At his home Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona, Aleix Espargaro had beaten off the Pramac Ducatis and had a well-earned 2nd place in the bag, in what was a successful Championship salvage job in the midst of a Fabio Quartararo demolition tour….
Unfortunately though, in one of the craziest things ever seen in Premier Class racing, Aleix, one of the most experienced riders in the entire paddock, misread his dashboard and celebrated a lap early, dropped 8 seconds and subsequently finished 5th, giving an extra 9 points to Fabio’s championship lead.
Poor bastard, after 45 minutes in blistering heat at an average heart rate of 150 BPM he had one of the worst mental lapses ever seen in MotoGP, and it was so incredible that Carmelo Ezpeleta had to go and console the elder Espargaro brother, something that you very rarely see on camera from the Dorna CEO:
Still, Aleix isn’t the first rider to prematurely pop his own champagne cork at Catalunya, because compatriot Julian Simon famously did the same dame thing in the 125cc race in 2009, finishing 4th as a consequence, although he did comfortably win the 125cc title that year:
Current Suzuki rider Alex Rins also prematurely celebrated in a Moto3 race at Brno in 2014, and because it’s Moto3, he lost 8 spots getting slipstreamed down the pit straight and finished 9th.
And outside of the World Championship, in the CIV Superbikes at Mugello in 2012, Riccardo Russo made himself wear the dunce hat in spectacular fashion, dropping from 1st to 4th in a widely viewed case of premature celebration:
I’d like to say we’ve all been there…. and we probably have.
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