Here we go Again… #Facepalm
It’s a very tipsy turvy world we live in and the Argentina GP just proved it this weekend by giving a hard time to 90 % of the major contenders of the fields.
1. There is a new cherif in Town
Maverick Vinales has, once again, dominated the weekend from the head and shoulders, just giving up the pole position to Marc Marquez on a damp/drying track on Saturday.
This is the very first time that a single Yamaha rider has won the first two races of the year back to back since… well so long i cannot remember. I can already see you scratching your head wondering if i’m not just telling bullshit there. Of course, who would believed that neither one of the last two Yamaha riders that were Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi has already had that stat in the bag and yet… it’s true.
The way Vinales has adapted and dominated almost every sessions since he first jumped on the M1 at Valencia is impressive if not a very scary prospect for his opponents.
If Rossi was the alien Master, Marquez the fastest of them all, Lorenzo the smoothest and Pedrosa the most precise, Vinales is one new kind of alien. He has Marquez’ blistering fast pace, Lorenzo’s consistency but he is also less agressive than Marquez and more patient than Lorenzo. Should he mastered the wet like Rossi does and become as surgically precise as Pedrosa and he could be unbeatable.
Even in the most desperate time of Valentino Rossi’s career he has always found his way back to the top. Even though Ducati is the black spot on his palmares, he still managed to get a few good results here and there thanks to his ability of always throwing a rabbit out of his hat.
In Argentina the italian struggled. His very poor friday forced him to be in Q1. On saturday he struggle yet again in FP3, found his way into Q2 but started the race outside the first two row. On sunday, the warm up was no exception to a very strange w/e and yet, during the race, the old master tricked everyone again and took the 2nd place of the podium.
We can look at it this way and think he’s been help quite a lot by the many crashes of the race but fact is, even without Marquez going down he would still had finish 3rd. How does he do it ? I guess it’s now just part of his legend. He’s not the fastest anymore neither he is the master of the category and yet you won’t found anybody ever betting against him on Sunday. Nobody does magic on race day like Rossi.
3. Throwing millions on the ground
The Argentina GP weekend was most definatly one very weird event and it kept going this way during the race with what might have seemed like a silly -who will stay on his bike- game.
It started first with Lorenzo. The spaniard confessed he has lost months of work on the bike due to a mistake they made at Valencia. He is now starting fresh since Saturday and desperatly needs track time to continue his adaptation process. Fate decided other way.
During the first lap Lorenzo, stuck in the pack after a very poor friday and QP session, found himself behind Iannone, both their racing line crossing, the spaniard touching the italian’s rear throwing Lorenzo up in the air. He was the first victim of a crashing fiest.
Shortly after a very angry and frustating Lorenzo bursted back into his box like he could have killed someone, the reigning Champion, Marc Marquez, also went down. A strange crash for the man who was leading the race and who, by his own say, felt very good and not pushing to be too fast on the bike. Honda and especially HRC was not over for the day though as Dani Pedrosa suffered an almost identical crash to Marquez’ one a few laps later. This can only mean there’s still a lot of work to be done the the RCV.
Because taking out 3 aliens was not enoughs, more crashes came along the race: Rins was one of them and so was Aleix Espargaro. Poor thing for Aleix though is that he took Dovizioso out in the process. It’s the second year in a row that the italian is taken out of the Argentina GP by someone (everybody remembers that one time Iannone crashed into his teammate ? Yes, that’s when his totally fucked up his chances of a new ducati deal…). All gentleman that he is though, he did not blamed Espargaro for his mistake but instead insisted that Petrucci was riding way over the limit and making the life hard for anyone behind him.
Like last season, the Argentina GP made lots of victims. Some will bounce back at Austin, some won’t. It’s too early to draw conclusions but the sure thing is that this season is shaping rather well for the young movistar rider that is Vinales.
MotoGP action column 2/…
(starring Chris Pratt)