With the 2017 MotoGP season rapidly approaching, it is fitting that the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast should take a deep dive into the final MotoGP test of the preseason at Qatar. Hotfooting it from the desert, Neil Morrison talks to David Emmett about what he learned at the test. There was certainly a lot to talk about.
One of the big topics of conversation was Honda's new engine, and whether the riders on an RC213V had made a final decision about which of the two different big bang engines they will race. We talk about Maverick Viñales' astonishing pace, and Neil reveals the extraordinary lengths to which the Movistar Yamaha rider is going to prepare for the last lap of the first race. We also discuss the difficulties Marc Marquez had at Qatar, and how he and the other Honda riders were pushing to find the limits of the bike.
Naturally, we discuss Valentino Rossi's up and down test, and wonder how he first found a working setup, then seemingly lost it again on the final day. We go through the work being done by all of the factories, and debate just how ready Jorge Lorenzo is to race at Qatar. We assess the outstanding class of MotoGP rookies in 2017, and give our predictions on how they will perform.
While Neil was in Qatar, David was in Jerez, and he gives an account of what he saw at the Moto2 and Moto3 test there. We talk about the speed of Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez, admire the immediate pace of the KTM bike, and take a peek at Moto3. Finally, we make our outrageously inaccurate predictions for who is going to win the three championships this year.
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