MotoGP 2022 Round Eight – Mugello

So. fellas and Allison, I had more surgery this past week, in on Monday, home n Tuesday. I’ve been getting my act grouped relatively quickly, but haven’t had what it takes to do more than watch stuff so far, it’s being Sunday 4:30 am. I’ve been watching warm ups since 3:30. This ends, for the foreseeable future, my planned encounters with the medical/industrial complex. This surgery had originally been scheduled for mid-July, but I was in a hurry to get it done and get it behind me. So, there’s that.

My personal goal for the next 12 months is to not get admitted to a hospital.

As most of you know, including today there are four MotoGP rounds in the next five weeks. In a normal year, the championship would be mostly decided after Round 11; we would be in the teeth of the season with one rider in recent years, Marc Marquez, usually leading the way. A number of teams will, by Round 11, have revised their rosy estimates from the preseason. For example, see the post that will appear on Motorcycle.com short after the Assen round. Moreover, the crowded field at or near the top of the standings adds another layer of stress on the riders–one mistake could drop them two or three spots in the standings. The riders who can keep the shiny side up will be competing for the title on the back nine of this year’s schedule.

It pleases me to think about the cranky, jingoistic old Tuscan men who’ve lived their entire lives in the shadow of Ducati around Bologna. Italy. Yesterday, for example, they watched on TV as five Ducati pilots, four of whom are Italian, put a choke hold on the first five spots of the Sunday grid, at Mugello, the monument to speed, one of the world’s great layouts. Plus, this year the folks over at Aprilia are punching above their weight, Aleix a legitimate threat to title. More Italian joy. Plus, being handed the keys to the WithYou RNF team which will bail on Yamaha and fly the colors of the Noale factory. It has been determined elsewhere that 2022 will be shown to have been Andrea Dovizioso’s final season in MotoGP (how’s that for some serious verb conjugating?). The last year, for now, that once-proud Yamaha fielded a satellite team. Ascendant programs at Ducati and Aprilia, the European builders finally getting their own after years, decades of eating Japanese dust. Programs at Suzuki ending, with disarray at Honda and Yamaha.

Anyway, for those old men, qualifying at Mugello on Saturday, May 28, 2022 was righteous.

I watched qualifying in the lightweight classes, but am not inclined to include it in this report. Perhaps there are some old morons out there ready, willing and certainly able to give us, the readers, 150 words on qualifying in both Moto3 and Moto2. Not sure why I have to do everything around here. I need to outsource some of this stuff. It’s not like any of us is getting paid.

[Dorna showed video from the US Grand Prix in 2008 at Laguna Seca. This was the first race I ever “covered” = watched on TV, and it just happens to have been one of the all-time greats. Rossi passing Stoner in The Corkscrew, both wheels in the gravel, pressuring Stoner into a crash late in the day. Who knew? I always try not to get too carried away with the play-by-play, and there certainly seemed to be a lot of shouting in the Rossi vs. Stoner epic that marked my introduction to the sport. I gave Motorcycle.com 1500 words, with a heavier-than-normal dose of my usual meanderings, since I didn’t know the first thing about motorcycle racing. The suits in Toronto liked it. The real MOrons, Kevin, Sean, John and Evans and Dennis, etc. hated it, recognized me as a fraud masquerading as a motojournalist and knew instantly that I wasn’t a real rider, wasn’t one of them. 13 years later, we are friends. I still don’t know much about motorcycles, but they do like some of the laugh lines. For instance, I probably told them that I misunderstood the phone call with Joe, thought he said ‘writer.’]

So teenager Izan Guevara, the next Next Great Latin Rider, won the Moto3 race at the flag–three hundredths of a second separated the top step from the third step on the podium. Moving up the standings. A post-race penalty, for exceeding those pesky track limits, dropped Guevara to P2 and elevated series leader and teammate Sergio Garcia to the win*. The two GasGas riders thus occupy P1 and P2 in Moto3 for 2022.

Moto2 saw the public debut of The Next Great Latin Rider who, after having torn up Moto3 as a rookie last year, was suffering a failure to launch in 2022 until Le Mans, which he led for a dozen laps before crashing out, and today when he went out and schooled the grid, wire to wire, for his first win in the intermediate class. His win today was facilitated by Aron Canet, he of the laughable paint job, who was considerate enough to crash out of a threatening second place on Lap 13, essentially handing the win to Acosta.

