An easy victory for Jorge Lorenzo this weekend as he started and finished in first place. After a cracking start from the Mallorcan, he led the race with ease and finished ten seconds ahead of his teammate and biggest rival Valentino Rossi. Lorenzo’s win puts him five points ahead of fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez, who surprisingly finished the race in thirteenth after a suspicious crash.
How great was it to see Maverick Vinales on the podium though? He’s the first person to put a Suzuki on the podium since Loris Capirossi managed to back in 2008 at Brno, Czech Republic.
It was a real crash-fest today with seven riders crashing out and one rider retiring. The most confusing crash by far was that of Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, who both lost the front at the same time without actually touching each other, leading us to think that there could have been something spilled on the track. There was no race direction inquest into it though, so it may have been a freak coincidence.
A really strong performance from Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci who made his return to MotoGP after a fall at the Phillip Island pre-season testing where he damaged his right hand (his braking and throttle hand). He finished the race in seventh place after a short battle with Hector Barbera.
As always, we can’t forget the supporting classes! Moto2 saw some unthinkable crashes, with Alex Marquez, Lorenzo Baldassari, current Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger all succumbing to the gravel.
Thomas Luthi took an early lead, after getting a fantastic start and leading the pack throughout the race. But Alex Rins took the lead off him, and finished four seconds ahead of Luthi. Today’s race win bumped Rins to the top of the championship, and he is definitely showing signs of being a strong contender for the win! Unfortunately, Luthi was pushed back to third, slotting in behind Simone Corsi in second.
Now, I must make a confession. I didn’t actually wake up in time to watch the Moto3 race because hey, I’m a student and we don’t do early mornings or anything before 10am. But I hear it was a great race and that Brad Binder is really showing promise. He is now sitting comfortably at the top of the championship standings, twenty four points in front of Jorge Navarro. There was just over a third of a second separating Binder, Fenati and Navarro, making it the closest finish in Moto3 since the Grand Prix in Qatar.
Finally, I’d just like to touch on rider/team signings. It was announced on Thursday that Jonas Folger would be joining the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team next year. This leaves us posing the question of: “where is everyone else going?” We know Lorenzo is leaving Yamaha to join Ducati, Bradley Smith will be going to KTM and Valentino Rossi is staying with his Movistar Yamaha team.
The hype began to build on Twitter on Monday afternoon after LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow tweeted that he was “really pleased” with the new two year contract he would be signing later on in the day. It was later revealed on Monday evening that the contract he had signed was in fact with 02, and he had just received his new phone.
The Ducati duo of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso are really fighting for their jobs at the moment, with only one factory Ducati seat available for next season. At the moment, it is questionable whether either Andrea will be keeping their seat. Everyone’s eye is on Maverick Vinales, as he keeps teasing us with the idea of a Yamaha move, but Suzuki also really want to keep the young rising star in their team. It is 99% certain that Marquez will be keeping his seat at Repsol Honda but his teammate Dani Pedrosa’s future at the team hangs in the balance.
We also can’t forget the likes of Alex Rins and Johann Zarco who have been shining in the Moto2 category, and who really deserve a ride in MotoGP next year.
Rumours are circulating that Vinales’ decision will be made and announced in Mugello, and personally I think he’d be silly to turn down a ride which has won championships. But we’ll just have to wait and see!