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MotoGP Assen: Gossip, rumour and intrigue

Danilo Petrucci could sign a new deal with Ducati before this weekend’s Sachsenring MotoGP round following his second podium of the year at Assen on Sunday - and with it demand a hefty pay rise to boot.

The Italian is rumoured to have been offered €700,000 to move to Aprilia next season so personal manager Alberto Vergani will have stuck the jack under salary demands now that Petrucci is outperforming Jorge Lorenzo by orders of magnitude. It is believed his reported €200,000 wage will at least double and he will also get a GP18 as well.

Cal Crutchlow joked that he would be a shit poker player if he behaved around a card table in the same way he rode on Sunday. The Briton said that he showed his hand to Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso too soon after chopping their advantage by seconds a lap at the end of the race.


The LCR Honda man used a secret, never-raced-before setup which meant he couldn’t push at the start but the bike came to him late on, and the rain just made it easier to catch the two men in front. But Crutchlow passed Marquez a lap too early and showed the Spaniard where he was strong and less strong, and at Ramshoek, the reigning champion took advantage…

Johann Zarco changed to wet tyres with seven laps left of the Assen race as he ‘felt scared’ riding in the rain on slicks as he was already right on the limit of grip. The Monster Yamaha man decided the risk was too great and came in. He added that had it continued to piss down, he could have been a god. But it didn’t. So he wasn’t. Team boss Herve Poncharal said ‘Paf’ and nipped off for a cheeky pastis.

Dani Pedrosa topped off a bad weekend with 13th and said that he just couldn’t keep any heat in the tyres when it rained. Pedrosa struggles in colder conditions purely because he weighs the same as a five-year-old girl and Livio Suppo is apparently putting together a sponsorship deal with Pukka Pies to cure the condition.

Wet weather is usually a good thing for Scott Redding and on Saturday morning, he was the biggest dog in the fight. Sunday saw him start and hold the top five but then he started to lose feeling in the front, it didn’t help when the rain came and he finally ran out of grip on the penultimate lap, having to watch Petrucci on the podium as he walked up pitlane. Did shake his hand though, which was nice.

Andrea Iannone had another shocker as his rear tyre gave up after eight laps and he could do nothing but scythe his way backwards. The factory Suzuki man has now notched up 28 points so far this year. In 2016, Maverick Vinales had bagged 79 at this point on the same bike.

Franceso Morbidelli will step up to MotoGP in 2018 after signing a deal with Marc VDS. It is likely he will partner Jack Miller which will put Tito Rabat on a Ducati in 2018 or on a Red Bull Honda WorldSBK…

Loris Baz will undergo surgery after the Sachsenring round to cure a problem with his right arm that plagued him in Holland but the lanky Frenchman believes he should be OK in Germany as there is not too much hard braking.

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