While Espargaro was a near-certainty to remain with the team in 2023, Vinales’ Aprilia MotoGP ride was considered a lot less ‘safe’.
But with ‘continuity’ being one of the main reasons for Aprilia’s unchanged line-up until the end of 2024, it’s a decision that could have a big impact on those who are yet to find new homes.
Is Rins still an option for Aprilia following their satellite MotoGP team confirmation?
One rider who’s already alluded to having talks with Aprilia was Suzuki’s Alex Rins in Le Mans, and although a move to Aprilia looks more difficult given the Noale-based manufacturer’s recent decision, that’s perhaps not the case…
RNF Racing confirmed during FP1 for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello that it will switch Yamaha machinery for that of Aprilia in 2023.
With RNF thought to be the most likely option for either Raul Fernandez [Tech 3 KTM] or current WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu should they move to Yamaha, that would instead need to come in the form of a new Yamaha satellite team – it’s unknown whether the Japanese manufacturer will add two more M1 machines or go forward as a factory team only.
Should Yamaha elect to add another two bikes, then that could obviously be an option for Rins as well, but so is RNF Racing and Aprilia.
While Rins’ future appears to be slightly less clear than that of Mir, the 2020 world champion is still without any updates, something he hopes will change ‘soon’.
Speaking on the subject of Aprilia retaining both Espargaro and Vinales, along with his future, Mir told MotoGP.com: “I always knew that in Aprilia they have two good riders, they are making good results and they didn’t change our plans.
“It’s certain that I hope to have news soon about it [new team] because it’s really important for the rider. I’m sure that we have good options and I believe we can get a good team for the next year.”
Mir has been heavily rumored with the second Repsol Honda seat alongside Marc Marquez, which would mean an all-Spanish line-up for the tenth consecutive season should it happen – the last time Repsol Honda didn’t have two Spanish riders at the same time was in 2012 when Casey Stoner partnered Dani Pedrosa.
Pol Espargaro ‘in talks’ with different manufacturers
After calling recent rumors that he was already out the door at Honda ‘fake’, Espargaro has since confirmed that he too is talking with other teams.
“I’m talking with different manufacturers, different teams and trying to figure out where is the best place to go; whether that’s staying here or going to another place,” Espargaro via MotoGP.com. “It’s this silly moment where everyone is talking about everything without knowing anything.”
Not one who enjoys the silly season and constant rumors about his future – it’s fair to say who would – Espargaro appears limited for options as it stands.
Returning to KTM has been bandied about as a possible move, however, it looks more likely that Jack Miller could join Brad Binder should he leave Ducati.
Heading into the weekend Miller was brief in discussing his thoughts about his future. The Australian said: “We are on our way and trying to understand what is the best deal for me. Hopefully we can get something sorted soon.”
Although no decision has been made thus far, Ducati still could announce their factory line-up for next season as early as this weekend, with Enea Bastianini potentially moving up from Gresini to join fellow countryman Francesco Bagnaia.