Yesterday’s MotoGP race at Catalunya was a bizarre one. OK, the amount of crashers and the unexpected winner was par for the MotoGP course these days. But the mid-race striptease from the championship leader was most certainly not. The action from the 2021 MotoGP in Catalunya was as entertaining as we’ve come to expect and has certainly left me hungry for the next instalment. But until then (Germany, in a few weeks’ time), here’s the top ten from Catalunya rated by us…
Miguel Oliveira 9.5/10
It’s hard to fault Oliveira’s performance in Barcelona. Yes, he’s a proven race winner, but I don’t think anyone had him down for the win yesterday. But he did it. And fairly convincingly too. Once he got to the front, he pretty much stayed there, barring a little tussle with Fabio. It was proof that his previous wins weren’t just a fluke. He demonstrated that the KTM’s have got power and that he’s got the speed. Now he just needs to work on his consistency.
Johann Zarco 9/10
Will Johann Zarco ever win a MotoGP race, or is he destined to be forever a bridesmaid. Without a shadow of a doubt, he’s the fastest person on the current MotoGP grid to never win a race. I can only imagine how frustrating P2 is for the Frenchman at the MotoGP in Catalunya. That said, he put in a solid performance yesterday and bagged twenty points for second. And he deserves extra kudos for beating both Factory Ducatis on his Pramac racing machine.
Jack Miller 8/10
Thriller Miller will have been relieved to get promoted to third after Fabio’s penalty. But no doubt concerned about the fact that he didn’t appear to have anything for Zarco or Fabio’s (the two men ahead of him in the championship) actual pace. But it’s a long season and Jack won’t stop fighting.
Joan Mir 6/10
Part of me feels as though fourth was a better result than the World Champion’s performance deserved. But I suppose one of his strengths as a rider is the fact that he’s always there to capitalise on other people’s crashes, penalties etc. If you’re going to make a mistake and give points away, Mir is the one that’s going to take them off you. He got a decent start though, and he did look as though he was getting mugged a bit on the straights. Podium next time out?
Maverick Vinales 6/10
After winning at the first round of the year, Maverick’s season’s taken a turn for the mundane. The Spaniard hasn’t had a podium to speak of since Qatar 1. He’s got it in him, and we know the bike’s fast enough; he just can’t seem to make it happen. Binder ramming into him from behind probably didn’t help his race much, but it wasn’t like he was going to win, was it?
Fabio Quartararo 4/10
W.T.F. was going on with Quartararo in that race. It looked as though he was on for a strong P2 when his leathers ‘unzipped themselves’ (yeah right, Fabio) and everything went to ratsh!t. Did he have a bee down there? Was it his airbag that went off? Did he do it for a bet? We’ll probably never know because he’s already gone down the bullshit route, but his three-second penalty for riding without his chest protector and his leathers unzipped was pretty lenient if you ask me. I’m surprised he didn’t get black flagged. That penalty came after he’d already received a three second penalty for cutting the course at turn one. A very strange one for Quartararo who was lucky to come away with ten points for sixth place.
Pecco Bagnaia 6/10
Pecco was probably hoping for a bit better than seventh, and you’d have to say he’s got a bike that’s capable of it. But it wasn’t to be. He’s still a relative newcomer to MotoGP though, so I think we can cut him some slack.
Brad Binder 6/10
Eighth place, when your teammate’s standing on top of the podium would have probably stung a little bit. But at least he was giving it his all, as is evidence from the collision with Vinales. It wasn’t really Binders weekend, but at least he got some points. Maybe it will be his weekend in a fortnight. Or maybe it won’t be. Who knows?
Franco Morbidelli 4/10
I had really high hopes for Morbz in the MotoGP race at Catalunya (and in 2021 in general, for that matter) but it turned out to be a bit of a damp squib for him. I don’t know why, but his race-pace didn’t seem to match his potential this weekend. Perhaps it was setup, perhaps it was tyres. Whatever it was, I hope he gets it sorted because I like him and I want to see him do well.
Enea Bastianini 5/10
It wasn’t the best result for Bastia, but it was better than last time. At least he made it to the grid unscathed this time. By the end of the race, he was nearly 20 seconds off the leaders, but in his defence, he was still the first rookie over the line. And he’s not on the trickest bike, either. Definitely one for the future. But maybe not the immediate future.
Thoughts on Aleix Esparagaro and his performance prior to his little crash?