Dre’s Newswipe – Bastianini and Vinales to KTM, MotoGP’s 2025 Silly Season

Enea Bastianini’s move to Tech3 is finally announced… but in surprise news, Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales is going there with him? Right move? Dre speculates.

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Read time: 6 mins

There was always going to be a follow-up to the huge story of last week with Marc Marquez heading to the factory Ducati Corse team for 2025, and the reflex move of Jorge Martin heading to Aprilia, understandably fed up with Bologna messing him around.

We immediately got another domino falling with Enea Bastianini signing with KTM, and it was finally announced today that he is indeed going to the Tech3 customer KTM team for 2025. But in a genuine surprise, Aprilia’s own Maverick Vinales will also be moving there with him. 

There’s seemingly been some disagreements within the ranks at Aprilia. Team boss Massimo Rivola has always seemed keen to keep the Spaniard, even going as far as saying he had an agreement with him in place for 2025. Maverick came out and disagreed, saying he had options, but most people associated that with Honda, and well… It’s a Honda. Most people struck that possibility down for performance reasons, unless the Japanese factory was prepared to part with an unserious amount of money to convince him. 

No one considered the KTM umbrella a possibility, especially with interviews saying that they were keen to keep Jack Miller on the books, but instead Tech3 clears the decks with Augusto Fernandes also being told to kick rocks. 

My first thought? This is a weird move that I don’t think makes a lot of sense for all parties involved. Let me explain how. 

First of all, Maverick. For me, he’s the definition of a “Goldilocks” rider. Someone who can be incredibly fast when all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, but if you knock him out of his comfort zone, he can struggle. His two and a half years at Aprilia have had dazzling moments of brilliance, like his dominant win at COTA in April, and other great podium finishes behind the sport’s best, but for every podium, there’s also a fringe Top 10 or, sometimes even worse. The man’s results can be extremely erratic, and in a highly competitive KTM fleet of riders, I’m not sure Pit Beirer will have the same level of patience that Aprilia has shown in him.

KTM as a factory, matches Maverick’s current form as a rider, and I don’t mean that in a good way. They too have an erratic development ethos. At their best, they can challenge the best of the Ducati’s and have done so on occasion. But this is also the same KTM that hasn’t won a dry race in over three years. It’s also gotten very itchy feet over riders since joining the top flight, with Johann Zarco’s hissyfit alongside cruel sackings for Iker Lecouna, Danilo Petrucci, Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez. A team that’s had massive inconsistencies in performance and rider management, has now hired the most emotionally volatile, inconsistent rider of the modern era. I’m not fully convinced this is the right marriage for them or Maverick. Say what you will about Aprilia, but we’ve seen far more proven evidence lately that they’re the closest challengers to Ducati, not KTM right now.

On top of that, it also blunts the years of rider development ladder work that KTM has done for the last decade or so. They’ve now got a clear path from Red Bull Rookies all the way to MotoGP’s Premier Class. And if you’re Deniz Oncu1, Dani Holgado or Jose Antonio Rueda, you can’t be so confident you have an endgame under KTM anymore. Only David Alonso seems talented enough to be able to shake off those concerns, with his otherworldly pace making him seem like another Acosta-type talent. If KTM and he are patient, maybe in 2027 they can think about him on a GP bike unless someone else gets there first.

Because a four-rider team of Pedro Acosta (Wonderkid), Brad Binder (Ultimate Floor Guy), Enea Bastianini (Proven contender), and Maverick Vinales (10-time GP winner, with 3 different brands) screams KTM making a “win now” move, stacking the deck with as much talent as possible, and not wasting anymore time on young rider development. It’s a direct shot at Ducati, even if it’s a little further along than the Italian’s mantra of taking younger riders like Pecco Bagnaia and Marco Bezzecchi and raising them up their ranks. 

So what does that mean for the rest of the market? Well, as I’ve said before, I think a lot of this will boil down to Pramac and whether they take Yamaha’s lucrative offer or not. Right now, the sense I’m getting is that they will. If that happens, it will shake up where Ducati send their top-line equipment. 

