Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 21 - Racing Again! A Review of Qatar

The Paddock Pass Podcast reaches another milestone. If its twenty-one podcast episodes were years, then the Paddock Pass Podcast would be old enough to buy a drink once it hits town in Austin.

In this, the podcast of its majority, Neil Morrison, Steve English and David Emmett gather to discuss the events of the opening round of the 2016 Grand Prix season at Qatar. There was plenty to talk about, of course, so we cover a fair amount of ground. First, we go through the results of the MotoGP race, and discuss how the switch to Michelins and spec electronics have affected the racing. Then we take a look at Silly Season, and talk about the signings of Valentino Rossi, Bradley Smith and Johann Zarco, and how they affect the rest of the market.

Of course, the debacle at the start of the Moto2 race is a major subject for debate, and we talk about where that all went wrong, and whether it was fair or not. And finally, we have a few words on the Moto3 class, and who impressed us most at the start of an action packed year.

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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Very enjoyable. I decided to listen to a couple of minutes and then get the rest later but... I was hooked from the start and loved it. Thank you.

Great episode guys! Thanks a bunch.

Ducati and Suzuki, Iannone and Vinales. This demands focus, yes?
The Ducati is followed by an exclamation point, and the Suzuki with a question mark. But it is Vinales with the exclamation point and Iannone with a bit of a question mark. "Ducati has expressed their confidence in Iannone as their rider to go forward with" yes, AND they are going to get one of the two hot properties for their 2nd for 2017. Lorenzo or Vinales.

Agreed that Vinales would do VERY well from the go with the Yamaha. How fun that we have Vale taunting Jorge to have the "balls" to switch brands. This really could go either way. The Yamaha is really a Lorenzo bike in their shared DNA by chance. The goodness of fit is so strong it would take extraordinary circumstance to alter it, which is JUST what we have.

The Suzuki - seamless w down shifts is good for 2 tenths and a relaxed rideability for race distance, yeah? It has such good mechanical grip. All we are looking for is a reasonable bit more top end. And a flowing track. And some interesting circumstances amongst a tight group fighting near the front (clash leads to a couple bikes running off into the grass). We have a Suzuki dry podium coming. It isn't far off. Suzuki and Vinales are synergistic, interdependent. This is beautiful.

The Ducati - oh the Ducati! I yelled "YES!" when you folks mentioned the MOMENTUS matter of what could have been at Qatar had AI29 remained in the race. Lorenzo would have been held up. A LOT. The two Andreas as a pair on a horsepower track? Drafting together? Good luck getting your rhythm. Then JL99 is tangled up with Iannone, Dovi and Marquez such that Rossi can arrive. It is not lost on us what we missed out on as a possibility. I was SO discouraged when AI29 binned it. For the show. For Ducati. For me.

Zarco - what better love could he get from a team than a good bike? Is that KTM? Suzuki looks a fine fit.

HRC isn't supremely worried about how Marquez and his handlers feel about his team mate. Rins could arrive and folks could adjust. The bike isn't the strongest and won't be for a year at least. They need the best rider lineup they can field. They are practical and comfortable asking their riders to "make nice," and Marquez getting pushed by a team mate is not bad. Pedrosa will be moving on, and the best replacement could be a Rins. Look at what they have seen go on at Yamaha! Wall comes down, both get faster, there is press, triple crown. Winning trumps difficulties "making nice." BTW, speaking of trumping...apologies to the world that our USA presidential race looks so bad. Trump can't win. Bernie Sanders can. Our mainstream politics have been poisoned by its own corporate money indulgence, and we have all of our ugliness at the surface. We will right ourselves back to a functionality. Much like Dorna and the rulebook. Most of us are basically sane and rational. Even Spain is showing signs of economic recovery, albeit with a slow employment rate uptick, budgets are swelling in the paddock again. Public service announcement done, back to racing.

Yes, we have the same aliens and factories near the front, but I cannot sign on to the "nothing has changed" statement. GONE are the days of two factories winning all the races, right here and now. Ducati have surpassed Honda as a factory this year on equal terms. Aren't we all glued to the next moment?
GO Iannone and Gigi! A win in the next two fly aways! And GO FOR IT Marquez with your gunfighter swagger - who ever could have scripted you as an underdog? Perfect!

Hey, look - no stars to be had or lost here...refreshingly freeing. Can't imagine that with all this consideration David would nix this post as inappropriate. SO...Rossi owes everyone including himself and Marquez an apology. Stoner and the press are not interesting, and I wish EVERYONE including Stoner, the press, and you would have left it at that. Stoner is probable this season as a wild card or replacement, and what is said about it is exhaust fumes. Michelin is doing fine. Two strokes don't feel as good as 4 strokes to spend a day on at the track, let alone maintain. Turn by turn electronics crossed the line and are bad. Crutchlow is a great guy and a fabulous rider. Cardoso was fat, I referred to him as "Lardoso." I enjoy Honda in a downturn, but buy their bikes. A few readers here are quite self referential and I bet their significant others find them as such too, but still prefer that they are here spouting their self agrandizing perspective as it sometimes makes things interesting and I can always scroll past. There are several of you that I have come to not read ANY of your posts at all after being bugged by for a good while, hope you don't one day write something relevant because I will miss it. There are a good dozen of you that I consider my friends after years on this site, thanks a bunch for being around.

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(I gave me 5 stars!)