Incredibly, the only factory MotoGP bikes to score any points in the Argentina race were the Yamaha’s of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi and the brand new Red Bull KTMs of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, as Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Aprilia all crashed out or failed to finish.
Yet it wasn’t down to track conditions or tires, as the weekend saw the lowest number of crashes over a Grand Prix weekend since records began, with only 30 fallers across all three classes.
So what caused it all to go so wrong for the factory teams? Quite simply, pressure. MotoGP has never ever been as competitive as it currently is, as demonstrated by an incredible showing from staelite bikes, a whole host or riders at the front, and six manufacturers battling it out for top honors.
But there’s another factor that needs to be taken into account too – the arrival of an incredible talent in the shape of Maverick Vinales. Upping the game in the top-fight class in a way that only a select group of greats has in the past (think Casey Stoner, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo), the young Spaniard has been a breath of fresh air.
Can he be the 2017 MotoGP World Champion? With 16 rounds and a long MotoGP season still ahead of us, it’s far too early to make such a call, but he’s certainly living up to the hype! Maverick Vinales has currently two wins and 50 points, Marc Marquez stands at 13 points and Jorge Lorenzo has currently only 5 points...