MotoGP: Alex Rins To Join Yamaha In 2024; Morbidelli Exits

Despite a successful 2020 season with satellite squad Petronas, Morbidelli's performance in the works Yamaha team in 2021 failed to reach previous heights

By Yashraj Singh


3 mins read


Published on August 2, 2023

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  • Yamaha MotoGP announces Franco Morbidelli's departure at the end of 2023, paving the way for his search for a new premier-class grid landing spot after securing three wins in his MotoGP stint.
  • Yamaha's Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, appreciated Morbidelli's contributions and achievements, including an outstanding vice-champion title in 2020, but both parties agreed to part ways amicably at the end of his current deal.
  • Following Morbidelli's departure announcement, Yamaha quickly confirmed the addition of six-time MotoGP race winner Alex Rins to their factory team for the 2024 season, expressing confidence in his adaptability and determination to succeed.

In a significant announcement, the Yamaha MotoGP team has announced that Franco Morbidelli will not continue with the team beyond 2023 as his current deal concludes. The 28-year-old Italian, known for his impressive partnership with 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo, will now seek a new landing spot elsewhere on the premier-class grid, hoping to continue his successful MotoGP stint that has so far yielded three wins.


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Franco Morbidelli will look elsewhere for options on the grid or in another racing series


In the aftermath of Morbidelli's announcement, Yamaha wasted no time in confirming Alex Rins as the new addition to their factory team from 2024 onwards. The six-time MotoGP race winner, known for his long-standing association with Suzuki since 2017, found himself seeking new opportunities when Suzuki decided to withdraw from the MotoGP programme. Rins then signed a two-year deal with Honda's satellite outfit, LCR.

Rins will join 2021 Champion Fabio Quartararo for 2024 at Yamaha

During 2020, Morbidelli showcased his talent and secured all three of his wins while being a part of Yamaha's satellite squad, Petronas. However, after his move to the works team midway through 2021, replacing the departing Maverick Vinales and recovering from major knee surgery, his performance in Yamaha's iconic factory colours failed to reach the heights achieved in 2020.

Although his first full season in 2022 left him outmatched and seemingly on the path to replacement, Morbidelli displayed improvement and proved to be a better match for Quartararo. Currently trailing his teammate by just seven points in the standings, Morbidelli's resurgence, combined with the unique timing of his contract, initially hinted at a possible extension with Yamaha. However, the team's confidence in him seemed to wane, and Morbidelli himself expressed openness to explore other opportunities.

Rins will join 2021 Champion Fabio Quartararo for 2024 at Yamaha

Yamaha's Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, conveyed gratitude for Morbidelli's dedication and hard work during his time with the team, which resulted in some remarkable achievements, including an outstanding vice-champion title in 2020. Despite the disappointment of the last two years, both parties agreed that 2024 would be a moment to embrace change and part ways amicably. Yamaha is committed to supporting Morbidelli in every way possible as they conclude their partnership.

For Morbidelli, the likeliest options to continue his MotoGP journey seem to lie within the Ducati camp as a satellite rider. He may have opportunities at Gresini or VR46, with the latter being a more natural fit due to his status as a protege of the legendary Valentino Rossi. However, VR46 aims to retain its current lineup of Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini, creating a potential vacancy at Gresini.


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Rins' move to Yamaha was hailed as a fully qualified and welcome addition by the team. The 27-year-old Spanish rider will replace Morbidelli, partnering with Yamaha's most recent premier-class champion, Fabio Quartararo. Rins' vast experience as a MotoGP rider, natural talent, and numerous race wins make him a valuable asset for Yamaha. His notable victory at the Circuit of the Americas this year, making him the sole non-Ducati grand prix winner of the season, further validates his potential impact on the team.

Despite suffering an unfortunate leg break at Mugello and enduring some challenges in his role at LCR Honda, Rins is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to perform at his best in the 2024 season. Yamaha's confidence in Rins' adaptability to the YZR-M1 and his determination to succeed solidifies their belief in his abilities. 


Last Updated on August 2, 2023

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