Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team

The 2021 MotoGP champion has never looked more unhappy, and Yamaha appear no closer to delivering him the competitive machinery that his undeniable talent requires.

Quartararo won’t go elsewhere next season because he is under contract, but the knock-on effect will be whether other manufacturers leave a free spot for 2025.

The age and brilliance of Quartararo means that most teams would love to acquire him and, if Yamaha cannot give him the assurances that he needs, 2024 will be dominated by talk of where he could go next.

New Tracks for 2024? Your Questions Answered | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 91

One of the likelier MotoGP riders to vacate his current seat next year.

Morbidelli entered 2023 under intense pressure in the final year of his contract, but the early signs were promising. He briefly outperformed Quartararo.

Lin Jarvis, Yamaha managing director, even named Morbidelli as his No1 choice for the factory bike next season if he maintained his good form.

But Yamaha’s links to Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi won’t go away, and Morbidelli must know that his fate will soon be decided.

The Mooney VR46 team are the clear landing spot for Morbidelli, should Marco Bezzecchi move on. The obvious link is that Morbidelli is one of four VR46 Academy graduates on the current grid.

Ducati Lenovo Team

No question that the reigning MotoGP champion, who currently leads this year’s MotoGP standings, will remain a factory Ducati rider next season.

Last season’s heroics with Gresini earned Bastianini a promotion but, due to a shoulder blade injury sustained in the first-ever sprint race, his season hasn’t got started. He will race at Mugello next week but won’t be fully fit.

Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti was asked whether he might fancy dropping Bastianini in 2024, such is the fierce competition for a factory seat.

“There are no changes planned,” was his response.

But that is a reminder to Bastianini, even before his first grand prix as a factory Ducati rider, of the intense scrutiny he will face at the iconic Italian manufacturer.

Aprilia Racing

The oldest rider on the grid is contracted for 2024, and has confirmed he will stay active for at least that long.

The intrigue surrounds how long Espargaro might battle on for, and therefore when Aprilia need to replace him.

“If next year, at the beginning of the year, I am fighting with the best, I will continue in 2025, if Aprilia wants it,” he has said.

Also contracted until the end of next year, there will be no movement for Vinales.

“From a contractual point of view we are fixed for the next two years and hopefully more,” Massimo Rivola, the Aprilia boss, said. 

“I’m really convinced that maybe we have the best line-up of four riders in the paddock."

Repsol Honda Team

Where to even begin? The six-time MotoGP champion is signed to the most lucrative contract in the sport currently, which runs until the end of next year.

His glory has been synonymous with Honda, the team he has represented for his entire MotoGP career, but he entered 2023 making demands that they must deliver him a competitive bike - or he might find one elsewhere.

But things have changed since then. Marquez got injured, another physical blow to his mounting toll. Honda have a genius rider on their books but also one who has missed large periods for the past four seasons. Now 30, he isn’t getting any younger either.

Jorge Lorenzo thinks that Ducati will make an offer to Marquez for 2025, but on lower money than he is used to. Choose Honda’s money or Ducati’s bike, Lorenzo has claimed.

Ducati have denied that they want a rider of Marquez’s age.

But with the most esteemed and successful rider in the sport entering the final year of his deal next year, on a bike which might not give him a chance of a seventh championship, there will surely be a scramble to tempt him.

KTM have the same link to the might of Red Bull that Marquez has…

  • Joan Mir (contracted until end of 2024) #36

The 2020 champion with Suzuki, things have gone very badly so far at Honda.

But Mir is protected by another year of his contract, and there is no suggestion that Honda would want to get rid.

The pressure, however, may come from Alex Rins, their satellite rider who has so far out-performed his former Suzuki teammate Mir.

Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda team boss, said about rumours of a Mir-Rins swap: “Such a team change is out of the question. I can guarantee that."

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Things are going pretty sweetly for KTM at the moment. Miller was brought across from Ducati, and is contracted for another year.

The only concern might apply to 2025, when Marc Marquez could become a free agent, and KTM may be inclined to make a move for him. But that’s a problem for much, much later down the line.

Binder, also, has a 2024 contract with KTM, the team he has been attached to since 2015.

Gresini Racing MotoGP (Ducati)

Swapping Honda for Ducati has worked out well so far. 

There are no substantial links to other bikes or teams. Marquez is on a one-year deal but Ducati reportedly have the option to extend it, which means the Spaniard’s future is in his team’s hands.

