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MotoGP USA | Yamaha will retain Morbidelli for 2024 MotoGP, if…

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis says it remains the manufacturer’s desire to retain Franco Morbidelli alongside Fabio Quartararo in its team for the 2024 MotoGP season but admits his form must improve.

The Italian’s future within the factory Yamaha fold is precarious beyond this year with his contract publicly known to be expiring at the end of the 2023 season.

It is speculation that gathered momentum this week with Yamaha’s move to give its 2021 WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu the chance to test its M1 in Jerez.


When asked about the significance of the test, Jarvis told MotoGP.com that it was a golden opportunity to evaluate the possibility of promoting the Turk in the near future.

However, in the same interview, Jarvis emphasised it remains Yamaha’s preference to retain continuity with Morbidelli alongside Quartararo, but admits it will remain largely dependent on the Italian producing results that saw him out-performing the title-winning Frenchman and winning races as recently as 2020.

“The ideal scenario for us is that Frankie continues to show the speed he displayed in the last Grand Prix (finishing fourth in Argentina) and if he can continue to perform very well, that is better for us right now and it will guarantee him a continuity for the future," Jarvis said ahead of the 2023 Grand Prix of The Americas. 

“So our number one choice would be to continue with Frankie. I hope for us and him, I hope Frankie can continue that speed and confidence. 

“But if it is not Frankie then we need to find another candidate rider and that is why we were interested to look at Toprak."

FIM World Championship Grand Prix, Official Test, 13. February 2023, MotoGP, Sepang, Malaysia, Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha

Morbidelli Yamaha MotoGP hopes boosted by Razgatlioglu appraisal?

Morbidelli - who joined Yamaha in 2019 as part of the satellite Petronas SRT squad - is currently in his fifth season with the Iwata manufacturer.

In that time Morbidelli has won three races, six podiums and finished runner-up to Joan Mir in the 2020 World Championship standings. However, each wins and all but one of his podiums was achieved with Petronas SRT, with the Italian struggling to match that form since he was ported into the factory team mid-way through the 2021 MotoGP season.

Though his lacklustre results were initially blamed on his long recovery from a knee injury, ongoing difficulties in 2022 raised speculation he might even be dropped with a year of his contract left to run.

While Yamaha went on to retain him into 2023 and the Italian’s form picked up at the most recent Argentina MotoGP round - scoring his first top five finish since Jerez 2021 - speculation over his future has been sparked again Razgatlioglu’s test.


While Morbidelli’s chances have improved on the strength of Jarvis’ open concerns that Razgatlioglu would not be ready for a MotoGP in 2024, the likes of Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi have also been linked.

Moreover, while Jarvis says it is Yamaha’s aim to get back to having four bikes on the grid following its split with RNF Racing, it doesn’t expect to do so next season.

“To have a satellite team for 2024 seems to be very difficult. We would like to have 4 bikes back on the grid at the earliest possible opportunity, but I think it will be difficult for 2024 for various reasons.”

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