Ruthless Spanish Inquisition
Jerez MotoGP 2019 with Boris
He may have qualified third on the grid, but Marc Marquez’s ruthless domination of Jerez was unquestionable.
The world champion speared off the start and was first into Turn One, pursued by youthful hope and exuberance in the form of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.
Fabio had carved himself a place in MotoGP history by being the new youngest racer to ever qualify in pole. He must have felt like the only bloke at an all-girls dance.
The former holder of that position, Marquez, deigned to notice his achievement.
“He beat one record that is the youngest pole man, so tomorrow I will try to stop him, so he doesn’t beat another record and be the youngest winner,” he said at the Qualifying press conference.
And then did just that the next day.
Morbidelli was also full of beans as he and the French kid pursued Marquez in the early staged of the race when the three of them began gapping the rest of the field.
But MotoGP is a hard school. Its challenges build character by destroying hopes and dreams like an ex-girlfriend with Mafia connections.
I sometimes think team managers have a special button they push when their post-teen charges get a little ahead of themselves in the Great Game – a “This Will Teach ’Em” button, if you will.
Fabio’s got pushed when he was in a solid second place after passing Morbidelli, who was seemingly run out of the pace he had in the first half of the race and was starting to fade. Quartararo’s shifter stuck in third gear down the straight, and all that was left for him to do was limp back to the pits where he literally burst into tears and had to be screened from the cameras.
Lorenzo, was also crying a Danube-sized river after talking up his Jerez round like the Second Coming, and insisting the world judge him by his performance at his home race.
That judgement will be harsh. He actually rode backwards. He started in 11th, and finished in 12th.
Lorenzo would have finished even further back had Quartararo, Bagnaia (crash), Mir (crash), and Jack Miller (crash) managed to finish. As it was, the Repsol Honda chieftains might be discussing how their salaried test-rider, Stefan Bradl, so effectively schooled fancy-money Jorge in how to bang a Honda around Jerez.
Miller got tangled up with Aleix Espargaro in a racing incident which went one way out of a possible three.
Miller was defending his position on the last corner when Aleix went around him, but then as Miller tried to hold the inside line, his bike hit Espargaro’s and Jack went down. It was one of those racing things in which both riders could have gone down, or either.
Miller was obviously pondering this unlucky outcome when the cameras found him in the garage post-incident, staring fixedly into space…or at Petrucci high-fiving himself for not being shitter than Jack this round. Danilo’s contract is up this year, and he knows Jack is looking at him with a glint in his eye.
Right about when all this started to happen behind him, Marquez had decided he wasn’t going fast enough and went faster. He left the field to their own race, while he breathed the rare air of the truly uncatchable. Again.
Alex Rins was also going faster and had rounded up the fading Morbidelli to put himself into second, and to indicate to everyone who was watching that he was a serious player.
Rossi was also laying on the pace, and produced another of his trademark Sunday charges after a shitty Qualifying. He started on Lucky 13 and managed to finish in sixth because his race-pace was pretty good. Quartararo was crying in the pits, Morbidelli was surrendering, and… well, The Doctor has raced a bit.
Dovi, the most hopeful bridesmaid in MotoGP history since Pedrosa left for Austria, hammered out decent lap after lap, but kept his record of never having had a premier class podium at Jerez, by coming in fourth.
He certainly began to monster a resurgent Maverick Vinales towards the end of the race, but Maverick was looking a bit like his old self this round, and managed to climb onto the last step of the podium though a mixture of determination and not stuffing the start too badly.
Cal got to race with Nakagami for seventh and eighth, but at least he didn’t get to visit Clinica Mobile this time around, so I feel he would view that as a success.
So the Spaniards got an all-Spanish podium, and all was right with the Spanish world. They even got some donkey to bray Marquez’s name over and over as the top three riders arrived in Parc Ferme.
I thought that was pretty cool.
2019 MotoGP – Round Four Results
2019 MotoGP – Round Four
MotoGP Championship Points Standings