1 year ago

RideFast Magazine March 2020

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  • Yamaha
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ED’S NOTES: TALKING MOTOGP Our most powerful issue ever! For sure we’ve had a lot of powerful issues over the years but with all the bikes we have featured in this issue makes it by far one of our most powerful yet – over 1500 horse power of pure biking pleasure featured in this issue! Never before have we featured so many world launch tests and the fact that we had one of our record months in advertising we were able to bring you a packed 96-page power issue! Big thanks to all our advertisers for sticking by us and supporting even in these tough times. It’s times like these we all have to stick together and help each other grow and that’s exactly what we are doing and we are reaping the rewards of all the hard work put in. So please, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, please take advantage and use all the advertisers in this mag, as they are the ones who ultimately make it all possible. Talking MotoGP After my latest Talking MotoGP podcast featuring Don Fourie I got thinking about the whole Lorenzo signing as the official Yamaha test rider thing. He announced his retirement at the final Valencia race last year, pretty much down to all his injuries and hating life at Repsol Honda. It didn’t take too long for Lorenzo to be back in the paddock as he was announced as the official test rider going forward for Yamaha. I can’t help but think how Honda felt about this? Were they upset? Were they angry after Lorenzo cut his time with them short by a whole year? Here he was saying his body and mind were over it all and then bang here he is all of a sudden, a MotoGP test rider for one of their biggest rivals, potentially using whatever data he gained whilst with them to help develop a machine to try and dethrone them. As Don said in the podcast it was a brilliant piece of business by Lin Jarvis and Yamaha to get Lorenzo. Not only are they getting a 5-time champ back and one of their favoured sons but also a rider that now has experience with riding two of their main oppositions machines – Ducati and Honda. Lorenzo rolled out in his new test rider roll at the Sepang test and looked quick from the work go. All of a sudden that Honda limp and sore back were gone, and the well-known big Yamaha smile was back on the Spaniard’s face. Was the retirement all a ploy to simply get out of his Honda deal? Or will he genuinely be not racing and just focusing on being a test rider? Since the test rumours have surfaced that he will be wildcarding at the Catalunya round this year and there is even talks of a Rossi/Lorenzo partnership at the SRT Petronas Yamaha team. The team themselves have come out and said that would be very complicated to pull off but they can dream… can you just imagine, Rossi and Lorenzo on satellite Yamaha’s… Hmmmm, don’t know how satellite those bikes would be if it did happen. Good business or bad business So, heading up to the Sepang test news broke that Yamaha not only managed to re-sign Maverick Vinales for two more years but also snap up the rookie sensation from 2019 Mr. Fabio Quatararo, leaving a certain Mr. Rossi out in the cold. Well, not exactly. Rossi knows the game all too well and in my mind did the right thing by not getting in Yamaha’s way wanting to sign Fabio before they lost him to rival teams. Rossi had/has not yet confirmed his plans for the future but has not ruled out the so-called move to the SRT Petronas team. As I said earlier we will have to wait and see what happens with that but at the moment the only real option for Rossi if he does want to continue is the satellite team, but again, as I said, no doubt it won’t be a satellite bike he will be on. Don makes a very good point of this all in our recent podcast so go check it out on the RideFast channel if you have not already done so. It really was a great piece of business by Lin Jarvis to hold onto Maverick, who looked at one stage certain move over to Ducati, and then also to snatch up one of the hottest properties in MotoGP right now, Fabio. That’s them sorted for the next few years at least and can now focus on trying to build something around them rather can keeping Vale happy. It’s time now for Vinales to step up to the plate because no doubt he is going to be their number one man but he has to prove that he is the man, but in the same breath they have a weapon in Fabio that cannot be ignored so it’s back to the good old days of having two serious title contenders. Of course, we are getting ahead of ourselves just a bit as for 2020 it’s Vinales and Rossi on the factory bikes with Fabio also now getting the factory treatment but still in Petronas colours. Can Fabio be a serious title contender this year? Can