RNF Aprilia becomes final MotoGP team to launch ahead of 2023 season

RNF Racing has launched its new era, with new CryptoData part-ownership, new motorcycles from Aprilia, and new riders in Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.

2023 RNF Racing Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP bikes

MotoGP launch season has now officially concluced for 2023, with the two Aprilia teams, RNF and the factory squad, wrapping up the 2023 preseason in contrasting styles.

The launch of RNF Racing's 2023 outfit leaves only a few days before the start of the season in Portimao this weekend, which will also see the first-ever MotoGP Sprint race, as well the beginning of Ducati's defence of it's first MotoGP 'triple crown', and Francesco Bagnaia's defence of the MotoGP Riders' World Championship title.

For a more in-depth look at the 2023 MotoGP season, check out this guide previewing all the races, riders, and teams.


Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - The factory Yamaha team launches 2023 with new camo paint

Gresini Racing - Small changes to Gresini's paint for 2023 as it welcomes Alex Marquez

Ducati Lenovo Team - Bagnaia chooses #1 plate for 2023 as Bastianini, Monster are unveiled in Ducati red

Prima Pramac Racing - Martin and Zarco remain as Gino Borsoi welcomed for 2023 MotoGP season

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - KTM counts on new talent to elevate itself into title contention, Pedrosa to wildcard Spain

Repsol Honda Team - Small changes to iconic livery ahead of a season of revolution for HRC

Tech 3 GasGas Factory Racing - Revolutionary continuation for Austro-Franco-Spanish squad

Mooney VR46 Racing Team - VR46 prepares 2023 season with updated bikes and strong rider duo

LCR Honda - A tough season ahead for new LCR duo Rins and Nakagami

Aprilia Racing - Continuity in Noale hoping to bring further improvements over 2022

RNF Racing Aprilia - Major changes for RNF as it hopes to return to the top

RNF Racing Aprilia

RNF Racing has become the final team to launch its 2023 MotoGP campaign ahead of the start of the season this weekend in Portimao.

Although RNF’s team launch brings MotoGP launch season to a close for this year, it opens up a new era for the team, which transitions from Yamaha machinery to Aprilia for 2023, and brings in new majority ownership in the form of CryptoData.

The launch video for RNF was clearly quite ‘Web-3-inspired’, with Razlan Razali - RNF Racing Team Principal - and Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager - both ‘transformed’ into bland, featureless droids that were so dissimilar to the people they were supposed to be portraying that they had to be re-introduced. 

The livery revealed by RNF is a continuation of last year’s orange and blue combination, with some added deep green around the upper part of the fairing and the ‘fuel tank’ area. 

The whole point of RNF leaving Yamaha for Aprilia was that the Yamaha M1’s competitiveness had faded, while the Aprilia RS-GP’s had improved in the last year, with Aleix Espargaro winning his first premier class Grand Prix in Argentina. 

So, an improvement in results must surely be the focus for RNF this year, who struggled last year with a rushed rookie in Darryn Binder, a close-to-retiring Andrea Dovizioso, and a fresh-from-retirement Cal Crutchlow who replaced Dovizioso when the Italian bowed out after the San Marino Grand Prix. 

Coming in to take over the reigns of the new RS-GPs, which are final-spec 2022 machines rather than the new 2023 bikes, are Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira, who by the middle of last year were resoundingly fed up with life in the orange of KTM. 

In fact, Fernandez was fed up with being at KTM before 2022 had even started, and his enthusiasm for racing dwindled. Already in preseason testing, Fernandez has seemed more upbeat about his prospects in Aprilia, and he seems genuinely happier to be where he is now, compared to where he was last year.

Miguel Oliveira was offered only a return to Tech 3 for 2023 from Mattighofen. He was the only rider to take the KTM RC16 to victory last year, and so his annoyance at being handed a demotion in favour of Jack Miller was certainly understandable. He goes to RNF where he has found a sweet-handling Aprilia that should suit his smooth riding style much more than the aggressive KTM. RNF has not won since it was Petronas SRT in 2020 and Franco Morbidelli finished second in the World Championship for the team. Perhaps its new line-up is the one to take it back to the top step.

