MM93 – 10: Impressive. Unbeatable. Maestro. Out of this world. Boys, they better watch how hard this guy is gonna hit them all in two weeks at Austin…
MV12 – 6: Yes he crashed but let’s all keep in mind that, for once, he had a good start!
VR46 – 9: There will always be something magical about Valentino Rossi. He crossed the line 2nd and he celebrated it like he had won for the biggest pleasure of all the tifosi around the world.
JZ5 – 3: There’s some signs that doesn’t lie and right now facts are that Oliveira is doing better on that KTM than you Johann…
AD04 – 8: On a day where Marquez was unbeatable, the best Dovi could have done was 2nd. Except he did not even finished 2nd…
FQ20 – 7: Last time out Fabio was crying his eyes out, this time he wasn’t. This time Fabio delivered one hell of a ride !
JL99 – 4: Remember Jorge’s famous jumped start from the US GP ? Well this ArgentinaGP one will soon be as legend as the former one. Let’s find a name for it: drawning start ? How to have a bad start in one lesson ? Mum, i hit the wrong button start ?
JM43 – 8: An impressive ride from the man Ducati said “NO” to for the second factory seat… Danilo, where were you ?
CC35 – 7: He moved. As harsh as it is, Cal did moved on that line. Now you can argue, maybe the penalty was too strong or maybe not, but the penalty was deserved, that’s for sure.
AI29 – 2: Lately, Andrea is having way more success on Instagram than on track. Maybe now would be the right time have a new look at your priorities and what you really care for ?
I mean.. DUH ! Who else could really compete with the multiple times reigning World Champ ?
Bromance of the year: VR46 & JL99 – Mugello
Imagine Valentino and Jorge, together on a gondola in Venice. Impossible ? Not if you’ve watched the Mugello GP’s post race press conf. “But with nice girls” Jorge added. Of course.
Race of the season: Assen
We’ve been blessed with many incredible races this season but nothing compares to the DutchGP. A classic track made for bikes and only for bikes providing one hell of a fight for the win until the very end of the race. What’s more to like than that ?
The “It’s not me, it’s him” award: Jorge Lorenzo – Aragon
To be agree with Jorge Lorenzo, or not to be ? That’s a good question. One we’re still unsure of how we feel about. One thing’s clear though: Jorge could have prevented the crash by simply loosing a few places.
Most impressive crash of the year: Pirro (mugello) & Lorenzo (Buriram)
Pirro’s horrific crash at the Mugello won this easily up until Lorenzo had this scary highside in Thailand that cost him so much in the second half of the season. The Ducati might be the fastest on track but she’s also quite the threat to a rider’s life…
Worst haircut of the year: Scott Redding’s dreadlocks
Without even a freaking doubt!
Pass of the season: Jorge Lorenzo – Austria
Most of Lorenzo’s pass are always a delight to see because they are as precise as a knife cutting skin. This one wasn’t. To beat Marquez you have to play like Marquez. He does block passes. You have to do the same. Lorenzo studied well and mastered the block pass for a race win on the block pass King himself. Impressive.
Save of the year: Marc Marquez – Catalan GP (Q1)
This has to become Marc Marquez’ lifetime award. Nobody else can do these like he does. After last year save while leading the ValenciaGP against Zarco, we thought he could never best that. WE WERE WRONG! Proof: his never ending slide and save at Catalunya! Don’t lie, we were all mesmerized by it and watched it a couple of hundred times on replay.
The “Quote for the ages” awards: Jorge Lorenzo
“I’m not a great rider, i’m a world champion”. You take that Domenicalli! A world champion you’ve just lost!
The “Going from bad to worst” award: Yamaha
Last season was quite a bad one with only 4 wins but this season was a disaster. Only Maverick Vinales was able to save a little bit of the Japaese’s brand honor in Phillip Island, winning their only victory in 2018 after Marquez and a few other challengers went down.
