The 2020 MotoGP World Championship continued to twist and turn more than Motorland Aragon’s technical section as Alex Rins added his name to the list of winners this season, which now totals eight different riders in just ten races.

As if that wasn’t enough, Joan Mir now leads the standings even though he isn’t one of those eight riders… Confused? Well, Fabio Quartararo started on pole and finished 18th, while Alex Marquez went the other way again for back-to-back podiums.

We’ve given up trying to predict the future but we do know who our Winners & Losers are from the Aragon MotoGP… agree?

Winner
Alex Marquez

There was a point in Le Mans last week where everyone seemed to be a little more excited than Alex Marquez was himself that he’d just landed his first MotoGP podium.

Indeed, happy though he was, Alex seemed determined to keep his joy in perspective, pointing out more than once that a wet weather podium is one thing. Only would a similar performance in the dry would categorically earn him a seat at the big table with today’s motorcycle racing elite.

So what does he do? He delivers exactly that performance, exactly a week later in almost exactly the same way.

While we have seen numerous occasions where a maiden win or podium is the popping cork in a bottle, where by success just flows thereafter, even the oracle Alberto Puig wouldn’t have foreseen another second place finish just seven days after the first.

While the performance certainly echoed shades of his brother Marc, we’re loathed to bring his title-winning brother into this because Alex’s performance deserves to stand him out on his own two wheels.

And we don’t say that because of just the result. It’s for the way he has methodically - if perhaps slowly - cracked the code of the notorious Honda RC213V and has turned it into a bike that works for him. More than that though, it proves the bike, in the right hands - his, Marc, sometimes Cal’s - it is perhaps the best on the grid after all.

A victory at Aragon next weekend? Imagine those odds 8 days ago compared to what they are now...

Winner

Suzuki, Joan Mir, Alex Rins

Suzuki’s Alex Rins becomes the eighth different race winner in ten MotoGP races, while his team-mate Joan Mir is the new points’ leader after clicking up a fifth podium of 2020 - that’s two more than anyone else this year.

In short, it’s been a good day at the office for Suzuki. A very good day.

While there are countless bizarre stats to demonstrate the unpredictable nature of the 2020 MotoGP season so far, right now the most telling one is that Mir is the new leader of the standings… despite not being one of those eight race winners in 2020, as consistency instead becomes the bedrock of his unlikely title challenge

Ironically, while most are impressed that Mir is forming a charge without having yet won his first MotoGP race, the man himself is clearly frustrated, going as far to say he doesn’t ‘care’ about the title until he gets that elusive win.

This was a race that demonstrated just how far Suzuki has come with its GSX-RR package, seemingly retaining the chassis’ famous sweet handling yet now looking very handy in a straight line, as shown in Rins’ defence of Marquez.

Basically, Suzuki seemingly now has the bike Yamaha riders have been asking for for ages now..

Winner

Andrea Dovizioso

OK, so Andrea Dovizoso is a bit of a leftfield choice here, not least because we could have suggested several other options here, so allow me to explain.

It wasn’t a good weekend for Andrea Dovizioso. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it - slow in practice, dumped out of Q1, engaged in a public spat with his team-mate, hourly souring of relations with Ducati, the gloves being launched with ferocity through the pit box… you get the jist.

Indeed,  it is that aforementioned bit of projectile passion that surprised - and rather pleased us - because it really showed just how much the 2020 MotoGP title means to Dovi, a hunger many have been desperate to see for years as he trailed Marc Marquez

While in that moment, lobbing your gloves won’t make your bike faster, it reminded Dovizioso that he’s on his own in this title battle and he needs to turn it into adrenaline.

Battling to seventh place today isn’t on paper a result to boast about, but he’ll have taken satisfaction from catching and passing the two Ducati riders that dumped him out of Q1 in the first place, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller.

Fabio Quartararo’s struggles mean - somehow - Dovi looks more in the mix than before at just 15 points off the lead. Even the most un-Dovi season is still unmistakably Dovi.

Winner

Sam Lowes

Only a couple of rounds ago, if you were putting money on a Moto2 title winner for 2020 you’d be putting all your money on Italian as the likes of Luca Marini, Enea Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi sat pretty at the head of the standings.

And yet, a win at Le Mans and a win at Aragon has seen our very own Sam Lowes catapult himself into the title fight to give the United Kingdom a real fighting chance of its first grand prix champion since Danny Kent in 2015, not to mention the UK’s first intermediate class champion since 1971.

We won’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but Lowes’s back-to-back wins come at a crucial time, with the previously impenetrable form of his aforementioned rivals disappearing to invite him back into the mix. 

Moreover, with the temperatures dropping and experience surely key in these unusual conditions, the fact Lowes has been pedalling a Moto2 machine since 2014 means no-one is better equipped to tap into some reserves when the going gets dicey.

Right now Bastianini, Lowes and Marini are split by just five points in that order, but while the Italian pair can perhaps dream of MotoGP in 2021, for ex-Aprilia rider Lowes it might be an unexpected case of been there, done that… can we try that one again?

Loser

Fabio Quartararo

Motorsport can be cruel… crashes, technical issues, big mistakes, small mistakes, mistakes that have nothing to do with you. You make your own luck, sure, but there are days when you wonder what you did in a past life.

Fabio Quartararo has certainly ridden the crest of an opportunistic wave for much of MotoGP career but in Aragon today his slump from 2nd to 18th (basically the antithesis of Alex Marquez) was agonising to watch.

Worst of all, he claims tyre pressure issues were to blame and judging by the painful looking understeer he was getting on even the most minor changes of direction, someone has dropped the ball somewhere. It comes at the end of a bruising weekend with crashes fuelled by unfamiliar cold track temperatures, after which he bagged a superb - but ultimately worthless - pole position.

Following Le Mans, that’s two events in a row Quartararo has played his part in driving Yamaha towards its first world title since 2015, but instead of his three wins putting him well out front, he’s now chasing a rider who hasn’t topped the podium yet.

Loser

Ducati

It must be a very strange time to be in the Ducati MotoGP pit box right now

Your two race winning riders are leaving - not exactly of their own accord - at the end of the season, your remaining title challenger can’t expect even the minorest form of beneficial team orders and there are numerous occasions when a privateer team using your old 2019 bike is faster than you.

This really could have been Ducati’s title to lose in Marc Marquez’s absence. And at the very least, it should have been a race win to lose in Aragon this weekend based on previous results… instead it had all 6 bikes battling over 2 spots in Q1.

And yet worse was to follow as the product of Ducati’s in-fighting and seeming lack of camaraderie spilled out onto the circuit on Saturday as Danilo Petrucci openly admitted he targeted Dovizioso to claw himself into Q2 at his title-rivalling team-mate’s expense.

Dovizioso says he doesn’t blame Ducati directly for this incident, but the reality is Petrucci - who has been dumped out of the team for 2021 too - says he was forced to take matters into his own hands because he was frozen out of strategy meetings and Dovi ended up being collateral.

While not a disaster per se because Ducati were woefully off the pace all weekend, it’s a demonstration of the increasingly frosty atmosphere behind the scenes as Dovi bids to win take the title and - for now - take the #1 plate to his sofa for 2021.

If Yamaha seems determined to lose its chance of a 2020 MotoGP title on the track, Ducati will definitely have lost out because of what has been happening behind the scenes.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...