MotoGP Mailbag: How long will Yamaha's Valentino Rossi keep racing?

In our first ever MotoGP Mailbag, series correspondent ORIOL PUIGDEMONT answers the questions you've sent in over the past week

MotoGP Mailbag: How long will Yamaha's Valentino Rossi keep racing?

How long can Valentino Rossi still carry on in MotoGP? I guess a lot depends on the quality of the 2018 Yamaha bike
@AkosVarga92 (via Twitter)

Valentino still loves MotoGP and last year he demonstrated that he still can be competitive. His comeback at Aragon, where he finished fifth - only six tenths behind Maverick Vinales - despite his injury, was further proof of that commitment.

If Yamaha builds a bike that suits him, he can fight at the front. What is clear is that Valentino won't be racing if he feels he can't be fighting for podiums and victories.

Saying that, I think he will sign another contract with Yamaha in the next three months, probably for one more year, and he will try to assess his performance level during the season.

If Jorge Lorenzo has another troubled season at Ducati, could we see him make a switch to Suzuki? Also, will Marc VDS switch to KTM or Suzuki?
Nathan Eyears (via email)

This year is crucial for Lorenzo, and I think the first four races will show many things about the level he can reach with the Ducati. Of course, Suzuki is a very good option for him from 2019 if he doesn't show a major improvement from last year.

Suzuki also needs to find a good package to be back on top, and is exploring new options in terms of riders for next year.

As for Marc VDS, it all depends on when Suzuki and KTM will put more bikes on the grid. If they decide to do so, the teams will negotiate with them and will choose the best option.

While KTM is fully determined to add more bikes for 2019, for Suzuki it all depends on this year's results. If the team had had a better '17 season, there would already be four GSX-RRs on the grid this year.

Will this silly season be very silly, or will the grid for 2019 look pretty similar to '18?
@BSAA77 (via Twitter)

I think the 2018 and '19 grids will be very similar. The biggest question mark is related to Dani Pedrosa and the impact that Honda's new boss Alberto Puig will have on negotiations with him.

Apart from that, I don't predict any major movements at Honda, Yamaha and Ducati, but I'm very curious to see where some new talents like Francesco Bagnaia or Joan Mir could fit in.

Can you tell me why Spain gets four MotoGP races and the rest only get one?
Jake Witney (via email)

It's all related to the good relationship Dorna has with the Spanish tracks, and of course the strong motorcycle racing tradition the country has.

Other than that, it's true that Spain has hosted some thrilling races in the last years, but this is logical considering the amount of Spanish grands prix on the calendar.

There were numerous complaints about the Austin track last year. Has this issue been solved? And can fans look forward to MotoGP races at Austin for the next few years?
Greg Hewitt (via email)

The Austin surface remains the same despite the high number of crashes (62) last year. The riders complained a lot about the bumps, and I wouldn't be surprised If they make a clear statement this year in order to put more pressure on the governing body to resurface the track for 2019.

But I spoke last year with Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna, and he told me that both Dorna and COTA itself are very happy with the race. The current contract expires in 2023.

shares
comments
Yonny Hernandez set to replace Jonas Folger at first MotoGP test

Previous article

Yonny Hernandez set to replace Jonas Folger at first MotoGP test

Next article

Danilo Petrucci and Pramac Ducati to split after 2018 MotoGP season

Danilo Petrucci and Pramac Ducati to split after 2018 MotoGP season
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021