Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 42: Breaking Down The Valencia & Jerez Tests

After an extend hiatus due to the practical difficulties of trying to synchronize different schedules, the Paddock Pass Podcast is back. In the latest episode, Neil Morrison and David Emmett join Steve English to talk about the end of the 2016 MotoGP season and the start of 2017.

We touch briefly on the Valencia race, before getting into the detail of what we had all been waiting for throughout the weekend: what  all the different riders switching manufacturers looked like on their new steeds. There was a lot to cover, with talk of both the Valencia and Jerez tests.

It is hard to say which of the rider switches was the most anticipated, but Maverick Viñales to Yamaha was definitely high on everybody's lists. We talk in depth about how Viñales is viewed by Yamaha, and how his adaptation to the M1 has gone. Naturally, we also talk about Jorge Lorenzo, his last race with Yamaha and how the test went with Ducati.

We also discuss the impressive pace of Andrea Iannone on the Suzuki, taking over from the departing Viñales. That leads us on to his new teammate Alex Rins, and a comparison of how the various rookies stacked up on their debuts. Then there is KTM, and the challenges they face in coming in to what is now a very tough class. 

The Jerez test also threw up plenty of talking points. Not least Jonathan Rea's incredible lap time and race pace at the test. We go over the developments in the World Superbike paddock, and how that season is stacking up as well. A lot to talk about, and a lot to try to pack in to an hour and a quarter.

If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on iTunes or Soundcloud. If you do use iTunes, please remember to rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it. Enjoy the show!

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Got round to listening to the podcast. I always enjoy it.
What puzzles me is that you all considered the Honda 2016 not very good.... it's the only manufacturer that won with multiple riders! And even if we take out of the equation Miller there still is Cal! Twice! In the second part of the season Honda was better in most tracks.

In my view, the Honda was still fundamentally flawed all year, in that it was still having trouble with acceleration. The new chassis clearly helped, but didn't fix the issue.

The Yamahas were consistently at the front, but Rossi made too many mistakes and Lorenzo struggled with the tires too much. I do think that the Honda was pretty close to the Yamaha by the end of the year.

Crutchlow rode superbly at the end of the year, but Pol Espargaro was not that far behind. And the Tech 3 bikes didn't get the upgrades that Crutchlow did.

This year, the tires played a much bigger role than normal, so I think that makes it harder to separate out bike performance. Honda found quick fixes for the front end which allowed Marquez to ride around the problems with the rear end. HRC found something with the electronics mid season which probably gave them a slight edge in that area. Marquez' crew found a good set up, and Marquez did the rest.

So by the end of the year, I don't think Marquez' disadvantage was significant. But the Honda wasn't the best bike.