With Valentino Rossi finally confirmed at the Petronas Yamaha SRT team, the rider line up for 2021 is getting close to completion. The factory seats at Honda, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha are filled, as are the satellite seats at KTM and Yamaha.
The nominally vacant seat at LCR Honda is destined to be taken by Takaaki Nakagami once again, the Japanese rider still in talks with HRC management over whether he will get a 2021 spec RC213V or a 2020 bike. Nakagami's performance so far on the 2019 bike has shown him worthy of getting the latest spec, but those details will take a while to thrash out.
The next question to be answered will come some time next week, when Ducati announce their plans for 2021 and beyond. They are expected to move Pecco Bagnaia into the factory team and Johann Zarco up to the Pramac squad. Jorge Martin is likely to join Zarco in Pramac, while Enea Bastianini should head to Avintia.
Whether Bastianini joins Tito Rabat in Avintia or not is still open to question. Though Rabat has a contract with Avintia for 2021, there is some talk that Rabat might move to a different role, and Luca Marini move up to MotoGP to take his place.
The biggest question is what happens with Aprilia. That will only be resolved once Andrea Iannone's appeal against is doping ban has been heard at the CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in October. Then, Aprilia must decide whether to keep Iannone or sig another rider, with Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso in play. Dovizioso will likely control that decision, depending on whether he decides to race in 2021, or take on a role as test rider for a season and contemplate a return in 2022.
Below is the rider contract status so far for 2021:
|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)|
|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|
|Alex Márquez||Honda RC213V||2022|
* Rabat has a contract for 2021, but may be replaced