The first MotoGP private test is currently ongoing (following the major disruption caused by COVID-19) where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro has set the fastest time of Day 1 in Misano. Riding the updated KTM RC16, it looks like it’s going to be a good 2020 season for the Spaniard as well as the Austrian manufacturer. But, will this continue on into 2021? Not if Danilo Petrucci has something to say (or do) about it.
It seems that the current Ducati Team factory rider recently made his way to KTM’s racing department in Austria (together with his manager) to discuss the possibilities of him spearheading the KTM MotoGP project starting 2021. Based on rumours from several reliable sources, it seems like the deal has already been made and we’ll probably hear the news in the near future.
Danilo Petrucci has been replaced by Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller for 2021 in the Ducati factory team, who have shown that he has what it takes to bring victories for the Italian manufacturer. Ducati had plans for the Italian to continue riding with them in WorldSBK but Petrucci has stated his intentions to stick with MotoGP (hence the talks with KTM).
So, what will happen to Pol Espargaro? KTM has stated several times in the past that they love what Pol has been doing for them in the past few years. Despite his grand efforts, experts in the field have suggested that he might be jumping ship to a more experienced and highly prosperous manufacturer, Honda.
We’re not too entirely sure how everything will pan out, but his move to Repsol Honda will mean that Alex Marquez (the younger brother of Marc Marquez) will be demoted to the satellite team. It would be unfair to say anything now considering that Alex has not even raced on the factory Honda RC213V, but it’ll certainly kickstart a whole chain reaction resulting in major changes for the 2021 season.
Danilo Petrucci to KTM? Pol Espargaro to Honda? Alex Marquez demoted to LCR Honda? What will Marc Marquez say about all these possibilities? So many rumours, so little time. Stay tuned for more MotoGP updates.