Manuel Pecino / Photos courtesy 2snap / Copyright reserved
Jorge Lorenzo's farewell to competition has had consequences that have gone far beyond MototGP. The goodbye of one of the best riders in history and a key figure in the GPs over the last ten years generated a shock wave that ended up affecting many, even those in the Moto E category!
When Jorge Lorenzo announced that he had decided to end his career as a professional rider on Thursday before the start of the Valencia GP, the succession process at Team Repsol Honda began. A process that, far from being carried out in private as it used to be, was broadcast in the media and social networks in real time.
Far from being carried out in private, as it would have happened in the past, the Lorenzo's succession process at Team Repsol Honda was 'broadcast' in the media and social networks almost in real time.
It was none other than Marc Márquez who opened the matter, laying out the options for his team on the table. "Honda now has two options," he publicly analyzed. “Get an experienced rider on that motorcycle or give the opportunity to a young rider with promise. If the second option were the case of, without a doubt the first choice should be my brother, recently proclaimed Moto2 World Champion.”
Obviously, Marc did not release this message casually, nor was it a coincidence that he did it with all the Spanish media around him. The eldest of the Márquez brothers knew that among the ranks of his team, specifically Alberto Puig, he managed a list of three riders “with promise,” as Marc called them. Those three names were his brother Alex, the South African Brad Binder and Jorge Martín.
To substitute Jorge Lorenzo, Alberto Puig managed a list with three candidates: Alex Marquez, Brad Binder and Jorge Martín.
At the same time, in the high spheres of the championship, an attempt was made to place Johann
Zarco on a HRC bike. The Frenchman a wayward racer who a few months earlier left the KTM MotoGP project in the middle of the season, after a stormy relationship with the Austrian factory. In Valencia, Zarco arrived after participating in the two previous GPs as a substitute rider for Takaaki Nakagami on the Honda satellite team.
For strategic reasons—the French GP is one of the major events on the MotoGP calendar— the move was calculated for Zarco from those high levels. Their plan included stepping Cal Crutchlow from Team LCR to the official team and moving Johann into the vacant position. But as we understand, neither Alberto Puig nor (certainly not) Marc Márquez shared this vision of the future.
While Marc publicly insisted his brother should fill the vacancy of Jorge Lorenzo for his sports curriculum, the HRC Team manager knew about the contractual link between Binder and KTM. Let's not forget that the South African had already been announced months before as a KTM rider in MotoGP for next season. Consequently, Alex was chosen to accompany his brother in 2020.
A disappointing decision for Cal Crutchlow, who believed and possibly continues to believe, that for his benefits and services provided, the second Repsol motorcycle deserved more than little brother Marquez. Nor did it leave the ones who pushed for Zarco in a very good position, who saw how they had publicly lost to Marc Márquez’s challenge.
Save MotoGP rider Zarco ...
Access to the full story by subscribing to PecinoGP Premium contents