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Two Big Prizes: Who Will Sign Lorenzo and Marquez for 2017?

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Let’s say you are in your 20s and you ride motorcycles for a living … and making $10 million a year is something you have already accomplished. Where do you go from here?

The two biggest names in MotoGP racing (leaving aside Valentino Rossi, who has already signed a two-year contract extension with Yamaha) are up for grabs next year. That’s right, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo need work. Apparently, their current employers Honda and Yamaha would like to retain their services, but at least one other major factory team may have the budget necessary to put one of them on its payroll. That would be Ducati.

At their salary level (and, let’s not forget bonuses for race wins and championship wins which can be in the millions in total), Ducati may be the only serious suitor who could draw Lorenzo or Marquez away from their current employers. Rumors of Lorenzo negotiating with Ducati, and even being close to signing, have already been circulating for months. Marquez has said he would like to stay with Repsol Honda, but it is believed that he has not signed a new contract at this point. Ducati’s MotoGP management has sent some signals recently that they are looking at both Lorenzo and Marquez for 2017.

Of course, many MotoGP riders are unsigned for next year. Marquez and Lorenzo are just the “sure things” … proven race winners and championship winners. They are both still young – Marquez is 23 and Lorenzo just turned 29. Several years left in their “prime”. For reference, Valentino Rossi is still going strong at 37.

The other unsigned rider of interest actually playing into the Marquez/Lorenzo drama, to some extent, is 21-year-old Maverick Viñales. His current employer is Suzuki, of course, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see that change next year. He is so young, and so talented, that he could easily slot into a Movistar Yamaha or Repsol Honda ride next year. This could take the sting out of losing Marquez or Lorenzo.  Both factories would undoubtedly love to have Viñales aboard, because he could immediately take podiums on a good bike (he nearly did so on his Suzuki last weekend) and is seen as a future champion. It will be interesting watching for announcements of the signing of these three riders.


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104 Comments

  1. Tunde says:

    As to the MM tongue thingymajig, I think Michael Jordan started it……

  2. Tunde says:

    What happened to the love fest for DP26 last year in contrast to the JL/VR/MM handbags at dawn drama of last year ? Not much commentary about his future……anywhere.
    I’d like to see DP on a Suzuki. Or a Yamaha if Rossi were to leave prematurely. MM has turned the rcv into a bike only he can ride. Evinced by none of the other rcv riders being anywhere near him. And HRC are mugs for prostrating at the altar of MM b/c if MM were to leave (because, “what if he had never tried ?”……those who KNOW motogp will know whom is referenced in that phrase), they’d be stuck with a bike only 1 bloke was able to ride fast. ie like Ducati after CS27.
    It appears that DP’s continued seat at Repsol is incompatible with his ambitions to win a championship. The Suzuki would be a natural fit for DP (sweet handling, seeming less physical than MM’s rcv evolutions). Sponsorship wise, he’s a Spanish match there too (Movistar). Reminds me of DP in his 250 days.

    • VLJ says:

      At this point it seems that Dani would have to stab the pope in the neck with a feeler gauge before he’d lose that Repsol Honda ride.

      And even then, it’d be iffy.

      • mickey says:

        He showed real class today.

        • VLJ says:

          He did, but showing class after crashing along with a few quarters in your pocket will buy you a vending machine coffee at HRC headquarters.

          Honda didn’t hire Dani to be a buffer between their championship-contending rider and the Yamaha guys. They hired him to win the MotoGP title, they put the best bike on earth beneath him, and ten years later he’s still playing the caddie role.

          Why? Seriously, why is he still there? It’s not like he’s a great ambassador for the sport. He’s classy, sure, but utterly without personality. He brings zero excitement to the brand. He’s just another guy. He sells…nothing.

          At least Nicky was/is popular with the fans. Oh, and he won Honda a world title.

          Bottom line, it’s great to be Spanish.

          • mickey says:

            It is true Nicky won a title but you know what ? Pedrosa played a big part in that too. That year Pedrosa won the race in China. Know who he beat to the top step? Valentino Rossi who finished second. Pedrosa’s win cost Val 5 points. Nicky beat Val by 5 points for the Championship. Had Pedrosa NOT beat Rossi Nicky would not have won the championship and then all he have to show for his MotoGP career was 3 wins in MORE than a decade, so in essence Nicky would not have won the title had it not been for the superior riding of one rookie Dani Pedrosa. HA! Good to have a buffer when it works in your favor eh Nicky?

