Dre’s Guide To The 2024 MotoGP Season

Francesco Bagnaia goes for a three-peat, Jorge Martin wants revenge, and Marc Marquez’s earth-shattering switch. Dre’s comprehensive guide to MotoGP 2024!

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Read time: 23 mins

Hey gang, it’s that time of the year again. No, not Single’s Awareness Day this week, it’s season preview season!

First up on the yearly docket of pre-season chat, is the 2024 MotoGP season, as the sport enters a kind of mini-reset of sorts. There have been new regulations to chew over in a (small) attempt to clip Ducati’s wings, some calendar changes to stew over (As well as at least one decently sized cancellation), and of course, a rejigged grid and the promise of an even bigger silly season right around the corner. 

Now this year, I’ve been told by a fair few people that they’re tuning in for the first time! Brilliant, any series gaining new fans is great news and us older farts need to embrace that and help them out if needed or wanted. Hello NASCAR, looking in your direction here. Anyway, the point I’m getting at here is that I’m aiming to make these guides a little more rookie-friendly to give you a good idea of the state of the sport, and the state of play amongst the 22 riders on the grid. Let me know if you like this style of format because if you do, I can happily apply it to both F1 and IndyCar in the coming weeks. Right, let’s light this candle!

Tyre Pressures – Okay, MotoGP is still three seasons away from a full reset on technical regulations in 2027. And in not-so-great news, we’re still a year away from a potential solution to the sport’s biggest current problem – tyre pressures. 

Because MotoGP bikes now resemble F1 cars without half the wheels, Michelin – the sport’s tyre supplier has openly admitted its front tyres weren’t designed to take the kind of downforce that the bikes now generate. To try and mitigate the problem, the teams have run alarmingly low tyre pressures to try and counteract it. (As in, these tyres would fail an MOT here – Like, 14 PSI coming out of the pits. If your car tyre was 14 PSI on the road, a mechanic would think it’s got a puncture.)

This got exposed in 2022 when brilliant journo Mat Oxley spoke to one of the team engineers about it and published the story. The problem has now been trying to set the right level from the garage so that you don’t go over, but also trying to predict how your rider’s race will turn out because following another bike can wreak havoc with your tyres in a draft. 

Last year, punishments for a tyre pressure breach went from a Warning for a first offence, then a 3, 6, and then a 12-second time penalty for further breaches. No mercy in 2024 though, as a breach will now be treated the same as any other technical infringement – instant disqualification. And given the liberties engineers often take, and how unpredictable the sport can be, I think riders will get clapped for this unless the crew chiefs take the hint and REALLY “air” on the side of caution (Sorry.)

Concessions – Also, there’s been a new concession system made after Ducati ran away with the 2023 manufacturer’s title. Factory Teams have now been assigned a Tier based on how many points they scored relative to the maximum available last season. Each tier has different privileges depending on how far down the pecking order you are. Here’s that table from last November again, CCP’ed for your viewing pleasure:

Tier% of PointsTest TyresPrivate TestingGP Circuit TestingWild CardsEnginesAero Updates
A>=85%170Test Rider3 Circuits07 or 81
B>=60%<85%190Test Rider3 Circuits37 or 81
C>=35%<60%220Test Rider3 Circuits67 or 81
D<35%260FreeAny Circuit69 or 102
Reminder: Ducati are in Tier A, Aprilia and KTM are in Tier C, and Honda and Yamaha in Tier D.

Essentially if you’re in Tier D, you can be more aggressive on tyre usage, you can test anywhere on the calendar with your actual GP riders and not a tester (like Ducati’s Michele Pirro or Honda’s Stefan Bradl), you get more wildcard appearances across the season, two extra engines, and a free aero update. 

As said back in November, I like the new system. It’s been designed more to help Honda and Yamaha climb up the board rather than kick Ducati in the shins for being too good at their jobs. And given rumours that KTM and Aprilia were pushing to straight up remove Ducati teams from testing, period – Dorna did well to negotiate this platform with Ducati and everyone else involved. 

