The topic that has been on everyone's lips for several years in the MotoGP paddock - Valentino Rossi's retirement - has been joined by an entirely similar one: Jorge Lorenzo's.
If, after his 40th birthday, the 9-time world champion continues to provide satisfactory performances, even if inferior to those of some of his teammates, Jorge Lorenzo, the victim of unlucky seasons and injuries, seems to have fallen into a negative spiral. But is it enough to make him think of retiring?
The rider from Mallorca says it's not true, and he repeated it clearly whenever he was asked, so much so that there are those who think he's lying, so that he can terminate the contract that binds him to the HRC for next year. Just like Zarco did, but the French rider gave up his contract in the name of freedom, while Lorenzo would like the HRC to negotiate, so that he can at least leave with a good severance package.
A possible strategy, but one that's difficult to understand in a rider who has already cashed in 25 million Euros just from Ducati. Be that as it may, now the "Who will replace Zarco next year?" catchphrase is followed by the "Who will replace Lorenzo in 2020?" one.
The German press, especially Speedweek, is convinced that - even if Stefan Bradl denies it - it'll be HRC's current test rider who will take his place. This actually has its own logic: Stefan has gotten pretty good results in his wildcards and would cost very little.
Stefan Bradl turns 30 on November 29th. And he's never hidden the fact that he'd like to ride again. But the prospects were never rosy after he separated from Aprilia after 2016.
He raced in the Superbike World Championship for Honda two years ago and then signed a contract as an HRC test rider.
You might recall that Bradl won the Moto2 World Championship in 2011, against Marc Marquez, who was forced to forfeit after an accident that put his eyesight at risk and for which he underwent surgery to prevent diplopia.
With several dominating Spanish riders - it seems like Carmelo Ezpeleta himself said: "I don't need another Spaniard in the MotoGP World Championship" - Stefan Bradl could be the German hope.