Deadlock has apparently been reached with the three works Honda riders over the direction of development for the RC213V.
Marquez is the only one who can win on it in its current configuration, and he knows it. Cal Crutchlow and Jorge Lorenzo are pressing for changes, but with Marquez the clear leader, Honda and their star rider are resisting.
Marquez is the sole HRC man in the top eight after a half-season of pain and mistakes from the other two. Crutchlow says he needs more available lean angle to go faster without crashing. At the moment, he is having to turn the bike too much with the rear and it is costing but Marquez, who is more adept at that style, is laughing all the way to the trophy.
Fabio Quartararo’s current form, according to Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis, has given Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales something to aim for. Which isn’t quite the right way around…
Jarvis believes the Frenchman rides without fear as he has only crashed a couple of times in MotoGP and it is that lack of experience that is lending the Petronas Yamaha man sufficient wings to make everyone stand up and take notice.
Even the almost untouchable Marquez has named Quartararo as the man who, if anyone, can challenge him for the title but it will take something to go dreadfully wrong for that to happen.
Johann Zarco, with Jean-Michel Bayle in his corner, is pinning a lot of hopes on the work of KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa to try and sort out the problems he is having with the RC-16. Having experience of bossing the occasionally-snarling RC213V will assist the little Spaniard in working out where to make changes to the Austrian motorcycle.
Zarco has admitted he is ‘sad’ at the current state of affairs, given he was able to do what Quartararo was doing a year ago on the friendly Yamaha.
Aprilia boss Massimo Rivola wants the factory to again become a hotbed of innovation as it was under Jan Witteveen and Gigi Dall’Igna, and is desperately trying to secure the funds from parent Piaggo to do it. The ex-F1 man is determined for his team for steer their own technical path and not copy those arround them.
There are some differences with the RSGP’s V4 than the others on the grid, he says. The cylinder angle is different and for that there is the cascade drive for the camshaft. Whatever that is. Rivola says their bike is more like the Ducati than the Honda, only without the success…
It looks very much like Alvaro Bautista route back to MotoGP has been removed from the map but Honda have approached him to ride their WorldSBK Fireblade in 2020. The Spaniard hasn’t yet signed the deal he thought he would sign with Ducati at Laguna Seca which has allowed the Red Wing to sidle up to him with an envelope.