NOT the MotoGP News: Waltzing Miller
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For some reason Assen got confused. Instead of racing on a Saturday like it’s always been, Assen decided to confuse no one and race on a Sunday. This was the first time the Dutch have had a race on a Sunday. We’ve know for a year now that the race was going to be on Sunday but still everybody had to tell everybody else that race was going to be on a Sunday for the first time. We still think a few “crazy Dutch” lads rocked up on Saturday expecting a race. You know what they’ve been doing , don’t you?
DORMA decided with the circuit organisers that there would be more people watching the racing on a Sunday than on Saturday. So history and tradition went out the window. But never mind, the racing made up for the confusion that existed in nobody’s mind.
Back in the paddock for the first time since God knows when, Danny Webb from Kent, not Danny Kent from the web, was back on a Moto3 bike. At 27 years Webb is no spring chicken and looked a bit nervous after being out with the mob in FP1.
Moto 3 once again dished up the most amazing race; madness, stupidity in the moment, and absolute racing carnage. Great stuff! Being in a Moto3 race must be like being mugged by a horde of 12 year-olds – good grief, nine fell off! And Jorge Navarro must have had a wry smile laying in his bed with a broken leg. As is the usual modus operandi, some top names fell off including Quartararo, Beastie Boy Bastianini and Andrea “some like it stiff” Locatelli (have you ever seen a bike so stiff?!?!). Runaway nut-job Brad Binned-her looked comfortable until he got over-excited with his right hand (no, not that even though he is a youth) and liked the look of the green stuff. Maybe he thought it reminded him of the African savannas of years ago, and he got all misty eyed. No? Just us then…. After a freight train of 13 riders for most of the race the top 11 were covered by less than 1.6 seconds. And lo! We did have a virgin-winner! Pecco Bagnaia on his lawnmower-engine Mahindra pipped 2 year old Fabio Di Giannantonio to the flag by a gnat’s cock-hair.
Moto2 did it again….. basically nothing. We’re convinced the lack of set-up adjustment the Moto2 bikes have contributes to the snooze-fest. You might think that all the same set-up (nearly) would mean close racing, but you know what? We think differently here.
Anyway Alex Pons was the only rider to go out on a super hard rear and fell off. Quelle surprise as they say in downtown Botswana. For entertainment we had Morbidelli, Lowes and Bad-Ass Baldassarri who would genuinely be able to polish a turd if they had to. We hope they never have to, and stick to wringing the neck of a Moto2 bike for the rest of the season. Somehow Zarco did what he so often does, and turned a bad weekend into second place. How the f*@# does he do that? It was good to see long-haired ruffian and all around SD, Remy “Cognac” Gardener back in the paddock. Wayne – get your son’s hair cut! (bet the Ed removes this).
Assen is in The Netherlands. We all know that. And we all know that it rains in Northern Europe. Often and a lot. Sunday was no exception and the Moto2 race was red-flagged for safety reasons with a lap to go.
An hour and a smidge later it was still raining and the big boys went out on full Michelin wets. For the first time in a race. Oh dear…….
It got wetter and it got messy. So wet it was abandoned after lap 15 of 26. From the start of that race Pablo Escobar, sorry Yonny Hernandez, did what Rossi couldn’t do on the same Ducati and took the lead from 6th on the grid. Quite how that happened is still being investigated. Scott Redding also did something weird and started from third on the grid. Meanwhile Buddha-influenced Lorenzo, legged it to the back of the pack in record time. There’s some weird karma in his head when it rains. Hernandez’s start couldn’t last and it faded at Turn 1 – yes that soon.
Race Version 2.0 was more of the same chaos. Pedrosa had enough and fell off on lap 1 as did Crutch Low at Turn 12 – he’s just signed for LCR and seems to be making a bid to be Jack Miller’s next manager when he retires; god help Jack. Miller is a trier and boy did he try. After Rossi fell Marquez took the lead. Marquez had been under the radar all weekend (well ish), but with Lorenzo at the back and Rossi out Marc wasn’t going to be worried about Miller passing him. Yes; the dog of a satellite ‘Onda with the mullet-festooned Miller on board had Marquez stitched up like a kipper. And he did it with 8 laps to go, and then set about giving himself a near-two second lead. So Marquez second and tattoo-covered Redding claimed third spot; thoroughly deserved and dripping like a broken down freezer.
Assen was a great track and the Dutch are the best in world with their friendliness. So, you know what? We’re over the moon they’ve signed a contract for another 10 years. Oranjeboom!