MotoGP Buriram: Gossip, rumour and intrigue
Yamaha have created a whole new electronics operation – called Electronic Control Group – in the wake of their recent MotoGP disasters and installed Michele Gadda at its head.
Gadda has already been tinkering with the M1’s electronics strategies in conjunction with an oppo in Japan and Valentino Rossi believes that it is already paying dividends – plus he is happy that Yamaha have started to put in more effort to close the gap to Honda and Ducati. Motegi will be an indicator of how much they have caught up.
It was more than likely no co-incidence that Johann Zarco also found some pace at Buriram with the combination of surface and harder-carcass tyre suiting the M1. But the Frenchman warned that no-one should get carried away, saying, “We didn’t do anything incredible, we were competitive again…”
Rossi also warned that Yamaha’s engineers needs to look at the season as a whole, not just one fast lap or one decent result. “If I were a Yamaha engineer, I would analyse the results of the second part of the season and I would not be happy about one fast lap or a front row…”
While Scott Redding was throwing up in his lid, Aprilia team-mate Aleix Espargaro was riding round as the only man on the soft Michelin rear after the whole grid had been ‘advised’ to use the hard. But as Espargaro has said all season, the RS-GP is giving no grip on the hard tyre, so he went soft, stayed upright and got 13th.
Michelin’s Piero Tiramisu admitted that a different allocation of tyres would have been better for the race but only had data from the test and weather forecasts to go on. The French rubber specialists were expecting much cooler conditions in October with the strong possibility of rain but got the exact opposite with track temperatures almost ten degrees higher than for February’s test.
Jorge Lorenzo watched the race from his hotel room and was very complimentary about everyone on Twitter afterwards… Tramadol, probably…
Pol Espargaro decided against letting Randy and Hopkirk (Deceased) ride his bike in Thailand and, despite still being in a lot of pain, opted to get in some laps and he now thinks his will be 100 per cent for Motegi – a hard place to ride if you’re injured.
KTM team-mate Bradley Smith took great delight in stuffing ‘Spewy’ Scott Redding for the final point on Sunday: “It was strange to be fighting so hard for the last point but that’s how competitive it is inside MotoGP at the moment.”
Jordi Torres eschewed riding in his natural way and stuck to the programme of his Avintia Ducati team, changing maps when told, conserving fuel etc. He got close to team-mate Xavi Simeon but didn’t quite show him a wheel. Most unlike a WorldSBK rider and Moto2 winner…