The 2021 MotoGP grid is quickly taking shape, but who’s going where and what does it mean for the future of the MotoGP World Championship?
As the COVID-19 Pandemic was slowly growing and the future of the 2020 season uncertain, Yamaha were the first to lock in their 2021 plans, securing both Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales for a further two-years. Quartararo is factory Yamaha bound, joining Viñales at the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, despite walking all over the factory duo throughout 2019 and 2020 so far.
Honda and Marc Marquez were quick to react, signing a stunning, and vastly unheard of, four-year deal to remain with his world championship-winning team until 2025. The news broke late February, before the unfortunate delay to the 2020 season.
As the season got underway, a flurry of riders were quickly confirmed with teams for 2021. Pol Espargaro will join Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda, a move everyone saw coming. Miguel Oliveira has finally been promoted to the factory KTM seat, joining Brad Binder, while current Ducati rider, Danilo Petrucci will step across to Red Bull Tech 3 KTM, replacing the Portuguese rider. Aleix Espargaro was also confirmed at Aprilia for another season.
The next rider to be confirmed was the nine-time World Champion, Valentino Rossi, confirming what MotoGP fans were praying for. The Doctor will continue in 2021, joining his protogé and academy graduate, Franco Morbidelli, who was earlier confirmed with SRT.
Finally, days after Rossi’s announcement, Ducati confirmed their 2021 plans. Jack Miller, who was confirmed to replace Petrucci will be joined by his current Pramac Racing team-mate Francesco Bagnaia while the Pramac Racing Ducati seats will be filled by Moto2 race winner and 2018 Moto3 world champion Jorge Martin and MotoGP podium finisher Johann Zarco.
Honda confirmed Takaaki Nakagami as their second LCR Honda rider, and will for 2021 get the latest bike.
Esponsorama Racing Ducati confirmed their two riders at Valencia, with Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini stepping up to MotoGP.
See below for the full 2021 rider line-up:
|Repsol Honda||Marc Marquez||Pol Espargaro|
|Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Maverick Viñales||Fabio Quartararo|
|Ducati Team||Jack Miller||Francesco Bagnaia|
|Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Alex Rins||Joan Mir|
|Red Bull Factory KTM||Brad Binder||Miguel Oliveira|
|Aprilia Factory Racing||Aleix Espargaro||TBC|
|PETRONAS Yamaha SRT||Franco Morbidelli||Valentino Rossi|
|PRAMAC Racing Ducati||Johann Zarco||Jorge Martin|
|LCR Honda||Alex Marquez||Takaaki Nakagami|
|Red Bull Tech 3 KTM||Iker Lecuona||Danilo Petrucci|
|Esponsorama Racing||Luca Marini||Enea Bastianini|
Riders who are yet to sign for 2021 are Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, who are both aiming to join the Aprilia team alongside Aleix Espargaro, depending on Andrea Iannone’s court result.
Featured image: MotoGP.com