Posted: 20 Mar 2013
The MotoGP lads have been testing in Jerez over the past few days and small cracks have already started to appear in team/rider relationships!
Last year, we reported that Brit Cal Crutchlow was in talks with Ducati mid-way through the season for a ride this year, but it ended up falling through when his then team-mate Andrea Dovizioso bagged the ride. Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal wasn’t impressed with Cal’s openness with the media on his talks with Ducati and was considering “alternatives”, but a consistent performance in the second half of the season meant Cal’s contract was renewed and he secured his seat with the team for 2013 alongside GP class rookie Bradley Smith.
Fast-forward a couple of months and a few tests later… Deja-vu! We are now hearing rumours that Crutchlow is annoyed with Yamaha for not giving him better equipment this season, leading to him allegedly starting discussions with Suzuki for a ride in their new team for 2014. It’s been described by sources inside the paddock as a money deal.
Rumours that Suzuki are preparing to return to MotoGP in 2014 continue to resurface despite Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta apparently telling the manufacturer that they can’t enter as an individual team and must use an existing team framework such as Aspar, BQR or Gresini.
With Paul Denning, who was spearheading the Suzuki MotoGP programme, leaving to replace Jack Valentine in the manufacturer’s WSBK team this year, there is possibly a GP team manager’s vacancy. Rossi’s current manager, Davide Brivio, , is believed to be up for it, which may confirm that Rossi’s retirement is in sight. The other candidate is Jorge Martinez, currently managing the Aspar team and rider Randy de Puniet, who is expected to be test riding the Suzuki at some point this season.