This morning I got up at 3:30 am to watch the warmup of the MotoGP race from France live. To be honest, as passionate as I am about the sport and the Ducati brand I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the last couple of seasons have been hard to watch. And that’s from the outside which is, lets be honest, nothing like being on the inside and taking it on the chin every day. So the 3:30 am ritual for the Euro rounds has been less and less appealing, in the battle of sleep vs race fan, sleep has been winning. But not today, Dovi was on the front row, Nicky had been as high as 4th in the QP’s, potential of something better than a parade-like 7th was in the air and I was rewarded for my vigilance with the big prize these days for a Ducati team fan – rain.
If you saw the race then you know the final order, and how the Ducati Corse factory riders rode with a level of maturity, heart and determination that has probably been there all along but today, today they saw a crack of daylight, outlined with a bit of vindication and raised the bar. Dovi grabbed the start and refused to acknowledge that anyone on the track was a better rider or on a better bike. And it might not be politically correct to admit (because I AM still a Rossi fan) but it sure looked to me like Rossi caved under pressure from Nicky Hayden and the Ducati. I personally don’t think he would have finished in front of Dovi regardless. Today, the Ducati was the better bike. Both Rossi and Lorenzo found the GP13 exhaust their ultimate view. I think there might be more than a few Italian Ducati workers that find that irony at least a little tasty…
I really hope what happened today was an emotional re-set for the team, the riders and the fans. We all needed something to cheer about, This morning, we got it. In Spades.