MotoGP Jerez II Results: Andalucía

© Bruce Allen

Quartararo goes 2-for-2 in 2020; Yamaha podium lockout 

With injured defending champion Marc Marquez registering the first DNS of his premier class career, the grid mostly failed to take advantage of his absence. Seven of the top 12 qualifiers crashed out or retired. So, presume Marquez returns at 90% in Brno with Fabio enjoying a 50 point cushion, 11 rounds left. Who do you bet on for the title? 

Screenshot (86)

For Fabio, life is good.

This is yet another of example of how important it is to be careful what you wish for. The large, expanding ‘Anyone but Marquez Club’ seems to have delivered us simply a new incarnation of Marquez, a rider capable of rattling off five wins in a row. On a satellite Yamaha. Setting all-time track records along the way. Making it look simple. Pressured Marquez enough at Jerez I to contribute to his crash. Today, in his absence, young Fabio led from lights out to checkered flag and was never seriously challenged. There was some good action behind him. You know, the way it was when, you know, Marquez was kicking everyone’s ass. Same ass, different boot.

Practice and Qualifying 

Friday

What is there to learn on Friday during the second week of a back-to-back? On this particular Friday, for Round Two, we couldn’t help but notice several obvious things. Riders who should not have been in the hospital were crowded around the top of the time sheets, while riders who SHOULD have been in the hospital were grouped at the bottom, with Marquez not even bothering to suit up.

If you think this was business as usual, how about this: KTM occupied three of the top six spots on the combined time sheet, with Yamaha holding the other three. Jack Miller rode the top Ducati while Takaa Nakagami was the top Honda rep in P8.

One admires the grit and determination of Rins and Crutchlow and, apparently, Marquez, but the fact that they’re cleared to race grand prix motorcycles is a joke. #93 seemed to think he could podium at Jerez with one arm. Crutchlow and Rins must have suspected there were points at stake that they could potentially claim. But the Yams—Maverick, Rossi and Morbidelli—were quick on Friday. And Binder, Espargaro and Oliveira finding their way to the top six is damned remarkable. But it looked like it was probably a Friday thing, and that things would heat up for real in FP3 on Saturday morning.

Saturday

The culling of the herd in FP3 was a bit refreshing, topped by Yamahas and Ducatis. Fabio and Maverick punished the all-time track record. Jack Miller flogged his Ducati to third, with Takaa Nakagami overachieving in P4. Pecco Bagnaia and Danilo Petrucci put Ducati in P5 and P6. The top ten was completed by gritty KTM rookie Brad Binder, Valentino, Pol Espargaro and Joan Mir. These riders would proceed directly to Q2. Oliveira and Morbidelli moved on through Q1 to Q2, edging out the brave Cal Crutchlow, who would start from P13.

The news that Marc Marquez was done for the weekend (!) arrived immediately after the completion of Q2. This changed the perspective for Sunday’s race back to what it was last Monday, when the idea of Marquez racing was ridiculous. I read somewhere that this type of fracture could end Marquez’ season. Right. He will return at Brno ready to rumble.

Row I           Quartararo, Vinales and Bagnaia

Row II          Rossi, Oliveira, Morbidelli

Row III        Miller, Nakagami, Binder

Row IV         Mir, Petrucci, Pol Espargaro

The Race 

Don’t let anyone tell you that young Fabio Quartararo has not arrived on the MotoGP scene, Alien card in hand, expiration date years from now. Joined on the podium by fellow Yamaha pilots Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi, I would also encourage the reader to ignore anyone suggesting The New Kid In Town is doing it on an inferior bike. Suddenly, the Yamaha loves Jerez, which suggests it will be happy pretty much everywhere left on the calendar. The bike is good enough to transport Rossi to the podium for the first time since last year in Austin. Just sayin’.

Some Days Chicken, Some Days Feathers 

“I’ve Seen Better Days”

Pecco Bagnaia:       Started 3rd; retired with mechanical

Miguel Oliveira:      Came through Q1 to start from P5; crashed.

Franco Morbidelli:   Came through Q1 to start from P6; crashed.

Jack Miller:             Started 7th; crashed.

Brad Binder:          Started 8th; crashed.

Cal Crutchlow dragged his LCR Honda across the finish line to secure three points. KTM Rookie Iker Lecuona just had a forgettable day.

“Let Me Thank Some Folks”

Rider            Qualified       #DNF*          Finished

Quartararo             1st          0                1st

Vinales                   2nd         0                2nd

Rossi                        4th         1                3rd

Nakagami              8th          4                4th

Mir                          10th        5                5th

Dovizioso              14th        7                6th

Espargaro              10th        6               7th

A. Marquez            21st         8               8th

*Of those who qualified in front of the rider.

The Undercards

Moto3 gave us the usual spellbinder, as the first five riders to cross the finish line were separated by 8/10ths of a second. Chalk up the win to Tatsuki Suzuki, who took advantage of a crash by series leader Albert Arenas and his own sizzling pace to win today’s race, joined on the podium by Scottish veteran John McPhee and Italian teenager Celestino Vietti. This was a nail biter from start to finish, with eight more riders failing to finish. After wins at Qatar and Jerez I, Arenas was contending, looking to put some distance between himself and his pursuers, when he binned it. Rather than heading to Brno with 75 points on the trot and a sizeable lead in the series, he leaves with 50, a six point lead over Suzuki and ten over McPhee, the series tighter, as they say in Indiana, than wallpaper.

