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March 13th, 2018, 09:11 PM   #31
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Boris previews the Qatar MotoGP season opener



We are scant days away from the start of the 2019 MotoGP season.

Each year I tell myself the season ahead will be better than the season before, while simultaneously telling myself the season ahead simply cannot be better than the season before because the season before was the best season ever.

I am in a paradox-fuelled agony that is not remotely relieved when the red lights go off in the desert night, and the pack howls towards Turn One at Losail.

Moto returns to Qatar

Shit just gets worse. But better at the same time.

It’s like a bizarre sexual tension that lasts almost a whole year, and very often fails to deliver the expected result, but satisfies you nonetheless, and leaves you anticipating the next consummation.

Damn you, Dorna. Damn you and your 350km/h motorcycles ridden by superhuman prima donnas in a life-and-death struggle for glory.

So the only thing I can do at this stage is to make a few worthless predications based on nothing more than my useless feelings, the inconclusive test results and the dank internal organs of some small animals I traditionally sacrifice this time of the year.

What happened during the three test sessions at Qatar only served to muddy the pre-season water.

Suddenly Iannone and Vinales found themselves at the top of the charts, along with Zarco, who certainly looks like he’s intent on winning something this year.

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Hopefully, Vinales will have recovered from the collapse of his campaign last year, and will keep Zarco looking over his shoulder. Or he’ll just become Yamaha’s version of Dani Pedrosa.

It’s impossible to say what Iannone will do. His girlfriend is just far too hot for him to want to risk anything, but who knows? He’s certainly gangster enough to have a good crack every third race or so.

Marquez and Dovizioso were also at the pointy end in Qatar. But they were always going to be, and a part of me thinks they will re-join the battle they commenced last year.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez
Or Dovi will go to pieces because Lorenzo has threatened to cut him for usurping the Number One Rider position at Ducati.

Or Marquez will have the Big Off everyone keeps predicting he’s going to have, and maybe miss a few rounds while he gets a titanium pelvis fitted.

Of course, Lorenzo’s performance in pre-season testing has been the subject of much speculation, most of which is coming from the Italian and Spanish media, who has a) predicted he will divorce from Ducati after three rounds; and b) questioned if he’s right in the head. I’m amazed no-one is dissecting his seemingly irrational Twitter posts.

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo
The media also reported Casey Stoner as saying he expected more from Lorenzo in 2017, as if Stoner, who won less titles than Lorenzo, was the final arbiter of Lorenzo’s performance. I’m sure that bodes well for their in-season discussions.

Tellingly, Ducati has said it will not repeat its “extraordinary” contract with Lorenzo. Lorenzo? Well, he’s still saying the Ducati doesn’t feel like it’s his bike.

Personally, I reckon Lorenzo will do better this year than he did last year. He has no sense of humour and hates to look like a dickhead in the paddock, so he’s nothing if not motivated.

Jack Miller will also have a stellar year, even though he didn’t shine at Qatar. All indications are he finds the Ducati more to his liking than the Honda.

Jack Miller
Jack Miller
I would of course like Rossi to win his tenth title this year. And of course he can do it. Probably. Shut up. I’m a fan.

Once again, Rossi has been competent in pre-season testing, but is playing his cards very close to his chest. Of all the racers out there, he alone really knows that anything can happen in MotoGP and invariably does.

Crutchlow, Rins and Petrucci will have a mixed season. There must always be hewers of wood and drawers of water, even in MotoGP. But I’m thinking young Alex Rins might get to see what a podium looks like this year.

I hope Morbidelli kicks arse. I know he’s not related to the famous bike-making family, but he’s got some pretty good credentials, and he’s going to put old Tito Rabat to shame – which is a shame Tito must be getting used to by now.

Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli
Karel will remain wealthy and happy, Brad Smith will develop his KTM for another season then retire to a farm in England to grow porridge, and the Asparagus brothers will beat Luthi, Simeon, Syahrin and Nakagami every time. You watch.

