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
Circuit de la Americas also known as COSTA to all autocorrect functions is in a biiiiig country. And a bigly country too. Even better is that it is near Weird Austin who sounds like the in-bred brother of Steve Austin the Six Million Dollar Man. Bizarrely for a circuit designed by Hermann Tilke it is quite interesting. Apart from the bumps. And the tower that every TV director seems to have to include a shot of numerous times. But hey….we’re in the land of the free and Donny Trump. Bigly.
Oh, by the way, the track surface is rubbish. There are smoother B roads in the UK, and that’s saying a lot after this winter. In an effort to sort the problem, they’ve planed some bits of the surface to try to remove Lewis Hamilton’s bumps. Its rubbish. Seriously.
First up (obviously) is Moto3; the best of the goddamn circus as our Southern brethren like to say. We just say “Yippee kay-ay mother-thingy!” Twenty eight riders and a 40 metre (or meter for our uneducated American fans) rise to Turn Uno! If Turn 1 wasn’t so naff, it would be ok, but has anyone learnt from last year? Organisers, teams or even riders? Nope. Bloody Tilke. Twit. No surprises there were two incidents there, but unlike last year, no re-start. Phew.
This season Martin, Digi-doo-da, Can-it and Bastardsurnametospell. Oh and Can-it (more on him later) have been the guys to put your money on. Unlike Antonelli who crashed lap 1, turn 12. Bugger. The Circuit de la COSTA has a loooong back-straight. All ¾ of a mile of it, so it is no surprise that BT Sport describe it as ‘slipstream city”. Sigh.
By lap 2 Dennis Foggia was in fourth. Not many folk called Dennis race these days, but this make us in the bunker of doom very happy. What a menace. Also impressive was Bez. We thought he’d have hung up his maracas and crazy dancing to retire to the quiet life of just pouring loads of drugs into his body, but no; it seems he’s a top Moto3 rider now (Bloody idiots; it’s Bezecchi – Ed). If Moto3 needed a breath of fresh air, Dennis and Bez would be it. It doesn’t need a breath of fresh air, but we’re over the proverbial to see them at the front.
Meanwhile the leading group was made up of 12 riders showing us the sheer joy of Moto3; watching Bez and Dennis swap places brought a tear to the eye of all of us. Hmmmm……hang on we need to be a bit more objective here. Right; Bulega is bloody useless this year and isn’t the rider we hoped for. If he doesn’t pull his socks up, he’s for a P45 we think. There.
Over two thirds distance, and the front 12 were still providing the best value for money since Aldi started selling condoms. And watching Oetl hurtle was great fun. One day the lanky Kraut will win a race hopefully. Can-it was floating like a butterfly but not stinging very well up front – not a good day for Championship fave.
Weird ride of the day goes to Liv ‘Tyler’ Loi who rode from 26th on the grid to 6th at one point. And then settled for 10th. Is it contract time already?
With 5 laps to go Martin turned the class up a level and sodded off. He maintained his lead for the win, with a battle of brilliance for the remaining podium spots tween Basti, Bez, Migno, DiGi and Oetl. We haven’t mentioned Migno because, well basically, we can be a bit crap sometimes. Sorry.
Anyway it was the best race of the day. So there.
Despite glorious weather come race day, we didn’t expect glorious Moto2 racing. We never do. We like to keep our expectations low and our morals lower. Alex Marquez, the shining, forever-smiling teachers’ pet got the Randy moment and hit the hole shot down the straightaway for sure with amazing body English. (Has anyone got a clue what that meant? – Ed). Pasini stuck a hard on his rear, and cocked up. But unlike Danny Kent in Argentina, Pasini didn’t make a dive for the rear of the pack – he gamely hung on. Just. Sam Lowes lost it but remounted. It’s not going to plan for him, and he could have made a gamble that’s about not to pay off by going back to Moto2.
Chasing Marquez hard was Baggy Bagnaia – god that bike looks smart. The front two gapped the rest and slipped away. The rest? Well, the trouble with COSTA is that there really is only one line, much like a One Direction song. However, the rider to watch in the pack now he’s off the Mistral is Xavi Vierge. He’s a MotoGP rider if ever we saw one and no mishtook guv. Talking of Kent, as we were, he crashed. If we were French, we’d shrug. You see riders like Mir and Oliveira and wonder where it all went wrong.
With 6 laps to go Baggy passed Marquez so easily. Sometimes, we think Marquez the younger doesn’t look like a racer. A rider? Yep. A racer? Not all the time. Oliveira on that KTM is class; and he proved it slipping past Vierge into third. In an attempt to keep up, two laps later he fell at Turn 19.
After Argentina, Moto3 and Moto2 were the amuse bouche and hor d’oeuvre for the main course: MotoGP (yay!) Was this going to be payback time for Rossi? Was Marquez going to get his comeuppance? Well, no. To both questions. Dang as they say in these parts.
For a start the grid looked in’resting. Obviously Marquez was on pole, but Viññy was second and Ian No-Knee third. What the actual phuq? Two riders who have flattered to deceive? This looked good! Even Lorenzo was in sixth but no doubt suffering from a nosebleed being this high up. Bad boy of breaking (his own) car windows, Ian No-Knee actually took the lead. Immense joy spread around our miserly bunker for at least 30 seconds until we realised that Marquez actually owns this circuit. Like literally. And praise the proverbial, No-Knee went after him on that gorgeous Suzuki that Lorenzo will be on next season. However, you stand on the tiger’s tail at your own peril; off Marquez went, and we have to say he looked brilliant. Meanwhile Rossi looked on fire too. In the early stages he really looked like he wanted the race more than anything.
The race then got a bit straggly and drawn out. And attritional too. Whilst Dani held on because Puig had super-glued him to the bike, Cal fell (but re-joined) and Syahrin did too, and Social Media genius Abraham retired. Talking of Lorenzo, Rabat, Miller (on last year’s Ducatis) and Aleix Asparagus all mugged him down a back alley when he wasn’t looking. Oh dear, oh dear.
We said “strung out” didn’t we? Well yes. By the end, the top ten were covered by 29 seconds, which looks boring, and is. Except Marquez rode like Rossi once did, and that’s worth watching just on its own. Viñales took second and we really hope has found the setting he likes to make him fast again. Please? Ian No-Knee could be back on fire and that’s wonderful and Rossi was fourth. So you see? Not really boring. Unlike Trump.
- Ogden converts pole to victory in a tight season opener
- “Main goal is to secure a factory seat” – Miller
- British Talent Cup get set for Silverstone season opener
- “I knew he’d get there at some point, just not that quick!”
- Ducati’s double title charge
- Aprilia, Ducati, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha go testing
- Josh Herrin nails down victory at COTA
- Puig: “We don’t know what happened to Lorenzo”