There’s been plenty of contract action recently as the 2022 premier class grid continues to form, but more announcements are coming…
It’s always a fascinating part of the season. Not long after we hit the ground running in 2021, whispers about who’s going where in 2022 started to tour around the paddock and as we near the summer break, we’ve already got a good idea of what next year’s grid will look like.
Some riders had contracts lasting until the end of 2022 before this season, but others didn’t. Factory teams like Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Repsol Honda Team and Team Suzuki Ecstar were already set for next season, but there’s been a lot of activity elsewhere since the beginning of the campaign. We’ll start with what we know so far, before delving into what still needs to fall into place in the coming weeks.
Done deals for 2022 (and in some cases, beyond) ahead of the 2021 season:
The following teams had already cemented their rider line-ups for next season before the 2021 season got underway. In brackets is the year in which the riders’ contract runs out.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo (2022), Maverick Viñales (2022)
Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez (2024), Pol Espargaro (2022)
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Team Suzuki Ecstar: Joan Mir (2022), Alex Rins (2022)
LCR Honda Castrol/Idemitsu: Alex Marquez (2022), Takaaki Nakagami (2022)
Petronas Yamaha SRT: Franco Morbidelli (2022)
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Aleix Espargaro (2022)
Ducati (team not specified): Francesco Bagnaia (2022)
Deals for 2022 and beyond signed during the season so far:
What we’re yet to find out:
We’re still unaware as to what manufacturer two 2022 teams will be running next season, and who will be riding the bikes. VR46 and Gresini – the latter will no longer form part of the factory Aprilia setup after this season – are both heavily linked with Ducati, but there is no confirmation on that yet. And what about the riders for both teams?
Although not confirmed, Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) will be one of the VR46 riders, with Moto2™ Spanish GP winner Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) having a contract with Gresini until the end of 2022, putting him in line for a MotoGP™ ride with the team next season.
Then there’s Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT). If the nine-time World Champion announces his retirement, then there’s a seat to be filled at Petronas Yamaha SRT. If The Doctor and the Petronas team decide to continue together into next season, then that seat is of course taken. All roads point towards us finding out what Rossi’s future holds around the summer break, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
We also don’t know who Aleix Espargaro’s 2022 teammate will be in the factory Aprilia ranks. Current rider Lorenzo Savadori will be in the mix, but so is test rider Andrea Dovizioso. The Aprilia seat is a hot topic, with Dovizioso and his management making it clear that their goal was to try and return to racing in 2022, and the Noale factory is the most likely destination.
Elsewhere, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing only have one rider signed up. Moto2™ rookie sensation Raul Fernandez is part of the deep Red Bull KTM talent pool and has shown talent, speed and maturity in abundance so far in 2021. But does KTM want the Spaniard in MotoGP™ this soon? That’s the question only KTM know the answer to at the minute. If Raul Fernandez and KTM – assuming no other factory can sign Raul Fernandez for 2022 – choose to stay in Moto2™ for another season, then Danilo Petrucci or Iker Lecuona will almost certainly remain at KTM.
One thing to also note is Miguel Oliveira confirming he has a contract with KTM next year in the Catalan GP post-race Press Conference. There’s been no official confirmation, but Oliveira stating this is about as official as it gets, so it will be Binder and the Portuguese star lining up in factory KTM colours again next season.
So, to make things a little clearer, here’s the seats that are yet to be confirmed for 2022:
– Petronas Yamaha SRT x1
– Tech3 KTM Factory Racing x1
– Factory Aprilia x1
– Gresini Racing x2 and manufacturer
– SKY VR46 x2 and manufacturer
Follow the story
It shouldn’t be too long before most of the information we’re missing is confirmed, so stay tuned to motogp.com and MotoGP™’s social channels for all the latest news.