The long wait for two-wheeled Grand Prix racing is finally over and the curtain raiser in Qatar certainly delivered in terms of drama with all three races going right down to the wire. There were excellent performances across all three classes with Aleix Espargaro dominating MotoGP practice, only to buckle under pressure in qualifying but rebound to fourth in the race. Bradley Smith shone under the lights too, silencing any remaining critics that dared to question his MotoGP credentials but neither have made it into this week’s TCF Power Five. Let’s take a look at the men who did make it.
5. Scott Redding (MotoGP)
Making your MotoGP debut is difficult enough for a young rider but it’s especially tough when you’re doing so in a motorcycle woefully short of straight line speed. While Yamaha and Ducati have exploited the open rules to the absolute maximum, Honda have taken a cautious approach with their production machine and Scott Redding would have been forgiven for fearing the worst this weekend.
Despite giving away over 20 km/h to the fastest bikes in the field, Redding qualified a superb sixteenth for his first race in the premier class and although he was never going to threaten the factory rider, he did have a perfect benchmark in Aspar’s Nicky Hayden, also riding a production Honda.
Scott shadowed the 2006 world champion for much of the race before storming past eight laps from the end and resisting a Hayden fightback late on. Not only did he finish seventh in his first MotoGP race, but Scott was also the top rookie in the field and most significantly for him, the top open class Honda too. Outstanding.
(Photo Credit: MotoGP.com)