The big news coming of last week was Argentina’s cancellation due to… political reasons. Their new President Javier Milei was elected last November on the platform of being Libertarian and cutting costs like a motherfucker. That includes sports backing like Agustin Canapino in IndyCar and the Argentine Grand Prix itself. It’s a damn shame as I genuinely think it’s one of the most exciting tracks on the calendar pound-for-pound. Great riders circuit, camber, speed, changeable conditions in the April slot, and low-grip conditions that punish errors. Hope it’s back soon. Argentina won’t be replaced meaning MotoGP only ties its longest-ever calendar with 21 races rather than an eye-watering 22. 

Beyond that… not much new to report here. Kazakhstan is still there and has had some work to get it better prepared for June, but Hungary’s brand new Baloton Park circuit is there as a backup specifically for Kazakhstan just in case it doesn’t work out again. Qatar returns to its traditional opener slot on March 10th but Portimao still kicks off European racing a fortnight later. And with Aragon now back in September, MotoGP now has FIVE races in the Iberian Peninsula. And my most hated thing of all – The six races in the seven-week block for the flyaways return from India on September 22nd to Malaysia on November 3rd. Yay. And with Sprints still on the books, it’s effectively 42 “races” across 2024. I don’t envy these riders. At all.

The Teams

So let’s talk about all 11 teams on the grid in reverse order from where they finished in the team standings in 2023. The rider’s Championship position from 2023 is in the brackets. 

“The Next Spanish Superstar?”

Tech3 has been around for a while in MotoGP now, but their 2023 was rough. Augusto Fernandes was a generally safe pair of hands, showing good, consistent pace and few errors, but an early horror crash to Pol Espargaro effectively ended his career in the top flight. You’ll see why in a moment. But this is a team who really should be performing better given they’re on the same machinery as their factory counterparts who you won’t be seeing here for a good while yet. 

Augusto won out the contract headache that KTM gave themselves after promising Pedro Acosta a MotoGP contract after half the Moto2 season and Pol Esaprgaro’s deal had to be cancelled. But Fernandez has already been overshadowed by Acosta’ making his premier-class debut’s early running.

The 2023 Moto2 World Champion won seven times in a season he dominated, and a lot of expectation is being pinned on his shoulders. For you see, MotoGP has deep Spanish ties and Spain’s been getting its arse kicked by the French and Italians in recent years post-Marc Marquez injury. Pedro is being looked at as the next Spanish Superstar, the next Marquez.

And off the track, I love this kid. Wise and mature beyond his years, he understands that Spain has taken a step back, that characters in racing make fans out of people, and that he’s prepared to play that role. His racing hero? Isle of Man legend Michael Dunlop. This dude is built different. 

But is he the real deal? Bit early for big talk, but the signs are promising. It took three years before we truly saw the Francesco Bagnaia we recognise today, and Tech3 KTM isn’t the place where he’ll likely get to fully stretch his legs, but I think a quick promotion to the factory team is likely if he plays his cards right. And surprise, Acosta was super fast during the Sepang test, the fastest of all the KTM’s, with Pedro himself admitting he left time on the table by running wide twice. The hype seems genuine.  

KTM as an umbrella has been trying to find its ideal rider lineup for half a decade now. Brad Binder showed his acumen quickly, but the hunt for a true partner has been exhaustive. They might now have their man. 

“Well we can’t get any lower.”

Welcome to the Honda block. Or as the late Andre Braugher would say on Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain.” 

Honda’s 2023 was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. Last in the manufacturers’ Championship, and two out of the bottom three teams overall, and the small matter of Marc Marquez, arguably their greatest ever rider, heading to Ducati and walking away from an 11-year partnership that produced six World Championships. This is the first step of their two teams trying to pick up the pieces. 

And to be honest… Honda could have done a lot worse than Johann Zarco fronting their second team at LCR. Zarco had his best-ever MotoGP season in 2023, finishing fifth overall and finally getting his first premier-class win after 120 starts. Only helps that he’s the most versatile rider in MotoGP at this point, having represented four different factories in his career, including some earlier experience on the RC213V… but that didn’t help when he binned it in testing. Good start.

Taka Nakagami is still there too as a veteran, good for testing data and setups, but is still just kind of “there”. On a good day, he can just about crack the Top 10. If not, he’s barely in the points. The weird thing about his future is that because Ai Ogura rejected the chance of taking his seat in Moto2 a couple of years ago, Taka isn’t under a huge amount of pressure for his job, or at least, it feels that way. Very odd. 

