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MotoGP, Qatar GP: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Vinales rediscovers his fast side, Ducatis in front at the first corner but not at the finish line, Mir wakes up in time for the race

MotoGP: Qatar GP: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The first time always has a special charm: new clothes, for some with different colours, the red carpet of the Losail runway illuminated by the spotlights, hopes and dreams. Then the red light goes out on the straight and it is pure adrenaline, speed, holding your breath for a ​​scarce 45 minutes from which only one emerges with a cry of joy. This time it was Vinales who stormed the red desert stronghold. Zarco and Bagnaia came out defeated, but they can still be happy. Much less Miller, while Rossi and Morbidelli's morale is even lower. Mir re-emerged just at the right time, like a true champion must do.

In Moto2 Lowes maintained his promise and Di Giannantonio gave Gresini a podium. In Moto3 it was Masia who made everyone agree. Now time for a few days off, to celebrate or reflect on the mistakes, then we go back to the same track, for another race and who knows if the protagonists will be the same.

THE GOOD - Before the red light goes out you will never know if it will be Mr. Maverick or Dr. Vinales on the track. In Qatar we saw the good part, in the sense of fast. When it happens it is a feast for the eyes and for the stopwatch. The Spaniard is anxiously waiting to become a dad, meanwhile he has made peace with his other child on the track.

THE BAD - First race of the World Championship (second with a wild card with podium in 2019) and Xavier Artigas has already found himself sent behind the blackboard. His ballistic gesture might even have been welcome, unfortunately Migno, McPhee and Alcoba did not appreciate being mistaken for skittles. Leopard's rookie apologized … rightly so, but the Race Direction penalized him (2 Long Lap Penalties in the next GP) … and rightly so.

THE UGLY – It was a dull orange for KTM, which since setting foot in Qatar continues to argue with the Losail track. For the moment it is the circuit that is winning and the surprise of 2020 was the disappointment of the first GP of 2021. Oliveira and Binder did a parade finish just inside the points zone, Lecuona was even further behind while Petrucci failed to go beyond two corners. More than a false start, it was a disaster foretold and the only solution seems to be to wait for more friendly tracks.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT - Whether it's technicians or tires, there are always problems… and headaches. Definitely for the Petronas team, the best one for Yamaha last year and relegated to the role of bit part in Qatar. For Valentino Rossi the same old troubles with the traction that is just not there, while Morbidelli had 22 full laps to swear at the now famous 'lowering device' which decided to go its own way just in time for the race. The only positive note: next Sunday it won’t be hard to improve.

THE CONFIRMATION - The #1 plate (symbolic, in reality he stayed with the #36) is not on Joan Mir's fairing by chance. All weekend he remained in the shadows, only to return to the forefront just in time for the race. Which was a classic one: he started from behind and finished at the front. Just a pity about that last corner…

THE MISTAKE - Being fast in MotoGP is not enough, strategy is everything and Bagnaia committed a sin (we apologize to the person concerned for the play on words) in this sense. A podium is a good result, but a bitter taste remains in his mouth after that record qualifying lap. The important thing will be not to persevere next Sunday…

THE SURPRISE - In Moto3 Pedro Acosta stepped onto the podium, in Moto2 Raul Fernandez fought for it, in MotoGP Enea Bastianini got into the Top 10. Different classes and riders, but all rookies and already fast. The senators have been warned, the young recruits are already champing at the bit to take their place.

THE PASS - From 14th to 4th in a few hundred meters. Jorge Martin experienced what an astronaut feels on take-off on the Ducati. The Borgo Panigale spacecraft did not take him to the moon or to the podium, but his rocket-like start must be appreciated.

THE CURIOSITY - The desert race might end up by being the most crowded of the season. In Qatar the stands were open to the public and in all there were more than 2,000 people. A shred of normality in a world that is still anything but normal…

I TOLD YOU SO - Jorge Lorenzo had made his prediction for the podium on social media: 1st Miller, 2nd Morbidelli, 3rd Quartararo. Better luck next time…


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