You know those wonderful Italians with their wonderful food and wonderful countryside, and cars, and even some bikes. Yes, well them. And Mugello. For us locked down here in the bunker by the editor (hello Gareth), Mugello is like a dream or even a fantasy. Unimaginable in its beauty and construction, Mugello is like no other circuit in the world. If Mugello was a painting it would be anything by Monet. If Mugello was a man he would be Daniel Craig, or if it was a woman she would be the Venus de Milo. Unlike Donington who would be a chav from Croydon. So if you think we love Mugello you’d be spot on.
The first race of the day is often the best race of the day; we love Moto3. Perpetual Saturday World Champion, Jorge Martin had pole yet again and flogged off the line like the proverbial stabbed rat whilst Bastardsurnametospell who’d qualified all the way down in 14th was already up to 8th by the end of the first lap through a combination of being bloody good and amazingly tough. And even though it was early doors, unlike most Moto3 races there was already a break at the front. How this happened we aren’t sure, and already we were getting worried. It was as if the BSB admin manager was running the race.
Missing from the front as Can-it; we can’t quite make out was happened to him this season apart from some brewery shenanigans that are nothing to do with him, and everything to do with power and egos. We think. Anywho, Digi-eridoooda was in 2nd which is always good to see.
Lap 3 and Adam Norrodin decided the Italian countryside was worth a more detailed look, and tossed it spectacularly at Turn 5. Blimey O’Reilly, that was a dodgy crash!
And just after slagging Can-it off, who should pop up in 5th? Maybe all that brewery money was beginning to look quite attractive after all. And talking of underperformers, who should not be at the front? None other than Bulega was had made monumental efforts by getting himself all the way up to 10th by lap 9. He’ll either be on his way soon, or WC of mid-pack mediocrity; all that money spent on him and his bike, and yet so little to show for it.
Like Maverick Viñales is named after Tom Cruise, so Bezzechi is named after easiest-job-in the-world-maraca-shaking Happy Monday front man Bez. Unlike Bez, we don’t think Bez takes as many narcotics as Bez does. Confused? That’ll be the drugs you need to take to read this waffle. Anyway, Bez wasn’t doing as well as Bez normally does. Which isn’t like Bez at all. Though he did have a big “moment” at Turn 14 on lap 10.
As our notes from the day still say, this race did get a tad processional, and a tad Moto2-ish, until a hare showed everyone watching that nature has the fastest animals as it out accelerated Bulega. The VR46 Academy has already taken out an option on it to replace Bulega it next year so we hear.
As the laps ticked away Bez girded his loins and made his way up to the front as is his want. But blew 2nd place by having brain fade and maybe brake fade storming in to Turn 1 on the last lap. But at least it woke us up when he re-took 2nd from Digi. Oh, Jorge Martin won as you no doubt know having a storming race and looking more like a proper racer round by round.
Nicola Bulega? 21st and 16 seconds behind Martin. Its not very good is it?
So Moto2 could either be better, the same, or worse than Moto3 – that’s obvious isn’t it, but that line still gets used by some TV commentators……
Just like Norrodin in Moto3, Sam Lowes decided that a chilled bottle of Chianti was much more interesting than sitting through 21 laps of Moto2, and so he bailed on lap 1 had second thoughts and re-joined. Marcel Schrotter had the same idea, but to make his crash look genuine, he lost it big time at Turn 2.
Home-boy and perpetual aging rocker Mattia Bus-Pasini started from pole just to prove that what Rossi can do at Mugello, he could too and KTM wonder-boy Miguel Oliveira had managed to affect a starting place of 11th on the grid just to wind everyone up and pretend to give everyone else a chance. What a tease – by the 4th corner he was third. How does he do that?
By the second lap, the front two of Baggy Bagnaia and Oliveira had made a break for it whilst evergreen teachers’ pet Alex Marquez was slipping backwards in third. In the early laps, Bus-Pasini had let his advantage of pole slide but was using a combination of skill and home-crowd advantage to get himself back up to the front. By lap 3 he was into third and by the next lap he was second – this is what we wanted! Rookie Mir just looks so good on a bike and it’s no surprise he is off to Suzuki next season. He was in the front group of 7 which began to resemble a Moto3 race for a moment. We were concerned. This shouldn’t happen in Mooto2.
Lap five saw Navarro, who on a Moto3 bike showed how brilliant he was, crash out at turn 5. Such is the graveyard of careers that Moto2 can be. Enough of that – up front Pasini and Oliveira were passing and re-passing each other with gleeful and gay abandon corner after corner. Almost makes Moto2 worth watching. Lap 7 and Lowes who had been off the track on the first lap really decided to check out the scenery by crashing at turn 2. Bugger – it just isn’t going to plan for him.
