The most attractive seat on the grid expected to be up for grabs is at Yamaha.

Franco Morbidelli is the man looking over his shoulder at rivals eyeing his place alongside Fabio Quartararo.

Jorge Martin to join Yamaha in 2024?! | MotoGP 2023

Yamaha will only field two bikes in the 2023 MotoGP rider line-up and have been linked with recruiting Jorge Martin this time next year - the Pramac Racing rider was overlooked for a factory Ducati seat and may have an axe to grind with his current employers.

But Carlo Pernat believes that Marquez could be identified by Yamaha.

“I'm reading these days a sea of market rumours, but nothing is moving,” Pernat told Men on Wheels

“They say Jorge Martin to Yamaha, but at least until the Malaysian tests it's all chatter. Because it is true that Martin has a clause that could free him from Ducati, but it is also true that Yamaha wants to see the results before changing riders. 

“And then who’s to say, for example, that if Yamaha were to be strong in Malaysia and Honda, instead, were to prove uncompetitive, those at Yamaha would go looking for a Martin rather than a Marc Marquez?"

The pressure is on Repsol Honda to emerge from a nightmare 2022 and deliver their star man with the machinery he needs to fight for the championship.

Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia have won their maiden titles in the past two years as Marquez’s injury problems have intensified, so time is not on his side to claim a seventh premier class title and draw level with Valentino Rossi’s tally.

He has already criticised his 2023 prototype bike, but has launched a passionate defence of Honda team manager Alberto Puig.

His brother Alex Marquez’s exit to Gresini Ducati set tongues wagging that, if Honda don’t deliver this year, Marc could follow him to the team that crowned their first champion in 15 years in 2022.

But Yamaha may become a shock option for Marquez if the dominos fall into place.