Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 49: I Can't Stand The Rain - Qatar MotoGP Review

MotoGP is back at last, and the season opener gave us all such a lot to talk about. Neil Morrison and David Emmett have a lot to cover in the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast.

First, there was the rain, and the folly of organizing a night race in the desert during the "rainy season", however loosely that term may apply to Qatar. Then there was a spectacular and thrilling MotoGP race, with Johann Zarco leading early, Maverick Viñales winning on his first time out on the Yamaha, a podium that even Valentino Rossi didn't expect.

There's the tale of two Ducatis - one fast, one slow, with Dovizioso taking second at Qatar for the third year in a row, and big money signing Jorge Lorenzo finishing eleventh. There was an outstanding first race on the Apriiia by Aleix Espargaro, and an excellent rookie debut by Alex Rins. 

Neil and David run through all the action from the MotoGP race, then talk over the events of the Moto2 and Moto3 races. We discuss Franco Morbidelli setting out a marker in Moto2, Joan Mir's mature performance in Moto3, and our impressions of John McPhee's first strong race with the British Talent Team, and Romano Fenati's return from the Moto3 sin bin.

We finish off with a new segment, where we each give our winners and losers of the opening round. Who did Neil and David think were the real stars of the Qatar MotoGP? And who came off worst from the first race?


If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on iTunes or Soundcloud. If you do use iTunes, please remember to rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it. Enjoy the show!

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Great as usual! So glad we get these podcasts, I very much look fwd to them.

Enjoyed the consideration of returning vs retiring after a crash. I strongly feel that it should error on letting the rider have a go at getting back out w minimal restriction at this level. We already have black flag regulations for flagrant issues. Oiling the track is a bigger issue and that is usually engine failure, not crash damage. We have great stories of riders finishing a race w/o a clutch lever or an entire footpeg. Where are stories of concern via safety? Seldom to never.

At lower levels of racing more paternalistic rules seem fit. It comes to mind something from teammate Mike Lenz (father of Peter, his work has supported the Road Racing World's website). There was a rule that "if your handlebar touches the ground you are out of the race." Mike, on Hopkins' old M4 Emgo Suzuki, literally put his hand over the end of the bar during a minor front end crash, keeping it there between bar end and grass. "Look! It didn't touch!" and hurried back on track. Now THAT is a racer eh? Good in ya Mike!

Request please - David is it possible for you to equalize Neil ' s mic down for bass? No criticism Neil, I enjoy your voice and accent but it rumbles befitting reggae woofers.

Is there any other way to listen to the podcast? I'm currently behind the great firewall of China so can't access media on soundcloud.

Mmm, that doesn't seem to work. Possibly because I'm using a windows phone.. Nevermind I guess I can wait until I'm home in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the suggestion though!