4 - Rider changes mean new and exciting teammate pairings

Three of the five factory teams will have new rider pairings in 2023, with only the Monster Energy Yamaha team and Aprilia Racing retaining both its riders from last season. 

Marc Marquez is joined by 2020 MotoGP champion Joan Mir at Repsol Honda, while another big change has seen Enea Bastianini move into the Lenovo Ducati team opposite world champion Francesco Bagnaia

Mir’s move to Honda is one that could certainly set off fireworks, as the former Suzuki rider’s relationship with Marquez has been anything but smooth since joining the premier class in 2019.

At Ducati, Bastianini and Bagnaia are expected to be title contenders, and based on how close they were in terms of performance during several races in 2022, it wouldn’t be surprising if drama unfolds between the two Italians. 

Jack Miller is another big name to have jumped from one manufacturer to another as he replaces Miguel Oliveira at Red Bull KTM.

The Portuguese star, who was wanted by KTM in its rebranded GASGAS Tech 3 team, instead moved to RNF Aprilia.

3 - Marquez will return to being a contender

Finally reaching full fitness for the first time since 2020, Marquez appears destined to become a real threat for race wins or even better, a championship challenge.

With that said, Honda have been lost over the last three seasons, going through one of their worst spells in Grand Prix history.

The RC213V has not been a regular challenger to the improved Ducati, KTM and Aprilia machines, while the persistent problem that is delivering a bike in which only Marquez can truly ride has continued. 

If Honda makes improvements, which is a big if, then Marquez should have the tools both physically and technically to become the rider that dominated MotoGP from 2013 to 2019.

Marquez showed that with a bike that was difficult to extract performance from - whilst also being less than 100% fit - he can still deliver sensational performances after claiming pole in Motegi and finishing second at Phillip Island. 

2 - More title challengers than ever before

Following on from Marquez potential being in the mix, and the expectation that both Bagnaia and Bastianini will be leading contenders, the 2023 MotoGP season could be one where every factory team has a legitimate championship threat. 

Aleix Espargaro will be expecting to show the type of form and consistency that made him Fabio Quartararo’s main title rival for much of 2022, while the Yamaha rider will be aiming to reclaim the title from Bagnaia and can’t be ruled out.

At KTM, small improvements are needed and should that take place then Brad Binder could be someone to watch.

If Miller and Maverick Vinales can add consistency then there’s no reason why both riders can’t be contenders. Vinales has already shown he has the speed to contend for race wins which Aprilia will want to see put into practice this year. 

Away from the factory teams, Jorge Martin is an obvious name to watch due to the raw speed and potential he has. 

1 - Sprint races in MotoGP

For the first time ever MotoGP will have Sprint races on a Saturday, adding another layer of excitement prior to Sunday’s main race.

Replacing FP4, Saturdays will now feature a 30-minute FP3 session, qualifying and half-distance Sprint race, which will be at every venue, taking the tally of races up to 42 in 2023.

Unlike WorldSBK where the Sprint race sets the grid for Race 2, qualifying will remain the official grid-setting session, while the Sprint race will be its standalone session with half-points on offer.