Who will be the 2023 MotoGP world champion?
MotoGP has been a difficult one to call for a few years now, which is refreshing, because for the longest time the pinnacle of two-wheel racing has been dominated for the most part by two names: Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. While the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner were occasionally able to challenge, Rossi and Marquez won 13 championships between them in the 19 years following the turn of the century.
The last three years, without a standout dominant force, has made for a very different viewing experience. That said, there are three names that stand out from the rest, and each of them have claimed a championship apiece.
Joan Mir, the 2020 winner struggled with his Suzuki last season, and also missed four rounds after breaking his ankle in Austria. Could he bounce back in 2023? We’re not so sure. Next, we have Fabio Quartararo. The 23-year-old Spaniard hit his peak in 2021 when he beat Ducati’s Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia to the title. He put in another strong showing last year despite the superiority of the Ducatis to finish runner up in the standings. As long as Yamaha can keep up with the relentless Ducati march, you have to bet he will be one of the favourites again in 2023. Finally, we have Bagnaia, the 2022 MotoGP champion and star rider of the Ducati stable. It was by no means a perfect year for the Italian; he started the season slowly and had his fair share of accidents, but he saw off the challenge of his rivals, including fellow Ducati rider Enea Bastianini, to take the title.
However, we’re going to put our necks on the line and say that none of these three riders will be MotoGP champion in 2023. We think it will be Marc Marquez, and yes, we know that sounds a touch mad, but it’s good to think outside the box. Sure, the great Spaniard’s career has been severely hampered by injuries since his last championship triumph in 2019, but he looked like he was beginning to find some speed and confidence towards the back end of last year, so we think if he can stay fit, and Honda can overcome its dismal 2022 showing and produce a competitive bike, Marquez could still add to his title tally in 2023.