In any case, Honda’s rebuild very much starts here, with two established veterans and a lot of feedback to churn through in life after Marquez. But how fast will Zarco be away from his Ducati?

“A new era.”

For obvious reasons, the vibes of a new era have begun at Repsol Honda. For the first time in 11 years, no Marc Marquez. Red Bull has gone with him (Seriously, it was weird seeing their riders without Red Bull-branded caps for the first time in forever), and with Repsol not footing as much in sponsorship, there’s a new look for the team as a whole this year with the dark blue returning from their early 2000’s days. Their fucking around has had them found out and it’s finally given HRC the hurry up to get their house in order.

Again, in terms of rider quality, they did well to get Luca Marini into the team in November, just hours before the post-season Valencia test. The impression I got was that Marini was fed up with being too deep in Ducati’s stacked pecking order, and fronting Honda like his half-brother Vale did nearly 25 years ago was probably too big a pull factor. Besides fat stacks of course. Marini is a very solid rider, but it’s hard to ignore that he was thoroughly outclassed by ex-teammate Marco Bezzecchi last year. I’d like to think the change of scene will put a chip on his shoulder but the bike he’s on won’t help.

Across the garage, 2020 World Champion Joan Mir is still here and still struggling. A combination of injuries and crashes meant he only finished SIX out of 21 Grand Prix in 2023, and his smooth riding style couldn’t have been more of a mismatch for the aggressive knife edge that the Honda used to have. Mir would have been safer running with the Bulls in Pamplona. Blindfolded. 

The Honda factory is working around the clock to try and fix their issues, but Marini’s feedback out of Sepang wasn’t promising on used tyres, similar issues to what Marquez was talking about last year in the back end of races – no rear grip. The Reality check will be hitting quickly. Honda has seemingly improved on outright speed but remains a long way off where it needs to be and their half-decade of struggles will be laid bare in 2024. The work starts now. It should have started in 2018. And it doesn’t help that they’ve lost the rider who was a second lap faster than the rest of their roster on that machine.

Trackhouse MotoGP Team (Aprilia): #88 – Miguel Oliveira (16th), #25 – Raul Fernandez (20th)

“What the f*** is 3,280 feet?”

Remember folks, MotoGP is a series that embraces the idea of American investment. *airhorn in the background goes off*

Okay, it’s not the same as our F1 cousins, the previous owners at CryptoData ran up massive amounts of debt, to the point where the sports commercial wing at Dorna stripped them of their grid spots with Justin Marks and Pitbull slapping them up, but hey, getting roasted is getting posted!

Yes, NASCAR’s Trackhouse has taken over the RNF team and they’ve been bold as shit since they got here. A star-spangled banner livery in tribute to Nicky Hayden. An incredibly slick social media outreach already rivalling the best in the paddock. Buying 2024-spec Aprilia’s to line themselves up with the factory team. During Sepang, they announced the signing of Davide Brivio, a 4-time manufacturers Champion with Suzuki and Yamaha and former Alpine F1 driver academy head. A coup by anyone who knows their bikes. 

A fresh start is exactly what this team needed. Remember, it’s had incredible potential, nearly winning two World Titles in 2020 in the Quartararo/Morbidelli era. And while I’m not convinced Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez are on that level, they’re still talents with a lot of upside that hasn’t been fully harnessed yet. 

Miggy has been the sport’s “riders rider” for years and had flashes where you think he could win a Championship. Five wins and a genuine X-Factor in wet conditions is a big plus. But this is now his Age 29 season and I do wonder just what his ceiling is at this point. Same for Raul Fernandez, who finally showed some of his Moto2 promise but still needs to be cracking the Top 10 regularly. And the Sepang test wasn’t ideal, with Miggy struggling and overall Aprilia issues which I’ll get into a little later. 

But it’s hard not to be excited about a fresh perspective on MotoGP and an outfit that seemingly gets it when it comes to bike racing, its fans, its heritage, and its environment. I think Trackhouse are going to get a lot of fans across the pond onboard and the shot in the arm that this team badly needed. 

“Crunch time.”

2023 was a startling fall from grace for Yamaha who went all the way down to 7th in the teams’ standings and just a handful of points from the bottom of the manufacturers. They were Honda’s boring cousins, not having anywhere near the same level of high-profile crashes and injuries, but just outright slow most of the time. 

