MotoGP rumors: Cecchinello in HRC to replace Puig? He would manage MotoGP and SBK!

This is a scorching hot time in the MotoGP silly season, and not only for the riders. There can be changes too for team managers and the new regulations will come with key people.
Last year there were changes not only at Pramac but also there was an important change at Ducati’s factory team, while Aprilia got a golden opportunity in the shape of its new team manager of its satellite team. We’re still to see changes at Yamaha and also at Honda HRC.
You’ve already read the title of what should happen but there’s a load of really interesting details in the midst of those of are and are not candidates, who haven’t been chosen. And the denial of Cecchinello, himself!

    Misterhelmet Shop

Let’s make a quick recap to picture the current scenario:



There was a change at Pramac Ducati with the arrival of Gino Borsoi, as KTM had hired Francesco Guidotti off the hands of Campinoti’s team.

It should be known that this role was proposed to Livio Suppo beforehand, however he chose not to accept it, presumably because of the fact Pramac is, at the end of the day, a Ducati client.

He instead offered his services to KTM which had already eyes on Guidotti.

The Lenovo team also faced a major facelift in the sporting direction. Paolo Ciabatti moved his office to the newly formed Motocross workshop, and in his place the Bolognese factory promoted Mauro Grassilli. Perhaps soon enough, in due time, Davide Tardozzi shall pass the torch to Manuel Poggiali, but it’s not yet a concrete move. 


The Noale lions have also made big moves in the meanwhile. For its satellite team, Trackhouse, after Razali’s exit, they have gotten a luxurious figure, none other than Davide Brivio.

Suppo also applied for this position, considering the success he’s had in his career.

It’s a bit of a story of fate for the manager from Turin to see Brivio find his way ahead of him. Even in Suzuki, before the withdrawal of the Japanese, they had told him that the place would be his only if Brivio refused to return. And then we all know how it turned out. Brivio remained a captive in Alpine and Suppo took the reins of the Suzuki garage, which however withdrew after a year.



Lest not forget Lin Jarvis, who’s set to retire and be replaced by Paolo Paversio. In this case nevertheless Pavesio seems to have beaten the competition of Livio Suppo, who is evidently trying to return, but for the moment he has not found the desired position despite being perhaps the most titled of figures like his.

In the meantime, he remains a consultant for Italtrans in Moto2 and manager of Denis Foggia, which is still better than staying at home.


Honda HRC

We’re not finished, because now we should talk about the real deal, the incoming moves set to happen at Honda HRC.

The big news is that Alberto Puig is set to be replaced by Lucio Cecchinello.

It’s not my news as the rumours are already running around the motorsport world, but let’s look at the details.

Lucio Cecchinello would be about to become HRC plenipotentiary for two wheels, starting to manage both the MotoGP project and the WSBK project.

It seems that the offer made to Cecchinello is one that cannot be refused, both from a technical and financial point of view.

There should be, therefore, a new structure brewing, presumably headquartered in Italy, most likely in San Marino, separate from the one managed by Cecchinello himself, LCR.

What happens with the LCR team?

In theory, LCR should remain with Honda, and continue its place as HRC’s satellite team of reference.

This is not the time to let go of the Monegasque team unless Lucio’s departure from his team leaves a window of opportunity for Yamaha.

It would be impossible for Cecchinello to be responsible for Honda HRC while at the same time have his own squad with Yamaha bikes, thus, he would have to give up the team and therefore the two places could be reassigned.

This decision would be done, presumably, by Dorna, even if Ezpeleta, interviewed by Misterhelmet, said he was sure that sooner or later Yamaha will be able to have two bikes, and he also guaranteed that there would be no interference from the Organizer.

In the case Honda could keep LCR as its client, maybe it would be finally the chance for Livio Suppo to return to the MotoGP paddock.


Two observations

I would like to offer two observations:

The first: it’s incredible how there are managers who don’t apply but are courted and showered with money to accept roles while others, despite being titled, struggle.

For the second, I ask you a question: what do Ducati Lenovo, Gresini, VR46, Pramac, Yamaha, LCR, KTM, Aprilia and Trackhouse have in common?

They all  have an Italian-led management team. In fact, apart from the GASGAS team, managed by Poncharal, its owner, all the MotoGP teams, both factory and private, are managed by Italians.

In terms of industrial programming and planning, perhaps we are not the best choice, but when it comes to improvising, adapting, mediating and solving problems, i.e. all the things that are needed in MotoGP, we become number one!

Cecchinello’s reaction:

Contacted directly, Lucio Cecchinello denied HRC’s proposal and the ongoing negotiations and declared that he has the LCR team as his main objective while always remaining available to collaborate with HRC for the development of the motorbike and for all sporting and marketing activities that may promote Honda in all areas in which it is involved.

There is therefore no intention on his part to become part of HRC’s management nor to replace any of its management figures.

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