2020: Escape from Misano, Dovizioso in command in a world championship in Search of an Author

After 6 Grands Prix Dovizioso is leading the world championship, but there is still not one protagonist who has shown that he deserves to win it. And the lockdown makes it difficult to tell what’s going on behind the scenes


Seventy-six points in six races. That’s not many. In 2019 Marquez, with a zero he picked up at Austin, was on 115 with three wins and two second places, ahead of Dovizioso with 105.

In 2018, with the same number of races, MM93 was again in the lead with 95 points - three wins, one second and two zeros - with Rossi second 23 points behind and Dovi fourth behind Vinales at -29.

In 2017, after six races, Maverick Vinales had taken the lead - three wins, one second, one 6th and one zero - with Dovizioso in second position at -26.

Why do we make this short summary of the standings of the last few years? Well, it's simple, because after Misano1 the championship leader, Andrea Dovizioso, has just 76 points, and tenth-placed Miguel Oliveira, is at -28.

It’s an extremely bunched-up classification, but the first has few points when compared to the average of the other championships.

We went back to the year 2000 to find such a lacklustre start to the world championship, but even in the season of Kenny Roberts Junior’s title the leader didn't have so few points.

Even in 1998, with two zeros, Mick Doohan was on 90 points. Now 76 points in six races are an average of 12.6 points per race, those that Andrea has earned with a victory, a third place and four other results outside the top positions. But, and it's an important 'but', at least he has finished all the races, unlike Quartararo who is -5 with the crash at Misano and +12 from Miller, also with a zero.

It is not just a question of having different winners - Quartararo twice, Dovizioso, Binder, Morbidelli, Oliveira one apiece - The fact is that we virtually never have the same protagonists. And even those who have accustomed us to top performances we can often find racing down in the Bronx area of the classification.

Consistently inconsistent Michelins: but is this actually true?

The tyres, it may be said, are constantly erratic, so much so that any attempt to level the performance curve is useless. Actually, it is Dovizioso himself who says this, but then why are the other Ducati riders, who were usually behind, so close to him? Miller, who has one zero to his name, is only 12 points behind. And even Bagnaia without his break and his fracture would be there. What on earth is going on?

We don’t have an answer for the moment. And the answer is not there because very often they don’t come from direct questions, but rather from the confessions of a mechanic, during a walk in the pitlane during the tests…

Let's not talk about accusations: sometimes a glance is enough to understand each other. Then, of course, you observe men at work, you have an exchange of views with the technicians. We get a lot of 'I’ll tell you, but don’t quote me on that'.

In this world championship in lockdown it is impossible to get to the bottom of things…

The lockdown has deprived us of all these things. And believe me, they are the best part for us and the most interesting part for you.

Because a Grand Prix is ​​not just the interviews with the protagonists and the managers. A Grand Prix is feelings shared with those around you, in the press room and in the pits. Chattering in the paddock between one test and another, but today these things are intangible, filtered as they are through video conferences in which everyone feels compelled to ask obvious questions with faces that we usually don't see with us at circuits all over the world.

That's why the story of this world championship comes to a stop on the surface of the facts: it is almost impossible to go into detail. And these cold interviews rarely tell the reality, but only what you want to be perceived.

I don't have good memories of this Misano, which I lived through in isolation in a small room on the top floor of those rooms, I presume, usually used by VIPs.

After doing the swab test, like all the other participants of the Circus, and subjecting ourselves to the same, stringent but necessary precautions, there were just eight of us, placed in strict isolation.

Perhaps all that was required was to get us to participate live in the press conferences - 8 people don’t really take up much space - but it was not possible. Ezpeleta has done his utmost to revive this championship, and we must all be grateful to him, but now is the time to take a step forward, as all states are doing by reopening schools.

Although it’s strange, this world championship must be explained in a more linear way. Otherwise, from the outside, there remains only a championship, at least in the premier class, of characters in Search of an Author (Luigi Pirandello).

As far as we are concerned, and we know that we will attract criticism for this statement, at the moment - and we repeat at the moment - none of those present are entitled in 2021 to wear the number 1 on the fairing. Tyres or no tyres...

 

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