1. Movistar Yamaha
Maverick Viñales was one of the first riders to extend the factory contract, as Yamaha announced the contract extension right during the launch of the 2018 YZR M1. Valentino Rossi extended his contract for 2 more years for the third time since he arrived back at Yamaha in 2013. This makes the duo Rossi and Viñales teammates for 4 successive years.
2. Repsol Honda
The most interesting part of the rider trading is from the Repsol Honda team. Marc Marquez has extended his contract for two more years, and that isn't the news here. Their current rider Dani Pedrosa has been released (a subtle term for sacked) from the team after 13 long years. There were various rumours about Jonathan Rea arriving in MotoGP in factory Honda colours. This remained a rumour as Honda boss Alberto Puig ruled out any chance of Rea getting their factory seat. Jorge Lorenzo, after a distressed relationship with the Borgo Panigale factory is now given a Factory Honda seat. The official news was a shocker, while making this team one of the strongest MotoGP has ever seen.
3. Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso has extended his contract for two more years, following a great exhibition with his Desmosedici GP machine in the recent past. Jorge Lorenzo has been released to bring in fellow Italian and satellite Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci. Danilo Petrucci has been riding the satellite Ducati with Pramac Ducati since 4 years.
4. Team Ecstar Suzuki
The Hamamatsu factory has extended the contract for Alex Rins after he showed great consistency. The interesting part though is for the second seat of Andrea Iannone. Iannone was officially released early on, while Joan Mir from EG Marc VDS Moto2 team has been roped in after he won his very first Moto2 race within 5 outings.
5. Redbull KTM
The flying Frenchman Johann Zarco has been roped into the Austrian factory aboard the KTM RC16 for 2019 and 2020. The agreement comes as a result of a series of incidents. Yamaha factory team has no seats on offer, while Tech3 and Yamaha ends partnership at the end of 2018. While Tech3 is heading out to the Austrian marquee for the supplies, the best choice for Johann Zarco is to ride in factory colours. It was also said that Johann Zarco actually turned down an offer from Repsol Honda to take Pedrosa's seat. The current rider Pol Espargaro extends his contract for another 2 years.
6. Aprilia Gresini
The present factory rider Aleix Espargaro is a happy man, extends his contract for two more years and is now a father of twin children. Andrea Iannone, after getting sacked from the Suzuki factory, lands a job at the Aprilia factory.
7. Tech3 KTM
Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal has roped in two great talents for the next season. Hafizh Syahrin, who came in as a replacement for Jonas Folger has showed great consistency and gets an extension in Tech3 team. Miguel Oliveira is coming from Moto2, with an official KTM contract making it a good team with two young guns.
8. LCR Honda
British rider Cal Crutchlow is put to stay at LCR Honda team as he has the HRC contract until the end of 2019. The contract of Takaaki Nakagami ends at the end of this season and there's no words on whether the Japanese rider will stay at LCR or leave the paddock after a dismal season.
9. Marc VDS Honda
Marc VDS team has been facing issues with its internal management and an option to switch for Yamaha as their official vehicle supplier. VR46 Academy rider Franco Morbidelli has already signed a contract until 2019 with an option for extension to 2020. Thomas Luthi ends his contract at the end of 2018, and it's highly unlikely that he gets an extension, given his poor performance.
10. Pramac Ducati
Yet another rider from VR46 Academy has been roped into MotoGP as Ducati factory signs Francesco Bagnaia for 2019 and 2020 to ride their satellite machine. Jack Miller has been doing wonders on the Ducati, and he's highly likely to extend his contract with the Pramac team.
11. Avintia Ducati
Xavier Simeon already has his contract valid until the end of 2019. Current Tito Rabat hasn't shown any improvement over the two years, and would most likely get dropped from the team.
12. Aspar Ducati
Both the current riders Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham end their contracts at the end of this year. The team is yet to sign a rider for their future endeavors.
So here are the number of free seats currently available among all the satellite teams-
LCR Honda, Marc VDS Honda, Pramac Ducati, Avintia Ducati - 1 each
Aspar Ducati - 2
By: Aravind Rb