MotoGP News: Honda rubbishes 'shameful' Pirro wildcard ban comments

Honda has rubbished allegations by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro that it was responsible for the ban on wildcard entries in MotoGP this season

MotoGP News: Honda rubbishes 'shameful' Pirro wildcard ban comments

As part of its efforts to reduce the cost of competition amid the coronavirus crisis, the Grand Prix Commission has prohibited MotoGP manufacturers from fielding wildcards in 2020, although it has stated that it has "every intention" to reinstate such entries next season.

The ban will prevent Jorge Lorenzo from making his planned grand prix return at Barcelona with Yamaha, and will also affect other test riders like Pirro, who contested three races as a wildcard last year with Ducati and was expected to complete a similar race programme in 2020.

The announcement prompted Pirro to question whether Honda was behind the blanket ban on wildcard entries, the Ducati test rider saying he believes Honda didn't want its former rider Lorenzo to race for its Japanese rival so soon after their split.

"I'm very disappointed," Pirro told Motosprint.

"Making a decision of this magnitude so far in advance is, in my opinion, not right.

"I don't know if it's a way to make someone pay for something, but I don't think it's fair.

"I can understand a decision taken a month before [the season], but we don't know yet when the championship will start and how many races will be held.

"Maybe Honda wants to make Lorenzo pay for going to Yamaha, but I'm not Lorenzo, who has earned a lot of money and can stay at home. I think I still have a lot to give in MotoGP."

Honda MotoGP chief Alberto Puig has moved to strongly refute Pirro's "hurtful" remarks, saying it was "quite inappropriate" of the Ducati test rider to make such allegations when all manufacturers are reeling from the fallout of the pandemic.

"Pirro's comments are a shame and quite inappropriate, I do not understand where it comes from," Puig said.

"Honda, like all the manufacturers participating in the MotoGP World Championship have been working extremely hard for weeks to understand the feasibility of this season [due to the coronavirus].

"We have held many meetings during this period to find a consensus with all the manufacturers.

"We, as Honda, have given up many things that we wanted to do in the future in terms of technical evolution and we have done it for the good of this sport, to maintain equality among all the manufacturers.

"It's not easy, we are all adapting, from the organisation to the teams, the sponsors and of course also the riders - all with the aim of returning to a world championship as we know it.

"This is why it hurts us that someone who belongs to a factory team makes these type of comments in such a difficult and critical situation for everyone.

"I believe that Pirro should know, at Honda we have respect for Lorenzo. We ended last year with him in a good and respectful way and wish him the best for his future."

shares
comments
MotoGP News: Petrucci confirms Ducati departure at the end of 2020

Previous article

MotoGP News: Petrucci confirms Ducati departure at the end of 2020

Next article

MotoGP News: Dorna Sports outlines plans to ensure paddock safety on return to racing

MotoGP News: Dorna Sports outlines plans to ensure paddock safety on return to racing
Load comments
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Plus

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

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