MotoGP™ Legend Randy Mamola is back with some key points to look out for at the two Valencia round
Ahead of the Gran Premio de Europa and Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, MotoGP™ Legend Randy Mamola is back with his key points to look out for across two blisteringly crucial couple of weekends in the race to become MotoGP™ World Champion.
“So hey, it’s Randy Mamola here and we’re back with another ‘things to look out for’! It’s the penultimate preview of the season and I’m super excited about this Championship with Joan Mir leading it and Alex Rins, his teammate, 32 points back. So that’s six riders covered by 32 points and believe me, they’re hot on his heels and it’s all to play for in the last triple-header. We’ve got back to back races in Valencia which is going to be exciting, as this all starts to play out.
1. WATCH OUT: TURN 4 AND TURN 10 CAN BITE
“I wanted to talk about this corner because it catches a lot of riders out every single year across each class. Why is that? Well, the Circuit Ricardo Tormo has 14 corners, nine of them are left which are predominately aggressive – a lot of speed and sinning on the left-hand side, which means you get a lot of temperature. On the right side, it’s used only five-time on the lap. One of the reasons why riders go down at Turn 4 is because the last time they touch the right-hand side of the tyre is Turn 12. Then you have left-hand corners at Turn 13, 14, a long straight, then Turn 1, 2 and 3 before you get to 4. That’s 45 seconds of the tyre cooling down, so therefore in November, this time of the year, ambient temperature can be quite cool and if you aren’t cautious enough in the early laps you can get caught out very easily.
“The other one is Turn 10. Again, you have two right-hand corners at 4 and 5 but then you have left-handers at 6, 7, 8 and 9, then when they flick it back at the 10-11 chicane, they get caught out on that side. That’s again because they get a false feeling for how much grip they have on the left side, because they have so much tyre temperature in it, no matter what the ambient temperature is, because of the aggressiveness of using the tyre on the left-hand side.
“So keep your eyes peeled for those in Free Practice and qualifying and in the race. If the track temperature and ambient temperature goes up we’ll have less crashes, but even the best riders can get caught out. If I was the owner of the team I’d put a note on the inside to say “caution Turn 4, caution Turn 10.”
2. DUCATI – CAN THEY BOUNCE BACK?
“Can Ducati bounce back? After a very difficult Aragon 1 and 2, going into Valencia 1, Ducat still has a chance of winning the Championship – albeit 28 points behind with Dovizioso. They have to make up this gap by winning races or definitely being on the podium. Valencia in particular is not one of the favourite tracks for Ducati but last year, Jack Miller finished 3rd and Dovizioso was 4th, both just three seconds off Marc Marquez’ win. But they did beat the Suzuki of Alex Rins which was just behind them in 5th. It’s going to be interesting to see what Ducati can do and if they can turn away the bad feelings with the rear tyre. They’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, I’m going to be really interested in seeing not just Miller and Dovizioso, but also Bagnaia and Zarco to see what they can do. First call will be to see if any of the six Ducatis can get into Q2 straight away after the three Free Practices.”
3. FACTORY VS INDEPENDENT YAMAMA
“Yamaha has the most wins in 2020 so far with six – three courtesy of Quartararo, two from Morbidelli, the only riders in the Championship to win more than one race in 2020, and one for Maverick Viñales. These riders are all in the running to be crowned MotoGP™ World Champion and it will be really interesting to see which one comes out on top in the fight to be the best Yamaha. The one man I haven’t mentioned here is Valentino Rossi. We’re still waiting to hear if he will ride this weekend but let’s hope he can after Garrett Gerloff, someone I know really well and someone that I think was a great choice by the way, did such an excellent job as his replacement rider on Friday.”
“Team orders for Suzuki? No way. With Alex Rins 32 points behind his teammate Joan Mir who’s leading the Championship, and with 75 still on the table, anything is still possible. Sure, Suzuki’s best hope right now is Mir but Rins has three victories to his name in MotoGP with one coming just a few weeks ago. Suzuki has been fantastically strong, especially coming away from Aragon, and they’ll be looking for more of the same in Valencia. Things could then might change as we edge towards Portugal depending what happens in both races at Valencia but, right now, there will be no team orders at Suzuki. Whatever happens in the final three races it’s just awesome to see Suzuki back fighting for a World Championship, both of their riders have been very special to watch this year.”
5. A NINTH WINNER? IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE
“Dare I say another winner in 2020? Number nine. Could it be? Probably because take a look at this list of riders who have battled for the podium and been on the podium this year but have not won yet. They all have a great chance of standing on the top step over the next couple of weeks. Those guys are Joan Mir, Jack Miller, Pol Espargaro, Valentino Rossi, Alex Marquez, Takaaki Nakagami, Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco. Believe me, there’s a few guys who haven’t been on the podium yet that can easily win a race too. You would have to say though that, after taking six podiums so far this year and leading the World Championship, if there was to be a number nine, the most likely man is Joan Mir. But what about you guys, if not Joan Mir then who do you think will be number nine?”
SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE RIDE
“Well there you have it guys, that’s my preview for Valencia 1 and 2. I want you to enjoy the races and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks for the final preview of the season in Portimao. I’m super excited about seeing what happens this weekend, I wish everybody the best of luck in all three classes. For the fans out there and your families, stay safe!”