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
Francs, France, the French – c’mon, what’s not to love? Put aside those prejudices and think about the following; hazy summer days, louche girls who have an air of experience about them, men smoking Gitanes, Bol, d’Or, wine, cheese, and food in general*. It doesn’t get much better than thinking of a massive be-headlighted green Kawasaki thundering around Circuit Paul Ricard does it? Non!
But this is 2016 you idiot, and we’ve just been at Lee Mans watching the Motogp’s equivalent of the Circ du Soleil. Paul Ricard in the south, amongst the lavender and peach trees, or Lee Mans in the middle of France with nothing but heritage to recommend it? Except you don’t decide. Carmelo did. And here it is. And here we were – yes we know this is late. Sorry.
So in the land of baguettes and brie, the land of Descartes, we have one of the greatest World Championship races on a track named Bugatti to give it dome kudos, and yet it’s all a bit merde. Why so? Well the crafty French put spade to soil for the first bit with flair and imagination, and then got distracted by wine and ladies and we ended up with Disney Paris for the rest of the circuit; yep its all a bit Mickey Mouse especially the last two corners where even the Moto3 lads have to ride off the circuit just to keep on it a bit later.
As for bumps? The Bugatti circuit has more humps and bumps than a French president. Fer shure it’s a mess, just as the rest of the place is. Even mild mannered, Dutch living **, mega-journo David Emmet had a fantastic rant about the place a few years back.
Onto the racing mes amies! This time Brad Binned-her wasn’t let down by his team running daft software, and Brad pinged himself onto second spot on the grid. This meant he won. Well yes, but not after a cracking good race from everyone else involved. For most of the race the best class in the series went at it hammer and thongs. You know, just like Asterix the Gaul and his fat mate (no, not Tony Carter). And for once this season Romano Fanny-ati didn’t fanny about; he didn’t throw it at the scenery, he hung on, dreamt of another night with his boss as reward, and rode like Valentino thinks he should every race. As our minds wander we can’t help thinking how lucky Maverick Viñales was a few years ago to win here. With Paris Hilton as his boss. One Night in Paris eh? Va va voom Nicole.
Right, we’re back after a cold shower and a cup of coffee to calm us. Just slipping off the radar a tiniest bit were the two hottest rookies – Canet and Bulega in fourth and fifth. Unable to shave yet, and still too young to quaff champagne should they podium, these two made a fair few others look slow. In order for the crazed camp sites to remain (relatively) peaceful, DORMA arranged for a French man with a Spanish name to finish in the top 6. Yep, Fabio Quatararo hung on in there, and made the bottom step of the second-tier podium. So to speak.
Oh Moto2; what can we do? With you. Maybe, just like Ringo we should stick to hammering out nonsense in prose, and stop trying to write poetry. And maybe, just maybe we could forget about Moto2? Undoubtedly a series blessed with oodles of talent, yet at the same time the default setting seems to be “meh” or indeed in this case “merde.” Simone Corsi is a handsome fella, and no mistook. And as hard as nails and we don’t mean easy to hammer. That Speed-Up is a dog, but with a bit of Italian intimidation, it hung on for dear life as Simone held a pistol to its head in a way that has nothing to do with Mafia stereotyping.
Unlike Corsi, Alex Rins will forever be a decorator from Tilbury Docks in our hearts. Well the looks of one anyway. If any other decorators from Tilbury Docks ride this fast, please get in contact with any MotoGP team manager sharpish. Rins rode a masterful and boring race for us. Corsi was the novelty gift in an otherwise boring Christmas Day present opening session. Once Rins was past Corsi, Corsi thought of the second place glory and had the brains not to chuck the bike at the air fence for once. In turd place (yes, the race was that “merde”), was Toblerone Luthi, the smooth chocolatier from Switzerland. The race was more spread out than the beautiful French countryside on a hot summer’s day, but less interesting. French wonder-boy and Charles Aznavour tribute act Johan Zarco had one of those off days he no doubt wished would happen when he’s not racing in front of his home crowd. After falling off, he re-mounted and finished 24th. Merde! Morbidelli continued to make former Moto3 WC, and teammate, Alex Marquez look like the first to be either replaced mid-season, or a little bit more generously, the first Moto2 rider to be looking for a new team next year. Merde! And yet again Danny Kent proved that having a bike faster than anyone else’s isn’t easy, but sure is helpful if you can manage it.
Because he was unhurt, for us, the funniest series of events was those belonging to Jonas Folger; after revealing he’d signed for Tech-3 for next season, he then went out and celebrated by trashing his current bike, time after time including in the race! Top demolition man of the weekend!
You would think the that the fat man of Clermont Ferrand would at least have spent more than a few Euros testing its tyres at it home track. And instead of having two-hour lunch breaks with immense amounts of Vino Collapso on hand, they would have got this one right. “Did they?” you may ask. No. Four Ducatis, three Hondas and a solitary Yamaha failed to finish. To be fair Scott Redding’s Ducati looked to be “an electrical fault”. The Hondas included Marc Marquez who crashed a split second ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. Both were hunkering after Rossi, who managed to conceal the switch that dumped oil onto the track behind him, and in front of the two hapless pursuers.
Jorge had a weekend every rider dreams of; qualified on pole, headed off from the start like a stabbed rat, and finished far enough ahead to sing a love story to himself and his alter ego. Rossi had a mare of a qualifying time, but rode like a 23 year old on his first date and finished second, and whilst passing Marquez to lap him as the hapless Spaniard had remounted and rode home to last place. Both Suzuki and Aprilia had no one fall off, and new Yamaha signing Maverick Viñales finished third, and took Suzuki’s first podium since a long time ago. But with no Paris Hilton to celebrate with this time, Maverick looked a little forlorn. Imagine having to look happy stood next to Kevin Schwantz. He may be a legend on a bike, but being called Maverick and standing next to a funny looking guy called Kevin?
And a word for Danilo Petrucci: Ow!
There’s a chapter in a book by Mark Kermode titled First, but Wrong. Have a read MCN eh? Here at Not The Motogp News we like to undertake and look at research and then discard it. But at least we do it. (leaves space for editor to make sarcastic comment before removing this paragraph……….)
Next up, Mugello. To some, second behind Donington Park (for fux sake you’re drunk man – Ed). For us, Mugello is the world’s greatest track, and we’d sell Gareth’s organs to save it if Bernie ever even thought about grabbing it. Actually, there is a tiny speckle of merit in the Mafia isn’t there?
More Vino Collapso, with more fantastic food. See you there!
*One of the only serious things I will write is this; go and find a copy of One Thousand Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke. Then read it.
** You know what we mean
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