French MotoGP in review

Year of the G.O.A.T?

Valentino Rossi, what more is there to say? He really is the greatest of all time.

A legend sat amongst mere mortals on the grid. Alright, alright I’ll calm down! But it’s difficult when the 36-year-old just keeps on finding ways to grind out results.

This season could really be his chance to grab his 10th World Championship crown, one in which he may never have thought he would have the opportunity to win.

After several years in the wilderness at Ducati I don’t think even the most hardened Rossi fan could have imagined he would ever have a shot at the World Championship upon his return to Yamaha but we can see it unfolding in front of our very eyes. A phenomenal run of form from Valentino has seen him roll back the years and mount a serious challenge once again and it really could happen, really!

Rossi propelled the sport to new heights in his younger years and sometimes sentiment can take over in situations such as these but Valentino is on the cusp of something extraordinary.

Ok, I’m getting carried away here (again!). But why not? Yamaha have certainly found something this season and the Italian has yet to finish outside of the podium, consistency is key in mounting a title challenge and with the experience on two wheels Rossi has he knows when to look at the bigger picture.

Valentino now leads the Championship by 15 points over Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Moto GP heads to his home circuit of Mugello next. Who could bet against him extending his Championship lead on familiar turf?

2015 could really be the year of the G.O.A.T, you just watch.

Smile Jorge, you’re winning

Jorge Lorenzo is a bit of an enigma.

The Spaniard sealed his 35th win in the Moto GP class in emphatic style at the French circuit of Le Mans to secure impressive back to back victories after winning in his homeland of Spain last time out.

As Lorenzo clambered off the seat of his R1 on Sunday to the embrace of his team, the smile had returned. You know, the one he had when he was winning all the time. Yeah, that one.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it had been missing but only for a brief moment in Jerez two weeks ago. Even during qualifying on Saturday the Spaniard marched back into his garage scowling as he stared at the timesheets.

Lorenzo has always come across as a peculiar character. Do not get me wrong he is a fantastic talent but the Spaniard is someone I have always found difficult to warm too. Maybe it is the man’s will to win or mental frailties – I would honestly be guessing, but he certainly needs to relax more. Smile and show the paddock the real Jorge Lorenzo!

The pressure of riding in Moto GP will of course bring its issues but he has proven over the past two races that when he loosens up, we see the best of him.

So come on Jorge, give us a smile.

Magic missing for Marquez

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go was it, Marc?

Reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez is used to having things all his own way but this season the story has been very different.

Many predicted another runaway title for Marquez after his two previous years of domination, but the Spaniard has endured a tough opening five rounds to the 2015 season and in France it was a mixture of his own frailties and the Honda’s front end that saw him miss out on a podium finish.

The Spaniard looks rattled, more than we have ever seen him before. The 22-year-old was lunging into corners in a desperate attempt to make passes stick and making silly unforced errors throughout Sunday’s race.

Not all is well in the Marquez camp.

The Spaniard ran wide in Qatar, took victory in America, crashed in Argentina and just didn’t have the pace in Jerez to deal with a determined Jorge Lorenzo. Not to mention his training injury which forced emergency surgery on his left hand.

This weekend in France was much of the same as the nightmare continued. After an impressive qualifying session finishing on pole Marquez looked set to return to winning ways when the lights went out but he must have been half asleep as a poor start summed up his performance.

It is difficult to put his drop in form down to just one thing but the Spaniard will be hoping to rectify his challenging start to the 2015 season in winning style at Mugello in a few weeks.

Joe Urquhart