The MotoGP silly season picture got a bit closer to fully in focus today at Le Mans.
HRC announced earlier this week that they had re-signed MotoGP king Marquez through the end of 2016, the details of which Marquez wasn't really divulging in today's press conference, (in terms of his rumored salary or if there were other suitors for his pleasures). All he did say was that at age 21 he wasn't really concerned about being the highest paid MotoGP rider, but had more concern that he would be on the best bike available.
Tech 3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro has a multi-year Yamaha MotoGP contract with a clause giving him a guaranteed seat on the factory team in 2015if there is an open slot. Today in France Espargaro didn't seem like the most confident man that his being swept into the Movistar Yamaha squad was going to happen, saying the Tech 3 team is a good one and he is fine staying there in '15.
That's good, because nine time world champion Valentino Rossi--who seemingly can't exhale his lungs in public without someone asking him Dude, have you decided if you're gonna keep racin'? You gonna quit, bro? sounded a lot like a guy who has decided to race for two more years.
Rossi said that he is leaning that way, and in the coming weeks will talk with Yamaha about a new two year contract.
Rumors have Jorge Lorenzo leaving Yamaha for Dani Pedrosa's spot on the 2015 MotoGP team. That's certainly still within the realm of possibilityMarquez said today he didn't care who his teammate might bebut for that to happen, Lorenzo is probably going to have to come to terms with a lot fewer zeros on his paycheck than he has grown accustomed to. If HRC had to write a big check to confirm Marquez for two seasons, you can bet that they are in no mood to sign another big salary rider. HRC sources were saying several races ago that whoever the second rider on the 2015 factory team might be, he'll be riding for less money than Pedrosa is getting now.
And even if Marquez cares not one whit about who his teammate will be in 2015, you've got to suspect that he'd give a subtle yet telltale Vito Corleone-like gesture if HRC did run the 'How about Lorenzo as your teammate?' question by him. Lorenzo and Marquez have been, as they say in Spain, "good enemies" for years.
Probably not coincidentally, Lorenzo said today that his dream is to finish his career at Yamaha.
Andrea Dovizioso, linked by his manager with a possible Suzuki ride in 2015, also is without contract for next season. He seemingly faces a fork in the road: one of which is staying at Ducati, the other is riding the even bigger question mark Suzuki MotoGP bike. Not the dilemma a rider who yearns for the MotoGP championship trophy really wants, but at least one ride pays handsomely.
Further down the MotoGP ladder, the rides of Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista have to be considered open for 2015, barring a fire-brigade level attack on the title by either rider.
Marc Marquez's history-warping success in MotoGP means team managers in that class have to be looking for the next Marc in Moto2 instead of cannibalizing a rider from a rival MotoGP team.
Or, Jonny Rea, anyone?