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MotoGP, Qatar Grand Prix: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Bagnaia takes the stand and gives everyone a lesson. Marquez finds his smile again, thanks to Acosta. For the rising sun of Japan, it is not yet time to rise

MotoGP: Qatar Grand Prix: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When it comes to Bagnaia, never count your chickens before they are hatched. It's already difficult to get close to him - let alone stop him - when he decides to get serious. Having forgotten the misstep in the Sprint, Binder realized that all in all silver is a decent enough colour and Martin that sometimes you have to settle for second (or third) best. Pecco only saw the asphalt in front of him, while behind someone was looking for the light he needed. Marquez and Acosta, both rookies, succeeded, albeit in different ways. Many others, however, lost their compass in the desert, hoping to find a direction in time to Portimao.

THE GOOD – A winter spent talking about Marquez and Acosta, then Bagnaia arrives and takes centre stage. For a keynote address, in which he summarizes the most important concepts of a champion: aggression and intelligence. The others return home aware that they have a lot of homework to do, us with the healthy awareness that perhaps we have not yet seen the best of him.

THE BAD – This year's secret new feature is the Japan Cup. To participate the requirements are simple: you must ride a Honda or a Yamaha and not worry about the gap to the winner. It's the only way to stay calm while waiting for the concessions to take their course. For now it's a black night, and the time of the race in Qatar has nothing to do with it.

THE UGLY – Well done Bagnaia, but what about the other Italians? We can pardon Marini for the problems with his Honda and suspend judgment on Morbidelli. Bastianini didn't inspire, nor did Di Giannantonio, but Bezzecchi ended up behind the blackboard. Position and gap are to be quickly forgotten, by making friends with a GP23 that appears unruly for Marco (but only for him).

THE DISAPPOINTMENT – It's easy to get caught up in enthusiasm after the Sprint, but the fairy tale lasted only one night and didn't even have a happy ending. The Aprilia is already black and blended into the black of the asphalt and the sky. Vanished, anonymous like its results in Sunday's race.

THE CONFIRMATION – Not so important for us, this is for him. The fact that you still know that you are there, that you are capable of being able to push forward, fight, and smile on Sunday evenings. The Ducati cure is miraculous and is also working for Marc Marquez. There are those who go to Lourdes, the riders prefer Borgo Panigale.

THE ERROR – Being the first (and only) rider to crash during the race cannot be a medal to pin to your chest, but Jack Miller did not reap great satisfaction from the weekend. It was already going badly for him, then Binder and Acosta also took over to spoil his mood even more.

THE SURPRISE – Pedro Acosta rides the same way as he speaks: without brakes, having fun and entertaining. In the Sprint he put "his balls on the tank", in the race the duel with Marquez was "like losing your virginity": all declarations he made. Anatomical metaphors aside, the little shark swims quickly among the MotoGP waves and his fin will soon be scary.

THE OVERTAKE – Two, the ones that earned the victory for Bagnaia. On Binder and Martin in quick succession, in the first corners. Two slaps to which the rivals were unable to respond. The rest is history.

THE ANECDOTE – Bagnaia has reached 19 victories in MotoGP, the same number obtained by Barry Sheene in the premier class. “What a nice compliment!” he commented. Pecco: it's a fact. “Ok, but it's nice anyway.”

THE I TOLD YOU SO – On Saturday evening we were all convinced: "the favourite to win the long race is Aprilia with Aleix Espargarò". We could have done with a good night's sleep…


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