Barring any early contract terminations and changes of heart, next year’s MotoGP grid has 22 riders currently locked down, including rookies Brad Binder, Iker Lecuona and recently announced Alex Marquez.
With the exception of Tech3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin whose contract ended at the end of the 2019 season, many of the riders that started the season are set to continue with their teams through to 2020, since they are mid-way through the typical two-year MotoGP contract cycle.
Syahrin is returning to Moto2 next year, riding for the Angel Nieto Team, and will be replaced by Iker Lecuona. The 19-year old has been signed for the championship after just three years in Moto2, a feat which was influenced by Fabio Quartararo’s incredible 2019 rookie season.
The space was originally assigned to Brad Binder, who will now take the place of Johann Zarco at the works KTM squad. Zarco ended his contract early, with a year still left to run – a decision he said was essential for his career.
“I have the chance to do the best work in the world and I want to do it with a smile, racing for podiums.” – Johann Zarco
The early departure was revealed in a shock announcement by the team after the Austrian GP. But during Misano, they announced that they were dropping Zarco with immediate effect in favour of test rider Mika Kallio.
The one-remaining MotoGP™ seat for the 2020 season has now been filled after Reale Avinita Racing announced Johann Zarco will lineup alongside Tito Rabat.
For the 2020 season, Brad Binder will join Pol Espargaro at Red Bull KTM for a one-year contract. Like Lecuona, he has climbed the ranks from Red Bull Rookies to MotoGP and will be the first South African to compete in the premier class in 20 years.
News that has got many talking recently is Repsol Honda’s decision to sign Alex Marquez following Jorge Lorenzo’s retirement. When the five-time world champion announced that the Valencia GP would be his last, Honda chose the current Moto2 world champion to fill the empty seat.
This was a decision that team manager Alberto Puig says wasn’t influenced by teammate and brother Marc Marquez, and that the contract will just last one year to put Alex Marquez on par with the other riders.
Meanwhile Tito Rabat at Avintia Racing is the only rider to have a deal in place beyond the end of 2020. Joining Rabat will be Johann Zarco – the final signing for 2020 which completes the grid.
The season will kick off in March, with the first event taking place at Qatar. See the full 2020 MotoGP rider line-up below.
Red Bull KTM