Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 259: Gazing Into The 2022 Crystal Ball

In the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett discuss what they see happening in the 2022 MotoGP season. After Neil's Big Reveal - he has made the excellent decision to try to obtain a motorcycle license - the crew sink their teeth into some of the big questions of the coming year.

They kick off with what to make of Marc Marquez' recovery from diplopia, and just how competitive he will be this season. They discuss how he will fit on the new Honda, and whether he starts the 2022 season as favorite. They then turn to Ducati, and whether Pecco Bagnaia is the man to beat in 2022. Is the Ducati superior enough, and has Bagnaia made the kind of progress which would render him unbeatable.

Finally, they take a look at Yamaha. How will Fabio Quartararo's title defence go, and will Yamaha find the speed to compete with the Hondas and Ducatis? And what does this mean for the MotoGP silly season?

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Great guys, thanks. 
Re Marc ponderings, he is scheduled to be at the first Test at Sepang. Yes his inner circle is regularly quite secretive and strategic, but no we shouldn't always assume they are and react as such. Case in point the eye. As per usual David, careful not to take two trees in the forest and interpolate. Pontificating that it is a factor that Quarty could be jealous if not treated as special? I don't see that at all. Just a call on the bike being there or not. Sangsters Razor, if two equally plausible explanations for a phenomena always take the one less personal. 

Another mistaken jump of reasoning seen frequently is one that the last crap bike was right for Marc because he asked for motor plus wild brake bombing front end stability, so when the new one isn't biased that way it won't be a good fit and "his." Like "Stoner's Ducati" perhaps? Betcha he loves this new bike straight off and blazes to front pace. He won't chase a fast lap as much as others, yet it will STILL look fast as hell.

The new Honda will fit these Michelins and be more balanced. The front for brake bombing won't be needed, front feel for turn in as brake is released will give confidence. It will be easier to ride. It won't match the Ducati for a bit, but will offer Marc plenty.

It bothers me that Marini gets a top kit new bike. But, the 2021 is very close in spec. Watch out for Martin AND Bastiannini. Especially if you are Miller? he inherently inconsistent and crash inclined? Or was that a gold-helmet overly aggressive or confident rapid adjustment to GP? Tough call. If it is a continuum, let's guesstimate closer to gold helmet but still not tempered and bedded in. Can he? Why not! Made of glass vs skittle, is this a fixed feature? Not sure. I started to think I was a skittle, then came that (Jorge's ankles) coming down to Earth. Every time I feel the bump where bones healed the gold helmet is shelved. People are talking about Martin as dark horse primero right now.

I don't think Ducati is as inclined to do team orders as much as allow the inter rider competition. Miller has gone Pedrosa, he is a community guy. Martin is NOT. Bastiannini is quite competitive but relatively thoughtful. Some sparks will fly. Perhaps worry more about a wild problem moment from a desperate Zarco. He has history.

Yamaha? How sincerely difficult and unlikely for them to bring significantly more motor? How EASY is it for Quartararo to go sign elsewhere? 

The bike has to have enough power. But they can tune their tuning fork all they want, but if Fabio crosses the bottom threshold of belief in the bike's competitiveness and leaves? They are doomed. The EARLY 2021 bike was not up against what the latter part was. Red bike AND Red riders. And, here comes Marc aboard a good bike. Be concerned.

Tires? Really close to last season. Front disperses heat better, warms more quickly and overheats less. Rear works in more conditions with narrower range of compounds. No big change.

Neil, you are always spot on! Happy you are here. Good luck with the road license, enjoy the lovely freedom and childlike joy, and great belch. Dear lordy I cannot wait to see this new Honda, and fear the same old Yamaha. Sepang time.

Need? Want! Honda AND Ducati.

Can? Honda and Ducati. 

Need? Didn't Honda just experience that when they broke their Skittle? 

Sense of need? Very strong at Ducati, they JUST got a Pecco Aliening what, Summer? They have been DYING for one since Stoner! Seething. 

That is what the brass do. 2022 more than damn near ever, just Binder and Morbidelli are signed past this season!!

(Warm tone font please for my friend Larry)

Maybe. But so far he's won exactly as many world titles as Uncini, Lucchinelli, Roberts Jr., Hayden, Schwantz (okay, maybe an outlier here), Mir, and others -- which is to say one. As for management, sure. I can see Honda pitching Asparagus out the door if they got Mir or Quartararo, but Ducati have such an abundence of talent right now I think even their (extemely) hard-nosed brass has to be happy with the stable for the next few seasons.

Rumor mill has Nakagami to WSBK btw. Even despite the passport.

A few years ago it looked like we were going to have a sillier than most silly season. It wasn't, it was "conservative" and most stayed in place. Rins was a hot ticket back then.

I don't ever remember having nearly the whole grid not signed at once like now. This could get SILLY.

Oliveira is trying, Mir is trying. Raul Fernandez has been trying. Rins, A.Espargaro and Nakagami may get sent elsewhere. Zarco too. A few non factory riders could try to get a Factory spot (Suzuki may be considering two new folks). Someone like Bastiannini could see too many riders ahead in the cue and go there. Pol if he is being sent back to LCR, but doubt it since the new bike is so enticing. And then there are MORE kids coming. Acosta will have shown his adaptation to Moto2. Et al.

Ready for silly here.

Hard to wait this Winter, more than others.