Silly Season Updates: Pedrosa to Honda, Viñales to Yamaha, and Who Else?

After the drama and speculation at Le Mans, it will be Maverick Viñales who will join Valentino Rossi in the Movistar Yamaha team in 2017. The reports pegging Dani Pedrosa for the seat alongside Rossi turn out to have been wrong, despite coming from highly credible sources. On Friday, Spanish magazine website Solomoto reported that Viñales flew to Milan to sign the contract at Yamaha Motor Racing headquarters in Gerno di Lesmo, a stone's throw from the Monza circuit.

Solomoto's report was followed by a deluge of other Spanish news sites reporting the same facts, though citing different sources. This makes it more likely that the news really is true this time, and that Viñales has indeed signed with Yamaha. The deal will see Viñales sign for two years alongside Rossi, with the announcement to be made on Thursday at Mugello.

The fact that Viñales is to be in Thursday's pre-event press conference at Mugello could have tipped us off to the news, but the Suzuki rider's podium at Le Mans – his first in MotoGP, and the first for a Suzuki since 2009 – was a legitimate reason to have Viñales in the room. Dorna's rule of thumb for putting together the press conference line up is to have the championship leader, the winner of the previous race, a rider relevant to the event (e.g. a local rider, or someone with ties to the event through their team, etc.), and other riders who are in the news for one reason or another. Getting a first podium in MotoGP is a good reason to be invited onto the press conference panel. Then again, so is signing a factory contract.

Who is Deep Throat?

So what happened to all the talk of Dani Pedrosa to Yamaha? That is an intriguing tale, but one which we have yet to get to the bottom of. Both MCN and El Pais are reputable publications, not given to baseless speculation, and so they must have had their sources. Who those sources were would reveal a lot about the forces involved in the deal.

The most logical explanation is that sources inside Yamaha leaked the link up with Pedrosa, as a way to force Viñales into making a decision. When the prettiest girl in the room asks you to dance, it is unwise to dillydally, and a public flirtation with Pedrosa may have been Yamaha's way of forcing Viñales to make up his mind.

But it could also have been a ploy by Suzuki, to try to persuade Viñales to stay with them for next year, by giving the Spaniard the impression that he was not necessarily Yamaha's first choice. It could have been a bargaining chip by people close to Dani Pedrosa, to make HRC more aware of the Spanish veteran's value to the Repsol Honda team. It could even have been Dorna getting involved, wanting either Viñales to stay at Suzuki to fulfill the fairytale, or Suzuki to go to Yamaha to add a fifth potential winner to the line up of MotoGP victors.

All that is speculation, however, which we fill in to suit our own beliefs and logic. In reality, only a few people will ever know the truth. Journalists do not reveal their sources, even when those sources have not proven to be reliable.

Forever Repsol

Viñales' move to Yamaha leaves Dani Pedrosa stuck at Honda. Today, the Repsol Honda team announced that Pedrosa will stay with the Repsol Honda team for another two years, almost certainly alongside Marc Márquez. Pedrosa has been with Honda since he entered Grand Prix racing in 2001. He is a proven winner, and capable of challenging for a title, though so far, he has been unable to win one, coming closest in 2012, when he finished just 18 points short of Jorge Lorenzo. He is, quite simply, the best option Repsol Honda have, though given the intensely physical nature of riding the RC213V, you have to question whether the reverse is also true.

Viñales' departure leaves a vacancy at the ECSTAR Suzuki team. Ideally, Suzuki would have liked to keep Viñales, and contractually, they could have done so, as they had an option on him for a third season. However, team boss Davide Brivio realizes that keeping a rider against his will is pointless. It only breeds resentment in the team, and leaves the rider looking for a way out at the earliest opportunity. That detracts from his focus on the racing, and that is bad for everyone.

Viñales' role in Suzuki was as the up and coming young rider capable of taking the storied marque to race wins, and perhaps even to championships. He was to be the new Kevin Schwantz (a role he has now forfeited). Ideally, Suzuki would want to replace him with a similar rider, but the list of candidates capable of doing just that is alarmingly short.

Youth vs experience

The two most obvious candidates to take the empty Suzuki seat are Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone. Iannone's manager Carlo Pernat has already hinted at an offer from the Japanese factory, though it is hard to tell whether that is a bargaining chip to be used for the spot left open at Ducati, or whether Iannone would take on a ride on currently less competitive bike (though the gap to Yamaha and Ducati has diminished greatly this year).

