MotoGP: Pre-Jerez intrigue, gossip and aero rumour

MotoGP will soon enter the European ‘ground war’ and with it will come a new battle, that of the swingarm aero device. Started by Ducati from an original Yamaha idea, Honda soon followed.

Now KTM have also got a ‘tyre cooler’ which Johann Zarco used in free practice four at Austin, while Aprilia also tested one during a private session on the Monday in Texas.

Even though Yamaha started all this with the rain deflector they bolted on in Austria last season, the Iwata factory don’t seem too keen on joining in while an alpha insider at Suzuki reckoned theirs will probably be ready for the post-Jerez test.

Of course, there is a school of thought that the extra downforce created by these ‘coolers’ will, in fact, shove the rear tyre into the ground harder and create additional tyre wear, therefore doing the exact opposite of what they say on the tin…

And a thought, because they are all making aero devices, does that make them aerosmiths? ‘Dude looks like lady…’

Jorge Lorenzo has come out in sympathy for Maverick Vinales, the man who replaced him at Yamaha, saying he too struggled with starts on the M1 and because of the different lines he took on the bike, had to be cautious when overtaking. Not a problem he is having now.

Andrea Dovizioso has proclaimed he is not going to emulate compatriot Valentino Rossi and still be racing when he is 40 as ‘that is not his goal’. Well, it wouldn’t be, who wants to be still not winning the championship in middle age…

Red Bull Tech3 team boss Herve Poncharal has come down hard on rider Hafizh Syahrin, saying the results of the season so far (last, second to last, last) are really not good enough and the swing in his laptimes from session to session are baffling. “Hafizh was a big disappointment, as we know his potential,” said the Frenchman, before not adding: “He has let himself down, his friends down, the whole school down…”

It looks likely that Silverstone will get another new surface in the middle of June in readiness for the British MotoGP round. This time, a consultant will stand between the circuit and whichever company of tarmac flatteners is in charge. Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle didn’t say: “She was only the roadmender’s daughter, and she liked her asphalt…”

French rookie Fabio Quartararo, who has surprised everyone with his pace so far, said he followed Danilo Petrucci at Austin and learned a lot. This will not please the works Ducati man who really ought to have begun as a speck on Quartararo’s horizon and got smaller from there.

Johann Zarco is still very sad that he can’t find any confidence in any of the KTM chassis at his disposal and doesn’t want to talk about any new parts in case they don’t work and it makes him more sad. He said: “A shedful of monkeys is making jelly in my duvet” or at least that’s what Google Translate said he said.

There is much debate between riders as to the penalties imposed for a jump start. Many are in agreement that is should be limited to a trip around the long lap system. Joan Mir was deeply unhappy about his Austin penalty while Maverick Vinales held his hands up and said he did the crime and lost the time.

Cal Crutchlow, of course, is not all that keen on the penalty being changed as he has already served the big sentence and doesn’t see why everyone else shouldn’t. Me, me, me, me, me…

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