MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
MotoGP winter testing began on Tuesday in very wintry conditions, which isn’t the idea of winter testing.
The weather was so grim at Valencia that Yamaha packed up and headed 150 miles north to Aragon, pursued by rent-a-cars full of journalists and photographers anxious for their first glimpse of Valentino Rossi and his new Yamaha getting down to it on slicks.
They needn’t have bothered – the weather wasn’t much better at Aragon – so Rossi and new/old team-mate Jorge Lorenzo learned nothing. In fact Lorenzo did learn something – that it’s very easy to crash in the wet, but then he knew that already. Yamaha should’ve gone south, to Jerez, or even north, to Brands Hatch, where the autumn sun shone beautifully.
I’ve never been a fan of testing for the new season starting just two days after the old season. It just doesn’t seem right. And it’s had a disastrous effect on Sunday night parties at Valencia. It was even worse for Moto2 riders who started their testing on Monday – less than 24 hours after their last race of the year – and if there’s anything a Moto2 rider needs at the end of a long and bruising season it’s a bloody good drink or three. But it’s the professional way to go racing, I’m told. More’s the pity.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.