Marc Marquez arrived smiling as usual in Jerez. And wasn’t not a façade.
The impression is that “Magic” is not at all worried by the ranking that, moreover, is the photostatic copy of last year's: a victory, a second place, an error.
The points are the same, 45. The only small difference in 2018 between him and the leader, Dovizioso, was 1 point. Now there are 9. A slight detail, if we may.
Valentino's truth on the championship: Marc would have won two races out of three.
Well-analyzed by Valentino Rossi who, having made consistency in performance his credo, observed: "The championship is now open only because Marquez fell in Austin. Without that error, he would have already won two races out of three."
But perhaps the word "error" used by Vale is not the right word. Certainly, both of the problems the Honda riders had, Marc's fall and Lorenzo's stop, are due to a technical problem that Jorge called "electrical".
The mystery of Honda's problem was justified with a ridiculous excuse.
A ridiculous definition that the Japanese would use in the 1970s when, after galling, a connecting rod would slip out of a fairing for some air.
In fact, the fundamental thing for them is not so much winning or losing but, above all, their bikes never stopping.
A broken part, or a problem that could cause a rider to fall, represents a very serious image problem. And the fact that we came to know that Lorenzo's bike was sent back to HRC to be checked is momentous. Unless it was artfully leaked from within to undermine a particular group.
The currents, technical ones in this case, are not the only prerogative of the Italians.
To this regard, both Marquez and Lorenzo stated that they're relaxed. File that under: they found out what it was, it was nothing, it won't happen again.
We’ll soon see if this is really the case, and we suggest you bet your money on Magic Marc.
Marquez: Technical concerns: None.
Well, the reason is obvious: a sprint in Qatar on a Ducati track and two races dominated (in Texas, until that unusual fall), tell us that he is the fittest rider and his RC213-V, minus the "electrical problem", is the Mercedes of the MotoGP, even if the Ducati is certainly more competitive than a Ferrari in F1, at the moment.
We say this because the Desmosedici was going strong last year and, even if Marc was ahead, the step forward compared to the past was evident.
Two doubts and a mystery to be solved regarding Vale, Rins, and Lorenzo.
At this point, an unknown factor remains, or rather two, actually, three: the first is Alex Rins' and Suzuki's competitiveness on this track; the second is Yamaha's and Rossi's; the third is the "mystery" that is Lorenzo.
On the first two, there's little to add. Rins is going strong, and that Valentino is always able to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the race is a guarantee.
As for the third, we can use the terms "possibility" and "probability".
If, in fact, Jorge manages to overcome the problems of his current harmony with Honda as he did with Ducati, the world championship will have again found a protagonist.
That this should happen is a given fact. The only uncertainty is when. Probability 100. Possibility 50.
To this regard, we need to open a parenthesis: All the riders who left Yamaha have encountered incredible adaptation problems.
Rossi also emphasized and acknowledged this, praising the M1's driveability.
Yamaha and Suzuki: The four in line separated at birth.
The only motorcycle that resembles it at the moment is the Suzuki that, not surprisingly, shares a similar engine layout.
Johann Zarco, a leading player during the last two seasons, and an absentee during the first three races, told us this yesterday.
Obviously, adding a V-engine to a chassis set-up is less simple than it seems.
Asphalt and tires: Michelin casts the dies.
Another reason for uncertainty is the new asphalt. In fact, more than half of the paving has been replaced, and that's why Michelin was allowed to bring four compounds instead of the usual three.
The two different asphalts will "coexist" to the extent that the grip of the new asphalt will favor one bike rather than another. Right now, it's a big question mark.
The only thing certain is that the weekend shouldn't be further complicated by the weather, which will be beautiful and stable. It's hot, which means that every test session will be taken advantage of to its fullest.
The first answers to so many questions are not far. And we're sure that Marquez agrees with Winston Churchill when he said: Play the game for more than you can afford to lose… only then will you learn the game.
Watch the tests, and keep an eye on these pages.