Aprilia Racing

Aprilia comes into 2023 in quite a different way to which it has arrived at the start of any other season in the premier class of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

The Noale brand’s success in 2022 may have been slightly tainted in the end by a run of poor races towards the end of the season, but there is little doubt that it has built one of the most competitive motorcycles in MotoGP

For the 2023 season, there is little change from a personnel standpoint, but that stability should lead to improvement from an organisational standpoint, which ultimately is what led to the disappointing end to the 2022 season. 

It seems somewhat strange to be including Aprilia riders among the championship favourites, but Aleix Espargaro is now a Grand Prix winner and, removing Austin from the equation, arguably one of the most consistent riders in MotoGP. Maverick Vinales, on the other hand, is yet to win with Aprilia, and yet to really find some consistent speed, but the talent he has is undoubted.

Livery-wise, it is yet more continuity from Aprilia, who have brightened the red and reduced the amount of purple on the mostly-black 2023 RS-GP.

Aleix Espargaro said: "Being with Aprilia for such a long time puts a certain amount of pressure on me because I know how important results are for this company. At the same time, maturity and the fact that I know the people I work with well give me peace of mind.

“The 2023 championship season will begin with plenty of unknowns. The new format with the Sprint Race on Saturday will demand even more preparation of us riders but no one can truly assess the actual impact of this change yet. I have prepared to my best ability and I am confident that we will have fun again this year."

Maverick Vinales said: “I learned a lot in 2022 about Aprilia and my team, but also about myself. In this new season, we’ll be able to put everything learned during this apprenticeship into practice. I liked the new RS-GP straight away. It has improved in aspects, such as early throttle opening management, which are fundamental for my riding style. 

“I like the new weekend format. It will be interesting both for the fans and for the teams which will have a chance to prepare for the Sunday race using the Sprint Race. I can't wait to get started.

LCR Honda

Honda has been in crisis for a few years now in MotoGP, and yet it was only two-and-a-half years ago that Takaaki Nakagami started from pole position as the favourite to win the 2020 Grand Prix of Aragon. 

Ahead of the 2023 season, Nakagami is still with the LCR Honda team, but still without a first MotoGP podium, and - through not entirely his own fault - is perhaps one of the least likely riders to stand on the podium in 2023. 

His teammate for 2023, Alex Rins, seems similarly unlikely, and yet he won two of the last three races in 2022 when he was with the now non-existent Suzuki team. 

The reason both riders seem so unlikely to fight for victories or podiums in 2023 MotoGP is that the Honda RC213V which they will be riding this season does not seem to be a bike which is capable of finishing on the podium. There is still one test to go before the start of the season, but when Marc Marquez is considering it unlikely that he will be on the podium, for the other Honda riders the signs are not good. 

As for the LCR Honda team launch, it was split between the two riders, Rins and Nakagami, owing to the different sponsors which adorn each of their bikes: Givi and Castrol for Rins, and primarily Idemitsu for Nakagami. Rins went first, and Nakagami followed an hour later.

The paint itself is a continuation of last year for Rins, with red, blue and white all featuring prominently on the #42 Honda, and it is a similar story for Nakagami, who continues with the black, white, red, and gold colours that arrived in 2022 on the Idemitsu-sponsored bike.

You can check out both launch videos - and the absolutely stellar, Oscar-worthy acting performances of both Rins and Nakagami - below.

Mooney VR46 Racing Team

The Mooney VR46 Racing Team is perhaps one of the most exciting of MotoGP’s satellite efforts in 2023, with two top riders who established themselves as podium contenders in 2022. 

Last season did not start off in the best way for Luca Marini, who struggled to get to grips with the 2022 Ducati Desmosedici GP. His major change from 2022 to 2023 is that his GP22 becomes the one which ended the season, rather than the one which started the season. 

Although this might not usually be such a major deal, let’s remember that Ducati had to make a late decision with their factory riders last year to switch to 2021/2022 ‘hybrid’ engine, while the rest of the Ducati GP22 riders were stuck with the full, aggressive, 2022 spec for the whole season. Additionally, it was not until the second half of the season that Ducati began to really understand its 2022 bike, and get it working in the dominant fashion that saw it win all three world titles.

Marini upgrades to the bike which did that winning, essentially, for 2023, and so does Marco Bezzecchi, who was on the podium in 2022 at Assen, and on pole in Thailand, with the 2021 Ducati.

For 2023, it is not impossible that VR46 could be the strongest team early on in the season. The factory bikes will still be 'works in progress', having had only six days of testing before the beginning of the season, while the 2022 bikes that VR46 will be using will have all the data a team could want, in addition to two strong riders. 

