It is nearly impossible to predict the power balance in MotoGPTM throughout 2023. Although after only one day of competition at the Valencia Test in November. Will Ducati maintain its dominance? Will Yamaha be able to provide Fabio Quartararo with the tools he needs? Or will Aprilia ruffle some feathers once more, and will KTM make any improvements?
This week, six-time MotoGPTM champion team manager Livio Suppo offered his expert assessment of what to anticipate in 2023. He said, “there can be no excuses” at the Japanese factory now that they have an all-star lineup that includes three MotoGPTM race winners and two World Champions.
There are still so many unanswered concerns regarding the four other manufacturers.
He began by highlighting the rapid rise in competition over the past decade, which resulted in 14 riders achieving podium positions in the premier class in 2022: I anticipate a very close season. In the past four years, we have had four World Champions: Marc (Marquez), Joan (Mir), Fabio (Quartararo), and Pecco (Bagnaia). This indicates that the sport is well-balanced. This is not the Marc-dominated scenario of a few years ago.
“We’ve moved on from the “Fantastic Four,” which consisted of Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, and Valentino Rossi, to probably the “Fantastic Twelve” now. If Marc is able to replicate his performance in 2019, nobody stands out as clearly stronger than the others. The exception is Marc. And we are still unsure whether or not that is feasible.”
A season with many great contenders
There has been a lot of discussion about Ducati’s 2023 factory lineup, and for good reason. Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini sacked 11 triumphs from last year’s 20 Grands Prix, with Ducati assembling perhaps the most aggressive bundle we’ve found lately. But Suppo thinks we might see a satellite spoiler, even though he is focused on the Ducati Lenovo Team pairing.
“Ducati’s team is very strong. not only in the Pramac team but also in the factory team, as I am convinced Jorge Martin is a title contender.”
When Suppo was asked about the prospects for the World Champion in 2021, he replied, “Fabio is Fabio.” Because it’s hard to be the only one who can be fast on a bike that everyone else says isn’t good enough, he demonstrated that he was both very fast and very mentally strong. Fabio will absolutely be there if Yamaha can boost his top speed.”
The surprise of 2022 was Aprilia. Where the Noale factory won their first MotoGPTM race and fought for the title until the very end. Although Suppo asserts that it will be challenging for them to duplicate such a season, he does believe that a significant adjustment made by Maverick Viales (Aprilia Racing) may be the factor that ultimately propels the talented Spaniard to consistent success.