          • VLJ says:

            And had Dani not torpedoed Nicky in Portugal Nicky wouldn’t have needed those five points.

            Regardless, Honda didn’t hire Dani to take points from other guys so his Repsol teammate could contend for championships. They hired him and gave him the #1 seat so he could win those championships himself. See, every other #1 Repsol rider (and even some #2s) have won the title: Doohan, Criville, Rossi, Nicky, Stoner, Marquez. Meanwhile Dani keeps seeing his teammates win title after title.

            There is zero chance Repsol allows this to go on for ten years if Dani is not a favored-son Spaniard. No way they give Bradley Smith or Scott Redding this much rope. They didn’t give Nicky anywhere near this much rope, and he won a title for them. Had Nicky been Spanish, however, he would have been given the #1 seat in ’07 and HRC would have developed the new bike around him. In fact, having won a title for HRC, he’d probably still be there, and Dani Smith or Dani Redding would have gotten the boot long ago.

          • mickey says:

            You need to check your history my friend. He WAS given the number 1 seat in 07 and got the best motor ( pneumatic valve) while Dani got the std motor, and Nicky wasn’t getting the job done. He was again given the number 1 ride in 08 and did an even worse job and then CHOSE to leave Honda for Ducati. He didn’t lose his seat, he gave up his seat.

            Don’t take my word for it look it up. I hate it when facts get in the way of a perfectly good grudge.

          • mickey says:

            Oops my bad had to look up the history myself, Hayden was the only one to start the season with the pnematic motor in 08 (not 07 as I had previously stated) So he did have the number 1 seat in 07 and 08, even though you persistantly spread the rumor to the contrary. According to his wikipedia page Hayen had the second worse title defense in the history of MotoGP behind Kenny Roberts Jr .

          • Dave says:

            Nicky had the #1 seat on a bike that was continually developed for his smaller team mate, Pedrosa? How’s that work?

            As for the reason Honda has kept Pedrosa, He’s consistently been one of the best 4 riders in the world all of this time, delivering wins every single season, including *7* wins in 2012. Who would they rather have on their 2nd bike?

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, I have my facts perfectly straight. HRC, at the behest of Spanish corporate giant Repsol, developed the ’07 bike specifically for Dani, not for their defending champion, which is something that had never happened before, nor has it ever happened again. The decision was made, the die was cast, and ’08 was, like ’07, clearly a fait accompli.

            His reward for breaking the Valentino Rossi monopoly on world titles and returning the championship to Honda was to be treated like a redheaded stepchild, a mere afterthought. Of course Nicky chose to leave.

            Dani? He’s been consistently decent. That’s it. He’s won races and garnered podiums while never posing a serious threat for the championship, despite being on the top bike and riding for the top team in the paddock for a solid decade now. He’s been a #1 rider, and a #2 rider, but always he’s approached the gig as if he’s an understudy, merely holding down the fort until the real star arrives to save the day.

            Again, make Dani spend season after season on the Suzuki, the Ducati, a Tech 3 Yamaha, or, heaven forbid, an Open Honda, and his career stats look a whole lot like all the other career mid-packers in the series.

            All those podiums and victories?

            Toast. They never happen. His stats are wildly inflated as a result of being allowed to spend his entire career on the factory Honda, and no one else who didn’t deliver a championship would have been permitted to retain that ride.

            Look it up. His tenure at Honda is without precedent, not just for Almighty Honda, who otherwise never suffers fools gladly, but for any top-level team. In the annals of the sport, lacking a championship title to his name, only Dani Pedrosa was ever granted a lifetime tenured position within a factory team.

          • mickey says:

            ok..looked it up

            from Wikipedia

            2007

            On September 22, 2006, Hayden signed a two-year agreement that allowed for him to race for and develop with the factory Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) team for the 2007 and 2008 MotoGP seasons.[3] He utilized the 800 cc Honda RC212V, and his MotoGP racing number changed from 69 to 1 for the 2007 season.

