MotoGP, Japanese Grand Prix: Quartararo’s fight against Ducati resumes from Motegi

France’s Yamaha, the world championship leader with a 10-point lead over Bagnaya, is flanked by Borgo Panigale bikes, but already in Motegi he will be able to make up for himself to defend his driving

Massimo Falcioni

– Milan

More than the cuts to his torso resulting from the accident he had with Marquez on the first lap of Aragon, Fabio Quartaro suffers from the continuing wave of victory for Ducati. Race after race, the Borgo Panigale racers eroded the big advantage in Yamaha’s number one standings: reduced margin, five races left, 10 points on Bagnaia, 17 on Alex Espargaro and 49 points over Bastianini.

Does not hold banned

In Aragon, Quartararo’s forced exit deprived the race of a certain protagonist: with the French out immediately, Bagnaia and Bastianini felt free. The first to win the overtake is framed, the second does not attempt to answer, avoid excessive risks and be satisfied with 20 points from the second place. The fact remains that 25 is better than 20 and that in the end, for the title, the people left on the pitch are lost in Aragon, Open Heaven! With Quartararo on the track, the two Italian Ducati riders could not have done the same race, which, in completely different circumstances, would have been suicidal. The post-race embrace between Bastianini and Bagnaia is as real as the rivalry between them and the will of both to win the MotoGP World Championship: there is an awareness that the fight show will continue into the upcoming rounds and indeed from the Japanese GP on September 25, with no constraints and consequent risks . Quartararo’s forecast is also based on this rivalry and these risks today, who also hopes, based on his own merits and on the Yamaha with fewer handicaps, that the wheel of bad luck will turn, perhaps at the expense of his main opponents. In racing, luck has always played an important role and should not cause a scandal to anyone, as the drivers, all of them, hope they will not be targeted. No racer has ever wished and hoped that bad luck would strike their opponents, but those who think that the drivers on the track are friends are wrong. Friends are abroad, yes, but on the right track, “hard fearless fighting” reigns.

Who prefers Motegi?

In essence, five races from the finish and beyond the standings numbers, this tournament starts from zero, open to any conclusion. The stakes are high: for Yamaha (with Quartararo) it’s about making a 2021 World Championship win against 8 Ducats on the track, plus Aprilia, Kitten and Honda; For Ducati (with Bagnaia up front) it’s about reclaiming the coveted title that has eloped since 2007 (Stoner). For Aprilia (with Alex Espargaro) it will be a leap to heaven. Tournament mode develops with Quartararo and Yamaha away from defeat. In particular, House of Three Dyabson lands in Motegi with warlike intentions. The circuit is owned by Honda but Yamaha is also at home there: a 4800m track with 14 mostly slow corners and a straight track just under 800m, plus other shorter connecting lines. So it’s a rather twisted circuit, with quick acceleration and sharp braking where you need a stationary bike while looking for the best engine brake setting. Here we use low, short gearing and a hard mod for the front forks, so the front end is high and the chatter potential is up front. It also serves up gearbox perfection, with a short first and a long sixth. Here the tires (rear) have special wear related to the center section and even the front tires struggle with the frequent and hard braking that is done with larger discs than other circuits. It’s a circuit that, in theory, should bring Ducati and Yamaha back to a level of great parity, even if in the Aragon, in addition to the huge difference in top speed in favor of Italian bikes, Ducatis demonstrated great agility and stability, especially in their “Hmm” . So, for now, it looks like the Desmosedici doesn’t seem to have certain critical points on any type of trail, considering it to be the most competitive bike in MotoGP.

exciting battle

Among the field racers, Quartararo, the only MotoGP World Champion to fight for the title, is the one Yamaha has focused on and focused all of his attention and power, on technical and beyond. In dry race conditions, of the remaining five rings, those in Japan and Australia are the least bike-friendly of the three tuning forks, with Quartararo and Yamaha taking the cornering winning ticket. Even Misano, the dual world champion and still at the helm of the world championship defended himself very well on the toughest tracks due to the characteristics of the Iwata in-line 4-cylinder. Only the misfortune of defeating Aragon shook the rankings, negative for the Yamaha rider and positive for his direct competitors. The struggle continues with new sparks and vicissitudes looming. Who benefits from this situation? Championship, motorcycles, motorcycles everything. Keep going.