2013 Sepang MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: Pedrosa's Revenge, Lorenzo's Valiant Defense, And History Made In Moto3

Sunday at Sepang provided a fascinating mix for motorcycle racing fans. A blistering Moto3 race, an impressive, if shortened, Moto2 race, and some breathtaking action in MotoGP. History was made several times over, and best of all, the races took place in front of a sellout crowd. Over 80,000 fans packed the stands in Malaysia, proof, if any were needed, of the slow, eastward drift of motorcycle racing's center of gravity.

In the MotoGP race, Dani Pedrosa did what he had set out to do two weeks earlier at Aragon, before he was so rudely ejected from his bike. Pedrosa had a look of grim determination on his face from the moment he rolled up at Sepang, and it barely left him all weekend. He had come to do a job, the pain in his hips merely spurring him on to get what he had been robbed of by an overeager teammate and an exposed sensor. He ruled proceedings in free practice, got caught out by conditions in qualifying, but leapt off the line at the start, as he has all year, and slotted in behind Jorge Lorenzo. After four laps, he worked his way past a valiantly defending Lorenzo, put the hammer down and went on to win.

This was what Pedrosa had intended to do at Aragon, and he took the win in Malaysia as clear vindication of his form. He made an extra effort to thank his team, and his family, but especially the fans who had supported him, posting a message on Twitter thanking the people who had continued to believe in him. Pedrosa may be unloved in some quarters - especially among those who cannot get over an insignificant piece of ancient history - but his ability is beyond question. Now that the pendulum has swung back towards Honda, as it does the second half of every season, Pedrosa is reaping the rewards he believes he is owed. His win at Sepang was flawless.

The same could be said of Jorge Lorenzo's third place. Lorenzo, too, came to Sepang with just one goal in mind, finishing ahead of Marc Marquez, and keeping his title hopes alive. After a difficult first day, Lorenzo found some pace on Saturday, then gave it everything he had on Sunday. Never was the expression 'leaving it all out on the track' truer than of Lorenzo at Sepang. He powered off the line to take the lead, boldly holding Pedrosa off around the outside of Turn 1 to grab the inside line of Turn 2. He offered a sterling defense of the lead for 4 laps, then put up an even braver, harder defense of second from Marc Marquez.

He knew the Yamaha was outclassed in braking and acceleration - the additional heat on Sunday meant that due to the lack of rear grip, he had to push the front tire harder, something which the current generation of Bridgestone tires does not allow, though the next generation due to be introduced at the Valencia test should provide more stability - and that if he gave Marquez even a thousandth of an inch, Marquez would take a country mile. His sole hope lay in a strategy of intimidation, in pushing Marquez into an error. 'The only thing we could do is try to fight with him, try to make him make some mistakes,' Lorenzo said. The pair swapped places multiple times in a tense and thrilling battle, Marquez squeezing through when he saw the opportunity, Lorenzo bludgeoning his way back when he could.

In the end, Marquez got the best of the Yamaha man on the run out of Turn 14, sliding underneath the Yamaha man into the penultimate turn and powering away out of the corner. He left Lorenzo little room on the exit, to the displeasure of the reigning world champion. 'Until then, the fight was really clean with no touching,' Lorenzo said. 'There was no touching in this corner, but he did not leave me so much space, so I had to close the throttle to avoid going into the grass.' Lorenzo's resistance was broken, and Marc Marquez went on to extend his lead in the championship to a comfortable 43 points. Lorenzo's attempt to force Marquez into a mistake had failed. 'He was so strong,' A resigned Lorenzo said at the press conference. 'He didn't lose concentration. He deserved the second place.'

If anyone had any doubts about Marquez' mental strength before Sepang, the race in Malaysia removed them altogether. Though he had looked nervous for the first time on Thursday, a legacy of the controversy surrounding the incident at Aragon, and the penalty point he had received for that, in the race he showed no trace of either nerves or doubt. Suitably chastised by Race Direction, Marquez' moves were fractionally more cautious than in previous races, especially when he was nipping at the heels of his teammate. He took the barge handed out by Lorenzo in good humor, and if the pass on Lorenzo left the Yamaha man little room on the exit, it was a very long way from being unfair. The difference in attitude between Lorenzo and Marquez was made evident at the press conference. While Lorenzo had made it clear that he was unimpressed with Marquez' pass on him, Marquez had no quarrel with the pass by Lorenzo. 'In one overtake, I felt some contact,' Marquez said in the press conference, 'but this is OK, this is racing. He overtook me on the inside, I didn't expect it, and we had some contact. But you know, in that moment it was so exciting!'

Marquez is now just seven points away from his first MotoGP title, and becoming the second rider in history to win the premier class championship at the first attempt. Taking seven points from Jorge Lorenzo at Phillip Island will be difficult. The colder conditions and the fast, flowing layout will suit the Yamaha, playing to the bike's strengths while disguising its weaknesses. Lorenzo knows that Phillip Island is his last chance of taking the title fight to the wire at Valencia, Motegi favoring the Hondas in every way. And in one sense, Honda might prefer to take the title at Motegi: what better place to have their young prodigy crowned champion than at the circuit they own, in front of their entire board? If HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto wants to prove to the board that the vast amounts of money Honda is still spending on racing is worth it, celebrating a MotoGP championship at home will make a big impression.

