NOT the MotoGP News: Argentina… Terminal Hondas
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’s no beef with Argentina is there? A beautiful country that in the past might have been run by few people who took their governing cues from 19 Century colonial Britain, but these days all seems to be fine.
Termas de Rio Hondo is one heck of a circuit although from the air although it does looks like the film set of Apocalypse Now. Rivers, jungle and a town in the distance. What’s not to love?
Well the bumps for starters! Looking like it was built on a swamp that has settled in some areas and not in others, the circuit tarmac had more rises and dips than Karel Abraham’s career. It’s like a hotter and sweatier Silverstone with added surprises.
Moto3 tends to be the highlight and soon DORMA will be running the races as the main event straight after MotoGP, and this weekend was no exception.
Super Saltire-wearing John “not sponsored by BT Sport though you wouldn’t know by the number of times they talk about him” McPhee (Ed – go back to calling him Nanny, ok?) continued to baffle and mainly entertain us by grabbing pole whilst the rest of the feckless yoofs seemed to do their best to confuse. Bastardsurnametospell was down in 15th alongside easy-to-spell Mir. No doubt hampered in qualifying by the thoughts of men in chaps on horses. Or not.
The race was, as ever, a bare knuckle fight with any other illegal weapon concealed from sight allowed. This is what we want all the time, and boy does Moto3 deliver. The closest thing to a Moto3 race is a drugged up pizza delivery boy, 10 minutes late to his next delivery running red lights in London during rush hour. Not much else gives the same buzz.
As ever, Antonelli fell off. If he didn’t have a frame as stiff as a randy kid in a Dutch brothel, he’d be doing ok, but Termas de Rio Hondo takes no prisoners, and Antonelli pogo-ed out in less than a lap. Fenati who qualified sixth wasted no time and raced backwards. What is it with this guy? We in the office had him down to win! Oh well.
McPhee looked comfortable and didn’t seem to get too hassled by anyone; and that maybe the secret this year. Employ Jeremy McWilliams as your “enforcer”, scaring off riders and warning team managers that they’ll be having a knock on the motorhome door if John gets knocked off. Plus you’ve got Alberto Puig standing behind Jezza. Frightening.
Joan Mir isn’t the name of a 1950s Hollywood temptress, but a Moto3 kid from Mallorca who will probably win the title this year (now look what you’ve done! Damned by your praise – ed). Starting from way too far back, within less than half a dozen laps he was up the front and looking classier than a Boy Scout at Buckingham Palace.
The laps zipped by and so engrossing was the race, after what seemed just ten minutes we had 3 laps left. How does this happen? Who cares, we loved it. The top five pulled a good lead enough lead to be safe, but that left two who wouldn’t get on the podium. Oettl who can ride like the wind by himself but who has struggled in the past racing with bikes around him seems to have sorted his noggin out and spent much of the race in the top 10. He and Migno were destined to be the 2 hapless lads not on the podium. Mir was class, McPhee looks confident and Jorge Martin were the 1-2-3. Just think, Leopard team, so close to Columbia; it was meant to be wasn’t it?
Moto2 is boring. There, we’ve got it said at the start of this section. Granted it must be brilliant to ride in but it’s more often than not a snooze-a-rama. From the start, the Marc VDS couple of Fred Morbid-deli and Ali Marquez cleared off. And Morbid-deli looked like a stabbed rat on amphetamine. Further back down the field of despair, Matti Pasini dropped it, and both Pons bikes took each other out. Wild man of Australia Remy “The” Gardener was nerfed before the end of lap 1.
On the plus side Spain Xavi Vierge is making the Tech-3 Mistral look a decent bike – quelle surprise! And Kent fell off – he’s in for a P45 if he doesn’t start winning. Former teammate of Kent, Miguel Oliveira on the Honda-engined KTM however isn’t going to get the sack from his team this year. Blimey Charlie, he’s making a few look slow. From pole he managed to stay in the top five all race, and start to challenge towards the end. However, he would have finished third rather than second if “faster than his brother (ahem?)” Ali Marquez hadn’t so spectacularly chucked the VDS up the road with mere minutes left to get Silver; sometimes being so high up for so long gives you altitude sickness hmmmmmm…. Toblerone Tom Luthi is no mug, and riding as bad as he did all weekend still means a podium for him.
Award for being the toughest Sarf Afrikan on the grid goes to Brad Binder, who racing with a nasty injury from pre-season, then totally shagged himself up even more by breaking a bone whilst riding and yet still going from 24th on the grid to finish 9th. Don’t mess with him kids, he’s as tough as a steward on the gate back at Kyalami (if it still exists and hasn’t been built over).
Our opening notes for the Motogp race go;
Lorenzo ! ! ! L1 off
MM fux off
Kind of ten words(ish) that summarises the opening laps.
Lorenzo is having a ‘mare; an unadulterated Freddy Kruger-style nightmare. Even during testing he was showing more potential than a young Russian girl in a vodka bar. But now? Seat height wrong; all the data gained wrong. Over analytical or just over paid? When he’s on form, and on song, Lorenzo is a joy to watch. Opposite in style to Stoner, but just as worthwhile to watch. And running up the back end of Ian-no-knee on lap 1 was just pants.
Meanwhile Marc M did indeed fuck off; less stabbed rat, more singed balls looking for a bucket of water to dip them in (enough with the mental picture drawing – ed). However, it just wasn’t to last, and down he went when the bike looked to be near-on upright coming up to corner 2. Replays showed the circuit was as bumpy as a big girl’s jumper just where Marc chose to brake. Spain may have invaded South American hundreds of years ago, but the Inca gods don’t forget the Inquisition. Well, to be honest nobody forgets the Spanish Inquisition. This put Rossi’s next nemesis into the lead and Goose Viñales wasn’t about to let an opportunity like this disappear. Class lad who once replied to a Tweet of ours years ago, and like the Spanish Inquisition we don’t forget (alright! enough! just get on with it and drop the Inquisition references – ed).
Rossi and Crutch Low put on an entertaining race for 2nd and 3rd, with Rossi getting the edge. The battle for fourth, though a fair way back was the best thing of the race. (Although Dani lobbed it on the same corner as Marc there is nothing entertaining about a gent like Dani falling). A whole host of bikes battled for fourth including the ace Bautista, the annoyingly nice Dovi, Charles Aznavour lookalike Zarco, Scott Redding and Folger to name but a few. Dovi was taken out avoiding Petrucci but was skittled by Ali Asparagus. Iannone picked up a ride-through for nothing other being as unfortunate as Toseland all those years ago; Sam Lowes’s gearbox went AWOL.
So no Repsol Hondas, no factory Ducatis, Tech-3 looked ace with two rookies and only 16 riders finished!
Bloody ace stuff we say. And certainly more interesting than F1!