It’s time to get off the sofa – and scream at the TV

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

There’s only so much watch­ing sea­son re­view DVDS and Youtube clips can do to sate one’s ap­petite for ac­tion.

With ice on the ground and more hours of dark­ness than day­light, it seems OK to hud­dle up in front of the telly with a cuppa and a stack of sea­son high­lights by the side of the sofa.

But once the Christ­mas tree has been burned, the ‘dry’ Jan­uary moist­ened and most of the kids’ presents bro­ken, it’s time to get ex­cited about rac­ing again. And even af­ter just a sin­gle day of Mo­togp test­ing in Sepang the tin­gle of an­tic­i­pa­tion is turn­ing into a buzz.

The early signs are that 2017 could be as open and ex­cit­ing as 2016. At the same test a year ago the top 10 were sep­a­rated by 1.9 sec­onds. Af­ter day one this time out it was 1.063. And Casey Stoner’s first-day best was a full sec­ond faster than Jorge Lorenzo’s first-day best in 2016. So while a test is a test, there are al­ready some in­ter­est­ing signs.

They WILL be faster than last year, prob­a­bly by as much as a sec­ond a lap (at long tracks like Sepang). It’s go­ing to be close. And some of the movers and rook­ies will be a force. Mav­er­ick Viñales WILL be a ti­tle threat, Jonas Folger WILL sur­prise a few peo­ple and Jorge Lorenzo WILL need a bit of time to ad­just. ANDY CAL­TON

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