Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 285: Quartararo Cracks At The Cathedral - Is The Championship Wide Open?

With 11 races in the books after just 17 weeks, MotoGP is heading into the summer break, with a thriller at the Cathedral to end the first half of the season. Neil Morrison, David Emmett, and Steve English discuss the highlights of a fascinating race at Assen. There was plenty to talk about.

We kick off with a look at the rider market, and who will be going where, and what we expect to be coming. We ask whether Alex Marquez will do well at Ducati and if Alex Rins is the right fit for an LCR Honda. Then we discuss Aleix Espargaro's remarkable charge through the field, and ask whether he has blown the championship wide open or whether Fabio Quartararo is still in charge, despite his mistake at the Strubben hairpin.

We touch on the fate of KTM at Assen, and have an interview with Brad Binder. Then we discuss why the Ducati is so good, and what an incredible performance it was from Marco Bezzecchi to grab his first podium. And naturally, we finish off with our winners and losers.

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"Wide open" seems to flourishing a statement. Mathematically, yes.

Seems that 8 of 10 people here would say Quartararo is a standout for the title. Aleix and Aprilia deserve more praise and appreciation than they get, and yet he is "keeping up so far." No Ducati rider looks consistent enough, although they of course COULD BE. They aren't. 

Alien Quartararo finally fell. Mistake. Once. No one else is making real/evidenced/displayed what he is, despite a bike outperformed by three others.

(If 2022 is "Wide Open" then I am a Motomatters journalist)

The Ducati hope requires more bad days for Fabio. Aleix is within striking distance and then some. Looking at his performance at Assen it would be fair to say that days will arrive when he is untouchable. Maverick coming good, maybe, provides a wingman which Fabio lacks. Fabio had a hiccup and going on the evidence of last year it may well be the only one of the year. However, that is not a given. The Aprilia is looking strong, Aleix is looking on form, Nicky Hayden could never come out of Valencia as champion. The key is to be there, Ducati are currently not, Aprilia is, Fabio is. The other thing to mention about Ducati and Fabio...even if Fabio has a disaster 2nd half to the season and Ducati catch him....they still need to catch Aleix. It is wide open but currently for two only. Things could change quickly, Fabio repeats Assen and Aleix leads.