The potential is certainly there for a very strong season for VR46, who are also the centre of rumours linking them with Yamaha in the future. Of course, their owner, nine-times MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, has a strong history with Yamaha, although the Japanese brand will have to prove to VR46 that it is worth leaving Ducati - the strongest MotoGP manufacturer at present - over. In this regard, also, 2023 will be a fascinating year for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

Tech 3 GasGas Factory Racing

It is hard to sum up the Tech 3 GasGas Factory Racing Team for 2023. It is something totally new, while simultaneously being something which is almost 10-years-old.

Pol Espargaro arrived in MotoGP in 2014, having won the 2013 Moto2 World Championship, with the Tech 3 Yamaha team, as it then was. Three years in that team showed two things: Espargaro had potential, but he could not realise it on the Yamaha YZR-M1, which was unsuited to Espargaro in two ways. Firstly, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in the factory Yamaha team, there was not likely to be an opening in the top Yamaha squad for the #44; and, secondly, the M1 required too smooth a riding style for Espargaro, who preferred to grab hold of the bike rather than let it flow beneath him.

The solution for Espargaro was to move to KTM for 2017. Between himself and factory teammate Bradley Smith (to whom he had also been teammate in Tech 3), Espargaro was clearly the better rider, or at least the one better-suited to the KTM RC16. He took KTM's first MotoGP podium in the wet at Valencia in 2018, and it was quite incredible, really, that he left for Repsol Honda at the end of 2020 having not won in orange.

That was especially the case given that Tech 3, who Espargaro left to join KTM, had won with KTM, thanks to Miguel Oliveira in Austria, and then in Portugal, in 2020. 

Tech 3 left Yamaha for KTM in 2019, and the first two years of that partnership went well, culminating in those two aforementioned wins for Oliveira before the Portuguese left for the factory team in 2021. 

In the two years since then, however, it has not been so simple, with a rushed Iker Lecuona and a down-siding Danilo Petrucci in 2021 replaced by two rookies in Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez for 2022, and neither of last year's pairing ever feeling good with the motorcycle, or with KTM.

On the surface, Tech 3 must have not felt good with KTM, either, as they have stopped being named 'Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing' and become 'Tech 3 GasGas Factory Racing'. However, as you may or may not be aware, the Spanish manufacturer, GasGas, is owned by the Pierer Mobility Group, which also owns KTM, and therefore the rebrand from KTM to GasGas for Tech 3 is little more than a visual refresh. The bikes are still KTM RC16s, but the paint has changed from orange and black to red and white.

The riders have changed again, too, and the return of Pol Espargaro means that this new adventure for GasGas, Tech 3, and KTM, is actually a three-way reunion between Espargaro, KTM, and Tech 3, just dressed up in red.

And, what a dress it is. Team launches are never more than a livery reveal, and it is nice to see a team with what is actually a nice livery to reveal. When GasGas entered MXGP in 2020 with its MC 450F, the Standing Construct team, and their lead rider, Glenn Coldenhoff, their bike was probably the best-looking on the grid, and it seems the same applies to MotoGP. 

The third Grand Prix for that Standing Construct GasGas team in 2020 took place after the Covid break in Latvia, and Coldenhoff won it. So, no pressure, Pol.

On the other hand, Espargaro's teammate, Augusto Fernandez, could hardly have more pressure. Of the four riders who have ridden for Tech 3 in the last two seasons, only one remains in MotoGP - Raul Fernandez - and none are still within the KTM 'family', since the aforementioned Raul switched to Aprilia's satellite RNF team for 2023.

So, Augusto is in a team where rider retention has not exactly been five-star in recent years, and in the background there is Pedro Acosta, who is probably the favourite to replace Fernandez as the Moto2 World Champion, and is basically earmarked by KTM to be their next* big MotoGP star.

(*It is difficult to say that KTM has had a MotoGP star yet, since it did not really like Miguel Oliveira all that much, apparently, as the Portuguese felt so snubbed by the Austrian marque's offer of a return to Tech 3 for 2023 that he left for Aprilia, and Brad Binder has won only two races and no world titles in the premier class, although that is not really his fault.)

All of that - the return of Espargaro, the incoming Fernandez, the lurking Acosta, and the Spanish rebrand - makes Tech 3 GasGas Factory Racing one of the most intriguing teams for 2023.

