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Motorsport

If you are a fan of motor racing, don't bother with yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix. An utterly dull procession for almost the entire event was punctuated only by odd-ball happenings and intrigue. If you are a conspiracy theorist and find humour in the oddest places, there might be something for you. But first, this telephone call from Fernando Alonso waiting to drive in the Indy 500 to Button, in the car on the way down the pit lane to his own, personal, lonely, starting line.

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Some people think Jenson Button is just doing a contractual obligation race because he's possibly the most relaxed man, woman or child in the entire paddock. Hell, sans alcool, he may just be the most relaxed person in Monaco. Does that mean he's dozing off? Not at all: the consummate racing professional is back, and with it McLaren's best brand ambassador. Just don't mention Honda...

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Valentino Rossi's week has borne promise, then failure then near possible catastrophe. Thank God it's Saturday and a new week starts tomorrow.

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Nicky Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP champion is in serious condition after being involved in a road accident near Rimini on the Italian Riviera.

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I've had to watch a recording of yesterday's race before I could write a fair piece. And that's because, twice, I fell asleep during the race. At least with a recording, when I fell asleep again, I could go back and see the parts I missed. There has not been such a race of nothingness for .. well, since Bahrain 2010. Seriously.

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Russian President Putin, who it is generally accepted was at least instrumental in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 seems to think it's OK to bash the South East Asian country. His comments to a driver for team the name-sponsor of which is a Malaysian oil company, demonstrated an astonishing lack of sensitivity: is he simply callous or is he trying to inflame passions?

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There is a delicious irony in seeing Jorge Lorenzo's arrival at Ducati going from bad to worse: he capitalised on and ridiculed Rossi's dalliance with the Italian team joining it only after all the hard work had been done, or so it seemed. But a dismal qualifying and a failure to get round the first corner (which in typical style Lorenzo sought to blame someone else for) coupled with Rossi's average qualifying and scintillating race performance shows that karma is often right.

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It is, perhaps, ironic that one of Ferrari's most ardent supporters, Bernie Ecclestone, isn't the boss of F1 any longer as the Prancing Horse danced its way into the first victory of the 2017 F1 Grand Prix season in Melbourne, Australia.

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Qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP race was cancelled due to bad weather. 24 hours later, the race itself was delayed for half-an hour and then, when the riders went out on a sighting lap, several concluded that parts of the track were too wet to even attempt turn 14. Then the Stewards sent out Laurence Capirossi to check. It was a weird situation.

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Now the cars have arrived at a proper race weekend, we can at last see what the cars look like, hear what they sound like and get some comparative data on this year's cars against last year's. And we can see what might be not quite right and that's a long list.

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