The reigning MotoGP world champion has so far been alone in competing for wins and podiums aboard M1 machinery. 

Despite Franco Morbidelli being back to full fitness and three-time premier class runner-up Andrea Dovizioso joining RNF Yamaha for 2022, Quartararo remains the only rider capable of achieving anything close to a good result. 

In fact, Quartararo leads the championship on a machine that has not only remained slowest in terms of straight-line speed, but one that’s considered to be behind the likes of Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia. 

The big news coming out of Jerez, that Suzuki intended to pull out of MotoGP at the end of this season, was confirmed by the Japanese manufacturer today. However, RNF’s future participation in the world championship and choice of manufacturer is also still to be confirmed, having only signed a one year deal with Yamaha.

Should that contract not be extended, not only would it result in Yamaha having just one team in 2023, but would potentially cost riders such as WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu a potential Yamaha seat in MotoGP next season. 

Asked if Yamaha running just two bikes would be a problem, Quartararo thinks not: "Well, if I remain there for next year, then at the moment having two bikes is not really a problem. 

"At the moment we struggle a bit to compare data with the second team, so for me it would not be a problem." 

Aprilia to finally get their hands on a satellite MotoGP team?

Should Yamaha drop its satellite project, Razlan Razali's team could continue by sourcing machinery from another manufacturer. Aprilia would be the obvious choice having only two bikes on the grid at present.

However, Aprilia has already been heavily linked with backing the potential replacement for the Suzuki team, which could come in the form of multi-time Moto3 champions Leopard Racing or former MotoGP race winners Pons. 

Aprilia previously failed to secure a satellite team when nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi chose Ducati for his Mooney VR46 team and Gresini opted for Ducati.

Asked about Suzuki’s intention to leave Grand Prix racing, Aleix Espargaro said: "For sure the situation has changed quite a lot now with the exit of Suzuki and maybe the second team of Yamaha changing. 

"I’ve heard some rumours that Aprilia could have a satellite team which would be great. At the end of the day it’s all rumours and talks, I cannot control this so I just try to focus on riding. 

"At the end of the day this is what counts; to be as close to Fabio in the championship or even trying to gain some points, that’s what will change more for me. You cannot control the rest." 

For Espargaro, this weekend’s French MotoGP presents the opportunity to extend the best run of his career in terms of podium finishes. 

Until this season Espargaro had failed to achieve back-to-back podiums in any class, but after finishing third in both Portimao and Jerez, the Aprilia rider need-not worry as he’s instead turned himself into a serious title contender. The Spaniard is just seven points back from Fabio Quartararo in the championship.