NOT the MotoGP News: Malaysian takeaway – Lessons from Sepang
Welcome to NOT The MotoGP News – our blog by Guy Anderson. Oh – and when you’re done, make sure to go follow Guy on Twitter – @SirGuyGuisborne.
There are a few things to consider after the testing in Sea-Pang.
One – The “No milk please” Toothy One has returned and frightened the living daylights out of everyone (we think it’s a shame Alex Barros isn’t racing anymore – no one ever frightened the living daylights out of him. And no mistook). Through the ancient art of using a fishing rod and remote-controlled cars as training aids Stoner has made all the moto-X riding, flattrack-racing riders look like overactive kids on a school day out. With the exception of school-swat lookalike Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino “junior doctor on strike” Rossi, incy-wincy Marquez and hobo-befriending Cal Crutchlow, Casey Stoner has kinda embarrassed the whole grid.
Two – Even now in Tokyo Honda executives are measuring how deep Honda Bay is and whether its murky depths can cover the handlebars of yet another RC213V. The bike and its off-shoots (like the one Rabat is riding) are looking decidedly over-priced. Another anchor for the Honda super-cruiser is just what the execs don’t need.
Four – DORNA can’t seem to pony-up for more than 2 cameramen and Dylan to fly out to Malaysia. One of the most technically adept countries and yet no local cameramen were hired, so we had to put up with aging rocker Nick “I’m wearing a vest no matter what” Harris and some kid who had bunked off from school in Spain for three days. Still, it beats watching BT Sport…….
What did we really learn? The fat man from Clermont-Ferrand has sorted his front end issues and if James Toseland was still racing he’d be back at the top again. El Medico (Rossi) could give Lorenzo yet another fight and this time he could win. Honda are still chasing the ponies and now even Marquez is moaning. Dani is still yet to decide what to say.
But it was just testing and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the years of being starved of actual racing, its that testing counts for nothing. Hmmmm, that’s wrong; it does count for something. If we look back over the years, leafing through copies of Motocourse the testing results do mean something. Aprilia aren’t ever going to turn around finishing 2 or 3 seconds off the pace, just as Honda aren’t going to finish any race out of the top 4. With the honourable exception of Suzuki, who last year fried more engines than a short-change flipper fries eggs on a Monday morning. So what happened there? For us Suzuki were the best team for smiles and effort in 2015 by a long run. And so long as Maverick stays at the team they are going to be on the up (for one more season then).
Its all to easy to forget that Moto3 and Moto2 are races series too; DORNA/IRTA/Uncle Tom Cobbley and all don’t let these guys test with the 6th formers in Sea-Pang, so they ambled down to the sunny climes of the donkey chuckers in Valencia and set to work.
Now here’s what we just said about testing times being the same as racing times goes out of the window; in Moto3 Brad Binned-Her topped the time sheets. It won’t happen again. We’re sure. We’ve all learnt that too much hair causes slowness or crashing – just look at Karel Hanika.
And talking of hair, Kent’s Danny Britain errrr…… Danny’s Kenting Britain? No – Britain’s Danny Kent surprised everyone, not by winning on a bike with an extra cylinder last year, but by being second at one point during Moto2 testing. No one has ever retained the Moto2 title, but if anyone can, it will be Charles Aznavour tribute singer Johann Zarco. With his suave looks and graceful demeanour he can’t be French. But he is! Vive la difference! Not since Olivier Jacques have we had the chance to do a joke about frogs legs and winning in wet races! I wonder if Sprocket would do another cartoon…………
Next up is three days of testing at Phillip Island on 17, 18 & 19 February. In an attempt to miss our friendly jibes, Casey Stoner has ducked out of testing there. Well at least someone else will be fastest………
Ps – we do miss the WC of Monday morning testing – Colin!