            2007 started and finished badly for Hayden, struggling with performance, and team-mate Dani Pedrosa having shown what the Honda was able to do. A crash at Le Mans dropped him to eleventh in the standings at this stage. However, during testing before Donington, he requested that most of the electronics be switched off and his times improved. His subsequent performance in a wet Donington and a dry Assen showed a slight return to form, challenging for fifth with his trademark sliding and tail-out non-standard lines. However, he ultimately kept crashing, with a pole and 3 podiums but no victories proved to be the 2nd worse defence of a championship ever recorded after Kenny Roberts Jr. The 2007 season also saw the release of an authorized biography on Hayden and his brothers–The Haydens: Nicky, Tommy, & Roger, from OWB to MotoGP—timed to coincide with his return to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

            In 2008, Hayden ran his old number 69 since Casey Stoner earned the right to run the number 1 plate after winning the MotoGP title in 2007.

            2008

            Donington Park marked the race debut of Honda’s pneumatic-valve engine, which only Hayden was using initially.

            Happy?

          • VLJ says:

            None of that had anything to do with what I told you to look up, but…okay.

          • mickey says:

            VLJ says:

            April 16, 2016 at 12:37 am

            “mickey, I have my facts perfectly straight. HRC, at the behest of Spanish corporate giant Repsol, developed the ’07 bike specifically for Dani, not for their defending champion, which is something that had never happened before, nor has it ever happened again.”

            Look, I posted documentation and resource that refutes what you said above and you fluff it off. That was from Nicky Hayden’s own Wikipedia page.

            If you have evidence to the contrary, evidence to support your statement above, please feel free to post it up, as I have, and let everyone read it. Maybe a letter from Repsol to Honda since you seem to have inside knowledge of facts not in evidence at this time.

            Until then, I still contend Nicky was Honda’s number 1 rider in 07, the year after he won the Championship, and again in 08, but lost that seat to a much better and more productive rider when he quit the team in 09.

            Furthermore you say Dani was a “decent” rider at best. Hayden was on the Honda squad from 03-08 and scored how many wins? want me to remind you? 3. Two in 06, and another one.
            3 wins in 5 years aboard the mighty Honda.

          • VLJ says:

            What I asked you to look up was whether there is any precedent for Dani’s tenured position on the factory Honda. Specifically: no world titles, and ten years on the top bike in the series.

            You also blithely ignore two obvious facts. One, Nicky’s teammate during the beginning of his time on the factory Honda was Valentino freaking Rossi, and no one was beating him back then. Two, Dani’s career stats are wildly inflated due to being on a factory Honda the entire time. Once he proved he couldn’t win the title he would have been punted to a lesser team, as has every other rider in the history of the sport, at which point his podiums and wins come to an end.

          • mickey says:

            Tenure? not sure where to look that up, but I thought Dave answered perfectly why Honda has kept him above. Dani has won World Championships 3 times (not just one). You say he never came close to winning the big one but we know that’s not true either, and he has finished 2nd three times, and third 3 more times.

            Google Dani and look at his Wikipedia report and you will see just how good of a racer he is.

          • VLJ says:

            Dani never came close to winning the MotoGP title. Sure, he finished second, but he was never a threat to win the title.

            Max Biaggi also finished second, as did Sete Gibernau, Randy Mamola, etc. A lot of guys finished second, and not one of them was allowed to keep their factory ride for ten years, never mind the top factory Honda ride.

            As for Dave’s answer, it misses the obvious point, which is that of course Dani won races and earned podiums. He was on a factory Honda, and sometimes he was their #1 rider. Any number of other riders could have won races and earned podiums with that kind of support, and Dani would have struggled mid-pack on mid-pack bikes, just like everyone does.

      • Crim says:

        I can’t imagine Honda keeping an also ran like Pedro around for long. It’s time to give another young gun a turn at that ride.

    • Scott says:

      I wish we could have seen Pedrosa on the Yamaha. I really think he could do wonders on that bike. Unfortunately, they already have one grizzled veteran on the team, and I’m sure they want a young gun. Hence, Vinales. So fine, send Pedrosa to Suzuki. It would be funny if he cleaned up on that thing!

      But who replaces Pedrosa? Dovi? Is he any better off than Pedrosa?

  3. Crim says:

    Article on MotoMatters today says JLo is going red next year. All but done. Sure hope so. Nothing like a good shake up to make life interesting.

    https://motomatters.com/analysis/2016/04/08/2016_austin_motogp_preview_notes_on.html

    • ze says:

      Also MCN and GPOne.
      When MCN said Rossi was going to yamaha nobody believed, but they were right.
      The same happened when he went to ducati.
      I think it’s true.

