Another day, another episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast on the run up to the 2021 MotoGP season. Today's episode previews the MotoGP class in all its glory for 2021. And the regular crew of Steve English, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett are joined by a very special guest to add his unique insight and perspective to the podcast: Grand Prix winner and now pit lane reporter for the official MotoGP.com website, Simon Crafar.
Simon starts off by talking a little bit about his career post-racing, his Motovudu track days/instruction school, and books, before diving into the 2021 season. Together with the Steve, Adam, and David, he runs through each of the six factories in MotoGP and what to expect, Simon adding his unique perspective both as a former racer and as one of the few people to have been in pit lane at the Qatar tests.
There was a lot to discuss, as you can imagine. We debate whether this is Jack Miller's year. Whether we might see a revival in Valentino Rossi's fortunes. Which Yamaha rider will come out on top (and whether that might be Franco Morbidelli on the oldest of the Yamahas). What we expect from the rich crop of rookies. Whether Aprilia really have turned a corner, and what the news that Andrea Dovizioso is to test the bike means for the Italian factory.
We ponder whether Suzuki can repeat their success of 2020, and what impact the absence of team boss Davide Brivio will make. We look at KTM, and what to expect from the factory that made such a huge leap forward in 2020. And of course we examine Honda, what Marc Marquez' return to riding a street bike means, and how soon he will return to racing in MotoGP again. Naturally, events caught up with us after we recorded this on Saturday, with the news on Monday that Marc Marquez had chosen to skip the first two races in Qatar.
It was a genuine pleasure and privilege to have Simon Crafar on the show, and he had some fascinating insights to share.
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