MotoGP: Intrigue, gossip and rumour03/10/2012
By Edgar Jessop in the Alcaniz wilderness
Image by www.SMARTFotos.co.uk
So, then, Scott Redding. An heroic ride to a podium in Spain where stitches split and blood filled the gloves. And still no word on whether he will make the jump to light-speed and join Gresini Honda in MotoGP.
It looks increasingly unlikely, you would think, as sponsors San Carlo apparently baulked at having Jonathan Rea in the squad due to the distinct lack of Italian in him. The Gloucestershire rider is increasingly too big for a Moto2 so where could he go? World Superbikes with Suzuki is an option, apparently.
A vicious rumour abounded that he could lever aside Bradley Smith at Tech3, but team boss Herve Poncharal dismssed that as utter cobblers, which is quite amusing when you say it in a Sylvain Guintoli accent.
There are rumbles afoot in his MarcVDS team where Gino Rea nerfer Johann Zarco is reportedly about to land but the expected press release about in which chair is still away for 'checking'.
World Supersport star Sam Lowes is definitely in the frame to join Paul Bird's Aprilia CRT team in 2013 and probably alongside veteran rider Shane Byrne. Bird and Lowes were seen in conversation more than once at Silverstone, but will also have Tommy Hill to contend with, unless Byrne is shut out completely - which seems unlikely.
HRC boss Shuhei 'McPhee' Nakamoto is facing down MotoGP Carmelo Ezpeleta's charge towards a spec-ECU for the series, saying Honda's main focus will immediately switch to World Superbikes should it be wheeled in. Trouble is Ezpeleta is now in charge of both so we could see 'dumbed-down', as one Mr Stoner likes to call it, racing in both championships…
Nakamoto says all the manufacturers are not happy with the course of action and if Ezpeleta wants to narrow the three-second-a-lap gap between prototypes and CRT, control electronics isn't the way. It is a way, however, to return to the spectacular highsides of the screamer-engined 500cc era.