RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 4 – SPAIN (Jerez)MM93 – 10: “Cause i…

RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 4 – SPAIN (Jerez)

MM93 – 10: “Cause i stay winning, Lay them up like: Swish Swish, Bish

VR46 – 6: Bring Uccio back. Valentino needs to punch his nerves and frustration onto something that is not Lin Jarvis.

AD04 – 7: You get a slap on the hand the next time you complain about having to pass other riders. That’s racing Andrea, not kindergarten.

AI29 – 7: Who kisses better Andrea ? Belen or Michelin ?

JZ5 – 8: You better hope KTM will sort their bike because otherwise, what a waste of a talent!

DP26 – 8: Titanium Man was lit !!!

MV25 – 5: Maverick’s renewed confidence has now melting back like ice cream on a sunny day.

JL99 – 8: That’s my boy right there! Next time out Jorge, more of the agressive/impossible to pass thing and less of the crash stuff.

BS38 – 3: Losing your ride and getting beaten by the test rider on the same weekend, that’s a bit much, even for your Bradley.

ROUND 4: SPAIN (Jerez)It was finally time for the MotoGP circus…

ROUND 4: SPAIN (Jerez)

It was finally time for the MotoGP circus to comeback to Europe and back to Spain at Jerez de la Frontera. It feels like a whole new start of the season each year once the paddock is back in Europe. Jerez is the first stop of 4 grand prix which usually end up being absolutely crucial for the whole championship. On this point, the spanish GP delivered as the first real game changer in the title fight happened just a few laps before the checkered flag.

1. The Marquez Machine is ON

There’s no denying that reigning World Champion Marc Marquez is a brilliant rider but lately he just proves to be more and more astonishing than last years.

Jerez was an important venue for the spaniard as it was not always easy for him there in the past, and neither was it for the Hondas judging by Lorenzo’s incredible records on the spanish tarmac.

Beaten during FP’s and by Crutchlow for the pole position, Marquez’ race on sunday was a masterclass and exceptionally well calculated win giving him the championship lead and the first opportunity to create a gap on his title rivals.

Even though Le Mans should be open for a win from any of the Yamahas, the Honda being so dominant at Jerez (Crutchlow’s pole, Marquez and Pedrosa’s race pace) is well enough of a reason for people at Honda to be happy as it means the bike should beautifully work at most tracks for the rest of the season. That’s a prospect that should be a reason of worries for every other team boss in the paddock.

2. Iannone’s revival and Zarco’s title fight

Another race weekend and another podium for Andrea Iannone who seems to be resurected from his own ashes. Having his seat being linked to other riders might have helped a little but it also proves the Suzuki bike is definately on the good path to become a winning machine. The question that remains at Suzuki though is: in which rider’s hands ? Even with Iannone’s last two podium finishes, talks about Lorenzo taking on the Suzuki challenge keeps on going especially now that Monster and/or Movistar seems interested in sponsoring the team, was it to be with Lorenzo instead of Iannone.

It was a huge weekend for Johann Zarco has the announcement of his future move to KTM was finally made official. There, the frenchman will team up with Pol Espargaro aboard a factory team that, he hopes, will turn all around him. It’s a huge challenge that’s waiting for Zarco as KTM’s results proves that a whole lot of work has to be done before the bike would challenge for podium finishes and even more for a win against Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and possibly Suzuki. If he was to succeed though, Johann Zarco would, for sure, write his name in history.

3. Yamaha: still far from where it should be

If things are looking well for the non-Yamaha factory rider Johann Zarco, it’s a complete different story for Vinales and Rossi. Last time out, Vinales looked amazing on the bike and was clearly having fun on it which was not the case at all at Jerez. And neither was it for Valentino Rossi. In fact the italian’s frustration was so clear that he found himself being very vocal against Yamaha during the post-race media debrief. Rossi talking about a lack of support and reactivity from the japanese brand sounds a lot like what he did back in his Ducati days. Was it really frustration or something else ? Perhaps what the italian hope is that the M1 problems won’t go un-noticed after Le Mans, a track that suits them and where they have very good chances of winning.

4. Blame on You, Blame on Me, Blame on Him

What can we say about the Pedrosa/Lorenzo/Dovizioso incident ? Well just that: it was a racing incident.

 You could blame Dovizioso for making the first move that led to the crash but, even though it seemed a little bit forced as Lorenzo was not letting any open door for his teammate to pass, isn’t the whole point of racing just to try and pass the rider in front of you ?

You could blame Lorenzo for repassing Dovizioso and colliding into Pedrosa but again, there’s no racing if you never try to save your position against the other guys on track. His defensive move though led him to be in the middle of a 3 riders line up. There was simply no way the spaniard was getting out of this corner without crashing into either Pedrosa ou Dovizioso as they were all aiming for the very same racing line and corner exit from various positions on the track.

You could blame Pedrosa for passing both Ducati at once instead of being more careful but again what else was he supposed to do ? Wait for both Lorenzo and Dovizioso to get their sh$t together and pass them one at a time ? Rubbish…

The truth, at least to me, is that the crash was a very rare but yet perfect example of a multiple riders racing incident. None is really at fault, none is really all clean.

5. Honorable mentions

Cal Crutchlow’s might always complain about not being on a factory honda yet he still know how to make his LCR bike work as proven by his pole position at Jerez.

Dani Pedrosa might have not being able to finish the race, yet it still was very impressive to see him fight for a podium just 4 weeks after his hand injury.

