Steve Parrish writes for Silverstone, giving us the lowdown on everything MotoGP
Ok, with four rounds gone my fears of a Marc Márquez domination are coming true, however the only real saving grace is that I could happily watch him all day. Lap after lap out on his own, with his incredible spectacular style which looks like he is about to crash on every corner, kerb or whatever he finds for grip - even the current crop of riders are amazed.
Sadly it seems that he has knocked the spirit out of Jorge Lorenzo - I truly thought he’d be Marc’s strongest competitor. After winter testing, Jorge had issues with the new Bridgestone 2014 spec tyres and was very grumpy about it. We all know Jorge is a class act and should be able to adapt, however his first lap crash in Qatar was a horrendous way to start his Championship campaign. Then to compound this, the jump-start in Austin, USA was embarrassing for him and didn’t help his championship hopes. The third race in Argentina got things going a little, but a distant fourth in Jerez - his home track - eight seconds back, was soul destroying and he put it down to lack of stamina during the race. It wasn’t the ideal way to celebrate his 27th birthday and 200th GP start. Come on Jorge, we and Yamaha need you!
Meanwhile his ever-green-and-yellow teammate Valentino Rossi is loving it - and so he should be. He has changed his style, his crew chief and he looks like a kid in a sweet shop. His enormous grin is telling us “I’m very very ‘appy”, and whilst he is in front of his younger teammate he will be!
Now what about Dani Pedrosa, second in the championship but 28 points back from Marc Márquez his teammate. Dani seems to have resigned himself to the fact that he has once more ended up with an annoying genius as a teammate, who can not only do things on a motorcycle that seem impossible to the rest of the grid, but his ingenious team keeps coming up with tactics which have helped him to his fourth consecutive pole position of the season. They decided they could get him out three times during the 15 minute Qualifying session by jumping off one bike and onto his other bike with fresh tyres, as opposed to the orthodox wheel change system. How he can adapt from one bike to another so quickly is quite extraordinary; it’s extremely rare for two identical bikes to have the same feel and balance, but then again we are talking about the phenomenon that is Marc Márquez.
In the Open class, Aleix Espargaro is the stand out rider, seventh in the championship with 30 points on his Forward Yamaha. Frustratingly for Aleix it looks like his Yamaha could do with some engine updates, but I’m not sure Yamaha will be doing that as he could embarrass the factory and satellite bikes. I also believe that his outstanding performances have accelerated Colin Edwards’ decision to retire at the end of the season, leaving Valentino Rossi the senior statesman on the grid!
It’s really not been a dream start for our British lads. Cal Crutchlow knew it was going to be tough - and painful as it turns out - with his massive crash in Austin leaving him with a broken hand. Cal is still one tough cookie, and having missed Argentina I really did not expect him to be back in Jerez. I said at the start of the year that he’s like a Bulldog crossed with a Jack Russell, and when he retired in Jerez with a brake problem I thought we were going to see him bite the tyres, furious after battling the pain to have another mechanical issue.
Bradley had an unfortunate crash in Qatar, but a brilliant front row start, and is still managing to keep the upper hand on his fast teammate and Yamaha protégé Pol Espargaro. Bradley is increasing in confidence every time he goes out and holds a solid eighth position in the championship with 28 valuable points.
Scott Redding is still finding his feet in the premier class and is setting his sights on other customer Honda riders - the vastly experienced Nicky Haydon and Hiroshi Aoyama, who are all a little disappointed with the bike’s performance. Hopefully Honda will be able to get some updates to them soon.
Michael Laverty keeps knocking on the door of the top 15 but as we all know those top guys are fast!
Sam Lowes in Moto2™ is beating himself up a bit in the hugely competitive field; he is a class act and will soon be consistently up front, and with a bit more luck he has the determination to succeed.
In Moto3™, Danny Kent and John McPhee have also been grinding themselves on the tarmac a bit too often, both having reasonable Qualifying times but having problems in the race preventing them from being near the pointy end at the finish.
So come on lads…let’s get it sorted by Silverstone…Bulldog spirit…keep fighting!comments powered by Disqus