Our routine rumour mill is back yet again with some very very interesting stories to cover today.
Please take all rumours with a pinch of salt as they are just RUMOURS, we know what you lot are like with ya fake news comments.
MotoGP’s silly season just continues to get better and better with Yamaha’s chaotic mess fuelling the fire, the vacant seat in the factory Yamaha team is expected to be filled by Franco Morbidelli, opening the doors to a wave of talk about which riders could ride for the Petronas SRT team with Valentino Rossi’s retirement opening up the second seat.
The main rumours which have been gaining severe traction in the past few weeks have surrounded Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona and Petronas SRT Moto3 rider Darryn Binder, Binder is funnily enough older than Lecuona. So, starting with Lecuona, recently we have voiced our opinions on 21-year-old Lecuona being left without a MotoGP seat, a 21 years old his career should just be beginning and be far from ending, but this is what happens when you rush a rider into the class at 19-years-old and only give them two years to perform and win races, plus when there’s a pipeline of riders looking to take your seat, it’s always a gamble to keep a rider on a seat or try something new, in this case KTM have tried something new.
Lecuona has proven he has the speed to make it in MotoGP with a multitude of top 10 finishes to his name on a not so easy to ride KTM, if he can do that on a tricky bike there is no reason why he couldn’t build on these performances riding a much more user-friendly machine such as a Yamaha. He is one of the two rumoured riders, he brings to the table a number of wealthy sponsors also and of course is incredibly talented.
Iker Lecuona has proven his potential.
On the other side of the garage Moto3 Petronas SRT rider Darryn Binder has been heavily rumoured to be moving to MotoGP for 2022, completely bypassing Moto2 as Jack Miller did in 2015. These rumours have been pushed further after he tested a Yamaha R1 just last week at Brno, an unusual move for a Moto3 rider who would normally train on a 600cc as the 1000cc is closer to Moto2/MotoGP. Of all the Moto3 riders Binder would be best placed given his height, aggressive riding style and of course his surname, looking at his extremely successful brother Brad Binder.
Moving Darryn Binder up would somewhat make sense, but it could be extremely damaging to his career if it doesn’t go right. He would be incredible to watch in the intermediate class on the Moto2 machine and it would be better for his career for him to take an extra year or two to have a shot at the Moto2 title before a MotoGP move, but you can’t blame him if he wants to move to MotoGP.
Another rumour which is being pushed is Augusto Fernandez to Red Bull KTM Ajo alongside Pedro Acosta, Red Bull-owned Speedweek.com posted an article confirming this last week. Their links to Red Bull have meant that they are yet to miss a beat in regards to announcements when it comes to Red Bull riders, historically being 100% accurate about Red Bull-owned teams and athletes. The move would be a strong move for Augusto Fernandez who has proven he is still competitive in Moto2 after finally getting to grips with the new front tyre profile on the Kalex Moto2 machine and has three back-to-back podiums at the time of writing with a fourth on the horizon at Silverstone.
Joining the KTM ranks would hand Fernandez automatic promotion to MotoGP within KTM if he were to win the title/prove he is worthy, combined with the fact that Raul Fernandez is displeased at his KTM MotoGP move which was greenlit by KTM despite Raul’s multiple comments about wanting to stay in Moto2. Augusto is a ‘plan B’ for KTM if Raul were to leave at the end of his 1-year-deal with Tech3, going to a Yamaha team which he has expressed a desire at riding as it would be better suited to him.
Pedro Acosta is certain to move up within his team for 2022 to Moto2.
Pairing the experienced three-time Moto2 winner with Moto3 World Championship points leader Pedro Acosta is undoubtedly a recipe for success, Acosta has impressed everyone this year and having experienced Moto3 rider Jaume Masia in the garage with him has enabled him to improve, adapt and improve much faster than expected given the experience Masia can use and provide to the team. The same would go for Moto2, if Acosta was suffering issues or problems with the bike the team know they have Fernandez in the garage to be able to take the lead, much like Remy Gardner has done so with Raul Fernandez this season. If this move does go ahead, it will be a strong force in 2022.
The final two major rumours which have surfaced are firstly Tony Arbolino to the Marc VDS team, this was confirmed by Carlos Pernat and also Neil Hodgson on the BT Sports MotoGP broadcast. The Moto2 rookie has had a very strong season which includes a P4 finish at Le Mans riding fo the IntactGP team, his performances have piqued the interest of many teams with the Marc VDS team reportedly winning the signature of the young Italian rider.
Franco Morbidelli has performed miracles on old machinery and deserves a factory seat.
Last but not least is of course Franco Morbidelli to the Factory Yamaha team, with Maverick Vinales vacating the seat next to Fabio Quartararo it makes perfect sense for the 2020 runner up to slot in next to his 2019 and 2022 Petronas SRT teammate, the duo working incredibly well previously. There is even talk of Morbidelli stepping over as soon as Aragon with Darryn Binder/Xavi Vierge thought to be making their MotoGP debuts in the Petronas squad at the Spanish track and Cal Crutchlow being relieved of his replacement duties for the time being.
This would certainly mean that Morbidelli would deservedly get his shot, the rules dictate he would be able to do so also but would be required to use the engine allocation of Vinales which includes his half blown up engine which was ruined at Styria, not that this will matter though given Morbidelli used an engine last year for nearly double its lifespan.
For the moment these are the rumours for 2022 which we are allowed to give you, fingers crossed this weekend we will get some official confirmations!
Featured images – motogp.com