Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 99: All Things Austin - Suzuki Wins Again, Honda's Woes, Yamaha's Strength, And The Future Of The US GP

On the day after the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the Paddock Pass Podcast crew gathered in the front room of their Airbnb to talk over the events of an exciting weekend. Jensen Beeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett debate Suzuki's first win, the problems at Honda, the future of the US round of MotoGP, and much more.

We kick off the podcast singing the praises of Alex Rins and Suzuki, after the Spaniard took Suzuki's first win in MotoGP since 2016. We talk both about how highly rated Rins is by his fellow riders, and how he is regarded as a genuine title threat, but also about how the Suzuki improved to become competitive.

We then move on to ponder the situation Honda found itself in at Austin, with Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow crashing out, while Jorge Lorenzo suffered another mechanical issue. We also discuss the outstanding performances of both Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller, asking whether Valentino Rossi could finally win a tenth MotoGP title, and if Miller can take the second factory Ducati seat alongside Andrea Dovizioso next year.

We had a long conversation about the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas, and what they mean for the future of the race at the circuit, and in the US. We examine what alternatives MotoGP has should they choose to leave COTA, and the importance of a US round of MotoGP for the series. We also sing the praises of the MotoAmerica series, which was running alongside MotoGP in Austin.

Spurred on by these considerations, we ponder the future of TV deals, and where the video package fits in with the future of streaming services, especially as Dorna have also done a deal with DAZN in Spain. What effect will that have, and is the price point of the MotoGP and WorldSBK video packages too high?

We discuss the jump starts by Joan Mir and Maverick Viñales, and wonder how Viñales could make the mistake he did. We also ask whether he could have been in the battle for the race win if he hadn't made that mistake.

Finally, we wrap up with our winners and losers, which includes a debate on whether Jorge Lorenzo will succeed at Honda or not.

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During the weekend Marquez said they were having problems in 1st gear corners. His words rang true as all three HRC factory machines retired at 1st gear corners. Two crashes and one mechanical. Cruthlow spoke of the engine "snapping" as he braked for the turn. I wonder if all three retirements were related and if the problem is also related to the chain jumping the sprocket?