NOT the MotoGP News: Austin – Not just a crap car from Leyland
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
Everything about America is big. Big country, big cars, big hearts especially in Texas. Oh, and a big useless arse as president.
Luckily for all of us, Donald Trump probably doesn’t know that motorbikes exist. Imagine someone telling him about a motorbike, “What?!? A vehicle that uses only two wheels? Communist!” So we fans of MotoGP escape his mad, deluded thoughts and ideas. Phew.
Since DORMA moved MotoGP from California to Austin, Texas, we’ve all been told that Austin is “weird”. Cool. Trouble is, not many folk in Austin know about the Circuit de la Americas. We sent our intrepid reporter to Austin a few years back, a week before the racing, and no one he spoke to in the bar or brothel had ever heard of the circuit. As we say, it’s a big country and sometimes things just slip through the cracks on the sidewalk.
Talking of sidewalks, and all other Americanisms, where’s Randy these days? We’ve been hoping for bucket loads of “body English”, and “passing on the straightaway for sure dude” but nada. Zip. Nothing. It pains us Englishmen to hear the beautiful language of Shakespeare mangled so easily, but we all miss his chrome dome of happiness and toothy smile of despair as he comes second in the queue for a hotdog. Again.
As for the circuit (or COMA as the organizers don’t like to call it), it has become bumpier than Danny Kent’s career. All that F1 has created so many ripples and bumps that riders were doing their best impersonations of Randy de Puniet all weekend. Danny Kent? Come race day he announced he had a trapped nerve and couldn’t race. We all knew that wasn’t right unless applying hair gel caused it, and it later came out that he and Keifer had got divorced, or separated with a divorce in the offing.
Anyway, the racing.
In Moto3 Aaron Can-It had pole and like every race the start looked like a mad rush to the exit of any Michael Bay film. Buzzing like a swarm of bees, the pack nearly held onto Can-It and Mir for a couple of laps, and they would have legged it for sure if Toba hadn’t fallen off and then kneeled there in the way waiting for the red flag to come out so he could get back to the pits and re-join a new race. Which is exactly what happened. Inscrutable.
So the re-start meant a shorter race which was a shame as we could watch much more of Moto3 than any other racing. And in the shortened race Fenati decided to wake up and get involved. The winner here in 2016 remembered where he was and decided to show Rossi what a great rider he was. And boy watching Can-It and Fenati battle for the lead was perfect. Well it was until with 9 laps to go, Can-It caught one of the highest highsides since Lorenzo broke his ankles and came down with snow on him. This left Fenati with a massive gap to the hooligans fighting for second. Mir, Digi, Martin, Bulega, Bastardsurnametospell all fought tooth and handbag for second and third places with the two teammates of Martin and Di Giannantonio nabbing the two podium spots behind Fenati. McPhee and Mir weren’t the top guns this week but despite problems did consistently well. We’re not sure John likes so much sun to be honest.
If Moto3 was a little bit boring compared to what we’ve grown to expect, Moto2 delivers boredom in spades.
Alex Marquez’s 21st birthday, Passini riding better than ever for years, Slash Morbid-deli looking like some kind of hero all women swoon over (and a few men no doubt), the Moto2 race had enough ingredients to keep us sat upright and all attentive. Errrr no. This track isn’t named COMA for nothing folks. Four riders were so excited (read “bored”) they didn’t even finish the first lap. Desperate to get away from the racing Manzi, Simon, Bald-ass and Yonny Hernia all failed to complete a lap.
Morbid-Deli is the real deal no doubt and hopefully will bring a bit of rock and roll into MotoGP when he takes Rabat’s seat next year. There appears to be nothing about him to dislike but I’m sure we’ll find something eventually. His team mate had his big birthday on race day and was set to show everyone he’s faster than Marc Marquez (he’s not!!). But as ever Alex Marquez just didn’t live up to the expectation by fighting hard to drop down to fourth. Toblerone Tim Luthi somehow manage to nab second despite having a pretty naff weekend until that point.
Its worth mentioning two rides of note: Domi Egg-erter and Miggy Oliveira. Dom Egg-erter has been massively conspicuous by his absence over the past few years, and somehow the thought of losing his seat next season seems to have inspired the Swiss rider to pull his socks up for this race; 5th place for him is the equivalent of a win pretty much! And Miggy Oliveira on the KTM confounded us in the office by doing so well. We’d assumed with all the attention going to MotoGP and Moto3, KTM would be sorely stretched in Moto2. They’re not, and we love it.
Where else would you get military aircraft and such patriotism than in the USA? Yes, Russia. Anyway the Americans like a bit of a fly-by, and a bit of red-necked loyalty and who are we to criticize? With the exception of any American riders on the grid they turn out a good ol’ weekend.
MotoGP was going to be about Mav and Marc, the two young pretenders to the crown. And they filled the front row along with ol’ boy Rossi. But all weekend the hype was for the showdown between the two young uns. Marquez hasn’t lost in America ever. Maverick hadn’t lost all season and even all pre-season testing. Commentators all over the place were using hyperbole without even knowing what the hell hyperbole is. Great stuff!
Then Dani stole the limelight for the opening laps, getting the hole-shot along the straightaway for sure dude. Yep, he took the lead and looked good. And also looking good was suave looking Frenchman Johann Zarco. It’s been years since George W Bush called the French “cheese eating surrender monkeys”, and we’re not going to remind anyone of that; Zarco was on track racing and America wasn’t… hmmmmmm.
Viñales was holding position and in control as was shaven-haven Valentino Rossi. That “new for the season” haircut has done wonders for him. Maybe Jorge should pick up the idea. Just a thought. Then with less than 2 full laps gone Maverick lost the front end on a bump at Turn 18. Bugger. Not because we like him in the office, but bugger because that stuffed up the battle between Marquez and him.
In the meantime Johann Zarco was reeling Rossi in. And this gave us the most talked about moment of the race. Now Zarco has won two world titles in the period that Rossi has not won a bean. Let that sink in for a second, and then have a think about the fact that every rider thinks they can/should/will win, otherwise they wouldn’t bother putting their lives on the line. So yep, Zarco let the brakes off a bit longer than normal and got up the inside of Rossi in one of the best moves of the race. And nerfed Rossi wide… whoops. And then to rub salt into the wound of being nerfed by Zee Frenchman, Rossi was penalized by 0.3 seconds. Here in the Vroom broom cupboard we think that’s eminently funny and worth seeing every race. Personally if we were Johann, we’d be blaming the bumps. And sadly Rossi didn’t hold a grudge after the race – well he wouldn’t would he; he snuck a nice second place!
After that small incident that gave every Twitter user with the digits 4 and 6 in the user name a chance to grind out every grudge they every held against cheese eating surrender monkeys, we waited for Marquez to get past Dani. Which he did and went onto basically annoy us by winning. Again. Ah, we’re not really annoyed because it’s thrown a good looking spanner in the works with regard to the Championship.
Viñales will be annoyed but is uninjured. The top three were strung out, so yet another mildly boring race apart from Zarco/Rossi moment, and we come back to Europe! Hooray and huzzah!