Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 87: Valencia, The Race And The Test

Another episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this time Steve English and David Emmett are wrapping up the last round of MotoGP at Valencia and the test which followed it.

Steve and David start off with a look back at the race, and how the weather affected both the weekend and the race itself. We talk about those who crashed, and those who didn't, and whether the right decision was made in red-flagging the first race. We discuss the strength of the Ducati, Marc Marquez' crash and what consequences it might have, how good the Suzuki has been this year, and KTM's first ever podium.

Then we go on to have a look at the test at Valencia on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the race. We run down who was testing what, why it is important to get the engine right, how the rookies fared on their MotoGP debut, and who impressed us. Steve and David then have their MotoGP monologues, and then run down their winners and losers.

Enjoy the show!

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In the last few years, it's been a challenge to keep track of the spec of customer Honda bikes in MotoGP.  Not sure what spec Takaaki's bike is.  Not sure what Mark VDS bikes were; but they are gone now.  If I recall correctly, when Nicky left Ducati, he rode the first version of the Honda "customer" bike, whatever it was called.  I'm pretty sure Honda is unique in that they made/make a separate customer bike, rather than giving satellite teams hand-me-down factory bikes.  Now that the Honda "customer" bike is gone (I think it's gone), I'd love to read/hear a summary of how that strategy worked for them.  I think there's general consensus that Honda "neglected" the riders on these bikes.  But, did Honda leadership care?   Responses appreciated

from 2012 to 2015, "prototype" and CRT (2013-2013)/Open (2014-2015).  The Honda "customer" bike was the RC1000V intended for the CRT/Open class, then there was the prototype RC213V customer bike (typically the previous year's factory bike), and finally the current spec RC213V for the Repsol team.

For 2018, Márquez, Pedrosa, and Crutchlow had the 2018 RC213V (except Crutchlow did not get a CFRP swingarm), with the rest being 2017 bikes.  For 2019, Márquez, Lorenzo, and Crutchlow will get current spec bikes, while Nakagami will have a 2018 RC213V.

I'm curious, what did Honda get out supplying the engines?  Did it translate to bike sales?  Did they make money by supplying/selling the engines?  It did not appear to me that they marketed it, at all.  Responses appreciated

I really don't see how Stoner can add to the development of the bike for either Marquez or Lorenzo.   They're both multi-year champions and I'm pretty sure know the direction they want the bike developed in.   If anything, adding Stoner to the mix would muddy the waters.