Monday, June 30, 2008

MotoGP: Awful Assen Snoozefest

Yawn. OK, let me see. What can I say about the MotoGP race at Assen? There was a little excitement on the very first lap, a little more on the very last lap, and nothing in between.

On lap one, Valentino Rossi tasted sweet revenge when he fell off his Yamaha and rammed Randy de Puniet off the track. The French Honda rider has destroyed so many people's races over the years that he had this one coming. Unfortunately, Rossi was the only one who might have put up any kind of resistance against Casey Stoner. The Doctor ended up trundling round at the back, changing gear with a little nubbin of metal and satisfying himself with passing Ducati no-hopers Melandri and Elias.

On the last lap, Nicky Hayden's new air-spring Honda ran out of juice about 50 yards before the finish line, letting Colin Edwards overtake him and nick 3rd place. There was no justice here. A lot of people have been talking nonsense about natural justice evening out because Hayden passed Edwards here for the win in 2006. But Edwards gave it too much power on the astroturf on that occasion and highsided himself into a gravel trap. It was his own stupid fault, and it was utterly hilarious. This time round Hayden was let down by his equipment, or rather the ineptitude of the HRC engineers, and it was cruel and undeserved.

The rest of the race consisted of Casey Stoner disappearing into the distance. Having discovered some new setup tricks before Donington, the little Aussie once more has the Ducati dancing to his tune. This time out, he was 3 seconds a lap faster than Marco Melandri, and a few tenths faster than the good riders. Dani Pedrosa had a good start but the #1 Bologna Bullet screamed past and that was that. Apart from Rossi fighting his way past the two trailing Ducatis, which are ludicrously quick in a straight line despite their hapless pilots, nothing else happened. At least The Doctor's struggle to pass those two clowns reinforced quite how brilliant Stoner is, as the only person who can make a Ducati go round a corner at more than 12mph.

Unfortunately, MotoGP has regressed to last year's norm of being a pile of crap. Impressive? Yes. Exciting? Hell, no. This race was utterly tedious. Nobody can touch Stoner on the Ducati when everything is going right. Even when the Ducati isn't working, Stoner still beats the rest with his world-class whingeing skills. Luckily they weren't required at Assen.

What more can I say? If only the idiots who control MotoGP hadn't burned their bridges, they might be able to hold their hands up and bring back the 990's!

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