The contracts of most MotoGP riders will expire at the end of 2022. Only three riders whose futures are guaranteed, namely Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who have contracts until 2024, and Franco Morbidelli ( Monster Energy Yamaha) whose contract expires at the end of 2023.
As a result, there are 21 drivers who must impress their teams and manufacturers in order to get contract extensions for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. However, there are six drivers who have greater potential to leave their respective teams. Uniquely, they are all from the factory status team.
The future of these six drivers is uncertain even though they are proven to have a fierce performance on the track. There are various reasons and causes. Some of them, due to inconsistent performance, failed to meet the team’s expectations throughout 2021, and some were even dissatisfied with their team’s performance.
Who are the racers who are threatened with ‘out’ from their respective factory teams in MotoGP 2023? Here’s the review.
Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team
2021 will undoubtedly be Jack Miller’s best season in MotoGP since jumping straight from Moto3 in 2015. He has five podiums and two wins, and is fourth in the standings, his best ranking in the class of kings. Even so, this result is not in accordance with the targets set by Ducati.
The reason is, of their six riders who have participated in MotoGP 2021, Miller is the rider who has defended Ducati the longest, since he was still at Pramac Racing in 2018. In 2019-2020, before joining the factory team, The Thriller was also a Ducati rider with a podium. most (9), behind Andrea Dovizioso (12).
Based on that record, Ducati is targeting Miller’s world title this year. However, the 2014 Moto3 runner-up fell under the shadow of the tandem, Pecco Bagnaia. He is also threatened by the presence of Jorge Martin, who this season is Pramac’s debutant, but has been able to collect four podiums and one victory.
Maverick Vinales – Aprilia Racing
Public doubts on Maverick Vinales have resurfaced this season due to a flurry of performance with Monster Energy Yamaha. The climax even occurred when the two sides separated in the middle of the season due to bickering both on and off the track.
After leaving Yamaha starting on August 20, Vinales then defended Aprilia Racing, and his contract will expire at the end of 2022. However, when Aleix Espargaro managed to climb the podium at Silverstone, Vinales has not shown any progress in performance, and this can be seen again in the post-season testing. in Jerez in mid-November.
Vinales’ main difficulty is that he is too used to riding motorcycles with inline-4 engines (Suzuki and Yamaha), and now has to drive a V4 engine. The first few races of the 2022 season will also be a crucial moment for Vinales to show his potential in Aprilia, in order to get a contract extension in 2023 and 2024.
Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda
After defending KTM for four seasons, Pol Espargaro surprised people by his decision to move to Repsol Honda this year. The reason is, it’s no secret that the Honda RC213V is a motorcycle that is only tame in the hands of Marc Marquez and difficult to be friendly to other racers.
According to the predictions of many parties, Polyccio has had its ups and downs in adapting to RCV. Even in the top 10, he had to work hard. Throughout the season, his striking form ‘only’ came when he took pole at Silverstone and finished second at Emilia Romagna. In the last two races, he again struggled, even failing to finish in Valencia.
Like Miller and Vinales, Espargaro will find the inaugural series of MotoGP 2022 will determine his future at Repsol Honda. Moreover, the Single Wing manufacturer has a young rider who is also a two-time world champion, namely Alex Marquez, and is hunting for a Moto2 rider from Japan, Ai Ogura.
Alex Rins – Suzuki Ecstar
It is no secret that Alex Rins is a very talented rider and is able to go very fast. When in a good situation, he can certainly threaten the top competition. Unfortunately, his collection of accidents this season made many people doubt him.
Rins has repeatedly shown solid performances in the fight for victory. However, he often makes trivial mistakes that make him fail to finish or fail to get points. In fact, in his fifth season in MotoGP, he is highly expected by Suzuki Ecstar to participate in the fight for the world title.
In fact, in the last two years, he has been smoked by his younger tandem, Joan Mir. Mir himself even managed to win the 2020 world title in his second season, and this season again appeared consistent until he was ranked third in the final standings.
Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Since kicking off with his threat to Danny Kent in Moto3 2015 and at Pecco Bagnaia in Moto2 2018, Miguel Oliveira has been confirmed by KTM to be one of their spearheads in MotoGP someday. His two wins with Tech 3 in 2020 also prove that Oliveira has great potential.
For that reason, he was transferred to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing this season, as a replacement for Pol Espargaro. Having stumbled due to the poor performance of the RC16, Oliveira suddenly made a surprise by taking the podium at Mugello and Sachsenring, even winning at Catalunya, a track known to be unfriendly to KTM.
However, since having an accident in Serie Styria and getting a head injury, Oliveira’s mentality of freefall and his fierce form did not return until the end of the season. He even smoked his tandem, Brad Binder, who sits in sixth place in the standings, while Oliveira sits in 14th.