Iannone and Rins offer two very different prospects. Iannone is in his fourth season in MotoGP, and has had experience of developing a factory MotoGP machine. He is a proven podium candidate on a competitive bike, and the rider currently looking on the verge of a win. Rins is a rider in the mold of Viñales, a rising young Moto2 star who looks capable of being competitive when he moves up to MotoGP. Yamaha are trying to tie Rins down to a contract, but the Spaniard does not want to spend time in the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite team, preferring to wait for a factory ride. That would leave him to choose between Suzuki, KTM, and Aprilia, with Suzuki clearly the most competitive of the three.

Suzuki could contemplate signing both Rins and Iannone, but that would leave Aleix Espargaro out in the cold. Espargaro has a wealth of experience on MotoGP machinery, and has been the driving force behind developing the Suzuki GSX-RR. Replacing Espargaro would leave Suzuki with two – or possibly three – new riders on their bike.

The most likely scenario is that Suzuki will choose one of Rins and Iannone to ride for them next year. Which one is yet to be seen.

Open questions

That also raises the question of Johann Zarco. The Frenchman already has a contract with Suzuki, but the details of it are still vague. Zarco is to race in the Suzuka 8 Hours race for the Japanese factory, and he is to test the MotoGP bike. Whether that means he will be racing a Suzuki in MotoGP in 2017 is still unclear.

The one place where Zarco could end up is on a satellite Suzuki. There are credible reports that Lucio Cecchinello is talking to Suzuki about dropping Honda and becoming a satellite Suzuki team. The crippling fees Honda are still asking for the RC213V remains an issue for LCR, and Suzuki could be a better deal. That would be a tough decision for Cecchinello, however, as the LCR Honda team boss has remained loyal to HRC since he first entered MotoGP with Casey Stoner back in 2006.

There is a good chance that LCR Honda will remain just that. Cal Crutchlow is said to be close to extending his deal with LCR, which would mean remaining with Honda.

For the moment, much of this is speculation, as the more serious part of Silly Season is starting to get underway. Negotiations will start in earnest at Mugello, with several more contracts likely to be tied up at Barcelona, which will include Ducati's choice of which Andrea will stay with the Bologna factory. Then, the focus will switch to the satellite teams. The silliest of Silly Seasons is set to run for a while.


Gathering the background information for long articles such as these is an expensive and time-consuming operation. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting MotoMatters.com. You can help by either taking out a subscription, buying the beautiful MotoMatters.com 2016 racing calendar, by making a donation, or by contributing via our GoFundMe page.

Source: 
Total votes: 139
Total votes: 114

Back to top

Comments

This is rather disappointing (at least for me), I was hoping that Vinales stays with Suzuki and Pedrosa gooes to Yamaha, that wikk (I think) create more interesting those factory bikes. A decent pilot in Ducati- no offense to Dovizioso and Ianonne, especially Dovizioso, i like him a lot - the great Italian rider and the most succesful rider without a title in motogp, the fastest Honda guy and the new Alien in Suzuki. Now Suzuki has to start over, i hope that Rins will get the Suzuki seat and become the new Alien in the premiere class

Total votes: 143

What I tried to say was 'the great Italian rider (Valentino Rossi) and the most successful rider without a premiere class title (Dani pedrosa) in Yamaha garage' sorry about that

Total votes: 140

Dani is one of my true MotoGP heroes. 

Let that be said. However it saddens me that he has chosen the great dollar over a chance to win the ever elusive championship. He could even show his true class by going to a growing but still infant Suzuki team, and try to win the championship he clearly have given up on.

HRC is truely the father you don´t want.

 

 

Total votes: 183

As David eluded to in the article we don't know if there ever was an actual offer on the table for Dani at Yamaha. So to say to he stayed at Honda for money is pure speculation and poor form. Dani is a smart person (ignoring the Boating Linsense fiasco), im sure he is well aware of the struggles at Honda more than anyone but this shows his faith in them, misguided or not. I hope he finds his form again, and now he's got 2 1/2 years to do it. Time for Honda to step up. 

