The week before MotoGP heads to Misano has seen a torrent of official rider announcements for Ducati, Aprilia, and Honda. Plenty for the Paddock Pass Podcast crew to chew over, and Steve English, Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett take a deep dive into what they know and what they expect.
The boys kick off with the news that Ducati have chosen to elevate Enea Bastianini into the factory squad. Was he a better choice than Jorge Martin? Will he play nicely with Pecco Bagnaia? And does he improve Ducati's chances of finally winning that coveted MotoGP riders' title?
Next we turn to Repsol Honda's signing of Joan Mir. Will the soon-to-be-ex-Suzuki rider fare better inside the factory Honda squad than his predecessors, Pol Espargaro, Alex Marquez, or Jorge Lorenzo? Will his riding style suit the difficult Honda RC213V? How will he handle the fact that Repsol Honda is basically Marc Marquez' team? And what does it mean for the future development direction of the Honda?
We move on to talk about RNF Aprilia's rider line up, unreleased at the time of recording, but an open secret that it would be Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez. We ask whether Oliveira will do better on an Aprilia than he has done on the KTM. And we ask whether the real Raul Fernandez is the rider who nearly won the Moto2 crown as a rookie, or the rider who has struggled to score a point in MotoGP, and been outclassed by his teammate?
Finally, we have a brief guess at who will do well at this weekend's race at Misano, whether there will be a Ducati or a Yamaha on the top of the podium, and a few words on the final MotoE round of 2022, and the final round with Energica, before Ducati takes over in 2023.
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