Saturday pm - Biaggi Talks MotoGP, But Will Probably Remain a Superbike Man

Rumours continue to float around the paddock at Estoril that the four-times 250cc world champion Max Biaggi may be headed back to MotoGP next year to ride a Honda RC212V in an association with Luca Montiron, the Italian who is managing director of the JIR Konica Minolta squad.

But this is unlikely to happen, due to a shortage of bikes and sponsorship. It's true that Biaggi is in discussion with his present team, Francis Batta's Alstare Suzuki World Superbike squad for 2008. Having lost backing from Corona, Batta doesn't have the money to meet Biaggi's expectations, but the pair are continuing to talk. Batta apparently hopes for an answer from Biaggi, who currently holds third place in his debut season in the Superbike series, after the next WSBK round at Vallelunga.

Biaggi and Montiron have undoubtedly talked, but now that the 250cc rider Andrea Dovizioso is moving to MotoGP next year with Montiron, there just doesn't seem space for the 36-year-old Roman.

That may be no tragedy, given that Biaggi could win the WSBK title in 2008 given his rapid adaptation to the 1,000cc production bikes, and James Toseland's departure for MotoGP next year. Just one thought: could Max pop up in Ten Kate's expanding World Superbike operation, where places still remain vacant?

Saturday pm - Matthew, 16, Makes the Break from Cadwell to Estoril

It's like a fairy tale: schoolboy Matthew Hoyle takes a lunchtime break from classes and is tucking into his sandwiches when his mum comes belting into the Yorkshire village in her car to tell him: "You're in, they want you!"

And thus an email message plucks Matthew, 16, away from 125cc British championship racing to compete in the new Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup on grand prix circuits where Rossi and Stoner fight out their stuff on the same day.

And the thing is, Matthew doesn't blow his chances. He adapts quickly to the 45bhp KTM two-stroke, starts hitting the podium, finished third again in today's 14-lap race on the 2.6-mile Estoril circuit, and is now third in the eight-round championship with just one more race to come.

"I crashed out of fourth place in the first round in Spain, but I realised I had a good chance in the championship," Matthew says. "This is my best chance of getting any further in road racing, so I've told myself I've got to start winning."

Around 1100 youngsters applied to enter the series, and 165 were selected for track tests in Spain. So the fact that Matthew was chosen for one of the 22 places on the grid says plenty about how KTM tech guru Harald Bartol views his potential.

What's the difference between racing in the UK and on the Continent? "Here they go into the corners slower but come out fast," Matthew says. "At home they go in really fast but then they mess it up and come out slow."

Take note, you lads back there at Mallory and Croft: it's your exit velocity onto the straight that will win you races, not the hero braking. There's one other big difference for Matthew about re-adapting to Britain now. "The last time I raced there was at Cadwell, and I didn't feel really safe," he says. "I wasn't pushing it as hard as I could because on half the track there's barriers everywhere."

Matthew now wants to win a place in the MotoGP Academy in Spain next year, the route that gave Bradley Smith his entr?e to 125cc GP racing with his current Repsol Honda team. So cheer for Matthew at the final Red Bull round in Valencia on November 3: we're always complaining that Britain doesn't have enough young riders coming through, but here's a kid that's actually doing it.

Saturday am - What Should We Do About MotoGP's 'Crisis'? Maybe Nothing at All

Casey Stoner has again headed the morning free practice session as I write this from Estoril on Saturday morning, prompting everyone's big fear: is the Portuguese race going to be another boring MotoGP procession?

And if it is, what should we do - scrap the restrictions on tyre usage introduced last year, ban electronics, adopt a WSBK-type one-tyre rule, penalise the faster bikes, NASCAR-style, by adding weight to them?

There are infinite ways of trying to change MotoGP for the better, but perhaps the best one is to do...precisely nothing.

Look back at Estoril 2006 to see how fast things change in racing. Valentino Rossi won pole, on a Michelin-shod Yamaha, from his team-mate Colin Edwards. Casey Stoner, today's demolisher of close racing, was fifth fastest. Best Bridgestone runner? John Hopkins in sixth on the Rizla Suzuki. Quickest Ducati? Sete Gibernau in eighth place.

Toni Elias won a fantastic race - on a satellite Gresini Honda, wearing Michelins. Rossi was second, by 0.002 seconds, with Kenny Roberts Junior in third place on a Team KR Honda-Michelin package. Best Bridgestone: Hopkins, in sixth. Best Ducati: Alex Hofmann on the Pramac d'Antin satellite bike.

The message from all this? In racing revolutions can happen faster than Stoner can punt the Desmosedici GP7 through a speed trap. So let's not panic. Michelin have virtually owned MotoGP and its 500cc predecessor class for three decades, and they're fighting back from their present woes. Equally, the Japanese factories will not want to be humiliated by an upstart little Euro-maker like Ducati.

John Hopkins could be a challenger in 2008 on his new Kawasaki, and at Suzuki Hopkins' absence could spark more fire from Chris Vermeulen. Rossi, on a revived Yamaha-Michelin package, may have one more championship in him. The under-rated Nicky Hayden has enough inner anger to win more titles, and when Marco Melandri gets his factory MotoGP ride at Marlboro Ducati, it will release the full potential of the former 250cc world champion.

Sometimes the most radical thing to do is to have the courage to wait, and see how things turn out. That's the path that Dorna seems to be adopting for 2008.