      • Crim says:

        I recall reading preseason that JLo said he would stay at Yamaha… hoping that it would help Rossi to decide to retire? But then Rossi upped the ante and signed before race 1, thus using ju jitsu to throw JLo out the door.

        Some day Jorgie will no doubt gloat about his victories on Ducati but really… it’s not even close to the same bike that Vale rode.

        As Foreigner sang: And so we keep on playin’ head games!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I believe you are correct. The “done deal” is being echoed from a lot of insiders, now. I like a good shake up, so I hope it is true.

        • xLaYN says:

          Jeremy everything is up to you now, your mission is to convince MM of going to Zoos.
          That would put one alien per factory.

          Imagine the skyrocketing number of viewers, everybody whining about their machines and the hows and whys… soap opera will be left behind and Dorna would rule the world hahahahahah, oh grand haha……

          Errr I mean…. would be nice isn’t it…

          (slips money on closed envelope)…

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Haha. Frankly, I think Suzuki already has an alien if they don’t lose him to Yamaha.

      • waitman says:

        Yep, MCN was the “British source” to which I was referring two days ago. I just wasn’t convinced it was kosher to mention another property on Mr. Edge’s forum.

  4. Vrooom says:

    I just hate to think where Marquez’ tongue’s been. Where ever it was I’m guessing it tasted like Lorenzo.

  5. Jdilpkle says:

    Maybe Marc’s tongue got stuck that way when he fell on the podium trying to hop up to the top. I wouldn’t want to see that young man turn into a guy like Lorenzo who makes me nauseated with his big-headed antics when he wins. Oi. Sometimes a good fall or two does a man good in his life.

    • TonyZA says:

      Well said. But I have to admit that have riders I love to hate makes MotoGP all the more entertaining. It was a special moment when Mr ‘I’ll do my taking on the track’ crashed and then Mr ‘He kicked me off my bike’ fell on the podium. It’s surprizing that MM didn’t accuse VR of tripping him – maybe that’s still coming after HRC examines the telemetry and video.
      Proverbs 16:18 in action.

  6. wjf says:

    It doesn’t matter, as long as we have something to complain about on this forum…the Honda was built around MM and JL can’t ride it, the ducati still needs tweaking, the sun rises in the east…

  7. mechanicus says:

    Dirck, Will you please airbrush Marquez’s tongue out of that photo? Thanks.

    • Tom R says:

      Yes please.

      He does this a lot in posed photos. Childish.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “He does this a lot in posed photos. Childish”

        oddly enough, he IS a child. it’s what they do.

        • notarollingroadblock says:

          Exactly! And that’s why he rides like he rides (both the good and the bad in his riding).

    • red says:

      He’s apparently trying to make it his signature thing like Hannah Montana. In the pic two articles down his tongue is hanging out again. What a doof. as if I didn’t already have enough reasons to dislike him..

    • Curly says:

      Aw give him a break, he’s young yet. At that age Jorge still had his lollipop and Vale changed his hair color every race or so.

  8. Mike says:

    Wow, two races in to the season and the its already getting “silly”.

  9. BikeNut321 says:

    I have a feeling that Marquez is headed to Yamaha. Rossi`s formal apology to Marquez is a dead giveaway IMO.

    • VLJ says:

      Wow.

      The gullible is strong in this one.

      • TimC says:

        I took it as a rather hilarious twist/continuation of the joke….

        • BikeNut321 says:

          *puts on dunce cap * So I’m the one dork who believed the April fool’s joke, eh? Either way, I really could see Marquez going to Yamaha and leaving Big Red. I imagine that he’s more concerned with winning than dropping down to an also ran team for the big bucks. I think he could do fantastic on the new Duc though, as he won a lot on the Honda when it was a point and shoot rocket. Lorenzo I could see going to Duc or Suzuki for more coin. Although I don’t think Suzuki has the big bucks for a superstar.

  10. Martin says:

    I wonder if Johnny Rea will be considered for any hole left by GP factory team that loses a big name? Oh, and Dirck, what’s with that pic of MM?

  11. waitman says:

    British source reporting Lorenzo and Duc is a verbal “done deal” for 2017.

  12. xLaYN says:

    Both riders are crème de la crème.

    The question is: would you switch teams (and bike) when you have a winning one right now for money?

    Maybe for Rossi, but MM and JL would probably want to stay with the proven package.

