Monday, March 26, 2007

MotoGP:Jerez 250cc and 125cc Races

I haven't reviewed the baby GP classes before, but in this case, they were too exciting to ignore. The 250cc race in particular was stunning.
This race was incredible. One of those races that has you falling off the edge of your seat in amazement. For the last couple of years, the two-fiddy class hasn't produced much in the way of great racing, but that all came to an end at Jerez.
The early stages had all the typical craziness that you expect from a bunch of young lunatics on 2-strokes, but the race really took off a few laps in.
A group of 4 racers had broken away at the front. Hector Barbera fell off, and then there were three.
Dovizioso, Bautista and Lorenzo proceeded to turn the race into an outright classic, beating each other up all the way round the track, lap after lap. The reigning champion Lorenzo had excellent straight line speed, Bautista was hurling his bike around like a lunatic, and Dovi was down on power, but able to brake as late as he liked and take any line he wanted. This all added up to some scintillating racing.
More than once, the three young hooligans went into corners 3 abreast. You expect that into turn 1 on lap 1, but they were doing it right up until the last couple of laps. Lorenzo leading, Bautista making a crazy block pass, pushing them both slightly wide, then Dovizioso sailing up the inside of both, and holding an impossibly tight line to keep in front.
When the dust settled, Jorge Lorenzo had taken the win, from Bautista 2nd and Dovizioso 3rd.
Lorenzo, who after his Qatar victory parked his bike and danced a ludicrous jig next to it, went right over the top with his celebrations again. A supporter handed him a flag. He seized it, and strode arrogantly into the gravel trap, looking around like an English lord surveying his estate. Finally he planted the flag in the gravel in front of thousands of his fans. It carried the slogan, "Lorenzo's land". It made Valentino Rossi's bowling celebration look tame.
The 125cc Grand Prix earlier wasn't as insane as the 250's, but it was dramatic nonetheless. Pole sitter Pasini's bike died half way to the grid, forcing him to push it with his feet a la Fred Flintstone. He started from the pitlane, making up a huge number of positions before ramming Britain's great hope for the future, Bradley Smith. Unusually for somebody with flaming ginger hair, Smith kept his temper and rejoined, finishing last but showing a lot of character. Pasini trundled round to the pits, where he chucked his toys out of the pram.
The race was a photo-finish. Lukas Pesek led into the last corner, but Gabor Talmasci somehow managed to take a later apex, sit the bike up a little and get an excellent drive out of the corner (which isn't supposed to work on a 125!) Talmasci managed to slipstream past Pesek right on the line, winning by a ludicrously small 0.014 seconds.

With the MotoGP race being a bit of a procession up front (though the antics of Toni Elias livened up the midfield), the feeder classes supplied much of the entertainment. The 250 race was a stunner, but the 125's produced a respectable level of testosterone-driven lunacy too. Let's hope they can keep it up!

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