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@ PATRICKD.  That's a good shout except for may be one thing - Morbidelli?  Apart from his significant age (& connections) advantage, FM is only being viewed in any way as lack-lustre - due to the stellar performance of FQ.  If you ignore FQ's performances (punching way above team expectation) you can bet that SIC would be very very satisfied with the results Franco was bringing the team in their rookie year. My guess is that Wilco & Co will feel Franco has done a solid job and is worthy of his seat in 2020. Rossi is addicted to fame & limelight I'm sure.... meaning he'll only step aside if his results are poor enough that it's clear even to him past the sychophancy that undoubtedly envelopes him - that he's looking bad & garnering negative publicity from continuing.  I think as long as he believes he has a shred of a chance at a result- VR46 will ride through 2020 and complete his contract.  It'll be lunacy and damaging for VR and for the credibility of MotoGP- if he's on that plum ride into 2021. The worry for Yamaha must be that VR46 might make a very late call to Jack it in (say if he has a lousy time for the rest of 2019).  Then, having Zarco as a free agent sitting there hoping for a ride - would sudden suit both parties (Yam & JZ05) very well indeed?
Honestmuzz To be honest Muzz I think the real reason that the Honda is no good to anybody else is that MM knows fine and well he is the only rider at Honda who can ride the bike... and with that he is quite happy to make sure that not one bit of development that makes that bike easier for other riders is done! Honda have brought in JLo and he has already been told by the pig his development ideas are not required and just get on the bike and ride it. To be fair to MM I would do the same in his position he is winning races easily and seldom fall during a race. Iff you would parallel that with Casey Stoners days a Ducati. He was the only rider who could ride that bike... but he fell off regularly for no good reason other than Ducati would not accept his advice... if they had then maybe he would have given them extra race wins and possible championships but they would not shift, even though he wanted changes to the bike to save his body from becoming an anatomy lesson !
It seems I might be in the minority, but hope this guy gets a decent ride. I don't think anyone in Moto2 comes close to his abilities. We're constantly told that racing is more mental than physical, but the fact is that certain bikes suit certain riders, or more importantly some bikes don't suit certain riders. BS38 destroyed Pol when he came to the Bridgestone era MotoGP, but the tyre switch turned that on its head. The margins are that tight. Zarco came into a tech3 team that new the bike inside & out. They provided him with a baseline that he could outshine the factory team on. never happened at KTM, who are asking the rider what he would like. A very different situation. If I was Petronas, I'd be looking at Morbidelli's seat and wondering if Zarco would make a better fist of it. Or even this: Rossi retires, FQ moves up and Zarco replaces FQ at Petronas. Zarco will be super hungry now.
Well, if a medal was availlable for a combination of bravery and stupidity, then I'd say that's what Cal should get. Look at Vinales, for example, who gets slated for coming home 7th or 8th when the bike isn't working (and no one else is making the Yamaha work). He's injury free because he rides up to the limit, gets a few warning signs, then turns it down a notch to bring it home and help develop the bike, as well as staying injury free for when things do go well. Cal is the equivalent of a small child who throws his dinner away after a forkfull. Yes, crashing hurts. But it's always a mystery to him why he has crashed. Maybe he's keeping things to himself and his team, which would be fair enough, but he's hard enough to listen to at the best of times, without it being a smokescreen. His development of the Honda (hasn't that been his role?) has been an abject failure. Honda will be leaning heavily on JLo to develop an RCV that works for someone else. Coz when MM goes, bang go Honda as things stand.
I am no fan of Zarco, frankly I never liked his riding style and he always seemed happy to punt other people off, having said that he clearly had talent and was a quality rider. Seems to me that the rider is not the issue - they have 3 great riders, and none of them can really get the bike to work (Pol, is sometimes an exception), they have put a lot of money in but seem to - at best - only be able to stay a little behind the others. They are only a smidge in front of Aprilia and they (Aprilia) seem to have no money or development parts. I think they should worry less about the riders and more about their technical teams, who do not seem to have what it takes.
Get rid of Misano, Qatar, COTA and Valencia, add 2 great tracks like Portimao one or two others and the race count stays the same, the circuits just better.  Sorry to disagree JF but I happen to like Misano and COTA...I can take or leave Portimao if I'm completely honest as well (but at least it's not Estoril). GP has to go where the money is, and that's always going to include the US and the Middle East, so I don't see Qatari race leaving the calendar anytime soon. Back on topic, I can see both points of view ie riders vs mechanics and the pay differences, but I'm inclined to agree that in some of the smaller classes some of the teams are going to struggle funding an extra couple of rounds a year, particularly as they're most likely to be flyaways rather than Europe. Also agree with the comment made by someone else that the gap at the start of the year between races 1 & 2 does seem a little odd.