Works MotoGP riders’ salaries could rocket during contract negotiations for the 2019-2020 seasons as there are now six factories in the running.
In previous years, riders wanting a works seat only had Ducati, Honda and Yamaha to talk to but with the addition of KTM, Suzuki and Aprilia, crafty managers will now have more bosses to play off against each other in order to get the best deals.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis believes the factories will have to talk to each other in order to prevent a series of inverse Dutch auctions and salaries getting out of control.
“I think it’s up to us collectively somehow – and it’s not easy, because we’re all competitive – keep the rider market under some control and some sense. I definitely see the rider market could be quite hot in the future,” said Jarvis.
Ducati are already expecting to have to give Andrea Dovizoso a substantial pay rise to keep him and it is no secret that Suzuki will be again sniffing around Maverick Vinales. The only sure thing is that if Valentino Rossi opts to stay, it will be at Yamaha as he is persona non grata at Honda, he won’t go back to Ducati and the rest probably can’t afford him.