Fabio Quartararo, the 2021 World Champion has screamed from the heavens about wanting more power to make the Yamaha better in combat situations, often leaving him a rolling chicane. The good news is that he’s seemed to have gotten his wish. The Yamaha has more top speed, so maybe they can fight back. The problem is that they still lack an overall qualifying pace. No point in fighting people if you’re starting outside of Q2 anyway. Fabio being outside the Top 10 in Quali Sims in Sepang wasn’t a good sign.

This HAS to be the year that Yamaha forms a case to keep Fabio onboard. It looks like they have gained some ground. But I’m not fully convinced it’s enough. He’s one of the biggest free agents on the board who might be prepared to leave for a winning machine if the circumstances are right, even if he seems to have softened his stance about leaving towards the back end of 2023. 

Bringing in Alex Rins is a big sign of intent. He ended his time at Suzuki hotter than fish grease and while Honda was a horrible experience for him overall, missing nearly two-thirds of 2023 via shattering his leg in Mugello in horrific fashion, he did win a race on the machine proving he’s still fast as hell when he the conditions are favourable.

On paper, I think this is the strongest lineup in MotoGP for raw talent. But the bike needs to be challenging Ducati more frequently or else Fabio might become the third World Champion in the last three years to walk away from a Japanese bike. 

“The best rental car you’ve ever had.”

This is why you’re here, you don’t have to pretend otherwise. After 11 years with Honda, Marc with tears in his eyes moved to Gresini alongside his brother Alex. Somewhere Fausto Gresini is beaming from heaven in disbelief that he’s got arguably the greatest ever in his parma violet colours. And if you’ve seen the early media and pictures from Gresini’s camp and owner Nadia Padovani, they’re having FUN. While the Marquez brothers have been technically teammates before at Repsol, Alex was demoted before he’d even turned a wheel in anger and Marc’s 2020 season lasted just one race.

The million-dollar question is – Can Marc Marquez adapt to the Ducati? The initial outlook? Optimistic. It’s probably a good sign when Marc in Sepang was essentially saying: “Shit, I have too much rear grip, I need to adapt to this!” Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but finishing fourth fastest in Valencia’s test, Top 6 in Sepang and competitive in all aspects is a sign that Marc’s already in good shape and will only get quicker in time. I don’t agree with the bookies who have him as a 50/50 shot of a Championship but that goes to show you the good faith MM93 still has in biking circles. 

Alex is here too, and let’s not forget, last season was his best yet, winning a pair of Sprints in Malaysia and Great Britain and challenging Bastianini in Malaysia. He had a cartoon anvil’s worth of bad luck in 2023 especially early on, but if he can stay healthy and avoid chaos, I think he has Top 6 potential in the Championship and maybe that first GP win too. 

But sadly for Alex, he has to play second fiddle to the big show here. It has begun and it already feels like 2024’s headlines might move through MM93 again. But can he do it on last year’s bike, something Enea Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi couldn’t do?

“So now what?”

Aprilia was 5th overall last year and for me, they were the baseline of what you’d consider a “good team”. A team that has a strong pair of riders who can consistently perform well, a competitive bike that can win in favourable conditions and hasn’t got too many weaknesses. But this is a factory unit that’s had a taste of success and now it wants more. And 2023 while on the face of it wasn’t bad, doubling their win count and having their greatest day ever with the 1-2 finish in Catalunya, it felt a little disappointing given they were leapfrogged by fellow European rivals KTM, despite overtaking Yamaha.

The word from inside the Aprilia camp is they’re aiming for second in the manufacturers’ standings and I think that’s a makeable target if they can execute. With Maverick Vinales putting together his best MotoGP season since 2019, they have one of the strongest rider pairings on the grid now, with Aleix Espargaro a genuine threat for wins on a good day. He’s the only man in the field to have ridden an 800cc bike pre-prototype era in 2012 and will likely finish his Age-35 season third on the all-time appearances list in the sport if he stays healthy (Only 12 men have ever crossed 300). But I do wonder if Aleix is still dead set on retiring at year’s end now he’s become close friends with Maverick, Jorge Martin and Fermin Aldeguer, combating some of the loneliness he’s been open about on tour. 