One lap later Fenati did likewise, and Badass Baldassarri slipped past the Teachers’ Pet; he won’t get that MotoGP ride, will he? Talking of wonder boys, Kent crashed at Turn 1 halfway through the race. He won’t be here next year.
The front three became the perfect illustration of Mugello and how it makes a crap series look good. Pasini stretched his lead, Oliveria hung on, and Badass held third. This couldn’t last forever, and the Roman gods decreed that Bus-Pas had to give way to the KTM-shod Oliveira. Although he re-joined Mattia wouldn’t last the distance and retired the following lap. Bugger again.
The last four laps were worth admission price alone, with a “pin it ‘til you bin it” attitude not seen since the Moto3 race moments earlier. Baggy and Mir caught the battling front 2 and made a four-way scrap of it, but Oliveria wasn’t going to let this slip for his maiden win in Moto2 and Mir popped his Moto2 podium cheery. Kleenex all ‘round!
Onto MotoGP then…… How about them apples eh?
This is a story, a journey if you like, into one of the wackiest minds on the grid. A mind that makes an eggshell look as hard as nails and twice as tough. A mind in torment and sometimes in Torquay, because honestly it’s not always in his noggin is it? Jorge Lorenzo may not be able to grow even the thinnest of moustaches but boy when he gets it right he is so sublime on a bike you could watch him all day all by himself on a bike on a track alone. Getting it right though has been a bit of task for the Spartan recently. Dumping Yamaha for Ducati was ego-crushing for Rossi. And cost Burgess his career. It was probably almost as bad for the Rossi fans who had to suck it up so hard they probably lost a teste.
So what drove Lorenzo to switch from Yamaha to Ducti. Well a number of things; more money than he could shake those wonderful headphones at, a chance to do what Rossi never did by winning a championship on the dreaded Ducati and his ego. His massive unadulterated ego. Filled with love for himself and a distaste for everyone else. No one loves him better than he does. No one believes he deserves his status more than he does. And to be fair, most riders have that same amount of belief just to justify why they are on the grid and not serving in the local McDonald’s. the problem is, Jorge shows that belief and no other emotion, to the point of looking wonderfully arrogant and massively cock-sure.
This season though has been somewhat crap though. Certainly the Majorcan maestro has been doing better than last season, but sweet baby Jesus, so he should two years into the contract. But year two really has disappointed especially after the factory and team and Jorge have had a full season to sort their shit out.
Sixth place after Le Mans with just 85 points the Spaniard headed to Ducati’s home circuit at Mugello………..
Rossi on pole. Thousands more spectators in attendance and yellow smoke everywhere. Only Marc Marquez had any chance of spoiling the party. However, you trying telling that to Jorge. Utterly battered by everyone from team management to us. And yet….. €100 of washing-up liquid bottle and some sticky-back plastic (copyright Blue Peter/Biddy Baxter) made all the difference. Throughout motorsport history many advances have been made, yet none so stupidly easy but hard to affect. Why Ducati never listened to Lorenzo is not unusual. Just ask Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi for starters. But Ducati are iconic and Italian. Say no more.
Lorenzo wasn’t headed, nor was he bettered, and for so many it was either wondrous or agony depending on your POV.
Marquez nudged Petrucci on the first lap at Turn 1 which was somewhat ironic given Petrux’s reputation and poor Dani went off a corner later with Nakagami. Pedrosa has had nearly as bereft season as Jorge, but so far has got away with it. Hmmmmm….
As the temperature rose so did the crash rate….. Lap 2 and Redding and Abrahams were off followed by Miller. One lap later Luthi was off, but that might be a “brewery related issue”.
On the same Lap as things settled, Marquez passed Rossi into second and set off after Lorenzo who by now still hadn’t crashed. A mere 2 laps later all was over for Marquez who is becoming better known for saving crashes than winning races. Except he didn’t save this one at Turn 10.
Dovi moved into third and Andy-Ian No-Knee was 4th. Marquez had re-joined in 18th but was to play no further part in this Italian play. A quarter of the way through the race and the top six were close and fighting…. Well apart from Lorenzo who was still ticking away in first place like a metronome on Beta-blockers. Dovi slipped past Rossi to whet the appetite of a Ducati 1-2 and the race moved to halfway and actually became a little boring unless you were a) Lorenzo who must have been laughing like a loon in his helmet or b) a Lorenzo fan.
Bautista somehow managed to take Zarco on lap 11 and made us realise that the Frenchman was struggling here in Italy. Why? Who cared whilst Lorenzo was leading?
Andy-Ian No-Knee (the only rider with two double-barrelled names) was struggling the most in the heat and slipped to sixth with still-injured Lowcrutch sniffing a scalp to be had.
And that’s it really. Lorenzo won as you all know by now and Dovi took second from Rossi. The Italian fans were happy seeing Rossi, Dovi and two Ducatis on the podium. Jorge was over the proverbial cliché and so were his fans. Ducati management? Were they happy? Of course.
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