The news that Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow will once again be on the MotoGP grid has got me a little bit excited. I know it’s unlikely either of them will be at the very sharp end (although I’d love it if they were), but it’ll be fantastic to see them riding competitively again.
Because it’s always good to see the old(er) boys having a go. And they’ll no doubt remind us how fast they can ride… just in case anyone forgot.
And it got me thinking, “who else would I like to see having another crack at MotoGP?” Because although MotoGP is as good now as it’s ever been, there are a lot of riders that, quite frankly, I miss.
And I’m not just talking about recent departees. Riders like Dovizioso, Lorenzo and even the two test riders that are wildcarding at the next round (Pedrosa and Crutchlow). I’m talking about the likes of Casey Stoner, Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards, Alex Barros, Carlos Checca and Makoto Tamada to name but a few.
Those were all riders that were capable of winning MotoGP races back in the mid-noughties. And I bet most of them have still ‘got it’. Well, to a degree, anyway. I’m not saying they could jump on a modern-day GP machine and be up to lap record pace straight away. When you’ve raced at that level though, surely you don’t just forget how to ride fast. And wouldn’t it be lovely to see all those names back on a grid, with all the contemporary boys, just to see how they get on?
Maybe it wouldn’t. Perhaps the recent form of Valentino Rossi is proof that the old boys can’t keep up with the young guns any more. And to throw a load of ‘has-beens’ into the mix wouldn’t be adding any value to the sport at all.
But I’d love to see it happen, anyway. Even if it was a support race. Does anybody watch MotoE? I bet more people would watch a ‘class of the nineties and noughties’ MotoGP Revival race. It would be excellent. I’d certainly tune in.
Of course there would be a few names that would sadly be absent. But I’m pretty sure Nicky Hayden and Marco Simoncelli would be as keen to watch their old adversaries battle it out, as anyone else. So come on Dorna, make it happen.
Who would you want to see back on a MotoGP grid, in 2021?