Either way, both riders are up for renewal and if Fabio Quartararo makes himself available, you’d have to think Aprilia would be favourites for his signature. That makes their rider future interesting, but there’s a bigger problem looming and that was a fast, but eyebrow-raising test where there was more proof that their issue with their bike overheating hasn’t been fixed and complaints internally that the bike still lacks mid-range acceleration, which could be tricky with pack racing likely still on the menu. But Aleix was a Top 5 rider in the test for average pace, so the package is quick if nothing else and Sepang doesn’t normally favour their bikes’ low-grip prowess. 

Aprilia feels like a team at a crossroads. They’ve come such a long way from being a World Superbike team in all but name and were the field’s backmarkers. One more big push could bring them right into contention but the rider foundation that has made them even this good could be about to fade away. What next for the team remains to be seen.

“Too big to fail?”

Speaking of crossroads, KTM. Another factory entering 2024 with more questions than answers. Like Aprilia, on paper a pretty good season. Fourth in the teams’ standings and their highest-ever second as a manufacturer. But a distant second, beaten by Ducati by a minor margin of… 327 points. Almost 2:1. Ouch.

They have to find a way to bridge the gap between themselves and Ducati. Again, like Aprilia, on a good day, they’re right there with them. But only took their chances in Sprint form in 2023, winning two of them, but no Grand Prix, despite having a 1-2 they bottled at the final round in Valencia, and Brad Binder making shapes to try and take Buriram. 

Binder is a superb rider and is now a genuine elite-level talent in MotoGP. But he’s also not won a Grand Prix since the middle of 2021 and his aggressive riding style led to recklessness and errors when it mattered most last year. Twice he lost a podium via final lap track limit breaches and his usual bulletproof consistency was ruined by four DNFs. This is harsh criticism for a man who was fourth in the Championship last season, his best yet, but we now have to evaluate Binder in the context of a title contender and the reality is, he needs more if he’s going to take that big Martin/Bagnaia step. But he’s still a heck of a frontline piece. 

Around him though, things are looking a little shaky. Jack Miller was the big-money signing from Ducati and it’s not worked out so far. I don’t care what you tell me, you don’t sign Jack Miller to have your second bike finish 11th in the standings, especially after all the shuffling of deckchairs they’ve had to make in their recent rider lineups. But in good news for KTM, they now have their insurance policy ready to go in Pedro Acosta for 2025 if they want to pull the trigger on him quickly. 

Or, bigger still, see if they can get a foot in the door in the race for Marc Marquez, who is also a free agent come season’s end. And with Marquez one of Red Bull’s biggest athletes, and the rider himself very complimentary about not only KTM but Acosta too, there are some mind games, and Red Bull would likely help facilitate a move.

With all that in mind, in the words of “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” Rory Breaker: “You’re going to have to work very hard to stay alive here, Jack.” Anything outside of the Top 8 in the standings and I think Pit Beirer will be tempted to let Jackass walk.

Like Aprilia, KTM is at a bit of a crossroads here. On a good day, they can challenge Ducati. But they need to raise the floor of their team to consistently increase the pressure on them, rather than waiting for the good day to arrive once every four or five races. KTM are too big and has too much potential to be going winless on Sundays. So does Pit stick or twist?


Beneath the surface, probably the team of the year pound for pound. Pramac was the dark horse pick for a lot of pundits walking into 2023. NO ONE could have guessed just how good the VR46 Team ended up being. 

Marco Bezzecchi was a revelation. The not-Marco Simoncelli regen had moments of complete dominance last season, winning three races by multiple seconds. India was a destruction of the field, on a GP22. And he dominated a miserably wet Argentina too, showing more wet weather promise. There was a reason he won the 2023 Motorsport101 Breakout Star of the Year award, the kid is superb.

But again; like with Binder, you have to wonder, just how far can Bez go? He’s still on a year-old bike and elected to stay with his crew at VR46 over going to Pramac in 2023 and taking up-to-date machinery. We’ll have to wait and see if that was the right decision, but as said with Marquez, no one has been able to sustain a title campaign against Bagnaia on the previous year’s bike. And Bez would likely have to double his win count to do that. Can he?

