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Analysis

MotoGP rider market: Five riders compete for three seats

There are only three seats still open on the 2017 MotoGP grid, and they are likely to be decided between five riders - Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl, Eugene Laverty, Yonny Hernandez and Loris Baz.

Yonny Hernandez, Aspar MotoGP Team
Eugene Laverty, Aspar MotoGP Team
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Eugene Laverty, Aspar MotoGP Team
Stefan Bradl, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Yonny Hernandez, Aspar MotoGP Team
Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Loris Baz, Avintia Racing

Despite the fact we are not even yet at the halfway point of the season, only the Avintia and Aspar Ducati teams definitely have seats available for 2017, with all the factory teams and most satellite operations having now finalised their line-ups.

In that regard, both Pramac Ducati and Tech 3 Yamaha are expected to confirm their line-ups soon, the former retaining both Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci for another year and the latter giving Moto2 champion Johann Zarco his premier class break.

Honda told Motorsport.com in Assen that Jack Miller isn't going anywhere, while Tito Rabat is expected to remain alongside the Australian at the Marc VDS team. LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow also confirmed his continued presence at the Monegasque team for next season in Assen.

At Avintia, Hector Barbera has already concluded a deal to stay on, but the question of his teammate remains unknown. Despite previously suggesting his future lies outside of MotoGP, Stefan Bradl is in talks to join Barbera at the Spanish outfit.

Should these come to nothing, then the chances are Avintia will retain Loris Baz for a second season.

Meanwhile, Aspar is highly likely to re-unite with Aprilia refugee Alvaro Bautista (although this is not yet confirmed), which would leave only one space for incumbents Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernandez.

Laverty has indicated that he is only interested in staying in MotoGP on a more up-to-date bike than the Ducati GP14.2 he currently rides, having investigated the possibility of a return to World Superbikes.

2017 MotoGP grid so far:

TeamRiders
Yamaha

 Valentino Rossi

 Maverick Vinales

Honda

 Marc Marquez

 Dani Pedrosa

Ducati

 Jorge Lorenzo

 Andrea Dovizioso

Suzuki

 Andrea Iannone

 Alex Rins

Aprilia

 Sam Lowes

 Aleix Espargaro

KTM

 Bradley Smith

 Pol Espargaro

Tech 3 Yamaha

 Jonas Folger

 Johann Zarco

LCR Honda  Cal Crutchlow
Marc VDS Honda

 Jack Miller

 Tito Rabat

Pramac Ducati

 Scott Redding

 Danilo Petrucci

Avintia Ducati

 Hector Barbera

TBA

Aspar Ducati TBA

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