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The blue butterfly and the red (peregrine) falcon: Yamaha beats Ducati 1-0

The story of the Qatar GP shows that brute force is not enough to beat agility. Yamaha defeated Ducati on its ‘home’ ground in Losail. Experience might be lacking, but defeat teaches us that advantages must be exploited with intelligence


The blue butterfly and the red (peregrine) falcon: Yamaha beats Ducati 1-0

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So, did Yamaha win or did Ducati lose?

Whichever way you want to look at the Qatar Grand Prix, this is the question that begs an answer. An answer that, luckily, will not be long in coming, and which already has a date: next Sunday, in what has been called the Doha Grand Prix but which for Gigi Dall'Igna and the men of Borgo Panigale will simply be Losail 2, the vendetta.

This will be the leitmotif, the desire for redemption, next weekend because there is no doubt that Ducati expected to win last Sunday.

After all, you don’t place two bikes on the podium and four in the top 10 by chance. Even considering the fact that Jack Miller, only 9th, disappointed, and Enea Bastianini, 10th on his debut, convinced...

That’s not all: while it is true that Yamaha with Vinales climbed on the top step of the podium, winning a tactical Grand Prix well, the other M1s were just OK: Fabio Quartararo is a great talent, but with 5th place, was never really in the thick of the fight, while the Petronas duo, irrespective of the technical problem suffered by Morbidelli, who finished next to last, disappointed above all with 12th place for Valentino Rossi who is still struggling with an anomalous tire wear reminiscent of Max Biaggi’s famous chattering catchphrase.

However, the Men in Red don't have to worry only about Yamaha this year. Hardly anyone says anything about Joan Mir, but the reigning world champion yesterday climbed from 10th place to third, and then to second, before being shafted and edged out by the Ducati cavalry. Watch out guys, this guy kicks ass! He might not be spectacular, he might not make incendiary statements, but he capitalizes on the characteristics of his Suzuki very well. We give him the best possible compliment: he has an Eddie Lawson-like riding style, he makes excellent use of the opportunities, even if he is not flashy, but if on a track like Losail he finishes fourth in the sprint to the line, it seems clear to us that he is determined to defend the number 1 plate, which he does not flaunt on his fairing, but in his name: M1R.

Why did Bagnaia try to escape after saying on Saturday that he wouldn't ? Mystery…

OK, we liked the race up to a certain point because right from the start we were wondering why Francesco Bagnaia, after saying on the eve of the race that he would not power away from the rest of field so as not to destroy his tires, instead did exactly that, when it was clear that no one would let him get away. Starting with his brand mates, Miller and Zarco. So, cui prodest?...

Inexperience. This is the problem that Ducati has today: none of its riders are currently winners in MotoGP, given that Jack is the only one with a victory in his pocket, but one obtained in exceptional circumstances at Assen, under a downpour, in a now distant 2016. And the premier class is not just about power and speed, just as boxing is not - unless you are Mike Tyson – about brute force.

The premier class is not just about power and speed, just as boxing is not about brute force

But you don't become Iron Mike, or Casey Stoner: you are born that way. So it will be better for the Men in Red to decide to use their heads and start exploiting the enormous potential of the Desmosedici which, as demonstrated in the last lap, can win most of the sprints.

In this Andrea Dovizioso was a master graduate, arriving at the foot of the giant Marc Marquez three times in a row. He was incredibly good because he made the most of the Ducati’s plus points. Could he have won the world championship? With Magic Marc on the track, no, but this year the 8-time world champion will hand over free of charge no less than 50 points to his opponents. Always given that we will see him again in Portimao…

This year Ducati must play while the cat is away…

And so? You must capitalize on the results. Playing while there is no cat because there is no doubt, commenting on the eighth position of Pol Espargarò, that if he had raced and been in good physical condition (OK…) he would have been in the top five. So, let's say, with Quartararo, Rins and… Aleix Espargarò. Another of the outsiders who surprised us in this first championship race. Not that much because the elder Espargarò brother likes the Losail track. But at the same time it's good to know that your RS-GP also liked it.

At this point, commenting on the rest of the group means going to look for the best of the Bronx in the standings. The unfortunate Franco Morbidelli - penultimate (!) - probably betrayed by a malfunction of the device that allows the Yamaha to 'squat'; Jorge Martin, who struggled at the start of the Grand Prix, was also betrayed by inexperience and Luca Marini who, as usual, approaches every problem calmly.

The jury’s out however on Lorenzo Savadori: if it were the shoulder problem that slowed him down, he would do well to sort it out it immediately. It’s better to lose two months than your career. The long shadow of Dovizioso is already behind him…

 

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