Dre Reviews: 2022 MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix

Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo destroy the field as Marc Marquez has a thriller with Jack Miller. Dre on MotoGP’s Spanish Grand Prix!

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Read time: 3 mins

MotoGP continues to show its class as for me, the best series in all of Motorsport. The sort of race that reminds you just how competitive we are, but also how thrilling the action might be. On paper, the record books will show that Francesco Bagnaia dominated the weekend. Between the lines, it was SO much more than that.

Evenly Matched

Like I said, on paper, you’d think on paper, it was Pecco Bagnaia’s weekend. A huge Lap Record by nearly half a second on Saturday. The fastest ever race at Jerez. A race lap record. A grand slam victory. And despite that, Fabio Quartararo was right behind him every step of the way.

It was the world’s most thrilling time trial. Fabio never got quite close enough to think about a move, but I don’t think he was ever more than ninth tenths back of Pecco’s Ducati. It was like that Wimbledon final in the Tennis between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Where famously after losing, Andy said: “I threw the kitchen sink at him, but Roger went in the back and got the bathtub”.

Bit of a gap.

Fabio was the only man within three quarters of a second of that astonishing qualifying lap and he finished just two tenths off the win. He won’t be too upset about finishing 2nd to a man who was absolutely untouchable, but look behind him. Aleix Espargaro was 10 seconds back!

Now, I don’t want to restart the alien conversation just yet, I think it’s easy to forget how much Bagnaia and Ducati have struggled this season. But Fabio Quartararo is recementing his place as the best rider in the sport, and if Bagania’s right behind, we’re in for a fascinating title fight. 

Battle for the Bronze

And what about that fight for third too? I know he’s about as popular on social media as Donald Trump is, but you have to admit, he is NOT going away? Aprilia with back-to-back podiums for the first time EVER in the top flight, and three in the last four races. And he took full advantage of two struggling riders at the peak of their talents. 

Marc Marquez said before this race started that he reckoned his bike was only good for 5th-10th. He was pushing Jack Miller all the way for third, and then nearly binned it himself at Jorge Lorenzo corner. A 66 degree lean angle save, in peak Marquez fashion. And once Aleix was clear of the pair, he took off. 

A great ride from Marc in difficult circumstances. For Aleix, more validation for Aprilia’s speed. For Jack Miller… another sign that he might not be at the very highest level here. Luckily for him, every other major contender for his seat behind them, they didn’t exactly leap off the page either. Enea Bastianini 8th, barely ahead of Bez on the same bike. Zarco and Martin, both in the gravel. Ducati’s confusion continues.

Ai of the Storm

And speaking of rumours of the future, Ai Ogura took that big next step and took a Jorge Lorenzo-esque dominant win in Moto2. The greasy conditions and increased temperature turned it into an attritional affair, with Sam Lowes, Jake Dixon, Somkiat Chantra all crashing out of the Top 7. 

Good for Ai. I’ve been rooting for him for a couple of years now, and while I’ve had questions whether he’s had the ultimate pace to win, this was a brilliant victory and in front of the BIG Honda Racing company brass too. Luckily Taka Nagakami had a good day in 7th too, but the rumours about the easy Japanese replacement will not go away anytime soon.

Shoutout to Aron Canet. It’s a very thin line between genius and insanity. Often, it boils down to whether it works or not. The plan was, ride in the Jerez GP 6 days after getting his broken wrist pinned. He did. And it worked. 2nd place, 6 days after being on the operation table is ridiculous.And with Vietti down in 6th, Canet might have saved his title campaign with it. Superb, Kurt Angle-style performance.

And look, I want to root for Jake Dixon. Really, I do. But you can’t still be making rookie errors in Moto2. Especially not in Year 3. Doubly frustrating when Sam Lowes also crashed on his own, and both Brits are living up to their reputations after looking like they were Top 2 in practise. The Brits are unserious.

PS: Izan Guevara’s final corner double pass for the win in Moto3. That was filthier than the content that Tory MP resigned for. 

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Somehow can now call himself a Production Coordinator at the Motorsport Network, coming off the back of being part of the awkward Johto Era at WTF1. All off a University Project that went massively out of hand. Weird huh?

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