There are currently 22 bikes on the grid, including KTM’s factory duo of Jack Miller and Brad Binder plus their GASGAS Tech3 pair of Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez.

KTM refused to deny interest in acquiring the beleaguered Honda star Marquez but one avenue for them to give him a new seat has been shut down.

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MotoGP sporting director Carlos Ezpeleta told Radio Catalunya: "That we will have more than 22 bikes is not foreseen. 

“From now, for us, the ideal amount is 20.” 

KTM have two headaches which a bonus two seats might have sensationally solved.

The first is Marquez, with whom they share Red Bull as a powerful sponsor.

Marquez is enduring a miserable year at Honda and, although he is out of contract in 2025, his team manager Alberto Puig claimed they wouldn’t keep anyone against their wishes.

This seemingly gave KTM hope he could be tempted across in 2024 but their existing factory riders are already tied down, and now Ezpeleta’s ruling has confirmed there will be no space.

KTM team manager Francesco Guidotti has left the door ajar to bringing Marquez on board in 2025.

The second issue that the manufacturer has surrounds Pedro Acosta.

The 19-year-old starlet is impressing in Moto2 for Red Bull KTM Ajo but has now demanded a step up into the premier class next season.

Such is his supreme talent, KTM do not want to lose him to a rival. So it means finding a seat on their existing four bikes. 

Miller and Binder’s factory rides are secured, Espargaro is also contracted for 2024, but Fernandez is out of contract at the end of this year so is the likeliest casualty of Acosta’s ambition.

However, with Espargaro not having raced at all this season due to injury, his situation is also something to keep an eye on.