2019 MotoGP – Round 13 – Misano
‘What becomes of the broken-hearted?’ Asks Boris after Misano
Did anyone else hear Fabulous’s heart break like a cheap plate a Greek wedding?
Marquez foxed all weekend, and even qualified fifth, pretending it was all going to be Yamaha at Misano. And then he stalked Fabulous for the entire race – the two of them constantly lapping faster than the rest of the field – lulling Quartararo into thinking: “I go this! I so got this! My first ever MotoGP win! On a satellite hand-me-down! I am going to be under a pile of supermodels tonight!”
And then Marquez just crushed him on the last lap. I could see it happening. We could all see it happening. I’m sure even Fabulous could see it happening via his pit board. And then when it happened, the rookie tried heroically to fight back, and almost rear-ended Marquez, who maybe might’ve possibly slowed down a whisker to put the kid off his game.
And it worked. Of course it did.
I think Marc might even have practiced this kinda race-time ruthlessness on Rossi during Qualifying. Rossi ain’t no rookie, though. And he wrote the book on ruthless. So when Marc chopped him up and ran off the prescribed track limits (so had Rossi a few corners earlier) into the green zone as a result, Rossi passed him, then slowed him up a touch when Marquez went to pass him back.
A racing incident during Qualifying, when Marquez was on a hot lap? Sure. Why not. Marc even waved. Rossi stared.
I’m just pleased they’re not pretending to like each other anymore.
The race itself was altogether processional.
Vinales, Fabulous and Marquez all charged to the front, and everyone else kinda drifted behind them.
No-one was overly pleased with the lack of grip the newly-blasted surface of Misano provided, but that was the game.
Certainly, there was no talk of the Yamahas lacking power. Even Quartararo’s old shitter didn’t seem to be lacking grunt when he was leading Marquez.
Rossi, for his part, had put every new thing Yamaha brought the recent test, on his Factory Yamaha – new exhaust, new swingarm, new brake covers – and still couldn’t run the lap times. It took him too long to pass the feverish KTM-riding Aparagus brother, and then he was busy chasing Morbidelli down for most of the race before finally passing his protégé for a lacklustre fourth.
Vinales ran utterly true to form. He secured pole position. He rode like a man possessed for theree laps. Then he rode backwards for six laps. Then he started trying again. It’s just so frustrating to watch.
Iannone didn’t race. He’s crashed three times during Practice and Qualifying, and felt his time would be better spent formulating his new management rules for Romano ‘Let me brake for you’ Fenati, whose career he is now in charge of. His pit crew offered trackside commentator Simon Crafar the ride if he wanted it.
Aprilia’s woes continued with the other Asparagus brother, who was at a loss to understand what new parts the racing manager, Romano Albesiano, was talking to the media about. So he asked if Romano could point to them.
Doubtlessly Romano then showed Aleix the new air in the tyres and the new oil in the crankcase.
Rins, proud winner of the last race at Silverstone, crashed. Cal crashed, Bagnaia crashed, and Oliveira crashed.
Zarco, who had been penalised three grid places for upsetting Oliveira last round, did not crash, but if he’d done so, no-one would have noticed.
The Ducatis did not even figure in this round. It was Honda (which is really Marquez carrying the entire HRC on his back), followed by four Yamahas. Dovi was back in sixth, having managed to conquer Pol’s KTM.
Then came Mir, freshly back from having pitched his bike into a tree, caused a forest fire, and deflated his lungs a few weeks back in testing. He was followed by Miller, who once again out-rode Petrucci.
So while the race lacked any true dramatic sass, it was nonetheless hugely entertaining seeing if Fabulous could actually feed Marquez some of his own crap.
And a huge disappointment when that didn’t happen.
I cannot see the title going anywhere else this year. The Spaniard is simply all-powerful.
And when the circus moves to Aragon next week, he may well take it up another notch for his home race.
|18||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||Honda||1 Lap|
|DNF||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||5 Laps|
|DNF||Michele PIRRO||Ducati||6 Laps|
|DNF||Alex RINS||Suzuki||12 Laps|
|DNF||Francesco BAGNAIA||Ducati||16 Laps|