It hasn’t just been all about Covid-19 this winter. Another virus has affected motorsport: no confidence in its riders.
I talked about it a few days ago in this blog: with a freeze on engines and aerodynamics and the only possibility of development related to chassis and electronics, the manufacturers believe that the only possibility of improving their performance in 2021 is to intervene on the only component that can be changed: the rider. And with all the contracts expiring it was decided to carry on as if the 2020 world championship was already over, finished. Therefore, based on 2019 data…
A market that has reopened without even a round of the world championship being held.
Pay attention however, it’s not just a motorcycle virus: in F1 Ferrari have already given up on Sebastian Vettel, replacing him with Carlos Sainz. In motorcycling these days we are talking about Pol Espargarò going to Honda in the place of Alex Marquez, after reporting Danilo Petrucci's sacking to make way for Jack Miller. Other revelations are also in the pipeline because, from what we can make out, Cal Crutchlow's place in LCR seems to be at risk.
The outbreak of what we call madness today, just like for Covid-19, has a date prior to the revelation of the existence of the virus itself: we must not forget that the first ascertained case was that of Valentino Rossi, who was cut off from the factory Yamaha team, albeit with the insurance policy of a place in Petronas.
The 2020 world championship: riders separated in house and races with a poisoned chalice
The overall result, in this 2020 that is yet to get underway, will be championships with a lot of separated riders in house. Not only few races, but also races with a poisoned chalice
In fact, how will Ferrari stop Vettel against Leclerc? And Carlos Sainz, driving a McLaren but already thinking about Ferrari, as well as Daniel Ricciardo, who is already set to leave Renault for McLaren.
In motorcycling it’s worse. We fear that Valentino, for example, from being ready to sign with Petronas, has decided to keep Iwata's satellite team on its toes, given the difficulties that have arisen in recent months over the arrival of his men. And if he finds himself battling with Quartararo who is perhaps fighting for the world championship, do you think he will behave like a good old brand mate? Wasn’t it all supposed to be signed, sealed and delivered?
And Petrucci won’t be particularly over the moon about having to race in 2020, when in any case he will have to prove that Ducati has made a mistake, even if we are convinced that his manager, Alberto Vergani, will find him a seat in MotoGP even before the world championship starts on July 19th.
In this crazy market why not think about signing Pedrosa and Lorenzo again?
And what about Crutchlow and Bagnaia who run the risk of not being reconfirmed?
All this at a time when two excellent riders, both capable of getting on the podium, have just retired, but they could be the right choice for more than one team: Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
Without even thinking about the impossible - the return of Casey Stoner - why not instead try to convince Dani and Jorge? Alberto Vergani recently said he was sure that if Dovizioso didn’t re-sign, Porfuera would become an option again. He's probably right, and more than just money, this time, it’s a question of pride…