MotoGP Brno: Gossip, rumour and intrigue

All the weekend’s furore surrounded the departure of Roman Forcada as Maverick Vinales’ crew chief and the apparent lack of communication from the latter to the former about it. It appeared that Forcada knew it was coming but hadn’t actually been told by the rider.

After several interviews with Spanish TV, some discussion with Lin Jarvis and some people having their pants pulled down, Vinales relented and offered Forcada a year extension. To which, one assumed, he has replied: ‘Meter por el culo…’

On the other side of the garage, Valentino Rossi has said the idea of including the Mexican F1 track on the 2019 MotoGP calendar would make the year very tiring and also very lethal as the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is a street track with steel barriers and no run off.

“It’s a very bad track. I don’t like. It’s dangerous also. They have to modify some part of the track but it’s very difficult to modify like this, it’s not easy. For me a race next year is not a good idea, for sure,” he said before probably adding ‘Fuck that’ when no-one was around to hear him.

Cal Crutchlow’s chance of getting a carbon swingarm in the near future ended when Stefan Bradl wrapped up the only spare one in his frankly ludicrous crash at turn three which saw him wipe out Vinales and Bradley Smith.

Bradl has no recollection of the crash which is handy as there is no TV footage either. The FIM stewards didn’t penalise him at all even though Smith described it thus: “Stefan lunged, tried to overtake four people and then tucked the front, and skittled me and Maverick. I obviously saw him go down, he slid into me and unfortunately both of our bikes hit Maverick just on the rear swingarm. Down he went.”

Jack Miller saw the whole thing: “Bradl just tried to pass us all in one go, locked the front and it was dominoes from there. He hit Smith, Smith went down and their two bikes cleaned up Maverick, who went over the highside. It was a nasty little crash. I had to grab the brakes and almost stop just to wait for the bikes to slide past my front tyre.”

Yesterday, reigning champ Marc Marquez had the choice of four different bikes to test which goes some way to explaining why he has won a lot of races in the past 18 months and Yamaha have won one. “I can not tell everything, but as you can see I had four bikes in the pits at times.

“In my current machine, there was a new component, because we have to get along better with the front tyre. Then I tried a bike with a new geometry in relation to the chassis. We also worked for the future. We tried a few things for this and the next season.”

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