MotoGP News

photos: Yamaha-Racing

MYMm__G105362So, who would have thought? It seems the tension between Valentino Rossi and team-not-so-much-mate Jorge Lorenzo is still very much in the air. Even in the final test, there were gestures flying and comments hurled about deliberate attempts to spoil. Lorenzo then went on to dominate the Qatar season opening race. Has he worked out how to get inside Rossi’s head or is it all part of the show? Either way, with Andrea Dovizioso storming through in second ahead of Marc Marquez and Rossi, it looks like there is another Alien-elect right from the get-go this season. He did say his Ducati’s engine made it possible, hunting down the others with its spectacular top-end hit.MYMm__TI16453

Also in the news was KTM announcing that Bradley Smith will be their team rider next season. The 24 year-old British rider will debut the new V-4 KTM and testing is showing that KTM have been doing their homework. A great opportunity in a high profile role for Smith, who was not in a full factory team but still clinched sixth last season.

In Moto2, it was Tom Luthi who was eventually confirmed as the winner. Controversy struck when several riders were penalised for creeping at the start. Folger was leading by over a second at the time and pushed hard to make time but it all came unstuck, resulting in a trip to the gravel trap and his chance of a dream start to the season evaporated. The same issue was again in the spotlight as the officials viewed different camera angles and further penalties were awarded with only six or seven laps remaining. Although Luthi excecuted a great planned move to pass Franco Morbidelli for what appeared to be the lead, he needn’t have. Morbidelli was part of the second wave of penalties and despite not receiving a ride-through penalty like Zarco. Lowes and Rins, his time penalty, applied immediately upon crossing the line, saw him relegated to seventh. So a messy start for the control-engine class but it was entertaining as usual…

Moto3 went down to the wire and the thickness of that wire was all that separated the winner, Nicolo Antonelli and second placed Brad Binder. With the photo showing that the 0.007-second win equates to a couple of inches, with the bikes on opposite sides of the track made it impossible to tell with the naked eye. With both teams on edge as the two matched speed towards the flag, it was a fantastic opener to the season for what is an important class. Not only is it the proving ground for talent coming into the MotoGP league, the small capacity market is huge globally and the advances made are seen as essential to developing new technologies for the road – much like the MotoGP main class but for an even wider audience – in case you were wondering why the class is so well supported.