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'14 Qatar MotoGP Images # 2
images by marco guidetti

Racing at Qatar on a MotoGP bike: it's hard work as Valentino Rossi's face reveals. The light is weird, there are few landmarks to use as guide posts and the track is a skating rink off-line. Also it can be harder to get a drink there than it is in Utah.

Today was a costly and stressful day for Tech 3 Yamaha. Pol Espargaro crashed and was lucky not to further injure himself. Brad Smith crashed and is lucky to still be alive. Smith's crash was very much like Yasutomo Nagai's fall at Assen in '95. Nagai did not survive after his bike landed on him.

This man had to buy his way out of his CRT contract. This man was not on any factory short lists for a development ride. This man watched Yamaha swoop in and sign his kid brother to a factory deal. This man is Aleix Espargaro. This man has been fastest in three MotoGP practice sessions at Qatar.

If your first job as a rider is to beat your teammate, then Hiroshi Aoyama may be in trouble. In today's second session at Qatar his teammate Nick Hayden ran him down and passed him, and dropped him late in the session.

When it began to rain, HRC's Shuhei Nakamoto had to run to the garage and tell the team that the impossible was happening: it was raining in the desert.

The bad shoulder story of '13 was Ben Spies. The bad shoulder story of '14 might be Karel Abraham. It's still not fully healed.

American Colin Edwards II had a whole bunch of factory riders scared today when he lapped faster than they did. He finished the day 14th fastest and looking slightly more comfortable on the M1.

Ducati's Gigi Dall'Igna. The greatest uni-brow in all of racing.

Bautista. It would be huge for the Spanish kid to nail a decent result at the track which saw him break his leg at in 2011.

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