Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 03 Aug 2014
With Cal Crutchlow’s position now sorted for 2015, the rest of the MotoGP field is expected to be finalised sooner rather than later, as MotoGP heads into the second half of the season next week in Indianapolis. If you’ve been living on another planet for the last 24 hours, Cal Crutchlow will leave Ducati (yes, even though he said he was staying) to join LCR Honda at the end of the 2014 season.
Making way for Crutchlow is Stefan Bradl, the German ousted from the HRC fraternity after what Honda boss Livio Suppo classes as an unimpressive three years, returning just a single podium for the Japanese marque. Our sources say he’ll be heading over to the NGM Forward squad, potentially with Yamaha support, with Dorna keen for Bradl to continue as a top ten runner as a sweetener for German TV with the contract running out at the end of this season.
The Giovanni Cuzari-run Forward squad should have two new riders next season. Bradl will take over the seat left vacant by the Suzuki-bound Aleix Espargaro while it’s unclear at the moment who will replace the retiring Colin Edwards. Latest rumours suggest Edwards will ride just two more races in MotoGP, his final American round at Indianapolis and the season finale in Valencia, with Aleix de Angelis standing in for the remaining races. Whether the rumours are true remains to be seen, but our sources are digging hard after being forbidden their summer break.
The late changes to Ducati’s line-up mean there’s now a vacant seat at Pramac Ducati, presuming Yonny Hernandez has done enough to keep hold of his ride for 2015.
Espargaro will be joined at Suzuki by 2013 Moto3 World Champion Maverick Vinales who steps up after just one season in Moto2. Suzuki may not be the only new team next season with Aprilia rumoured to have brought forward their planned MotoGP return by a year. World Superbike’s Eugene Laverty is linked to a ride with the Noale factory with murmurs Spaniard Alvaro Bautista could be alongside the Ulsterman. Britain’s only MotoGP team, Paul Bird Motorsport, will leave the MotoGP paddock to make way for either of the incoming squads.
Scott Redding’s chances of being rewarded with a factory ride look to have improved after a strong ride at the Sachsenring. Before the German round Redding told us he wasn’t hopeful of getting a ‘factory’ RCV to play with next season with Honda reluctant to talk. With Redding just over 15 points behind his factory-mounted team mate, it looks almost certain that Alvaro Bautista will be booted from the Gresini squad. It’s thought the Go&FUN sponsored outfit will continue with a production RCV1000R for 2015 with rumours Jack Miller could be heading for the seat should Scott Redding be promoted.
Pol Espargaro will once again line up with the Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha squad but it’d seem Bradley Smith is on borrowed time with Herve Poncheral apparently keen to bring new talent into the squad. There had been talk of Jonas Folger moving into the French team but this was soon mooted when the German youngster had no way out of his two year Moto2 contract.
An announcement is yet to be made about Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha but a contract should be signed soon if not already sorted. The debate isn’t whether he will sign but rather how long for, with rumours he’s interested in leaving Yamaha in the future could he take a one year deal?
2015 MotoGP field
Repsol Honda – Marc Marquez & Dani Pedrosa
Movistar Yamaha – Valentino Rossi & Jorge Lorenzo
Ducati Team – Andrea Iannone & Andrea Dovizioso
Suzuki Team – Aleix Espargaro & Maverick Vinales
LCR Honda – Cal Crutchlow
Tech 3 Yamaha – Pol Espargaro & ????
NGM Forward Yamaha – Stefan Bradl & ????
Gresini Honda – Scott Redding & Jack Miller
Pramac Ducati – Yonny Hernandez & ???
Aprilia – Eugene Laverty & Alvaro Bautista
Italics = Not yet confirmed