The rider market was shaken by Suzuki’s shock announcement last month that it would be leaving MotoGP at the end of the year.
It put two top-tier riders in 2020 world champion Joan Mir and three-time race winner Alex Rins unexpectedly on the market.
While Mir looks set to join the factory Honda squad in 2023 with Marc Marquez, Rins could follow his Suzuki teammate to Honda with Lucio Cecchinello’s LCR squad.
Motorsport.com understands that the Rins and LCR camps entered into a second round of negotiations after a positive initial conversation, which should close in the next 15 days or so.
Rins ’arrival at LCR will depend on the approval of Honda, which holds that power regarding its satellite squad line-up, while the financial element will also be a major factor.
In terms of the latter factor, both parties appear to be closer to the matter during the German Grand Prix weekend – which Rins was eliminated due to a fracture in his left wrist.
In recent days, Honda boss Alberto Puig confirmed that it has contacted both Suzuki riders, saying: “Honda has clearly spoken to the two Suzuki riders, who called us after news about the future of their team. “
Alex Marquez’s future in MotoGP depends on how the rest of the rider market shakes, while LCR looks to be reviewing a total overhaul of its line-up for 2023.
Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Takaaki Nakagami’s future has long been in doubt, with Moto2 frontrunner Ai Ogura’s favorite to take the place of his fellow Japanese rider in the LCR next year.
This time, Nakagami is likely to be relegated to a test rider role along with Stefan Bradl, who will go on to become an HRC tester in 2023.
Many riders have been linked to Alex Marquez’s side of the LCR garage in recent months, where Jack Miller thought he was in line for that ride before agreeing to terms with KTM joining Brad Binder in 2023.
Binder’s current teammate Miguel Oliveira has also been linked to an LCR move, as the deal with Ducati and Gresini is thought to be close over the weekend.
However, the main hurdle here is financial: Ducati doesn’t want to take Oliveira’s salary, because the 27-year-old doesn’t fit into the Italian marque’s current philosophy of promoting young talent.
Current Gresini rider Bastianini has agreed to terms with Ducati for 2023, but it remains to be seen whether it will be the Italian or Pramac’s Jorge Martin who will get the nod to take Miller’s place in the factory squad.
Should Oliveira ever beat a Ducati spot in Gresini, his most likely move would be to Aprilia and RNF Racing – though the Italian marque’s first choice is Raul Fernandez, who is still blocked by KTM from cutting relationships.
Pol Espargaro, who is set to lose his seat at Honda, is now ending terms to return to KTM and Tech 3 – where he made his MotoGP debut in 2014 on a Yamaha – next year, if where KTM is happy to keep either Fernandez or Remy Gardner against their wills.