The Paddock Pass Podcast is back with another episode, and this one is a real treat, with another special guest. At Qatar, Paddock Pass Podcast regular Neil Morrison is joined by veteran globetrotting Spanish journalist Manuel Pecino, to discuss the state of play after the Buriram and the Qatar tests.
Manuel adds even more depth to Neil's incisive analysis of testing, and the pair get into the details of where the various factories stand. They start off with Yamaha, and ponder how the once-dominant factory seems to have lost its way, with the exception of Johann Zarco on the satellite bike. They take a long hard look at what has happened, and how Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales seem to be taking the bike in two different directions.
Then Neil and Manuel go on to discuss Marc Marquez' new contract with Repsol Honda, and whether that makes him the best paid rider on the grid. This leads them onto a discussion of who they see as being in the hunt for the championship. They talk about Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, then go on to debate how Jorge Lorenzo has been adapting to the Ducati.
Neil and Manuel go on to discuss the other factories and riders: how Alex Rins is faring at Suzuki, and the difference between Rins and Andrea Iannone; how Cal Crutchlow could leverage his HRC support to challenge for the title. Finally, Neil gets Manuel to make his prediction for the top three in the 2018 MotoGP championship.
If you enjoyed this chat between Neil and Manuel, make sure you follow Manuel on Twitter at @pecinogp, keep an eye on his website, http://pecinogp.com/, where you will find a host of fascinating articles, or look out for the articles he publishes for a range of magazines such as Cycle World and Sport Rider.
If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on iTunes or Soundcloud. If you do use iTunes, please remember to rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it. Enjoy the show!