There was a moment at the expansive and modern Repsol HQ in central Madrid last week when the strongest team ever assembled in MotoGP looked anything but. Defending World Champion and vanquisher of the thrilling series for five of the last six years, Marc Marquez, occasionally flexed his stiff left shoulder; the soon-to-be 26 year old was trapped in a race suit for just the second time since “aggressive” corrective surgery in November.
New recruit for the 2018 Triple Champions (rider, team and manufacturer) Jorge Lorenzo stood with a large cast protruding from his left wrist, the consequence of a crash while dirt tracking in Italy. The 31 year old was on stage and under the lights in front of an audience of 200 (and thousands more via live stream) just 24 hours after a procedure to screw a broke scaphoid together.
A little rag-tag it seemed but the prospect of the two countrymen together on the ever-improving RCV (with that distinctive orange livery, a sight that has been terrorising MotoGP now for twenty-five years) is spellbinding. The two Spaniards have laid waste to Grand Prix racing since 2010 with only Australian Casey Stoner (another in Repsol Honda colours) prizing loose Lorenzo’s grip in 2011.