MotoGP, Phillip Island: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Vinales wins on the other side of the world, while Rossi disappoints and two Andreas reach the podium.


Australia is on the other side of the world, ‘down under’ as they say. So it's only logical that strange things will happen, like a Yamaha winning or Dovizioso on the podium at Phillip Island with Ducati. Or, in Moto3, a rider thrown into the championship at the last moment but who reaches the podium, like Vietti. Or how about Iannone turning Tasmanian devil on his Suzuki.

There were also less pleasant surprises, such as Rodrigo mistaking Bezzecchi for a bowling pin, or Zarco and Marquez finding out what it's like to collide at 300 km/h. Or Valentino crossing the line 5 seconds after his team-mate (an eternity in racing).

A lot went down, with more to come in Malaysia in a few days' time.

THE GOOD – Maverick Vinales still knows how to ride and can do it better than everyone else. The Spaniard is like a Rubiks cube: one wrong move messes everything up, one right move and everything clicks into place. The puzzle appeared to be solved at Phillip Island and Mack was back in control with the Yamaha. Now he just needs to remember how he did it.

THE UGLY – It was only half a party, Valentino Rossi's invitation apparently getting lost in the post. His team-mate broke the curse after a run of 25 races, wile the Doctor continued to battle with the M1. There are doubts about the rear tyre, answers to come in Malaysia.

THE BAD – Rather than racing, Marco Bezzecchi appears to be the unwitting target in an archery competition.. Being knocked down twice in three races is enough to have you swapping your Sepang flight for one to Lourdes. The good news is that the championship is still open, here's hoping that the rider can stay upright.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT – Rather than a match point, it was more like a training game that no one was very enthusiastic about playing. In Australia, Bagnaia and Oliveira failed to shine. At the end of the day, it went well for Pecco who only lost one point. We want to see something more exciting in Malaysia please.

THE CONFIRMATION – if the Ducati is not longer put off at Phillip Island then it means that Dall’Igna and his team are better than the Ghostbusters at eliminating ghosts of the post. Dovizioso reached the podium, the location of which he presumably struggled to recall, while Bautista came close. Yes, Alvaro, the guy no MotoGP team wanted to hire for next season.

THE MISTAKE – Both agreed it was simply a racing incident. The contact between Zarco and Marquez could have had much more serious consequences of curse but luckily it only resulted in work for the mechanics, and not the doctors.

THE SURPRISE  – Aleix Espargarò scored one of his best results of 2018 with the 2017 RS-GP. Perhaps, in order to take two steps forward, you need to take one back. it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Spaniard though, his left hand hit by part of Marquez's bike, in turn hit by Zarco. Aprilia might test a new bike update in Malaysia - a lucky charm.

THE PASS – Iannone's speciality, he could even open a restaurant at Phillip Island, having already earned Michelin stars for his race. Andrea didn't hold back when it came to putting on a show with the Suzuki. The divorce is imminent, but the pair are determined to go out with a smile.

THE INTERESTING FACT – Troy Bayliss raced at Phillip Island. With a Ducati. In the Australian SBK championship, where he even won a race. The Australian, at 49, is the only man still able to make Rossi feel like a youngster.

I TOLD YOU SO – All the riders on Saturday: “Iannone is the favourite”. Did they jinx him?

Translated by Heather Watson

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