Oh, Qatar, where do I start? The first race of the season was dearly missed but perhaps not the best example of what we were missing over winter. Although that’s usually what happens when you set your expectations so high. The new tyres, the new electronics, the jumbled up laptimes from testing – everything indicated to a breathtakingly close contest. To be fair, it was close, but not necessarily breathtaking.
Lorenzo took off at the front, against all odds, the top factories ended up on the podium, against all odds, and the brand new Michelins led to an even faster race, against all odds. Faster also meant less opportunities for overtakes, unless you had wings to carry you over the main straight. Talking of which, the winged creatures are still causing a stir but not enough to get them banned for the big boys. Maverick might be one of the big boys too but he had neither wings nor race pace come Sunday, so the alien verdict will have to wait.
In the Japanese camps, our Spanish myrmecologist (you could google that but it’s unlikely to come in useful) worked his magic on a disobedient Honda, while the blue boys were throwing toys at each other during recess. Too much good can do that to you. I mean look at Antonelli: he had nothing going his way and still left with a big trophy!
Finally, in Romanian we have an expression for people who are unreasonably annoyed and it literally translates to “having a carrot up your ass”. That’s how I imagine much of the audience present in Qatar. I suppose you can’t expect a considerate audience from such an inconsiderate country but at what point do we stop and do something about the booing? By ‘we’ I mean MotoGP. It’s fine to let your biggest audience do whatever they want for another 2 years, but leaving the rest pissed off might find you in the middle of nowhere come 2019. Then again, is anyone brave enough to tell them to suck it up silently? Points for trying, Jorge, points for trying…