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.
Qatar is a dry state so there’s no fun to be had with booze on the podium, but I bet the Yamaha crew more than made up for that when they got back to their hotel on Sunday night. Doha’s international hotels are the only places you can imbibe alcohol in the country, so their terrifyingly expensive bars are an unlikely mix of ex-pat financiers and oil/gas engineers and a few naughty locals. Throw in a rowdy bunch of racers and mechanics and you’ve a pretty weird scene.
I’ll also bet that Valentino Rossi stayed up longer than Jorge Lorenzo, if he could persuade the barman to keep popping the champagne corks. Rossi may be hurtling towards middle age but he still has his old rock and roll attitude, he’s never subscribed to Lorenzo’s beliefs in Spartan self-denial or quasi-Buddhism.
Everyone at Yamaha had every right to have a few drinks on Sunday night because even in their wildest dreams they can hardly have expected to thrash Honda so mightily in the first race of the year. HRC’s post-race debriefs can’t have been pleasant affairs: how come both their factory riders were so soundly beaten by both factory Yamahas and how come Cal Crutchlow was able to run with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez while riding last year’s M1?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.