Most tearfully goodbyes of the season: Dani Pedrosa’s farewell
The year has finally come where we had to say Goodbye to one of our OG. One of the best rider ever and someone most people between 20 and 30 admired and loved. The year has finally come to say Goodbye to Dani Pedrosa. Even though be knew it was coming, we still weren’t ready for that.
Worst season of his never ending career award: Valentino Rossi
With no win at all in 2018, Valentino’s season felt as bad as back when he was at Ducati. Something he probably never thought would happen at Yamaha…
Phone call of the decade: Jorge Lorenzo & Alberto Puig
Jorge Lorenzo should have never go to the HRC if you listen to most experts. The bike will never suit him, the HRC only has eyes for Marquez bla bla bla. And yet, with just one phone call, Alberto Puig’s made himself one of the most successfull time in MotoGP history. Let’s be honest, if someone can beat Marquez with his own weapon, it’s Lorenzo. And vice-versa.
Worst closet you’ve ever seen: Jorge Lorenzo’s Philipp Plein collection
We did not questioned Jorge’s fashion sense when he started wearing very long shirt. We stayed quiet about the pink swimwear he loves so much. We even thought his red hair was a cute touch last season. His collection of funky jackets and colorful shoes from Philipp Plein though was too much for our eyes!
The “i knew he could do it” award: Alex Rins
Man of the second half of the season, the rise of Alex Rins was long awaited by some of us. Now let’s see how well does he feel in the “leading man for Suzuki” shoes.
“Most useless person” award: Uccio – Argentina
You’re not Lin Jarvis. Nor Carmello Ezpeleta. Do not dare tell Marc Marquez to go away ever again.
The “Lady luck loves you” award: Marquez & Zarco – Phillip Island
That huge crash at a very fast part of Phillip Island could have ended so bad. Luckely for both men, a few scratches and bike parts destroyed was all there was to deplore.
Favorite Helmet this season: “King Mugello” – JL99 – CatalanGP
We love a good graffity helmet and so we were really glad to see Jorge Lorenzo bring this one back with a whole new and updated version at Catalunya.
Breakup of the year: Andrea Iannone & Bellen !
I’m still refusing to think about it… *ugly cries*
The return of the spartan award: Jorge Lorenzo’s back to back wins
After almost a year and a half without winning a race, Jorge Lorenzo made the 2018 summer his by: calling Alberto for a deal, telling his boss (Claudio) who’s the real boss, winning his first race for Ducati at the Mugello, making official he was leaving his team at the end of the season at the italian GP press conference, announcing his whole new shinny deal with Honda a few days later, winning again in Catalunya, taking so many pole position even Marquez was jealous and mastering the block pass. All this while making sure Dovizioso really was pissed off. Good job Jorge.
Phillip Island provides both a gorgeous landscape with sea
in the background (and seagull playing around) and a fast floating track. It’s
no surprise then that it always makes good racing and it’s a favorite for many
fans and riders.
After 25 races of plain struggles and no wins at all, since
Valentino Rossi’s Assen GP victory, Yamaha finds the top step once again thanks
to Maverick Vinales. Funilly enough it’s Maverick who’s racing his famous 25
spaniard couldn’t hide his joy on Sunday, happy to finally get the chequered
flag first once again and proud to be the one ending Yamaha’s victory drought: “This
is the best feeling ever, honestly! We’ve been in the dark all year, and
suddenly we came into the light! The season has been difficult. I needed that
win. We needed that win. Yamaha needed it also, to start next year. I said on
Friday, ‘we need to be good and motivated to start next year really well’ and
for sure this win is going to give us a lot of motivation.”
though people started to think maybe the riders were also one of the many
problems from Yamaha’s crisis, Vinales never doubted himself and his skills. In
fact it’s in yamaha that the spaniard lost faith a little at some point during
his personal 28 races victory drought: “There were two races I felt I
could win. One was Silverstone [cancelled] and another was here. So to make it
is really good and to win here is so special.”
