Slaps given and taken, unexpected victories, stone tyres in honour of the Flintstones, a tricolour podium: the best and worst of MotoGP took place on the glittering stage of the Losail track. Three days of passion, with the only rule that twists and turns are normal. Di Giannantonio celebrated by wondering if it was his first and last time in MotoGP, Bagnaia thought that all things considered Paganini was perhaps wrong and repeating himself is better, Martin growled because it wasn't his fault. Valencia is approaching, the show isn't over yet.
THE GOOD – Rather than tea in the desert, it was a big celebration in Qatar. Like in the good old days, when only Italians got on the podium. Now, to get there, they even use a Ducati, which makes everything even more nationalistic. How they laughed: Di Giannantonio who could forget for a minute that he was unemployed, Bagnaia who saw a world championship encore come closer, Marini thinking of his official rider stripes in Honda. Best of Youth.
THE BAD – A pointless gesture, in a pointless moment, a Bud Spencer-style slap that didn't make anyone laugh. It would have been enough to apologize, Aleix Espargarò didn't want to do it and stood firm in his position. The rest of the world thought differently and the majority is not always wrong.
THE UGLY – Tyres are all round and black, until they start spinning. There are some that are lazier, some that just don't want to race, and so they make some other bodily components of the rider spin. A lottery in which you only lose and never win. This time it was the turn of Jorge Martin, who may have lost more than a race. This just won’t do and Michelin knows it.
DISAPPOINTMENT – One week until the Valencia tests and there are still two (officially) free seats. MotoGP has invented the autumn rider market, or perhaps the managers got too carried away with this Black Friday thing.
CONFIRMATION – Jaume Masia and the Leopard team fully deserved to climb to the top of Moto3. The team picked up a ‘four of a kind’, the rider kept his promises: everyone happy and contented? Not exactly, because Adrian Fernandez's manoeuvre on Ayumu Sasaki was unpleasant and avoidable. Incorrect even, but not for the usual Stewards, who must have had a past as plumbers because when they are needed they are never there.
ERROR – Miguel Oliveira came off the worst from the Sprint strike, but his teammate Aleix Espargarò didn't get up unscathed either. Between his own faults and those of others, the only good news for the Portuguese rider is that this 2023 is about to end.
SURPRISE – It is right to dedicate more space to Fabio Di Giannantonio, who lit up the Qatari night like a comet. The only hope is that he is not like those stars that pass only once in a lifetime, we are not saying this for his qualities but for his future prospects.
PASS – Martin's moves on Bagnaia in the Sprint were masculine and tough, the kind you see when you are fighting for a lot. Pecco had promised a response on Sunday, but he certainly wasn't sorry about not having Jorge around to keep his word.
CURIOSITY – There was something else (much less pleasant) to think about, but the Pramac team won the team title on Sunday. A result that is not such a foregone conclusion when it comes to a private team, led by the play-actor Paolo Campinoti and managed by Gino Borsoi. Well done to them and all their guys.
TOLD YOU SO – “My target is victory”. Despite the restrictions on alcohol in Qatar, on Thursday it was easy to think that Di Giannantonio had had a bit too much to drink. He, on the other hand, was just dreaming, bigtime, and it's a good exercise.