NOT the MotoGP News: Catalunya on a hot tin roof
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
DORMA live in Barcelona, so it is no surprise that we have a round of the circus here. We even suspect that Carmelo lives in the Executive Suite high up in the main grandstand overseeing all he surveys. But at the Circuit de Catalunya there isn’t a lot to survey. And it is owned by the local authorities. That’s a complete pain for everyone who wants to improve the circuit in any way. And improvement it needs. On the weekend anniversary of Luis Salom’s death, there was still a monumental cock-up sorting the track safety. FFS.
They moved the chicane, then moved it again. Waltzing Miller got lost much to the hilarity of the paddock. What wags they are. Luckily Miller the Tiller has a sense of humour wider than Sydney Harbour…
The Moto3 race was somewhat distracted by the official announcement mid-race it seems, that Space Station Mir has signed a contract to ride for Marc VeeDeeEss in Moto2 next season. What is wrong with the boy? Does he want to be in a coma for a whole season? Well it’s a step up for him they all say and a route to a Honda Repsol bike maybe. This move signals the start of the greatest sport of them all; the team shuffle. Frankly Morbid-deli to MotoGP? Or Alex Marquez? Rabat to Vanarama Northern Conference Division 2?
Anyway, the race it self was never going to be as good as last weekend. Nevertheless they certainly tried. Martin got a ‘mare of a start, but worked his way up to the front. Useless underachiever Fenati, Cant-It and Fabio Didgeridoo all set off in the opening laps like the proverbial stabbed rats. It does seem pretty useless to take the lead early on as the lead changes more times than a Moto3 rider applies acne cream. ‘Lunya, as nobody is calling it, isn’t a circuit to be riding a KTM at, but Ramirez was certainly trying to prove that wrong.
With ten laps to go it all got a little bit processional with a group of eight being the main players. And this got slightly worse. When we say worse, we mean for Moto3. A breakaway group of 4 made their bid for freedom with 7 laps to go. Compare this to Moto2 though and it still looks positively enrapturing.
Mir-vana made a tactical jump with just three to go looking like he’d saved tyres and energy just for this moment. Ha! Like that was going to happen; Martin and Fenati had other ideas and by the last lap Mir-vana was third. How does that happen. Well it didn’t last. Mir is no fool, and one hell of a fighter too, and on the last lap re-took the lead for victory. Phew. Whilst all that happened, Danilo had the mother of all of highsides and protagonists Binder and Gueverra had a coming together with Binder not being able to finish the race. But massive congratulations for a Stoner-esque sarcastic handclap!
The Moto2 snore-fest was up next. Though Alex Marquez was asleep. Pole and then off like a rocket pulling a one second lead by the end of lap 1. We went and put the kettle on. Oh gawd.
It might have been hot and lap times may have been dropping quicker than a loose girl’s underwear, but Alex was imperious. Pasini has found the secret to eternal youth (well for now – all his fans are giddy with excitement, yet are waiting for normal service to resume), and is angling for Rossi’s M1 by the look of it. Yep – Pasini qualified in second, and had a storming race. Morbid-deli didn’t quite have the same race as his teammate and slid back as the temperature turned the tyres to chewing gum. A front end scare let Timmy Luthi past Frankly, and he never really figured in the race again. Well, not for a podium place anyway.
With 15 laps to go, the race was effectively over. That’s 6 or 7 laps to watch the places get sorted and then 25 minutes of wondering who might slide off in the heat. Hmmmm… come on DORMA, think about this a bit more will ya? New, bigger Triumph engines might help and – fer shure – the first season with the new engines is going to be biblical in the re-arranging of the order, but even that will settle down after 2 or 3 seasons. Oh well…
Frankly things for Morbid-deli got worse; Lorenzo Bad-ass passed him for 5th with 9 laps to go. And with the front riders looking more spread out than football team with 3 players sent off, the TV director started looking for more interesting racing. And we found Jorge Navarro. Rookie year and on the Gresini bike. We bet Sam Lowes wishes he was still on it. Navarro and Vierge are the best of the rest in our opinion. Oh, and Brad Binder who is still riding injured, and yet showing class.
So Alex Marquez lead from start to finish and is making us eat humble pie. Ooops.
And then it was MotoGP. 25 laps of Barcelona’s finest tarmac (eh?). Before the start we were one down; Brad the Impaler was told/asked by his team not to race as his finger injury meant he’d struggle to push a button. Or something.
Petrux had a front row start on the right in third place. In fifty metres, he managed to cross the entire width of the track to give Marcy Marq (in fourth, and so on second row on the left of the grid) one of the biggest side-swipes we’ve seen a rider rescue. Marquez may be small, but he’s some kind of riding genius.
And again for the second round in a row, Lorenzo made the sort of start he used to make on a Yamaha wearing Bridgestones. And for the second round in a row, it didn’t last. Bugger. More on that later though.
In what can best be described as “mid table mediocrity” the works Yamahas looked dreadful. Rossi starting in 15th and Vinñales in 14th. Bloody hell things are a bit weird this season – just look at Bautista!
Lorenzo did make a mistake in his efforts to stay ahead – he was over riding the Duc in an effort to gain more TV time. The mistake catapulted him backwards down the ranks. And then something happened. His bottom lip stopped quivering. His chakra became aligned. The planets lined up too, and his mojo walked back in through the door. And, miracle of miracles, he started moving back up through the pack. Blimey, this was a revelation. In the meantime the Aprilia team have been having a mixed year too let alone race. Lowes getting some stick from the team, Aleix defending Sam (wtf?) and also putting in some good performances. It’s all a bit tense in the Gresini Aprilia garage we think is the best way of putting it.
With 12 laps to go Miller had an off at Turn 5. And whilst all of the above was happening the unmentioned Andrea Dovisioso was making hay. Winning at Mugello has no doubt unlocked something, and this time with everyone else running out of tyre, Dovi looked serene. And controlled. And so he was. He could have passed for the lead at anytime, but bade his time and slipped past like a conga eel up a drain pipe. Then he set off and destroyed what little confidence the rest had. It got to 57c and yet after the win, Dovi said he wasn’t riding at 100%. Brilliant.
Lorenzo finished in fourth behind Marquez and Pedrosa. Ducati will be over the mooon. Well the would be if Petrucci hadn’t crashed with 2 to go at Turn 5. Doh!
Assen is next on the calendar. We’re guessing it wont be as hot… 😉