Imust start off this month by saying a huge congratulations to Jonny Rea for winning the Torrens Trophy. He’s a lovely man and a great ambassador for our sport, so it was well deserved. He’s had a sticky start to the season mind you, tyres and brakes letting him down although as I write he’s in the lead of the series by a mere two points.
I did think that the reverse grid idea, in race two at Chang, for the first time worked as they hoped it would. Chaz Davies for once was able to get through the traffic (and on to a great victory), while Jonny fought his bike and some nicely fierce riding by his rivals. I’m quite sure it’ll all settle down a bit to the usual fare, but it is looking good and we’ve got the new round of restrictions probably coming soon to shake things up further.
Now, another huge congratulations to Bradley Ray for his double win at the BSB opener at Donington Park. I thought last year when he was basically on a Superstock machine he looked great and did far better than I expected him to. At Donny he looked even better, like he’s been riding the bike for years and belongs at the front of the pack. The Hawk Racing guys have done a great job with the bike, allowing Ray to shine.
We’ve been here before recently, with those like Luke Mossey and Jake Dixon, who have ruled a round or two and then not moved on as we thought they may. But I think this could be different with Ray. There’s something about how he was handling the bike that screamed confidence. With the exception of Alex Lowes, we’ve not really had anyone move up from BSB in a meaningful manner – the last group being the Camier, Rea and Crutchlow generation and since then, the old masters like Shane Byrne and Leon Haslam have been bossing things. Ray is at the right age to go to WSB and then (perhaps) move on further before he’s too old. There’s just something about the kid I really like, and I’m hoping to see more race wins from him. So, on to MotoGP – it was like the lunatics running the asylum!
From the balls-up regarding the Canet incident when he knocked someone off on purpose, and had no action taken on him, the grid furore, the entire thing was a chaotic mess. All of those riders who went off the grid to swap bikes should have started from pit-lane – lined up in qualifying order with no overtaking allowed until they exited onto the circuit – simple. Poor Jack Miller was shafted, he did everything right and that race was his by rights of just doing the right thing. We may not like it, but they clearly didn’t dare go against what Rossi et al wanted to do which was to force a grid restart, when it could have easily been handled.
And Marquez, well, I’m not going to slaughter him like so many others will but he did have a bit of the red mist descending on him. I can kind of understand why, with everything that happened, but then he should have been moved off the grid to pitlane by Dorna when he stalled, yet he wasn’t. He was so much faster than everyone else I think he believed he could still have won despite the penalties, and while I’ll get to his passes in a moment he was phenomenal to watch, his skill was extraordinary.
I genuinely don’t think he whacked into people on purpose, he just had so much more confidence due to sheer speed that he cocked up a couple of times. Neither Zarco nor Petrucci were penalized for similar actions. So I don’t think he hit Rossi on purpose, and he didn’t actually knock him off either. Some compare it to the Sepang incident but that was initiated on purpose, Rossi admitted as much, it just went a bit wrong – just like Marquez’s pass going a bit wrong in Argentina. Anyway, all handbags at dawn really, isn’t it? And anyway, how good was Cal Crutchlow? Go Cal!
Changing tack, what tragic news about Bruce Anstey getting cancer again, on the face of things it really doesn’t sound good. We know he’s already been through the mill with cancer before, so of course we’re all hoping for the best – get better soon mate!
Lastly, I had some fun in Oz with my fake sick, the security guard was trying to wash it off the pavement and when he realised he soaked me. And the terrific Barry Sheene festival was a right laugh, Troys Bayliss and Corser were knocking lumps out of each other, and as the event was sponsored by Hooters, we were all pretty happy! Till next month!
Letthe letching begin!
Classics, just like our Parish. Look at the size of his hose!