Major pressure is on the young Italian, and he is among the favourites to lose his MotoGP place altogether.

Tony Arbolino, who currently leads Moto2, is the name seriously linked to replacing Di Giannantonio.

“Let's see, it's a little too early, we need a couple more races before considering next year," Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti has said.

But that sounds like a ‘now or never’ warning to Di Giannantonio, whose contract finishes at the end of this season…

Prima Pramac Racing (Ducati)

The second-oldest rider on the grid could be a sacrificial lamb to enable Ducati to keep their prized assets.

Marco Bezzecchi’s desire for a better bike and salary has piqued Yamaha’s interest, which means that Ducati will have to think how to keep the breakout start of this year. A move to Pramac is an option.

If that happens, Zarco could be out of MotoGP, and given a WorldSBK seat.

For a long time it seemed like a formality that Yamaha would give Martin the factory bike he has desired since missing out on the Ducati Lenovo seat.

Martin is contracted for 2024 but there is a clause in his contract allowing him to get out early, if he receives a factory offer.

He is the “first candidate” that Yamaha want for 2024, it has been reported.

But he is concerned that Yamaha “continues not to keep its promises by the engineers”,  Gazzetta dello Sport say.

Clearly, there is more to come with the saga of Martin’s future. He could be the first domino to fall before the avalanche of rider market moves.

Mooney VR46 Racing Team (Ducati)

His contract is due to expire at the end of this season, but everybody knows Marini’s links to the VR46 set-up. And besides, his performances have clearly warranted an extension, which he is likely to receive.

His stunning start to 2023 - briefing leading the championship, winning his and Mooney VR46’s first-ever grand prix, and now sitting one point behind the championship leader - have made Bezzecchi hot property.

Ducati now clearly have a nice problem on their hands - how to keep happy an emerging prized asset?

“Now Marco has a salary and a technical package in line with those of a satellite team. It’s not fair that he continues like this,” VR46 boss Uccio Salucci said.

Bezzecchi has added: “To be in the factory [team]? That is something really nice.”

Yamaha are casting an envious glance at Bezzecchi and could offer him a factory seat, so Ducati know they must entice him to stay.

A switch to Pramac or a better package to remain at VR46 are options. The factory Ducati seat for 2024 is not an option.

In the background is VR46’s eventual decision of whether to stay with Ducati or go to Yamaha.

Bezzecchi, like Martin, is the crucial cog in the 2024 MotoGP rider market whose future will dictate many of his peers’.

RNF MotoGP Team (Aprilia)

Aprilia have stated that they will keep faith in their current four riders, who are all contracted for next year too.

The knock-on effect is Pedro Acosta - the brilliant teenage talent from Moto2, who lots of manufacturers would love to have.

Massimo Rivola, Aprilia boss, has said: "When you have a super talent like Pedro - his name could be associated with all the manufacturers - and I’m happy that his name is close to us also. 

"It means we are competitive and have a good bike because normally you put good talent on a top bike. Good to hear but it’s not true."

Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing (KTM)

Espargaro is contracted until the end of next season and KTM intend to retain faith in the experienced rider, unless he is unable to get back to his best following his crash in Portimao earlier this year.

  • Augusto Fernandez (KTM contract end of 2023, option for 2024) #37

The lurking shadow of Pedro Acosta, who is already tied to KTM, is constantly keeping the pressure on Fernandez.

KTM’s preference is for Acosta, 19, to stay in Moto2 for 2024. But he is ambitious and talented, and they won’t want to miss out on him.

Acosta has teased: “If I can’t dress in orange, maybe in red…”

But with no obvious spot vacant at Ducati, Acosta has said about KTM: “They have experience to really plan what is best for my career, and for my [first] season in MotoGP.”

Therefore, Fernandez is expected to stay next year.

LCR Honda Castrol/Idemitsu

He became the first Honda rider, aside from Marc Marquez, to win a grand prix since 2018 in Texas this year.

That was a reminder of his qualities - but Rins has a deal that runs through 2024.

The thing to keep an eye on might be his relationship with his own team. His public criticism that Honda didn’t use him enough for development did not go down well with his employers, in Spain reported.

The only Honda rider whose contract is due to expire at the end of this year.

Ai Ogura, his fellow Japanese rider, has been touted as a replacement for next year.

But Ogura has been unable to truly stake a claim so far with a disrupted season in Moto2.

Still, Nakagami should be looking over his shoulder.