By Nico Cereghini
We console ourselves with Romano Fenati and it is a great consolation: in the second world championship of his life, the rider from the Marche region dominated and won a very tough Moto3 in Jerez. It is not a record because when Melandri won his first GP he was not yet 15 years old, and Scott Redding, better still, won the home race at the age of 15 and a half in 2008. However, it is just as impressive: when Valentino Rossi was successful for the first time in Brno in August 1996, Romano was just 6 months old.
It was a good race for him. He shot from the fourth row, and coming out of the first corner he was fifth, overtaking at least seven riders on the outside, “Had you planned it beforehand?” I asked him. “I closed my eyes but opened the throttle”, he replied. Too modest: he kept his eyes wide open and clearly crushed all the Spanish riders. Those who saw the race know that: it was easier to fall than remain in the race, the track was covered in wet patches and many riders highsided, but Romano kept up a pace that nobody else could, and did not fall. Sometimes the rear tyre skidded even for him, but he always reacted like lightning. Phenomenal, that’s what he is!
Casey Stoner proved to be the same in the MotoGP, the star of a spectacular race after rather tormented contests. He was afraid that his right arm would still cause him trouble, as in Qatar, and so he immediately pushed hard. Then everything went well and, on the final lap, he forced it even a bit further, sprinting ahead of Lorenzo in second place and Pedrosa in third. The two Spaniards have little to complain about: they did their best. You can bet these three will battle it out until the end of the 2012 World Championship.
That is something that Valentino will certainly not be able to do, that is now clear to everyone. Is the Ducati in trouble? I would say so; even Hayden at his best (who was third last year) did stand out in the test laps only due to the wet conditions of the circuit. In the race he came just ahead of Rossi, 5 seconds earlier. But the three best Desmosedici motorcycles, were eighth, ninth and tenth with Barbera. And this says it all. Various causes are to blame: possibly delays in the arrival of new pieces and a too cranky engine. But the bad news is that there is no let-up.
After the race, Valentino’s ironic self-criticism was without excessive emphasis: he did not manage to run enough in the dry, he does not know the final set-up well yet. Congratulations to Hayden who was more courageous in the test laps in wet conditions, and in 2013 the pilot market promise to heat up. And with this comment he seemed to be saying, “I’m ready for a change”.
Meanwhile there was a surprise in the Moto2: this time Marquez did not win and was tricked by Pol Espargarò due to the rain that interrupted the race on the 17th lap. Luthi finished in third place but the Italians did not do well with Corti, the best, in 6th place, with Iannone 14th and Corsi 17th. Back again in a week at the Estoril circuit.