The 2018 MotoGP season has not even started, yet news is starting to break that will play a crucial role in the 2019 season – the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team has announced that this will be the last season it competes as a satellite Yamaha team. The decision to split its ties with the Japanese manufacturer brings to an end the French team’s near two-decade association with Yamaha. The rumour mill has gone into overdrive speculating who will be supplying Tech3 with MotoGP bikes next year. Both Honda and Ducati are already supplying a lot of teams with bikes for 2019, and neither would want to add another satellite squad. Aprilia doesn’t have the budget to be able to support Tech3, so that only really two candidates: KTM and Suzuki. KTM is backed by Red Bull and has one of the largest budgets in the paddock – the Austrian factory is investing €250 million over a five-year program and definitely has the resources to support a satellite team.Suzuki doesn’t. Team boss Davide Brivio has expressed a desire to have a satellite team, but has always said that the team would be comfortable managing a single satellite rider. This option wouldn’t appal to Tech 3. One thing that is for certain is that the team will also bring an end to tits agreement with current title sponsor Monster. Where does that leave Yamaha in 2019? The most likely answer is, without a satellite team. Although Dorna is known to be keen to have the Sky VR46 team in MotoGP, the series organisers have guaranteed the grid slots to the current MotoGP teams for a five-year period ending in 2020, meaning that a vacancy for a new team would only open in 2021.