MotoGP Round 14 Aragon
With Boris Mihailovic
Well, that was a bit devastating, huh?
Not since the Inquisition has something so Spanish and so utterly terrifying walked…um, ridden upon this earth.
Marquez crushed all before him on Sunday.
And it all began on Friday. Weather reports said there was a good chance of rain, so Marc put on a set of fast tyres, and lapped two seconds faster than everyone else in FP1.
The other riders must have been looking at their timing screens in wide-eyed despair. Two seconds? That’s forever in this sport.
The rain came, but not in serious amounts and the track was only damp when FP3 finally rolled around.
Marquez did not even bother going out. He only ventured out after the chequered flag to practice his start.
Zarco was also venturing out. But not on a bike. He was wandering around the place in a KTM hat giving the odd sad interview to whoever pointed a microphone at him. Pit Beirer, his former boss, told him to take it off.
I feel for Zarco. He is a great rider, who just couldn’t make the KTM dance. If his planets align and he manages to catch Lin Jarvis, he may well do some good as a Yamaha test rider.
Lorenzo’s woes continued.
He was stone motherless last in practice, and finished in second-last place – two seconds behind Bradley Smith – who was replacing a broken-wristed Asparagus brother – and a bare second ahead of Syahrin, whom he just managed to pass at the end after tailing the field.
It’s an even-money bet for me that Honda may let Jorge see out the year while encouraging him to look elsewhere, or cut its losses and let him go. Lorenzo is certainly in a dark place at the moment.
Who knows, maybe someone will snap him and Zarco up – can you imagine how powerful a Suzuki satellite team with those two in it might be?
The race itself was a script written by Marquez Productions.
He was first into Turn one, and one second ahead by the end of the first lap.
He won by almost five seconds. He could have won by more. He probably could have lapped Lorenzo.
When Honda wins the championship this year, it will be all due to Marc. Without him, HRC is rubbish. With him, it is the king of the world.
It was all about second place for the rest.
Predictably, Dovizioso brought his A-game, utilising the Ducati’s straight-line punch, and hosing Vinales down the back straight.
Miller also had a great race, belting himself into third pretty much the same way.
Vinales made a solid early showing, but he cooked his tyres trying to catch Marquez. Miller saw this, and did the smart thing by waiting a bit, then doing him like a dinner.
But I don’t think it would have mattered for Maverick. Cooked tyres or not, the Ducatis had him down the straights.
All except Petrucci’s Ducati. Which finished in 12th behind Iannone.
I understand Ducati wants Petrucci to lose 15kg in the off-season. The team feels this is what is handicapping him at the moment. I’m of the view that Jack Miller is just a better rider and deserves the Factory ride more than Danilo. But then I get the whole Italian thing and understand why Ducati did what it did in this regard.
Rossi had a disastrous Sunday. He started on the second row, but then went backwards for reasons even he cannot understand.
Fabulous finished a lacklustre fifth, crueling my hopes he’d come seeking payback for what Marquez did to him the previous round.
The only other excitement was an overstimulated Rins punting Morbidelli into the rocks, but not himself.
Crutchlow excelled at Aragon by not chucking it into the vegetables at the reverse corkscrew and finished in sixth, two seconds behind Fabulous.
But Aragon was pretty much a parade. It is certainly a circuit which highlights the weaknesses of riders. And one that rewards the strengths.
And all the strength, and thus the reward, is with Marquez.
Barring some kind of disastrous Act of God, he will be the champion this year.
Second place is still interesting and up for grabs, of course. But no-one remembers who comes second.
The fly-away rounds now begin, with Thailand on in less than two weeks.
The heat and humidity will probably strangle the poor Yamahas again, but Fabulous will certainly try very hard because he’s young and has nothing to lose.
I’m also thinking Dovi will try and cement second place in the championship. That is all that’s left to play for.
Aragon MotoGP Race Results/Standings