Ryder Notes: Return of the Mack

Maverick on pole at Rossi’s home track. MotoGP

So, are we going to get the long-awaited fight between Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez tomorrow? Could be, they are both on the front row along with Andrea Dovizioso but be aware, the weather s likely to take a turn for the worse and we may have another flag-to-flag race. If the gods are kind, we may get to see the fight we want because Marc is, as usual, fast but has crashed both days so far. Vinales has returned to his natural ice man state, showing no stress.  And lots of pace, especially at the end of sessions on well-used tyres. And don’t discount Jorge Lorenzo, he’s been on the pace all weekend as well. Trouble is the whole first sector, especially the Park Chicane left/right/left complex that forms the first corners, is very one line and there is always a hero that thinks having a go at making a few laces in the middle of them is a good idea. If I recall correctly, it took three years for Nicky Hayden to get through there thanks mainly to Alex de Angelis. A lot of races have been ruined very early right there.

You’d think Dani Pedrosa is out of it as he’s qualified in seventh but that’s a place higher than last year and he won then. Johann Zarco is sixth will undoubtedly have a dip in those first corners if his tactics earlier this year are anything to go by. His qualifying comes after a very average Free Practice but his Tech 3 team have not tested here this year so the lad has done well an is getting quicker. Yes, yet again we don’t really know what is going to happen tomorrow.

If you are of a sentimental nature, may I point you at Moto2 and Mattia Pasini who is on pole for the fourth race in a row and is wearing Marco Simonceli’s old crash helmet design. Mattia is from Rimini, one of the seaside towns a stone’s throw from the circuit and was a close friend of Marco’s. There are a few too many ghosts round this place, but it would be good to see those colours on the podium again.


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