The MotoGP rider market is back in swing especially after Johann Zarco’s move which will turn things around a bit.

It’s time to take a look at some of the talking points that surfaced from a busy weekend at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich 2023. It may have been a GP ruled by Francesco Bagnaia’s (Ducati Lenovo Team) brilliance, but there was plenty more than just the World Champion’s dominant displays that got us and the riders talking.

Johann Zarco’s (Prima Pramac Racing) future has been a hot topic of conversation since the British GP, and soon after Sunday’s race had ended, Prima Pramac confirmed the Frenchman would be leaving at the end of 2023. In his post-race interview, Zarco confirmed that he’ll be replacing Yamaha-bound Alex Rins at LCR Honda Castrol in 2024.

“Vale is pushing me more to stay in the team” – Bezzecchi

The knock-on effect of Zarco moving onto pastures new means we’ll be getting news on where Marco Bezzecchi will be applying his trade in 2024 – will he stick with Mooney VR46 Racing Team or decide Prima Pramac is his preferred destination? We’re set to find out soon. In the meantime, the Italian revealed what Valentino Rossi’s intentions are…

“Vale is pushing a lot, to be honest, and I really appreciate this. To be pushed by the goat is something that not everyone in the world can say this. I made my decision already. I cannot tell you what I will do. Soon I will communicate it. But anyway, it was fantastic to have this celebration with Pecco and with all the VR46 riders.

“I think Vale is pushing more me to stay in the team. We spoke a lot, of course. We see each other many times at home. He is pushing me to stay, of course. I’m happy for this.”

Pol Espargaro: “I have a contract”

What’s the solution to KTM’s 2024 MotoGP rider line-up dilemma? We’re not sure yet, but at the Austrian factory’s home race – alongside Brad Binder’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) contract extension announcement – the talk was rife once more. Here’s what Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) said after claiming a fantastic P6 in Saturday’s Tissot Sprint.

“I have no idea. It’s not my problem. I’m sorry. I mean it’s what I say. I read and I hear a lot. Even in the time I was away from my injury that my bike was at risk and all this, but it has never been at risk. I mean I have contract from this year and next year.

“If at the end of next year, I’m not performing well, I’m going to be the first one to leave, but I’m gonna be here performing that two years and I believe I’m fast enough to prove it. So today was a good day, even if I’m far away from the top, I’ve been at three tenths off Qualifying 2 in my second weekend. So just coming back.”

Here’s Johann Zarco leaving Pramac

[Note: The story is as per press release]