Apr 14, 2014

Posted by in Bikes

Five Things About Round Two

Five Things About Round Two

So, here’s five things that caught my attention from Round Two.

1) Not even the best understand Marquez

One of the coverage highlights for British MotoGP viewers who were watching the BT Sport coverage from Texas was the Kevin Schwantz and Ben Spies guesting in the commentary box with Julian Ryder and Keith Heuwen a number of times.  Ben Spies in particular, who was on the mic for FP3 and the race itself was an absolute natural.  But what caught my attention was something he said during FP3 on Saturday.  Now, bare in mind this comes from the mouth of a 3 time AMA champion, World Superbike champion in his rookie year, and MotoGP winner and regular podium botherer.  The man could ride a bike.  Sadly he could also crash one quite well too hence the commentary box duties.  But since he’s only very recently retired he has a unique perspective.  He said on the Yamaha he always felt he was one of the top five or six guys in the world, which is fair enough, and racing with Lorenzo, Rossi, Pedrosa and the like he felt he could beat them on his day.  If they passed him, he could see what they were doing and how they did it and then mount a challenge to repass them.  But when it came to Marc Marquez and Casey Stoner, it was a different story.  They would go past him and his exact words were, “I don’t know how they’re doing that” and “I can’t do it”.  To hear a true racer and superstar frankly admit that those two gentlemen really are in another world, well, you don’t hear that everyday.  And it just made you pine, a little bit, for what it would’ve been like to see Stoner v Marques if even just for a year.  Imagine the qualifying battles. Imagine Stoner going mental about Marquez’s passes.  Imagine them shredding Bridgestones around Phillip Island whilst lapping third place.  The world is an unfair place sometimes.

2) Maverick Vinales is one Hell of a fast learner

Moto2 has always been a difficult step up for Moto3 and 125cc riders.  Many riders have got to grips with the 600cc machines over time, but it’s taken a year or so for most with Marquez being the obvious exception to the rule.  Top flight riders, and champions have really struggled.  Nico Terol has won races but never been that consistent.  Sandro Cortese has battled, crashed and then battled some more and then crashed a bit more.  Louis mgp_2014_04_13_Austin_MaverickVinales_4066Salom has not had a good start to the year and he basically threw his bike at a marshall this weekend in the Dummy Spit of the Round. Danny Kent retreated back to Moto3 with his confidence beaten.  But just like he did in Moto3, Maverick Vinales has rocked up and stunned everyone.  To have won his second race, on a circuit thought not to favour the Kalex, and have won it so easily too in many respects is quite astonishing.  He might struggle for consistency and Tito Rabat is still an overwhelming title favourite for mine but Maverick has given things a big ole shake up.

3) Jorge Lorenzo could never be a fighter pilot

Remember that scene in Little Miss Sunshine where Paul Dano’s character goes mental because he’ll never be a fighter pilot because he discovers he’s colour blind and all the Nietzsche in the world won’t make it better?  Well it’s possible Jorge has the same problem.  Because there were five lights and they were all red.  Later he would say he was distracted from mosquitoes on his visor and all sorts of other things.  Now, I’ve got a visor full of mossies at the Old Street roundabout a few times but I’ve never gone, ‘Fuck it, bugs, I’m confused, let’s just go’.  Would it be cheeky to suggest he might’ve had a problem with bugs getting on the outside on this helmet, but another little pest called Marquez was well and truly inside his lid?

4) There’s a mandrill on the loose somewhere in the Austin paddock

OK_C033336The mandrill is the world’s largest monkey and it’s just jumped off Andrea Dovizioso’s back.  You’re an idiot, I hear you cry, a gorilla is heaps bigger.  Sure, but it’s an ape and I like my cliché’s to be taxonomically correct.  Anyway, the relief on Dovi’s face in parc ferme was obvious.  The Italian team were beaming, some of them looked close to tears and during Dovi’s chat with Gavin Emmett he didn’t seem too far off a couple himself.  To use an old Wayne Gardner line, he’s rode his balls off of late. And sure, you could say Ducati have a little helping hand from Dorna or you could point to Yamaha’s struggles but he’s still the man who put it there.  He disposed of Bradl and the Tech 3 boys and Rossi and his excuse of the day. Whatever the reasons, MotoGP NEEDS Ducati back up at the front and it was sensational to see Dovi deliver on the weekend.  Let’s also not forget Andrea was sick as a dog this weekend with the flu and there was a chance he may not even ride.  But here we are.  Here’s hoping he can keep it up.  That said, now they’re only a few podiums off getting their fuel cut according to 2014 rule amendment 538713587385.3.

5) Why the utter fuck was Aleix Espargaro in parc ferme again?

Nothing against Aleix you understand.  I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with and interviewing the man a few times and he’s utterly lovely.  But it’s just confusing for the fans.  I was against CRT going to parc ferme but at least that was more clear cut.  They were clearly a different class of bike.  But open is different?  Aren’t Ducati technically open class in some aspects so was Dovi not the first open class finisher?  It’s nonsense.  It’s bollocks.  And it needs to stop.  MotoGP needs to be one class.  Casual observers don’t want to have to sit through a lecture on fuel limits and tyre softness when they ask, ‘Who’s the dude on the orange bike?’  I get why you’re doing it Dorna, but I don’t like it.  And neither does anyone else.  I checked.  With everyone.



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