    From economy 101: the more risk the more earnings.

  13. Hot Dog says:

    Undoubtedly Yamaha’s marketing department told the racing end of their company to sign Rossi to an extended contract. I’ll bet those guys begrudgingly agreed, as they held their heads low and shoulders slumped. Rossi tends to ooze an suffocating atmosphere wherever he goes. If Yamaha’s Racing department could have a “Team” environment, just think how they could grow and improve. JLo is a proven winner, has an fantastic ability to ride smoothly, yet he’s got to watch his “team mate” be pandered to for every little whim and scratch. There are those who think Rossi can do no wrong, no matter his transgression but I’d think that he’s a fading superstar who’s permeating the Yamaha tent with bad vibes. I do hope JLo stays with Yamaha but if he does go somewhere else, who’s to blame but the marketing department itself?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Rossi is good for Yamaha. While past his peak, he is still a champion contender, is by far the most popular name in the sport and does a great job as a brand ambassador. With respect to his “vibes in the tent,” I don’t know; but none of those teams are really teams, anyway. So I don’t think that matters so much. But I do know that even as a proven winner, Lorenzo just doesn’t have the affability factor that Rossi has and will probably never deliver as much value to the Yamaha brand. I’d want to resign them both for sure; but if I had to lose one of those riders, Lorenzo would be the one I’d lose the least sleep over.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Jeremy, you’re maybe right that he’s good for Yamaha but do we want a “brand ambassador” or a winner? I guess I just don’t like how he treats other racers with his condescending attitude. You’re right that JLo is milk toast boring but I love watching racing, not some huckster trying to head mess with his competitors. Ok, I agree to disagree.

    • Tim says:

      First and foremost, signing Rossi is about money. He sells T-Shirts, leathers, helmets, bikes, you name it. MotoGP is as much about marketing the team and sponsor’s products as it is about winning every week, perhaps more so and nobody sells things like Rossi. It helps that he’s still competitive. I still wish they would have let him and Lorenzo race it out last year for the final. While he should have kept his composure when Marquez messed with him, I still hate that we didn’t get to see the culmination of a great year with one final competitive race to determine the champion.

    • jim says:

      I bet there are 20 other guys on that grid that wish he would “fade” a little faster.

    • VLJ says:

      Hot Dog, you keep describing Rossi as if he’s some backmarker merely cashing ceremonial paychecks in the twilight of his career. In case you’ve already forgotten, he won four races last year, he was on the podium seemingly ninety-eight races in a row, he led the championship the entire season, and he’s currently ahead of Lorenzo again while sitting in second place, only eight points adrift of the top spot. He even out-qualified Lorenzo in Argentina. Oh, and he finished ahead of Lorenzo in 2014, as well.

      The guy isn’t the fastest rider anymore for a single lap, but he’s still one of the two or three riders most likely to be near the top every week and, ultimately, win the championship.

      This is hardly a Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour situation. Far from it. The guy is still a major threat.

      • mickey says:

        Rossi may not be the best qualifier, but there are few with as much drive and grit as he has, once the flag drops. He may claim his tires are gone, or whatever, but even with poor rubber he will charge pass and repass until the flag drops.

      • pacer says:

        agreed

  14. Vrooom says:

    It’s hard to believe Lorenzo’s lapdog would go somewhere other than with Lorenzo. Maybe both to Ducati? Iannone will be a prize, Dovi’s not so bad either. Vinales might be smart to take a payday with Suzuki, he’s competitive on the bike already, and they are on a steep improvement curve given they’ve only been racing GP a few years. He’s showed the elder Espargo his rear wheel all last season. Iannone to Yamaha?

  15. Brian Dueck says:

    Likely things will stay as they are for another 2 years – JL at Yamaha, MM at Honda.

    But if things did shift I would expect JL to go for Ducati to replace Iannone for the big $$$ but also to prove he can be a winner and maybe a MotoGP champion on something other than a Yamaha. MM on the other hand still has plenty of years to prove that.

    If JL goes to Ducati then expect Yamaha to sign Viñales. If Yamaha were smart they would already have a contingent deal negotiated with Viñales in case JL doesn’t re-sign. This would take the pressure of having to make a deal with JL at any cost. With VR and Viñales at Yamaha you would still have a good shot at winning the championship. Ducati is still a long shot even with JL there, and the competitive threat of Honda hasn’t changed with that arrangement – still potent.