In the other seat, they signed Fabio Di Giannantonio right at the final race weekend instead of spending 1,000,000 euros on buying out their original #1 target in Moto2’s Fermin Aldeguer from SpeedUp after he won the final four races of 2023. Diggia went thermonuclear at the end of last season, winning in Qatar and being a podium threat for the entire flyaway period. His testing pace with VR46 so far was very promising, with excellent used tyre pace in particular.

I’m wondering what life will be like for Diggia after crew chief Frankie Carchedi stayed at Gresini for Marquez, but the early signs are very promising. If this works out, VR46 could have two riders regularly challenging for podiums. And if they can do that, anything’s possible. The second chapter of Valentino Rossi’s legacy is looking very promising indeed.

“Unanswered Questions”

For different reasons, I think the theme of the factory Ducati team will be “proving it”. Ducati made it abundantly clear that they want the GP24 Desmo to be a more radical step forward from their 23 version. The reasons why were made obvious at the end of last year and the body language from senior staff like Davide Tardozzi in Australia when Jorge Martin was looking dominant, they didn’t like the challenge that came from their satellite riders and those customers now have Marc Marquez on the payroll. Distancing themselves from their supply would be wise going forward given the genuine threats posed by not only MM93 but Bez and the man they snapped up last year.

For Enea Bastianini, the mission is simple. Prove you were the right man all along. It was controversial to some that he got the factory gig over Jorge Martin in 2022 (Not to me, mind), but his debut in red was demolished by a clash that wasn’t his fault in Portimao, and then another one that was in Catalunya. He missed nine races in 2023 through injury but did win in Sepang as a reminder of his class. But it was such an outlier result, that there’ll still be question marks about just which version of “The Beast” we’re getting. Ducati thinks his Sepang pace and his return to form look genuine.

Doubters like myself think Sepang is a track he’s always gone well around (Winning last year, second in 2022), and I think a bigger sample size is needed. If this doesn’t work out, there’s going to be a bar fight for his seat with Bez, Martin, and maybe Marc Marquez all vying for it. The Beast of 2022 needs to be back. Anything less and there will be questions asked.

Across the garage, it’s a different kind of “prove it” for Francesco Bagnaia, who reminded everyone of who they’re dealing with at the end of the Sepang test. Pecco laid down a 1:56.6 on the final day, an unofficial lap record, six-tenths under the previous mark. The most bankable statement you can make for 2024, is that Pecco will win multiple races barring injury.

For Pecco, it’s the threat of the man in aquamarine. Bagnaia’s spent nearly his entire top-flight career not dealing with a 100% Marc Marquez. He beat Quartararo and Bastianini straight up in 2022, then Martin and Bez in 2023. This will be his greatest test yet. If he can beat Marquez over a season, we’re talking about a Triple World Champion (4 in total), and three straight. That’s a guaranteed Hall of Famer and we’re starting to put him on the board in all-time discussions. 

Bagnaia is brilliant. Incredibly fast, masterer of the sport’s fastest ever bike, but has left the door open in both his title campaigns. He may not get that luxury the third time of asking. Let’s see what the competition can throw at him. And his main rival is just across the paddock…


Yes, as Pramac became the first independent team to ever win the MotoGP teams title, they get the privilege of being last in my reviews. Not that Jorge Martin will care too much. The man had a frustrating off-season lamenting the championship that got away from him right at the end, as well as putting his foot in it off the track with his use of a homophobic slur on Spanish TV. Thankfully he’s apologised (a genuinely sincere one) and hopefully, it’s a lesson learnt. 

On the track, Martin’s at a critical point in his career. Last year was the perfect opportunity to silence his long-standing critics over his bottle… only to fall at the final hurdle, somewhat proving them right. It was still a breakout season though that proved Martin can ride at the very highest level with reasonable consistency. If he can cut out the mistakes, he’ll be right back there again. And being the fastest Sprinter in the world will count for a lot in the standings. 

But Martin’s got bigger fish to fry off-track too. He’s made it abundantly clear he wants the factory seat for himself and if he doesn’t get it this time, he’s prepared to walk and forge his path away from Bologna. Honda is likely the favourite. Yikes. 

Then there’s Franco Morbidelli, who after two struggling years at Yamaha might have the best agent in sports to fall up into a GP24 for the year. Jorge Mendes eat your heart out. Franco has not been the same since dealing with constant knee trouble since 2021 and you’d feel this is his last chance to prove he can still ride at the premier class level. In his defence, he was a fair bit closer to elite teammate Quartararo in 2023, but not by enough to ward off the allure of signing Alex Rins. 

