Will Any of the other Manufacturers be able to Wrestle
away Suzuki’s Crown?
Typically this time ‘O year, we’ve just have completed
hosting the world’s ultimate Road Racing Kneedraggers’ at COTA, nee Circuit of
The Americas in Austin, Texas. But sadly due to the never ending scurge of
COVID 19 restrictions, MotoGP has skipped COTA for the past two years now.
As MotoGP seems to be one of the best kept
secrets Stateside, with little media attention. But I thoroughly enjoy it due
to it’s ultra competitiveness and how every race you Don’t know who’ll win.
This year’s Rookie Class sees three promising Debutante
Kneedraggers graduating to the Premiere Class, two Italians and one Spaniard.
Although I suppose this shouldn’t be somewhat of a surprise when you realize who
two-thirds of these Young Guns are
Italians Tnea Bastianini who won the 2020
Moto2 Championship and Luca Marini, the 2020 Moto2 Championship Runner-up will
both ride for Sky VR46 Esponsorama Racing.
Esponsorama Racing is based out of Madrid,
Spain and previously known as Reale Avintia Racing
since 2012 and reportedly rebranded itself last year, which I was unaware of. The
team will campaign Ducati Desmosedici GP19’s.
And Yeah, if that VR46 sounds familiar,
that’s because it’s the initials of some MotoGP God known as “The Doctor,” akak
Valentino rossi. Whilst I was unaware that Marini is Valentino’s Half Brother,
hence presumably the “tie Up” sponsorship wise, eh?
Spain’s Jorge Martín who
finished 5th Overall in last year’s Moto2 Championship will race for Pramac
Racing aboard the #89 Duc’. (Ducati)
Meanwhile, I totally missed the Memo
regarding Italiano’ Lorenzo Savadori replacing Bradley Smith at Aprilia last
year for MotoGP’s final three races. As apparently there was some major
friction between the team and Smith who was Substituting for Banned Aprilia
Iannoney, and was only seen as a Stop-gap replacement.
As longtime Ducati Corse Factory rider Dovi’,
aka Andrea Dovizioso who
acrimoniously split with the Italian concern at season’s end, has replaced
Smith as the team’s new Test Rider.
Savadori who’s won multiple Feeder
Series titles including last year’s Italian Superbike Championship, with his
reward being called up to MotoGP, will campaign the #32 Aprilia “Scooter” once
again this year, contesting his first Full Season for the Italian concern.
Really Don’t know much about this Minnowesqe
Italian Manufacturer, other than last year they built a new 90-degree V-4 lump
in hopes of improving their overall performance, which reportedly has lopped
multiple seconds off of it’s lap times. And although I’ve already mentioned
Savadori’s place here, it’s Thar other rider Aleix Espargaro who’s leading the way, having flirted with
Top-5 finishes in the first two rounds while mixing it up with the big Boyz! Finishing
7th in the first Qatar race, and 10th in the second.
The Werks’ Ducati corse Factory team once again
seems to be outpaced by it’s rival Satellite concern Pramac Racing, which
interestingly both Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia graduated from this
year. Although “Pecco” Bagnaia did start from Pole at the season opener and
finished third, followed up with a P6 finish in Round-2, whilst Miller seems to
be suffering more from his switch to the Factory ride so far.
Yeah, I know it’s early days yet, but Johann Zarco
has certainly resurrected his MotoGP career with two second place finishes in
the first two rounds. As the Frenchman seems
to be the more stable of the two Pramac riders vs. his mercurial rookie
team-mate Jorge Martín, who
he passed for second place in Round-2 on the final lap!
Martin amazed everyone by utilizing Ducati’s Holeshot
device to rocket from 14th to 4th place at the season
opener before settling back down to earth with a 15th place finish.
But it was the Doha Grand Prix where he
Shocked the MotoGP Paddock by capturing Pole position in only his second ever
Martin led much of
the race before being passed by eventual winner Fabio Quartararo, before
scoring his first Podium in 3rd place. Although Zarco’s two
runner-up finishes saw him leading the championship heading to Portugal’s
about the Sky VR46 Esponsorama Racing concern above, albeit Bastianini has done
well, with finishes of 10th & 11th in his first two
races, while Marini has been towards the Tail-end of the grid.
Obviously Ye Pinball Wizard, nee Marc Marquez’s
broken Right Arm injury was far more severe then reported, since the Spaniard
missed the season’s first two races and hasn’t ridden competitively since the
2020 season opener at Jerez on July 19, 2020.
Longtime Test Rider Stefan Bradl has been Deputizing
for Marquez since last season, and continued doing so during the first two rounds
in Qatar. As Bradl’s a past Moto2 champion, but he just doesn’t seem to be able
to contend for Top-10’s. while Pol
Espargaro has joined the Factory Repsol Honda team from KTM this season as Alex
the Satellite LCR Honda Squad saw longtime rider Cal Crutchlow depart to rival’s
Yamaha to become it’s official Test Rider this year, replacing Jorge Lorenzo as
last’s year’s test rider. With Alex Marquez replacing the Briton’, while the
lone Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami remains at LCR.
must wonder if Hondre’s Scooter woes are inherit to a bike being principally
designed to suit Marc Marquez’s riding style? Which I suppose will be great
News that he’ll make his MotoGP return at Portimao.
Oliveira graduates to the Werks’ concern alongside Brad Binder as Pol Espargaro’s
replacement, giving the Factory Team two MotoGP winners on it’s rolls. While
ex-Factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci takes over Oliveira’s seat, partnering Iker
Lecuona at the Tec 3 Satellite Squad.
bikes reportedly had trouble utilizing Michelin’s soft rubber compound at the
two Qatar events and had to utilize the less popular medium compound, albeit
Binder did manage to eek out an 8th
place finish in Round-2.
This is the only team on the grid sporting an unchanged
Rider lineup, presumably due to Joan Mir winning the MotoGP title last year
with team-mate Alex Rins finishing third Overall. But as Mir’s finding out a la
Marc Marquez, when you’re the Reigning Champion you’ve firmly got a target affixed
to your back! As Mir and Rins have somewhat struggled during Qualie’ during Qatar’s first two
rounds, but both X-Star Riders have marched solidly to the sharp end of the
race and are always a threat for victory! As the Suzuki GSX-RR seems to have
extremely good corner speed and is gentle to it’s Michelin rubber.
Sure it’s Old News over what effectively was a Rider
swap between the two Yamahopper’ Squad., With Fabio Quartararo taking Thee Doctor’s seat at the Werks’
concern, whilst Valentino Rossi will close out his illustrious career at the
Satellite Petronas SRT Squad alongside one of his many protégé’s Franco
Interestingly Maverick “Top Gun” vinales won the season oper at Qatar, whilst Quartararo won the second round in Doha, at the Losail International Circuit. Seeing the Factory Yamaha riders split 1-1 in the wins column heading to Portugal, whilst Rossi and Morbidelli seem lost right now, as both riders struggled at the back of the field.