Time is running out for Jorge Lorenzo. If it hasn’t yet been decided, the former champion’s future will more than likely be sealed by the end of the Motegi weekend and Honda will have to find someone to ride his bike for 2020. Increasingly, that someone looks like Stefan Bradl.
HRC need someone who can get on the RC213V next season and not be made to look foolish by it. None of HRC’s Japanese riders have mile enough under their belts on all the tracks for that to be made so. Only Bradl fits the bill as he has done the test laps and knows all the circuits.
Taka Nakagami won’t be promoted to the works team as sponsor Idemitsu are happy with him at LCR and Cal Crutchlow isn’t coping with the bike right now. Bradl is in the right place at the right time to fill in for a year while Alberto Puig gets himself a full complement of riders for 2021.
Paolo Simoncelli has thrown a load of fucks into MotoGP management after his rider Tatsuki Suzuki was taken out domino style in a crash started by Darryn Binder. Simoncelli believes more harsh punishments are required for on-track stupidity. “Penalties are the only way to make sure they think twice or even three times before they start to overtake at the limit. It’s important to work towards limiting this flash of heroism,” he said.
Torro Rossi F1 driver Pierre Gasly is quite partial to MotoGP and was in evidence at Buriram, saying he watches as many races as he can. So there.
And speaking of cars, Valentino Rossi will race a Ferrari 488GT3 at Abu Dhabi in an endurance event for the Swiss Kessel team. Apparently, they’d like to win in less than 12 parsecs…
Finland’s Mika Kallio will not be applying to wildcard at next year’s KymiRing event even though it is on his home turf. Kallio, who is well known for his sense of fun and paddock japes, says the track is boring and needs to be completely rebuilt. ‘Take my wife…’ he added.
Cal Crutchlow has not been quiet about his plans to retire but says that he wants to leave the sport in fine style, not just limp away at the end of next season after being marmalised by the next generation. Nor does he want to ride around at the back for another three years just to collect a cheque. But is that in his hands, or the hands of HRC to make a bike that can be ridden by anyone, not just Marc Marquez…
His team boss Lucio Cecchinello confirmed that Honda had to rebuild the chassis to incorporate the extras required to make Honda powerful again. The new chassis suited Marquez but not Crutchlow, who prefers the 2018 bike. However, Cecchinello says Marquez can’t be used as a gauge, merely a person to whom you take off your hat every weekend.
Tito Rabat’s team boss Raul Romero apparently wants the Spaniard on a 2020-spec factory bike next season but hasn’t said with which manufacturer. Currently, Avintia lease Desmosedicis and have a contract with Ducati until the end of 2020. Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti confirmed the details of the lease include a brace of GP19s and ‘nothing has changed…’
Alongside many negotations for riders beginning in the early part of next year, it would seem the technician silly season is also beginning to be as a big a thing as the rider market. Yamaha have stolen Ducati electronics engineer Marco Frigerio for the 2020 season.
As a long-term Ducati employee, there is nothing Frigerio doesn’t know about Marelli electronics so he will fit in well alongside Michele Gadda, whom Yamaha moved from WorldSBK to MotoGP. Also, legendary crew chief Pete Benson is heading back to MotoGP with KTM after spending a year in WorldSBK with BMW.