Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 172: Do We Have A MotoGP Champion At Last?

After a huge weekend at the Grand Prix of Europe at Valencia, the Paddock Pass Podcast crew gather to discuss the events which saw Joan Mir take a big step towards the MotoGP title in 2020. Steve English, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett give their view on how the weekend shook out.

We start off with a discussion of Suzuki, why the GSX-RR is so good straight out of the box, and what role their test and development team have played. We talk about what got Joan Mir to this position in the first place, and Davide Brivio's choice of Joan Mir and Alex Rins to lead Suzuki's charge. And we ask whether Joan Mir already has the championship in the bag, or whether something could go wrong.

We also take a look at the flip side of the championship coin, taking a deep dive into where everything - and it was absolutely everything - went wrong for Yamaha at Valencia. We review the valve situation and how Yamaha got that wrong. We look at the effects it had on the championship, and on Maverick Viñales needing to take an extra engine and start from pit lane as a result. We ponder what this means for Yamaha in 2021, and whether they can come back from this.

There was also a huge amount of news on Monday and Tuesday, and we go through that: the implications of Andrea Iannone's four-year ban imposed by the CAS; Andrea Dovizioso's decision to take a sabbatical, and whether that means he will end up retiring; Jorge Lorenzo's situation with Cal Crutchlow set to take a role as a Yamaha test rider; and the importance of a test team in general.

We finish up with a few listener questions, and then our round of winners and losers from this weekend. Listen in to find out how hard all three of us work not to pick the obvious choice of Joan Mir as the weekend's big winner.

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The below quote (of mine) up is unashamedly lifted from the backwater of a previous subject as I consider it a work of genius that will be of great benefit to all that cast their eyes upon it. Of course if you fail to agree then clearly you are not of the requisite quality to understand..

'I am willing to place money down that Davide Brivio can give us both Yamaha's and Suzuki's timelines since the days of Lorenzo, Hamamatsu's return and just how things are currently where they are. That interview is the holy grail and of course it won't happen. I'm sure Honda & Yamaha didn't expect the Japanese Aprilia to sneak up and mug them in the alley, it's just that in taking such a very long, thoughtful, quiet and methodical run up, they didn't see them coming...

And on that dark, misty night a swarthy latin looking chap was seen wiping down his weapon and slipping it back into his pants whilst having a quick forage around in the sponsorship trash cans before disappearing in Ecstar-asy back into the gloom: yes it's the 'INVASION OF THE TITLE SNATCHERS' Directed by KAWAUCHI SAHARA who also brought you the SILENCE OF THE VALVES and NIGHTMARE ON HRC BORGO PANIGALE STREET. 

A MIR-RINAMAX production.'

You lucky people...(I'll get mi' gold lame codpiece)

This is more a quick thought than a serious point of argument, but regarding the 'Yamaha successes in 2020 vs. Suzuki successes', I do wonder what the metrics would look like if choosing 2 out of the 4 available Yamaha riders to compare sorta 'apples to apples' to Suzuki's available 2 riders -- and what that tally over the season would then look like.

Because, in my mind, for any weekend when one Yamaha rider performed poorly, there are 3 other potential riders to 'make up for it' if we're utilizing a full rider line-up vs. Suzuki only having 2 riders to pull out a good result.