[kropotkin thinks...] - Qatar MotoGP Saturday Subscriber Notes: A Day Of Drama, An Upside...

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    Qatar MotoGP Saturday Subscriber Notes: A Day Of Drama, An Upside Down Championship, And Hope For Yamaha

    By David Emmett | Sun, 19/11/2023 - 02:00


    It has been a day of high drama in the desert, in both the positive and negative sense of the phrase. We saw the pole record obliterated, Luca Marini going just over a second quicker than Pecco Bagnaia's previous record from 2021. We had a grid with surprising faces on the front row, and the title favorites seemingly in trouble. And we saw a thrilling sprint race, that swung the momentum in the championship once again.

    But we also saw moments of sheer idiocy and bad judgment. Leaving aside the usual stupidity of Moto3 – riders have now taken to basically parking their bikes at the side of the track on the hard standing, waiting for a likely victim – we saw Iker Lecuona get in the way of Enea Bastianini in Q1, the factory Ducati rider fiercely gesticulating his disapproval.

    The nadir, however, came in FP2, the free practice session held on Saturday afternoon. Alex Marquez crashed in Turn 2 – a common occurrence in Qatar, as the left side of the tire cools off after nearly half a lap and it is easy to go in too hot – and brought out a yellow flag. Jorge Martin, who had been following Marquez, slowed up, as did Franco Morbidelli who was behind Martin.