Honda could not have asked for any better: a race win and the Championship title on their home pitch. When you have Marquez in your corner, you can afford to dream big. The child prodigy has by now become a monument of MotoGP and so his records are the many medals that ignite his confidence.
He and Honda are the talk of the ball and they do not feel sorry for the others. The others, who are Rossi and Lorenzo, with a synchronized swing and a miss. The battle is over for this year, littered with disappointments and regrets.
And then there is the question of Ducati, which only battles with Dovizioso in the saddle. Andrea manages to finish on the podium, but by now more is expected from the Reds.
Phillip Island is coming up and many want a rematch.
THE GOOD – You can win a title without being a champion, but that is not the case with Marc Marquez. More than a little devil, by now he has become a satanace, so nothing is impossible. He was the best all around: the fastest, the most consistent, the most lucid. The Spaniard was able to smooth out the rough edges of his character and shape the best image of himself. He is 23 years old and has 5 titles, so we should not be surprised by what he has done, but by what he will do.
THE BAD – Hiroki Ono is the Donald Duck of Moto3. On Saturday he takes pole position, but then he is relegated to fourth place on the grid. On Sunday he finishes on the podium, but is then disqualified. The scales said that he was 200 grams under the minimum bike and rider weight and it does not matter that he lost 800 during the race. The only satisfaction for the Japanese rider is that cutting a good figure in his swimsuit will not be a problem.
THE UGLY – Not a weekend passes that Michelin does not get an earful from some rider or another. Sometimes more than one. It isn’t that the French tyres crash more than in the past, but the best are ending up in the gravel and their tumbles make a deafening noise. In Clermont Ferrand, they would do well to listen.
THE DISAPPOINTMENT – They had started off like an unsinkable battleship, but they ruptured their own hull. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were set to battle and be battled, they both lost and managed only to add another zero to their championship standings. The Doctor had intended to make a play for the win, the Majorcan could have settled, but good intentions do not count for much.
THE CONFIRMATION – We will leave the interpretation of Andea Dovizioso’s second place to you. It is a good result for a Ducati and a rider who had struggled in recent races. It is the usual luxurious placement and adds nothing to a good season, but nothing more. The infamous glass half …
THE ERROR – Not one, but two, by Alex Rins who fell in practice, worsening the situation for his already injured shoulder and in the race he repeated the performance. In the latter case, he gave more of a blow to the standings than to his body. Zarco can thank him for the gratuitous 20 points, better than a trip to the supermarket.
THE SURPRISE – Andrea Migno started from the pole for the first time without being the fastest in qualifying. Nicolò Bulega finished on the podium for the first time without actually standing on it. Both owe Ono dinner.
THE PASS – Calculated and perfectly executed: we choose Bastianini’s pass of Binder in the last lap of the Moto3 race. It earned him a win that he has been chasing for a (too) long time.
THE INTERESTING FACT – At forty-plus years, he took the satisfaction of riding in another Grand Prix race, even if he did finish last. It was Taro Sekiguchi (in the past he raced in 250 with Campetella alongside Battaini) and he was on the grid with his team in Moto2. He beat Valentino… at least in terms of age.
I TOLD YOU SO – Hector Barbera, after learning that he would be riding the Ducati GP16: “I had a dream a few days ago: I was at Motegi, it wasn’t raining and I was on the podium”. Never go to bed straight away after a heavy meal.