Another MotoGP weekend, another feast of entertaining racing! This is why I love MotoGP so much. You never know what can happen and this weekends race at Assen, the first to be hosted on a Sunday at the circuit since it’s inception, showed just that.
It’s the half way point of the season, 9 races out of 18 completed, and this season has not dissapointed. The championship, in all three classes, is really beginning to take shape. Can we start taking a shot at predicting the outcome?
Maybe we can. If you look closely at the situation you may be able pick up hints as to just what the outcome may be. First of all, someone has, in a way, snuck in under the radar. Marc Marquez is that man in my opinion. He has been understated this season, at the top of the championship and with a healthy lead, yet he has not had any spectacular Marc Marquez rides as yet. He has, in fact, been the opposite of his usual self, consistent. Now as much as it’s spectacular to watch him go at it without any concern,it’s been interesting to see his progress in to and through this season so far. I have not missed a race yet and in all honesty I have hardly noticed Marquez. With all eyes glued to the Lorenzo, Rossi battle, Marquez has done a good job to stay out of harms way and has left the crazy passes to Iannone this season. He has been smart. He knows the limit of the Honda and seems to be the only one who knows how to ride it. It’s been solid, clever, mature riding from Marquez, showing everyone that maybe he knows another way to win a championship, not just plowing his way through to one.
Rossi on the other hand has not been his consistent self. Three DNF’s already this season in nine races and 42 point’s off the pace. Is he already out of it? Is it a two horse race between Lornezo and Marquez? It may still be too early to tell but if you look back at this time last year, Rossi was leading the way and just came off a win at Assen. It just doesn’t feel like his year to me. Last year felt like it was his year but we all know how that turned out. He is the Doctor after all and if anyone can do it it is most probably him.
The great thing about MotoGP is that you never know what is going to happen. Assen this weekend proved just that. Jack Miller came out of no where to take his first MotoGP win on possibly one of the most difficult bikes to ride, the MarcVDS Honda. Yes, weather played a part but Miller rode a brilliant race from the restart and deserved the win. It was anyone’s race and he beat out the best of them. Lorenzo and Vinales on the other hand looked absolutely rubbish in the rain. If Vinales wants to be one of the greatest and a part of the ‘Aliens’, he is going to have to change that. However when you see how one of those ‘Aliens’, Lorenzo, rides in the rain, that may be debated. Lorenzo was nowhere, tip-toeing around the track. He may as well have been walking or riding the scooter Marquez stole from the photographer in qualifying.
He will undoubtedly be back though when the races in the sun come around.
It was great to see a podium with Miller and Redding on it. These guys work just as hard, if not harder on the independent machines and deserve the recognition.
In Moto2 things are looking tight between Zarco, Rins and Lowes, who all have MotoGP rides awaiting them next season so will all be looking to go out of Moto2 as champion. Zarco’s ride has not been confirmed yet in MotoGP but it’s most definitely going to happen and more than likely with Tech 3, being the only realistic option left now that Rins has joined Ianonne at Suzuki. This came as a slight surprise after Zarco posted pictures of himself testing the Suzuki MotoGP machine on Instagram.
Lowes will be joined by Aliex Espargaro at Aprilia for the 2017 season. Here’s hoping that the Aprilia machine will live up to expectations with two top quality riders on board.
In Moto3, Brad Binder is still firmly in charge with a 48 point lead, this still after a 12th place finish at Assen. Can he stay consistent in the second half of the season and beat out his rivals to the title? Not only that, but where will he be next year? Possibly replacing Zarco for Ajo Motorsport in Moto2? I can’t wait for all of this to unfold!
This is my word at the half way point of the MotoGP season.