Paddock News: Fernandez to Yamaha? VR46 want Acosta…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Every year in MotoGP something happens. Rumours start flying around about which rider will go where for the 2022 season. Whether it be swapping teams in the same class or moving up to a bigger class or even sometimes, moving down to a lower class. This year is no different with rumours flying around everywhere. Now before we get into all of these rumours. We just want to say that THESE ARE JUST RUMOURS, so please don’t hate us if we get it wrong.
The first big rumour is the rumour that a certain Spanish youngster in Moto2 will be moving up to the MotoGP class with Yamaha. We are of course speaking about Raul Fernandez. The Spaniard had a sensational season in Moto3 last year and has had an outstanding rookie season in Moto2 so far, claiming 2 wins and 5 podiums and is currently sitting 2nd in the championship. We now know that Raul’s current teammate, Remy Gardner, will be in MotoGP with Tech3 KTM next year and many people believe that Raul is the favourite to partner Remy at Tech3 next year. However new rumours have arisen that suggest the Spaniard is being headhunted by Yamaha to replace Valentino Rossi in the Petronas team who looks like he will retire at the end of the year. While the rumour is there, Raul has said that he will most likely stay with the Ajo team next year, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for him to take the next step in his career considering his results so far this year. The Yamaha is a bike that requires a gentle touch and smooth rider so it’s likely that if Raul does move to Yamaha, it would be a good match.
The next big rumour flying around is about yet another astonishingly fast Spanish youngster. the current Moto3 points leader Pedro Acosta showed has been cleaning up in Moto3 and there is little doubt that he will be moving up to Moto2 next year. The question everyone is asking though is what team he will be moving to. The most likely option is that he will move into the Ajo squad for 2022 but there is now a rumour that Valentino Rossi is willing to pay the 500 000€ buyout in Acosta’s contract with Red Bull so that the Spaniard can race at Rossi’s Sky VR46 Moto2 team. While you might think this sounds like an appealing offer, there is a lot to take into consideration. Firstly, there is the fact that Ajo is clearly the team at the top of Moto2 at the moment so why would Acosta go to a team that isn’t performing as well. Then there are all the sponsors and endorsements. Pedro currently rides with Alpinestar leathers, gloves and boots with an MT helmet. If he moves to SKY VR46 he will have to change all of that. Never mind the switch from Red Bull to Monster. For these reasons, it’s most likely Pedro Acosta will go to Ajo next year.
Next, let’s look at what could happen in MotoGP in 2022. More specifically let’s look at Yamaha. Starting with Petronas, we will soon know whether or not the Doctor will retire leaving one seat open. As for the other Petronas seat, Franco Morbidelli has said that if he does continue with Petronas next year it will be on a factory spec machine which is great news for the Italian who is looking quite dejected at the moment. But what if Franky doesn’t want to stay at Yamaha? Well, along with the rumours about Dovizioso returning with Aprilia, there are also rumours that Aprilia is considering the possibility of putting Franky on the RS-GP for 2022 alongside Aleix Espargaro.
Lastly, there is the quandary of both Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins. Both riders have had difficult seasons. Maverick started the year well winning in Qatar but has struggled since being heavily outshone by his teammate. There also seem to be rifts appearing between him and Yamaha. Could it be time for Maverick to start looking elsewhere?
Then we have Alex Rins. The Spaniard has had a decent run in GP so far but has been plagued by injury. This year Rins has had a pretty horrific year. Rins has had 5 DNF’s all of which have been his fault. Alex Rins sees like he’s been pushing too hard to make up for the fact that his teammate won the 2020 championship. Should Suzuki start looking for someone to replace Alex Rins? Should Vinales and Rins switch? Who knows…
It remains to be seen which riders will go where and whether or not some of these outlandish rumours will prove to be true, for now, all we can do is wait and see.