So along with being a football, Formula One and tennis fan, you would think I’d have enough sports to keep me going forever. Happily that’s not the case and I also watch Moto GP. One thing I can conclude is that these are the only four sports I watch. Rugby/American Football doesn’t appeal (I tried watching the Superbowl once – yawn!) and cricket just takes too long although I have caught snatches of the World Cup.
This weekend sees the opening race of the 2011 Moto GP season. Last year was a bit boring, particularly from a Championship standing as Jorge Lorenzo ran away with the title due to injuries and crashes from the other contenders (Rossi, Pedrosa, Stoner) but this year is looking like a real humdinger. Valentino Rossi has moved from Yamaha to Ducati, Jorge is staying at Yamaha and Casey Stoner has joined Dani Pedrosa (and Andrea Dovizioso) at Honda.
The Honda’s look to be the quickest bikes but we all know both Casey and Dani are prone to falling off their bikes. So I reckon it’ll be a case of keeping themselves fit and crash-free and they could be in with a shot, particularly Casey who’s lightning quick. The Ducati is famed for only being rideable by Casey Stoner, so it’ll be interesting to see if Valentino can bring it to the sharp end of the grid on regular occasions. Valentino is fast and a winner, but he needs the bike to be good enough to give him that extra edge. I think Valentino will struggle this year particularly as he’s still plagued by shoulder issues. And what of Jorge? There’s no doubting he’s the Wunderkid of Moto GP, and has made a huge splash since his debut season. He was hugely impressive last year on his way to winning the title, and it’ll be interesting if he can keep momentum going this season.
As for the other riders on the grid, I think Ben Spies can give Lorenzo a run for his money on the other Yamaha, I think Dovi is perfectly capable of being up there with the other two Hondas and we can’t rule out Nicky Hayden, although he has faded considerably since he won the title a few years back. I’m really looking forward to this season, and I think it could be the best year ever as long as everyone stays fit and crash-free! I just need my Sky box to start working before the race at 7pm!