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James Toseland's Insider Insights: 11th March 2019


The wait is over and the greatest show on earth is back on our screens! 

As we look forward to the next race in Argentina, we’ve just experienced the thrilling first round of the 2019 MotoGP season and it did not disappoint! 

Let’s start with Moto3. On paper it looked like it was Aron Canet’s race to lose after his blistering pace on Friday and Saturday, but it was the young Japanese rider Kaito Toba that took the first Moto3 victory of 2019. Dalla Porta had a really strong opening race in 2nd and Aron completed the podium in 3rd. I feel it’s going to be another cracking championship this year and there are at least 6 possible race winners on the grid. 


The inaugural race powered by Triumph engines was spectacular! For me one of the best things about the change of engines this year is the sound of the bikes! Nine riders were under the lap record in qualifying and the race went right down to the line with Lorenzo Baldassarri fending off a great come back ride by Thomas Luthi after his torrid time in MotoGP last season. 

Two great point-scoring rides from the rookies Fabio Di Giannantonio and the Moto3 champion Jorge Martin in 11th and 15th. It wasn’t the start that Jake Dixon was looking for but I’m sure he’ll learn fast and get some points on the board soon. So good to see Sam Lowes back at the sharp end! It’s been a really difficult few years for Sam but it seems like he’s fallen in love with his Triumph engine and he looks comfortable and happy with a professional team that can support him in getting the results we know he’s capable of. 


A carbon copy of 2018! Another thrilling race that went down to the finish line once again in Qatar. 
I think the opposition were hoping that Marc Marquez’ shoulder operation was going to take just a little longer to recover! But it wasn’t to be! The flying ant must have worked so hard to get that shoulder back up to strength to be able to ride like he did. One or two laps I knew wasn’t going to be a problem but 45 minutes at that pace was outstanding endurance after what was a big operation. My hat goes off to his surgeon, rehab team and Marc’s determination. 
What a comeback ride also from our very own Cal Crutchlow! That was a huge trauma to his ankle and I know from speaking to him he was very worried about it shortly after the operation. I felt a great pride and relief to see him straight back to where he deserves to be! Dovi once again looks calm and collected. Will he not make those 3 or 4 mistakes this year and really push Marc all the way to Valencia? The bike certainly looks capable of being the best in the world that’s for sure. 

Last but definitely not least! What about Valentino Rossi?!? 14th to 5th! He’s incredible. Have a look at where all the other riders start from and where they finish the race. More often than not there won’t be massive differences between a MotoGP rider’s grid position to their finish position. 
This is for one reason... their talent is so close on that grid that usually where you start is where you finish because at that level; riders very rarely make mistakes in front of you. So for Valentino to pass nine of the best riders in the world (at 40 years old remember) is remarkable! 
Motorcycle fans are in for a treat this season! 

After all three classes in Qatar were decided by less than 0.1seconds, the next destination for the MotoGP circus is Argentina at the Rio Hondo circuit on 31st March!

The total Moto2 race time in Qatar was 18 seconds faster with the Triumph engines than the previous best, and the track in Argentina should also be well suited to the extra power and torque – especially in the fast turns three and four onto the long back straight and punching out of tighter corners like one and five. It was mixed weather conditions last year with a very lonely Jack Miller in the MotoGP class at the front of the grid with no friends allowed to start near him after the whole of the grid decided to change to slicks! I don’t think they’ll give him that head start this year! Who knows?! The Brits usually go well there also! 

Motorcycle fans are in for a treat this season!






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