Redding will continue to crash. And Aprilia will continue to weep and wonder why it didn’t choose to contest WSBK.

Dani Pedrosa will have two really good races. Or maybe three. And Alvaro Bautista will probably get another neck tatt.

Come on then. Let’s get it on.

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
2018 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
2018 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
The lights go out for the opening race of MotoGP 2018 at 0300 Monday morning, Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. See the full schedule below in AEST.

Friday 16th March, 2018 – Practice
20:50 – 21:30 Moto3 FP1
21:45 – 22:30 Moto2 FP1
22:45 – 23:30 MotoGP FP1
1:10 – 1:50 (am Sat) Moto3 FP2
2:05 – 2:50 (am Sat) Moto2 FP2
3:05 – 3:50 (am Sat) MotoGP FP2
Saturday 17th March, 2018 – Qualifying
20:40 – 21:20 Moto3 FP3
21:35 – 22:20 Moto2 FP3
22:35 – 23:20 MotoGP FP3
00:45 – 1:25 (am Sun) Moto3 QP
1:40 – 2:25 (am Sun) Moto2 QP
2:40 – 3:10 (am Sun) MotoGP FP4
3:20 – 3:35 (am Sun) MotoGP Q1
3:45 – 4:00 (am Sun) MotoGP Q2
Sunday 18th March, 2018 – Race Day
21:40 – 22:00 Moto3 WUP
22:10 – 22:30 Moto2 WUP
22:40 – 23:00 MotoGP WUP
00:00 (am Mon) Moto3 Race
1:20 (am Mon) Moto2 Race
3:00 (am Mon) MotoGP Race
2018 MotoGP Calendar
18 Mar – Qatar*, Losail International Circuit
08 Apr – República Argentina, Termas de Río Hondo
22 Apr – Americas, Circuit of the Americas
06 May – Spain, Circuito de Jerez
20 May – France, Le Mans
03 Jun – Italy, Autodromo del Mugello
17 Jun – Catalunya, Barcelona – Catalunya
01 Jul – Netherlands, TT Circuit Assen
15 Jul – Germany, Sachsenring
05 Aug – Czech Republic, Automotodrom Brno
12 Aug – Austria, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg
26 Aug – Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit
09 Sept – San Marino, e della Riviera di Rimini Misano
23 Sept – Aragón, MotorLand Aragón
07 Oct – Thailand, Chang International Circuit
21 Oct – Japan, Twin Ring Motegi
28 Oct – Australia, Phillip Island
04 Nov – Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit
18 Nov – Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo
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March 14th, 2018, 01:26 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by RCV600RR View Post
Rossi can't ride worn tires? The same Rossi that rode the 500cc bikes with no TC? That's one of his best features, alongside his braking. Rossi is much stronger than JL on worn tyres - see the entire 2015 season (e.g. Catalunya) or 2016 season (e.g. Jerez) where he was much faster than JL on late race pace.

MotoGP today has become so advanced that good electronics are fundamental to tyre wear - no matter who is controlling the throttle. This is a universally known fact.
Sorry didn’t have time to elaborate previously. Yes Rossi was the reference point for riding worn tires, riding 500cc, development, all sorts of things. In his day. The question now is who’s day is it currently. Who do all the riders look up to. Who do they think does the impossible. Just ask Miller. It’s Marquez, and the only guy to give him a run for his money was Dovi. All the others, electronics or not, worn tires or not, are struggling to compete. All the others are looking for excuses why. Sorry to say the excuse ‘it’s the Yamaha not me’ doesn’t cut it. If Marquez was on the Yamaha what would you say were his chances of taking the title? Worse than they are now? Previous and current Honda riders don’t think so. Only they can’t think like Rossi. They just have to admit it’s Marquez doing what they thought wasn’t possible, nothing else.
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March 14th, 2018, 02:54 AM   #33
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Sorry didn’t have time to elaborate previously. Yes Rossi was the reference point for riding worn tires, riding 500cc, development, all sorts of things. In his day. The question now is who’s day is it currently. Who do all the riders look up to. Who do they think does the impossible. Just ask Miller. It’s Marquez, and the only guy to give him a run for his money was Dovi. All the others, electronics or not, worn tires or not, are struggling to compete. All the others are looking for excuses why. Sorry to say the excuse ‘it’s the Yamaha not me’ doesn’t cut it. If Marquez was on the Yamaha what would you say were his chances of taking the title? Worse than they are now? Previous and current Honda riders don’t think so. Only they can’t think like Rossi. They just have to admit it’s Marquez doing what they thought wasn’t possible, nothing else.
Yes, if Marquez was on the M1 his chances would be much worse than they are now. The M1 is not a bike that can be ridden in a similar fashion as the RCV... it demands a smooth, inline style and that's just not how Marc knows how to ride.

