Fabio Quartararo mulling 2023 MotoGP options, 'in talks' with rival teams

Fabio Quartararo is 'in talks' with other MotoGP teams for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season, according to his manager Eric Mahe

Fabio Quartararo - Yamaha MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo won’t be rushed on a decision over his MotoGP future as he considers whether to remain with Yamaha or consider pastures new for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, according to his manager Eric Mahe.

With much of the 2023 MotoGP grid still to be determined, Quartararo is considered the key figure in the rider market whose decision on where to go will ultimately dictate where others might end up.

Though Quartararo has enjoyed an immensely successful relationship with Yamaha since making his MotoGP debut in 2019, the defending champion has made no secret of concerns regarding Yamaha’s rather stagnant development stance with the M1, particularly in the power stakes.

Indeed, though the M1 has always prioritised agility and handling, steps forward by KTM, Suzuki and Aprilia in engine development has widened the margin between Yamaha and the competition in terms of top speed and acceleration.

With lacklustre results in Qatar and Argentina appearing to vindicate Quartararo’s concerns, it has revived fresh talk about whether it might spur him on to find an alternative home for 2023.

While Yamaha says re-signing Quartararo is its top priority, the Frenchman is a target for potentially every other manufacturer on the grid. Indeed, Quartararo’s manager confirms talks are taking place with rivals for 2023, even if he wouldn’t be drawn on which.

“Yes, for sure [we are open to what other manufacturers have to say],” Mahe told the MotoGP.com website. “We have great respect for Yamaha but due to certain reasons I cannot say, we have to think about it.

“We are checking all the parameters, let’s say. We just need to know where Fabio can achieve the best results possible is where we are at, at this stage. And then we are a bit lucky because a few years ago a decision like this would have been taken 18 months in advance so at this stage there is no rush so it’s a good situation.

“[There is] no rush, and then I can imagine there is no rush for Yamaha so we are investigating everything and then we’ll see what happens. [It’s] not a question of offers, we are in talks. We are trying to best understand what the best for Fabio could be.”

Where could Fabio Quartararo race in MotoGP next season?

Of the five potential options available to him, Honda has been least secretive about its interest in Quartararo for next season.

The Repsol Honda team presents an intriguing avenue for Quartararo, though his interest may hinge on whether he would be replacing Pol Espargaro or Marc Marquez in the team. 

Espargaro’s seat remains at risk after tarnishing his strong start to the year with issues in Indonesia and Argentina, but it is known Honda is having to keep an open mind over Marquez’s fitness following a painful couple of years for the six-time MotoGP World Champion.

While Ducati is understood to have previously approached Quartararo, the Italian team is unlikely to look beyond its current embarrassment of riches in terms of talent as it mulls which rider to partner Pecco Bagnaia in its factory line-up.

Alternatively, Suzuki has also been mooted, especially if its 2020 World Champion Joan Mir departs having also courted interest from Honda.

Even if Mir stays though, Quartararo could still replace Alex Rins, whose place in the team has looked shaky following his error-strewn 2021 campaign.

Indeed, while the Spaniard has enjoyed a positive start to this season with a podium last time out in Argentina, few could ignore the quality of a Quartararo-Mir line-up…