NOT the MotoGP News – #IndonesianGP – How Does It Feel?
How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home,
…like a rolling stone.
Ah Dylan. He gets it so right so often. It’s a glib shot at Jorge Martin, but we’re not short of glibness here in Vroom’s bunker. It’s not the end of his challenge at the title by any stretch, but it was a missed opportunity. And like anything you miss, you want it back. Martin most certainly does.
Anyway, Mandalika, there we were. A great track that doesn’t get a) enough praise (it’s up there with Mugello and Phil Island), and b) enough races all year. More of that later unless we forget. It’s also next to a beach in paradise. It may be a long way from Europe but it’s really close to Asia, being in Asia.
Mandalika is one of those circuits where Suzuki would win if Rins or Viñales were still riding for them. If you watched the races over the weekend, just imagine a blue Suzuki with one of those two on, and let your mind drift. Gorgeous thought isn’t it? Now back to reality, a Suzuki plastered with all the aero needed today would just look like a lump of Lego. Get over yourself.
Yet again, not a full grid. Rins made it, Bez made it. Alex Marquez got there and then decided to spend the weekend on the beach having worked out that the pain he felt every time he breathed in was four busted ribs.
Martin was going to win this race by a country mile. If you could have a continent mile, he was going to in by that larger amount too. Except he didn’t. Launched by a leftover USA aircraft carrier catapult, Martin went from 6th on the grid to 1st by turn 1. We know he’s little but that was ridiculous. Title rival Bagnaia had scraped through to 13th on the grid but was riding very un-Bagnaia like and looking a little bit tasty. And not a little desperate.
It was one of those races where everything was happening continually. Binder nerfed Marini off; he copped a long lap penalty for that. Quartararo had brilliantly got into third place which he was going to end up finishing in. Pol E fell off, Morbi pitted for ages, then re-joined.
By the third lap, Bagnaia was third but still miles away from Martin. Top bum Maverick was second, and like Quartararo finished in that position. The Aprilia with Viñales on it just looked stunning. But looking stunning doesn’t win titles. He’s not going to win a World Championship, but Mav does have something there, and it’s both frustrating and amazing to watch.
The guy who’s pushed Fabio Di Giannantonio out of Gresini, one Marc Marquez, was less than a third of the race in when he’d had enough of his Repsol Hinder and bailed off. Meanwhile Binder decided to keep up his reckless antics caused by a very narrow line ‘round every turn, and nerfed Oliveira off. LLP number 2 please Mr Binder. Fair play to the South African, he finished 5th! (Though it’s not like his fellow rugby-playing countrymen are going to finish 5th in their title quest.) Augusto Fernandez was next off followed by Mir then a lap later Miller was off. Chaos, but pretty much all self-inflicted.
Martin’s fall was as unpredicted as anything can be. One second up. Next down. And at that moment it looked like that in his head it really did sting. So Viñales was leading. Could he be the first rider to win on three different makes of bike? No of course not: it’s Mav for god’s sake. Bagnaia was like a metronome, just going on and on and on. Unlike his teammate Bastianini who having fought back from tiresome injury is struggling to prove his worth to the casual observer. He fell off as well.
Talking of Ducati, Bez. Flew in on Friday morning with a snapped and freshly plated collar bone, fell off in practice. Got back on. Qualified 9th. Finished 5th. That makes it sound easy. Obviously only someone stupid would say that. It’s not. He’s as hard as nails. But looks like a Banana Split character.
The Tilbury Dock decorator is also something of a phenomenon. Using a walking stick to get around the paddock, he rode to 9th. Also, as hard as nails but still nursing an exploded femur.
So Pecco won and grabbed a net gain of 25 points from the Sunday over Martin, with Viñales second and a surprised Quartararo in third. Even more surprising was Di Giannantonio bringing it home in fourth. Technically it’s been shit for him over the past season and a half. Obviously, it’s too late now to save his Gresini seat, but who knows…..? A chance and a Repsol Hinder? Possible, but most likely that’ll be Oliveira.
All in all, 15 finished the race, so every finisher scored points. Every cloud eh?