Ryder Notes: Confirmation

On the ground in Reino de Espana

I told you those Suzukis were going well, but I really didn’t expect them to be first and second on the grid. The last time that happened was Jerez 1993 thanks to Kevin Schwantz and Alex Barros. The last time there was a Suzuki on pole was Assen ’07, Chris Vermeulen was the rider.

The question now is can they get in the way of the other member of the front row, Jorge Lorenzo, or will he add to the last 76 laps he’s led, ie all of the last three races. Given Aleix Espargaro, who is on pole, is a quick starter, very aggressive, and riding just a five-minute bike ride from the house he grew up in, Jorge might have a problem on his hands.

The rest had better hope so. Tests have shown that if Jorge gets a lead on the first lap he is very difficult to overhaul. That goes double for the Catalunya track on which it is difficult to close gaps. History says that if you don’t get away with the group, you aren’t going to catch them. Also, the surface is old and worn and given to changing grip levels very quickly with only a small change in temperature. Yamaha would like it to stay cool – they need grip for their high corner speeds and lean angles.

Honda? Marquez likes the new exhaust, he says it makes the bike feel more like last year, but while he can do a lap or two at decent speed he cannot do twenty. How will he deal with that? The same way as Mugello – keep pushing until you crash–or a more circumspect approach? I know which is more likely. Dani Pedrosa is more difficult to analyze. He managed to do what his team mate did last timeout and have to go through Q1, which was confusing as he looked to have good pace all weekend and isn’t as troubled by the bike’s corner-entry problems as his team mate.

Rossi? Back on the third row but again saying he has good race pace, especially for the closing laps. Ducatis? Not looking very comfortable.

Can I think of a reason why Jorge can’t win four in a row?

Only that it’s a rare achievement for any rider, the probabilities tend to add up, and he’s never done it before.

Not very good reasons, are they?

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