There was still some positive for Andrea Dovizioso as he was able to fight for the 2nd place when, on friday, he was struggling to even get into the top 10. His post race interviews though, acusing Lorenzo of “blocking him” and not letting him pass… Nope, Dovi, just NO. Racing was never about “letting another rider get past you so that he doesn’t need to make a move on you”.

As Jorge Lorenzo’s future is still totally uncertain, it was a delight to see him on such a great form again. From race winner’s own words, it was like “old Lorenzo”. Could this race help Jorge’s will to stay at Ducati ?

RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 2 – ARGENTINA CC35 – 10: That awkward…

RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 2 – ARGENTINA

CC35 – 10: That awkward moment when 90% of the press don’t show up on your glory day.

AR42 – 9: The next big thing ?

JZ5 – 7: Hitting him on the back of the head with my baguette : « Don’t you ever touch Dani again! »

MM93 – 1: What kind of drugs was he on, on-track ?!

VR46 – 5: Time to keep your BFF in line, he’s putting himself in the middle of everything like his last name was Kardashian.

JL99 – 3: « If you don’t want the internet to burn you to the ground, you better stay out of Drama and not comment on it » –  #loqueaprendihastolos30

AD04 – 6: A miserable weekend saved, job done ✔️

JM43 – 7: *i shall not move from that starting grid, alone on it or NOT*

TR53 – 7: We almost forgot Tito was in MotoGP up until he got his hand on a Ducati

ROUND 2: ARGENTINAWhat. The. F.! Three little words that can…

ROUND 2: ARGENTINA

What. The. F.!

 Three little words that can totally describe the Argentina GP in a nutshell. The whole weekend went from strange to crazy to “BLOWING YOUR MIND” and i just don’t know what to do with it. I won’t even bother to try and recap or review the whole joke that was this GP round so, if you don’t mind, let’s all just check the facts!

1. Miller’s first pole position in MotoGP

Astonishing, brilliant and completely unbelievable. It was a huge gamble to take the slicks on the drying track and Jack was almost crashing down at every corner of the track but yet, he made it work. Glory favors the Brave, they say…

2. Cal’s win makes history

On the pace the whole weekend, Crutchlow’s wins comes as no surprise once the race favorite (aka Marc Marquez) was out. It’s a very well deserved win for both Cal and his team and it should (one can dream) finally make him stop asking for the HRC factory seat everybody’s know he wouldn’t do better on. 

3. Rins rising to the top

I have a soft spot for this one, i must say it, so i might not sounds quite neutral right now but it’s a fact i couldn’t help but cheer for him to get a podium or even more. Alex Rins is a great talent that will keep on shinning brighter and brighter as the years pass on. His whole new 2 years deal with Suzuki (which is yet to be officially announced) is a blessing for him, the team and us.

4. Zarco getting closer

Johann made an impression last season and keeps on a that path. The frenchman is clearly getting closer and closer to his first motogp win as the races go on. We should remind him, though, that when he can get a win, it would be better to do it without pushing someone else to crash down.

5. Pedrosa’s lack of luck continue

Once again the spaniard has been taken out of a race by another rider. This time Zarco went past him quite hard, pushing him on the edge, forcing Pedrosa onto a wet patch on track leading Dani to his first (let’s hope his last) highside of the season. So far, no announcement has been made regarding any injury Dani Pedrosa could have had.

6. Ducati’s desapearence

If Losail went on to be a great weekend for, at least, one of the men in red, Argentina resulted into a nightmare for both Lorenzo and Dovizioso. The italian was nowhere to be seen the whole weekend while Lorenzo shinned by his lack of any pace or result. The only headline they all got were due to Movistar’s interview the spaniard (you can read the full thing here and yes, it’s way less polemical than what we all thought with that trailer… Context is EVERYTHING)

7. Starting Grid’s CHAOS

Rules book are being made along with history but something needs to be done to MotoGP’s one regarding the grid and start’s procedure ASAP. There’s no way we can let 20+ riders start from the pit-lane as well as we cannot accept that a rider taking a risky choice (here, Jack Miller) can be robed of a possible great result because of everyone else’s second thoughts. The whole start of the race was a farce from everyone going back to the pits to Miller refusing to get out of the grid and everybody starting 3 row behing him.

8. Marquez’ case

His whole personal start chaos was clearly against the rules (even though it’s true an official in charge of the starting procedure did cleared him…#awkward) but one can only admire his devotion trying to restart that Honda, something almost impossible to do on your own with these kind of motogp prototype.

Marc’s moves on many riders were totally on the edge and unnecessary regarding the pace he showed the whole weekend. There’s no excuse for his behavior on track during the race and the penalty he got (30 sec – his first 0 point of the season) was clearly deserved. 

It was great on him to go to Valentino’s box to apologies though, if only Uccio had let him in.

9. Valentino’s off track behavior

His strong words against Marquez during the post-race interviews were kind of a joke. There’s absolutely no truth, at least to me, in saying that Marquez is destroying the sport or that he wants other rider to crash. If you ask me, Vale just sounded bitter… 

Of all riders on the grid, Valentino is the very last one that should be able to say someone else is dangerous on track because, well, let’s be honest here: Jerez (Stoner/Gibernau), Motegi (Lorenzo), Sepang (Marquez) and so on… Is your memory short Valentino or do you just not like the taste of your own medecine ?

Anyway, Marquez should have calm down on track, Rossi should have calm down off track…. Both men should know better, and both went on to be losers of the day (that’s saying a lot considering Lorenzo finished 15th…)

And please someone just fire that grumpy old prick that is  Uccio!