Two GOATS for the price of one. Or, to keep the acronyms going, BOGOF.
This double dimension suggests that we are enjoying a particularly golden era of racing.
One not only talent-rich, but where the competition has been tightened by restrictive technical rules – limiting costs, cylinder numbers and bore, and electronics. Lap times keep dropping, but they also get closer. Which shows that although faster, the limit keeps getting easier for more people to reach.
Rossi and Marquez were both fiercely involved in the recent demonstration of this: at a quite extraordinary Dutch TT in Assen on the first of July.
One expects a gang of relatively gutless GP entry-level Moto3 bikes (250cc four-stroke singles) ridden by feckless young maniacs to be crawling all over one another, changing places at every corner and exchanging paint throughout. One sometimes also gets that from Moto2, where contestants are supplied with identical race-tuned 600cc road-going Honda engines… though generally it is midfield, not up front.
But MotoGP is traditionally rather more… not actually sober, but more austere. Battles are fiercely contested, but usually between two or possibly three riders; and they are generally relatively calculated affairs. Compared with the teenage hotheads of Moto3, the riders are more experienced, the potential penalties for errors higher, so the racing tends to be more measured.