Ola’ Amigos!! It’s great to be back, and I am sure you all been worried sick, rocking back and forth in the foetal position crying for your mums about were my fantastic MotoGP previews have disappeared too. Not to worry little boys and girls, I promise to not miss another one unless I go on another month-long European bender again. Rossi finally snapped his run of bad luck with an all time great win at the cathedral of speed that is Mugello. The teams have packed up the circus and left the rolling hills of Florence behind as they head west across Southern France to the sunburnt plains of Catalunya, Spain. A fiercely independent region of Spain, it is host to the 2006 Gran Premi Cinzano De Catalunya. The 4.7 km long circuit is only 15 years old and is still considered state of the art, and is a favourite with the riders. It has a nice long straight which should see some crazy drafting action and warp factor 9 like top speeds. Previous victors have included Doohan, Criville, Checa (Set your faces to stun!) and of course Rossi. Rossi won’t expect much support in Spain as he is not so well liked there ever since the “Jerez Incident”. Yamaha looks to have sorted the bike out and have even tuned out a minor case of bad voodoo. Rossi just needs the Texan Tornado to pull his finger out and help from the front. Ducati are really coming of age now are regulars at the sharp end. Bridgestone are dropping the ball less and less every race now, and look to be on a par with the Michelins at most tracks. This new strength in tires has made the Kawasaki look worse than there promising pre season form indicated while I pity the fools that have to ride the Suzuki’s. Honda will be strong as is the usual story. I think the biggest question people have regarding the Honda riders is going to be who will step up and really challenge Rossi? Melandri, Hayden and Pedrosa have all had a go at one time or another. I don’t think Honda can afford to wait until Laguna Seca for Hayden to record his next win. Pedrosa looks a little inconsistent race to race. That then leaves Melandri. I personally think he lacks the small element, X Factor if you will, to really challenge for the championship. Note: This is my statement designed to outrage and inflame a small internet war between pro Melandri independent groups and one-eyed Rossi supporters. Start firing beer cans at each other people, You can kiss goodbye to Tamada after 2006 while the opposite it true for Casey Stoner as he just needs to continue posting great results (Mugello tumble excluded) and he could blag a full factory ride next year. Tony Elias just seems to be there to keep the Spanish money happy. So kickback and take a siesta mid Sunday afternoon. Wake up at 5, down a jug of Sangria (Red wine, water, ice and fruit) and watch the only guys on earth crazier than a drunken Spaniard do battle at Catalunya. You can then lob up to work at 10-11 the next morning with a massive hangover like the majority of Spain does. Adios Amigos!