Pol Espargaro said: “I feel like I am coming back to my roots. With Tech3 and the new brand we have a GASGAS ‘mood’: friendly, close to people and we’re really hard workers, so I believe that if we fight and push together as a team we will be there. We will be right at the top. I think the potential is high on this bike. For sure we have a lot of work to do because the level in MotoGP right now is super-high but I think we can reach it. In Valencia for the first test I felt the DNA of the bike and when it matches your own DNA it makes you feel so good! The bike is almost ready to fight for something really great this year.”

Augusto Fernandez said: “Well, I’m jumping into MotoGP with this confidence of being world champion and it’s good but honestly I don’t know what to expect in terms of positions. I’m looking forward to being competitive soon and trying to be in the battle with my teammate. I think I am facing the most important year of my career but I know I need to be patient. I am discovering everything that it means to be a MotoGP rider, a factory rider. But it’s good to see how many people you have behind you and not just your team; the whole factory that is waiting for you and your results. Portugal is coming soon and I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a dream come true: my debut in MotoGP. I honestly can’t wait.”
Hervé Poncharal, GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 Team Principal, said: “I have been in MotoGP for quite a while and I’ve experienced quite a few seasons and every new season is always a very exciting moment. To do it with GASGAS means a lot for me because I have been following this brand since it started in Trial – I love the name – and I’m excited. We always believe that experience and youth is a good mix. I am pretty sure that Pol is happy to be back and having Augusto with us is something very exciting because it is always perfect to receive the rookie rider as a Moto2 world champion. I am very happy, very proud and we are looking forward to creating positive vibes.”

Repsol Honda Team

The 2023 MotoGP season moves ever closer, and with the first preseason tests at Sepang in the past, it is now ‘part two’ of ‘team launch season’, kicked off by the Repsol Honda Team.

HRC has struggled in MotoGP since Marc Marquez broke his arm at Jerez in the first race of 2020, which is pretty much what was predicted would happen - from at least two or three years before the injury - when Marquez inevitably became unavailable to Honda. 

A relatively radical change in the engineering philosophy of the Honda RC213V for 2022 resulted in one of the worst seasons in HRC’s Grand Prix history - no wins, not even for Marquez.

The poor performance has seen Takeo Yokoyama replaced as the MotoGP project leader at HRC, who have chosen Ken Kawauchi instead, who himself was most recently the lead engineer on Suzuki’s GSX-RR, which was a totally different motorcycle to the RC213V, but also the most recent winner of a MotoGP race and has a more-recent world title victory than the Honda.

When Gigi Dall’Igna arrived in Ducati 10 years ago, the first bike of his time with the Bologna brand - the GP14 - did not really bear his mark, but by 2015 the signs were there that Ducati was in revolution. 

For Honda, Kawauchi arrives even later through the off-season than Dall’Igna did between 2013 and 2014, and so expecting him to have made any kind of difference really at all to the RC213V in time for the first test in Sepang, or even the first race in Portimao next month, was and is unrealistic. In fact, Kawauchi’s request to Marc Marquez to ride a wing-less RC213V in Sepang highlighted just how fresh Kawauchi is to the project. 

The reality is that if Honda can give Marc Marquez a bike which is 98% as good as the Ducati, he will probably be able to win the title, but at the moment they are a few (literally one or two) per cent away from that at the moment, and they lose almost everywhere. 

For Marquez to win the title this season seems about as unrealistic as Kawauchi having a significant impact on the motorcycle by the end of next month, mostly because they are connected - which in itself is an indication of the state of MotoGP - however if Marquez is to stay with Honda past the end of his contract at the conclusion of next season he will need to feel that he can win, and therefore the work HRC, led now by Kawauchi - does in the next months will be critical.

Alongside Kawauchi in moving from Suzuki to Honda are the riders of the old factory Suzuki team, Alex Rins (who has moved to LCR Honda) and Joan Mir, the 2020 MotoGP World Champion having moved to the factory team to partner Marquez. 

At the launch of the Repsol Honda Team today (22 February 2023) in Madrid, it was not surprising to see the continuation of the same colour scheme (remember, team launches are little more than marketing events disguised as livery reveals) that has persisted in the HRC camp since 2015 when Red Bull first appeared on the bottom of the fairing. There was one subtle, yet significant, addition, though, as the Thai flag has made its way onto tail section of the bike underneath the seat. 