win wasn’t an easy get away though. Vinales once again struggled at the start
being merely into the top 10 by the end of the first couple of laps even though
he started from the front row: “I didn’t expect to start so bad, it was
incredible. When I saw myself in tenth I just said to myself, ‘Maverick, you
are stupid! What are you doing!’” I just tried to keep my concentration. We
worked so well this morning on the electronics and I knew if I felt good I
could be fast because I was top-three all weekend. I felt good, so I said, ‘now
I have to push. Not think about the tyres, just push and push’. When I saw I
was three-seconds [clear] I could relax a little bit and save the tyre, but it
was close at the end because both Andreas were coming really fast. In MotoGP
it’s always really difficult to control the race, control the gap. They were so
fast at the end and I was struggling, thinking, ‘maybe they’ll catch me’
because in the last laps my rear tyre was really down. I just tried to control
the gas really well. Luckily I could push at the beginning. I didn’t expect to
be so fast in the beginning, but finally I made enough gap just in case the
tyre went down.“
the 2019 will be a clear contrast against his 2018 season, Vinales made it
clear he believes and hope Yamaha will now listen to him and let him lead next
year’s bike developement as showed that, when everything is right he can win
"à la Lorenzo” too: “For Yamaha, I proved I can win races and
they need to try to provide a bike for my riding style. Especially in the
middle of the corners to turn and if we have that we have the chance to fight. I
think if we work well for 2019 we can be strong as we were in 2017. So we need
to keep working. Next year I will also have more experience and I will be
better, because I know the worst point of being here racing and the better ones.
We have a great chassis, but we have to improve the electronic and engine. I
really love the chassis because, as today, I can ride really fast.”
2) Marquez / Zarco
Marc Marquez’ curse continues. Indeed, each time the spaniard get to win a
MotoGP title in Japan, he finds himself impossible to finish the next race at
Phillip Island. This time though, Marquez was forced to a DNF because of a
racing incident which happened between him and french man Johann Zarco in the
very early laps of the race. The two men collide when Zarco touched Marquez’
rear, propulsing the french rider out of his bike and into the gravel trap. The
bike of his bike being too damaged, the 2018 World Champion had to get back in
his pit, scoring his first DNF since Silverstone 2017.
riders were lucky enough to get out of the horrific incident without a scratch
and they both were gracious enough to not dramatise anything of what happened.
Marquez: “When I was on the bike, I didn’t understand what happened and, honestly
speaking, I was angry, because I felt some contact from the rear. I wasn’t able
to continue because my seat was completely broken and was moving a lot. It was
impossible to ride in a good way and if it broke completely, it would become
very dangerous. Then when I arrived in the box and I saw the video I
understood what happened and it was completely a racing incident. At that point
in the track we arrive really fast. Miller was in front, I was the slipstream
behind Miller, at over 300 km/h. I braked, even a little bit late, and I just
tried to stop more, but then I felt the contact, because Zarco took the
slipstream from two bikes. Of course, you can say maybe he can consider this
[slipstream], but it’s a racing incident, I already spoke with him. I feel
really lucky today because me and him are both OK so this is the most important
“I went to him to say sorry because I totally destroyed the back of his bike
and he told to me the most important thing was that I didn’t injure myself. As two racers and sportsmen we totally understood each other. It
was an accident as we are going so fast and there was not a lot of space on the
left side. He was close to Jack and he came back on to the racing line at corner
one but I was also there. So I crashed.”