Total votes: 152

Ahhh... Too bad! I was really looking forward to seeing Dani on a different bike in 2017! Either the Yamaha, or - if Viñales went to Yamaha - the Suzuki. Especially that last option I found intrigueing. But obviously Dani chose to secure his future instead of going for an attempt at the ultimate success in MotoGP. I don't see that happening in the Repsol Honda team, with a consistently difficult bike - for several years already - and being a clear number two in that team.

Total votes: 146

A lot of people would've really enjoyed seeing Dani take on a new challenge at Yamaha but alas, It is not to be. I hope Yamaha havent made a mistake with Vinales but we wont know until next year. Time to focus on this season again. Which is shaping up quiet nicely. 

 

Total votes: 141

To know mv wil join Yamaha but would mv have sign for suz i think dp could have done some great things on the M1. Maybe it sounds stupid but i think on the M1 dp could fight for the title where at Honda hes just mm wingmen and nr 2 where as mm have Said himself they need dp for Development......crazy right. After the article DE Wrote befor mm and his team must be very happy with the news.

Total votes: 122

Yogi Bear, please bear with me. If you put everything out in such very short hand it is kind of difficult to read and make sense. A little more effort to understand your post better, please. Otherwise lets see how this goes

Yo be pl ber wit me. If u put evertin in suc shot han its kinda diffcul to readn maksens. A lilmor efot to unstan yur pos betr pl. othwis dis how it wube i spose. 

Total votes: 126

As much as it pains me to think that Pedrosa might have blown his last chance of winning a WC in Honda i never thought for a second that Yamaha was going to bring him in. They need fresh blood. They need to take some risks betting on upcoming talents. If Vinales proves to be made of alien stuff they have a great future ahead. And who knows maybe in 2019 they'll sign young Bulega (I believe in that kid. Not because VR said so! He's got something special. And he'll be 19. The age of MM when he made it to GP class.) I'm still not convinced that Ducati will keep one of the two Andreas.... it's ridiculous that they cannot make up their minds, as if they had just met them for the first time. How long have they been in that garage? What else they need to know about them that they don't already know? It's a serious question. I'm really looking for an answer or at least an informed guess from you David. I wouldn't be surprised if at the last minute both Andreas kiss Ducati goodbye and keep some dignity. And Petrucci moves up to the factory team.

Total votes: 139

It is also possible Pedrosa was Yamaha's Plan B in the event Vinales rejected the offer. As soon as Vinales accepted the offer, Pedrosa signed with HRC.

The timing of both annoucements could be telling...

Total votes: 123

... most boring outcome we could've expected. Pedrosa on anything else would've been a revelation for the series and long time fans.

With the next round of musical chairs coming up, I hope Iannone makes the switch to Suzuki because I think his aggressive style may suit the agile blue bike quite nicely.

Total votes: 127

It would have been awesome to see Dani make the move to Yamaha, and what that would do to the other rider shuffles that that move would have created.  I don't think his chances of winning the championship would actually increase with him having VR46 as a teammate though because I think the two of them are very similar in their overall speeds (depending on the track), but I think Rossi still has the mental advantage over Dani and would probably be the higher points finisher in that Yamaha camp. 

 I also agree that AI29 looks to possibly be a great fit for Suzuki.  I think his aggressive style is very similar to MV25 and with him having more experience on the big bikes than Maverick, he may be able to help bring the bike along a bit quicker.

Total votes: 121

I don't think there was an offer. MCN was very blatant with its agenda: trying to push for Crutchlow to get a seat at Repsol Honda. That's all that ever was in my opinion.

Total votes: 153

If 93 really wants to be the GOAT he should go to Suzuki.........

 

I would hate that but it would be interesting...

Total votes: 123

I don´t know who MCN had as a source, but I do believe the story in El País was a manipulation. The Pedrosa-to-Yamaha story  may have been of benefit to Yamaha for the reasons David states. My guess is that there are already a half dozen folks, all Spanish, who either know or have figured out who the phoney Deep Throat was. In the world of real journalism, whatever that is nowadays, a writer may protect a source, but should never affirm something without some atribution, even though that atribution is to an anoymous source. Going further, the model for that goes like this..."the source spoke under condition on anonimity because this person, close to the Democratic party leadership (or to Yamaha Racing), is not authorized to comment on these matters."

