MotoGP: Yamaha Racing intends to bring back the satellite team in 2024, but it won’t be easy

MotoGP: Yamaha Racing intends to bring back the satellite team in 2024, but it won't be easy 1

Yamaha Factory Racing has no plan to completely abandon satellite in MotoGP: This is a temporary solution due to the unexpected demarche of RNF Racing, said Massimo Meregalli.

The manager of the Yamaha factory team in MotoGP noted that in 2023 there will be only 2 prototypes of the YZR-M1 at the start, but this is not due to the fact that the factory is abandoning the customer or partner team support program forever. This is due only to the refusal of RNF: Yamaha simply did not have time to find a new partner.

MotoGP: Yamaha Racing intends to bring back the satellite team in 2024, but it won't be easy 3
Team director Massimo Meregalli

As you know, we did not abandon the satellite. We didn’t want to lose him. Lin [Jarvis] was negotiating with Razlan [Razali, the boss of RNF Racing] until the last moment. And we were surprised by this decision, but we accepted it with respect. Other than that, I have nothing to add. In 2023, there will be only two factory bikes at the start, but it is quite obvious that it is very important to have a satellite team, and we will do our best to return the situation in 2024,” Meregalli said.

Razlan Razali announced the signing of a multi-year contract with Aprilia Racing: RNF will become a Noale satellite from 2023 and will receive full factory support, as well as a certain budget.

When Aprilia just returned to MotoGP, similarly, the Italian factory “stole” from Honda one of the strongest satellites, the team of Fausto Gresini – Gresini Racing. Until 2021, Gresini Racing was a technical partner of Aprilia Racing, while maintaining the status of an independent (non-factory) team. But in 2022, Aprilia Racing joined the MSMA in the status of a full-fledged manufacturer, which is obliged to put up its own factory team. Massimo Rivola already last year offered a number of teams the status of a satellite team. Rivola’s main bet was on Gresini Racing, however, the Italian team decided to change its technical partner to Ducati in 2022.

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One way or another, by 2024 the situation in MotoGP will look completely different from what it was in 2021! First, such stars as Andrea Dovizioso and Franco Morbidelli are likely to leave the paddock by that time.

Dovizioso stated that he does not intend to continue his career in MotoGP after 2022, as he is disappointed with his results. Franco Morbidelli believes that next season will be his last in MotoGP – for the same reasons as Dovizioso. These pilots were loyal members of the Yamaha family, quite experienced racers who found themselves in an unexpectedly strange position in 2022.

Honda Racing will have only one satellite in 2023 – Honda’s LCR, so after Suzuki’s departure, only 6 Japanese prototypes will be presented on the starting grid against 16 European ones (KTM, Ducati, and Aprilia).

Read also: Honda may change strategy: return to Formula 1, revise plans for MotoGP

The fate of the two starting positions that are vacated after the release of Suzuki is not yet clear: Dorna Sports can transfer this quota to a quasi-factory project under the wing of KTM Factory Racing, which can appear under the GasGas or Husqvarna brand, exhibiting a prototype KTM RC16 in a new design and colors. Dorna does not intend to transfer the quota to a new team satellite, because it wants to keep the formula “6 factories – 12 teams – 24 motorcycles”.

If Dorna and FIM agree to adjust the rules to keep the starting grid of 24 motorcycles in 2023, then Yamaha will not be easy to find a partner by 2024. From what was said in the paddock of Sachsenring and TT Circuit Assen, there are chances that the Valentino Rossi – VR46 Racing Team can in theory become a Yamaha satellite since their contacts with YFR are very close.