2021 MotoGP rider merry-go-round grinds to a halt

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

MotoGP’s 2021 rider merry-go-round has ground to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic with most teams content to keep their incumbent riders.

Honda and Yamaha works teams are already sorted out for 2021 (or until the end of 2024 if you’re Marc Marquez) but the rest are still to be decided.

Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti says he is keen to keep all his factory riders where they are, so no movement for Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco.

Davide Brivio, team boss at Suzuki, also wants to retain his pairing of Alex Rins and Joan Mir while KTM’s Pit Beirer wants to stay with his line-up too.

Aprilia will likely retain Aleix Espargaro but Andrea Iannone’s ejector seat might find itself being utilised sooner rather than later which could leave a space for a Moto2 rider like Lorenzo Baldassarri or Jorge Martin

The only movements we see might be in the independent teams. Cal Crutchlow is unlikely to move as he is an HRC rider and, at his time of life, he will want to keep that level or pay for another season.

It’s likely that Herve Poncharal will want to keep Miguel Oliveira but will reserve judgement on Iker Lecuona. However, if there is no action this season, the likeable Frenchman will have to make a decision based on the kid’s testing performances.

Tito Rabat keeps keeping his seat at Avtinia, so will likely remain as Zarco’s team-mate. Taka Nakagami might be in question but Dorna will want a Japanese rider.

Dorna might also want an Australian, so Remy Gardner might find himself promoted. And Joe Roberts could be in the same boat as MotoGP needs an American.

What isn’t yet known is the fate of Valentino Rossi and, by association, the Petronas SRT team…