The MotoGP paddock was flabbergasted yesterday with the announcement made by HRC and Dani Pedrosa regarding the end of their 18-year-long relationship. However surprising that piece of news was, we haven’t had the time to think about it too much, as Repsol Honda announced this morning having signed Jorge Lorenzo for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Five-time World Champion Lorenzo thus becomes Marc Marquez’ teammate, and this means quite a lot of anticipation for the 2019 season. It’s not exactly a secret that Lorenzo’s days at Ducati haven’t been the happiest in the past months. Indeed, he managed to win at Mugello, finally, but it looks like it was a bit too late for the relationship between the Mallorcan and Borgo Panigale.
First of all, it’s going to be very interesting to see how, if at all, Lorenzo will be able to gel with the Honda RC213V. Some voices around the paddock say that Honda’s machine is more difficult to ride than Ducati’s Desmosedici, adding that Lorenzo will have a hard time coming to terms with the RC213V. The leap is a big one, and we can expect that the Spaniard will take his time to adapt to such a major change. Whether he will master the Honda to a point where he can make credible claims to a podium or not remains anyone’s guess.
However, with Lorenzo being a very motivated rider, we’re positive that he’ll give his utmost best to prove his adversaries wrong. The funny thing is that he will most likely start to take points from Marc Marquez if his relationship with the Honda machinery proves to be a good one. It’s hard to believe that he will have a shot at a new title in his first year with Repsol Honda, but skirmishes with MM93 will only help Rossi and Dovizioso, the ones that are hunting down Marquez with all guns blazing.
On the other hand, if having Lorenzo on the team proves a wrong move, Honda may find themselves in a bit of trouble, and with an impact on the Spaniard’s lucrative potential, too.
Until the 2019 MotoGP season kicks off we could say that HRC secured a superstar team, albeit it’s not going to be friendship that governs the boxes, but a fierce rivalry fueled by the immeasurable egos of both MM93 and JL99.
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