Home CAR & BIKES A Look at the 2023 Rider Lineup

A Look at the 2023 Rider Lineup

The Buddh International Circuit is gearing up to host the first-ever Indian Grand Prix as part of the 2023 MotoGP calendar. This marks a historic milestone for the country’s sporting ambitions and a testament to years of unwavering dedication to bring top-tier international motorcycle racing to Indian soil.

Also Read: MotoGP India Race Pass Categories Explained

Known as MotoGP Bharat, this thrilling race will be the 13th event in the 2023 circuit, promising an adrenaline-pumping showdown. From September 22 to 24, the Buddh International Circuit will witness fierce competition among 22 riders representing 11 esteemed teams. These riders will mount bikes from renowned manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, KTM, Ducati, and Aprilia.

Here’s an exclusive look at the riders and the teams they’ll be representing, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable race.

Here’s an exclusive look at the riders and the teams they’ll be representing, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable race.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team

  • Fabio Quartararo (France): Quartararo, the 2019 MotoGP rookie sensation, impressed the world by clinching victories in 2020. He ascended to become France’s first premier-class World Champion in 2021. However, 2023 has been a challenging year for Quartararo and Yamaha due to an underperforming YZR-M1, with only one podium finish – a third-place at the Grand Prix of The Americas.
  • Franco Morbidelli (Italy): Joining MotoGP in 2018 as the reigning Moto2 World Champion, Morbidelli shone in 2020 with a runner-up finish. In 2021, a knee injury affected his performance. After partnering with Quartararo at Monster Energy Yamaha, a lacklustre 2022 was followed by another subdued season, awaiting a fresh start in 2024.

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Ducati Lenovo Team

  • Francesco Bagnaia (Italy): Bagnaia made his MotoGP debut in 2019 after winning the 2018 Moto2 title. Although he secured his first MotoGP win in 2021, he narrowly missed the championship. However, 2022 was a different story as he mounted a spectacular comeback, clinching five wins, leading the 2023 title race with dominance.
  • Enea Bastianini (Italy): Bastianini, known as ‘The Beast,’ won the 2020 Moto2 World Championship and showed immediate promise in MotoGP. Despite a shoulder blade injury in Portugal, he has shone in his sophomore season with four wins and a third-place finish in the standings.

Aprilia Racing

  • Aleix Espargaro (Spain): The oldest rider on the grid at 34, Espargaro’s journey included several years of struggle until he secured his first Aprilia podium in 2021. In 2022, he notched his first GP win, bringing glory to Aprilia. Despite a slow start in 2023, Espargaro made a comeback with a double victory at the CatalanGP.
  • Maverick Vinales (Spain): Vinales, the 2013 Moto3 World Champion, transitioned to MotoGP in 2015. After a successful stint with Yamaha, he controversially switched to Aprilia in 2021. The partnership has been fruitful, with four podium finishes in 2022 and 2023.

Repsol Honda Team

  • Marc Marquez (Spain): Marquez, one of the greatest of all time with eight World Championships, including six in MotoGP, suffered a career-threatening injury in 2020. After a series of surgeries, he returned in 2023 but faced struggles due to injuries and Honda’s performance woes.
  • Joan Mir (Spain): 2020 MotoGP World Champion, Mir, found himself with Repsol Honda in 2023 after Suzuki’s departure. His debut year has been challenging, marred by injuries and Honda’s difficulties.

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

  • Jack Miller (Australia): Miller’s unique ascent saw him jump straight from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015. He enjoyed success with Ducati before joining Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in 2023, where he awaits a Sunday victory.
  • Brad Binder (South Africa): The 2016 Moto3 World Champion endured a challenging couple of seasons in 2021 and 2022. However, 2023 has seen a resurgence for both Binder and KTM, as they aim for a successful future.

Gresini Racing MotoGP (Ducati)

  • Álex Márquez (Spain): The younger Marquez sibling secured Moto3 and Moto2 titles in 2014 and 2019. After tough years with LCR Honda, he found a fresh start at Gresini Racing in 2023, achieving a Sunday podium in his first year with Ducati.
  • Fabio Di Giannantonio (Italy): Di Giannantonio, a rookie in 2022, had his standout moment when he claimed pole at his home Grand Prix at Mugello. He continued with Gresini for 2023, consistently finishing in the top 10.

Prima Pramac Racing (Ducati)

  • Johann Zarco (France): Zarco, a back-to-back Moto2 World Champion, embarked on his Ducati journey in 2020. Now into his fourth season, he has secured 13 podiums but still seeks his maiden MotoGP win.
  • Jorge Martín Almoguera (Spain): Nicknamed the ‘Martinator,’ Jorge Martin quickly rose through Moto3 and Moto2. He claimed a podium in his second MotoGP race and aims to challenge Bagnaia for the championship in 2023.

Mooney VR46 Racing Team (Ducati)

  • Luca Marini (Italy): Half-brother of MotoGP Legend Valentino Rossi, Marini debuted in Moto3 in 2013 and joined Moto2 full time in 2016. In 2023, he secured his first MotoGP Sunday podium and consistently finishes in the top six.
  • Marco Bezzecchi (Italy): Bezzecchi jumped to MotoGP after impressive seasons in Moto2. He emerged as a title contender in 2023 with two wins in the first five races, eyeing a World Championship.

RNF MotoGP Team (Aprilia)

  • Miguel Oliveira (Portugal): Portugal’s first premier class race winner joined CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team in 2023. Despite a challenging year, glimpses of Oliveira’s potential promise a bright future for him and Aprilia.
  • Raul Fernandez (Spain): Fernandez, a rising star, moved to MotoGP in 2022 with high expectations. Injuries have hampered his debut season with Aprilia, but his latent speed makes him one of the most exciting young riders in Grand Prix racing.

Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing (KTM)

  • Pol Espargaro (Spain): The 2013 Moto2 World Champion is in his 10th MotoGP campaign. After challenging seasons with Repsol Honda, Espargaro returned to Tech3 in 2023, displaying remarkable resilience.
  • Augusto Fernández Guerra (Spain): The reigning Moto2 World Champion is the only rookie on the 2023 MotoGP grid. Fernandez’s standout performance was a brilliant P4 at the French GP, with three top-10 finishes to his name.

Also Read: Yamaha R15M, MT-15 and Ray ZR 125 MotoGP Editions Launched Ahead Of Inaugural Bharat GP

The grid is set, the anticipation is high, and the Buddh International Circuit is ready for the roar of engines and the thrill of competition. The 2023 Indian Grand Prix promises to be a historic event showcasing a mix of seasoned champions and emerging talents, all vying for glory on Indian soil.

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