Silly Season

Discussion and debate about the MotoGP class
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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

<none of the following confirmed>
  • M Marquez will not return in 2020. No real surprises there
  • Iannone ban now runs to the end of 2023, ie he won't be eligible to race until 2024 season. Can't see Iannone getting back in 2024 but stranger things has happened
  • Dovi states he will be back when there is a team that shares his passion. Read that anyway you want
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

There are a lot of rumours going around about the state of Marc's arm - the obvious loss of muscle mass and him not being seen riding a motorbike (of any description) I don't think are indicative of anything more than the doctors/physio being extremely careful about his return. I don't think it's worthwhile reading any more than that from it at the moment.

You would have to say Iannonne's GP career is now most likely over. Jules Ryder once said (and I think this is correct) it's hard enough to get into the first time, almost impossible to get back in once you have left. What a waste, as he was such a talented rider. He will probably be filed under 'Gobert' as riders that should have been able to achieve more than they did.

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CLX
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Re: Silly Season

Post by CLX »

Who would get Marc's seat if he misses the first 4 or 5 races in 2020?

-----
Everything we consider fiction is reality somewhere else. This is somewhere's fiction.

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

CLX wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:26 am
Who would get Marc's seat if he misses the first 4 or 5 races in 2020?
If they decided that MM is out for a few races then I would suspect it would go to a test rider. If they decided that MM would be out for the full season then they have a bigger decision to make. There was a rumor of Dovi being connected to a test role at Honda
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Yes, although from what I have read the negotiations failed at the 11th hour.

It would have made sense to have a very fast test rider like Dovi at Honda to step in for exactly that occasion. I assume unless anything changes it would probably be Bradl again, especially with Cal leaving Honda and becoming test rider at Yamaha?

bikermike
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Re: Silly Season

Post by bikermike »

I had to chuckle at Maverick saying that Crutchlow's outspoken-ness with help Yamaha - will he become Motogp's answer to Geoffrey Boycott?

"My granny could carry more corner speed w'i'stick of rhubarb" etc

[note for aliens, non-cricket fans, Americans etc - GB is a former England player and opinionated Yorkshireman (is there any other kind) with a particular turn of phrase]

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Haha yes I thought that was pretty funny.

Should be a good move - I think will help Yamaha a lot with Cal's experience as a test rider, and also perhaps help Cal. The bike is a lot less vicious so hopefully give him some time for his body to heal.

A lot of rumours around the 2nd Aprilia seat - apparently Chaz Davies is very close to signing (as reported by Simon Patterson). Would make sense as he is a great rider (that lost his seat at just the right time..) and I'm sure Dorna are keen to have 1 Brit on the grid. Although apparently Bezzechi is also being considered for the ride (if I were him I would hold out for another year..)

bikermike
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Re: Silly Season

Post by bikermike »

Scott Redding and [whichever] Lowes may both disagree...

Interesting choice, but do Aprillia need/want an older rider

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

It may be a case of beggars not being able to be choosers !

(For both Aprilia and Chaz unfortunately)

bikermike
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Re: Silly Season

Post by bikermike »

I'm sure Chaz is going in with his eyes wide open, but the omens aren't brilliant...

Being booted after 1 year is better than not racing

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Yes for sure

I sometimes wonder in GPs the team owners have blinkers on when it comes to riders in WSBK - it's so much harder to travel from that class to GPs, think other than in 2002 (when it made sense to move riders to 4-strokes AND the strength of the field I think was better in WSBK) you can probably count on almost one hand.

So you get some really good riders who probably could make it in GPs but they don't get spotted. Perhaps of the current bunch Rea, Davies, Toprak and Mark VDM (I would say as the arm-chair critic! :)

But think Chaz is a super intelligent guy, really talented and importantly knows when to be circumspect (he could have absolutely unleashed on Ducati for dropping him right at the end of the season - perhaps rightfully so - but he has been super professional about it). Think if he puts in a strong year, shown to be a good development rider, even gets some solid points, then perhaps some even better options could open up in 2022?

Motogp.com reporting it today as a possibility, so fingers crossed it does happen for him

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

In regards to filling the Aprilia's seat I'm guessing the main considerations are cost, availability and experience. At this point they aren't getting podiums so the focus should be more on a rider who can progress the development. There retire(ing) riders ie Lorenzo, Crutchlow and Dovi are probably too expensive and now Crutchlow has a test contract. I suspect that Davies gives a degree of development potential while coming in at a much lower price. Alternative to this is bringing in a young gun and I'm assuming that all the top young guns are already contracted for 2021 so would be costly to bring one in. There is of course their new test rider
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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Apparently part of the reason the Sky VR46 Moto3 team has gone was the cost of the MotoGP seat for Marini but also to have to buy Rabat out of his contract (on top of that I believe Rabat was contributing quite heavily to be in the team).

