It looked, to all intents and purposes, like a done deal. Maverick Vinales was on fire in MotoGP pre-season, won the first two races and then, little by little, the wheels of his life slowly fell off. Marc Marquez recovered from a difficult first quarter to come back into contention while Andrea Dovizoso solidly went about his business, showed a few flashes of absolute brilliance to guide Ducati to their best result since the little Australian fella.
Dani Pedrosa again played bridesmaid but showed why he remains employed by Honda while Valentino Rossi’s season, interrupted for about two minutes by a broken leg, was up and down as he and Vinales struggled with a M1 significantly worse than the previous year’s - which worked well for rookie and undoubted player of the year Johann Zarco, who was just outstanding in his debut season on the big bikes.
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