After Gabor Talmacsi made the shock announcement prior to the Le Mans Grand Prix that he would not be riding for the Aspar team in the 250 class any longer, the rumors began about where the Hungarian would go for the rest of the season. There was no doubt that a rider as talented as the 2007 125cc World Champion would spend too long without a ride, but the question was, where? There were rumors of a ride in World Superbikes, as well as talk of the Hungarian taking the place of the injured Sete Gibernau, at least temporarily.
But the strongest rumor revolved around Team Scot Honda. After a brilliant 2008 season with Andrea Dovizioso at the helm, the team has been struggling badly, newly promoted Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi scrambling just to score points. The team has also been suffering with a lack of sponsorship, after Dovizioso jumped ship to join the factory Repsol Honda squad.
It turns out that there is no smoke without fire: Motorcycle News is reporting that Gabor Talmacsi will be riding for the Scot Honda squad at Barcelona, starting this afternoon. According to MCN, Talmacsi has only just been given clearance by HRC to use Takahashi's 2nd bike, and will make his MotoGP debut in this afternoon's first session of free practice at the Barcelona circuit. The report is confirmed by Talmacsi's name appearing on the official entry list for the MotoGP class at Catalunya.
The logic is simple: Team Scot needs funds, and as one of Hungary's biggest sports stars, Gabor Talmacsi will bring much needed cash into the team. And with the weather forecast to be clear skies all weekend long at Barcelona, the question of what to do in a wet race need not be addressed.
That question is more likely to be relevant in two weeks time at Assen. June has brought masses of rain to Holland this year, and the weather systems gathering over the Atlantic look unlikely to bring any change to that situation. But according to MCN, the bike swap involved in a wet race won't be a problem at Assen either. The British paper is claiming that Talmacsi could replace Takahashi completely at Assen.
Talmacsi's appearance on a MotoGP bike would mean that Jorge Martinez of the Aspar team has set aside his objections to Talmacsi riding another bike. Martinez had at first hinted that any team affiliated with IRTA - the Grand Prix Teams association - would require his agreement before Talmacsi could ride for them. Apparently, Martinez has already given his blessing to the situation.