Rossi win title number 10? Can Vinales finally be a serious challenger week in week out? And can Yamaha finally get one over Honda and Marquez? Oooooohhhh, too much excitement!!!! What now Ducati? Big rumours last year were that Ducati were ready to break the bank to secure Vinales and Fabio as their two main challenges for the 2021 season. Well, that’s all now gone out the window and both riders have committed for now to Yamaha. I’ve just finishing watching a great documentary by RedBull TV on Dovi called “Andrea Dovizioso Undaunted”. It was an awesome documentary going behind the scenes in a big way showing the struggles that not only Dovi goes through but also the Ducati MotoGP team. It’s very clear that Dovi and Ducati’s main aim is to beat Marquez, and this in my view is their biggest handicap. It seems they are so focused on Marquez that they lose focus and clarity in other areas. I love Dovi and know what a great rider he is and Gigi also says in the short film that Dovi is one of the greatest riders he has ever seen but he needs to start believing it as well. So true, and it also shows how Marquez has got in the mind of not only Dovi but all the other riders with some of the things he does and is able to do. Marquez is seriously fast, we know this, but so are all the other riders but it’s not just being fast and talented where Marc beats them it’s more mental to me, he has them all beat before they even go on track in many ways. That’s something that a lot of them, Dovi, Fabio, Vinales, have to focus on rather than trying to make their bikes better etc. The Honda is by no means the best bike out there but Marc gets the best out of it and commits fully, something the others don’t fully do in my mind. Back to the problem of what now for Ducati? Who do they turn to after the 2020 season? Do they still stick with Dovi, who they have relied on and has not yet delivered and I can’t see him doing so, 2017 and 18 to me were his best shots. Can Petrucci improve enough over 2020 to become a serious contender? I can’t see that happening. So, who do they turn to? Jack Miller for sure is the first name that comes to mind to take one of those factory seats. He has done enough in my mind but just needs to iron out one or two bad habits he still has, but we all forget he is still young and has time to do so. No doubt 2020 is a big year for him. If he can get results and be there weekin-week-out then for sure the ride is his, especially with the pot looking empty now for Ducati. There has now been talks that if Scott Redding can bring the World SBK title back to Bologna then he will be considered for the factory seat. Whether or not he will go back to MotoGP is another question, especially after all he has had to say about the championship after leaving a few years back. Who else can they look at? Can Bagnaia become all that has been promised in MotoGP? Or is a certain Mr. Brad Binder on their radar? Then there is the likes of Jorge Martin and Luca Marini coming from Moto2, but surely they won’t get factory Ducati seats straight off the bat? I know Brad is for sure a big target for many in the MotoGP paddock and now that the KTM machine seems to be getting more and more competitive and if Brad can pull off a Rookie of the Year season then we could very well see him spawn the famous red colours of the factory Ducati team. Whatever happens MotoGP continues to keep us on our toes with excitement and drama a plenty so we will have to wait and see what happens. For now, all we can do is sit back and enjoy what is no doubt going to be another epic season in MotoGP, some a bit closer to the action than others, as I get myself ready to board a plan to Qatar for the season opener and be proudly side-by-side showing my support for our two heroes Brad and Darryn Binder. Yes, I know, you hate me, but make sure you pay careful attention to what’s in the mag because there is a couple of great MotoGP offerings that need to be looked at if you are serious about going over and witnessing the greatest sport on earth in the flesh. Look out for MotoGP Misano and Mugello packages being offered in this issue. Until next time I hope you all have a great month and enjoy the issue we have waiting for you. Cheers, Rob. EDITOR & DESIGNER: Rob Portman PUBLISHER: Glenn Foley ADVERTISING: Sean Hendley bestbikemagazines 071 684 4546 OFFICE & SUBSCRIPTIONS: Anette anette.acc@ 011 979 5035 CONTRIBUTORS: Sheridan Morais Brad Binder Darryn Binder Gerrit Erasmus Eugene Liebenberg Niel Philipson Greg Moloney Daniella Kerby Keith Botha Brian Cheyne Donovan Fourie Shaun Portman Mat Durrans Copyright © RideFast Magazine: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, articles, or other methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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