Is sport allowed to be political, or does it even have to be in difficult times? Or to put it another way – is the statement of being for peace so political that it’s better not to speak out?
In my eyes, sport must also stand up for values and take responsibility. It should not only entertain and distract us. Sport should also take a clear position and stand up for it. Today at the race, I saw exactly what I expected. Unfortunately.
We were all really looking forward to the start of the new season in MotoGP. It should also distract us somewhat from the terrible events that have occupied us daily for over a week. But it should also prove attitude and show humanity. I would have wished for more. Yes, the FIM has suspended all events in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Also, Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials would be excluded. The FIM did what it could do. But I was missing a statement from Dorna, the teams, the riders. One could only discover a statement from a few teams and riders.
For comparison, you only need to take soccer. The Bundesliga changed its logo to the Ukrainian colors. There were minutes of silence before many games, and the Ukrainian colors were omnipresent.
Having a stance, especially when it comes to peace, is not bad or even offensive, partisan. You don’t have to make it a permanent theme either, but it should be more. Sport also always has a mission. MotoGP is largely guilty of that today, in my opinion.
But now to the race, because there was also motorcycling. The first race of the season is not yet decisive, but it can be a signpost for the entire season. It shows the current status under racing conditions. It shows the weaknesses and strengths of the individual teams and riders. And this first race had it all.
Enea Bastianini caused great emotion with his first victory in the premier class. In the newly formed Gresini Team, there was not a dry eye in the house after the death of Fausto. Already in the last three laps of Bastianini the tears flowed. Pure emotion. The Italian won with his last year’s Ducati and thus held the Ducati flag high. For the Italian manufacturer, the race in Qatar did not go well. With pole sitter Jorge Martin and the two factory riders Bagnaia and Miller, three riders dropped out.
For a long time, however, it looked as if someone else would win in Qatar. Pol Espargaro led the field of riders for a long time, but could not hold his own against Bastianini in the second half of the race. The Honda factory team had miscalculated in the choice of rear tire. With the soft tire Espargaro could not hold his own against Bastianini on the medium compound. For Pol Espargaro it was still enough for third place. He proved that Honda has more than one good rider in the team.
A surprising second place went to Brad Binder. For KTM it was the best result in Qatar, as they always struggle on this track.
So all in all, it was an exciting first race of the 2022 MotoGP season. Let’s hope it stays that way and maybe some attitude will be added. It never hurts.
Your Miss MotoGP