Author: Bike Social Posted: 29 Jun 2014
As MotoGP creeps into the mid-season the rumour mill has gone into full swing in regards to who will be riding where in 2015. At present just Marc Marquez has a deal annoued to ride in 2015. Other riders are close to deals while some just haven’t made their mind up and despite a couple of riders being in the middle of two-year contracts, reports suggest there may be a few contract break-outs on the horizon.
Gossip at Assen mainly surrounds Cal Crutchlow, who has had a dire year with Ducati to date, suffering many a technical problem race after race. Crutchlow is on a two-year contract but it’s long been thought that the Brit has some sort of get-out clause in his deal which could be activated should the first year not yield the results expected by either party. Word in the paddock and from numerous news outlets is that Crutchlow has been in talks with Suzuki, a factory returning to MotoGP in 2015 after a three year hiatus.
After the year he’s had so far, it would be foolish of Crutchlow’s management not to explore the 28 year old’s options for 2015 as should he need to jump ship, he needs to know it’s to the right place. If Suzuki can offer a better package, why not? Speaking to Bennetts ambassador Neil Hodgson on BT Sport this weekend, Crutchlow admitted that the moves he had made in his career have paid off until now, suggesting signing for Ducati may have been a mistake. However the Brit is also keen to emphasise his trust in Dall’Ingna and his crew – most probably in order not to alienate them should he eventually choose to stay with the Borgo Panigale outfit.
As we reported the other week, David Brivio, Team Manager of the Suzuki project, has riders knocking at his door night and day looking for a ride next year. It’s without a doubt that the Italian is interested in taking Crutchlow on board but he’s also talking to the Brit’s Ducati team mates Dovizioso and Iannone. Word in the paddock is that Iannone is the least likely to leave, having enjoyed some strong results so far this season. Should Crutchlow or Dovizioso make the move Iannone will be in prime position for a seat in the factory team.
After showing what he’s capable of on the Forward Racing Yamaha Open-spec bike this year, Aleix Espargaro is tipped to be after a factory machine for 2015. Another rider in a two-year contract, according to Bike Social sources the Spaniard is doing his utmost best to get out of it to join Suzuki. It wouldn’t be the first time Espargaro has broken a contract at the mid-point either, leaving a two year deal with Aspar to join Forward Racing this season – at huge expense if you believe certain reports.
It doesn’t sound like it’s just MotoGP riders David Brivio has got his eye on either, Bike Social sources suggest Suzuki are very interested in the young protege that is Maverick Vinales. The 2013 Moto3 champion has impressed in his debut Moto2 year, winning in his second race and sitting third in the championship after seven rounds. Vinales would be a huge acquisition for Suzuki, with many of the belief that Honda Racing are lining up the Spaniard to replace Dani Pedrosa when the twenty-eight year old chooses to retire. Can Suzuki tempt Vinales into MotoGP next year?
Recent gossip about Jack Miller hasn’t gone quiet… the Australian is hot property in the paddock after his electric start to the Moto3 season. There had been reports Miller had signed a contract with Michael Bartholemy to ride in Moto2 for the MarvVDS team in 2015 but Miller and his personal (and team) manager Aki Ajo deny this was anything more than a letter of intent. The story goes that Miller is destined to jump straight to MotoGP in 2015 at the request of Dorna, who are keen to see a fast Australian in the MotoGP championship two years after the departure of Casey Stoner. Some suggest the plan is to line Miller up with one of Herve Poncheral’s Tech 3 rides, but this is yet to be substantiated.
Movistar Yamaha are yet to strike a deal with either rider but reports suggest it’s on the horizon on both counts. Valentino Rossi said in the press conference that he’s close to finalising a two year deal while Lorenzo has been cagey to say the least but where else is there for him to go?
As the mid-point in the season gets closer, deals will come out of the woodwork and things will slowly fall into place, but for now – let’s focus on the racing!