First off, apologies for no recap yesterday. The real world gets in the way sometimes. With that said, here's a look at the results.
For video highlights, have a look at @btsportmotogp on Twitter. Full of good content.
|1||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||MAL||Honda Team Asia||Honda||145.5||41'35.452|
|2||9||Jorge NAVARRO||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||144||26.17|
|3||41||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||143.8||30.06|
|4||55||Andrea LOCATELLI||ITA||Leopard Racing||KTM||143.8||30.339|
|5||36||Joan MIR||SPA||Leopard Racing||KTM||143.8||30.506|
|6||76||Hiroki ONO||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||143.8||30.736|
|7||17||John MCPHEE||GBR||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||Peugeot||143.7||32.493|
|8||88||Jorge MARTIN||SPA||ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3||Mahindra||143.2||40.596|
|9||84||Jakub KORNFEIL||CZE||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||Honda||142.9||45.667|
|11||7||Adam NORRODIN||MAL||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||Honda||142.9||46.173|
|12||58||Juanfran GUEVARA||SPA||RBA Racing Team||KTM||142.6||51.434|
|13||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Leopard Racing||KTM||142.2||57.893|
|14||6||Maria HERRERA||SPA||MH6 Laglisse||KTM||141.8||+1'05.983|
|15||65||Philipp OETTL||GER||Schedl GP Racing||KTM||141.7||+1'08.426|
|1||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Ajo Motorsport||Kalex||161.9||40'57.806|
|2||22||Sam LOWES||GBR||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||Kalex||161.8||1.347|
|3||94||Jonas FOLGER||GER||Dynavolt Intact GP||Kalex||161.7||2.754|
|4||40||Alex RINS||SPA||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||Kalex||161.5||6.101|
|5||77||Dominique AEGERTER||SWI||CarXpert Interwetten||Kalex||160.7||17.384|
|6||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||Kalex||160.7||17.484|
|7||12||Thomas LUTHI||SWI||Garage Plus Interwetten||Kalex||160.1||26.411|
|8||49||Axel PONS||SPA||AGR Team||Kalex||159.8||31.016|
|9||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||Kalex||159.8||31.403|
|10||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||159.8||31.816|
|11||23||Marcel SCHROTTER||GER||AGR Team||Kalex||159.8||32.329|
|12||19||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||QMMF Racing Team||Speed Up||159.2||40.968|
|13||7||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI||ITA||Forward Team||Kalex||158.8||47.883|
|14||97||Xavi VIERGE||SPA||Tech 3 Racing||Tech 3||158.2||56.027|
|15||39||Luis SALOM||SPA||SAG Team||Kalex||158.1||58.278|
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||168.4||34'13.628|
|2||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||167.8||7.679|
|3||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||166.2||28.1|
|4||50||Eugene LAVERTY||IRL||Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||165.5||36.542|
|5||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||165.5||36.711|
|6||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||165.4||37.245|
|7||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||165.1||41.353|
|8||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||164.4||50.709|
|9||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||164.4||50.983|
|10||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||163.6||+1'01.388|
|11||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||163||+1'08.868|
|12||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||OCTO Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati||162.2||+1'18.987|
|13||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||161.1||+1'33.419|
Championship standings after round two
|4||Khairul Idham PAWI||Honda||MAL||25|
Rain pre-race had everyone on tenterhooks, but in honestly there wasn't enough water on the track to make it worth starting on wets, as Livio Loi did, and in the end he paid for it by finishing just outside the points.
It's easy to blame the weather on the mixed up result, but to give full credit to Khairul Idham Pawi, he led from the second turn. There was a touch of the Danny Kent about his performance in the first few laps - get a lead, keep a lead, and clear off. While others were being careful around the wet patches, Pawi knew where to put the bike, and went. Whether he can do it in a more normal racing situation, we will see. It was a damn impressive show though.
Jorge Navarro ran a mature race to take second. He made the best of what he had. Brad Binder's consistency in finishing third gives him the championship lead, and it looks like he could be the man to beat. Johann Zarco's dominance of Moto2 last year was built around consistent top-end points finishes, and there's a feel of that about Binder's start.
