The transoceanic MotoGP tour of Asia and Australia kicks off and it does so with the tightest and most exciting qualifying in recent times. The leading three are in a handkerchief of 17 points with 125 still to be shared (five races) and you have to go back five years, to 2017, to find such a tight overall five GPs from the end: Marc Márquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Viñales in 16 points. The brave ones now are Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia (10 points behind the French) and Aleix Espargaró (17).
“I’m stretching the gum as much as I can,” Aleix told AS at the exit of the MotorLand circuit last Sunday afternoon, before heading to Japan. Well, he can hold on to that chewing gum, because with five to go he has many more title options than he would have imagined at the beginning of the year at this point in the championship. Her return with the Aprilia to the podium in Alcañiz, as third and behind Enea Bastianini and pecco, coincided with the zero of the leader when swallowing with his Yamaha, literally, the Honda of Márquez at the exit of the third corner. This caused his advantage to be reduced a lot with his pursuers, from 30 to 10 points in the case of Bagnaia, who has cut 81 points in the last five races, and from 33 to 17 in the case of Spanish.
As if that weren’t enough excitement with the top three, we must add to the group of candidates for a Bastianini who with his last two podiums (second in Misano and first in Alcañiz) has moved 48 behind the leader. Five years ago, fourth in the table was also a little closer to first than it is. The beast now. Then it was Valentino Rossi, who was traveling 42 points off the lead with five appointments still to go.
That year, the first three positions did not change in the final stretch of the championship and it was conquered by the Repsol Honda rider with an advantage of 38 points over the Ducati rider and 68 over Maverickl, who then ran with Yamaha. Let’s see what happens now, but tEveryone arrives with their ears pricked to the tour of Japan, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia, because there are four races in five weeks since they have not run on this circuit since before the pandemic, since 2019, and returning now, with extremely outdated data in the box except for Malaysia, where they trained in February, may be more of an adventure than never… And with Márquez back on the asphalt, who already reappeared without luck in the Aragón GP and surely wants to improve his fourth in Jerez as the best result of the season. What a show!