Phillip Island Grand Prix - 2017

Phillip Island 2017-

Wow, these are action packed times for us lovers of MotoGP. It seems like we were just cheering at Motegi and one week later here we are once again at beautiful Phillip Island. I can’t get enough of these races, just feeding my addiction. Here’s we have a little something about qualifying and races. 

Moto2 qualifying-

Let me just start by saying what on Earth is happening to Tom Luthi? What happened to his fire? He did not look his usual fast, smooth and unstoppable self at Phillip Island. Mattia Pasini really was himself (his new and improved self, perhaps). He was so FAST. This speed and aggression landed him yet another pole position making this the year of Pasini. Miguel Olivera was on top of his game along with teammate Brad Binder. What a weekend for the KTM riders, they really were on fire! The German rider Marcel Schrötter looked better than ever, too. I always love to see an unexpected face on the grid and Schrötter was our man over the weekend. This superb qualifying gave us a front row start of Mattia Pasini, Marcel Schrötter in second and Miguel Olivera in third leaving me wondering what happened to Franco Morbidelli, Tom Luthi and Alex Marquez.

MotoGP qualifying-

Cal Crutchlow sure has been crashing a lot lately, he crashed again in qualifying. You know, I love me some Cal Crutchlow but man the crashing is painful to watch. I wrote in my notes “Dovi just puttering along”. Now, of course I know he isn’t puttering at all because he is in fact moving extremely quickly but in comparison there was some puttering happening. Is Phillip Island not a Ducati track? I didn’t see anything great happening for Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci either. Johann Zarco was a man with a mission for speed and he was finding that speed in qualifying. The rookie was a wildly fast again. Also notably fast was Maverick Viñales. Does it kind of go without saying that Marc Marquez fast, aggressive and gave a solid performance.  Doesn’t he always? The grid ending up being Marc Marquez in pole, Maverick Viñales in second and wild Johann Zarco in third. As a side note, Valentino Rossi landed a 7th start and Andrea Dovizioso landed an 11th starting spot – ouch.

Moto2 race day-

Oh, race day how we love you. The day we all we all look forward to all week long. I simply must keep this brief because already Sepang has happened. Get a move on, Emily! Mattia Pasini got taken downtown by Marcel Schrötter in the first moments of the race which was a serious let down considering his pole position start. There was a collective scream of disappointment heard around the world, okay maybe just the moto world. This Moto 2 race was a serious KTM race with both Miguel Olivera and Brad Binder flying around the track. Alex Marquez had had a mistake that took him out into the grass and had him clawing his way out of 11th place this race.  Not where we were hoping to see our friend Alex this weekend especially since he and Miguel Olivera are so incredibly close in the championship spot. There were many moments of nail-biting excitement in this race including a touch between Brad Binder and Franco Morbidelli.  DON’T crash out! Speaking of crashing out, Takaaki Nakagami did that. It has been a tough end of season for him. In the end of it all, Franco Morbidelli wound up in third just after Brad Binder in second and Miguel Olivera in an astonishing and exciting first place finish. A KTM one and two is not such a bad thing for the KTM guys – maybe just a few celebrations happening there. A great, great race is all I can say to sum it up.

MotoGP race day-

This Phillip island race was most definitely the most exciting race of the season and possibly the most exciting race in recent history. Holy cow, they were overtakes on top of overtakes on top of even more overtakes. There we close calls, bikes touching, fiery crashes, disappointments and surprises.  It was a heart-stopper to say the least. Valentino Rossi is back on his game, so very old school Rossi. He was in the fight and looking good. Such a great thing to see from him after such a tough time in Motegi. Jack Miller started hot but couldn’t hold it in the long-term. Still though, he did great work and had a very honorable race. There were just some seriously tough characters out front who were ready and able to fight. It was a full contact sport this race day.  My explanations will not do this race justice so just watch it if you haven’t. In the end of this thriller we had Marc Marquez in first, Valentino Rossi in second (SECOND!) and Maverick Vinales in third. Take a deep breath everyone, we can breathe again. And away we go to the last two races.

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Motegi 2017

Hooray for Motegi! Those long breaks are tough on a Moto GP fan. We waited three long weeks for this race and we were rewarded with some exciting material. Again and as always, for all you official facts and figures you know where to go. This is just one woman’s observations.

Rain, rain, rain and more rain in Motegi. It looked so miserable out there it was almost painful to watch but we couldn’t look away.  I really only have a few notes about free practice and qualifying for Moto 2.  I might have been too focused watching to write many notes. It was nice to see Alex Marquez back to his usual physical condition and giving it his all again. He did spend some time in the garage with a throttle problem in qualifying but he more than made up for it landing the second place spot on the grid. Only outpaced by the hometown favorite Takaaki Nakagami who landed pole position. Hafizh Syahrin is such a pleasure to watch in these conditions – each lap seems faster than the previous and it’s nice to have a different rider in the mix. He was smooth, focused and in control over the weekend. The championship front runners, Franco Morbidelliand Thomas Luthi, had a super tough time of it ending up starting WAY back on the grid. Luthi started at the 13th spot and Morbedelli at the 15th. Ouch. The top three were Nakagami in pole, Marquez in second, Xavi Vierge in third, which is really a great spot for him.

A few notes about Moto GP free and qualifying, too. I simply must mention the Cal Cruthlow crash that took down Jorge Lorenzo. An out of nowhere take-down for poor old Lorenzo. This season has been Lorenzo eating humble pie. I don’t know if he actually feels this way but I certainly feel this way for him.  He just can’t catch a break. Danilo Petrucci was beyond solid this weekend and it was a complete pleasure and joy to see. Additionally, let’s just give a big hats off to Johann Zarco for achieving a rookie year pole position – a job very well done for him. Oh, Rossi. That’s all I can say about that.  Not his best weekend but we all know better things are coming. He will surprise us yet.  Unfortunately though, his starting place was set at 12th on the grid. The grid ending up like this: Johann Zarco in pole, Danilo Petrucci second and Marc Marquez rounded out the front row in third. It’s worth noting that Andrea Dovizioso was only able to manage starting in 9th place which in no way dictated his race day performance.

