NOT the MotoGP News: It’s back!
Marginally less welcome than a fresh COVID lockdown, Vroom’s very special contribution to motorsport related libel laws – NOT the MotoGP News – is back, thanks to our trusty correspondent @SirGuyGuisborne
Guess who’s back, back again?
Yep! Here we are again. 8 months since a wheel turned that we cared about. Did we miss much?
In the bunker of happiness that the Ed calls “an office” we have many reasons to be oh so happy. Firstly, we only just found out about covidity. Secondly those 8 months off means that Marc Marquez’s weak shoulder will be super-iron-proof strong! Won’t it?*
So, what with one thing and another we’ve started the season proper if you might call Qatar the round that didn’t matter. And we’ve rocked up at Jerez. Except we haven’t. No one outside of 7,500 people are allowed anywhere near the races. When we say 7,500 people, we mean less. A lot less. 10. No more than that but we just don’t really know how many. No journalists though. Or us. Or BT Spurt. See – no journalists.
As ever Moto3 produced more thrills than finding out Trump has Covid-19. It’s a plain old war game between KTM and HRC and we love it. We loved it in Qatar (sorry about the lack of a report; we’d had our hands cut off for theft), and so did the Moto3 riders, who loved it so much they wanted more. And Darryn Binder was back too! A cross between a bare-knuckle cage fighter and a thug with a baseball bat. Talking of fighters, old gun-slinger McPhee was looking good on the grid but come the start he slipped back a few places to create that nervous, pit-of-the-stomach churn we love/hate. However, a Moto3 race is a war of attrition and endurance, and even being as low down as 20th means nothing come the last laps.
The whole race was that continual snake of fizz and excitement. The front group barely separated by a cigarette paper, and more passes were made than could be seen at a school disco. The sheer joy of being let lose to beat each other rider up was a joy to behold. What more could you want, than sun, speed and madness all at once. And to prove they haven’t learnt a thing, there was a continued process of riders taking an extra-long penalty just to enjoy riding a bit more.
Oh by the way Binder binned her. And heartbreak for every Scot and McPhee fan as he crashed out on the last corner of the last lap. Victory for Arenas from Ogura and Arbolino in third. Amuse bouche.
Look, how can we say this? Moto2 is just not Moto3 is it? What is wrong with it? Great bike, great riders and just poor spectacle. Even Jorge Navarro thought so and fell off at Turn 1 on Lap 1.
Luca Marini won by over a second from Nagashima with Martin in third ahead of Brit Sam Lowes. Tesco Raffin was twenty first over a minute behind the winner. Zzzzzzzzzz……. But on the bright side at least we got the Tesco joke in…
But, but, but……. MotoGP was next! The wait was over. Commentators used the word ‘palpable’ not really knowing what it meant. The BT Spurt team were in Hinkley being covid-bound and BT bosses were thinking of how much money they could save next year!
The Top Gun got the hole-shot and that meant Viñales was leading into Turn 1. Marc (as we’ll call him now as his faster brother Alex has moved up into MotoGP alongside Marc on the Repsol) slipped it in to second place and Ned Kelly-Miller slotted into third. Lovely. Iannone replacement Brad Smith made it up to 8th before accelerating backwards for the rest of the race. With Rins out of the race from knackering his painting arm on Saturday, Mir was the lone Suzuki; for a lap and a bit before bailing off on lap 2. Three laps later, over-excited schoolboy Marc lost it big time and deposited the biggest skid-mark ever whilst on his Repsol ‘Onda. Re-joining the race in 16th behind Alex M (which meant he was basically in 15th), Marc got his head down and bum up. And we were treated to a spectacle the like of which we have seen before and no doubt will see again. Hopefully.
Lap 9 and Viñales ran wide after using up his soft front Michelin and allowed QuatroFormaggio through to take the lead. Within four laps Marc had caught Rossi who seemed to wave a white flag and pulled over to let his nemesis through. What? Later explanations mentioned historical Italian white flag waving and other nonsense about tyres.
By lap 19 Mar had moved from 16th to 6th whilst Quat had lengthened his lead and Viñales had somehow overcome his soft front (matron…..!) to maintain second place. Whilst Rossi hauled flag of surrender all the way up the flagpole and retired.
A lap later and Marc was 4th. Ridiculous isn’t it? Pretty much making the field of gods look like you and us on a Raleigh Chopper whilst the big kid rides past on a mega-carboned framed tailor-made racing scalpel. On the plus side, this is the kind of daring-do we love! Not to last though. 3 and a bit laps before he took the win, Marc had the highside to end all highsides. Nasty. Painful. And we were later to find out costly to his body. Ouch.
All of which slightly took the gloss of a fabulous ride by the Frenchman Fabio (and Groove Rider if you care to look back that far in your memory). Win number 1!
Gotta love MotoGP haven’t you? Now on to errrrrrrrrr Jerez next weekend. It will still be stifling hot.