5 things to check out at COTA on Friday, by... Randy Mamola

The newly-inducted Legend picks out his talking points from Day 1 at COTA - from Suzuki to Rossi to the track

Here are the big five headlines from Friday, according to the newest MotoGP™ Legend in town, Randy Mamola.

1 . Being inducted as a Legend

It was a big day for Mamola at the Circuit of the Americas, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. That led his round up as you’d expect – with an emotional ceremony underlining the American’s incredible commitment to MotoGP™ on and off track.

“The emotion hit hard – you’re trying to put 39 years into 15 minutes of talking!”

2 - Suzuki and the shuffled pack

Mamola picks out the performance of Team Suzuki Ecstar, whose Andrea Iannone went fastest and did so behind his teammate Alex Rins on track: “Last year Iannone had no pressure, but Rins already had a podium. There’s a good team there now who are pushing each other.”

And what of the two men just behind Iannone and five-time COTA winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team? “It’s strange that Zarco struggled here and both Movistar Yamahas seemed better. But it’s a very mixed bag.”

3 - The tricky track in Texas

Technical and challenging is the Circuit of the Americas – something not lost on the American: “Austin isn’t a normal racetrack. It’s very physical, very long and it has 20 corners – an array of 20 corners. And the concentration level needs to be very high to keep focused. There’s a lot to think about when you’re doing a lap and it’s difficult.”

4 - Whether the weather will change

It made for quite a dash at the end of the day, with Saturday looking like rain as the grid therefore pushing to get provisional entry to Q2.

“As we know, it’s supposed to be raining on Saturday so we basically saw a qualifying session to get into the top ten today. The Ducatis have a bad feeling here for whatever reason, Dovi for me was on the limit just to make sure he was in the top ten.”

5 - Sunday funday?

There’s a man who’s won it five times, sure – but winning a MotoGP™ race is never a done deal, regardless of your record.

“On Sunday I think Valentino will be really dangerous here. Distance-wise, Marc will have to stay very attentive. And if Marc goes out front, he could easily make a mistake like in FP2.”