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By MotoGP™ Podcast

“I didn't think he was Rossi level good”

​Neil Hodgson joins Matt and Fran on this week’s Last On The Brakes – with plenty to talk about

Tags MotoGP, 2020

Think you know what the paddock’s like behind closed doors? This week, MotoGP™ Podcast Last On The Brakes sits down with someone with good experience to talk it through: 2003 World Superbike Champion turned broadcaster Neil Hodgson. From how the sport’s changed to what the paddock’s really like, and the transition from riding to working in the media, there’s plenty to get your teeth into – including a few of his pet hates to boot. (You’ll have to listen to it for those! No spoilers).


One big talking point we will spoiler is the rider market now, and whether you can even really tell who is that ‘diamond in the rough’. Who’s to blame? In the nicest way possible, Hodgson points the finger at a certain record-breaking Frenchman…

"Quartararo has spoilt it for everyone! Or for the older riders. I like Fabio and want him to do well but I didn't think he would. I didn't think he would threaten the top ten to be honest and certainly didn't think he'd threaten the top five let alone get all those poles, nearly win I-don't-know-how-many races. But because of that now, people are looking - team managers are thinking – ‘if we stick with Dovi or stick with Cal, if we stick with any of the riders above 25, they've had long enough racing on tarmac, they must have plateaued’. So they're not going to all of a sudden find a load of speed, which isn't necessarily right. Riders can still click with a new team, new bike, new crew chief, whatever... and get some inner confidence by results, so I don't necessarily believe that, but I think that's what the team managers are thinking. Quartararo did amazing things and now everyone's looking like 'who's the next guy?' Is it Jorge Martin? Who's the next young kid?

"What Fabio has done, I think... when I say he's made it hard for the other riders in MotoGP, is because he wasn't absolutely stunning in Moto3, wasn't absolutely stunning in Moto2, we saw his talent winning in Barcelona, and another one but had it taken off him, but there were sevenths, eighths, twelfths, fifths, thirds... you know what I mean? It makes you then think as a Team Manager looking at the Baldassarris, Bastianinis, Navarros, Remy Gardner... is one of those guys, are you going to give one of these guys more power and all of a sudden they go 'yeah, that's what I needed' and be like a top five MotoGP rider?"

If that whets your appetite, there’s a whole lot more to dig into over more than an hour of chat – so listen now on your podcast platform of choice!

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