Big Eds Blog - What a start!
What a thrilling start to the MotoGP season we witnessed on Sunday! The rain was a factor throughout the weekend - but thankfully we only faced a small delay before the MotoGP race - other than that race day was pretty seamless (that's from someone watching the TV, for race direction maybe not so much!)
The build-up throughout pre-season testing and the free practice sessions all pointed towards the possibility that it may have been a two horse race - Marquez vs Viñales. As we now know Viñales bagged the win on his debut race with Movistar Yamaha - becoming one of only a handful of riders to have won on two different machines.
Marquez went for a last minute change of tyre in favour of a softer front and was subsequently unable to keep the pace and finished in fourth - the Marc of two years ago would most likely have pushed the limits of the Repsol Honda and either walked away a hero or with zero points as a result of pushing too hard.
Rossi's third place finish was extraordinary, another point on a long list of times the rider heralded as the G.O.A.T has demonstrated how he earned the accolade. By his own admission in pre-season tests he hasn't been able to keep the pace of his teammate Viñales, demonstrated by his tenth-place grid position - so a third place finish and some vital points will be a fantastic confidence boost, as well as a possible indication that they have found the right bike set up.
Zarco really stood out to me, also. It's hardly a controversial opinion to say that, I'm aware, he did lead six laps on his debut MotoGP race after all... but he made that bike work for him and for six laps he showed the world that he has the pace to fight for podiums and subsequent wins.
Another rider that I can't go without mentioning is Aleix Espargaro, finishing in a fantastic sixth position and with the Repsol Honda boys still in his sights on the last lap. He must be over the moon to bag such a result on his debut race on the machine, hopefully he can continue the consistency throughout the year.
In summary, if the first race is anything to go by it's going to be a wonderful year in the MotoGP Championship ' I have a feeling even more surprises, twists and turns await us!
29.03.2017 - Big Ed