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Franco Morbidelli to depart Yamaha at the end of 2023 MotoGP season

Franco Morbidelli, Monster Energy Yamaha Racing, Yamaha M1, 2023 MotoGP, portrait [credit - Gold & Goose]

Yamaha has confirmed it will part ways with Franco Morbidelli at the conclusion of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season.

The Italian, who has raced on Yamaha machinery since 2019, is expected to be replaced by Alex Rins for the 2024 MotoGP season.

As one of the few riders on the grid to have a contract that will conclude at the end of the 2023 season, Morbidelli's future within the Yamaha fold has been one of the most keenly discussed focal points of MotoGP's annual silly season.


The VR46 Academy rider made his MotoGP debut in 2018 with Marc VDS Honda on the back of winning the Moto2 World Championship title a year earlier, before a move to the satellite Petronas SRT Yamaha brought him three wins and the runners-up spot in the overall standings in 2020.

However, Morbidelli has struggled for form since being promoted to the factory Yamaha squad mid-way through the 2021 MotoGP, a switch that coincided with a long lay-off through injury.

Comprehensively out-performed by team-mate Fabio Quartararo, several names - including Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jorge Martin - had been mentioned as a potential replacement for 2024.

However, on the eve of the British MotoGP at Silverstone, Yamaha is expected to announce imminently that he will be replaced by Rins, who will move over from LCR Honda.

"First and foremost, I want to thank Franky for his hard work and dedication ever since he started with the Factory Team and also long before that when he was a Satellite rider for Yamaha," said Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing.

"The Yamaha and Morbidelli partnership led to some great results, including an outstanding vice-champion title in 2020.

“It‘s a shame that the last two years didn‘t play out the way we both wanted and hoped for. We discussed the possibilities to continue our partnership, but ultimately we decided that 2024 would be a moment to make a change, both for Yamaha and for Franky.

“The team will proceed to fully support Franky in every way we can to close out our time spent together in the best possible way.”

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