  16. notarollingroadblock says:

    I wish the Forward Yamaha girls were still in the paddock…

  17. Norm G. says:

    Q: Who Will Sign Lorenzo and Marquez for 2017?

    A: Yamaha and Honda.

    Q: Let’s say you are in your 20s and you ride motorcycles for a living … and making $10 million a year is something you have already accomplished. Where do you go from here?

    A: Disney World…!!!

    re: “Rumors of Lorenzo negotiating with Ducati, and even being close to signing, have already been circulating for months.”

    yup, circulated by Jay’s manager.

    (editorial) look, Jay and Marcus will likely stay in their current teams. to his credit, Jay’s a racer’s racer. as a decidedly “NON-Catalan” Spaniard, he’s not going any place where he has to risk going back in the shadow of Ross or Marcus (particularly Marcus). he’s worked too hard to get where he is. sure the money is nice, but it’s not his motivation, never was, that dude wants to WIN (let the gory details of losing his finger on the Island, and his 24 hr broken collarbone fix and race at Assen wash over you).

    as a Majorcan outsider, Jay’s fight has always been against the classist nature of Spanish society. it’s understandable how you might think his rivalry is with Ross…? but it actually isn’t. his “fear and loathing in Las Vegas for Marcus” is akin to the legendary rivalry of fellow countrymen Ross and Maximillian. see, now that I’ve phrased in in THAT context…? the light bulb should be turning on overtop everyone’s head. 🙂

    now in regards to Marcus, his status as “Catalan elite” brings another unseen issue to the table. he (like Dan) will NEVER leave the “hedge of protection” afforded by REPSOL until it’s time to retire, and everybody knows REPSOL is “blissfully wedded” to Honda. well that’s it then.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “he (like Dan) will NEVER leave the “hedge of protection” afforded by REPSOL until it’s time to retire, and everybody knows REPSOL is “blissfully wedded” to Honda. well that’s it then.”

      Why not? Rossi did (leave Honda at the height of his success). Besides, if there’s one thing we know about Honda, it’s that they don’t like their rider being a bigger star than their bike. If MM get’s too popular, they’ll let him go. They’ve done it numerous times before (see Honda’s MX history).

      I agree, the Spanish Repsol/Marquez affiliation complicates things..

  18. Colors says:

    I just wish Marquez would quit sticking his tongue out.

  19. took says:

    myself, i wish we could have a time machine and put duhamel, mladin, the bostroms, doohan, spencer, lawson, rainey, gardner, schwantz into the market, all on equally competitive machinery. ideally without electronics. good old slidin by right hand on throttle. i’d throw in garry mcCoy and pierfrancesco chili, and others. biaggi hayden(s) bayliss fogerty stoner and a few others implied. include daytona in the mix.
    i dream

  20. pacer says:

    Dirck, you made a comment that kind of alludes to the Suzuki not being up to snuff. I want to see it on a couple of different tracks before I write it off.

  21. PatrickD says:

    Rossi would prefer to choose his teammate, as he did until JL arrived at Yamaha, and have an innofensive wingman. So Vinales doesn’t quite fit that. Honda would not be dictated to the same way, so I think that the Repsol seat (also, a Spanish rider-sponsor arrangemnt suits all) for Vinales is likely.
    Someone like Crutchlow, who could hardly get any luckier considering his appalling point hauls, might fit the mould for someone who VR would accept as a teammate. Dovisioso, might sit there easily too. Never going to challenge for a championship, but could get the odd podium.

    I think that JL might go to Ducati almost out of spite. That would certainly conflict the Italian fans!
    And if he could do it on the Ducati, then it’d be a thumb in the eye to VR.

    Yamaha have two more years with Rossi, which saddles them with alot of tricky navigations. A bit lke Schumacher at Ferrari, no-one dare challenge him, and his demands-and-subsequent rebuttal by Yamaha 5 years ago still ranks as the biggest bluff-calling example motorcycle racing has ever seen.

    Do Yamaha play the medium-term game at theis stage? I think Yamaha contracted VR rather too early. They might have got him for cheap, you know. It’s not because he’s faster than his team mate, that’s for sure.

    • pacer says:

      Crutchlow maybe better than we think. If he is on second tier equipment and is over riding to keep up, a factory bike maybe all he needs.