What I learned (my dad was a war correspondent for many years) is that you cannot simply affirm a fact without some reference to a source, named or ananomous, unless you, in fact, actually saw who shot Kennedy that day. No matter who convinces you that it was the Mafia (and it was according to an ex-CIA friend who is anonymous because he is not authorized etc.) you either give a sideways attribution or you use what you have been told to go out and find not only the required second source, but also, if possible, a source who will stand behind his words. If you just affirm something rather than offering it as a hunch, opinion or a guess, then that is spectualtive...the sort of article that should only be written by a journalist who has earned credibility or by some blogger working out of his mom´s basement.)

And in the case of a rider being signed, a journalist should, before publishing, call the rider and give him a chance to say this is bull shit, this is true, or who the hell told you that? followed by, please don´t publish that?  Then you decide.

I still keep saying that all journalists should attribute, but most don´t figure that out until they get taken down the garden path. 

I learned a lot of this the hard way. I´ll tell you about it sometime. Barry Sheene, Suzuki, Yamaha, Rex White, fall of 1979. 

As we say in Spanish, "It has rained since then."

 

 

 

Total votes: 170

Not everybody ran with the story. Julian Ryder had this to say in his regular race weekend updates at Soup the day after Tronchoni published her piece: 

"My understanding is that Vinales has just over a week to sort his affairs out and sign on the dotted line for Yamaha. That is still the most likely outcome, but there is still that lingering scintilla of doubt. And let's face it. Who wouldn't want to see Dani Pedrosa on an M-1?"

Sure enough one week later Viñales signed for Yamaha.  Tronchoni has a habit of reporting juicy stuff about Dani Pedrosa that has turned out to have no basis in fact.

 

 

Total votes: 128

This whole situation is easily reminiscent of Jonathan Rea's time with Honda in wsbk. He put his faith and loyalty in with them, but they didn't really give him what he needed to win the title. Yes I realize that Pedrosa has been unlucky with injuries, but Honda could go a long way towards making a bike that's easier to ride. And frankly I'm bored with seeing riders on the same bike for a decade or longer.

Total votes: 120

I too thought of Johnny Rea when Nakamoto mentioned "...loyalty to Honda and HRC."  So perhaps Honda isn't being consistent, but having said that, it's nice to see someone (likely) retire with the same team they came in with.  This has been sadly lacking in American sports as of late -- due in part to the athletes as well as the owners, but mostly the money.

                      - Green Bay Packer fan

Total votes: 122

Whats nice about someone never making an employer change? Just curious why thats still respectable in this day and age, esp when you consider the fact that had Pedro not been close for a few years Honda would most certainly of found a replacement. Its funny how the employee is always expected to be Loyal but not so much the employer.

Total votes: 130

Did Collin Edwards move to MotoGP with Honda or Aprillia? If it was was Honda, I would say that was loyalty from HRC after he won them the WSBK.

They did reward Hayden with a factory ride after his AMA title. Then again... he was pushed to the side for Pedrosa.

Total votes: 125

Colin moved to MotoGP on the Texas BBQ, also known as the Aprillia Cube. He leapt over (literally and figuratively) to Gresini Honda then Yamaha.

Total votes: 112

Wasn't "pushed to the side".  He was out-performed by Dani quite comprehensively on the same bike.

​It took ages for Nicky to get a win for HRC - and this was on the RC211V, probably the most competitive bike (relative to the competition of the day) in post 500cc history.  Dani managed it in his 4th race for them.

I know american patriotism and blind faith is pretty strong with sports, but....

 

Total votes: 119

but it's a 2 way street - Rea stayed at Honda for 6 years, and every year we heard a new CBR1000RR was "a year or two away". 

Meanwhile this is Rea's 2nd season on the Kawasaki, and Honda are still promising a new bike soon. I'd guess that if Honda had given him a really competitive bike, he likely would've stayed.

15 wins at Honda over 6 years

19 wins at kawasaki over 38 races, and 1 world championship

 

Total votes: 126

except in 2007 when after Hayden won the title, they redesigned the bike to suit Pedrosa...

Total votes: 145

They redesigned the bike to fit the 800cc rules.  Both Hayden and Pedrosa had their own chassis.

Designing a factory MotoGP bike for Dani would be extremely stupid anyway, he's very small even by MotoGP rider standards.  HRC supply more bikes than the factory team.

