Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 225: After The Break - Looking Ahead To The Styrian MotoGP Round

On the eve of MotoGP's return to action at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast looks over a few of the news stories in the run up to the race and at what we can expect from the Styrian Grand Prix. After a quick update on what we all did during the summer break, Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison and David Emmett get down to examining the state of the championship.

The crew start off with a look at where the protagonists stand going into the second half of the season, and how the back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring might affect Fabio Quartararo's championshp lead. We discuss who we think will shine at the Red Bull Ring, and just how competitive the Yamaha can be. We discuss the impending return of two veterans, with Dani Pedrosa returning as a wildcard for KTM for one race, and Cal Crutchlow replacing Franco Morbidelli for the next three rounds in the Petronas Yamaha team.

We wrap up the show with a few wild predictions, of who might win and who might lose. That involves doing our best not to reel off a list of ten possible winners, an endeavor which was not entirely successful.

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We're baaaack! Whew.

First in mind is the "Ducati Cup" on the rise within MotoGP, and intense in the next two Rounds now. The Red bike has risen like (NASA tech, hi horsepower) cream. We are adding bikes #7 and 8 in a few months. The battle within Ducati is REAL. Three are near the front of the Championship. Martin is on the gas hard. More are lurking. Jack is hungry. Zarco burns hot. Bagnaia is flashing brilliance and the next more balanced Red riding style. A converging clash is inevitable. 

The Marc will like Portugal. He is approaching fit. The Honda remains unruly and fundamentally flawed. He may win Race 2. Do you doubt it? I get it, but suggesting we leave room for him to be "back." Different than before, including THANK SWEET GOD the disappearance of the "no one is in 2nd, they all battle for P3." He is riding motocross again. He says he is fit now. He is arriving.

Suzuki and Mir can be tipped to make a strong second half season. Holeshot device is here. I hope wee Suzuki can and does. They have a reachable next step. Mir can too. Fingers crossed?

Orange and the Portuguese Round(s) is a known strength with Oliveira. Binder, a bit like a quicker to do so Bagnaia, shows that he has the goods. Second visit here, Brad setting in, and most importantly a wonderfully focused development on the bike not long ago (impressive timeframe and result KTM!) add up to reason for expectation for Brad. Factory KTM will shine. Dani will push Brad, sincere possibility that Pedrosa is between Miguel and Brad. Great to have the mighty mite back, still outstanding in every way in my view. Let's see what that means on Sunday.

Quartararo needs to hang in there steady and grab some points. I think he will. Cal will be fun to see and hear from. But make no mistake, right now without a Morbidelli on competitive kit, Quarty is the new Marc of solo front running. Are you folks also hoping to see the French kid take the Cup in zipped up Blue? With a 3 way battle going late season? 

Preparing unfortunately for an somewhat disappointing announcement of who gets the second Aprilia seat. Not precisely sure why, just noting the tea leaves. But it will be an improvement. Eye on their Test spot, hoping Dovi. Good for the whole Noale program. Plus, Wildcards. Where he does GREAT. Sound fun?

This is a GREAT track. We are lucky to be here, and get two consecutive weekends of MotoGP magic. Pleased indeed.


I can't believe you've come to Leeuwarden! That's where I live!