Ryder Notes: The Big Casino
by julian ryder, on the ground in the boot-shaped country
Thursday, May 29, 2014

It feels like the big fight we've been waiting for is about to get the bell for the first round. In the blue corner, the winner of seven consecutive bouts at this venue, the multiple heavyweight champ; in the red (well, orange) corner, the (almost) undefeated reigning champ, the young gun, who's setting new record every time he's pulled the gloves on.

Well, you know what I mean. It's Rossi's 300th GP, it's the track where Marquez took his first win (125s, 2010) and so far this year Valentino has been the only man who's looked as if he could lay a glove on the champ. So far they've just circled each other at the pre-event press conference where they were as usual more than civil about each other even if it wasn't the post-Le Mans mutual admiration fest.

Marc reckons '90 per cent of the circuit will be yellow,' he didn't go for the the line about Vale being twenty-two years old again as he'd done in France despite Vale offering him the chance to again follow up the joke about 300 races meaning he must be very old.

He did, though, cast his mind back to all the crashing he did here last year, especially the ultrahigh-speed get-off on the front straight. Obviously, not a happy memory. And at last we found out how to turn that smile off and get him to rise to the bait: asking about a Spanish media story about Marc having a special electronics package that's helped him win every race.

The reply is snapped back: 'It's always been the same, I had a special engine in Moto2, the same in 125s...' He refused to say any more.

Easy to forget, isn't it, that the last three fights here have been won by Jorge Lorenzo.


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