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MotoGP Aragon: Gossip, rumour and intrigue

Valentino Rossi dismissed ideas that Yamaha should be switching to a V4 for 2019, saying the firm has no experience of building that type of engine.

The M1 and GSX-RR are the only inline-four engine left in MotoGP and with all the problems Rossi and Vinales have been having with the lighter crankshaft this year, a change to V4 could be an answer but Rossi said it would take too long to develop.

He has tried a version of the 2019 engine, but wasn’t impressed: “I hope that’s not the final version. The engine of 2019 has to be improved, otherwise we will have big problems next year.”


Aleix Espargaro is over 2018. Completely. During a test at Misano, he was faster on last year’s bike than this year’s but isn’t allowed to use it. Aprilia have tuned the RS-GP to a standstill.

“It’s difficult to stop the bike, and when I release the front brake, I cannot make the bike turn, I have to smash the front brake all the time and then accelerate because if not the bike didn’t transfer,” he said.

“And the engine sincerely last year was a little bit stronger in this track, I lose a little bit less from the others, but we are losing almost 10km/h in the speed, so it’s also not helping. I really want that this season finished because I’m not enjoying anything.”

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow has reached the limit of his engine allowance for the season as his seventh motor was unsealed at Misano but crew chief Christophe Bourguignon says it’s nothing to worry about even though there are five more GP weekends to run at 300 miles per event and Honda’s V4 has a lifespan of 1250 miles. They’ve got some in the truck that aren’t yet at mileage…

Crutchlow again said he overworked the front tyre in the race trying to pass the soft-tyred Aleix Espargaro before the pack got away at the front. The result was another crash…

Dani Pedrosa reckons had he chosen a softer-compound rear tyre for the race he had a podium shot on the Repsol Honda. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Karel Abraham is insisting to anyone that will listen his ride on the Avintia Ducati was not all about the money as other riders in contention for the place were offering more moolah.

“A lot of people say bad things about me on the internet that we paid for the place, and to be honest, of course we had to bring money. But all the other guys were about to bring the same money,” he insisted.

“Actually two of them that were interested were about to bring more money than I was, willing to bring more than my sponsors. They just took the decision together with Ducati to take me, I can out of my pure heart say this decision was not about the money but deeper down.”

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