Four different riders from four different teams have won the title in the past four years - Marc Marquez in 2019 (Honda), Joan Mir in 2020 (Suzuki), Fabio Quartararo in 2021 (Yamaha) and Francesco Bagnaia in 2022 (Ducati).

The most recent three were all first-time champions, and Pedrosa is backing that trend to continue.

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

“The easiest thing would be to choose one of the Ducati riders, because at the moment it is the most stable bike on all types of circuits,” he told DAZN. “The one with the best performance that can go fastest.

“If I have to name names, from what I saw in Malaysia, one of the best riders was Jorge Martin.

“Pecco is the champion and will try to defend his title. Last year he won after making many mistakes, something that had never been seen before, so he just needs to stop making mistakes to do better.

“Then there is Enea Bastianini who is very determined to prove his value. Having the champion next to him will motivate him.

“These three feel very strong.

“I can’t tell you if this year’s Ducati is better or not than last year’s, but what is clear is that at the moment they are superior, at least that’s what they showed in the first test in Sepang.

“I was on track watching and they looked very solid in all of the corners and every part of the track. They seemed to be very comfortable.”

The 2023 MotoGP calendar features a MotoGP Sprint race at every round, a major new scheduling feature which might play havoc with the championship race as the riders get to grips with it.

KTM test rider Pedrosa, the most successful MotoGP rider ever to not win the title, said: “There are many races in which you can fall or get injured. Many things can happen and, maybe after five races, you are no longer fighting for the title.

“If you lose a race to injury, it is no longer just one. It is two. If they are consecutive, you can lose up to four or six, losing many points.”

Pedrosa believes that the preseason Sepang test, and the upcoming Portimao test, will not reveal the season’s early leaders.

“I think there could be changes of position,” he said. “The order in which they finished the last test, or could finish the next test, may be different in the first, second or third race.

“Some riders feel more comfortable in a race weekend than a test weekend. Others always do well in testing, but in the race, with the atmosphere or the pressure, they don’t know how to get good laps and the order changes.

“The important thing is that, between first and 20th there were eight or nine tenths. So with a small mistake or a bad day, you can finish very low.”