The whirlwind of activity around MotoGP is crazy right now with 3 signings in the last 12 hours so it is possible things could change while I’m writing this post.
Here are my thoughts on the current 2019 line up (BTW we still have a LOT of racing left in 2018!!)
Marc Marquez – It only makes sense to bring back the defending champion and current championship leader.
Jorge Lorenzo – Despite his win at Mugello, it’s been no secret the relationship between him and Ducati was going to come to an end. Honda’s 2019 line-up will consist of up to 8 (assuming Mark wins again) MotoGP championships between the two riders which is unbelievable. I think Jorge will only help further develop the Honda and contend for another world championship over the next 2 years. However, I also think there is the potential for another Lorenzo/Rossi split garage type of situation. Jorge is NOT a fan of “team orders” and he won’t sit back and be the “2nd rider” on the team. This late in his career I have a feeling his goals of winning another world title are going to be a bigger priority to him than the goals of Honda.
Valentino Rossi – There’s an old saying that “Father Time is undefeated” but don’t tell Valentino that as he currently sits second in the championship. I see no reason he won’t continue to battle for wins and podiums while staying in the championship hunt for another 2 years.
Maverick Vinales – He started out strong in 2017 and even though he currently sits 3rd in the championship he hasn’t been much of a factor lately. Could Yamaha have brought someone in to take his place? I’m sure quite a few Zarco fans would say yes.
Andrea Dovizioso – “Desmo Dovi” gave Marc a run for his money last year and is currently the top Ducati rider. Ducati had no choice but to pay the man.
Danilo Petrucci – If you were to argue with me that Jack Miller has shown a lot of potential and was worthy of the seat, I’d hear you out but….keep this in mind: Jack will get his shot next year (assuming Ducati picks up his option) to ride the GP19 bike as part of the Pramac Team much like Danilo has been able to do the last 2 seasons. Ducati’s only option for Danilo was to bring him up to the factory team or let him go. In my opinion, they made the right call.
Alex Rins– In his rookie season he finished behind his teammate Andrea Iannone and through the first 6 rounds of 2018, he trails Iannone by 27 points. I’m not sure what Suzuki is thinking signing Alex over Andrea. This is the same team that signed Rins after passing on Zarco so they are not known to make the best decisions.
Second Seat– Iannone has stated he won’t be coming back to the team so the seat is currently open. It’s been rumored the Moto3 champ and current Moto2 rider Johann Mir may join the team.
Pol Espargaro – Pol hasn’t had the greatest results on the KTM but he has had the best results on the team so he’ll be coming back.
Johann Zarco – The 2-time Moto2 Champ has shown he not only belongs in MotoGP but is deserving of a factory seat. Some say moving to the KTM will be a career killer but if there’s one thing KTM knows how to do, it’s win championships. I think the next 2 years will be very interesting for the Austrian team.
Aleix Espargaro – Don’t let the championship points fool you, Aleix has been riding very well…if only his bike would stay together. He’s Aprilia’s top rider so it’s no surprise he’s coming back.
Second Seat– It’s highly doubtful Redding will be coming back to the team…or the MotoGP grid for that matter.
Miguel Oliveria – If you’ve been watching Moto2 then you already know, Miguel can ride. KTM got back into Moto2 so they would have a “feeder” team for this MotoGP squads and it looks like everything is going according to plan.
Hafizh Syahrin – He’s looked good so far in his MotoGP rookie season on the Tech3 Yamaha.
Cal Crutchlow – I’m sure it stings a little not getting the Repsol ride but Cal is still under contract for 2019.
Second Seat – Currently open.
Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia – I’m sure Ducati was happy to get the current Moto2 leader signed up for 2 years.
Second Seat – Look for Jack Miller to be back on the GP19.
Franco Morbidelli – He’s under contract for next season with an option on 2020. It looks like Marc VDS will be back the switch from Honda to Yamaha next season.
Second Seat – Luthi is currently in this seat but with not much in the way of results and no contract for next season, I don’t look for him to be back.
Avintia and Aspar Ducati Teams
Xavier Simeon – He is the only rider currently under contract for next season.
Without a team
Dani Pedrosa – Arguably the best MotoGP rider to never win a championship. There aren’t many seats left. If he comes back my top 2 guesses would be a satellite Yamaha seat or maybe he’s got a shot at the factory Suzuki bike.
Andrea Iannone – I look for Andrea to end up at Aprilia but I wouldn’t rule out a satellite Yamaha seat.
That’s the way the teams are currently set up for next season but look for even more announcements next week as we get ready for the Barcelona round.