Five weeks off is quite the gap for MotoGP. The memories of the first half of the season have faded, so before I start to look ahead to Silverstone, here's a quick refresher on how we got here.
Previously, on MotoGP 2023...
MotoGP's season opener at Portimão turned into carnage. The cause? Added to the hypercharged levels of adrenaline present at the first race of the season each year – some riders seem to believe they can win the championship in the first corner of the first race, judging by the kamikaze energy with which they throw themselves into it – was the fact that Portimão is no Losail. A tight and difficult circuit, which had the added benefit of a couple of days of testing, with the concomitant rubber laid down, added extra grip to an excess of enthusiasm and dangerously sharp gravel, all of which took their toll.
Making things worse was the new schedule, with the addition of a sprint race on Saturday. With both practice sessions on Friday deciding who went through to Q2, riders were pushing for fast laps pretty much from the first moment they left the pits on Friday morning. And things went downhill from there.