MotoGP 2020 so far: By Donovan Flugel
Thought I would share my thoughts on the MotoGP Season thus far for The Fan Zone in your first MRW Digimag :
How would you describe in just several words the year 2020?
So many words come to mind and usually in the modern age of social media and internet searches, you can track trending topics & words.
A group called the Global Language Monitor looks at the top-trending words each year.
No prizes for what you think may be some of the most used words or phrases. COVID, FACE-MASK & SOCIAL DISTANCING are some of the top contenders. Some others include ZOOM MEETING & even DONALD TRUMP.
What words would you use to trend the MotoGP season of 2020?
Who would have thought that in-between a most unpredictable and challenging year of change for most, we would see arguably one of the most exciting and memorable years for MotoGP racing in some time. Yes we have had our fair share of drama of the last few years. Rossi vs Marquez, The rise of Ducati. The introduction of KTM or the retirement of #JL99 Jorge Lorenzo & #DP26 Dani Pedrosa.
Nothing however could have prepared our minds to cope though with what has been served up to us so far this year.
Brad Binder winning a MotoGP race! KTM’s first!
Satellite teams dominating factory teams! Near tragic close calls & racing at the same venues within days of each other!
When Miguel Olivera crossed the finish line in first place at the inaugural Styrian MotoGP race , not only did confirm the ushering in of what certainly seems to be a new era and generation of MotoGP stars, but also ended the reign of Ducati at a circuit where over the last several years has seen them own the top step of the podium.
With 14 races scheduled for this year, and only 5 races in, one has to wonder what else 2020 has in store for us.
If Jerez & Andalucia were our starters, what next is going to come? What main course dish has MotoGP yet to offer up that we all cannot predict? We are not even half way through the season yet!
No one could have predicted what has happened so far, so one thing is most certain. Unpredictability and whatever the imagination can muster is now becoming possible!
Could we see yet more first time victors in MotoGP?
Out of the current 24 entrants of riders, 13 are still yet to cross the chequers in first place. Who is overdue for a maiden win? Who is flirting with the sharp end like a Russian daredevil on US Talent show?
Both Espargaro brothers are not only overdue, but are showing a real effort to challenge at the front. Pol more so than Aleix. However, in light of the unpredictability of this year so far, would we be so wrong to suggest a first win for Aprilia?
Jack Miller is looking hungry to catch his first ever dry win which is long overdue after his flash in the pan victory all the way back in 2016 at a wet Assen. No doubt he will want to prove his worth & reaffirm Ducati’s decision in signing him into the factory team for 2021.
Then there is Takaaki Nakagami and the LCR Honda. Currently the large and looming shadow in the form of Marc Marquez is not at the front, so could we see Honda finally empowering a rider that is able to push for victories on what seems to clearly be a temperamental Honda? His form has shown some promise in the last few events.
Cal Crutchlow has been able to do it three times in the past for Honda, but with his past injuries and rather outspoken opinion on the Honda front end, we may not see him push as hard as he has in the past without decorating the scenery in LCR colours. Again.
Alex Marquez has yet to show any promise of shine on the Factory Repsol Honda to be able to run at the front like his fellow rookie, Brad Binder.
His pedestrian and cautious start to his maiden season has been far overshadowed by not only his older brothers first year in MotoGP, but also many other satellite teams and rookies such as 20 year old Iker Lecuona, who finished the past race in a respectable 10th place and 5 seconds ahead of Alex who finished out of the points.
Speaking of which, Iker Lecuona has started to show some real promise! As team mate to the Styrian MotoGP winner, no one can now doubt the machineries capability to potentially capture a win for the rookie!
Joan Mir, the unfortunate Suzuki rider who looked like he was on his way to a maiden victory before the Styrian restart will be hungry to show his newly found form in the coming rounds.
Speaking of hunger, Johan Zarco on the Reale Avinitia Ducati must be starving for results if his recent performances are anything to go by. Now in his 4th MotoGP Championship year, he must know that the scoreboard needs to reflect his efforts soon if he is to remain in the future of the championship.
Will Yamaha’s woes continue? After such a dramatic year for both the Factory & Petronas satellite team, what more could still unfold in the Yamaha tale? Fabio Quartararo showed he is the man to beat after the first two rounds, but being a rider that thrives only when his confidence is on high and all the stars are aligned in his favour, his mojo seems to be in jeopardy of late.
Maverick Vinales seems to be continuing his run of bad luck with the Japanese factory, and yet more “on again, off again” signs of brilliance are hampering his progress.
Not to leave out Mr. Consistency. Mr. Sunday himself, Valentino Rossi. Could he make a sudden late career resurgence that will see him further cement his place in history as one of the sports greatest!
One thing is for sure, the story for 2020 is far from over and there are so many open possibilities yet to be realised.
Marc Marquez must be absolutely chomping at the bit in a house full of closed windows, to get back in it and supress all those that are seeking to take his title! Which opens up a whole new discussion if he will even be back this year, if at all. The severity of his injury may not yet be fully realised, and we wish him a full recovery as soon as possible!
However, we are thankful that in his unfortunate absence, the future of MotoGP is in good hands.
I dare not predict or guess any future results for 2020, nor would I dare at this stage offer any words that by the end of it all may be trending the most in the MotoGP world.
But so far, KTM, #BB33, #MO88, CLOSE-CALL & ROOKIE must all be worthy so far.
What words would you say are trending the most currently and potentially come the end of the final race in Portugal’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit!
I’ll offer just one. EPIC!
Pic by GP Fever