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MotoGP Misano: Gossip, rumour and intrigue

Outgoing Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa will join KTM as test rider for the 2019 season, joining Mika Kallio in two-man operation.

Pedrosa announced his retirement from racing a few weeks ago after he was replaced in the team by Jorge Lorenzo but will not step away from the MotoGP paddock entirely. He is unlikely to make any wildcard appearances.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow - all over the news after calling for Fenati to be banned for life - was perplexed by Alex Rins’ complete capitulation into turn one before the race was even halfway over. Crutchlow said the Spaniard was ‘weak’ and allowed him space to pass in two corners.


Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller failed to capitalise on a front-row start at Misano, crashing out on lap three and said he had let himself down. “Just got to the apex, lost the front, couldn’t hold her up. So, really disappointed. A small mistake cost us an awesome weekend.”

Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti was entirely diplomatic over the weekend following Casey Stoner’s outburst about the team not using any of his data. The suave Italian said that all data was useful and they would be talking to the Australian about his future in coming weeks. A non-existent future, by all accounts.

Andrea Dovizioso was equally diplomatic: “In one part it’s always very, very interesting. Like when you look at Jorge now. You can see on the data something special and it’s always nice to study. Just like Casey.

“In another part, every rider has a different style and it doesn’t mean we have to follow one way. I think the team have always tried to understand everything and tried to make the maximum.”

Honda bosses won’t be drawn on whether or not they would be open for Stoner to return to the HRC fold as a test rider but having him alongside Marquez and Lorenzo would be a formidable development operation.

Valentino Rossi is puzzled why, over the last three years, he has done well in the first half of each MotoGP season and then, after the summer, Honda and Ducati begin to leap ahead. He says it is a question that only Yamaha can answer…

Marc Marquez identified an improved corner-entry setup from Ducati which helped Andrea Dovizoso romp to victory on Sunday. He says the GP18 is very stable on the brakes, which sets it up nicely for the turn.

“The Ducati use their stability in the braking zones very well. At the turn, they do not lose as much as they used to. They have gotten better at turning. And then comes the acceleration… When the tyres are new, the differences are bigger.With used tyres we come closer, because then they can not use all their power and torque.”

Avintia Ducati got roundly spanked for wheeling in Christophe Ponsson as a replacement for Tito Rabat. Lorenzo branded it ‘dangerous’ and Crutchlow said his performance made the team look like idiots…

Bradley Smith will get five wildcard appearances on the Aprilia next season as part of his role as test rider for the team. “That was the most important thing for me, because I think that I belong here, that I can achieve good results and we have not seen the best of myself yet.”

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