What of Valentino Rossi? The former world champion is inching ever closer to the front of the pack, yet the distance to the trio of Spaniards dominating the series remains tantalizingly beyond reach. Rossi spoke positively of the steps forward he and his team had made, of improvements in braking, of his feeling with the bike. He had even secured a front row start during qualifying, his best grid position since 2010. But it was still not enough. 'Starting from second place, I hoped to arrive on the podium, but I know the top three guys are very strong,' Rossi said. That may well be his problem: the top three riders have moved the game on, and though Rossi is handicapped by the weakness of the Yamaha in braking, his teammate is still capable of winning races and of getting on the podium almost every time out. Whether Rossi's powers are starting to wane, or whether he could be fighting for podiums and wins if the bike was better in braking is still open for conjecture, but the days of Rossi's dominance are clearly past. Once, Valentino Rossi was the best rider in the world. Right now, he looks to be fourth best.

How much of that is in the bike? All of the Yamaha riders are complaining of the braking performance of the bike, while only Jorge Lorenzo is able to truly ride around it, his style suiting the early braking, high corner speed requirements of the M1. Yamaha have a lot of work to do over the winter, improving braking stability without sacrificing too much of the turning ability which is the bike's strongest point. Without better braking - and improved fuel consumption, the reduction from 21 to 20 liters likely to be hardest on Yamaha - taking the fight to the Hondas will be impossible. And if the Yamaha is no match for the Honda in 2014, then Jorge Lorenzo is likely to defect at the end of next season. He knows he has his hands full with Marc Marquez, and being on competitive machinery is crucial if he is to beat the youngster. Without a better bike, Yamaha loses Lorenzo, and without Lorenzo, Yamaha have no hope against Honda.

The less said of the Ducatis the better. Nicky Hayden blew up his newest engine, and will struggle to last the year without starting from pit lane. Andrea Dovizioso fought the Desmosedici, running off track as he struggled to get the bike to turn around Sepang's sweeping turns. The only ray of light is the news that Gigi Dall'Igna is to take over as boss of Ducati Corse from November this year. His new broom will have to be wielded very firmly, if he is to clean out the Augean stables which Ducati's racing department has become.

If the MotoGP title fight took a step closer to being finished, the Moto2 championship was blown wide open. It was also a demonstration of the role of luck in any title chase. After a dismal qualifying, Scott Redding was to start the Moto2 race down in 10th. His start was as strong as his qualifying had been poor, Redding up into 4th, and right on the tail of his main rival Pol Espargaro. But a horrific crash involving Axel Pons - a man who seems to be involved in incidents almost every race, though he is not always to blame - left bikes laying on the track and riders limping off the circuit, luckily without serious injury. The race was red-flagged before the first lap had even finished, and Redding was forced to attempt his miraculous start all over again.

Second time around, Redding still got away well, but not quite as well as at the first attempt. This time, his luck run out, as Dominique Aegerter, Alex De Angelis and Xavier Simeon all came together, the Swiss rider forcing De Angelis and Simeon to crash. Redding had to run wide to avoid the carnage, losing touch with the group in front. It would be very costly indeed, the championship leader coming home in 7th, where Espargaro took an impressive 2nd place finish. Espargaro has now closed the gap to just 9 points, with three races still to go. Phillip Island favors Redding, while Espargaro is stronger at Motegi, meaning the title is likely to come down to the final race at Valencia, a tempting prospect indeed.

The real star of the Moto2 race was Tito Rabat, however. The pale, gaunt Spaniard dominated the Moto2 class at Sepang, topping every practice session, starting from pole, and leading from the off. Rabat has taken a step forward this season, and is looking like the favorite for the 2014 Moto2 title. Now just 28 points down on Redding, and 19 behind his teammate Espargaro, he is even in with a shot at the 2013 championship.

Highlight of the day, however, was the Moto3 race, which has consistently produced some outstanding racing throughout the season. Six men battled tooth and nail to the line, the lead swapping multiple times, often even on the same lap. Experience won out in the end, Luis Salom taking victory in a classic Sepang move. Alex Rins dived underneath Salom into the final corner, but that left him running wide on the exit. Salom saw Rins coming, let him past, then held the tighter line to force Rins wide on the exit, taking his seventh victory of the season. Rins had given it everything, but Salom had outfoxed him, as he has outfoxed all of the youngsters who challenge him this season.

The battle showed the depth of talent in the Moto3 class, with Salom and Rins battling Alex Marquez, Maverick Viñales, Jack Miller and Miguel Oliveira. There is truly a wealth of fast young riders in Moto3, with more on the way. Despite the departure of Viñales and Salom next year, this will remain the toughest class in racing for another season at least.

The biggest loser of the day was Maverick Viñales, the Spaniard finishing in 5th and losing a fistful of points to Salom and Rins. He was lucky it was not more: the fiery Spaniard was issued a penalty point for elbowing Jack Miller aside on the run to the line, and was fortunate not to have been moved back a position by Race Direction. Viñales' talent is beyond question; his temperament, though, could prove his downfall.

The same cannot be said of Jack Miller. Though the young Australian can be extremely excitable, the maturity he is showing in being able to put the miserably underpowered Honda among the KTMs is exceptional. It was all too evident at Sepang, Miller being left for dead along the straights, but using his talent and the vastly superior handling of the FTR chassis to get back in among the KTMs around the corners. His corner speed was terrifying, passing the KTMs around the outside and sticking his bike wherever he found a gap.

