It is here. Finally. give us the hallelujah… The shout of joy… The cheer… And the giddy, happy, monkey dance that you reserve for the racing season.
Because it is here. Finally. Winter is gone. The roar of the engines will resound through the night (at least this side of the ocean), and the leathers fresh and new will gleam under the bright lights of the Losail circuit.
But wait. There are still some things that need to be done before you clear your throats, bring out your flags – blue, green, yellow, red, whatever they may be – and settle down for some good old-fashioned jousting MotoGP style.
Here is the complete list of the 10 things you absolutely must do before the first MotoGP race of the season at Qatar.
Throw away those linty lozenges you just dug out from the nether regions of your purse, bag, or pocket. Go buy yourself a couple dozen packets of fresh throat soothers. I prefer the herbal variety… Honey is perfect for my sore throat especially when Vale is chasing Marquez and Jorge. Though, fingers crossed they will be chasing Vale this year.
Clear your calendar. Cancel your lunches, dinners, dates, tete-e-tets planned for Race weekends. Nothing can come between us, our bikes, our warriors and our races. No sirree.
Dig out your extra alarm clock, re-install that widget and catch a few extra zzzz. You will get up at weird hours and stare bleary-eyed at your television screen. This year, MotoGP will be welcoming a new circuit – Argentina. Brazil is off the calendar for now, as is Laguna Seca. The Corkscrew will be sorely missed!
Get your adrenalin pumping. Practice punching in the air, hollering at the tv screen, and calming your racing heart. For this, I recommend watching MotoGP.com’s fantastic videos. They are best to get you all keyed up, especially with the rousing music and the roar of the motorcycles. Here are few choice videos:
MotoGP Rewind: Assen, for Jorge Lorenzo’s sheer Superman-esque performance
MotoGP Rewind: Laguna Seca, for Marc Marquez’s cheeky Vale move on Valentino Rossi
MotoGP Rewind: Phillip Island, for the seagull, pirouettes, and Marc Marquez’s leeetle mistake.
Familiarize yourself with the new line-up and the new colors. There have been a lot of changes this year, including good old Cal Crutchlow who made the shift to Ducati. Fingers crossed he won’t go the Vale and Nicky way. I must say too that he looks smashing in red! And that little bit of crazy that makes him our favourite honey badger? It is still there!
Also, say hello to Mike Di Meglio from France who will be racing for Avintia, and Broc Parkes from New South Wales, who will be pairing with Michael Laverty for Paul Bird Motosports. Yonny Hernandez makes his move to Pramac, though Ben Spies will be missed. The young Colombian is super talented and will make his mark. It will also be good to keep an eye on brothers Aleix and Pol Espargaro, even though this is not the first time they are competing against each other.
Tip your hat at Aleix Espargaro. The young Spaniard, who won in the CRT class last year, is racing for NGM Forward Racing this season alongside veteran and trackside favourite Colin Edwards. He is also the man who has stunned fans and seasoned MotoGP folk during the winter testing on the ‘Open’ Yamaha. He was fourth overall at the two tests in Sepang, and beat the satellite riders to take top spot during the final pre-season testing in Qatar. How will he do in the races? We don’t have long to wait. One thing is for sure though, he will surprise, just like he did in 2012 and 2013.
Go easy on Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. They haven’t had too brilliant a winter season. Marquez busted his leg during training and missed all the testing sessions. As if an injury has ever stopped him in the past. Only a fool would rule him out in the opening race of the season.
And then there is good old Jorge. He went through three operations during winter and said during the press conference on Thursday, “…Physically I am close to 100% but I have had three operations over the winter and I’ve had to work really hard to get my fitness back. The first race is crucial, you don’t want to make a mistake here and crash out, it’s so important to be on the podium at least.”
Learn to swallow those snarky Ducati remarks without choking in the process. I know I will have to. At least if Vale is to be believed. He said during the Thursday press conference, “I believe Aleix (Espargaro) and the Ducati riders will be strong both in terms of lap times and their race pace. The races could be different to last year especially at the start and in the first part of each race.”
There is that, and that special category that has suddenly emerged! You know, the one everyone is calling the Ducati category! Read on to know more!
Say bye-bye CRT, and heellloooooo Open Class. Let us not forget the dreaded 2014 rule book. It is the real reason why most MotoGP fans walked around with a perpetual puzzled look through most of the winter. At least I did. It caused much concern among friends and family alike. Caused me much concern too. After all, you can’t go into a season not understanding the rules. Thank god for Azni Farni’s simple explanation, Crash.net’s wish-I-thought-of-that list, and good ole MotoGP’s handout.
So the short of it is that there are three classes now, the Factory, the Open, and the ahem, ‘I didn’t win last year so I get to be both Open and Factory’. Needless to say Ducati falls into the last class, until it gets a win, that is. Click on the links for more details!
Pray to the gods, old and new. Even the rain gods, if need be. So you can win a lottery that will let you travel around the world to see MotoGP live, from the Paddock. He listened to me last year (the bliss called Mugello, remember?). If nothing else, burn a hole in your pocket and your bank balance, to get MotoGP.com’s VideoOnDemand. It’s brilliant, perfect, and the best value for money ever! I know. Because I did!
Have a great season folks! Here’s to a crazy ride through 2014.
And here it is… the winner of our giveaway! Lisa Lewis, congratulations! Do share your email with me, so I can send you your Amazon.com gift card! Have fun and enjoy 🙂