Ryder Notes: Just When You Thought It Was Safe

Thought the championship was over after Marc Marquez took a 33-point lead last weekend? You may want to think again. Marc will start from the front of the third row after a crash on the first lap of his first qualifying run. It was a harmless slide at the final, slow left hander but he had performed another miracle slightly earlier during FP4. The front let go in a straight line heading into the first corner and as usual he didn’t give it up. The tyre, the front tyre, left a black line on the track, first in a straight line and then an even bolder imprint as it started to grip. Marc applied so much pressure through his knee-slider that it rotated the leg of his leathers through 90 degrees as the front came back and, with a bit of help from his elbow as well, he made another impossible save. Even Marc was impressed; when he got back to the pit the first thing he did was ask his mechanics if they’d seen it.

Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa, always a threat at this track–remember his pole and runaway win in 2015? No, neither does anyone else–took pole at the last moment just beating the amazing Johann Zarco and the man who was fastest yesterday and fourth in FP3, Andrea Dovizioso. He will start from the front row; he won here last year; it’s probably going to rain; he’s fast in the wet; Ducati have a habit of making a dog’s breakfast of their bike changes in flag-to-flag races. Just when you thought it was all over this amazing season promises to throw up another twist.

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