HRC do get some flack for this stagnance in their factory MotoGP paint, but in WorldSBK they keep the same paint also, but people like that because it is HRC factory colours and has heritage. It seems that after almost 30 years of Repsol, there is surely some kind of heritage there. 

The Repsol Honda livery is an historic one in motorcycle racing, as historic (arguably more) as the Rothmans paint which came shortly before it in HRC, or the Marlboro scheme of Yamaha which it shared with the McLaren F1 team and Penske Indy Car team. 

Iconic paint jobs are fairly hard to come by in contemporary times of unstable global finances and the resulting increase in demand for growth above almost all else, so Honda - and MotoGP by extension - should be thankful that it has forged such a long-standing partnership.

Marc Marquez said: “The bike looks great again this year! I am really looking forward to riding in full Repsol Honda Team colours again at the Portugal Test. It’s great to be here with the whole Repsol family who have been with me and the team for such a long time. It will be an important test in Portimao, as we have some work to do, but the engineers have been working hard in Japan. I am eager to keep working and get this season started, I am feeling fit and ready to go racing.”

Joan Mir said: “It feels incredible to wear the full Repsol Honda Team colours for the first time and to show off the latest version of the Honda RC213V. It’s such an honour to join this iconic team and my focus is to deliver the best results possible, what is expected when you join a team such as this. We’ve made good progress already in Sepang and we still have time to prepare in Portugal, we keep working and we keep improving.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

It seems slightly odd to describe a relative goliath of motorcycling, especially motorcycle racing, such as KTM as a 'surprise package', but it certainly required a second look of the Teams' Championship standings at the end of 2022 when they finished second to the factory Ducati team. 

The Austrians are not newcomers to competitive success, of course. Their 2023 Dakar victory was their 19th on the rally, and the MX2 World Championship became almost a guaranteed world title for Mattighofen during the 2010s - not to forget their MX1/MXGP title successes as well, and their triumphs over in America. 

Even on asphalt, KTM has found success, although mostly in Moto3. Their RC250GP has won six of the 11 Moto3 World Championship titles - including the last three in succession - contested since the class' introduction in 2012, albeit with GasGas branding last year in the hands of the Aspar team's Izan Guevara.

In MotoGP, such success has been harder to find. KTM has won seven races over the last three years in the MotoGP class, but has not yet found the consistency to mount a title challenge over the course of a full season. 

Further, the rider it let go for 2023, Miguel Oliveira, was the rider who won both of its races in 2022 - both in the wet, first in Indonesia and then in Thailand - while Brad Binder went winless for the first time since 2015 in his first year with KTM in Moto3. 

Oliveira has moved to RNF Aprilia, and is replaced by Jack Miller, who brings with him him Cristhian Pupulin. KTM will be hoping that, as well as talent, they bring with them knowledge of the way in which Ducati has achieved its current position of dominance in MotoGP, albeit with a very different motorcycle design philosophy. 

Other additions for KTM in 2023 include Alberto Giribuola, the engineer behind Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati success, before engineering Enea Bastianini's four race wins in 2022 on the way to a bronze medal in the championship. Furthermore, KTM announced last year that aerodynamics engineers from Red Bull's F1 programme will be leveraged in its own MotoGP project.

Whether all of that results in a serious title bid remains to be seen, but in Brad Binder the Austrian marque certain has a rider capable of challenging. It is up to them to provide him with the motorcycle.

Brad Binder said: “It has felt like a long off-season already so I’m more than excited to get back to the track and to get started again. My fourth year in the class, and I feel like our best chance so far to really achieve something will be in 2023. We’re ready to go, so let’s get to Sepang and see what those first days bring us.”
Jack Miller said: “Good feelings! Joining up with the KTM family again it is all starting to feel rather ‘real’ now. I’ve been thinking about this moment for quite a long time. Finally getting to see the 2023 colors, myself in the suit and all the preparation for the season ahead. It’s amazing to be back here at KTM and to be catching up with everybody; it’s a special little taste before we get down to action in Malaysia.”

After the launch, KTM also confirmed Dani Pedrosa will ride as a wildcard at the Spanish Grand Prix. It will be Pedrosa's second wildcard appearance for KTM after Austria 2021, and his first Spanish Grand Prix since his final year as a full-time rider in 2018. The year before, in 2017, he won in Jerez.