The Moto3 race was also where history was made at Sepang. The sellout 80,000 crowd was a sign of the growing popularity of motorcycle racing in Asia, and the importance of the Asian market. Miguel Oliveira putting the Mahindra on the podium was another symbol of the rise of the East. Though the Mahindra is built by Suter in Switzerland, and the team is run out of Italy, the Indian industrial giant has a lot of input into the project. Indian engineers work on engine and chassis at Suter's Swiss base, and Indian fans take a huge interest in what they see as their Moto3 team. The first ever podium for an Indian manufacturer met with a rapturous reception on social media, indicating the support and interest which exists in the Indian subcontinent. Racing is moving eastwards, at a glacially slow pace, perhaps, but as the average age of racing enthusiasts in Europe and the US continues to go up, the factories and Dorna are chasing younger, bigger, growing markets in Asia. Motorcycle racing could look very different indeed in 15 years' time.

It could also look a fair bit more emancipated. Ana Carrasco came home in 15th place at Sepang, finally scoring the championship points she has been chasing all season. Carrasco became the first woman to score points since Katja Poensgen in 2001. She also became the first Spanish woman every to score points in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Her achievement underlines that gender is no real barrier to racing: scoring points after battling all race long in a tough group which included Livio Loi, John McPhee, Francesco Bagnaia and Isaac Viñales. The battle was fought in the punishing tropical heat and humidity of Malaysia, and Carrasco held her own. Ana Carrasco proved at Sepang that she has earned her place on the grid, regardless of whether she is a potential champion or not. She is as strong or stronger than all but the top few riders in the class, and has potential to grow. Championship points help pave the way for more young women to race in Moto3. There is no reason why they can't be just as competitive as any young man choosing to race. It is unrealistic to expect there to be a female MotoGP champion in the next couple of years, but there is a real chance that it will happen one day.

Sunday at Sepang provided a fascinating mix for motorcycle racing fans. A blistering Moto3 race, an impressive, if shortened, Moto2 race, and some breathtaking action in MotoGP. History was made several times over, and best of all, the races took place in front of a sellout crowd. Over 80,000 fans packed the stands in Malaysia, proof, if any were needed, of the slow, eastward drift of motorcycle racing's center of gravity.In the MotoGP race, Dani Pedrosa did what he had set out to do two weeks earlier at Aragon, before he was so rudely ejected from his bike. Pedrosa had a look of grim determination on his face from the moment he rolled up at Sepang, and it barely left him all weekend. He had come to do a job, the pain in his hips merely spurring him on to get what he had been robbed of by an overeager teammate and an exposed sensor. He ruled proceedings in free practice, got caught out by conditions in qualifying, but leapt off the line at the start, as he has all year, and slotted in behind Jorge Lorenzo. After four laps, he worked his way past a valiantly defending Lorenzo, put the hammer down and went on to win.This was what Pedrosa had intended to do at Aragon, and he took the win in Malaysia as clear vindication of his form. He made an extra effort to thank his team, and his family, but especially the fans who had supported him, posting a message on Twitter thanking the people who had continued to believe in him. Pedrosa may be unloved in some quarters - especially among those who cannot get over an insignificant piece of ancient history - but his ability is beyond question. Now that the pendulum has swung back towards Honda, as it does the second half of every season, Pedrosa is reaping the rewards he believes he is owed. His win at Sepang was flawless.

Comments

Aspar said they had to make a

Aspar said they had to make a decision on Honda or Aprilia by today. Any news on that?

Total votes: 59

David

David, it's strange you didn't mention Lorenzo's behavior and look on his face when some journalist asked him did he touch Marquez during the battle? You only mention what Marquez said about it, but you didn't mention Lorenzo's behavior and what he said at all! Lorenzo was confused and obviously uncomfortable with that question, he started to stutter.

Lorenzo is very vocal and loud when someone touches him but when he touches somebody, it's OK because he didn't feel it and he had to do it. He overtook for example Pedrosa a couple of times this year with a hard pass and Pedrosa was clearly unhappy with that, but it's a different story when someone does this to him.

Total votes: 126

Agree

Usually Lorenzo is pretty fair when he critiques the aggressiveness of his riding, but in this case, it seemed like he knew he bumped MM but would not admit it. Whatever the case, there appears to be a double standard forming. Yes, the result was worse for Pedrosa, but that's Honda's fault for leaving the cable in such a vulnerable spot.

I was also very annoyed by Pedrosa's repeated comments on his race pace in Aragon that should have meant he won back to back races. My god, why do we have races at all if it's all just about pace and laptimes? Anything can happen during a race (or any sporting competition) and that's why athletes compete and people pay money to watch.

Total votes: 90

some of you guys must be so

some of you guys must be so blind to being decent and fair to someone ? 25 five stars to a bitter (and ignorant) comment by someone (spdmon) who has never ever said anything useful or meaningful or even rightful (or at least, not blatant falseness) in this site in my two years here except always always being on an anti-lorenzo agenda...(and there are some other such commentators, regular members here should know).

well, let me make it clear to some you (am afraid this comment might get deleted..DE has time and again deleted my comments where i have taken a shot at some specific commentators here who always seem on an agenda (these days, the anti-lorenzo populace is flourishing here) and propagate meaninglessly and unreasonably bitter and ignorant (even hateful) comments and ideas, although he doesnt find their comments in the first place to be worthless but worth deleting..anyways.

lorenzo initially said that until the kerb thing there was no touching, then someone asked him was there touching during one of the overtakes since in TV it appeared to be so, to which jorge replied he didn't think so as he didnt really feel anything, so maybe there was some light touching that he didnt feel but surely no big touch...saying that he couldnt feel any touching so at best it was a light touching, to me (not an english speaking person by birth) is not at all the same thing as "denying" it or lying about it..."denying" would be the case if he'd said confidently that no there was no touch, light or big, at all even after being asked explicitly..

and about the kerb thing, those who didnt watch the post-race press conference may not be convinced, but it's obvious to me that it should be clear to those who actually watched the press conference that whatever he said about the kerb was said in his typical straight/dry manner that he speaks with broken english...there was no sense of sarcasm, complaining or anything like that when he said whatever he said about the kerb...even from reading the crash quotes makes it clear that he just said what happened...if just simply saying what happened is called complaining, well then, i must have not known what complaining means and sounds like...and also, something that, as a classic and frequent case of selective memory, people dont really seem to remember even though this happened just yesterday, even while saying that he didn't like that kerb incident by marquez, lorenzo nevertheless said that it wasn't so bad either since he could still see the rider beside him while he was heading off the kerb (guess he meant to say that when such off-kerb type of things happen without the rider able to see another rider beside him it could get confusing and so maybe dangerous)...obviously no one would be fond of a bit cagey situation while rounding off a kerb, would you be ?..at best, the worst thing lorenzo did in the press conference was perhaps trying to avoid questions about all this shit by a bunch (but not all, thank god) of journalists that dont like him and he doesnt like..

oh and by the way, dear spdmon, lorenzo, like most other non-english riders, always stutters (and often looks confused) when speaking english...god knows what bad behaviour of him are you talking about, except his typical dry/disappointed manner of speaking broken english..

time to grow the F up, broaden and loosen your mind, let go off the bitterness people like you have toward him (and perhaps some other riders) and at least act (if not be) like a mature person..he (or any of the other riders you seem to strongly "hate") have not actually harmed you personally in real life now, have they ?

PS - i hope this comment won't get deleted..seeing as how, much more useless and worthless comments (that dont add shit to any discussions and articles, just plain hateful messages toward some specific riders) by a few specially bitter people dont seem to get deleted at all anymore around here..

let the 1 stars flow..

Total votes: 143

Deleted posts

You only see the posts I leave, not the ones I delete. Sometimes I have deleted a lot. SPDMon has had a lot of posts deleted.

Total votes: 69

You didn't properly close your parentheses useage

in the second paragraph.

Just as we say race direction should not penalize riders for past behavior I rate people's comments on what that comment says not their previous comments, and spdmon's comment was dead on. Jorge just spent a lot of time saying that Marquez was riding over the limit because he touched another rider then he goes and touches another rider, which seems to be his definition of riding over the limit. If you look at the free video of their dueling on MotoGP you can clearly see that Lorenzo touches Marquez's body in the arm/back with his front wheel. 'He didn't leave me enough space' is a pretty funny excuse for why he touched another rider. I didn't think it was a requirement for the rider in front to leave space for the rider behind to pass.

Lorenzo is a great rider but a bit of a hypocrite with these criticisms. His mentioning of the bloodthirsty crowd cheering like they did for Roman gladiators was particularly hypocritical since he is the one with a winged gladiator's helmet dripping blood as part of his helmet graphic.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 105

Chris: What's the old saying that speaks of glass houses?

You didn't spell "usage" correctly.

Also, the first sentence of your first full paragraph is grammatically cumbersome, could be considered to have at least one run-on and/or a fragment, and it isn't punctuated correctly.

I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm assuming that you ARE a native English speaker.

Being pedantic is SO MUCH FUN. :-)

Sorry. Couldn't pass it up.

Now...when will it be next year?

ROLL TIDE!

p.s. I'm not concerned with small potatoes such as a pass. What does frighten me is wondering what new "engineering challenge" Honda will inflict on the other manufacturers next year. The fuel limit has had me ready to scream for quite some time now, and it'll only be worse next year.

Total votes: 51

Arrrrgh

Caught out again! Being an engineer, incorrect use of parentheses bugs me. If I were a grammaticist maybe my own posts would bug me.

>>Now...when will it be next year?

Usually Jan 1st. ;)

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 57

Chris

When Jorge said "He (Marc) did not leave me enough room" he was not talking about his own pass on Marc up the inside. Jorge was referring to pass Marc made on him later and pushed him (Jorge) wide to the edge.

But I agree that Jorge NERFED Marc solidly and should therefore not be complaining about Marc's push to the outside. Especially since Marc was ahead at that point of the exit.

Total votes: 46

Native English Speaker or not

I simply have no idea what you 're trying to say. You condem blanket partisan anti-lorenzo sentiment by stating blanket partisan pro-lorenzo sentiment. Then you become judge and jury of interpretation?
There is no doubt Lorenzo is supremely talented - he is one of the best. There is also no doubt Lorenzo cares only how others ride against him. In 250s and then into early MGP yearls he would bemoan rough riding by Vale and others only to bait them, antagonize them or give them the early-year-Caparossi treatment during the race. He is the guy that bites you in a scrum and then flails and flops when you retaliate and he is near the ref.
Beyond that, it is entirely acceptable to hold dissenting views without worrying about a hot headed keyboardist.

Total votes: 71

apropos of nothing

I came across an old Michael Scott article and thought of the "what's wrong with motogp" debate that's been raging for so long. Found the story while searching for an article he did for gpweek.com about whether "racing improves the breed" can remain a valid justification for the money factories spend on sport.

It's kind of a non sequitor to Mr. Emmett's article (beside the insight as to how Nicky won the 2006 title as a means of understanding his current disillusionment), but what the hell: http://www.visordown.com/column-michael-scott/mike-scott-column---jan-20...

Total votes: 43

Am I the only one

who simply enjoyed the dogfight between Jorge and Marc ? To hell the press conference. Lorenzo may cry but he has no influence whatsoever on the race direction. So why bothering with another tabloid out-of-track controversy. Because it's again Jorge Lorenzo, aka Mr. bad guy ?

Let's talk racing. Marquez is fast, aggressive and fun to watch he makes every race more interesting. But I personally loved what Lorenzo did yesterday too. Showing a lot of guts.

Let's get real, forget the likes of Pedrosa and Rossi for a while, we're only at the beginning of a new era: The Marquez/Lorenzo rivalry. Marquez seems unbeatable but Honda is also pushing the competition to its highest level. Not sure Yamaha has the resource to catch up Honda in the very near future. But both kids are loaded with talent and clearly the most complete riders in the paddock today.

I just can't wait 2015 because I believe they'll ride on the same bike for the same team. Who never dreamed to see Schwantz and Doohan riding with the same material ? If that really happens for us, we could face one of the craziest season in the moto gp era.

Total votes: 81

Because It Matters

Why do we bother with Mr Bad Guy? Because it matters.

The reigning world champion of Moto GP makes public remarks that are critical of Dorna and of Moto GP fans. Then he rides like a complete hypocrite during the race.

Of course we talk about this.

Forget Pedrosa and Rossi? Are you crazy?

Total votes: 74

What does riding like an hypocrite even means ?

That was a great dogfight without any silly moves. Though, if it matters to you to pay more attention to their public remarks, to each his own but as a racing fan I personally couldn't care less of what happens once the race is over.
Lorenzo is a PR nightmare but those guys are not getting paid millions of dollars to be friendly.

By the way, nothing wrong with either Rossi or Pedrosa if you had read my post correctly. Just that both Lorenzo and Marquez under the HRC colors would be a thrill to watch. In the purest definition of a rivalry.

Total votes: 61

See Above

Lorenzo's hypocrisy? See the CosMan's post above.← link

If you want to ignore what people say and do after the race, that's fine.
But the kind of polemic (as Super Sic called it) perpetuated by Lorenzo off the track can have implications on the track, too. That's why I pay attention.

Total votes: 70

What sort of on-track implications ?

Let's cut the crap, Simoncelli was fun to watch, a fan favorite but he was also a very imprudent rider too. I see more Lorenzo's quote on sunday related to him being a cocky dbag or even a sore loser.

My point still remains though, the off-track talks are getting blown out of proportions, that sucks. Racers are not politicians, saying clever, visionary things ain't a part of their jobs. But now one of the greatest (and rare) dogfights of the season has been completely overlooked because one of the riders involved also opened his mouth 3 days before... Yikes

I agree a terrible precedent has been set this weekend, but that's on us, fans. Off-track events now matters more than what happens during a race.

Total votes: 55

Let's Cut the Crap

At last we agree, let's cut the crap.

You are entitled to your opinion, but you're not fooling anyone.
You're a Lorenzo fan, and you wish no one would notice that he's a hypocrite.

There's nothing wrong with being a fan of Lorenzo. But, like the rest of us, you'll have to accept him with his greatness and with his imperfections. Sorry.

Total votes: 59

I'm not sure Jorge's fans often labels him

"a PR nightmare", "a cocky dbag" or "a sore loser" you know... But whatever your flawless logic here has me convinced. I still don't know how but you must be right "he's riding like an hypocrite" and I must be a fan of his. Most definitely because such a person wouldn't deserve a fair argumentation otherwise.

Apologies for the heavy usage of sarcasm, but I couldn't resist.

Cheers.

Total votes: 56

I'm pretty sure Maria Herrera

I'm pretty sure Maria Herrera will be a potential champion very soon. Until then, go Ana !

Rossi is definitely making progress. I don't know if it has already happened this year that he gets both the best qualifying position and the best race lap of the Yamahas... but he still ends up fourth though.

Phillip Island is his last shot at a podium this year i would say. Come on Vale !

Total votes: 53

Insignificant piece of history for you maybe....

"Pedrosa may be unloved in some quarters - especially among those who cannot get over an insignificant piece of ancient history - but his ability is beyond question."

I would be one of those that remember "ancient and insignificant" history David - I had turned the corner and had actually cheered for DP in his last chance to get the title when his bad luck @ the end of the 2012 season kept it from him. I was actually quite sad to see it go to crap again on him when had he seemed on a tear in the second part of the season, one that would finally get him that elusive MotoGP title!!! He was funnier in the media, more accessible and open to us fans and he seemed to have lost that "holier than thou" smugness that himself and Mr. Puig had so arrogantly carried and displayed. I could be wrong about him and his attitude - but that is what I have seen on display in his time in the GP ranks to us outside the paddock w/o an inside view of who he may truly be... my perception anyways...

It was that ancient history that had been rekindled in me when I read how vocal he was after the incident @ Aragon and chastised his team mate MM & How Mr. Puig had brought the cameras in the garage to document the error in DP's team mates ways (what a schmuck) !! In a very similar situation, during his rookie year, DP had been a part of the "ancient history" you discredit - he too had made a mistake that was even more incredulous and wreckless then MM's move on him @ Aragon - there was no call for penalties, no call for a review of riding decorum with riders, his teammate NH being the classy person/rider he had always been, kept it inside the team tent and went on to luckily win the title in 06' !!! Ancient ??!! yeah maybe... relevant??!! I believe it to still be.... insignificant history in his hypocritical attitude towards MM ???!! no way !!!!

I have always been amazed by DP's riding ability and have always been in amazement watching him on the track, it's his off track attitude and lack of humility that has been and will continue to keep me from being a true fan of his.... one I am sure he won't miss either. He has had 7 yrs to do what MM is on track to do in just 1, sometimes it isn't about the way you ride David, sometimes it's about the attitude and humility that you carry on the way to your goal - which is why I still believe NH EARNED his title and DP still has yet to EARN his own.....

Total votes: 96

Attitude and humility?

I ain't a great fan of Pedrosa, but who wouldn't want to be a golden boy of Honda? Having won three back-to-back championships through 125 and 250 classes would he deserve any less? Anyone would have considered him a super-talent based on how he's performed in the lower classes and given him equipment accordingly. Who else could Honda have hired in Pedrosa's place in these eight years (considering that Lorenzo wasn't available)?

Some of the best people you come across in life won't be the most affable ones. They'll in fact be downright harsh on you because they have come up the hard way and would not really bother about others who haven't been through the grind in life. For a guy who's had a body broken in so many places it's not easy to be able to get back on the 260 bhp bike again and again and achieve the things he's been achieving.

If you have a manager who's stood by you since the time you have been in the sport and made sure you have all the equipment you need, would you really care to go against him? Yes Puig can get on people's nerves but there's a reason Dorna looks to him for talent.

Speaking of humility, Dani always takes care to mention his fans. And where did Nicky's so called humility really leave him? He's shared the garage with three GP champions and it's always been the other side of the garage that's mainly called the shots. There's a reason people like Puig and Suppo and Brivio exist.

And speaking of Marquez, it wasn't just Aragon that he was referring to. Pedrosa is lucky to have escaped the fairing bashing that overtakes involving Marquez are generally subject to but that doesn't mean he doesn't know an inherently aggressive rider from a gentlemanly one. Pedrosa is remembered for just that one pass but by no means was he as aggressive as Marquez even back then. Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner have all had their fair share of aggressive riding during their days in the lower classes, but mismanaging a 260 bhp machine can be a nightmare.

All riders sulk in front of the media when the going isn't good for them. Including the so called greats. Dani has a real sour patch face and he can't help that. He isn't really good at elocution either. That doesn't mean he doesn't have the attitude or the killer instinct. He's just not as good as the other rider. That doesn't mean he doesn't give it all or has a shortcoming in personality.

Hayden, god bless his soul, would have been nowhere had he not been a known face in the US bike market and had Yamaha not had an onslaught of mechanical failures in 2006. What did gulping down his complaints fetch Nicky? For what it's worth, Dani did up his game whenever it was needed and added precision to his riding whenever there was a new adversary he knew was at least as good or better than him.

Total votes: 74

Kudos - all good points !!!

"Speaking of humility, Dani always takes care to mention his fans. And where did Nicky's so called humility really leave him? He's shared the garage with three GP champions and it's always been the other side of the garage that's mainly called the shots"

the fact that NH did not come from the GP background w/o a PUIG in his corner should bolster the argument that his 06' title was even that much more of a feat considering that he was never HRC's golden boy. His championship #1 bike he rode in 07' resembled more of a pit bike in size compared to the word champion that was on it (obviously set up to a much smaller Spanish rider)... I have always respected Pedrosa's ability when he is on the track, he is truly one of the aliens of this era... I'm a loyalist though and will always be in NH's corner regardless so that tends to lead me in being biased, the statement from you above speaks even larger of NH's accomplishment and why I respect his "so called humility" that he has that championship to show for it vs the one DP still has yet to obtain, even w all DP has accomplished.

I will give DP respect in that he bounced back and dominated Sepang following his get off @ Aragon, I personally was a fan of the 12' Pedrosa that had seemed to lose that chip - I am a Honda boy @ heart and would still like to see him finally get one, I think he has lost his opportunity though - more MOTO2 boys coming up means more rubbin' and I don't see DP's chances improving ....

Total votes: 48

Not underrating

I'm not underrating Nicky's achievements. I too am of the opinion that he truly deserved the '06 championship, whatever the reasons he won it for. I too feel that Dani might have lost his last chance. Just that I feel it becomes too much of a stretch to judge these guys' mentalities when we aren't in their shoes.

Total votes: 46

Pol Espargaro

First time poster here. I would have to disagree with your assessment of Philip Island favoring Redding. Last year Pol destroyed the field at PI, so I think it would be hard to bet against him. The rider/bike weight rule will certainly help Redding though!

Total votes: 59

Absolutely!

Yes I have been bemused by a couple of comments on this site recently, which have rated Redding's chances of beating Pol at PI higher than elsewhere. Last year Pol was as far ahead of the rest of the field in Moto2 as CS27 was in GP. I feel sorry for Redding and I'm not thrilled about another Spanish champion, but I think Pol will be Moto2 champ.

Total votes: 61

Redding is a fantastic rider,

Redding is a fantastic rider, but he is just too big for moto2.

Total votes: 47

Bike racing is a mental contact sport decided by speed.

That's the lesson I have got form the past GPs.

Which is also what explains Pedrosa's relentlessness in some GPs and odd lack of agression on the others. If only he had been so bent on winning, or at least beating Marquez, at Qatar, Assen, Brno, Silverstone...

Wether he ever planned it is unclear, but Marquez has clearly become a very special adversary for Lorenzo and Pedrosa. A little more and they risk obssessing with him, like Biaggi once did with Rossi. And that may end in extremely bitter defeat.

Total votes: 53

Insignificant piece of ancient history?

If you intend to suggest that the Hayden incident shouldn't be used as a defining moment in Pedrosa's career, then that's fair and reasonable. But then if people could get over such things, they would also likely not be so busy judging Marquez based in part on incidents from his time in Moto2. '...Marquez must be stopped, because, Wilairot!...'

But it is certainly not historically insignificant given how it changed the rest of that race, and the season. Watching Toni Freaking Elias run down and battle Rossi and his blocker from 11th on the grid to capture his first MotoGP win at the line, and save his job and Hayden's season in the process was probably the most entertaining race and the most inspired ride I've ever seen.

And it was Pedrosa who made that bizarre scenario possible. So give the guy a little credit. Sometimes a thrill of victory moment requires someone else's agony of defeat.

Anyways, if you want to speculate why DP is unloved, maybe you don't have to look much further than his little pal Puig.

Total votes: 72

poor attitudes

I think it's because all of the headlines I've been reading lately but I feel like my focus ended up on some of the poor attitudes that came out of the races on Sunday. Lorenzo clearly made contact with Marquez on at least one or two occasions - not that it even matters much especially given what MM has dished out, but Lorenzo denies contact? Pedrosa living in the "what could have been" mindset... but you know it has become more clear to me as I try to put myself in their shoes, that Pedrosa and Lorenzo are just a little sore over seeing their opportunities slip away. I can't say that I blame them so much, but come on gentleman.

And what's up with Vinales? Admittedly I have never been a fan since I caught on to his poor attitude, but he clearly side-swiped Jack Miller leading up to the finish line. I watched the clip over and over and it's clear as day. I think losing a place in race finish would be more than fair.

Total votes: 53

that little insignificant incident actually

turned out to be the best thing he could do for NH's WC - in my opinion at least. I was so mad when he punted NH and even more when the excuse was NH should have been going faster. I really felt that was the WC gone. Instead NH entered the last round down a handful of points and he rose to the occassion and in doing so became a WC.

For DP to be castigating MM was dissapointing to say the least, less of a problem for me was the "light touch" (sounds like something quite rude) that Lorenzo conveniently didn't feel or couldn't remember. When two riders are going hammer and tongs side by side it is going to happen and one can argue then that both are at fault. MM may not have been quite so happy to say it was fun if he had come 3rd and I suspect this is where Lorenzo was really coming from.

The drift out to the curb and make Lorenzo brake was as far as I know a perfectly legitimate move - well, I remember Rossi doing it in the past so it must be legit right? :-) It was an excellent dog fight and if it had happened in the first race of the season both riders would likely have had no criticism of each other but more about how much fun it was to ride on the edge. However, we are very close to the pointy end of the season where the opinions and perspectives are very much galvanised by what there is to win/lose.

Overall very exciting but probably does not bode too well for Yamaha next year.

Total votes: 64

does HRC really need Lorenzo?

"....And if the Yamaha is no match for the Honda in 2014, then Jorge Lorenzo is likely to defect at the end of next season. He knows he has his hands full with Marc Marquez, and being on competitive machinery is crucial if he is to beat the youngster. Without a better bike, Yamaha loses Lorenzo, and without Lorenzo, Yamaha have no hope against Honda"

you have to wonder the wisdom of Honda if they drop DP for JL. Lets face it, MM will most likely improve on his performance this year and come out even more dominant in 2014. Barring injury, bad machine etc he will be the 2014 champion (touchwood). So that leaves Dani Pedrosa battling JL for no.2 position. Even if DP comes in world number 3 in 2014, chances are Honda will still win the team and manufacturers cup along with the riders (MM). Exactly what they want. So why on earth would they decide to drop DP? im hoping that as long as DP wants the Repsol job he can stay there, provided he can still give MM and JL a run for their money. I just cant see Honda being happy with tantrums in their garage, like what JL exhibits from time to time when things aren't going right. And is there a need for someone to challenge MM? in their view? whats to say MM gets tired of Honda bending for JL and defects to Yamaha ala Rossi style? itll be a double slap on the face for Honda! As i see it, Its not healthy having the two best riders in the world right now in the same garage, its bound to create friction with someone defecting to a rival team sooner rather than later..

Total votes: 55

'having two best riders in the world in the same garage..."

You're also describing the most successful years of Yamaha, arguably in their whole moto gp history. For the 3 seasons Rossi and Lorenzo were paired together, Yamaha won the Constructors' World Championship, each time by a landslide.

If Lorenzo is available I can't see how Honda doesn't try to dress a "dream team".

Total votes: 48

your right but...

Dani pedrosa has been the common man in the three consecutive years Honda will win the constructors (2013 included). Hes also been the number 2 to three champions in his team now (NH, CS and most likely MM) Its all working well atm for HRC isnt it? i guess i just dont understand the need to dump him in the name of domination. If its not broken why fix it? The only reason i can see Dani leaving is if he feels he isnt getting the same bits as MM, which i don't think has happened so far.

Total votes: 44

Why taking Lorenzo ?

The essence of sport, the more competition the faster you race I guess ? But I agree, it's all sunny in Asaka at the moment :)

Total votes: 53

At the preseason tests last

At the preseason tests last year everyone had predicted Casey would smoke everyone and claim another title. It was a foregone conclusion. That was until Indy however. Honda is a manufacturer that wants to win and also demoralize any other factory competing. I wouldn't discount them trying to sign Lorenzo! Let's not forget they tried to throw a ton of money to Casey to get him to stay, and they were plenty ready to dump Pedrosa on the sidewalk!

Total votes: 44

bang on, and next year we

bang on, and next year we have the control ECU. Since the electronics play such a big part these days, who knows who will come up with the best solution the quickest. Your right though, MM winning next year isnt just a foregone conclusion

Total votes: 44

tantrums?

