The 2022 MotoGP season saw several riders not only assert themselves as stars of the future, but stars of the present.

Whether that be Francesco Bagnaia after his sensational title win, Enea Bastianini who won four races and secured a factory Ducati seat in the process, or rookie of the year Marco Bezzecchi.

However, other performances throughout the season left a lot to be desired which is why they have been included on this list.

5 - Joan Mir

While Mir has a two-year contract at Repsol Honda and is therefore facing no risk of losing his seat after 2023, the former Suzuki rider will be looking to stop the trend that involves teammates to Marc Marquez failing to get close to him over a season.

The 2020 world champion has failed to win a race since his title-winning season, and although the Spaniard was very consistent in 2021 which led to him finishing third, he wasn’t able to match Alex Rins who won two out of the last three races at the end of last season.

Mir has joined a team that is the most successful in MotoGP history, however, Repsol Honda have won just three races in the last three years, all of which came courtesy of Marquez. 

Whether it was Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo or Pol Espargaro, all three riders were unable to continuously challenge Marquez when the eight-time world champion was healthy, and for Mir, the same outcome could be damaging to his potential options should the Mallorcan-born rider be looking at an exit from Honda beyond 2024.  

4 - Johann Zarco 

Like Mir, Zarco is less in need of a big 2023 season compared to the top three riders on our list, although pressure still remains for the Pramac rider.

Zarco is still without a victory in the premier class as he watched Bagnaia, Bastianini, Jack Miller and Jorge Martin all win races during the last two seasons on identical machinery, or in the case of Bastianini a year-old bike.

Zarco’s presence in the Pramac Ducati squad is a very good one for the team as he brings speed and experience, however, consistency has been an issue.

The last two seasons have seen Zarco start the year with multiple podiums and emerge as a title contender before dropping off in terms of performance.

If Bezzecchi or Luca Marini can add their names to the list of Ducati riders to win in MotoGP next season, then Zarco will need to achieve similar results to avoid being under pressure for 2024. 

3 - Takaaki Nakagami 

There’s no doubt that Honda wanted to promote Ai Ogura from Moto2 into MotoGP for next season.

But with the Japanese rider in the midst of a Moto2 title fight that he eventually lost to Augusto Fernandez, and feeling like he needed another season in the middleweight class, LCR Honda instead elected to stick with the experience of Nakagami.

While that was a lifeline for Nakagami, the five-year MotoGP veteran is unlikely to get away with another season like the ones he had in 2021 and 22.

Still without a podium or win in MotoGP, it appears as though Nakagami will at least need to achieve the former of those two scenarios if he wants to remain in the premier class beyond 2023. 

Due to his ties with Honda Nakagami is unlikely to be offered a ride elsewhere which also hurts his chances of remaining in MotoGP should Honda choose not to retain him. 

2 - Alex Marquez 

After three difficult seasons with Honda, Marquez was surprisingly picked up by Ducati and the Gresini team to replace Bastianini.

A former Moto2 champion like Bastianini, Marquez’s results are likely to be compared to what the Italian managed in 2022, which will make it very difficult to live up to the potential shown by Bastianini.

The 2023 season looks set to be Marquez’s last chance to prove himself as a MotoGP rider due to his struggles at LCR, albeit the RC213V proved to be a challenging bike for all the Honda riders to perform well with.

With that said, Marquez has arguably the best package on the grid at his disposal, so anything other than fighting for top ten finishes or better will be considered a disappointing season and one that will leave him fighting for his premier class career. 

1 - Franco Morbidelli

The only factory rider with a contract that runs out before 2024, Morbidelli’s Monster Energy Yamaha seat could be hotly contested for next season.

Morbidelli had a shocking 2023 season, finishing 19th in the championship while team-mate Fabio Quartararo was second.

Lin Jarvis, Team Principal of the factory Yamaha outfit, made it no secret that they should have signed Toprak Razgatlioglu from WorldSBK to replace Morbidelli, which could still be an option for the team in 2024.

Another rider who could be in the running is Martin after the Spaniard lost out to Bastianini in the fight for a factory Ducati seat. Martin won’t have the chance to join the Lenovo Ducati team until 2025 at the earliest, so a possible switch to Yamaha could be tempting for the 24 year-old. 

All of this will depend on Morbidelli’s form but unless he returns to something similar as 2020 when he was the runner-up, then a new rider could be joining Quartararo.