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Episode 62 of the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast is out with another “weekly” episode, for your two-wheeled listening pleasure.

This is our follow-up episode that explains why we’ve been slow to get shows out (as well as articles on A&R). Spoiler alert: Jensen broke his collarbone, again.

Naturally then, we start the episode by talking about Jensen’s recent on-track crash. This gets us into a conversation about the mental side of the sport, and probably why this podcast is going to come out late (which it did).

From there, we take a look at the new Suzuki GSX-S1000 street bike, as well as Valentino Rossi’s decision to take money from the Saudi Arabian government.

We finish the show with a fun discussion about our favorite bikes with different engine configurations.

As you can tell, it’s a packed show, and we think you will find it to be an interesting. As always, keep checking back for our “weekly” chats.

You can find the latest episodes of the Brap Talk Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, SpotifySoundCloud, or via your RSS feed. If you would like to become an A&R Pro member, you can do so here.

And if you’re not already, you should also listen to our sister podcasts, the MOTR Podcast and the Paddock Pass Podcast.

Source: SoundCloud

There comes a time in every racer’s career that they have to ask themselves if it is time to stop. It is a question they invariably spend a long time giving the wrong answer to; the life of an elite athlete means they always travel more in hope than in expectation.

But, sometimes that hope is justified: they find the speed they were missing. The setback was not their fault, but down to circumstances. But proving the reverse, that circumstances won’t ride in on a white horse to save them, takes a very long time to accept.

There is good news and bad news for MotoGP. The good news is that the VR46 team will, as expected, make the full-time leap to the premier class for 2022, replacing the departing Esponsorama team.

The VR46 team has signed a five-year deal with Dorna to compete in MotoGP during the next contract period, from 2022-2026.

Which bikes the VR46 team will use is still to be determined. The choice appears to be between Ducati and Aprilia, with a decision to be made in the next month or so.

Given that VR46 are already fielding Luca Marini in MotoGP via a collaboration agreement with the Esponsorama squad, alongside Enea Bastianini, the most logical step would be for the team to continue working with Ducati.

“I’m so glad to hear that a lot of the riders are confused! Because I am too, I really am.” Franco Morbidelli, like just about everyone in the MotoGP paddock in Qatar, has spent so long trying to get his head around the Losail International Circuit and the tricks it can play, with grip, with wind, with track temperatures, and so much more, that he is utterly lost.

“I don’t know what’s going on. Something is going on, and I hope that whatever is going on, it will go away as soon as possible, because it is tricky to work like this.”

“Consistency has been difficult this weekend because the track is different every time we exit the pits,” Jack Miller agreed. “There’s only one more day left here in Qatar and I’ll try and make it a good one and get out of here in one piece.” After nearly a month in the Gulf state, on and off, and ten days riding around the same track, everyone is very, very over being in Qatar.

Saturday was a day for smashing records in Qatar. First up was the top speed record, Johann Zarco hitting 362.4 km/h at the end of the front straight during FP4.

Not just the top speed record for Qatar, but the highest speed ever record at a MotoGP track, the previous record 356.7 km/h set by Andrea Dovizioso at Mugello.

To put that in to context, it is 100.666 meters per second. Or put another way, it took Johann Zarco less than one second to cover the distance which takes Usain Bolt 9.6 seconds. It is a mind-bending, brain-warping speed.

Can the 2021 MotoGP season match the weirdness and wildness of 2020? The circumstances are different, but the path that led to Qatar 2021 has laid the groundwork for another fascinating year.

2021 sees two trends colliding to create (we hope) a perfect storm. There is the long-term strategy set out after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, with support and backing from the many bright minds in Dorna and IRTA.

2021 is going to be a decisive season for Valentino Rossi. Then again, we have been saying that for some time, as the 42-year-old Italian MotoGP legend continues his career well beyond what even the most experienced MotoGP hands ever expected.

Will he carry on racing? Has he still got what it takes to chase podiums and win races? Is a seventh MotoGP title and tenth Grand Prix title still a realistic possibility?

Those are big questions after Rossi’s worst ever season in Grand Prix racing. The Italian scored his lowest points total with 66 points from 12 races, his lowest points average at 5.5 points a race, and his worst finishing position in the championship with a 15th position.

He scored a single podium, matching his previous worst season tally in Grand Prix in 2011, when he also ended with just one podium during his disastrous first year at Ducati.

Episode 188 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one covers the launch of the Petronas Sepang Racing Team and the dynamic between the squad’s two riders: Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi.

On the mics, we have Steve English, David Emmett, and Adam Wheeler, along with some audio from Franco Morbidelli’s media scrum from the Petronas Yamaha launch event.

It has been a long, long time since Valentino Rossi found himself outside of a factory team in grand prix racing, but the 2021 season sees The Doctor in the Petronas Sepang Racing Team, alongside Franco Morbidelli.

Rossi’s long racing career has bore championship fruit nine times, and while no one expects the Italian to add to that tally in the coming season, the 42-year-old can certainly surprise on race day, and certainly has some race wins still in his future.

Around this time in a normal year, we would be back from the launch of a couple of the MotoGP manufacturers, and looking forward to a couple more as we prepared to travel to Sepang for the first test of the year. But this is not a normal year, of course. Nor was last year, for that matter.

So instead of packing my bags in preparation of the test at Sepang – originally scheduled for February 19th-21st – I, like the rest of the media, are checking our microphones and internet connections to get ready to do the MotoGP launch season from home.

And not just the launch season: in all probability, the media won’t be allowed to physically attend a MotoGP race for the first half of the 2021 season at the very least. But at least we will have a 2021 MotoGP season.