MotoGP 1000

MotoGP 1000

Bravo, France! Bravo! MotoGP celebrates 1000 races with a bare-knuckle brawl for the ages!

How excellent was the French grand prix? Immediately after the race, the Boss texts me, saying, “Race report!” Need I say more? Glitz and glamour often make up for what is billed as a special event, for example, some Superbowls, an occasional UFC Main Event, a date with a pretty person, etc. Sometimes these things turn out to be duds. But when you sprinkle some celebs, a circus-type environment, and loud music, sometimes that can mask a stinker of an event, like putting lipstick on a pig. But when I heard that the Circuit of LeMans was set to host the MotoGP 1000 race, I knew it would be outrageous.

LeMans is a classic race circuit, and the fans are second only to the Italians at Mugello for their sheer craziness. So MotoGP 1000 was going to be good. But just how good?

MotoGP 1000

The first sign was Marc Marquez was cleared to return to racing, and that was all I needed to know. Marquez is still The benchmark that the Others judge themselves by. He wasted no time getting down to business as he finished second in qualifying and missed out on a podium in Saturday’s sprint race.

The Others? The Others include the most star-studded field I’ve ever witnessed in MotoGP. These boys are hungry beasts. Marquez let them know right away he meant business. He secured the holeshot from the great starting KTMs and a flock of Ducs. The Honda this year isn’t going to outrun anyone, so Marquez kept the pack close which meant a lot of close racing. It was “like fighting in a phone booth!” And that is what the entire afternoon was, a fight.

Maverick Vinales and Pecco Bagnia ended up in the gravel and damn near came to blows afterward. When two of the nicest guys in the paddock almost square off, you know that it is intense. Whatever was in the water at LeMans, everybody seemed to be drinking it. Everybody wanted to be the winner of the MotoGP 1000.

All eyes seemed to be on Marquez. Pecco is the Champion, a fine one at that, but Marquez is Mike Tyson, just released from prison, and he is still the straw that stirs the drink of the MotoGP paddock. Marquez rides differently. Marquez talks differently. Marquez is still king of the mountain. But the young ones want to challenge him. And Marquez never shies away from a two-wheeled sparring session.

MotoGP 1000

First, the eventual race winner Marco Bezzecchi got his punches in by booting Marquez off track. But he had the good sense to scram before Mr. 8X could retaliate. Then, the battle became between Marquez and sprint race winner Jorge Martin. Martin did everything in his power to knock the Champ out. On inferior equipment, Marquez showed why he is still the man to beat by out-braking and thwarting every attack thrown at him by the young gun. That was until Martin gave the final blow with two laps left in the race and each rider delivering body blows, pressuring Marquez to lay her down in the gravel trap and secure a place on the podium.

MotoGP 1000 was the race where you watched with one eye closed, hand on a Bible, a Koran, rabbit’s foot, whatever worked, and you exhaled a loud “Whew!” when all was dusted and settled. The carnage was severe. Both Marquez brothers, Pecco, Vinales, Jack Miller, and Luca Marini, were all victims. All are relatively healthy. All just bruised egos. The crashes were scary. The racing was spectacular, and the home fans got one of their own on the podium with Johan Zarco.

Total attendance for the French Grand Prix was well over 200k. Marc Marquez is back, and we’re not even close to the season’s halfway point. The MotoGP 1000 was only the 5th grand prix of the 2023 season. They haven’t even gone to Mugello yet! Enea “The Beast “Bastianini should be making his return at Mugello. That’s like winning the lottery on a Friday night. The most incredible show on Earth keeps getting better and better.

You better getcha popcorn ready!

MotoGP 1000

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