Marc is earning his current success due to his willingness to take on more risk than most (if not all) the other riders. Marc takes it to and beyond the limit even when he has a lot to lose. Thus far he has been rewarded for his high level of risk taking, but it can all come to a halt in an instant with one bad crash. He is not guaranteed anything... anything can happen.

Last edited by moto vudu; March 14th, 2018 at 03:02 AM.
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March 14th, 2018, 04:30 AM   #34
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Track Map Courtesy of Brembo Brakes



Grand Prix of Qatar
Losail International Circuit
LENGTH: 5.4 km / 3.34 miles
CORNERS: 6 left - 10 right
WIDTH: 12 m. / 39.37 ft.
LONGEST STRAIGHT: 1068 m. / 3503.94 ft.
Laps: 22
Red Flag Finish: 16 (3/4 of laps)
Total distance: 118.4 km / 73.5 miles

March of the gladiators

The floor of the gladiator pens was baked hard by the desert heat. Sand, blown in from the dunes, mingled with the rotting corpses of dead grass. Together they soaked up the rancid blood that spilled from guts of the futuristic machines that were kept there. The gladiators who shared the space did not pace restlessly. They sat in meditation, waiting for the final rays of the sun to drain away. Only then would the Colosseum come alive under the cold, impersonal and artificial light. Only then could they do battle and determine which of them was the best.



The reigning champion of the arena is young, cocky and headstrong. He is quick with a smile, a boyish grin that can draw you in and disarm you. Yet behind that levity is a ruthless dedication to victory that overshadows all else. His beguiling smile covers the viciousness with which he thrusts his weapon into any opening while on the track, eviscerating any opponent who dares to stand between himself and the finish line. He flashes it at them with a wink and a nod while they can still see his face, knowing that in moments the visor will go down and all pretenses will be over. They think that on this day he is weak, even vulnerable. Last year he wasn't even good enough to be on the podium, finishing fourth. The year before that he was 3rd. The year before that he was fifth. To have any hope of branding his competitors with fear he must return to a state of mind four years in the past, when he stood on the top step and looked down upon the conquered.



They were rivals before, now they are rivals again. Behind his back, they call the journeyman gladiator a bastard son of King Arthur. He is not British, and yet his success appears backed through the wizardry of MotoGP's own Merlin the sorcerer. Arcane conjurings and incantations have created a beast, a fire breathing dragon of a machine that only he can tame. He came close last year, the closest anyone has come to dethroning the current champion without actually standing over his broken body awaiting the decree - thumbs up, or thumbs down. Like a mantra, a single number repeats in his head. 2 - the place he finished at seasons end. 2 - the place he finished at this area last year, and the year before, and the year before that. He wants to mount that top step; like so many before it is a passion that drives him almost to madness. To finally do so will require that he achieve ultimate mastery, the perfect symbiosis of man and machine.



