Could it really happen mid-season? Is there a precedent? (I'm a relative MotoGP noob)
When was the last time someone from a satellite team won the championship
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In any case, they're all factory riders, so Ducati will take whomever they think will challenge the most, and both Zarco and Martin have shown something that Bagnaia and Miller now have to respond to, else you might see a rider promotion and swap next season (and maybe even this season if the standings are extreme).
Yeah, I hear you... as a KTM fan, it hurts to see Lecuona and Petrucci on the Tech3 machines. Sure, they were the best available at the time, and Lecuona may yet show promise. As awesome of a guy as Petrucci is (according to every team mate and crew he's ever had), unfortunately, his sun has passed it's apex, unless it's in the rain.Gotta give KTM credit - they have got probably the most loaded rider pipeline. Martin was a KTM guy too. I wonder how hard they tried to keep him to ride with Tech3 (instead of Pramac) Martin is already better IMO than Lecuona.
Too many Hondas with not enough reason for them to be there given the lack of results so far, but that will change with the European tracks ahead of us and may be worthwhile as Marc is still the only one to be able to handle it with any chance of results.What equipment will Gresini run? Assuming Aprilia get new slots, that would increase the grid size by 2, assuming VR46 takes the Esponorama slots - Esponorama is almost 100% likely to leave MotoGP this year (which is why their riders only have 1 year deals)
As much as I like Luthi and Schrotter, their careers are basically done for. Last year they faded badly, and no signs of improvement. A shame.I dislike Moto2, but Jack is one of the guys that in retrospect he probably would have benefited from staying there before he got to GP as he never really matured as a rider since his Moto3 days. He would have had to race with Zarco, Luthi, Franco, Mir etc... and would have probably been shown what it takes to win from being consistent instead of just trying to brute-force your way up the field like you can in Moto3 with 1/10 the HP and speed....
I'd love to see Aprilia step up with a proper works team and a satellite team, along with actual test riders, but considering they ditched Smith for Savadori, I have my doubts the money is there. The Dovizioso flirtation is interesting, but I don't see Dovi choosing the Aprilia over other rides he would have been offered. In the end, Noale is a tiny little factory compared to the competition, and I doubt Piaggio will open the purse strings. Unless they put Vespa on the side of the bikes...So... we just started 2021 and 2022 silly season has begun
Speculation is that Fabio DiGiannantonio is moving up to MotoGP with Gresini.
1. Aprilia is going to have their own grid slots for next year, they are ending their works agreement with Gresini
2. Very pleasantly surprised to Gresini is going to stick around in spite of the split with Aprilia
Lots of questions
What equipment will Gresini run? Assuming Aprilia get new slots, that would increase the grid size by 2, assuming VR46 takes the Esponorama slots - Esponorama is almost 100% likely to leave MotoGP this year (which is why their riders only have 1 year deals)
Will Ducati still run 6 bikes? Will Gresini take Ducati? Will Suzuki or Aprilia supply bikes? Personally, I would love to see Yamaha or Honda increase their presence - in some years, there were as many as 7 Hondas on the grid (excluding the CRT/Open era) and Gresini was a strong Honda team early in the MotoGP era.
It's definitely possible if Suzuki wants to be more than the 'once every twenty years' factory. I'm not sure they have the budget, though. Maybe KTM, as they're fricking huge?Too many Hondas with not enough reason for them to be there given the lack of results so far, but that will change with the European tracks ahead of us and may be worthwhile as Marc is still the only one to be able to handle it with any chance of results.
I honestly think it will be Gresinin-Suzuki, Mir is the leader of that team now, and Alex will likely have to decide what to do now that a team that was once so supportive him when Andreas was there is now 'all in' on Mir and for good reason. Perhaps having the same works equipment on a satellite team will allow him to regain his confidence and perform better? It's working for Zarco.
Hey, you, me and JLo all agree! One thing that may be adding fuel to the fire is Miller only having a one year guaranteed deal with Ducati. Moving on from Dovi is one thing, but there's so few established riders out there now, so I think this year was all about trying things out to see what sticks. It puts a lot of pressure on the riders to perform from day one, though, as a slow start may mean relegation to support rider role and then the option for next year being declined. There's no doubt that Ducati would prefer an Italian, all things being equal (they wanted it so badly with Rossi), so Bagnaia will always have an edge as long as the results are close. Miller may also have been Ducati's way of protecting Pecco a bit, taking the number one pressure off and just letting him ride. Still, getting the number one seat at a major factory isn't easy, and it's up to Miller to take advantage. So far, he hasn't...As for the Miller and Mir issue, all I'll say is that we know what a 'mad lad' Miller is, but JLO (a fan favorite amongst you guys) told him in 2017 after that horrible rash that he needs to calm down or he risks hurting not just himself, but other riders on the track. I laughed when I heard he basically told JLO to go 'f himself' at the riders meeting, but looking back at it was very reminiscent of his confrontation with Sic.
This was just another reminder that Jack, for all his amusing banter, still cannot keep it together when things get dicey. and cooler heads need to prevail to get results. Mir's contact with Miller was a tough but fair racing incident, had Miller maintained his composure he could have just stayed closed and over taken him again on the straight. Instead he seemed intent on wanting to vent his anger and the disappointing results thus far and targeted Mir while he was on the rumble strips, which easily could have lead to a horrible crash taking them both out given how dirty and windy the track was.
It's pathetic that race direction let that slide, I thought it was worth demotion or long lap penalty, but in the end it doesn't matter now that the points have been handed--maybe a pit start for Miller makes things sink it, but it's still hard to see such a talented guy with everything to lose on a works Ducati just make such dumb mistakes--their has to be a serious cultural/management issue going on inside that garage.
The (extended) prologue is over, time for the real season to start. Here's hoping a few teams and riders can find a way to consistently get the most out of the Michelins and we can start to find the next group of aliens. Add a weakened Marc into the mix and it should be fun...It was a crazy weekend, and very entertaining but I wouldn't mind things chilling down a bit and we see some clean racing at Portugal in all classes.
KTM,Honda and Morbidelli will be much stronger in Portugal. As for Mir being the Suzuki leader-he hasn't gone head to head with MM yet, let's see how well he handles that challenge, Rins has had good success going one on one against #93 they will need that. Ducati won't make the same mistake with Miller as they did with Lorenzo.
Pressure is going to be high