I wonder if he will look at the success of Lowes after going back to Moto2 and view that as an option? (Especially given his own success in the category, he was a bloody brilliant middleweight rider)

Or follow Toni Elias out to the US? I'm just guessing now !

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

VR46 MotoGP sponsorship is on display in 2021. More interesting it appears that VR46 has found slots for its own team in 2022 https://www.motorsport.com/motogp/news/ ... d/4924852/
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Really interesting article about changes at Aprilia and Gresini

https://the-race.com/motogp/what-gresin ... reshuffle/

Postulating that Gresini could become the Suzuki satellite team in 2022 as one possibility, or remain as Aprilia satellite team (with Aprilia themselves making a factory team).

I wonder with Gresini, it can't be easy going from being a race winning team and championship contenders to being perennial back-of-the-grid and a team that seems to cycle through riders (spit them out the other side) almost every year? As a manufacturer I think they possibly disappointed most of all in 2020.

kenup283
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Re: Silly Season

Post by kenup283 »

I finally decided to look back at Aprila from 2019 to 2020 in terms of time finished behind race winner.

Short story is 2020 was a big step up for them. More specifically Alex Espargaro made an avg roughly 10 sec improvement closer to front in 2020. Typically finishing in 15sec off the win compared to 25-30secs in 2019.

Bradly Smith was typically 30 sec off the front in 2020 which was more of less where Andre Iannone was at on the 2019 bike coincidentally. In the two races Smith finished as a wild card for Aprila in 2019 he was 41 and 44 seconds from lead. So there again the 2020 bike looks to be 10 second improvement for Smith as well.

It actually (almost) looks promising. :)

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Ah that's interesting! I suppose the issue for Aprilia is that everyone else has improved as well; most notably KTM who managed 3 race wins and multiple podiums, which makes the Aprilia effort seem worse by comparison.

Maybe that's why they want to go with a full factory effort, after they have seen KTM's success and what needs to be done to get towards the front?

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Fingernails
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Fingernails »

MiniNinjaMk5 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:54 pm
Ah that's interesting! I suppose the issue for Aprilia is that everyone else has improved as well; most notably KTM who managed 3 race wins and multiple podiums, which makes the Aprilia effort seem worse by comparison.

Maybe that's why they want to go with a full factory effort, after they have seen KTM's success and what needs to be done to get towards the front?
How does the Aprilia handle? I've seen claims - not too bad. I've also read that there are diminishing returns from engine performance which would allow the field to bunch up in terms of power. (Though, perhaps not in terms of power delivery.) A more powerful engine may reveal limitations in the frame/bike however.

If the other teams are finding it harder to make steps forward, and how well the older bikes do against the newer ones appears to suggest so, then Aprilia should be able to close in on them.

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

I'm thinking about the possibility of Bautista covering Marquez's ride while he continues to recover. I think that WSBK season starts after MotoGP but I'm not sure what WSBK testing there is. I don't know if there's any sponsorship conflicts, usually around fizzy drinks that claim to have health benefits. And of course there's the risk that the early rounds of MotoGP could be cancelled as they are flyways
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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

I'm beginning to wonder what will happen with the 2022 season as the agreement that Dorna has with the Satellite teams ends in 2021. What this means I don't know as I don't think Dorna has decided what they will do but having a look at the current agreement some of the points are that they get money from Dorna and there's restrictions on new grid slots.

Talk at this point is a VR46 team and that could be done without taking over one of the other teams. Aprilia drop there current agreement with Gresini and Suzuki is thinking about a Satellite team and are expecting to make an announcement in April either way.

There's lots of scenario's we could see for example;
- 28 riders on the grid (probably won't happen, I think Dorna wants a max of 24 riders)
- Gresini get Suzuki's
- Esponsorama Racing (Avinta) swallowed up by someone
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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

Pettrucci is a good player for an employer talking about how good his move to KTM is saying that he always wanted to work for KTM. At the time of his signing KTM didn't look nearly as good as it does now
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Silly Season

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Apparently Dorna have stated 'No' to prospect of three Repsol Hondas on the grid next year.

That had been mooted as a possibility if Dovi (or someone else) was to ride on the bike prior to Marc returning.

I don't know whether Repsol HRC had made the request or Dorna were just pre-empting it?

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Silly Season

Post by Mikesbytes »

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bikermike
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Re: Silly Season

Post by bikermike »

It's a ballsy move by Bradley if he has refused a contract. He's certainly not at the front of the MotoGP talent list, and if he doesn't take the testing role he's got be looking at retirement (unless he's got something lined up).

I can imagine Aprillia deciding two riders is enough in covid times, and Smith coming third in their assessment. But Smith walking away? Unless he is retiring, seems unlikely.

The little throw-away line about Marquez in the same article is interesting. His claim that it was caused on a bike is by no means unbelievable, but the idea that Honda wouldn't know about it seems less plausible. What's more interesting is who is feeding this story for what purpose...?

Has Espargaro had a go on the Honda? how is he shaping up?

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