So now we've established
The M1 is clearly the superior machine on the grid with it's combination of slick gearbox, linear intuitive power delivery, sweet steering and refined manners, it's a truly impressive feat by the Repsol boys (rookie Marquez in particular) to have performed so well to date.
Old closet HRC lover Wosi, with his garage stuffed full of a C90, Benly, CX650 (Turbo no less), and rumoured Fairyblade, will poo-poo such an assertion, all the whilst developing a bigger hard-on for Marquez. Seems he's potentially close to overcoming his nasty yellow puss infection.
This Yamaha dominance is clearly displayed in the performances of the Coventry tax exile Cal. A superbike rider on a supposedly second grade M1 who continues through pre season and in the two races to date to post very rapid and competitive times, albeit that he is still lacking the 'eenth degree of race savvy - which is a little worrying in one so experienced. Not to mention a very lucky young Bradley Smith who's performed very creditably to date on the M1 despite his very mediocre C.V.
Which brings me to a satellite HRC boys - Bradl and Bautista. Both of whom have under performed - least not at the quite obviously (to some giddy media & MCN fools) HRC track of COTA.
Bradl surprised early season last year and I along with many others thought (least not HRC and Nakamoto himself after a maturity spike a rider sometimes has with Bradl's well deserved Moto2 title) this might lead somewhere. Sadly Bradl has not taken this next step to date. And I fear he is his fathers son (despite the title, and change up of class). His riding looks a little 'tight' and even awkward to me. So as a pseudo tectonic being I'm disappointed the very likeable young man has not performed better. Rapid as he, he's not likely to ultimately make the grade. A podium or two should come his way this year. But the long term prognosis looks a bit flat for Stefan. Special mention for Checcinello. LCR.MC is an uber cool website as the Reverend has previously drawn our attention to. Here's a team really trying to drag to sport forward despite DORNA.
HRC disappointment nr.2 Bautista. Some slack should be cut for him with his hand injury I suppose - given we do not really know to what degree it is hindering him. Yet it is hard not to escape the conclusion that Alvaro continues on from where he was the moment he graduated to 250's. Inconsistent. He so looks the part on a motorcycle with a relaxed fluid style. But once more it's hard to see him moving out of his Barro's like occasional flash of brilliance modus operandi this season. Yeah I know he's a little up against it (or is he?) with Showa and Nissin's (as is Stefan), but Bautista now has a season of data under his belt. I don't see any real excuses. He needs to harden up and fight a bit better when the going is a little tough, as well as just bring the damn thing home more often.
Both Alvaro and Stefan should be running with Crutchlow and the world nr.6. Both also need to look out for a soon to improve Ducati with Dovi. The indicators are there that he may well leap frog all four of them in the second half of the season.
The three Amigo's (all Aliens now) remain a class apart though. Untouchable by the rest over the course of a season. This is an almost nailed down certainty.