Slip slidin away.. the name of a fairly well known song, how some of the riders ended up in the rain last Sunday, and also how the dream of taking a MotoGP championship is going for some of the top contenders. It is my opinion that with Quartararo, 108 points, ahead of Mir by 8 points but ahead of Vinales by 18 and Dovi by 24, and with only 5 races left, the chances of securing that top spot are going to get exponentially harder. Not the least because with the weather and being stuck in Europe this year due to the pandemic, the conditions are going to be more cold and probably wet than say, Australia. There IS still a chance for Vinales, or even Dovi, if both Mir and Quartararo end up sliding out of a race entirely. But then they also have to go on to finish with top marks once that happens.
So how DID the riders fair? Well, let’s start with practice and qualifying. All four Yamahas were near top of the time sheet for the final practice on Saturday. And even with the rain, the mix of Yamaha and Ducati bikes were both still filling the top slots of qualifying. But then the rain and cooler weather showed up. The temperature was in the 50s for the high with on and off rain. The track was visible wet for the race start. Valentino Rossi managed to lose the rear in one of the first turns of the first lap. His mishap caused some chaos in the group following him, allowing Petrucci and others to gain some time ahead of others. The final laps of the race saw Alex Marquez jump to 2nd (from 18th on the grid!) just ahead of P Espargaro with Petrucci securing his 2nd MotoGP win. The race also saw 6 DNFs and Alex Rins with 0 points after sliding off multiple times.
The next 2 races are in Aragon Spain! And if the race slip in Le Mans wasn’t bad enough for Rossi, just read the news that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out of the first Aragon race for sure. But at least it looks like the weather will cooperate for the weekend.