Now, I’m spitballing here, but if I were Ducati and Pramac jumped ship, I think you split the GP25’s between your two other customers of VR46 and Gresini. With Gresini having an open seat after Marc Marquez’s departure, this is probably the ideal landing spot for contracted youngster Fermin Aldeguer. 

Now, Aprilia has two seats to replace, rather than one. Rivola made it abundantly clear, he’d like an Italian rider on an Italian bike, and with Bastianini heading to Tech3, he may be tempted to make Marco Bezzecchi another offer, having done so a few years back. Bez has largely been loyal to VR46 since joining the team, but might be tempted given his struggles with the GP23, sitting 11th in the standings at time of writing, compared to third this time last year. His teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio is also in the frame with his stock reasonably high after some decent performances, carrying on his late 2023 form.

There could also be a third Aprilia up in the air with question marks on Miguel Oliveira’s future at Trackhouse, with the temptation to sign Joe Roberts cuz’ MERICA’2. There’s also the curious case of Joan Mir, who will almost certainly be on the free agency block after finishing his two year stint at Honda crash test dummy. You don’t win a World Championship by chance, and if you can give him a safe bike, he should still be high up the board as an option. 

So, with all that information I know up in the air, here’s a rough prediction for how I think the 2025 MotoGP grid will shake out:

Ducati Corse – Pecco Bagnaia / Marc Marquez
KTM – Brad Binder / Pedro Acosta
KTM Tech3 – Enea Bastianini / Maverick Vinales
Honda – Luca Marini / Iker Lecouna
LCR Honda – Johann Zarco / Ai Ogura
Yamaha – Fabio Quartararo / Alex Rins
Aprilia – Jorge Martin / Fabio Di Giannantonio
Trackhouse – Raul Fernandez / Joan Mir
Pramac (Yamaha) – Miguel Oliveira / Sergio Garcia
Gresini –  Alex Marquez / Fermin Aldeguer
VR46 – Marco Bezzecchi / Franco Morbidelli

So, this is how I have the grid. Honda don’t have many options and no negotiating sauce whatsoever, so they might have to go back to their World Superbike roster and pluck Iker Lecouna (Credit co-host Cam for the idea on this one ). Ai Ogura makes sense to finally replace veteran Honda rider Taka Nakagami who barely has hair on his head after finally running out of patience with the Japanese factory’s lack of progress.

I think Alex Rins ultimately stays with the Yamaha project and sees how it turns out. Of the VR46 camp, I think Diggia might be more susceptible to a move given Bez’s loyalty to the brand might reap him the dividends of a GP25 next year if Pramac switches (Which I’m assuming will happen). He goes to Aprilia to satisfy their home rider itch, with Joan Mir hitting up Trackhouse as Justin Marks will likely love to have a former World Champion on his new exciting brand. 

I think as said, Gresini have an open spot, they’d happily take a GP25 and that’s an easy placement for Fermin Aldeguer, with Alex Marquez staying on. I think Morbidelli goes to VR46 to finally finish his story as the academy’s first MotoGP graduate, leaving two Pramac Yamaha’s up for grabs. I think they take Miguel Oliveira’s high upside and versatility when it comes to top flight experience, and that might be the one spot for another Moto2 rider to come up, and Sergio Garcia is the best of the bunch down there at the moment. Jack Miller likely ends up in World Superbikes, probably Ducati if rumours persist that this is Alvaro Bautista’s final season over there.

Let me know what you think the 2025 grid will look like, and of course, keep reading the DRR posts on the blog section as more silly season news inevitably drops. Thanks for reading!

  1. Especially now he’s had a horrible wrist injury in training that’s likely a season-ender… ↩︎
  2. There is no other reason a 26-year old in his seventh season in Moto2 would ever get a sniff at this seat. It’s a brand activation more than a signing based on merit. ↩︎

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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