NOT the MotoGP News #EmiliaRomagnaGP – The Seven Seas of Ri-mini
Well, we’re back by the seaside. Or not as we’re in the bunker of despair. But El Circuito Misano Lana Del RayBan Tutti Fruiti is, as ever, lovely. A bit like Clackton-by-the-Sea, but with style. Italian style. Down the road from Rossi’s fort and Ranch, and nearby to Andrea Dovizioso’s gaff. Plus, it was 25°c air temperature, so lovely. Yet once again due to the Covidity of the situation, it was surreal. Still no Jorge Martin and maximum of 10,000 spectators. But real journalists were once again allowed to be there. Obviously not us; this isn’t journalism before any of you point that out.
And just as last week and every week to be honest, Moto3 was up first. The front row of the grid was as unimportant as ever, but was Fernandez, Arbolino and Migno.
Moto3 always throws up a random event, and this week it was………. A calm, controlled opening 2 laps. What was this? A parallel universe? Sure, it was soon to change with mini-Cal Fenati in 5th place. This was the highest he’d been for ages; he’s qualified 6th and had Max Biaggi’s words ringing in his ears no doubt. What a pairing! Bopped Uccio on the nose a few years ago, and now in Rossi’s nemesis’ team! Machiavelli was Italian and no mistake!
Further down the field Tatay and Pizzoli got stung for jump starts and got hit with Long Lap Penalties; the hair trigger of youth eh? Back at the front Bert Arenas was stalking; John McPhee was struggling with a poor qually (down in 20th and alongside Darryn Binder – yes, we’ve just realised he does spell Darren like that) and Suzuki didn’t start – fractured his left hand/wrist earlier in the weekend.
Lap 9 Lopez crashed out, and two laps later so did Dennis Foggia after being tagged by Alcoba. Now Alcoba is a Junior WC and without doubt a young buck with plenty to prove, but if he continues with the kind of on-track misdemeanours he’s going to get the sort of reputation Fenati has spent years trying to shake off. Talking of which, Romano was 7th on lap 12. And Darryn was 8th and mysteriously calm; fair play, he started alongside McPhee and was as ever, making progress.
Mid-race and Vietti seemed the most consistent. If that’s not a contradiction when talking about Moto3. By lap 18 Fenati was up to 4th and then second. Blimey. A lap later (19) Darryn fell off his motorcycle at Turn 1. Yes; that’s all we’re going to say, and in those words. Because, you and the Ed expect the tired old cliché, and we don’t do cliches. Do we?
With 3 laps to go, the race really did get back into the kind of chaos we love (well apart from Alcoba nudging McPhee wide – oh sod it, we love that too). And who was in the heart of the chaos? Romano mini-Cal Fenati! No longer coming out swinging punches, he coolly stalked and swooped. The win was his for the first time in yonks (yes we were dared/challenged to get the word yonks in here). Vietti (see?) and Ogura filled the podium.
And as antibiotics follow an STD, so Moto2 follows Moto3. Biggest surprise of weekend was Dixon living up to BT Sport’s hype and being 7th on the gird, and then 5th on the opening lap. Fourth lap and dreamboat Joe Roberts went for an early shower after falling at turn 10. And that turned out to be incredibly frustrating for him because 2 laps later the race was red flagged as the marshalls needed a brew. Or was it raining? Rain because no one drinks tea in Rimini.
Race 2 then became a 10-lap sprint. Except it didn’t because it rained again, and so Race 3 became the sprint after an un-completed Race 2. With us still? No? Neither are we.
Fast all weekend, Xavi Vierge took the lead with Basti chasing and then passing Vierge and holding a cracking pace. Marcel Snotter went second, then back to third and Navarro was 4th. Sam Lowes would have probably won last week if he hadn’t had to start from the pitlane, and this weekend he was still cracking along on record setting pace. At last! Dixon was 9th but looked better than he has all season. At last x 2! Lowes passed championship leader Marini and set off after Bez. And it was getting strung out even though it was only a 10-lap sprint. Ahhhhhh….. frustrating.
Meanwhile Marcel Snotter knocked Vierge off turn 9, lap 5. And that was it; too stretched out to catch each other even though the lap times were scorching, it looked a procession – a fast one but just a procession. Lowes did well for 3rd, and maraca addict Bez was a comfortable second with Basti winning by less than a second over the line. Ride of the day for Brits would be Dixon in 6th. More humble pie for us 😉
MotoGP is beginning to look a lot like the first day back at school after the long summer holiday. No Marc; no Cal and now no Bradl. Yep – the HRC substitute was out. Albertos y Lost Trios Paranoias eh Señor Puig? Honda’s honour was down to Taka Origami and Alex M. Oh.
Yet again Mav Viñales was on pole. That wouldn’t mean much we all thought. Jack was alongside and Quat made up the front row. Tasty. And it was Miller how got the (don’t say it – Ed) best start but not for long. Some aliens had kidnapped Mav and replaced him with a clone. He shocked us all with his opening lap. Back down the field hapless Aleix and current favourite rider anywhere in the world, Frankly, had a coming together and ended up taking the early shower. From winner to faller in a week; showbiz sucks folks.
Lap 2 and first Rossi fell at turn 4 then re-joined, then Brad Binder fell at turn 14! Four offs in two laps. Like Rossi, Brad re-joined but then fell again on lap four.
Lap four also saw Baggy catching Mav and Alex M up to 9th. Any better and he’d be risking a nosebleed that high up. A lap later and Baggy caught and passed Viñales in a flash. But surprise surprise, Mav actually fought back. See? Aliens! Baggy had it covered and started pulling a gap, getting a nigh-on 1 second lead.
As for Miller? Retired with a mechanical which later turned out to be one of Quat’s visor tear-offs sucked into Jack’s airbox. And no madam, that is not a euphemism.
With more than half the race to go, the front 4 were more stretched out than this article. And so, it seemed destined to remain. Rabat (who he? – Ed) crashed and retired and 4 laps later Rossi retired. And then…….. poor poor Pecco. The best Ducati rider this weekend fell from a comfortable lead at Turn 6. Later the cause would be a million times better than “The dog ate my homework Sir!” excuse. Taking his cue from Miller’s tear-off in airbox excuse, Baggy would claim his front tyre slipped on a discarded tear-off. It’s a gem!
A lap later Quat copped a TLW* and is later docked/added 3 seconds for ignoring Race Direction’s text message “Get some Gauloise for us innit”. Quat claimed not to have received the message but Race Direction reckon they have a double tick in blue next to the WhatsApp message.
All the time, Joan Mir was making the Suzuki look amazing. Fast and blue (a bit like our unpublished jokes), he was reeling in Quat who was stuck behind Pol Asparagus. Pol’s rear had gone, but he wasn’t giving up a podium to Quat. Mir had other plans and cut past both a less than half a lap. Beautiful.
Viñales was miles ahead and totally untroubled. Victory at last for the clone of Viñales. Aliens/kidnapping etc. Mir second and Quat 3rd. And then demoted to 4th for ignoring the Race Direction WhatsApp message. So Pol stepped onto the podium in third place. And the faster of the two Marquezs was 7th!
Dovi? Eight. And still leading the Championship. Which, all in all, is incredibly funny.
* Go on, you can work it out.