Sympathies go out to Aron Canet, dropping the bike with three laps to go, and Adam Norrodin, who after spending the entire race stalking Navarro, making his move on the last lap, and losing the bike on a wobble. Big love to him for pushing the bike over the line to get some points.
Championship standings after round two.
|8||Simone CORSI||Speed Up||ITA||16|
How lovely to see a Moto2 race start properly this time out. The nonsense of the jump starts at Qatar left a bitter taste, so it was nice to be able to ignore that and have some actual racing.
The battle at the front was lovely. They all kept each other honest and rode sensibly. It was also a welcome return to form for Johann Zarco, who looked every part the world champion that he did last year. It was nice to see Sam Lowes being able to maintain a pace at the front. While not able to convert his pole into a win, he managed to hang with Zarco and keep off the challenge of those behind him. He always was a good rider, but this year he has a capable bike under him.
Franco Morbidelli continues his bewildering start to the year, though. Having been punished for the jump start in Qatar, he was running a very promising race in third, being very much involved, and then found a wet patch on the penultimate lap. He's another rider who gets respect for finishing the race, but again, it could have been so much more.
Alex Rins had some lightning pace in the middle section of the race, but didn't have enough to catch a very fast set of bikes in front of him. He's going to be involved at the top end come the end of the season though.
Tom Luthi retains the lead of the championship despite putting in what can only be described as typical Luthi - following up a really strong performance with a bang average, almost anonymous one.
Shoutout to Lorenzo Baldassarri, picking up three points in 13th after dislocating both shoulders in Qatar.
Championship standings after round two
Where to begin?!
The entire weekend is a story of crashes and tyres. Friday's dusty track saw almost everybody fall off. Saturday was a story of tyres. Scott Redding had a tyre delaminate in FP4, which caused the entire grid to panic. Riders were only allowed to go out on brand new tyres in qualifying - no broken in tyres allowed.
Late on Saturday, Michelin withdrew all tyre options, forcing everybody onto the backup option that Michelin take with them in case of emergency. Because of uncertainty over that tyre, a mandatory pit stop was enforced at half distance of a reduced 20-lap race.
The race itself was a war of attrition. Cal Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro crashed at turn one but got back on. Yonny Hernandez and Jack Miller went out on the first three laps, with Jorge Lorenzo of all people losing the bike two laps later. Alvaro Bautista crashed in pit lane but managed to carry on. Loris Baz had to retire with a rear spindle error. Scott Redding's second bike gave up the ghost underneath him while he was in sixth, ahead of Dani Pedrosa. Maverick Viñales was having the ride of his life on the tail of Valentino Rossi before losing the front end at turn one with four to go. Andrea Iannone took out his team mate, and Crutchlow fell off again. There were only 13 finishers.
The battle between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi was great to watch, in the first half of the race anyway. The bike change did for Rossi. He took longer than Marquez to switch bikes, then got stuck behind Tito Rabat upon exiting pit lane. Then, he just couldn't find the pace to catch back up to Marquez. There was a big bunch of sour grapes from Rossi post-race, saying they didn't have a problem with the tyres and that because one person had an issue, their weekend was ruined. I've never known Rossi to be so bitter about things than he has been the past nine months. Marquez looks up for this year though, and he could take some stopping.
One of the big takeaways from the first two races is the speed of the Ducatis. They're fast. Very fast. At least in a straight line. When it comes to the corners, it looks like they can't handle the speed. While Andrea Dovizioso brakes earlier to compensate, Andrea Iannone does not. It's becoming a problem. He nearly wiped out Dani Pedrosa at the first corner, and the crash at the end of the race took out his team mate. The move wasn't on, at all. Iannone is a crazy good rider, but there's still a certain emphasis on the crazy part. It ruined a great race from both, as they were in line for a 2-3 finish having both put paid to Rossi.
The biggest winner of the fallers? Eugene Laverty, on probably the worst bike in the field, was fourth - ahead of both Tech 3 bikes. Dani Pedrosa had a big race doing absolutely nothing, somehow picking up a podium finish despite being well below average.
You have got to feel sorry for Maverick. I thought that Suzuki bike was going to be quick, but he is far outperforming his team mate Aleix, and had the beating of the Ducatis before he fell off. Future world champ, no doubt.
Next time out
No rest for the wicked, we're back this weekend with the US Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas. Come back Thursday for the preview.