So, who’s left?
Maverick Vinales has signed, and so has Fabio Quartararo. Jorge Lorenzo has also found his way home again by resigning with Yamaha for the role of test rider.
At this point, among the top riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir are left, but we expect them to renew with Suzuki shortly, judging by the young rider policy of the Hamamatsu manufacturer. And especially as Davide Brivio, as with Maverick, will not get into a bidding war should any rival manufacturer come forward.
But who? Ducati, of course, who have been left by the roadside since the only top rider still free is ... Marc Marquez.
Yeah, because 'Marvellous' Marc has not yet signed with Honda. The problem is that the eight-time world champion seems decidedly over budget for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, even though - as his brother Alex's contract is for one season - if there was still any chance, they could maybe take advantage of a ‘2 for the price of 1’ offer, like in the supermarket!
After all, we’re talking about 10 world titles here!
Okay, but what on earth are we dreaming about? After all, Ducati - in our opinion - will already have a job on their hands to confirm the riders they already have. And if Danilo Petrucci seems expendable seeing as both Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia are on the waiting list, Andrea Dovizioso is definitely less so.
Moreover, the rider from Forlì today is holding all the right cards and will be able to raise his retainer thanks to the abilities of Simone Battistella, his manager, who didn’t think twice about letting Bautista switch from Ducati to Honda in Superbike.
Moreover, it is always the rider who decides, and should Andrea fear an offer from KTM, why not believe him? The Austrians are improving, they have a powerful sponsor behind them - Red Bull (who are also Dovi's personal sponsor) – so what’s missing?
In addition Dovizioso, unlike Valentino Rossi, has already made it clear that he will not race forever and should he miss out on the title again, for the fourth time, arriving at the same level as a top rider of the calibre of Randy Mamola and doing better than Max Biaggi and Dani Pedrosa, three times runners-up, then what else does he need to ask of his career?
For this reason, if on the one hand Ducati have every interest in waiting for the market to unfold – unless some phenomenon appears from the lesser categories - it would be better for them to tick off one of the two boxes available. Before it's too late…