But as you probably know, he’s already lost his entire pre-season after a nasty high-side crash in the combined World Superbike test in Portimao in late January. Given it was a head injury, I’m glad he’s getting the rest and care he needs (The sport’s reputation does it no favours here), but it is yet another setback for a man who cannot catch a metaphorical break. 

Pramac will be back to disrupt the means of Ducati’s production again. Gino Borsoi’s done an incredible job turning the B-Team into a genuine threat. But can he do it again against a fully healthy factory Ducati team and reloaded roster? And can he convince his greatest rider to stick around?

With all the teams wrapped up, here are some quick passing comments on Moto2 and Moto3 as well:

This is going to be a fascinating season to keep an eye on. I think it’s a very sneakily underrated grid in terms of talent.

It’s hard to pick anyone else other than Fermin Aldeguer as the title favourite after finishing 2023 with four consecutive wins. If his manager had lowered his asking price, he likely would be riding in VR46 colours right now. The big question mark is obvious though – Over a full season, is the Speed Up chassis finally a long-term threat to Kalex’s decade-long dominance? They’ve never had a stronger fleet of riders on their machines – Aldeguer, as well as Alonso Lopez on the “factory team” as well as the newly rebranded MSI Helmets team of 2022 runner-up Ai Ogura and “not the golfer” Sergio Garcia. Speed Up might be cooking.

Amongst the Kalex’s, Tony Arbolino will be another one of the strong favourites after his best season yet in 2023 but if he wants a top-flight seat he really has to impress now given he’s in his Age 24 season. Tony kinda of fits a theme of middle-career Moto2 veterans looking for a true landmark season – You could probably throw Jake Dixon, Aron Canet, Filip Salac, Somkiat Chantra, Joe Roberts and Celestino Vietti in there too.

All of them are guys who can win a race (Sorry Aron), and maybe be Top 5 runners but you probably wouldn’t pick them to be a title winner. Of the newly promoted riders, I like Ayumu Sasaki at the Yamaha VR46 team but I wouldn’t be surprised if Deniz Oncu is Rookie of the Year due to his excellent Red Bull seat and often breakneck pace. I’m picking Tony Arbolino for the title here. I just don’t trust Speed Up fully yet, they always end up burning your fingers off.

Moto3 should be a bit more straightforward as 2023 was a year that cleared the decks for a lot of riders. Artigas, Sasaki, Masia, Moreira, Aji and Oncu all moved up and that kinda leaves an interesting blank slate of guys who could break out. David Alonso has to be the favourite after his stunning, four-win rookie season where he was a title threat right until the end of the year. But I also think there are a few guys who could also get in the mix if they can find some consistency.

Colin Veijer still doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet but he’s been highly touted by many in the MotoGP paddock. He broke the 20+ year Dutch duck in GP racing last season when he won in Sepang and if he takes another step forward I think he’ll be in the mix. I think Daniel Holgado is still a very strong rider in the best team on the grid with Red Bull but needs to find his bottle after his hot start eroded in the back half of 2023. 

I’d also keep tabs on newly Quadrant-backed Ivan Ortola who went back-to-back at COTA and Jerez last year and had 10 Top 5 finishes, consistency that young in a chaotic class is rare. David Munoz also cracked the Top 10 in the standings in 2023 and I think this could be the year he starts winning if he can keep his head on. 

For me, I can’t bet against David Alonso, who could have a Joan Mir-esque beating of the field if he lives up to his 2023 promise, but I do think Ortola’s a great dark horse shout. 

Oh and for my MotoGP Championship predictions from our Podcast in case you missed them:

Champion – Francesco Bagnaia three-peats

Over/Under 6.5 Different Winners – Under

Over/Under 3.5 Marc Marquez Wins – Under

Non-Ducati Wins – 2

Thanks so much for reading my 2024 MotoGP comprehensive season preview, I hope you enjoyed the read and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on X @DreHarrison101! See you on track on March 10th in Qatar!

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Somehow can now call himself a Production Coordinator at the Motorsport Network, coming off the back of being part of the awkward Johto Era at WTF1. All off a University Project that went massively out of hand. Weird huh?

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