With the announcement of their line up for the Factory and Pramac teams, Ducati has brought the 2021 MotoGP silly season a big step nearer to its close. The two pairings of Jack Miller/Pecco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco/Jorge Martin means that only four seats remain open, and of those, only two are truly uncertain.
The known unknowns, to steal a phrase, concern the LCR Honda seat and the Avintia Ducati seat vacated by Johann Zarco. Takaaki Nakagami is still in talks with HRC over his seat at LCR Honda, the only open question whether he will get an update to the 2021 Honda RC213V, or have to contend with the 2019 bike he is still racing (the engine and aerodynamics freeze mean that the 2021 spec bike will be the same as the 2020 machine currently being ridden by Cal Crutchlow, Alex Marquez, and Stefan Bradl as Marc Marquez' temporary replacement).
Enea Bastianini has already announced that he will be riding for Ducati in 2021, with the seat left empty at Avintia Ducati by Johann Zarco the place where the young Italian will land. Tito Rabat currently has a contract to race with Avintia in 2021, but he has a decision to make on whether he wants to continue. If not, then Luca Marini is expected to move up from Moto2.
That leaves the seat in the Aprilia Gresini team. The seat is technically being held open for Andrea Iannone, should the Italian win his appeal against his doping ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But the seat is mostly likely to go to either Andrea Dovizioso or Cal Crutchlow, with Dovizioso believed to be the favorite. Dovizioso's decision to take the Aprilia ride will hinge on whether he believes the bike can be competitive or not.
The officially announced 2021 MotoGP rider lin up so far:
|Monster Energy Yamaha|
|Maverick Viñales||Yamaha M1||2022|
|Fabio Quartararo||Yamaha M1||2022|
|Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||2024|
|Pol Espargaro||Honda RC213V||2022|
|Alex Rins||Suzuki GSX-RR||2022|
|Joan Mir||Suzuki GSX-RR||2022|
|Jack Miller||Ducati Desmosedici GP21||2021 (option for 2022)|
|Pecco Bagnaia||Ducati Desmosedici GP21||2022|
|Aprilia Racing Team Gresini|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia RS-GP||2022|
|Red Bull KTM Factory Racing|
|Brad Binder||KTM RC16||2021|
|Miguel Oliveira||KTM RC16||2021|
|Red Bull KTM Tech3|
|Danilo Petrucci||KTM RC16||2021|
|Iker Lecuona||KTM RC16||2021|
|Petronas Yamaha SRT|
|Franco Morbidelli||Yamaha M1||2022|
|Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||2021|
|Jorge Martin||Ducati Desmosedici GP21||2022|
|Johann Zarco||Ducati Desmosedici GP21||2021 (option for 2022)|
|Alex Márquez||Honda RC213V||2022|