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MotoGP winter gossip, rumour and intrigue - part two

Jorge Lorenzo, it would seem, is not only being targeted by Yamaha for a test rider job. Ducati are also in the market for another development man to sit alongside Michele Pirro to ensure more competitive seasons going forward.

Where he goes will come down to the most money and where he thinks he can do most good. Casey Stoner jacked his job with Ducati because he thought they weren’t listening to him but it was plain during Lorenzo’s time with the Bologna marque that they were doing everything they could.

If Phillip Island doesn’t agree with MotoGP’s plan to move the Australian GP to the beginning of the season for better weather conditions, there is another track waiting to step in.


The newly-built Bend circuit near Adelaide will host a round of the Asia Talent Cup this year and is proving popular with Aussie riders and fans alike. The sticking point, as usual, will be money as it’s doubtful the local authority will stump up the same sort of cash - millions - that Melbourne does to host.

KTM chief Pit Beirer says he will only know how successful the new bike is after the first couple of 2020 races, not after testing. He believes that once all the backlog of test items has been dealt with and setups confirmed will the Austrian team know what’s what.

“We have made progress in all of these areas. But now we have to wait and see what will come out of the first races in 2020. We can only say what we will have to focus on in the future once we have got to know the new motorcycle better,” he said.

Marc Marquez is showing little interest in moving away from Honda in 2021 and is targeting Angel Nieto’s 90-win record. The 26-year-old would like to move past that mark before he retires and also isn’t bothered about riding at Suzuka either. So there.

Fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow is still very much considering retirement at the end of this year when his deal with HRC runs out and Dorna still don’t have a British rider to replace him unless Jake Dixon pulls something serious out of the bag in 2020.

Crutchlow is in a lot of pain with various injuries and says he just wants to have a normal life, doing things like taking the kids to school. He will soon get bored with that massive piece of joy…

Suzuki boss Davide Brivio believes that MotoGP teams could opt for a two-day race weekend in order to relieve the stress of a 22-race calendar in the future. Testing is already being cut back and the Italian thinks more should be done to lessen the workload. Work-shy.

MotoGP official attendances (which can be taken with a bucket of salt) fell by 21,129 last year. Thailand was the biggest weekend attendance with 226,655 - up 4120 on 2018 - with Qatar the smallest at 32,252. 10,287 fewer people attended Silverstone which was the largest fall.

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