‘Only two fac­tory teams scored points’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

In­cred­i­bly, the only fac­tory bikes to score any points in the race were the Yama­has of Mav­er­ick Viñales and Valentino Rossi and the brand new Red Bull KTMS of Bradley Smith and Pol Es­par­garó, as Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Aprilia all crashed out (or failed to fin­ish).

Yet it wasn’t down to track con­di­tions or tyres, as the week­end saw the low­est num­ber of crashes over a Grand Prix week­end since records be­gan, with only 30 fall­ers across all three classes.

So what caused it all to go so wrong for the fac­tory boys? Quite sim­ply, pres­sure. Mo­togp has never ever been as com­pet­i­tive as it cur­rently is, as demon­strated by an in­cred­i­ble show­ing from satel­lite bikes, a whole host of riders at the front, and six man­u­fac­tur­ers bat­tling it out for top hon­ours.

But there’s an­other fac­tor that needs to be taken into ac­count too – the ar­rival of an in­cred­i­ble tal­ent in the shape of Viñales. Up­ping the game in the top-flight class in a way that only a se­lect group of greats has in the past (think Stoner, Mar­quez and Lorenzo), the young Spa­niard has been a breath of fresh air.

Can he be the 2017 Mo­togp world cham­pion? With 16 rounds and a long sea­son still ahead of us, it’s far too early to make such a call, but he’s cer­tainly liv­ing up to the hype!


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