Hot right now is the speculation that Red Bull will try to lure star athlete away Marc Marquez away from Honda for the 2019 season and park him on the KTM which it title sponsors for a double-figures dollar deal.
Marquez has been with Red Bull since the beginning of his career and Red Bull supremo Dietrich Mateschitz is not a man to piss about at the back of the field. He will want a superstar rider capable of taking a title on one of the bikes at the end of 2018 and Marquez is the most natural fit for it - depending on how the bike performs with Espargaro and Smith/Kallio at the helm.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was busy telling anyone who would listen that he is welcoming the arrival of Taka Nakagami into LCR Honda next season as it means he probably won’t have so much media attention focused on him as the sole rider. He also said he knows what Yamaha did to improve the tyre life situation - as Vinales had told him - but he wouldn’t divulge the information.
A big step forward with the electronics was the reason Yamaha gave for its turnaround in late-race fortune and all questions about whether Rossi and Vinales were using a 2018 frame were answered in the negative - even though both men tested the new bike at Misano the previous weekend. Rossi had used a little too much hard tyre in his escape act early doors while Vinales had lots of grip left from the soft but the Marquez engine blow up interrupted his charge to the top of the podium.
Monster Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal was a little dischuffed with the decision by medics to rule rider Jonas Folger out of the race after his whopping warm-up crash. MotoGP doctor Xavier Mir had given the German the green light but local doctors wouldn’t allow it - even though all CAT and other scans had come up negative. The team has an ongoing issue with the brakes on Folger’s bike and Poncharal has issued Brembo with an ultimatum.
Alex Rins took his best finish to date, working slowly and methodically with the Ecstar Suzuki to bring it home in ninth place with some tyre left, he said. Team-mate Andrea Iannone - fastest in warm-up - ended in the gravel again, this time taking Danilo Petrucci with him. Iannone has run out of answers to his woes with the GSX-RR. He can’t get it into, or out of, corners but says he will never give up…
Jorge Lorenzo appears to be already turning towards 2018 as he says there are weak points with the Desmosedici - that has won four races in the hands of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso this year - that need more time to be addressed. The Mallorcan says he has now got to grips with using the rear brake and throttle control is now better as he is able to save tyre.
If Bradley Smith’s head wasn’t fried enough, KTM have decided to wheel out Mika Kallio for a third wildcard ride following his top-ten finish at Spielberg. Another good result may seal a full-time swap with Smith but KTM boss Pit Beirer says the firm will honour Smith’s two-year contract.
Sam Lowes said before he signed with the GarageXpertlongestteamnameinracing squad he would like a KTM to race next season. The Swiss squad have been with Kalex in recent times but could make the move. Miguel Oliveira has pulled off some cracking results with the new bike but it remains to be seen whether that is more down to the rider…