Vinales’ chasing pack
Vinales, Adrea Iannone took 2nd after a weekend where he showed a very
impressive pace. The italian even believes that without a couple of silly
mistakes he made, the victory was a true possibility: “I started the race
with a really strong feeling and for sure we had a really good potential to try
to win the race. But I made a mistake at Turn 4 and
lost 4-5 positions. It was not a good situation! I tried to recover but I felt
the tyre start to drop more than I expected and so I decided to remain in the
group and manage the tyres as best I could. That strategy allowed the Italian
to make a late push for victory, taking chunks out of Vinales’ lead until
another Turn 4 error. I had a little more in the last four laps and I tried to
push at 100%, I closed [on Vinales] but on the last lap I made another mistake
at Turn 4 so Dovi nearly overtook me. But at the end it was a great fight –
also with Vale, both Ducatis, Marc and Zarco. It was a difficult race and at
the end we got second position. I’m happy”
Dovizioso closes the podium even though Alvaro Bautista, replacing injured Lorenzo,
did not make the job easy on Desmo Dovi. The italian was overall very happy to
see the Ducati finally being competitive at Phillip Island, a track where
they’ve been struggling ever since Casey Stoner left the Bologna boat for Honda
in 2011: “A lot of good things happened today. I’m really happy. That was
the last important test before the end of the season, because this is a track
where we always struggled. So we confirmed, in every practice, our improvement
over last year. The winglets, the set-up is different from last year and it
worked. The improvement is big. Still it’s not enough to really fight because
in the middle of the corner I was too slow. We accelerate more in the main
straight, but in some corners I couldn’t exit with the right speed. I was able
to put myself in the right position, that gave me the chance to fight for the
podium, but I really didn’t have the same speed as these two riders [Vinales
and Iannone]. So we still have to continue to improve, because in some
other parts we are really, really good, but still we are struggling in the
middle of the corners.”
of the race though has to be Alvaro Bautista. The spaniard was given the very
uneasy job of replacing 5 times World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo, on the
desmosedici GP18. After struggling a little (and crashing some more) in the
free practices, Bautista found his pace and was able to display all of his
riding skills: “It’s a bit different from the satellite team because in the
satellite team you have just a few people working for you. But in the factory
team you have the same people in the box but behind the box you have eight
people more. And they help a lot. In this category the small details make the
difference, and those small details are better in the factory team. Also for
sure the bike is different. For me I’m very impressed of the engine, the
character of the engine, the power of the engine. It’s incredible how different
this bike is from the bike of last year that I’m using. The difference is quite
big. Well, I had better results in the past but for sure it’s been good,” he
said. “Just to arrive for one weekend with a different bike, a different team,
a different way to work, and also in this track that I’ve struggled in the
past… Also with the three crashes I had in the whole weekend, and to recover
the feeling and confidence for the race was really good. I was fighting for the
podium position. I missed for the fight for the podium at the end because I had
a problem with the gearbox. When I switched to third – because the gearbox is a
bit different to what I’m using – I didn’t engage the gear and I lost the
distance with both Andreas. In any case I’m happy because I enjoyed the race
fighting at the front.”
MM93 – 10: All Hail to King Marquez ! May his reign be even longer than Queen Elizabeth II !
VR46 – 7: The M1’s poor ambitions are outweighing Vale’s talent. And Lin isn’t doing anything about it !
AI29 – 3: The maniac crashed out of the race BUT THANKS GOD, he did not scratch his pretty Instagram worthy face.
AD04 – 7: One of the many differences between a Great Rider and a Champion has to be being able to deal with title pressure. Two years in a row that Andrea is lacking in that department… #atleasthetried
DP9 – 5: I’ll be honest, i did not even saw him during the race. Maybe i should have woken up for every session to see a glimpse of Danilo…
CC35 – 8: I’ve heard Cal sais he hoped to finish in front of Lorenzo in the standings to « show his value ». Has someone told him yet that Jorge hasn’t even been racing lately ? No ? Well…
SR45 – 3: We know you adore Marc, but that’s no reason to try and broke him so you could have him all for yourself buddy.. 😉
AR42 – 8: Slowly but surely someone is finally getting there. And it’s a joy to see!
BS38 – 7: Is that some real progress that we’re seeing with the KTM ?!?!! 👀
MV25 – 6: Maverick, sweety, it’s decided. You’re SO getting race start private lessons during the winter.
AB19 – 8: Jorge might be grumpy and forced to stay at home but at least it’s making someone else happy. Cheers to Alvaro for getting a well deserved opportunity !!