Moto2 was, for the second week in a row, more processional.  Enea Bastiannini led Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi on a merry chase all afternoon, and the three ended up on the podium, one completely lacking in suspense. The were joined in the top six by Sam Lowes, Aron Canet and Jorge Martin in what is starting to become The Usual Suspects of Moto2. Series leader Tetsuta Nagashima couldn’t get out of his own way today (P11), clearing a path for the all-Italian podium, the first such celebrazione in the intermediate class since 1998.

Most of these riders weren’t yet born in 1998.

Moto2 heads north and east with Nagashima sporting 50 points, Bastiannini 48 and Marini 45. Tighter than wallpaper, wait, sorry, never mind. Close. There are another six or eight riders with visions of greatness in their heads, but they would need a whole lot of things to go right to put themselves in serious contention. Martin, from what I read, already has a contract with Pramac Ducati in MotoGP for 2021-22. Not sure why they are waiting to announce it. It appears to be perhaps the last remaining open slot in the premier class for 2021.

Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing after Two Rounds

It feels pretty good to look at the year-to-date standings and see three or four guys in each class who are legitimate threats to win this deeply asterisked season. Arenas, Suzuki, McPhee and Vietti appear to be the class of the class in Moto3. In Moto2, journeyman Nagashima, the Italians Bastiannini and Marini, and the Alien-in-waiting, Jorge Martin, all look capable of standing on the top step in Valencia. In MotoGP, with Marc Marquez down 50 heading into Round 3, the division, for the first time in, like, five years, is a horse race, with a handful of credible challengers for the trophy. Sad to say, this is how it’s supposed to be. The presence of a generational talent during one’s wonder years doesn’t necessarily improve the viewing experience, even if you’re a fan. The riders seriously need to seize upon Marquez’ misfortune, to put some more distance between themselves and him, to crush out any hope of a late-season comeback.

Let Valencia Decide.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “MotoGP Jerez II Results: Andalucía”

  1. Old MOron Says:

    Brucey, I salute you. After watching Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP, After the Flag, and the post-race press conference, I was exhausted. But you found the energy to type up a darned good race summary. Good onya.

    Having said that, I offer a few counter points.

    You note in your “I’ve Seen Better Days” section that Morbidelli crashed, but this is not so. His bike had a mechanical failure. More on that later.

    “Tatsuki Suzuki, who took advantage of a crash by series leader Albert Arenas…”

    Arenas was nowhere near the front today. Zuzuki earned that win with pure riding prowess. He didn’t need help from Arenas’s crash.

    About Franky’s DNF: that was the THIRD mechanical issue for Yamaha. Vinny’s bike made strange noises during FP3, bad enough that he pulled into the pits to have it checked out. And of course Valley’s bike turned itself off during last week’s race. Fabio has built up a nice lead in the first two races, but he may have a DNF waiting for him along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Old MOron Says:

    Valley’s Bike

    It’s interesting that Valley seems to have persuaded Yamaha to give him a different bike. He’s been asking for it for about a year.
    https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2020/07/26/rossi-s-pressure-on-yamaha-prompts-first-podium-in-a-year/336250

    Someone asked him about it during the post race presser. “Was it the pivot that Yamaha changed for you?” He said it’s more than that. He persuaded Yamaha to give him “another style of bike.”
    Advance this vid to 25:30
    https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2020/07/26/round-2-post-race-press-conference/336237

    Like

    • Buzz W Says:

      Interesting that he had to fight politics in the organization to get his ride changed. He’s Valentino Freaking Rossi!

      Like

  3. Vrooom Says:

    Rossi looked better than he had in a long while. Fabio is cruising to the championship, much as I’d like to see Valencia decide, I suspect Fabio won’t let that happen, or no one can get in his way. Marquez might be back next race, but it’s hard to believe he’s the same rider. Nice to have some races without him just to make it interesting.

    Like

  4. Starmag Says:

    Boring but impressive win by El Diablo, more proof Yamaha made the right decision. Would probably have made for a more interesting show down race if Antman was available.

    I was really rooting for Pecco as the super underdog to take runner up. Super disappointing.

    Naka showing some life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Starmag Says:

    Dig the screws in RoboAnt’s arm. Cheaper by the dozen.
    https://www.crash.net/motogp/news/940658/1/marc-marquez-reveals-and-after-arm-xrays

    Spain is claiming a big outbreak of covid. I wonder what the effect will be on Motogp, as if it hasn’t been enough already

    So just the previews on MO then?

    Like

  6. prakasit Says:

    Is it just me? Or are the umbrella girls really got uglier this year?

    Like

    • Bruce Allen Says:

      Y’know, I forgot to register my displeasure at how these unfortunate young women, through no fault of their own, are now reduced to handing out samples at Costco or selling their bodies. And I’m at an age where that would be a tough choice. Sucks.

      Like

      • Starmag Says:

        Beauty queens seem to do well in pharma sales to doctors, but yeah, just another bad aspect to 2020 in general.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: