So far we've only been able to watch the FP's, Q's and the Sprint but I have to say my money is on Martin come race time.
Bagnia is a machine. Getting run over just a short week before jumping in. Bagnia is hanging tuff as well. I swear tghere is something about the pain killers that give these guys an advantage.
The full race will only tell.
Chasing-pack working together?
Huge chattering front-end slide in slow motion?
A worn-tire scrum at the end of the race like a bunch of your squid friends relentlessly out of shape after stuffing and out braking each other out in the boonies?
The racing in GP is very entertaining. WSBK hasn't been too bad either, and even MotoAM has been good (so sad to see so few spectators attended the last round at COTA - place looked empty). 43k over the entire weekend at Magny Cours WSBK was pitiful, but nothing like the total indifference local Texas riders showed at COTA. Of course, maybe their new law making filtering illegal put them in a bad mood. At least GP seems to still be drawing fans in person.
About the GP numbers - they aren't as good as in Rossi's prime years, but they are healthy at EU venues.
WSBK is suffering from a weird mix I think of too many races per event but not enough events, if that makes sense. I think three Superbike races, 2 of them full length, really dilutes the spectacle rather than enhances it. And there are big gaps of time in the schedule between events. That's a one-two punch to build indifference I think.
But more worrying is the absolute crash in attendance for MotoAm after some initially very encouraging attendance results in some early season rounds. I couldn't find any attendance figures for COTA, maybe because there wasn't any (?). It looked worse than Daytona. And I think you said Laguna was sparsely attended (I feel guilty about that one - at 5 or 6 hours drive/ride I should have gone).