MotoGP 2017: down to a two-horse race

MotoGP
By Amy Dargan
amylouisedargan  MotoGP's official roving reporter since the beginning of the 2015 season. Previously it was three years getting muddy covering MXGP but this season she'll be filling BikeSocial readers in on the story lines in between the racing lines after each MotoGP.

 

If we’d begun to think that Marc Marquez was about to start a victory freight train towards this year’s title, we totally underestimated the challenge that Andrea Dovizioso still had left to mount.

Same goes for thinking we wouldn’t see another showdown like the one we saw earlier this year at the Red Bull Ring in this critical part of the season, especially with Marquez on the front row while Dovizioso was braving the spray from row 3, having no choice but to guess his early braking points.

Come rain or shine Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez have made for fantastic opponents both out on track or in parc ferme. I enjoyed seeing the pair exchanging animated handshakes and congratulations in the pen despite the intensity of the last lap dash. Whether that will continue is yet to be seen. When I asked Marquez whether Dovi was becoming his favourite title opponent to date he laughed the question off. Marquez as we know can be a ruthless challenger and while it’s all smiles and handshakes at the moment, we know very well how quickly all that can change with a hard pass here or paint exchange there.

After Yamaha’s dismal weekend in Motegi where Vinales could only bring this year’s M1 across the line in 9th it looks as though realistically it’s coming down to the Ducati and Honda pair to battle it out for this year’s championship trophy and a long winter ahead for Yamaha to find the answer to the season long problem that has ultimately cost them a world title. While Jorge Lorenzo’s first year in red perhaps hasn’t been the rapid transition many had hyped up or expected at the start of the new relationship, I wondered recently whether now being an outsider looking in on Yamaha’s dilemma, whether he would be feeling pretty smug being exactly that, on the outside.

In any case the Italian manufacturer themselves had a lot to be smug about come Sunday evening having cleaned up on Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki’s home turf, nearly every single shot that had been fired at Marquez on Sunday had come from one of their boys.

Danilo Petrucci added another piece of silverware to become the first independent team rider with four podiums in one season and while he missed out on a maiden MotoGP win again, the Italian was a lot happier with his 3rd place finish having dropped out of the battle for the top step earlier on. Petrucci who once sited Homer Simpson as his hero, had been asked earlier in the weekend from MotoGP’s social media questions, what was the one thing he has to sacrifice to be a MotoGP rider and he immediately retorted “Food”. After starting the week with food poisoning, let’s hope someone got the man a burger and a tray full of donuts last night!

 

Race and Championship Positions

Motegi MotoGp Race Review BikeSocial Amy Dargan
Motegi MotoGp Race Review BikeSocial Amy Dargan
MotoGP repoerter for BikeSocial Amy Dargan

 

Amy is one of MotoGP’s official roving reporters hunting down the riders, their managers, crew chiefs and paddock personalities at every Grand Prix. This season she'll be filling BikeSocial readers in on the story lines in between the racing lines. 

Amy is all about two wheels coming from three years covering the MXGP championship before embarking on her third season in MotoGP, she'll also be the pit lane reporter at selected Speedway Grand Prix this year. 

You can follow her 2017 season on Instagram at @amylouisedargan and Twitter @amylouisedargan

 

 

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