The MotoGP race was Exhibit A in our argument, since before the season started, that the close quarters at the top would make crashing out of a race very expensive. The corollary to this is that a win will occasionally give the rider a big boost. After underachieving for most of 2022, Pecco Bagnaia goes out and sets the pace at Mugello, gives young EBas that come hither look, then looks away as the swarthy sophomore crashes out at Turn 4 of Lap 14. His 25 points today vaulted him from P7 to P4 for the year. He’s baaaaaaaaaack. Meanwhile, EBas slides into a 28 point deficit to Quartararo.

Pecco, Fabio and Aleix comprised the podium. Zarco, Bezzecchi, Marini and Brad Binder followed. As is becoming routine, bikes made by Ducati and Aprilia continue to dominate recent proceedings, the Suzuki team is crumbling right before our eyes, with suits from Yamaha and Honda dropping broad, unfunny references to ritual suicide. Marc Marquez’ announcement that he was folding the tent on 2022 in order to have another surgery, one with a six month recovery time frame, was met with further gnashing of teeth, frantic smiling and nodding of heads.

Y’all can talk amongst yourselves. Catalunya beckons. Plus, I’ve gotta go ice myself down. I really want to hear opinions relating to silly season speculation and the #2 spot on the factory Ducati team moving forward. Although the futures of Frankie, Dovi and Darryn deserve some conversation

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20 Responses to “MotoGP 2022 Round Eight – Mugello”

  1. Mad4TheCrest Says:

    Thanks, Bruce for the race run-down, and be well after this latest Tune-up, please!

    Activities this weekend prevent my watching the races until well after the results are publicized so your words are no spoiler for me. Ducati will now be more insufferably smug than before, which was already a lot. It’s cool that Quart hung in there for 2nd spot – you do what you can do when you can’t win. Suzuki’s seemingly complete collapse as a team before the season is even halfway done, tells me there’s less attention on the racing and more on resume polishing and job networking after the news the factory is pulling out. It’s a good thing both Aprilia and KTM joined the big class in the last decade, making the loss of Suzuki and absence of Kawasaki bearable.

    On a side note, I find myself enjoying the MotoAM racing almost more than GP this season. Well, with the exception of the recent Petrucci drama which is a sad distraction. Their behind the scenes series “Pressure to Rise” is a lower budget version of MotoGP unlimited but I find it more interesting in virtually every way. And the crew chiefs seem to be nicer to their riders than the GP crew chiefs , who apply psychological pressure relentlessly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Starmag Says:

    The “medical/industrial complex”. Exactly. I hope you find a way to stay away from that. It might be worth it to see what a naturopath has to say nutritionally that might be helpful. I have both a regular Dr. and a naturopath and I like to hear what they both say.

    swarthy. Lol.

    Baggy comes through with a much needed win after folding from pressure from the Beast.

    El Diablo gets 2nd at a fast track with a pokey Yamaha. He looks tough to beat on the year. The only alien with two good arms.

    Journeyman Aleix placing well week after week could be a Cinderella story. I wonder if he’s got a win in him.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Old MOron Says:

    First things first: Brucey, if you can get fewer surgeries than MM97, I think you’ll be okay. Stay well, Chum.

    It must’ve been a delirious couple of laps for all of Italy when DiGia and Marini, Valley’s team, were 1-2 in the race. Even I got caught up. But BaggyEyes kept his cool, made the moves, then held his nerve to bring home the win.

    Too bad Team Mooney VR46 faded after a while, but they succumbed to worthy adversaries. Bravo to Fabio and Aleix. Especially to Fabio. Such an accomplishment on a slow bike at a fast track. I guess he’s re-upped with Yamaha. I wonder how much money they lavished on him. I wonder what sort of pie-in-the-sky promises they made.

    I wonder how good the Aprilia really is. I’m very interested to see how their satellite team will do next year. The fact they stole it from Yamaha is more evidence of how bad the latter’s situation is. First they lost Herve. Now Razlan. Yamaha can’t make a competitive bike, much less hold the interest of a satellite team.

    But back to the Aprilia. Cole Trickle was turning some good laps for a brief period during the race. I suppose the Ape really is a good bike.

