Friday on any MotoGP weekend is a good time to stop and take stock of recent developments in the paddock and the general scuttlebutt. Here’s the latest news from the 2019 San Marino GP, and where everything really ranks on the “serious business” scale.
Jorge Lorenzo Lacks “Courage”
TL/DR: Did Puig really call Lorenzo a wuss? No.
This weekend a lot of chatter is about Jorge Lorenzo, again. The Honda rider has had a horror year and after a spate of crashes, had to sit out several rounds with broken vertebrae. Repsol Honda powerbroker, Alberto Puig, is supposed to have said that Lorenzo was unwilling to take risks and lacked “courage and willingness”. Lorenzo was understandably miffed, but really, this is a storm in a teacup.
Lorenzo countered that he must have taken risks – so many he got injured – but I don’t think Puig’s comments were represented correctly. Firstly, they were translated from Spanish. Secondly, they referred specifically to Lorenzo’s form since he returned. In that respect, Puig is right. At the moment, Lorenzo is still recovering from a frightening injury, and his head is probably not in the game 100 percent.
If anyone says Jorge is unable to go as quickly right now because he lacks technique, they’d be wrong. It’s confidence in the bike that he lacks, and Lorenzo said so in response to Puig’s comments. But that lack of confidence is going to be something Jorge will only change with a mental shift. The gap in time to his teammate is dropping, when it gets down to around 1 = 1.5 seconds, you’ll start to see confidence and pace return.
Oi! Hands off Miguel!
TL/DR: Tech3 want Oliveira to stay
Tech3 KTM boss Herve Poncharal must be pulling his hair out. Having signed Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder for 2020, Ponch could have relaxed and rested easy, knowing his plans for next year were locked in. Than Johann Zarco cracked it with KTM and bailed, and now all eyes are looking at the impressive Oliveira.
Poncharal has told Crash.net that he “needs Miguel here [at Tech3]” and hopes to keep the young ace. Zarco might yet do a u-turn and stay at KTM, as his options aren’t exactly thrilling and he might also find some love for the RC16 before year end. KTM’s love of Zarco might have waned after Donnington though, on account of Jojo wiping out Miguel in a clumsy move.
But Wait, There’s More!
TL/DR: Alvaro Bautista might come to KTM
Ponch might get to keep Miguel if rumours from the week are true. It seems Alvaro Bautista has left Ducati’s World Superbike squad and signed with a “rival manufacturer”. Has the MotoGP refugee found a way back home? It wouldn’t be a bad move for KTM to grab Bautista and put him on the bike. We’ve seen the Spaniard put in big rides on less equipment, and KTM’s 2020 rig is now under development. If they showed Bautista something special, he might make a shock return to the MotoGP paddock.
That’s the latest news on the 2019 San Marino GP. Stay tuned for race updates throughout the weekend!
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Jacob enjoys riding motorcycles, racing motorcycles, watching motorcycles race, writing about motorcycles, and jokes. If you’re reading this, he is likely attempting to combine one or more of those passions.