Following the shock news of Suzuki’s premier-class exit, rumours soon emerged of a potential Leopard-Aprilia project stepping in to take over the grid places.

However, at Le Mans, Kotur told Sky Sports Italia that moving from Moto3 to MotoGP would be a huge step and not possible for Leopard in time for 2023. The team confirmed his words to Crash.net.

Leopard has won the Moto3 world championship with Danny Kent (2015), current Suzuki star Joan Mir (2017) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (2019). The team is currently second in this year's standings with reigning title runner-up Dennis Foggia.

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Forward Racing, which competed in MotoGP from 2012-2015, told Crash.net that while Suzuki’s exit could be a good opportunity for teams looking to join the premier-class, they are focussed on developing their MV Agusta Moto2 project... But 'never say never'.

Such comments from Independent teams follow statements by Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola, who told pit lane reporter Amy Reynolds at Le Mans: “I don’t think Dorna wants a [new] satellite team to replace a constructor [Suzuki].”

If that is the case, the only existing Independent team able to potentially join forces with Aprilia next season looks to be Razlan Razali’s RNF squad.

RNF currently has a one-year Yamaha deal, with an extension decision due by the end of June. The other Independent teams have multi-year contracts with their respective manufacturers.

“We are thinking about eventually providing two more bikes, if we find the right partner,” Rivola added. “We would need to decide in a very short name [for 2023]. It would be important to do it in a professional way and also not lose any performance with the factory team.”

Aprilia sits second in the world championship with Aleix Espargaro, who gave the factory its first premier-class victory in Argentina this season. Espargaro’s four podiums since Silverstone 2021 mean Aprilia has lost technical concessions for next season.

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Dorna: '22 riders is okay'

Meanwhile, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has repeated the information given in the company’s initial statement on Suzuki's planned exit, saying they have received interest “from manufacturers and individual teams” to take over the Japanese factory’s place.

But Ezpeleta also made clear that Suzuki might not be replaced at all, at least for 2023.

“If we have a championship with five manufacturers and six private teams it is exactly the same as we had last year; 22 riders is okay. Depending on the proposals, we will decide if we want to replace Suzuki or continue as it is, without Suzuki.”

It is hard to imagine that a new ‘ground up’ MotoGP project could be proposed, signed off and created from scratch in time for the 2023 season, which officially starts with the Valencia post-race test in early November.

Instead, the most likely options for the arrival of a ‘new’ manufacturer in 2023 would be to rebrand an existing machine - as KTM does with GASGAS, Husqvarna and CFMoto in Moto3 or, less likely, by someone taking over the doomed GSX-RR project.

In either case, to avoid receiving unfair access to the concessions package available for new constructors, rivals would expect any 'rebranded' or 'reborn' bikes to be grouped with the original design for the purposes of the technical rules.