Moto2 Race Day-

I actually only have a few things about Moto 2 race day in Motegi, too. First, Alex Marquez really rocked this race. A great win for him. Hafizh Syahrin again proves he is the master of rain. His anthem could be “I am the rain king” circa 1990’s Counting Crows. And Vierge had a superb race, too. Similar to the starting grid was the finishing grid (is that a thing?). I just have to put it out there – good luck in Moto GP, Takaaki Nakagami. This will be an interesting show to watch unfold next year. This short race ending in disappointment for our Championship leaders ending in 8th for Morbidelli and 11th for Luthi but this just keeps the races fun and the championship interesting. On to Moto GP which was a completely epic show!

MotoGP Race Day-

You couldn’t take your eyes off this race even for a nanosecond. It was an action packed, nail-biter for sure. Lorenzo started out hot but fizzled out a few laps in – humble pie again?! It was a remarkable race for the Suzuki team in Motegi - Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were looking better, stronger and fasterthan ever in this race.  It must feel like a huge weight lifted off of Andrea Iannone shoulders after a season full of struggles. So, congratulations to him and to team Suzuki Ecstar.  My main Boss, Valentino Rossi crashed out. Boo! At least he didn’t re-injury his leg and will be ready to go for Phillip Island which will be upon us shortly. Fingers crossed for a good outcome for the Boss. Let’s just move right on to the most exciting, riveting part of this race - the final fight to the finish with our championship leaders Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez. I think I didn’t breathe for the entirety of the last lap it so intense and so aggressive. In my notes I summed it up with this statement “That was the craziest lap EVER”. In the end Marc just made one small mis-step leading to a wobble which opened the door for Dovi to take the top step on the podium and an epic celebration for the Ducati garage. I can honestly say I have never seen that type of energy from Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Manager. This race made the championship so close and extremely captivating. I literally cannot wait for Phillip Island. 

Hodge Podge observations-

Dovi and Marquez are the true definition of sportsmanship.  They are handling the pressure of this championship with such grace.  I am looking forward to the continuation of this battle. 

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Aragon 2017

Knowing you can get all your facts and figures from the official web-site of the Moto Grand Prix, I will just spend this time on my own observations and interesting tidbits from this past weekend – Aragon 2017.

Moto2 Qualifying

Holy crap is Mattia Pasini the craziest hothead on the track. Granted he has the goods - he's aggressive, bullish, competitive and you never feel like he is phoning it in. He really gives it his all putting on a show that is super fun to watch and this free practice was no exception. I love this guy. His rage towards another rider in qualifying wouldn't quit including gestures and kicking. He left me wondering what would happen next. Then there was the to and fro between him and Miguel Oliveira for pole position based on Olivera's fastest lap time being cancelled and then officials cancelling the cancellation. Of course we know that Miguel Oliveira did wind up on pole. I was thrilled to see Álex Márquez round out the top three stating spots after his struggles with his hip injury.

MotoGP Qualifying

Who made Moto GP qualifying interesting you ask? Well Lorenzo did. Is he back? Finally? He, of course, started in Q2 and moved right on up to Q1. Lorenzo landed on spot two on the grid after a very solid qualifying. You know who else made it a must-watch? Yup, Rossi. I think the collective followers of Moto GP could not look away as he made the choice to ride in Aragon after breaking his leg less than a month earlier. Respect, but also a little "is he crazy?". He very well may be crazy but he landed the third spot on the grid. Again, respect. This man is a seriously impressive athlete and human. Vinales rounded out the front-row of the grid in pole position which is a great start for this racer. We all know great things will come for him in time.

Moto2 Race Day

After a super solid start I was sad to see Álex Márquez have to bow out of the race. I feel he is an incredibly determined and focused rider. He always appears to be giving it so much thought and effort. He is young and has a long time to come back from injury, gain experience, and maturity. He may never be the prodigy that his older brother is but he has some amazing drive and skill. I will watch him and his career closely. Hello, Mattia Pasini and Franco Morbidelli, could you make this race any more exciting?!? Um, no.  It was a classic fight to the finish between these two. In the end Franco Morbidelli pulled it off and made his way again to the top spot of the podium but I have to say that Mattia Pasini kept it super real and aggressive to the very end. Olivera did round out the top three finishes which is impressive but as I look back two days after the race I can’t seem to recall any big moments. Was he overshadowed by the show between Morbedelli and Pasini? Or was his race so smooth and focused that it can across a bit unremarkable? I don’t know, maybe I just don’t have a good memory. I do have two kids so things don’t stand much of a chance in my brain.

MotoGP Race Day

Spain – BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. 1, 2, 3. What a day at the races. Marc Márquez rocked it in his usual aggressive, focused style taking first. Valentino Rossi put on such a show proving again that he is a crazy super-human and took 5th. Seriously, this man is a machine. Jorge Lorenzo

took the podium again after a tough season on his new team – nice to see him back on the podium again. Dani Pedrosa had an impressive day as well, smooth as ever. The championship is looking very, very interesting from here. Let’s see what happens next!. Motegi seems like so far off so we will bide our time and wait for the next installment. Rossi should be feeling good by them so I think we will see some action. 

Hodge-podge Observations

I do not like the new Marc Marquez helmet design. Nope, not good- borderline nerdy. Also, per the young boy in my life “Valentino Rossi is BOSS”

LIFE OF MOTO