By Bruce Allen phenom Maverick Viñales and Honda triple world champion Marc Marquez. All day long, the British announcing crew was breathlessly prancing about the broadcast booth, pondering the sheer wonder of it all, going absolutely hyperbolic. Showing no sense of the moment, Viñales crashed out of fourth place on Lap 2, letting the air out of the balloon and ceding, at least for the moment, the lead in the world championship to teammate Valentino Rossi, with Marquez suddenly back in the game.
Practice, Practice, Practice
FP1: Viñales was in charge, not having received the memo about Marquez’ ownership position at COTA. FP2 was led by Marquez, snatched from Johann Zarco; Viñales right behind, trimming his cuticles. FP3 was Viñales, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Marquez.
Something had to be done about the weirdness in the standings heading into Austin. Early in the season, MotoGP seemed to have fallen through the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. Yamaha is just taking it to Honda – the 2016 M1 is competitive with the 2017 RC213V. All four Yamahas sit in the top 11 for the season after the opening two rounds, including the two rookies. Crutchlow led all Hondas, tied with Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Jonas Folger. Fellow rookie Johann Zarco is on the move, a mere five points behind Folger and Crutchlow. Three Ducs rest in the top ten led by, of all people, Scott Redding in fourth.
It was time to come up from the rabbit hole. Time to return to Europe. Just one more foreign outing in Texas to endure before things could return back to normal.