Ryder Notes: They Were Right To Be Worried About Him


 

The un-factory Yamaha M1 on the pole at Qatar. Rossi second row. Maverick? Looking for a trail of crumbs.
The un-factory Yamaha M1 on the pole at Qatar. Rossi second row. Maverick? Looking for a trail of crumbs. Tech Twa

They were right to be worried about him. I actually wanted to use the word scared the other day but bottled out. Shouldn’t have.

Johann Zarco smashed a bike to pieces in FP4 then destroyed a ten-year old lap record of Jorge Lorenzo’s to qualify on pole. MotoGP’s warrior monk has started 2018 as he finished 2017.

The only question is over his race pace, but his previous form making softer tyres last is good and we all remember the first eight laps last year. The fact he clinched pole in close combat with Marc Marquez was also interesting although the Champion has never counted Losail as one of his best. But if you’re looking for race-pace form then the third man on the front row, a lean and mean Danilo Petrucci, is seriously impressive and fourth-placed Cal Crutchlow also looks good. As usual both Dovi and Rossi are going to figure at Losail but last year’s winner, Vinales, has looked and sounded lost all weekend.

A couple more points to note: Alex Rins again outshone his team mate, and Taka Nakagami did not back up his form as fastest rookie right through testing. That honour went to Franco Morbidelli.


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