All MotoGP Teams Undergo Changes For 2023
There have been quite a few changes in the MotoGP grid for the coming 2023 season. Some will remain with the same manufacturer but a different team, while others will move on to a completely new camp. By the looks of it, there's going to be only one rookie in 2023. Today we will take a sneak peek at the nine MotoGP riders ready to embark on a new journey.
Bastianini Moves From Gresini To Ducati Lenovo Team
Enea Bastianini showed great skill in his debut season in 2021 with two podiums and finishing eleventh overall. To take things a step further, the Italian rider scored seven podiums in all, five of them being top position. Even though he had to take a few retirements in stride, the young gun was in the counting for the title until the final races.
Bastianini finished 3rd overall in the 2022 season, which cemented his prospects for the coming season. Ducati was quick to reward him with a promotion to the Ducati Lenovo team, right beside reigning champion, Francesco Bagnaia. Whether "The Beast" can topple Bagnaia from his comfortable position remains to be seen.
Rins And Mir Taken Up By Honda
Suzuki made the headlines mid-season in May 2022 when they announced their retirement from the World Championships. This unexpected move directly affected the futures of both Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team). However, to sign things off, the two Spanish racers will remain with another Japanese giant, Honda. Honda hasn't been in the news for anything good in recent times, so it remains to be seen if these new additions manage to change their fortunes.
Joan Mir will go on to the Repsol Honda Team alongside MotoGP legend, Marc Marquez. Alex Rins, on the other hand, is all set to join the LCR Honda Idemitsu satellite team. Time will tell if Rins can continue his fortuitous run with a new manufacturer and a new bike after 2022.
An Unlikely Duo
Augusto Fernandez was relentless throughout the Moto2 2022 season. Riding for Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing, the youngster became the overall champion of the Moto2 2022 season. His name had already long been in contention for a promotion to premier status, which finally came true last September. He will now ride alongside Pol Espargaro for Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing, a completely new MotoGP venture. Espargaro will be returning to the Tech3 team after making his MotoGP debut with them, back in 2014. He has been a part of Honda for the last two years, albeit an unfruitful one. The No. 44 Spaniard was able to clinch only two podiums and one pole position during his entire stint. Returning to his old team, let's see if Espargaro has what it takes to propel his debutant teammate to the top of the standings.
Oliveira and Fernandez All Set With Aprilia
RNF has raced alongside for a long time, first with Petronas and then Yamaha. However, they have partnered with Aprilia for the 2023 season to form a new satellite team. The Italian manufacturer can finally boast of a satellite team for the first time in its history. They have chosen two vastly different racing styles to ride their bikes, however. They have a veteran racer in Miguel Oliveira, who has been racing for four years now. He has five victories in his career, moreover, two of them in 2022. Coming fourth in the Valencia test, the No. 88 racer showed his uncanny ability to adapt quickly to the Aprilia machine. He is surely one to watch out for in the 2023 season.
On the other side, we have Raul Fernandez who faced a difficult debut season in 2022. Nevertheless, he has shown talent and skill and will definitely be a contender for this coming season. Let's wait and watch whether the Spanish racer can bank on the technology of his new team and the experience of his new teammate. Perhaps we will again get to see some of the raw talents that he showed in the 2021 Moto2 season.
What About Miller and Alex Marquez?
Bastianini's shift completely broke the transfer grid, with some cashing in on it and some losing out. This time, the change affected Jack Miller and Alex Marquez the most, of course. Marquez must have only been too happy about it, as he got to take the place of "The Beast" at Gresini Racing MotoGP. Miller, on the other hand, had to lose his place to make room for Bastianini. Even though the veteran racer had seven podiums in 2022 and an overall fifth position, he still had to leave Ducati. However, not one to be fazed, Miller has joined the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team for the next two years.
Having raced eight straight seasons now, the Australian rider is comfortably placed alongside Brad Binder, forming an experienced lineup for 2023. Alex Marquez, on the other hand, has already left Honda to test his fortunes with the GP22 machine.
The MotoGP 2023 season will hit off with the first important race at the Sepang circuit on the 10th of February. After the test race is done, the season will start at Sepang, so be sure to watch it!