    • Curly says:

      I doubt that Yamaha will put another rider on the second bike who is past his sell by date like Dovi, or Crutchlow. VR’s influence on the choice is probably much reduced at this point in his career because Yamaha needs to look to the future. Even VR would likely choose someone with a shot at the championship rather than just someone he could beat. He really likes Yamaha and I believe wants to carry on with them after he quits riding so wants them to win. They will certainly go after Vinales to make Movistar happy. To populate the Tech3 farm team seats they could go for Sam Lowes and Alex Rins to keep the Brit-Spanish balance thing going.

  22. Provologna says:

    JayLo on the L, MM on the R. Emphasis on the L where we start reading.

    But MM image is larger and elevated, both favoring Honda’s boy.

    If this is paid Honda marketing masquerading as unbiased news, please cease and desist. It’s unwelcome and grows in frequency.

  23. Provologna says:

    JayLo on the L, MM on the R. Emphasis on the L, because we read from that side.

    But MM image is larger, and elevated higher, both favoring Honda’s boy.

    If this is paid Honda marketing masquerading as unbiased “news,” please cease and desist. It’s obvious, egregious, unwelcome, and grows in frequency.

    • Scott says:

      Get help. Seriously.

    • Brian says:

      You’re kidding, right?

    • Half Baked says:

      You might want to consider the possibility that you were having some sort of cerebrovascular event when you wrote this because it is virtually incoherent.

    • Prolovogna says:

      Honda videos also have subliminal messages that can only be heard through my 500$ headphones.

      • mickey says:

        ROTFL

      • Scott says:

        Also, look at their leathers carefully: Lorenzo is portrayed as a “MONSTER” 👹, whereas Marquez appears to have “One Heart” ❤… Coincidence??? I think not! C’mon, MD, how much are they paying you?!

        • mickey says:

          you’re right..and Jlo is obviously snarling while MM is joyfully smiling. That’s no coincidence

          actually when you look at photos of the two after a race Jlo has that gangsta “yea, that’s right, I’m the baddest man on the planet ” look, while MM looks like “Gee, that was fun, I’m having such a great time”. Different personalities for sure.

  24. Ron H. says:

    Put MM on the KTM next year and I’ll subscribe to motogp.com

  25. Dino says:

    Maybe Marquez will leave racing all together, and start a new career as the deranged Teddy Bear that is on tour with Miley Cyrus… he’s got the tongue talent..

    Disturbing….

  26. jim says:

    Lorenzo to Honda with MM, both Spaniards on the Repsol team, Honda untouchable.

    • Dave says:

      Honda would have to reinvent the bike for Lorenzo. For a time he’d be very touchable.

      • Joe says:

        I think Lorenzo on Honda should not take him too long to adapt as he is a very smooth rider. It would very interesting. Personally I don’t like either Lorenzo or MM for what they did last year. I really want to see Casey race again. MM wants to stay at Honda and Lorenzo could get paid enough to move would be an unstoppable team.

        As for the comment of Vale signing with Yamaha too early and probably Yamaha would have paid less for him? Who is the most followed and favourite MotoGP rider? Come on, just look at the rider stats… It’s Vale by a landslide. Even at the last race who were the fans cheering for at the end of the race at the podium, MM or Vale?

  27. mickey says:

    John B that would be more like the Berlin wall lol

    i can see Lorenzo defecting to Ducati for the right money

    I can’t imagine Marquez going anywhere else. For one thing Honda wouldn’t want to lose him, and for another Marquez has his younger brother coming up and he wants to make sure he has a ride.

    As much as it pains me I can see Pedrosas seat opening up as I believe he no longer has a chance of winning the championship should bad times befall MM? i could see Vinales moving into that seat. That would open up the Suzuki seat for either Pedrosa, Dovi or Ianonne depending on whos seat Lorenzo took.

    That leaves the Yamaha seat open that Lorenzo defected from which could go to either Crutchlow or one of the Espargaros maybe?

    Fun to ponder eh?

    • Tim says:

      Honda may not want to pay him. He would be far from the first great rider they’ve let walk. I could be wrong, but my impression has been that Honda wants the focus on Honda, not on the star riders. I think they like to try to prove Honda technology wins, not the rider. They even let Rossi walk in his prime, and they paid the price when he continued to win on the slower Yamaha.

  28. peter h says:

    MM gets a 2 year contract w yamaha. oy