Ryder Notes: Factor All This In
by julian ryder, on the ground in qatar
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Qatar: where the current quandary is how today's open vs factory schism will matter on race day.
image thanks yamaha

It looks, on the face of it, as though the Open bikes with all that extra gas have the upper hand. I'm not sure that's the case. In reality, the Open bikes with that softer tyre had the upper hand. Or rather the Open Class Yamaha of Aleix Espargaro had the upper hand. The fact that lap times were so much faster than anyone expected on the first day at the desert track disguised the fact that the track is still very green. Better than previous years by a long way bit still green.

Factor that in and all of a sudden the satellite bikes in second and third—the Honda of Bautista and the Yamaha of Bradley Smith—look pretty clever compared to the factory bikes.

There is no doubt that Jorge Lorenzo is less happy than the others, which should liven proceedings up considerably.

In the two smaller classes it may be that the Spanish hegemony is over. Sure, in Moto2 Rabat is fast and Vinales is showing no signs of needing time to adapt to a bigger bike, but Nakagami of Japan is fast as are Aegetter and Luthi of Switzerland. In Moto3, Miller of Australia and Kornfeil of the Czech Republic are looking sharp as is Valentino Rossi's team led by Romano Fenati.

But when the dust settles, it'll still be a surprise if there aren't two or three Spaniards on the MotoGP rostrom on Sunday


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