ROUND 5: FRANCE
The frenchGP was a well waited venue this season as home boy Johann Zarco is becoming quite the phenomenon and could have been the first french rider in years to claim a win on his home soil. History had other plans.
1. Unstoppable Marquez
The “Circuit des 24 heures” is a well known Yamaha track where Lorenzo & Rossi’s palmares speaks for itself as well as Vinales win last season.
For Marquez to claim the win on Sunday at such a track, with a bloody fast pace and respectable gap on 2nd Danilo Petrucci is the living proof of just how good the RCV is this season and how the package Marquez/Honda seems unstoppable.
With a gap of already more than 30 points on Vinales (2nd) on the championship standings, the season seems already shapping into another success for Marquez.
Of course everybody remembers Marc Marquez’ incredible run of victory in 2014, which have us wondering: could the spaniard do a repeat ? Can he beat his own record ? Will anybody be able to stop the Marquez show ?
2. Down to the gravel trap
There were many crashes this weekend at Le Mans, some that could have had huge consequence on the riders (Crutchlow’s lucky he was not injured because that fall was scary as hell!) while some have change the shape of the championship.
The first few laps of the French GP were under the impression that some kind of sorcery was happening. As Lorenzo was leading (thanks to the soft tires he just wouldn’t stop using even though everybody on this planet know it won’t last the whole race), his teammate was acting like a frustrated child in a hurry to get his new toy, looking for a way – any way – to pass Lorenzo as fast as he could so that he could prevent Marquez (at that time not a direct threat) to catch him for the win.
The thing with this strategy, like Zarco will later explain, is that a Leading Lorenzo is a very hard Lorenzo to pass. The spaniard not only is killing the race start game but he then closes all doors for his opponents to make a move on him forcing them to risk everything they have if they want to lead (something at which only Marquez seems really good at). Once Dovizioso finally made his move on his teammate. He led the race for only a few seconds before crashing into the gravel trap. To Dovizioso’s own word, the crash resulted only in his own mistake.
The italian wasn’t the only one to go down trying to pass Lorenzo. Few corners later it was time for the French Man Johann Zarco to hit the ground being to impatient looking for a way in and past the spaniard. No French GP win for the home boy, but getting closer and closer nonetheless.
3. Silliest silly season
A few more pieces of the 2019 grid puzzle went done at Le Mans as Rins signed a new 2 year deal with Suzuki while Alex Espargaro and Dovizioso are staying at Aprilia and Ducati or 2019 and 2020.
The biggest pieces are still to go down though as Lorenzo and Pedrosa are both looking for a ride. The problem for them ? The future of MotoGP is already knocking at the door and Joan Mir is looking to take one their ride.
Lorenzo’s high profile and salary demands seems to put him in a position where neither Ducati or Suzuki would sign him while Pedrosa’s seat is linked to so many riders that we have lost counts.
In the coming weeks leading to the Mugello, things are about to go as crazy as one could imagine with just today, story coming GPone are linking Lorenzo back to… Yamaha. I know, crazy!
Will Pedrosa keep his seat next to Marquez ? Will Mir go blue with Suzuki or orange with Honda ? Could Lorenzo go back to Yamaha with the backing of Monster and Movistar for a 3rd factory ride ? Will we lose 2 of the biggest name in the history of MotoGP ?
4. Yamaha’s “luck” and faillure
Once the race was over i had a look at the championship standing to see just how many points Marquez was already having. To say i was surprised by who was currently 2nd is an understatement ! Who could have believe that Maverick Vinales, with his current form, would found himself 2nd in the standing ?
Don’t be fool by this though as the more we go on in this season the more it seems that the 2018´s bike is a complete faillure. The one that once was the best bike of the grid, the one team that only a few years ago had both his riders finishing Champion and Vice-Champ is now a team that hasn’t won a race in… wait for it… 15 races! That’s right, Yamaha’s last win was Rossi’s at Assen almost a year ago.
The lack of improvement from the bike, the lack of results from the riders and their ever growing frustration leading them to have strong words against their team in the press is becoming a problem that Lin Jarvis and the big boss back in Japan should adress ASAP if they don’t want to keep looking like fools against Johann Zarco. If i was Lin, i would have trouble sleeping. Someone is going to pay for all this, and i bet you Jarvis’ seat is an ejectable one…
5. Honorable mentions
Cal Crutchlow is tuff. So tuff he was riding on sunday after one hell of a scary crash on saturday and a night spent at the hospital.
Pramac Ducati showing what they were made of Le Mans taking 2nd and 4th: the top spot of the ducati squad.
Iannone might have not finish the race on sunday but he sure made an impression with his Deadpool helmet !!