NOT the MotoGP News: Sepang – Wetter than an otter’s pocket
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Sea–pang. So gloriously boring, so blatantly nothing, that they only named it once. Unlike New York in the state of New York, which is so wonderful that they named it twice as Frank Sinatra once sang.
And previously named with the vomit-inducing initials F and 1, but abandoned by F1. No matter. The Malay do like a moped or underbone as the Carry On screenwriters prefer to call them; and that’s why we’re here. Bikes. The Malay like a bike or two to say the least.
They also seem to like a wet and windy Manchester in the rainy season. It just didn’t seem to want to stop raining, and became wetter than the proverbial otter’s front pocket.
Brad Binder and Marc Marquez had already sorted their respective championship titles out before getting to Malaysia, and for some reason they turned up and had a pootle around. Yet it was all to play for in Moto2 with Zarco and Luthi looking the most hungry.
Back to Moto3 for a second or two. Ono was out of the race due to whacking his noggin whilst bowing to his team boss. Even with the title decided it’s still a testosterone-fuelled grid full of eejits. Bulega, Canet, Mir and di Gianannantonio were all in with a shot of Rookie of the Year and that added a certain amount of spice to the mix. And yet…… yet another Moto3 race with a massive off in the opening laps. Turn 6 and a load went down luckily without horrendous result. These nippers are tough cookies with steel wool for nerve endings. Second lap and another load were skittled including Binder. Credit where credit is due, the Sarf African rode back to the pits and came back out a few laps down, but rode shotgun to his team mate Bo’selecta. This left Pecco Bagnaia out in the lead followed by Jacob Cornfield.
Before anyone says it, we here in the office have spotted that Bagnaia is the only Moto3 rider we can think of who back his bike into a corner like the Moto2 guys do. Obviously we could be wrong, but if you want to prove us wrong feel free to send someone else a tweet because basically we don’t care if we are wrong. First but wrong! Ha!
Bagnaia had such a good lead he could have called into the pits, had a cuppa and come back out in the lead. And then with five laps to go Maria Herrara joined the other 14 riders not to finish and fell off. And that stopped the procession. Sorry, the race. Yep, it was red-flagged because everyone was fed up.
Now Moto2 is the most boring race series this side of watching a certain national series for OAPs and other journeymen (you’ll get it if you think long enough and re-arrange the letters S, B & B), but for once it certainly took our attention as suave Frenchman Johann Zarco could clinch the championship and be the first person to defend his title. There’s not a lot to dislike about Zarco, and this annoys us. He may well be French, but to be honest there isn’t much to dislike about the French too. Its all just envy really; wine, cheese, food, roads, scenery, the Tour……. Anyway, the race. It was shortened by a lap to save us from total boredom, and Rins started from 23rd in another attempt to wake us up. We really aren’t sure what has happened with him, but boy, we bet Herve Poncharal is re-reading that new contract looking for an escape clause. At the start of the season we thought Rins looked just like a painter and decorator from Tilbury Docks, and maybe he really is just one. He certainly does a crap impersonation of a rider.
How Axel Pons got third on the grid is a mystery that even David Icke won’t be able to explain (sorry – if you don’t know who David Icke is just be grateful). But then he reverted to type and fell off on the second lap. Sam Lowes beat him though by falling 3 corners earlier. Lowes is equal top of most crashes. We’re biased here and man enough to admit this; he’s a fine rider but tries too hard maybe?
For much of the race Zarco was happy enough to sit in second place planning his night out in Malaysia, wondering what Charles Aznavour song to sing in the karoke bar, but with six to go he took the lead and left Slash and Folger to entertain us for the remainder of the race.
Allez Zarco! And well done.
By the time of the MotoGP race it was chucking it down. Oh, and Iannone was back after knackering his back whilst trying to break into his Porsche. It was the day before Halloween and we couldn’t believe Suzuki, just for this race, didn’t re-name their bikes Ectoplasm Suzuki. For puns sake, just look the PR guy in the eye and tell him to feck off.
Racing in the horrible, moral-sapping wet is for real men. Well, nutters to be honest. And it was all the more surprising that almost everyone finished the race. Iannone and Dovi ripped those long straights whilst Rossi looked on jealously of that fine, fine Ducati. Hang on….. he was there a few years back and now Lorenzo is off there. What?
Its all a bit of a lottery in the wet for some. For others it is a chance to shine. To show how skilled they are on non-factory bikes and how some factory riders just use that extra factory support to look good. So hats off to Barbera and Baz as well as Bautista and Miller. We’d genuinely like to see all four up the front at every race. For Marquez it didn’t really matter, except for him racing is still fun no matter what, and so he went out with carbon brakes in the wet just to screw with everyone’s head. Think Rossi is good at head games? Well he was with Gibernau, but now? Well hello Marc.
Iannone did lead for a while, but Dovi and Rossi shrugged past him like the seasoned pros they are, and then Dovi did what we all wanted and won his second ever race at the top level to bring in the ninth winner of the season. Never has so much bollocks been rambled on about how mixed and varied a season it has been. And at last! Dovi has equalled Cal Crutchlow’s record of two MotoGP wins. Ahem.
So there you have it. Not the greatest of races, and not the best of reviews by a long shot. Ce la vie.
Valencia is the last race of the season, and we all hope the riders are all allowed to bring their favourite board game in to play with. Is that what school kids do on the last day of term still? Last year there was everything to play for at Valencia and we had just seen some of the most controversial racing ever in Sea-pang. This year whilst we’re writing about races, did we see anything like it? Did we heck. Damn them all.