line-up, at least at the start of the season. 

Bastianini is expected to pose a real challenge to Bagnaia when it comes to winning the title and if that were to happen, then it’s likely that the Lenovo Ducati team would be the only outfit that has both riders going for the championship.