Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 280: Mugello Preview, And KTM Crew Chief Paul Trevathan Explains The Overtaking Issue

The MotoGP side of the Paddock Pass Podcast gets its own special guest this weekend. Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett were joined by Red Bull KTM Racing's Paul Trevathan, crew chief to Miguel Oliveira this week, to discuss just why it has become so difficult to overtake in MotoGP. Trevathan is a fantastic guest, explaining in depth where KTM are at the moment, why you can't just change a front tire in MotoGP, and how the lack of testing time is slowing up development on Michelin's new front.

Before and after we were joined by Paul Trevathan, the crew discuss what makes Mugello so special, why we are not fans of retiring numbers, whether we will see any contracts announced this weekend, and who we expect to do well at Mugello.

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Thanks to Fly Racing and Renthal Street for their support for the show.

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Oliveira overtakes?

Uhm...hmm. There might be a slight lack of sufficient data there unless it is coming from the camera on the tail.

Listening now, thanks guys!! I always look fwd to the PPPod. 

Trevathan is nice to have here. You can really tell what Orange is steeped in via his focus. The front tire stability on braking still - not every manu is looking at things like KTM or Honda. His view that the front doesn't give feedback seems to be about tire selection on his bikes more than feel for bikes in general. The old Bstone front was more a faith that it would stick when you overloaded it than feel. It liked getting the shite smashed out of it. 

Loved his reflection on bike geometry changing and the F tire. It IS about the squat gizmos and aero. The great Michelin rear tire is part of our issue, it hooks up great early for lots of drive out. 

Michelin MUST bring that new front. It was needed before the squatters. Trevathan didn't have lots clear to say re ridding us of squatters or wings or no. I bet KTM would love to get back away from squatters. Ducati loves them, but they just aren't something essential, popular, nor hard to pull from the rulebook. Then aero is a different kettle of fish to look at. There was the old change bringing them in closer and it can be revisited. But punt the squatters and we'd be in a better spot.

Agreed on retiring race numbers, especially the funny 65 example. Heck, even 34. I get it on 58, yes. Otherwise it is cheese. We needn't worry about either forgetting or under honoring Valentino. Not giving a crap re Biaggi being inducted either, I'd rather not pay him any mind. One step from retiring 65. Dorna just likes finding promo crap to do. 

Mugello! I would like to see Bastiannini up there top step via battle. Also ready for our rider signings to begin, it has almost been excruciating looking daily. 

I don't share such love for the RS250...I just like torque and not tearing motors apart all the damn time. The weight, handling and looks? Agreed! But...I'd rather a current Moto2 with weight savings below the minimum. Not likely a popular opinion I admit.

Seems a relief that the Finland Round is off. 5 week Summer break now, the riders and staff will be happy. 

See you here this wknd!

The info with Paul Trevathan was terrific. But please ... just tone back a little on the personal jibes up front? A bit is fun, but it's getting a bit wearisome for me. And particularly the crap about soccer, which is in my opinion a great game for prepuscent teenage girls.

Amazing interview. It was predictably a bit depressing. The paddock understands how the sport was broken, and they understand how to continue breaking it. Fixing it? No comment, and if MotoGP bans aero and ride height, where are we going to spend the shareholders' money, oops, I mean our development budget?

The bigger picture is starting to emerge. The GPC charted a course, presumably under Dorna's directive, to reduce spending on engine and chassis. Rather than burning less shareholder cash, the manufacturers continued spending like it's 1999 by dumping money into aero and ride height devices, perhaps to harness the excessive torque generated by the new engines.

The big picture solution seems simple. Create an engine formula that is backward compatible with all MotoGP engines ever built, ban aero and ride height, and then let the manufacturers spend on engine and chassis. If they aren't interested in rapid prototyping engine and chassis parts to suit the riders and various tracks, then it's time to end the charade known as prototype racing. 

Of course, the devil is in the details. Developing a formula with backward compatibility and without singular engineering solution is complicated, possibly expensive and difficult to enforce. An open engine formula would still require seasonal homologation of cylinder count, bore, stroke, v-angle, etc to stop the manufacturers from running completely different motorcycles at every event. The electronics would still require limitation and homologation of the physical components. If no one wants to do the work, then just merge the series and run WSBK rules. Maybe when the finances are in order, a new generation of people with fewer suicidal tendencies can breathe new life into prototype motorcycle racing.

I wouldn't be bothered if the two-smokes came back. They'd provide a nicer spectacle, and more robust sport than these 1000s. 

Realistically, it would be nice to see an engine formula with backward compatibility throughout the MotoGP era. If MotoGP needs manufacturers, let them use the engines they've already built. 

Let's keep it simple and focused, nix ride height gizmos. Clean break with them. 

Then push Michelin on a new front tire ASAP. 

Pause, eval - betcha it did the trick. We aren't far off. 

A formula that allows all of the old 990s, 800s and the latest 1000s, plus new engines if the manufacturer chooses.

Lovely idea, but ... IMO, best racing concept ever was the original Can-Am series back in the 60s/70s ... bring whatever you want to the corral and we'll fight it out. The racing itself usually wasn't superb, but the technical innovation was astounding. And the sound of a field of those 500 cid V-8s (and the occasional Ferrari v-12) ... to die for!

That's simple. They are allowed now. Nothing to stop you running an 800 now. It would be a new 800. I'm not sure what bores the old 800's used, can't remember. They are all old junk now though.

Hey, ^ this consideration resonates with recent WSS! Are you following? Ducati just got the 1st power concession! 

I lick the TV every time my Triumph does anything vaguely interesting. When do WE get some revs? MV Agusta has some cc's on us, and Ducati is walking away too!


Before the season started I made a pen on paper spreadsheet of HP/Torque/Weight of them all and posted here about how the Duc would lead by Summer and the inline 6's would be rearward. Hmm. Oops. Them are some nice top ends on those engines now! I keep thinking of how well positioned Ten Kate Yamaha are with that sweet R6 and their WHOLE BIKE engine not withstanding (even race parts packages) innovative and reliable development history they have. Under current rules and the swings of change, I think they are WELL positioned to excel right now. 

This is something to appreciate. There aren't a lot of Ten Kate/Paul Bird/Alstare/yadda yadda really cool wee projects these days and they touch many of our hearts.

Top four top speeds with placing FP1.

Alex Marquez - 356.4k (13th)
Enea Bastianini - 355.2k (5th)
Johann Zarco 354.0k (9th)
Darryn Binder 354.0k (24th)