    I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I can’t wait to talk shit about hit here with the Bruce Brothers.

    PS: What, no grid girls this weekend?
    I think DiGia’s grid companion was the most distracting this time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Allison Sullivan Says:

    Good to hear you’re out of hospital and hopefully staying that way, buddy. Watching four races in five weeks will give you something to do at least, good to see you back!

    That was one of the better races I’ve seen this season (not that I’ve seen many, my weekends have been full to overflowing the last few weeks). Fabio rode the wheels off that Yamaha. Only alien with two good arms and two even better cojones. One wonders what he’d do on a Ducati.

    That qualifying was literally something out of an alternative universe. The back markers all up the front and the guns all at the back (well, Maverick’s been at the back most of the season, but I digress). Gotta say the VR46 boys rode corker races today, it was good to see Marco B actually make an appearance, and Luca Marini played an admirable wingman for most of the race. Well deserved results for both, but it was easy to see the difference a couple of years at the top level makes once Pecco and Fabio got past. Enea was looking headed for another good result – had he stayed up, that would have made the leaderboard very exciting indeed. Le sigh.

    Taka had a reasonable race, but I didn’t even see a shot of Frankie all day. He’s gone from hero to zero this season. It makes me sad. He probably wants his 2019 Yamaha back. And Jorge Martin sets an all time track top speed – back in 19th place. lol. I’d like to know what’s going on in his head … he has the bike, he has the skills, it’s just not coming together. He might do well from the summer break, methinks.

    Bad news about Marc Marquez too. His chances of ever coming back are getting slimmer every day. It’s a sad way for an incredible career to end.

    On to the back nine. She’s an interesting season, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce Allen Says:

      The Marquez Era is ending before our eyes. We were lucky to have seen him in his prime. You could see this coming since Sepang in 2012 when he hit his head and got diplopia for the first time.

      Like

      • Buzz Says:

        I’m afraid so. Watching that video in warm ups from LeMans when the Honda got crazy head shake and he just grabbed his right arm and rode straight to the pits. Maybe if he wasn’t on a bucking bronco like the Honda, his career might have more length. It’s a shame that Honda, with all its resources, can’t come up with anything better than the current POS.

        Like

        • Old MOron Says:

          Honestly, I’m happy to see Honda suffer. But I’m kind of sorry it’s at the expense of Marc.

          Remember when Honda lobbied to have the “rookie rule” instated so that Ben Spies could not go to Yamaha’s factory team? And remember how Honda got the same rule repealed so that Marc could come straight into their factory squad? Fuck ’em!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Buzz Says:

            Oh I agree Honda is the evil empire. Several years ago they basically forced Indy car to switch from V8s to V6s because Honda doesn’t make a V8.

            Like

  5. spiff Says:

    Bruce, I screwed up again and started to make an account. Now it won’t let me use that email any more.

    Like

  6. Vrooom Says:

    It’s impressive what Fabio can do with that Yamaha that it appears no one else can. Pecco was outstanding, as was Aleix. How about those VR46 boys? Leading the race for 10 laps and holding up Aleix enough that he couldn’t compete for first, despite having the pace once clear of them.

    Like

  7. Old MOron Says:

    I just read something interesting from Matt Oxley:
    At Mugello Quartararo’s was the only inline-four motorcycle to score points. And next year there will be only two I-4’s on the grid.

    I miss the wild first days of Moto GP. V-5’s, I-3’s, and everything in between.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. paulevalence Says:

    So we are still down 1 team for next season? It was speculated that Aprilia would field a Satellite team to fill the place of Suzuki; but now we know that it comes at the expense of Yamaha losing their satellite. Will Yamaha field a new satellite team to keep the overall number of riders/teams the same next year?

    Losing 2 grid spots will definitely apply more pressure to the silly season

    Like

    • Old MOron Says:

      That’s my understanding. More pressure for the silly season. And if Acosta comes on strong in Moto2, as he did last Sunday, that will apply even more pressure!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Allison Sullivan Says:

    Things moving and shaking today. Fabio re-signs with Yamaha (I bet that cost them, here’s hoping they give the kid a decent bike next year). And Honda has given Taka Nakagami Marc Marquez’s bike for this weekend (lucky guy) – maybe lending fuel to the rumor that Pol is done and Taka will be staying at LCR.

    Bring on tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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