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MotoGP Catalunya: Gossip, intrigue and rumour

Britain's Cal Crutchlow is probably now the only rider on the grid, and certainly the only factory rider, who doesn't have a holeshot device. The LCR man was dispensed with by Honda chief Alberto Puig and will no longer receive any upgrades, which includes the start device with both Taka Nakagami and Alex Marquez have.

Crutchlow is pragmatic about the whole thing, though, but says he will have to do a lot of work with his crew chief. "I think it's completely normal that Taka gets the new stuff, the most updated stuff. He will be riding the 2021 Honda next year and I won't be, so I think it's a natural thing," said Crutchlow.

"The worst thing is that our bikes used to be really good at starts compared to the others, and then they got the holeshot devices and we started to struggle. The Honda riders who have had it for a few races seems to be getting a lot better starts."


Nakagami believe he was too soft on his tyres in the first three laps on Sunday's race and could have fought for victory having ended up just 3.6s off the winner.

“At the end of the race I think I was absolutely fastest man because I still had a lot of grip on the rear because I managed good at the start of the race,” said Nakagami. “But I was behind Ducatis again and I couldn’t overtake because mid-corner I was so fast but they are a bit slower.

"To end up P7 I was very disappointed because just from the top I’m less than three seconds [back], 3.6s, which means I think in this race we had a great opportunity to win the race. But in the end, P7 for me is nothing.”

KTM's Pol Espargaro said the sun not coming out was the reason that he crashed again. Because the track temperature was low, the RC16 riders had to take the medium front tyre which, by all accounts, it doesn't like too much. But it also doesn't like the soft front either. Only the hard, which you can't use when it's cold.

Franco Morbidelli was angry that he could only muster fourth place but says that is good thing as presumably before he would have been happy with fourth. He also said that mentor, friend and VR46 Academy boss Valentino Rossi was the fastest rider on the track last Sunday. He may also be changing his name to Smithers.

One thing he won't be changing is his peasant-spec M1 which will remain one step below the spec of Vinales, Rossi and Quartararo in 2021 'for logistical reasons' according Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis.

Pecco Bagnaia said he will have to do something about qualifying if he is to challenge for the MotoGP title. The Italian started P14 and six seconds behind the leader and recovered to three seconds off at the flag. Joan Mir could also do with being on that course too.

Mir believes it is too early to talk about being a championship challenger as there are a lot of fast riders on the grid. Quartararo also believes that too. However, they are the only two that seem to know where the podium is hidden and, as such, have ten and 18 points in hand over Maverick Vinales who by some miracle is third.

Suzuki boss Davide Brivio revealed that teams have been putting in requests for information on availability of satellite GSX-RRs but it is all down to the decision-makers in Japan. The Italian believes it is a good idea to have a brace of extra bikes on the grid but it also depends on which teams have contracts with Dorna after 2021.


“We will see which teams will have contracts and then we will try to negotiate with them. Of course, we assume that all current teams will continue for five more years, even if there are rumours of a team change. We will see who is available and interested," he said.

Red Bull are rumoured to be looking for a way out of the collaboration with the Tech3 KTM satellite team but boss Herve Poncharal is not too worried as he has a three-year deal with KTM, sugary energy drink or not.

"I believe that the probability of losing Red Bull is greater today than keeping it," said the Frenchman. "That's strange to me because we have a three-year project with KTM, but yes, Red Bull negotiates year after year."

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