Twenty-four hours ago Jorge Lorenzo looked decidedly pissed. He was back in fourth behind a large pile
of Hondas. Today, he is just one-hundredth of a second behind Marquez and will start tomorrow's race
from the middle of the front row. Jorge is perfectly positioned for one of his blitzkrieg first laps
which he has to engineer if he is to stand a chance of winning. Yesterday he was 0.4sec behind Marquez
and was doing a very good impersonation of his teenage self when things weren't going well. Today he
is smiling, not a lot but definitely smiling.
Marquez, of course, just trots out the usual platitudes about how it will be a hard race and everyone
is very fast. He smiles a lot. Third place Dani Pedrosa is third and just far enough back to be
dissuaded from smiling. Unlike Valentino Rossi who is fourth but very close to Dani on a track where
neither he nor Yamaha have done well before. Maybe the old dog can learn new tracks. He was happy
enough to remind journos at his debrief that he had just gone three-seconds a lap faster than he went
in the race last year. Over at Ducati the once-equable Andrea Dovizioso is starting to question not
just his bike but the people who are supposed to be fixing it. Nicky Hayden is mildly irked that he
won't get any new bits, presumably because he didn't fancy the Panigale next year.
Nick is presumed to be an Aprilia rider next year in MotoGP with Eugene Laverty his most likely team
mate. That'll be an interesting clash of accents.
And don't call the ART a CRT bike. That label is dead. What used to be a CRT bike will next year be
described in the regulations as a MotoGP bike. Those non-conformists using their own software and 20
litres of gas will be described in the rule book as 'factory option'.
By the way, and you won't find this surprising,the front row of all three classes comprise three
Spaniards. The surprise is that this has never happened before.