Fact is (and I say this as a big fan of Nicky's as he's so genuine and never has a bad word to say about anyone) - Dani is just faster.

Total votes: 109

Silly season almost completely over in May.  I remember when Brno was the round where these things got sorted.  Maybe we can focus on 2016 now.  3 riders within spitting distance of each other in the championship.

Yamaha had to get a solid young gun to take on Marquez when Rossi hangs them up.  If they can get Rins, somehow, on Herve's Yamaha, via a Yamaha contract, then they will have their team for the foreseeable future.

Total votes: 123

As a Spanniard who used to read El Pais: No, El Pais is not a respectable newspaper. It used to be in the 80s and 90s, maybe early 2000s, but not anymore. I have no idea about the motoGP coverage, but there is a huge list of controversies in the spanish entry of El Pais in the wikipedia, including writing fake news, censorship of news for economical gain, and (as recent as 2 months ago) the firing of a journalist for reporting that the wife of the Prisa group boss (motehr company of el Pais) was in the Panama Papers.

Total votes: 123

Vinales is very tallented and tempestuous in the same breath. Anyway, if he's at Yamaha next year, he better get any ideas of tutelage from Rossi out of his head right now. Rossi wants a 10th, 11th and beyond and will help Vinales dig a hole for himself.

Hindsight being 20/20 vision, Lorenzo took 3 titles to Rossi's 2 within the timeframe of them being on track at the same time, same class. Vinales has set himself a very high target. Expect Yamaha walls to be built mid 2017. Personally, I don't rank Vinales anywhere close to Marc Marquez, but if Lin Jarvis sees it differently and its settled, good luck to team blue.

On the plus side for Vinales, he is headed to the #1 machine in GP as it stands currently.

Total votes: 136

Sincerely hope so. Sure, he is not going to win a title for them, given the Pandora's box thrown at him year after year, but between Gigi, Lorenzo, Stoner and himself they will surely prove to be a formidable outfit. Crazy Joe is fast on his day and is a Rossi connection. Dovi is Mr. Neutral, always bats for the team. The difference between Lorenzo and Dovi is not much actually, unless you go by stats as terminal recourse.

Total votes: 125

He's smooth.

That buttery bike will suit him to a T.

(And I'm a Rossi fan, by the way - not a troll...)

Total votes: 126

I can't say it was a bad decision for him, but as a fan I would have liked to see Dani in a new team. Now it looks like he may finish his career at Honda. VR, Stoner, Lawson, Phil Read and Ago all switched teams with success. And I suspect Jorge will do the same. I'd have enjoyed seeing Dani on the podium with a Yamaha or Suzuki. 

Total votes: 127

I knew it was not going to happen, but I still believed (and hoped) he would jump ship. Maybe Dani will show us something new, which he did last year spicing up the championship without the controversy surrounding it. Just riding the damn hog. Now I think he'll stay around till Marquez leaves. Don't be surprised when he signs for another 2 years after these 2 years.

Total votes: 117

Like most others I am disappointed Dani is staying at HRC - did he not have any really viable options? He must know his chance at a WC has now almost completely disappeared by signing with HRC. Their (HRC) focus is, IMO, firmly on getting MM to win more races, podiums, WC's etc. than VR  - the man who caused them loss of face so many years ago. There is no time limit on payback with the Japanese. Dani winning a WC will not, IMO, even feature on their "to do" list.

Total votes: 127

I'd like to see LCR move to Suzuki. They've tried to add a second bike and the cost from Honda has always been really high. Cecchinello has even crafted new marketing strategies to try and incorporate multiple sponsors, etc. to generate additional funds. Vinales and Aleix have shown the bike is pretty close to the big factories. Hopefully it encourages Suzuki to stay the course and even put more into the championship. More riders and technicians will just give Suzuki more feedback and help in the long run.

The 2007 season was a lot of fun for Suzuki fans and Hopkins / Vermeulen followers.

Total votes: 125

I was looking forward to seeing what Pedrosa was capable of on the Yamaha, and am disappointed to learn we won't be seeing that.

