It was not a good weekend for Jorge Lorenzo. The Spartan, or whatever ludicrous nickname he has this week, had promised much before the Jerez round but delivered the same performance as he has since the season opened.
You have to feel a little for the Spanish former champ. He has been injured since September, has missed a lot of test time and has to contend with the smiling assassin for a team-mate. But failing to improve on his times during Monday’s test and also throwing it at the scenery twice smacks of desperation.
To a huge fanfare, Ducati have announced that Andrea Dovizioso is going to race an Audi DTM touring car. Brilliant. Not exactly testing an F1 Ferrari and lapping close to pole pace like your yellow and blue mate from up the road though, is it, Dovi?
Maverick Vinales was fairly downbeat after the test on Monday. He was eight-tenths off the pace of rookie Fabio Quartararo, the team didn’t get any upgrades to sort out their grip problems and the swingarm aero scoop tyre cooler device thing didn’t work very well. “There was nothing incredible about it, we have to keep working,” he sniffed.
Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, has adopted a John Rambo style of attitude and says he will ‘live day by day’ this season instead of trying to plan a title charge. Rossi admitted that Marquez is the clear title favourite as he would have won three of the four races had he not committed his Texas faux-pas.
Twas not a good test for Danilo Petrucci who didn’t much care for the new tyres Michelin brung and says he is still suffering from a lack of mid-corner speed if he is to keep his corner-exit speed. It has long been a Ducati problem and even Gigi Dall’Igna’s beard is unable to find a solution.
All the Ducatis of any consequence were much of a muchness at the test, occupying places 11-14 on the timesheet with a tenth separating them. Jack Miller, who is after Petrucci’s chair next year, reckons he has a base for Le Mans and is banking on a mistake-free weekend in La France.
Miller was the subject of some furiousness from Aleix Espargaro - which is about as scary as being threatened with a shoeing by Julian Clary - after their clash in Sunday’s race. “I am very angry,” he said. Oooooooooooooooooooooooo…
Cal Crutchlow is still struggling with the front end of his RC213V and hasn’t the confidence he felt with the 2018 bike. Settings need to be changed, he said, but must in sync with the 2019 chassis too. He also helpfully pointed out there are no points for Monday testing. He came second in the test, by the way.
Former 500cc GP rider and 500cc MX god Jean-Michel Bayle has become Johann Zarco’s new mind coach. Which might be good as the rider apparently said on Sunday night his KTM had a shit chassis and shit power delivery. Tres merde indeed, mon capitane…
It looks very much like this year’s Brno MotoGP race will be the last as the government have budgeted €1M less than in previous seasons to spend on it. Karel Abraham’s dad owns the place but leases it to a promotion firm so they can run the MotoGP weekend. But with the huge shortfall and Dorna’s increasing sanction fee, there is a big hole.
Only CZK 39 million (approximately €1.56 million) will be granted to subsidies in the future, instead of the necessary CZK 65 million (€2.6 million). So that’s that fucked.