The two Qatar races presented the image of a much more balanced MotoGP, with bikes that are similar in terms of their performance and where it is the details and Michelin tyre management that makes the difference. One man who knows this is Troy Bayliss, who has analysed this 2021 season start during the In the Fast Lane podcast.
"Some great, close racing"
“MotoGP is becoming increasingly competitive and riders are getting closer and closer. It’s starting to look a bit like a Moto2 or Moto3 race", commented the three-time Superbike champion.
A competitiveness confirmed by the numbers, just consider the nine seconds that separated the top fifteen finishers in the Doha GP.
A situation that is the result of various factors, according to Troy. "I think it’s down to a combination of things, the regulations, more competitive riders and more balanced bike performance. A combination that’s giving us some really great, close racing”, analyses Troy.
Bayliss also touches on Ducati, the manufacturer with which he made some of the best memories of his career. In Qatar, the Desmosedici appeared immediately competitive, the Pramac riders finishing ahead of the factory riders.
“They didn’t win but they’ve done a good job in Borgo Panigale”, said Troy. “I don’t think there’s much difference between the two teams (factory and satellite), the only difference is the budget… Sure, the factory teams want to win, everyone wants to win, but there’s always a Desmosedici up front anyway, so it’s not so bad.”
His final comments refer to Valencia 2006, when he was able to beat the MotoGP riders during his only appearance in the reigning class that season. “2006 was a great year for me and that was a one-off experience. It was like a fairy tale”, remembers the Australian. “That race was a like a mini-championship for me. I was really happy, and nearly everyone in Superbike was happy for me too.”
Translated by Heather Watson