Why future options for MotoGP's recent champions are scarce
As Fabio Quartararo's and Joan Mir's contracts with Yamaha and Suzuki respectively expire, the market situation and the drop in salaries in MotoGP severely limit the strength of the last two world champions when it comes to negotiating their futures. That means renewing their current deals is likely the best option for both
In pre-pandemic circumstances, both Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo would be rubbing their hands together right now. Their agents would be able to use the 2020 and 2021 MotoGP world titles as leverage for their next contracts and, depending on the options available, sign for the most attractive proposal.
The problem for both is that the current market situation does not favour an aggressive strategy at the moment. The lack of potential options for them to move to, the very specific policies employed by other manufacturers such as Ducati and Honda and the status that Quartararo and Mir have earned play in the favour of Yamaha and Suzuki, as their respective managers are aware of. As a result, neither the Iwata (Yamaha) nor Hamamatsu (Suzuki) brands seem overly concerned that their spearheads could jump ship.
Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend
Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007
After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez
While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character
OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title
OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness
Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia
Tank Slappers Podcast: Can a fully fit Marquez dominate again?
F1 and MotoGP champions Verstappen, Marquez nominated for Laureus awards