Once again, this weekend Carlo Pernat has been airing his views in GPOne’s live broadcast, during which he answered the many questions received by bike racing fans. You can see the full video above.
This time the hot topic was the rider market, which has started up again despite the fact that the bikes are still in the crates…
The indiscretion that we have given in the last few days has been that of the agreement between Valentino Rossi and Petronas: the negotiations are at a very advanced stage and the only things that remain to talk about are the details.
“It was absolutely unthinkable that Valentino would stop, he will race in 2021 and probably also in 2022 - reiterated the Genoese manager - Any motorcycle manufacturer would like Rossi, Petronas have said they want him for some time now and it is certain that Valentino will take his team with him, as Quartararo will do . It is logical that this is the case”.
Pernat does not believe in the possibility that the Doctor will receive ‘second level’ treatment...
"Company policies can change rapidly, Yamaha has certainly organized itself to have 4 top riders,” he explained. “Vinales and Rossi will be able to carry out two different development paths, there will be no problems, Valentino will be able to give his indications. I don't see any problem."
Pernat instead ruled out a move by Rossi to the production-based Superbike championship in the future.
“Valentino is not interested in SBK, he would prefer to go and collect snails!” he joked. “Everyone would lose out: himself, Dorna, MotoGP and SBK" was his opinion.
Another important topic, which we dealt with directly with Simone Battistella in the past few days, is that of the contract renewal between Ducati and Dovizioso.
"Ducati at the moment has a big problem with Dovizioso, I think Ciabatti has already said that there is less money available and I expect there to be a big battle between the two managers over Dovi’s retainer,” said Pernat. “It will be difficult for them to conclude this contract deal soon. I believe, as Battistella said, that Ducati now need Dovizioso a lot more than Dovizioso needs Ducati. Let's stop saying that Andrea is the eternal number 2, if anything instead he’s the anti-Marquez. If Ducati were to lose Dovizioso, where would he go? You can't imagine having a team without him after Ducati missed out on the chance to sign Vinales."
Many observers are wondering if Lorenzo is still in with a chance of returning to Ducati…
"As long as Dall'Igna is there, Lorenzo will always be a target for Ducati. The problem is that you just can’t understand what Jorge wants to do, he changes his mind every day. At this moment I don't know if I would trust him,” was Pernat's doubt.
Should the agreement with Dovizioso be reached, who would be his teammate? Carlo sees a future in SBK for Petrucci….
"It is a bit early to bring Moto2 riders, such as Baldassarri and Bastianini, into MotoGP, because this season has virtually not been raced. The alternatives are Zarco or even Iannone, even though the chances of that happening are very slim. Miller is clearly destined for the factory team. If I were Ducati, I would make Danilo a 3-year contract for SBK and I am sure he would win the championship,” he said. “Not because Petrucci is not a good rider, in fact he should get top marks for what he has done, he has built his reputation on his own, but I would put him in SBK and it wouldn’t be any sort of downgrading for him.”
Speaking of Ducati, but this time regarding the Pramac team, the name of Iannone has emerged once again...
"I know that the CAS will decide on Iannone before the start of the championship,” Pernat revealed. “Aprilia has defended him with such commitment that Andrea, who is a loyal person, will remain if he can. Having said that, I leave the door open for Ducati Pramac; it could be his lifeline, but it would also be an economic decision, it would be a matter of settling for less money. If I were still his manager, I would tell him to go to Pramac.”
Finally Carlo is betting on two outsiders for this year’s championship…
"Miller will certainly be one of them and then I would say watch out for Morbidelli,” he declared. “He has made a great leap in quality; he has learned how to keep up with the top guys and this could be the year in which he will take that final step forward that he is missing.”