Do(vi) a deer, a female deer*
Austria is in Australia isn’t it? Surely? No – oh hang on it’s the other way around; Australia is in Austria. Nope not that either. Anyway Austria and the Circuit von Osterreich is still newly back for its second year. Like Mugello, it is devilishly fast, and like Mugello it has a backdrop to die for. So it looks good, yeah? Well no. They’ve kinda screwed up the safety aspect of the circuit. They forgot it rains a lot in Austria, and the tarmac is a bit pants really. So is the closeness of the Armco. Great stuff guys – that’ll please the riders when it rains. Actually, it didn’t. Well it rained and that didn’t please the riders. Threats of strikes and picketing and secondary picketing took us back to the halcyon days of the 1970s when men were men, and the beer was warm.
But come Sunday and the sun shone. And bikes did a-racing go. With a backdrop of cross between The Sound of Music and Where Eagles Die tiddly wee 250cc mopeds came out to play.
Saltire McPhee was “onnit” this weekend and lead going into turn 1 with Bo’Selecta and Argie-Bargie Rodrigo in the tumble drier of happiness too. Mir and Fanny weren’t in the very same tumble drier of happiness; noooo they were down in 11th and 12th. But as sure as Austrians bred a man with a tiny moustache (and we don’t mean Charlie Chaplin), so Moto3 has the knack of never being predictable. With a line of riders and machines looking like a long thin hosepipe snaking around the circuit, any rider was in with a chance of fame. However this chance of fame wouldn’t extend to Gabriel Martinez-abrego who went at Turn 4. As did Dalla Porta at Turn 10.
Jorge Martin and Bo’Selecta started to look a bit more class than the others, but in Moto3 that class is always as fleeting as an English summer. And all this time Mir, like some sort of demented rocket ship, headed to the pointy end of the race. Neighbouring German, Oetl had pulled his finger out and was doing things in second and wildcard Masia was making fools of them all; starting in 14th the chance of grabbing fame was irresistible and addictive. We look this sort of daftness. Consequently he took the lap record with some heady dizziness that the gilrs back at school will never believe. Pointless. If they aren’t going to believe you, should you bother? Yes!
Liver & Onions Loi is an old hand in Moto3 these days having had more seats than Danny Kent; today he was doing ok – is it contract time? Anyway, him doing well was deemed dodgy by Race Dir, and he got told to give up a place. Masia in the meantime got all over confident and found himself in second place. See Livio? Contracts! McPhee and Bo’Selecta had slipped back after the initial sugar-rush, and in an attempt to catch up, the Dutch lanky lad tipped himself and Saltire off.
In the meantime, with the inevitability of gravity pulling a space ship to earth (Stop crow-barring space ship puns in – Ed), Mir was really at the front and legging it for home; the rest (a good dozen – is there a bad dozen?) flailing in his wake. Boom – a win by 3 seconds.
Those big old CBR600s are heavy Tokyo Bay anchors and in Moto2 they aren’t a slouch. So the big off at Turn 1 on the first lap was kind of a surprise and also a bit of a mess. Quarter-pounder, Corset, Bad-ass and Luca Marineboy all didn’t get past Turn 1. In the meantime, Morbid-deli, Tim Luthi and Mati Pasini did the 3sum thing and tried to make a break. Binned-her got past his teammate Oliveira for a short time. And Baggy-nia seemed to turn up for the race instead of floundering in lowly places.
Top four of Morbid-deli, Tim-L, Alex M and eventually Baggy-nia for once put on a really good scrap. Its as if someone told them they were in the most boring class and they decided to prove us wrong. Long may it last (but don’t hold your breath). In fact Tim-L and Alex M had probably the best scrap of the race, which certainly kept us awake for the MotoGP race. Even Issac Vinales got in on the action until he crashed in front of Binned-her. Oliveira caught mad-man Pasini and set off after the leaders until he crashed with four laps left. Bugger. In the end Frankly Morbid-deli took a welcome win from Marquez-the-faster with Tim L in third. Really was a surprising shock to watch a great Moto2 race. Bing, and quite literally, go!
Amuse-bouche and starter neatly tucked away it was time for the main course. Austrian goulash is our preferred dish when in Rome, so we readied our palates (what the actual eff are you on about? – Ed) for MotoGP.
Tyres are knackered… knackers are tired…
If you’re a really smart rider in MotoGP you stick on any old tyre and go like hell. Apparently there’s so little difference between the hard compound and the soft compound, it doesn’t really matter what you throw on the rims. And that’s great for a rider because he now has the perfect excuse for having a crap Sunday afternoon.
Anyway, Lorenzo set off like he’d been tasered, and Rossi did likewise. Dovi and Markie Marquez started a battle that wouldn’t just last a few laps, it would run and run just like some of the gags we do on here. Or not.
And for once, Limp-wristed bad boy Andy Ya-no-knee rocked up and started throwing the proverbial punches at the front of the pack (-ish). About bloody time we all exclaimed in the bunker that the Ed locks us in. Also a Scandinavian bloke with a really funny race number jumped in on the party – Kallio was back after slugging gallons of Mintu in his very very long off-season. He made Smith and Asparagus look a little bit pedestrian and riding for their pensions.
Right on lap one (sorry we got a bit carried away there) there was a massive tangle Petrucci, Folger and Pol Asparagus. Pol was out of the race immediately with the other two following within laps. Zarco did the French thing again, and did it really well. He caught and passed Rossi bagging a lap record at the same time. Those suave French eh? And Lorenzo just couldn’t bear to be seen leading on such a fugly bike, so slipped back into the pack. The new fairing from the Italian boys had the look of a horse’s head in a bed; you can do the connection, we’re not about to.
The top 3 of Marquez, Dovi and Peddy kinda made you realise why we don’t just all go down the pub on a Sunday afternoon. And Yamaha were wondering where it had all gone wrong – they weren’t in the top 4 – that was a Honda/Ducati-fest.
In the end nice guy Dovi and mad man Marquez gapped Peddy, and had the entire fight for themselves. You’d bet on Marquez winning being so close to Dovi, and being Marquez, buy Dovi is addicted to this winning malarkey now. With an indignant flick of the left wrist and less than 0.2 sec in front of Marquez, Dovi made Lorenzo look expensive.
Ray – a drop of shining light………
*sorry for the earworm
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- Will Lorenzo help Dovizioso?
- Talk on the title fight: "We’ll try to the last corner"
- 'DesmoDovi': numbers on Ducati's dark horse for the title
- Take no prisoners: Rins & Miller break out of Melbourne Gaol
- Dovizioso’s secret weapon: mental training vs physical
- Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission at Motegi
- Australians across all MotoGP™ classes at the ready