However, on the other hand, I believe that perhaps this is better for the spectacle of the sport for us fans.  Perhaps this is just better rider talent, spread across more currently competitive manufacturers, and therefore, "better" viewing?  Had things remained the same, would anyone think any other rider besides either a Honda or Yamaha pilot were capable of winning a title next year?  Sure, Lorenzo on the Ducati in his maiden year is a stretch, but possible, right?  So now there's three manufacturer theats and an aspiring alien who will get his chance to show his unearthly talents earlier in his career.  

So...I say best of luck to Suzuki in a getting a great rider to fill that seat and continue on what looks like a path towards being capable of winning on any given Sunday (making that four threatening manufacturers).  Best of luck to Maverick in becoming the alien everyone wants to see him be.  Good luck to Rossi in pursuit of a Championship at 38!  And lastly, Lorenzo.  Good luck for all the obvious reasons.  

 

Total votes: 122

As he hasn't won a race. He had a podium last race. Mav is good, but he is no Marc good, and it seems Mav knows that himself by jumping ship onto the best bike.... I wish he stayed with Suzuki and lived up to his name and stature.

Total votes: 117

Could you just imagine the red faces at Ducati if they signed one Andrea (or lost the other) and the other subsequently gave them their first race win since Casey Stoner in 2010?

Total votes: 123

I estimate there has never ( since CS depart ) been a higher problability that that will happen than this weekend.... If anything the Ducatis have an even bigger topspeed advantage than last year.  If Ducati are lucky there can be 2 Ducatis on the podium...  And no Honda in top 5....

Total votes: 122

He could win the next 3 races on the trot, his season is shot, and not due to mechanical failure, being taken out by others or just plain bad luck - due to his own hot-headedness.

 

Maybe he needs to bust his shoulder again and ride injured all season like in 2015, it seems to calm his riding down sufficiently to actually finish races.

Total votes: 127

Time will tell if this was a good move for Maverick Viñales.  At this stage in his racing career Valentino Rossi doesn't seem like a team player.  As far as I'm concerned Rossi's attitude caused Jorge Lorenzo to leave Yamaha after he won 3 championships with them.  Viñales may be the next alien on the track, the question is can he deal with the mind games of Rossi?

I wish both Lorenzo and Viñales future success in MotoGP.  I only hope this doesn't end in tears for both of them.  Oh well, Casey Stoner proved you can go home again, Rossi will retire someday and Lorenzo could wind up back at Yamaha with Viñales as a teammate if he can withstand Rossi's psychological atmosphere.  Not to mention the Rossi fans ire if he does start beating him.

Total votes: 120

I'm disappointed that Vinales has moved to Yamaha and Pedrosa has stayed at Honda for two reasons.

Firstly, I would have liked to see Pedrosa have a chance at securing a world title, something that I do not believe has any chance of happening at HRC. The bike is (and in my opinion - will continue to be) built around Marquez. With Dani approaching the end of his career, he needs a bike that suits his style to have any chance of finally securing a world title.

Secondly, I would have liked to see someone partner Marquez at HRC who is young, hungry and aggressive. Over the last couple of seasons, it appears to me that HRC has revolved around Marquez and I would like to see how he responds to someone who is, shall we say, less gentlemanly...

Total votes: 133

Suzuki would be good with Iannone/Rins.

If LCR gets the Satelite Suzuki, move Aleix over there, and move Crutchlow to MarcVDS once Miller gets the boot. If Crutchlow will be at LCR next year, then Aleix to MarcVDS.

Miller to either Aventia or Aspar since he's only ridden the Production Honda and fickle RC213V. They should be on the '15 Ducatis next season, which would be a good way for him to prove that he has the speed everyone thinks he has.

I would have liked to see Pedrosa on the Yamaha just for the interesting change, but he was the best choice for Repsol - he's still fast, and doesn't do anything stupid to jeopardize his team mate.

Total votes: 130

Through this and silly seasons in the past is that it's just not worth believing anything until it's on the front page of the MotoGP official website.

Total votes: 112

but there was a 24 hour grace period in effect that either party could have used for any reason they saw fit. News was leaked, the fan was hit by the shit, Maverick and Honda both got a move on it, and the rest is history.

Good luck to all.

Total votes: 113

I was writing a lengthy reply to the article without reading the comments. But the general consensus on the forum seem to agree with my thought process as well.