Prima Pramac Racing

Pramac Racing has become a genuine victory-contending team in the recent years of MotoGP. It is one of the best examples of the development of the sport over the past 10 years or so. 

For 2023, it remains with the red-and-purple paint that it wore for much of 2022 thanks to title sponsorship from the Italian insurance company, Prima. Additionally, it remains with the same rider line-up for the upcoming season, retaining Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin - both potential race winners in 2023.

The major new arrival at Pramac for the season ahead is Gino Borsoi as team manager, who joins from the GasGas Aspar team which won two of the last three Moto3 World Championship titles with Albert Arenas and then with Izan Guevara, the latter followed up by Sergio Garcia who confirmed a 1-2 in the lightweight class standings for the Valencian team. Borsoi had become a constant part of the Aspar team, but is an exciting arrival for Pramac after the loss of Francesco Guidotti to Red Bull KTM for the 2022 season.

Ducati Lenovo Team

The Ducati Lenovo Team has launched its 2023 season on 23 January, unveiling the #1 plate for 2022 MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia, as well as a new major sponsor in Monster Energy and its new rider, Enea Bastianini. 

Ducati has arguably the most exciting rider line-up of the 2023 MotoGP grid, with 15 premier class race wins between Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini. All of those wins came in the last two seasons, Bagnaia is the most victorious rider of the past two seasons, and Bastianini won all four of his Grands Prix in 2022 on a year-old motorcycle in a team newly divorced from its former factory partners - Aprilia

It is expected to be a tense season for Ducati with Bagnaia trying to hold onto not only his World Champion's #1 plate but also his number-one status in the Ducati garage. In the title fight, Bastianini will be one of Bagnaia's principle rivals, and essentially the only candidate to replace him as Ducati's team leader. 

Perhaps Bagnaia's choice to run the #1 plate in 2023 would have been a bigger story if it had not leaked the day before the team launch on Sunday night. Nonetheless, the rider who took the title with #63 will become the first rider to run the #1 in MotoGP since Casey Stoner in 2012. Should Bagnaia defend the title, he would be the first rider to do so in MotoGP with the #1 since Mick Doohan in 1998.

Francesco Bagnaia said: "My winter break was shorter than usual because of all the commitments after winning the World Championship, but now I am charged up and eager to start the season. I have missed the Desmosedici GP and my team, and I can't wait to get back on track.

"I could not decide whether to continue using the number 63 or switch to the number 1, and in the end, I decided on the latter. Seeing it on the bike is beautiful, and now my goal will be to do everything to keep it. It won't be easy because I expect even tougher competition than last year, with many rivals ready to fight for the title: however, I am aware that I have the best bike and team to aim high again in 2023. Thanks again to all of Ducati and my team! I am ready to resume our adventure together."

Enea Bastianini said: "Wearing the colours of the official team is a great emotion, and now it is up to me to prove that I deserve this opportunity. I am excited about the new season! Fortunately, I won't have to wait long to be able to ride my red Desmosedici GP bike on track. In a couple of weeks, we will be in Sepang for the first test of the year, and it will be a crucial moment to get to know the guys in the team better and, above all, to start working on the bike.

"It's going to be a very competitive year, and there will definitely be easy and more difficult moments to face, but I'm ready for anything! Thanks again to Claudio, Gigi, Paolo, Davide and the whole Ducati! I will give 100% as always."

Ducati also launched its 2023 factory WorldSBK team alongside the MotoGP outfit at the Madonna di Campiglio. Alvaro Bautista is confirmed with the #1 plate having won the 2022 title, meaning WorldSBK has had a rider run the #1 plate every year since 2014.

Gresini Racing

The Gresini Racing team has launched its 2023 MotoGP squad, with a small update to the colour scheme of 2022.

The big change for Gresini in 2023 is the arrival of Alex Marquez from LCR Honda, who comes to partner second-year rider Fabio Di Giannantonio. Marquez struggled in Honda, and has not been afraid of speaking about the situation inside HRC in 2022.

As for his new Ducati adventure, it presents an opportunity for Marquez to reinvent himself in MotoGP, somewhat. Marquez was able to show in 2020 that he can be a podium finisher and victory contender in MotoGP in Le Mans and Aragon, but was unable to replicate that thereafter. It is well-known that the Honda RC213V has not been the most competitive motorcycle in recent years of MotoGP, and a difficult one to ride in addition. Moving to Ducati, Marquez swaps maybe the most difficult bike to ride in MotoGP for arguably the most straightforward.

