Monday, April 12, 2010

MotoGP Qatar 2010 Winners and Losers

MotoGP finally decided to grace us with its presence, at the Losail circuit in the desert of Qatar, run pointlessly in the dark as always. Here is a roundup of the winners and losers.


MotoGP. Yep, the series threatened a snoozefest but surprised us all with a reasonably cool race, with overtaking for the lead, of all things. A very promising start to the year.

Valentino Rossi. The 9 times champ was beaten to pole position by Casey Stoner, and his Yamaha was slower than a recalcitrant camel down the ludicrous 1 kilometre front straight, but Vale still battled to the victory. To top that, his bike ran out of fuel on the slowdown lap, so he first of all rode majestically on top of the bike as it was trailered back to the pitlane, then stole a scooter to make his fashionably late appearance in parc ferme. The boy's still got it.

Jorge Lorenzo. Despite his right thumb being attached to his hand with bubblegum and staples, the deranged Spaniard grabbed 2nd place late on. This boy's still got it too.

Andrea Dovizioso. A podium for Dovi, and he kicked the tiny derrière of his team-mate in the process.

Nicky Hayden. Lost out on a podium by less than a hundredth of a second after being drafted by Dovi's Honda missile. A brilliant return to form by the Kentucky Kid, helped by the now-rideable Ducati with its new big-bang engine. I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I'd be putting a few quid on Nicky to win at Laguna this year.

Honda. Damn, this bike's quick in a straight line, and quick off corners too.

Ducati. OK, most of them crashed, but the new engine seems to have made the bike rideable. If only they'd invented this engine before they destroyed Marco Melandri.

Ben Spies. Benny Elbowz made a fantastic start to the year with 5th place, and looks like he belongs in MotoGP. Let's not get ahead of ourselves yet, though. A great performance in Qatar with some bruising overtakes did sod all for James Toseland after all...

Moto2. The feeder category was slagged by all and sundry, denounced as a pathetic replacement for the 250GP category so beloved of the purists. They were all wrong. The little 600cc 4-stroke bikes (less power than a World Supersport bike, but about 35kg lighter) provided great entertainment. They all have the same engines but there are something like 15 chassis manufacturers. A brilliant addition to the Grand Prix circus.


Casey Stoner. Fell off with Valentino Rossi pressing him, which has happened a few times. Should've had the race in the bag, but there are no points for chucking your bike down the street. Still a major title challenger, but he'll have to stay on the bike.

Dani Pedrosa. The microscopic matador had a great start, but it all unravelled as the race went on. He just can't get on with the new Honda chassis, unlike his Italian team-mate. The danger is that with his contract ending soon, and Dovi battling for wins, HRC will just tell Dani to sod off and refuse to change the bike to suit him.

Ducati. Yep, winners and losers at the same time. With its new, less peaky engine, the Bologna Bullet now goes round corners, and suits the all-action style of Nicky Hayden, but it's nowt special in a straight line any more.

Colin Edwards. The Texan Tornado got his rear end solidly booted by his fellow Texan, Benny Elbowz, on an identical bike. Not a good start to the year. The hugely likeable Edwards will have to spend less time starring in painfully funny "Man-cation" videos with Spies, and more time beating him on track.


tesla said...

very nice start for the season.. it certainly looks promising.. I am a bit disappointed by Bautista though!! but I hope the new comers from 250 will soon glow and make it more entertaining.

Jimmy said...

I think Bautista will do OK this year, bearing in mind that the Suzuki's not that quick. We might have to wait until the European rounds to see the newcomers really get into the groove, though.