Marc Marquez debuted a Fokker Triplane in Repsol colours at the Jerez test yesterday but isn’t a big fans of the aerodynamic packages and said it was all a bit too Formula One. The young Spaniard believes aero should be outlawed before MotoGP gets to a stage where the turbulence caused by excessive downforce gets to the stage where you can’t catch a slippy and overtake - which is one of myriad problems in the laughable ‘premier’ motorsport arena.
Cal Crutchlow also had some wings to try and said they probably work but aren’t much use at a place like Jerez. The LCR Honda man also got a new set of softer forks from Ohlins to try which Marquez, plus the factory Yamaha and Ducati men already have. Crutchlow said he was able to improve his feeling on the front of his satellite RC213V but the difference in corner speed is down to Marquez, as he rides in a different way to both Crutchlow and Pedrosa.
Alex Espargaro had wings all weekend but yesterday, Maverick Vinales gave them a go. And wasn’t impressed. He said he felt no significant difference but added they helped a little through turns one and two as the front of the Ecstar Suzuki was pushed into the ground a bit more, and at the downhill turn five on the brakes. He, like Lorenzo, says if they help the laptime, they stay.
Although nothing moved officially in terms of riders at Jerez, the old hamster wheel was turning for both the works Ducati men and for Pol Espargaro, among others.
Iannone and Dovizioso look set to duke it out for the factory seat alongside Jorge Lorenzo (see today’s app for more on this) but it could end up with both of them getting the Spanish archer.
Dovizoso’s management are in deep talks with KTM as well as ‘everyone else’ while Iannone is thought to be lining up as a replacement for Maverick Vinales when he opts to go to Yamaha. Iannone has apparently told manager Carlo Pernat he doesn’t want to hang about too long.
Espargaro is also looking at that deal, so it could be the two brothers in blue, although both of them have strong ties to Jorge Martinez.
Honda always say they are happy with their riders and Marquez is expected to sign sooner rather than later. Pedrosa, however, is another kettle of chocolate entirely.
Of course, he would like to stay with the factory team but you would think that the team, which looks likely to have a new boss next year with the impending retirement of Shuei Nakamoto, might want some new blood.
Pedrosa has been strongly linked with the KTM team (Red Bull etc) and someone with his experience to partner Bradley Smith would be a proper coup. Albeit an expensive one, however, Dietrich Mateschitz isn’t short of a bob.
The list names to replace Pedrosa, of which Vinales is one, is short. Alex Rins is probably the only rider with the correct profile and passport as Crutchlow, Miller and Rabat aren’t the droids they’re looking for, move along…
What will happen at Tech3 is anyone’s guess. Rumour has it Espargaro has been told he doesn’t have a job there, but boss Herve Poncharal has said this is not the case, before sneaking off for a cheeky Pernod with Mike Trimby. Jonas Folger and Rins have been linked there.
And there is a seat to fill at whoever gets the 24th grid slot gig. Odds are that Sito Pons will take a satellite Suzuki there, probably with Johann Zarco on it.
Will Cal Crutchlow stay at LCR Honda? Lucio Cecchinello seems keen for the Isle of Man resident to remain probably because there won’t be a queue of people banging on his door to ride the angry RC213V…