When Johann Zarco told KTM to jam it, he must have had a plan. In fact, he said he had plans A-D and possibly more but it’s a little difficult to work out what they are.
The Frenchman had previously rubbished a move to WorldSBK with Honda, there would more than likely be a space for him in a good but not championship-proven Moto2 team, MotoAmerica is out as there is no money and Paul Bird would welcome him with open arms to replace Scott Redding…
Stranger things have, after all, happened.
There is only one spot left on the MotoGP grid and that isn’t, to all intents and purposes, available. Taka Nakagami will take it, it just depends what sort of motorbike Honda are prepared to give him. Well, you say one spot but there are increasing rumours there might be another.
Jorge Lorenzo is unhappy - of that there is no doubt. He hasn’t found a relationship with the RC213V - a motorcycle that is very difficult to ride unless the number 93 is on the front of it - and he is still very injured.
Of course, he is putting on a brave face. After Sunday’s race, he was clearly in pain but positive despite finishing third to last..
“Little by little I was getting the pace, the first two or three laps I struggle a little bit with the full tank to stop the bike,” he said.
“When the full tank got more empty I start braking even harder than during all the weekend so the laptimes were better. I never rode with medium tyres in that pace during all weekend, so that is very nice to reduce the difference with the fastest one from four seconds to less than three, even 2.5s in some laps.”
But after a race distance, Lorenzo was in agony. His back has swollen up after sitting on a bike for 40 mins and he admitted there ‘is a lot of pain’.
Lorenzo has already been in touch with Ducati about getting his old job back, albeit in a satellite team, but they chose the young Jack Miller to stay on their roster which leaves Lorenzo with two choices: a) carry on with a bike he hates or b) retire gracefully as a multiple world champion.
If it’s the latter then the door could be open for Zarco to bag the most coveted of all factory rides. Except it will be on a bike that is not dis-similar to the one he has just lobbed in a skip. Neither are like the silky-smooth Yamaha on which he was so fast.
It is a widely-held theory that the number of crashes Zarco is having has shot his confidence to shit. He has fallen from his RC16 twice as many times as he had the Tech3 M1 to this point in the season but the snorting RC213V will not be any easier on him. After all, Lorenzo - who is one of the best riders of all time - has failed to get close to unlocking it.