I have to say that the Qatar race was always full of action. Since 2004, if I remember it right, it was full of surprises each year. On the other hand, I have to make a point about the track because someone at some point had a job and he didn’t make it right.
The cause of all the trouble during this weekend
The track is situated in the desert which is pretty famous to be a very dry place. But if there is anything we learned from mother nature is that things can change without advice. When they planned it, someone came up with a great idea to built it with no drainage system to save money in a place where they have no financial problems. The result was that a small part of the track was still wet and the race started after two attempts. One who made this possible was Loris Capirossi with the race commission who drilled holes in the pavement at night till 5 am. I can’t stress enough the importance of a man like him in the race commission.
Yamaha “it’s complicated”
I was sure that Vinales would dominate the race from start to finish. But he didn’t, he had a bit of luck but this is part of racing. I think he had a lot of stress and expectation on him that made him over cautious. The weather conditions played also a big role and some riders don’t have a good feeling when they have less grip. But as Giancarlo Falappa would say “if it’s wet, it’s wet for everyone”.
Rossi on the other side showed once again that he’s that he can come back from a really bad situation like this and still make the best out of it. The situation was desperate on Friday and on Saturday they couldn’t ride. The Doctor started from the 10th place but he never stopped working with Yamaha to find the right solution. He was hit by someone during the start, fortunately, the only thing to be damaged was the rear camera which remained attached to the bike only through the cable. He made a great 3rd place and he’s determined like never before.
Ducati the beast that few seem to handle
Dovizioso was always very competitive in Qatar, I knew he could get on the podium even if this track it’s not particularly good for Ducati. Yes, the straight might be very long but the acceleration starts from slow corners in 2nd gear. So this is Dovi’s riding skills’ result. Lorenzo keeps suffering for the typical Ducati characteristics and it’s not just the place (he finished 11th) it’s the fact that his pace was never competitive. The comparative with Rossi at his first race with Ducati is inevitable, he did better back then and more important, he did better than his team colleague.
Honda still not ok
There are certain signs in riders that make you understand when they are not comfortable either with the bike or some choice they made. Marquez doesn’t feel the bike like it should. He changed the front tire right before the start. Now, this is a big deal for a racing rider. While changing the rear tire doesn’t affect you psychologically, the front tire does. The front is hardwired to the rider’s sensation of the limit. Making a change here, right before the start means that you’re not ok with the bike. They solved a lot of problems of last year concerning the acceleration working on the crankshaft.
Aprilia and Suzuki
Aleix Espagaro made a great and very satisfying 6th place from the 15th at the start. He said he could do better with a qualifying and I think he’s probably right. He can be very quick on the single lap.
Iannone made a mistake or probably he was just Marquez hitting him by slowing down. We should see the telemetry to know but we never will because I don’t have friends at Honda. But as a matter of fact, he made a great show and I still like his flamboyant way of riding.
Zarco, to finish first, first you have to finish
Before crashing, Johann Zarco was on the way to do something amazing and I think he had enough gap to keep the distance. We congratulate him for this incredible start in MotoGP and hope to see more of him soon.