When you are given little, little is expected of you. It is a testament to how much he has done with the scraps he was given that his name is spoken with such anticipation. He lies in wait, caged in the way of animals, eager for the hunt. He does not fear the champion, or the contender. Let them come, with their wealthy patrons and sorcerous trickery. Last year he was nobody, and already the crowds screamed his name as he parried and slashed his way through the field. He had fallen short, ultimately, but he had put the field on notice. Now he is one year wiser, 18 races more experienced. So let them come. All he needs to win is a cooler head once he takes the lead, to temper the youthful exuberance and bring the bike home to the end.
I am disappointed my dude. I was expert your post would be the only place to find umbrella girls in motogp anymore, unless I stop by motokitty's house that is. Bring back bitc........bring back the ladies!!!
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March 14th, 2018, 05:06 AM   #35
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I am disappointed my dude. I was expert your post would be the only place to find umbrella girls in motogp anymore, unless I stop by motokitty's house that is. Bring back bitc........bring back the ladies!!!
Proper internet etiquette when quoting a post full of pictures is to remove the pics in your quote.
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March 14th, 2018, 05:25 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by moto vudu View Post
Proper internet etiquette when quoting a post full of pictures is to remove the pics in your quote.
Proper internet etiquette? Thats a new one. The mother fuckin PC police huh? Well my post was pointing out something lacking from his pics so even by your high standards the pics should remain. Troll turns mod in less than a day.
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March 14th, 2018, 06:01 AM   #37
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Yes, if Marquez was on the M1 his chances would be much worse than they are now. The M1 is not a bike that can be ridden in a similar fashion as the RCV... it demands a smooth, inline style and that's just not how Marc knows how to ride.
I think he would change his riding style and win on the Yamaha.

He rode that piece of shit Honda for two and a half years and won.
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March 14th, 2018, 06:38 AM   #38
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Your constant attacks and insults are clear evidence that it is in fact yourself who is a miserable lonely cunt with no friends (except two or three other narcissistic misanthropes who egg you on). For the record - I don't count Dubs in that category. So go on with your witless pratling, because clearly - you haven't learned the first rule of human nature and the internet, which is: you can't change anyone's mind and nobody gives a shit about the opinion of trolls and boppers. You can roll out all that glib bullshit, and dumb jock humor and deny it for ever and ever but the one who is miserable around here is you. Happy people don't devote this much time lashing out at others in vain efforts to "hurt other's feelings" which is all you ever try to do.
Yup, and another irony is he assumes I haven't done exactly what my friend did, when it is well known to the regulars on here I was on the McLaren GP Team.

What's more funny is he assumes we lose sleep over his behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moto vudu View Post
Yes, if Marquez was on the M1 his chances would be much worse than they are now. The M1 is not a bike that can be ridden in a similar fashion as the RCV... it demands a smooth, inline style and that's just not how Marc knows how to ride.

Marc is earning his current success due to his willingness to take on more risk than most (if not all) the other riders. Marc takes it to and beyond the limit even when he has a lot to lose. Thus far he has been rewarded for his high level of risk taking, but it can all come to a halt in an instant with one bad crash. He is not guaranteed anything... anything can happen.
Respectfully disagree on some parts of your post. Marquez won the 2016/2017 titles in spite of the Honda, not because of it.

Yes he has taken risks and has made it his priority to tone that down this year, but this attitude of "He is going to get hurt sooner or later" seems to be becoming a common and wishful rhetoric from Rossi fans on this forum.
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March 14th, 2018, 06:39 AM   #39
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I think he would change his riding style and win on the Yamaha.

He rode that piece of shit Honda for two and a half years and won.
I don't see Marquez changing to a smooth Lorenzo style anymore than I could see Lorenzo riding like Marquez. It just won't happen.
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March 14th, 2018, 06:43 AM   #40
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Yup, and another irony is he assumes I haven't done exactly what my friend did, when it is well known to the regulars on here I was on the McLaren GP Team.

What's more funny is he assumes we lose sleep over his behaviour.



Respectfully disagree on some parts of your post. Marquez won the 2016/2017 titles in spite of the Honda, not because of it.

Yes he has taken risks and has made it his priority to tone that down this year, but this attitude of "He is going to get hurt sooner or later" seems to be becoming a common and wishful rhetoric from Rossi fans on this forum.
I don't know who's wishing Marc to get hurt, but luck runs out. Every rider on the grid knows that.
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