At the Gresini team launch, Marquez said: “Today is a really special day: to see this team so tight together and ready is a thing that brings great emotions. To be here at this presentation is a very special thing. To see so much eagerness and excitement within the team and the people that came see us is something I really like. Now the work starts, for a preseason that hopefully with enable us to be 100% ready for the first race at Portimão. The goal is to have a great start to the season because it will set the pace for the rest of 2023. We have the tools and the will to do well; it won’t be easy, obviously, but the right approach helps a lot in these scenarios.” 

Fabio Di Giannantonio said: “We start 2023 with a pinch more of red, which stands for determination, passion, fire… I’m eager to continue growing and do well. We want to take this new season race by race, with the awareness that this is the right time: the top ten should be the regular occurrence, while top five a realistic goal. The team is charged up and I trained 300% hard for this year – we’re ready!”

Gresini team owner, Nadia Padovani, said: “We’re very excited for this new adventure. 2022 was incredible in every way, but the idea is to continue to improve and surprise. We’re a young team with great ambition: Fabio will have the chance to showcase all his potential in his sophomore year and Alex is eager to take the stage back… we will do our best to make sure both can succeed. Today is almost a return to normal with such an important presentation and with the people joining us: a big thank you goes to the sponsors and the whole team who worked hard to be ready.” 

Gresini also launched their MotoE and Moto2 teams alongside their MotoGP squad. The most interesting part being that they are now sponsored by QJ Motor in Moto2.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

THE Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team has become the first contender of the 2023 championship to reveal the livery it will be running in the coming season.

The wraps came off at a glitzy ceremony in Indonesia, during Yamaha’s S3 Dealer Meeting which is claimed to be the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. Joining Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli at the launch were Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis, Yamaha President Yoshihiro Hidaka, and Yamaha MotoGP team director Massimo Meregalli.

After a tough year in 2022, which saw Quartararo lose his title to Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia, Yamaha has taken the chance to lightly update it’s distinctive blue, black and green livery, with the fairing and nose cone of the new bike featuring a distinctive dazzle-camo paint design. The entire livery has been designed for 2023 by legendary helmet designer Aldo Drudi.

Jarvis also revealed that the new look and feel of the official Monster Yamaha team will see the same effect applied to other racing classes. “You will also see later this week a similar [livery] design in Supercross and Motocross.” He said, “So this is a Monster Yamaha new look and feel”.

The new, youthful-looking camouflage design is no mistake either, with Jarvis going on to explain the choice in a little more detail.

"I always felt our previous bike was the most beautiful and clean in the racing world, but now you will notice it’s a little bit more aggressive. A little bit younger… You can see some camouflage feel and this is not by accident. The [livery] has been designed by one of the top designers in our world, Aldo Drudi in Italy, and the idea is to be aggressive: We are going to battle! We are going to war! We are going to challenge!”

While the livery is now known, the actual look and technical design for 2023 is not, with MotoGP teams generally keeping their technical updates for the coming season under wraps until the first test of the season – taking place in Sepang next month.

In addition to the MotoGP livery, the new camo paint has also been applied to the factory MXGP YZ450Fs of Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, and Maxime Renaux in the MXGP World Championship; the factory MX2 YZ250Fs of the Kemea team's Thibault Benistant and Jago Geerts; to the factory Star Racing YZ450Fs of Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class of AMA Supercross (and presumably Justin Cooper in the rounds he does of 450SX) and AMA Pro Motocross; and to the Star Racing YZ250Fs of Levi Kitchen, Stiles Robertson, Nick Romano, and Nate Thrasher in 250-class AMA Supercross, as well as for Justin Cooper when he returns for AMA Pro Motocross.

This is also why the Star Racing team were being protective of their bikes being photographed at the AMA Supercross season-opener in Anaheim, since the livery used there was not the one they will be using for the rest of the season, as it was only announced on 20 January on the day before the second race of the season in San Diego.

For a more detailed view of the 2023 MotoGP season, including the riders, teams, and tracks they will visit, check out our MotoGP 2023 guide article.

2022 Triumph Street Triple 765 preview | Moto2 Edition revealed

2022 Triumph Street Triple 765 preview | Moto2 Edition revealed