MotoGP has changed and in 2022 there were three riders who stood out in the fight for the championship title: Fabio Quartararo, Aleix Espargaro and Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia, with the Aprilia rider being one of the surprises of the year.
The Yamaha rider was the only one to take the M1 to the podium and was the only one to take the bike to competitive places. Second best on the Yamaha, Franco Morbidelli, only twice even made the top ten, with a seventh place finish as his best result of the year. Lin Jarvis - Managing Director at Yamaha Motor Racing and Team Principal at Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - was asked on Crash.net to compare Quartararo's achievements with those of other historic riders such as Casey Stoner or Valentino Rossi:
- I'm always very cautious to compare one rider with another era as such. I remember in the back in the day there were the so-called four aliens [Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa] on a different level to the others, winning everything between them and that's not the case anymore. Now there are probably 8 to 10 riders that are in the game regularly and you see many different race winners now. I think that’s because the relative performance of all of the bikes has become much more equal.