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A postcard from Moto GP Jerez

Fri, 04 May 2012

If the weather over the Jerez Moto GP weekend was dull then the atmosphere in the press room was the complete opposite.  After the carnage and chaos during the Moto 3 race, the amazing Romano Fenati (in only his second GP) had the Italian journalists celebrating as he crossed the line to win.

I smiled as they simultaneously began singing ‘Y Viva Espana’ as if to signify the end of Spanish dominance in the junior GP class. The grid may be healthy but it’s a pity Moto 3 is essentially a two manufacturer race with only Honda and KTM capable of slogging it out for podium positions.

Oral and Ioda appear to be a long way off with both speed and reliability but they have to be admired for attempting to take on the mighty HRC. The wealthy Mahindra team use Oral motors but I’m not sure they’ll ever catch up no matter how many rupees are spent. Personally I’d like them to save time and money; bolt in some Honda engines then we could have Danny Webb up front where he belongs.

In Moto 2 the patriotic British hacks were on their feet when Scott Redding took the lead but then sat back down when rain started to fall and he slipped back to fourth at the flag. But then it all kicked off again in the Moto GP event when Cal Crutchlow elevated his riding to ‘alien’ status and the most optimistic of us (me) thought he could win. It wasn’t to be but he got closer to victory in the major class than any other Brit since Barry in 1981 so maybe next time.

Arguably though, the biggest story of the weekend was the impressive new Blusens hospitality unit. Never cheap items to purchase or service it says to me the Spanish Consumer Electrical concern must be thriving in the current economic climate. Unfortunately that is something that can’t be said for race fans as it was obvious Jerez gate numbers were a big chunk down on previous years.

The weather didn’t help but I’ve seen twice as many fans queuing up on a Sunday morning in worse conditions. High unemployment, a lack of disposable income and five Moto GP rounds on the Iberian Peninsula is obviously taking its toll. I’m interested to see what happens in Estoril this weekend as entrance prices have been slashed in an attempt to fill the grandstands. I hope it works as there is nothing like watching good bike racing with a passionate enthusiastic crowd.    

By Niall Mackenzie

See also: The Private Life of Dani Pedrosa – Video, The Private Life of Dani Pedrosa – Video, AMA Supercross: 2012 Salt Lake City Results.