Dani would have been better off at Yamaha than Viñales. It would have given him a real shot at winning the title. At Honda he will always be a sidekick to the prodigeous talent that is Marc.

But Dani must have his reasons. Good on Viñales to get the ride for the package he wanted. If what I read before on his intentions to retire early making a load of cash irrespective of titles I had lost some respect. But his motives and his mind are in the right track. Hope he wins a world championship or two.

It would be interesting to see Jorge develop that red bike into a winning machine. It is not at the moment. And my instint tells me it will not be next year. 

Disappointed for Dani, Neutral emotions on the Viñales move , Could not care about Jorge's move until it affects the championship. 

 

Total votes: 115

People need to stop generalizing Rossi fans. Major part of his fan crowd don't boo other riders, but like everything else, negative things get more popular.

Secondly, it wasn't Yamaha's decision to send Lorenzo off. They offered contracts to both riders, one accepted, the other didn't. As simple as that. Secondly, Vinales is likely the future star so Yamaha's world championship campaign is pretty safe for future, I would say.

And people definitely need to end blaming Rossi for Lorenzo's departure from Yamaha. What did Rossi do? Lorenzo is moving to Ducati because he wants to show he can be the world champion on a different motorcycle, and a title with Ducati would be too special. Also, he wants to prove he can beat Rossi without the best motorcycle on the grid. What's Rossi's involvement in this?

Total votes: 115

Alright, so Maverick Vinales is going to Yamaha (too young and inexperienced to be next to Rossi. My fear the big fish won't let the young rider develop properly), Iannone is out of and Dani Pedrosa will continue to be the second fiddle in the HRC orchestra. Interesting to see Messrs Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso in one team, I remember their slightly frosty relationship in the 250cc days when the young Lorenzo who was not a diva yet riding rough shod over Dovizioso who continued to ride a Honda that HRC openly said they  would not develop anymore as a part of their preparation for the new Moto2 category. Iannone's only real option is Suzuki but they may want to invest in Alex Rins who seems more level headed and thinking kind of rider. Iannone on an Aprilia perhaps? Why not? Italian on an Italian machine with a bit of experience is riding fast and finishing on the podium and a lot of experience in riding into the kitty litter and binning bikes. Sam Lowes and Andrea Iannone. Doesn't gel for me.  I have a feeling Iannone will be without a ride next year. I do not believe Aleix Espargaro is safe either.  Iannone on a KTM? They could give them some of their Dakar winning machines and he could ride through all varied terrains and reach the podium.

But seriously Andrea Iannone, Johann Zarco, Alex Rins, Sam Lowes, Stefan Bradl, Alavaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro, Cal Crutchlow, Jack Miller and Esteve Rabat are all fighting for seats on 1 Tech3 Yamaha, 2 Estrella Galicia Hondas, 1 Aprilia, 1 definitely and two possibly on on Suzukis, possibly 1 LCR and 1 KTM. That is probably 7 but definitely 6 seats. And I have not counted the Octo Pramac Yaknich and Avintia Ducati teams. Avintia may want to leave their line up as it is since Hector Barbera has blossomed ocassionally and maybe Loris Baz will get another chance. I can't see Eugene Laverty or Danilo Petrucci being kicked out looking at them so far. That seems to show about 10 or 11 riders fighting for 6 or 7 seats. Somebody's got to go. Somebody has to continue staying on in Moto2. Zarco seems like a 100% case of one more year in Moto2. Jack Miller could be out and sent to Moto2, after all his present team did have an option to take him into Moto2. Will Rins also be persuaded for another year in Moto2? Can't see that happening. Rabat also could go back into Moto2 a la Mika Kallio. I will stop this here. I can see the silly season as I see it is a labyrinth that eludes clarity of sight and comprehension as far as I am concerned. But this is probably the first time that the grid is full of mediocre talent, none (except maybe Rins) making a compelling case either to find rides or save rides.

Total votes: 126

Shame about Dani. I thought he'd have been particularly excellent on the Suzuki. Staying with Honda looks like a career-ending move on his part, at least from a championship point of view.

Total votes: 124

Peolple have such short memories...

As soon as Honda fixes the problems with their bike everybody will be complaining again about how Marquez is only winning because it's the best bike bla bla bla.

There's nothing to suggest Honda can't make a bike that's better than the current Yamaha.

Total votes: 114