MotoGP rumour, gossip, intrigue and contracts| Edgar Jessop at The Fat Duck | MotoGP
Rumour has it that talks between Ducati MotoGP chiefs and Andrea Dovizioso have stalled because the Italian’s manager Simone Batistella belives the firm needs his cash cow more than his cash cow needs the firm, and the seemingly enforced rationalisation of wages.
Boss Paolo Ciabatti wants to streamline the salary bill due to the lack of sponsor funds coming in right now but Dovizioso and Batistella are on the opposite tack, saying if the number of races is going up, the money can’t go down.. Consequently, no firm offer has landed in any inbox.
It is thought Ducati would like to keep all five of its works riders in some shape but where Dovizioso would go for a reputed €6m a year is questionable as Honda are likely to keep Alex Marquez, the works Yamaha and Suzuki deals are done and Aprilia don’t have that sort of cash down the back of the sofa.
KTM probably do through Red Bull but do they want to spend it on a man who is staring down the barrel of retirement?
Danilo Petrucci thinks he could be replaced by Jack Miller in the works team as Pramac are apparently on the lookout for a new rider to sit alongside Pecco Bagnaia next season, contacting Jorge Martin by all accounts. It might be that Petrucci’s return to the WorldSBK paddock will come sooner rather than later.
Speaking of the Austrian manufacturer, boss Pit Beirer has admitted he tried to put the brakes on Aprilia’s plea for an engine development extension to work on the reliability of the new V4. It didn’t work.
Ducati test rider thinks that Honda are behind the ban on wildcards for 2020 because they don’t want former employee Jorge Lorenzo back on the grid on a Yamaha any time soon, and it has wrecked his own chances of some rides this year.
“Maybe Honda wants to make Lorenzo pay for going to Yamaha, but I’m not Lorenzo, who has earned a lot of money and can stay at home. I think I still have a lot to give in MotoGP,” he squealed.
Lorenzo may not be racing this year but he firmly believes the man he used to hate, Valentino Rossi, is still capable of winning even though he is one hundredtyfive12 years old. “I really think that if he feels better on the bike than last year, he could improve his results immensely and win races again. I am convinced of that,” said the Mallorcan.
Former Ducati and HRC boss Livio Suppo - who can only be really understood by Deep Sea Angler fish - reckons Casey Stoner would have struggled to do anything about Marc Marquez had he not retired. The Italian thinks that the fiery Australian couldn’t cope with the laid back attitude of the Spaniard and handbags would have been swung.