MotoGP Roundup – Mandalika, Indonesia

MotoGP Roundup – Mandalika, Indonesia

Race report by: Karrbon Copy
The Pertamina Mandalika circuit, nestled up against the beach on Lombok Island, never fails to deliver the racing goods. This year, it was dry and stupid-hot.
Moto 3 - T’was a final lap to remember. Total mayhem had broken loose within the hundred-bike-strong leading pack, where paint was swapped like Pokémon cards at a massive Pokémon Convention

Moto 3

Making history as he crossed the line, Moreira became the first-ever Brazilian to win a Moto3 race

We’re preemptively casting our vote for Moto3 Race of the Year in favour of Mandalika. What a gloriously chaotic spectacle!

Sasaki couldn’t even get past his Sighting Lap without having a little tip-off at Turn Six. Luckily the Husqvarna could be ridden to the grid, where his team drew mechanical runes and cast technical spells in order to get that motorcycle fixed before the race commenced.

To crash where someone else had already crashed is a cardinal sin, as Nepa found when he crashed under yellow flags on Friday, earning himself a Long Lap Penalty for the Sunday race.

Jumping the start, well, is an even worse sin, which is why Ortolá got to do the Long Lap stretch twice.

During the fourth lap, Carrasco was flung from her seat at Turn Ten, clearing the handlebars and landing head-first on the tarmac. It looked like a pair of huge hands were crumpling her up like yesterday’s love letters as she tumbled over the track.

It was Ana’s first crash for the entire season, quality over quantity, we always say. According to post-race reports, she suffered a few possible fractures, along with a potential concussion.

Suzuki replacement Fernández dropped from the race on Lap Ten, opting for a slide towards the beach while looking like he was already there, posing on the sand for his Summer Calendar portrait. Only, he was moving, and it was still gravel spitting from beneath him, and posing for portraits wasn’t exactly what they’d brought him in for.

On the twelfth lap Ogden suffered a minor spill through Turn Sixteen. He walked off briskly, abandoning the stricken bike on the edge of the track.

Holgado, Holgado, Holgado. TWO shortcuts, at the same turn? Is the pressure of the Championship getting to Dani? They weren’t even tiny cuts; they were proper prime steaks.

The first shortcut through that ninth turn got Holgado into the lead; one lap later he had to do his first Long Lap Penalty, whereafter he turned rabid, stonking back through the pack, desperate for the win. Unfortunately, he cut the same corner during his stampede, the resulting second Long Lap never served, earning him a three-second post-race penalty.

Yamanaka also had to do a Long Lapper after a Turn Fourteen shortcut. For interest’s sake.

T’was a final lap to remember. Total mayhem had broken loose within the hundred-bike-strong leading pack, where paint was swapped like Pokémon cards at a massive Pokémon Convention, and everyone was left in awe of the lack of catastrophic crashes.

Making history as he crossed the line, Moreira became the first-ever Brazilian to win a Moto3 race.

Alonso came from his first-ever front row start in the lightweights to claim second, and Muñoz bombarded his way into third.

Moto 2

Right on the first turn of the race, the action kicked off with Lopez and Surra sparking their way off into the gravel. A fast-thinking Tulovic opted to take the scenic route in order to avoid becoming the third wheel in their tumble.

We soon learned that Alcoba was the true culprit, dare I say, he’s the culprit rather often, is he not? – and for his third offence, (again?!), he was handed a Double of the Long Lapper. On the other hand, they might’ve been a little harsh on the guy this time. Jeremy has joined the Darryn Binder/Öncü Whatsapp Group.

Ogura gave Salač a helpful nudge off the track during Lap Two; this earned the Japanese rider a Long Lap Penalty. Meanwhile, Salac sat trackside, throwing his hands up in frustration at the departing Ai.

During the fifth lap, Nozane tried using his motorcycle to draw lines on the Turn Sixteen tarmac. He made his dissatisfaction quite clear while walking away.

Van den Goorbergh’s bike threw a hissy fit on Lap Nine, flinging its rider into the stratosphere. Poor Zonta came back to earth feet-first, making crumpling contact with the Turn Six road. Luckily, he managed to hobble away, meaning the feet were… probably… still attached to the rest of him.

At the end of Lap Twelve, Baltus called in at his pit box, retiring from the race.

While navigating the track for the fourteenth time, Dixon forgot where Turn Sixteen was, going instead for an unusually wide line.

Acosta ran off with the victory. Again. He even had time to pull some shenanigans through the final corner, as well as pop a wheelie past the chequered flag. Little show-off.

Arón Bridesmaid Canet took his thirteenth second place, and Aldeguer claimed third.

Our boy Darryn took a very quiet thirteenth place.

Moto GP

Marco Bezzecchi & Fabio Digiannantonio going at it hammer and tongs

You know it was a hectic, (read good), race when it starts with twice as many entrants as what crosses the finish line.

Bastianini went for a quick sightseeing trip during the second lap, but returned to the job at hand soon after.

At the end of his second lap, Morbidelli popped into the pits; he later popped out again.

On Lap Three, Espargaró – Junior – had a rapid coming-off.

Also on Lap Three, Binder dive bombed Marini; there was contact, Marini went careening off into the pebbles, and Brad earned himself a Long Lap Penalty.

Some say…. he’s trying to murder as many Hondas as possible before the end of the season. All we know is, Marc crashed again today.

It happened on Lap Eight this time, going through Turn Thirteen. Marc was turning-turning-turning-not turning anymore…

While the marshals rushed to pull the stricken machine to safety, Marc shouted at the sun before stomping off through the pebbles.

Brad was on a mission today. Perhaps he had rugby on the brain, because on Lap Eleven he tackled Oliveira, forcing his ex-teammate to take the gravelly route through the turn. This move granted him a second Long Lap penalty.

It was either the rugby seeping into his brain, or Brad had been playing a lot of Need for Speed lately.

We lost Augusto Fernández during the twelfth lap. We also lost Mir; he attempted to remount, very nearly falling back into the gravel in the process.

Possibly the biggest catastrophe of the race occurred during Lap Thirteen: Martín, who’d been cruising around with a three-second lead in his pocket, quite abruptly toppled over while navigating around Turn Eleven.

Jorge jumped up, his hands shooting to his helmet. In the garage Nieto nearly knocked the wall out with his fist of fury. The shockwave caused by the punch reached Martín’s quavering legs, communicating to him the massive bugger-up he had just achieved.

Not bothering, (or not ready), to return to his pit box, Martín loitered around beyond Turn Eleven’s barriers, gazing out to the track. It was almost as though he was waiting for something. Or someone.

Three laps later, Zarco came skidding out of the eleventh turn to join his teammate. So, Martin…. WAS waiting for someone!

Martín finally reached the pits by Lap Eighteen, where he reluctantly parked his behind on a chair, not at all ready for the debrief.

With Martín out, Bagnaia crouched low, and hit the Secret Rocket Boosters. Soon he was battling for the lead, and eventually he took it. After successfully fending off his attackers, Pecco claimed victory, officially yanking the Championship lead back out of Jorge’s hands.

Viñales did a splendid job, taking second, and Quartararo did an even more splendiferous job to grab third.

Two Long Lappers and all, Brad managed to take sixth in the end.

‘I push push and push… my rear was done…’ said Viñales in Parc Fermé. Mav, please tell us, in your Batman Voice, that you knew exactly how that sounded the moment you said it.

Next up, Australia. Wait… That means… Even earlier races? Might as well not sleep at all next weekend, to be honest.

~ Karr

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