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
Every now and then (well actually just once a year) Ed lets us into the sunshine. He claims he is doing it for our benefit, and that his generosity means we get enough sunshine to prevent rickets. We think he lets us out of the bunker so he can wash all the blood away lest the authorities ever visit.
This season the Ed said we were allowed to go to Silverstone. But he lied. Like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, we entered a fake world. The sun was shining so we knew it wasn’t Silverstone. The temperatures were in the mid-20s so we knew it wasn’t England. But it was! Yes, it was brilliant. The weather was just so unexpected, and the racing was just so good.
And as we were allowed to the circuit we had a ball; pretty much like the Moto3 kids did. In qualifying Saltire McPhee hit the pace running and slipped into fourth place on the gird with Ro’ Fanny on pole. The race was typical for Moto3, and with Silverstone having more lines that Dot Cotton’s face the spectacle of 4, 5 or even 6 abreast heading into Stowe was pretty much on the cards for every lap. Big lanky Dutchman Bo’ Selecta announced he was heading to Tech-3 on the Mistral bike filling Xavier Vierge’s place just before the race and celebrated by getting stuck in quicker than a Dutch boy sticks his finger in a dyke……. Look, we’ll set them up, you have to smash ‘em back.
It’s a big old track is Silverstone so we only had 16 laps to sort the muggers from the victims. Well 15, but we’ll get to that in a minute. In the meantime Saltire went backwards. Not what a rider wants at a home GP, but the sun was bright, and John is a Scot. One thing is certain though; whoever is leading into Turn 1 in a Moto3 race isn’t going to be the winner, unless your name is D*nny K*nt and you have a Leo-pard ‘Onda. For once Loi made a fist of it; he used to call himself the Sniper (why?) which is as bad as calling yourself the Honey Badger. Either the team removed the pads from Loi’s brakes or it’s contract time. The usual thugs, mugs and studs ripped each other up for the entire race, and the surprise was until lap 14 only four weren’t going to finish.
And then on lap 15 Juanfran “Che” Guevara got just a little bit too heady and piled into Bo’ Selecta and took them off. Innocuous at first, the crash gave him a nose bleed. The resulting blood inside the visor probably freaked the marshals so they picked up a corresponding flag and waved it. It’s a shame he doesn’t have custard for blood, but no, he has blood for blood and so they waved a red flag. This totally screwed up all the riders at the front who were trying to work out what position they were in as they passed over the finish line the lap before. It was Can-It. Mir was peeved as he was about to launch a last lap bid for the lead like a Cossack sweeping over the Steppes of Russia on horseback. No doubt Fenati was likewise miffed at losing the lap he was going to mount an attack on too.
And then Moto2. As near to a few days as makes no odds, it is 20 years since Princess Diana died. And her funeral cortege no doubt passed very close to Silverstone on it way to her final resting place at Althorp House nearby. That event is only just marginally sadder than Moto2 these days. (Off with his head! – Ed)
The usual suspects lined up at the front plus Domi Egg-shitter. So we had Marquez, Morbid-deli and Italian nut-job Mattia Pasini, oh and Naka-Ori-Gami too. Well that made it a bit different to be honest. Tim Luthi (on his way to the Marc VDS MotoGP team next season) was down in ninth.
And without droning on and boring you all, it was processional with the one exception of Taka Naka-Ori-Gami. By lap 12 he was leading and it didn’t look like anyone was going to bother him. Alex “faster than Marc” Marquez screwed his chances of a WC by sliding off on lap 11. If ever there was a rider with anxiety issues it is he. We think. Unlike Tim Luthi who worked his way up to fourth within the first third of the race. There ya go – good signing Monsieur VDS.
On Saturday, Lorenzo had a bit of an “electrical issue”, and had to leg it back for his spare bike. One of the team (lets call her Emma for that’s her name) that the Ed keeps locked in the bunker said, “Jorge running back to the pits looks just like a lifeguard in Baywatch in an all-red costume especially in slo-mo…” We’d like to thank her for the mental image of Jorge in a one-piece Lycra affair. But it worked! Lorenzo was fifth on the grid. This bode well for him and Ducati with Andrea lining up alongside. On pole Marcia Marquez had piled in under 2:00 minutes just because he could. We held our breath and waited in awe. Or we just wanted the feckin race to start.
We will say this without fear of reading your replies; Silverstone in the sun is as close to Mugello as you can get without selling pizzas. Or pasta. The spectacle of MotoGP riders and bikes hurtling over tarmac that previously had World War II aircraft skimming over isn’t lost on us fools here at the Vroom Bunker. And the top four of Marquez, Rossi, Vinñales and Dovi looked almost as glorious as they sounded hammering by lap after lap. But if you read the results, Marquez is nowhere to be found. Lap 11 and his ‘Onda let go down Hangar. Viñales looked like he’d been shot by Loi (remember The Sniper) and he lost 30 metres in the after effects of seeing a cloud of smoke engulf him. A ‘Onda with a mechanical? Not possible in Japan nor Tokyo. But it is if Marcia says it is, and that’s what he said; “mechanical failure.” Blimey. More bodies in Tokyo Bay harbour no doubt.
That left Rossi, Vinales and Dovi with a clear gap back to Crutch Low. Dovi looks class this year and this weekend was no exception. Passing Viñales and Rossi and making it stick isn’t going to be easy for anyone, but Andrea had the race in the bag before he passed them. And even though he was the only rider in the top group with a soft rear, Viñales fought tooth and afterburner to get back at Dovi, failing by less than 0.2 of a sec.
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- Dovizioso’s secret weapon: mental training vs physical
- Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission at Motegi
- Australians across all MotoGP™ classes at the ready