Before Gresini Ducati announced their decision to sign Marquez during last weekend’s Dutch MotoGP, Rins was also in talks to join the team alongside Fabio Di Giannantonio.
But with Gresini unable to offer Rins a 2023 package, something only Honda could as the new RNF Aprilia team will also be using 2022 machinery next year, the three-time premier class race winner has since confirmed a deal to join LCR is ‘almost done’.
Gresini’s decision to sign Marquez has also ruled out any possibility of Miguel Oliveira joining Ducati.
Since the 2022 season got underway in March there have been six official rider signings. Those include world champion Fabio Quartararo (staying at Yamaha), Jack Miller to Red Bull KTM, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales (both staying at Aprilia), Alex Marquez and Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati).
This list does not include Francesco Bagnaia who signed a new multi-year deal with Ducati before the season got underway.
While Bagnaia’s team-mate for 2023 is yet to be confirmed, Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin will definitely be staying at Ducati, with the Pramac team being home to whichever rider fails to secure the factory seat.
Expected MotoGP moves!
As we already touched upon, Rins could be the next domino to fall as a move to LCR Honda looks to be 99% complete. However, another signing could soon be announced at Honda as Joan Mir looks set to join Respol alongside Marc Marquez.
This means Pol Espargaro would be out of a seat, although Tech 3 KTM Team Manager Herve Poncharal recently claimed the Spaniard is very high on their list of targets. Nothing has been confirmed on this front, but Espargaro to Tech 3 is an expected move.
At RNF, all signs point to factory KTM rider Miguel Oliveira joining the new satellite Aprilia team for 2023.
Ogura, Nakagami, Gardner - what’s the latest gossip on the remaining riders?
The final seat at LCR Honda is one that’s currently being contested for by Japanese riders Takaaki Nakagami and Moto2 title contender Ai Ogura, with the latter considered the favourite.
Should Ogura be promoted to MotoGP, then Nakagami could slot into a test rider role with Honda, which has been rumoured.
While most of the available seats have clear names linked to them, the second RNF Aprilia ride appears to be a lot less clear.
Raul Fernandez, Celestino Vietti, Aron Canet and current rider Darryn Binder have all been mentioned, however, it’s looking more and more likely that either Fernandez or Vietti will get that ride, meaning Binder could be out of MotoGP after just one season.
Finally, we have the second seat at Tech 3 which could go the way of Remy Gardner. The Australian has endured a tough rookie season and although there’s been frustration from last year’s Moto2 world champion towards KTM, it looks likely that both sides will continue.