MotoGP News: Pirro says wildcard ban due to Honda not wanting Lorenzo to race for Yamaha

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro says the ban on MotoGP wildcards this season is unfair and suspects the decision could be related to Honda not wanting Jorge Lorenzo to race for Yamaha

MotoGP News: Pirro says wildcard ban due to Honda not wanting Lorenzo to race for Yamaha

The decision to stop manufacturers entering extra bikes in certain races during the coronavirus-delayed 2020 campaign was announced last week by the Grand Prix Commission in a bid to help keep trackside personnel numbers to a minimum.

It means that Jorge Lorenzo will be unable to ride a third factory Yamaha in the postponed Catalan Grand Prix as planned, but also disrupts the plans of other manufacturers which in recent years have tended to field their test riders as wildcards several times a year.

One of those is Pirro, who made outings at Mugello, Misano and Valencia in 2019 and was set to undertake a similar programme again this year.

Speaking to Motosprint, the Italian lashed out at the wildcard ban and insinuated that it could have been influenced by Honda not wanting its 2019 rider Lorenzo - who retired from MotoGP last year, only to almost immediately take up a Yamaha testing role - to race for its Japanese rival.

"I'm very disappointed," Pirro said, who worked alongside Lorenzo during the Spaniard's two years at Ducati.

"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."

Among other manufacturers, Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli and Aprilia's Bradley Smith both made four starts each last year, as did Honda tester Stefan Bradl.

Asked for his opinion on the wildcard situation, Bradl took a more sanguine view than Pirro, saying he understood the reasons for not being allowed to race this year.

"It's a bit of a pity because I would have liked to have raced two or three times this year," Bradl told Red Bull-owned TV channel Servus.

"But I can understand it, because this year is very special anyway. We are all restricted by the virus. I can understand this decision.

"Now it is extremely quiet. This also creates uncertainty about how things will continue. But in the end we hope that [racing] will resume soon and that I will have a little bit of work to do as a test rider again."

shares
comments
MotoGP News: Dovizioso's Ducati contract talks still stalled

Previous article

MotoGP News: Dovizioso's Ducati contract talks still stalled

Next article

MotoGP News: Alex Marquez "worried" by short time to earn 2021 Honda deal

MotoGP News: Alex Marquez "worried" by short time to earn 2021 Honda deal
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jorge Lorenzo , Michele Pirro
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Germán Garcia Casanova
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
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021