"I just cant see Honda being happy with tantrums in their garage, like what JL exhibits from time to time when things aren't going right."

I guess you've never met Mr. Puig then and the headaches he is known to have
caused within the Honda garage over the years.

Total votes: 67

on the money there

I reckon it's much more likely mm will go to Yamaha in 2 or 3 years than jl to honda!; why? Because that's what his hero (vr) did and I see mm following in his footsteps, with vr's blessing.

Total votes: 44

Lorenzo

Just a few words about the reception Lorenzo got at Sepang. He was loudly booed by all sections of the local fans at the race which puzzled me a bit. Why would the do that? On the other hand, Vale was loudly cheered any time he appeared on the screens or passed the stands.
Sepang is now as important as Mugello or Barcelona to Motogp. The atmosphere is great, the circuit superb and the fans really appreciate the racing. A great weekend - again.

Total votes: 65

not getting deleted, and this here article

i thought david was fair in explaining jorges disfavor of marky marq, not for sure, but if i was hanging out in the paddock and knew a bunch of people that were reading my article i admit , i might have to hold back some, especially if you want to try an get some info on that silly season stuff. i have not been deleted yet.. if i get deleted its deserved i am sure.

Total votes: 47

Holding back

I never hold back out of fear of what others in the paddock might think. There is no point, as you lose the respect of all. I have had periods when all of the manufacturers and Dorna have been difficult with me after things I have written, but it's part of the job.

Because there are only 24 hours in a day, I cannot cover everything. I try to pick and choose what I believe are the most important and relevant parts of the weekend, but I always miss more than I manage to report.

Total votes: 47

Augean stables

Perfect metaphor. I love it!

Total votes: 49

2015: Same Factory-Riders, Same Factory-Teams...

Jarvis won't let Jorge go anywhere else so JL99 will remain at Yamaha with Rossi on extended 1year contracts. Just enough time for the JL99 and VR46 to see if Yamaha can create an M1 that's competitive with the RCV. Yamaha should be working on a V4-engine like Honda/Ducati. Yamaha already has an interesting 3 cylinder engine in the works. Anyway back to the race... Marquez showed the world how an RCV can and should be ridden! MM looked as though he was riding a wild bull and having a good old time doing so. After the final pass on Jorge, Marc's braking technique into the following corner was just bananas. The RCV was twisted up, leg was out , foot skimming the ground... and Marquez still made the corner! Fantastic Talent. Jorge knew he rubbed Marc a couple times and he enjoyed the battle too. We all should be eagerly waiting to see what Marquez can really do after the pressure of winning the title is done.

Total votes: 51

Dani - he's great as long as nothing's on the line

And once again, Pedrosa's able to run away from the field....now that he's out of the title hunt. Please please please get this guy off the cherished factory Honda seat. He may be fast, but he's totally undeserving of this ride for however many seasons he's now held it. The man has talent no doubt, but he's just unable to produce when it really counts.

And did you see the start? Pedrosa got no better launch than anyone else, but once they were all "on the pipe" and ripping through the gears, notice how 110 pound, rich mixture Pedrosa rips the paint off everyone else. Sickening. If motogp had a rider+bike minimum weight Dani would be back there with Bradl and Bautista.

Cut Jorge some slack with his hypocritical post race comments. You're witnessing a public temper tantrum by a guy who believed he was, and so badly wanted to be, the heir apparent to Rossi. Just look at his early on aping of Rossi's signature victory celebrations. He only got two titles before the true prodigal son appeared. Granted, he's on the best bike, but still, when he takes the title his first go out, what hope do you have to compete with him once he's fully up to speed? It's got to be demoralising. Poor Jorge.

Total votes: 79

The revered Stoner was

The revered Stoner was brought up through the ranks by none other than ... guess who, Puig.

In a business where relationships are ended and riders fired on whims, there is something nice about the fact that Puig has stood by his rider and friend Pedrosa for so long.

And if HRC really would do anything for Pedrosa, why in the world did HRC let Stoner come back at PI last year and force Dani to race him when, had Stoner sat out the race, Dani would have had a much better shot at the title?

'nuff said.

Total votes: 51

I don't get the Pedrosa hate really.

I may understand why people dislike the likes of Stoner and Lorenzo but I don't remember having to say a bad thing about Dani Pedrosa, since Estoril 2006 probably. He maybe lacks a bit of something to make himself a world champion material but he's one of the 3,4 guys that can win a race every year. I'd be damned to be one of these guys ;).

In relation to his weight advantage, it ends each time he has to stop the bike on the brakes, right there he wished he would weight a few more pounds.

Total votes: 72

would have to agree that

this has kind of degenerated into a JL/DP/MM/CS (and to a lesser extent VR) why or why not argument. If you cut to the chase though, as a factory team do you put your money one a high risk hot shot or safe bet either way on the tried an proven 2-4 wins per season rider?

DP would have to be the closest rider to a WC but without actually having a WC.

Doohan hadn't won a race until his 3rd year but at that time HRC had 3 "factory" bikes (even if they were not exactly equal). They showed a lot of patience there and perhaps if the rules would allow (or the wanker riders would stop insisting on being in the factory as opposed to being on a satellite bike that had full factory support) they could do so again. At the moment though you need to hedge your bets, first rider gets injured then you need a race winner and at the same time you want to win the manufacturers champ so the choices are both obvious and limited.

Total votes: 44

Riders in general

I just don't get the whole this rider does or does not deserve their ride comment thing from what are probably a lot of keyboard warriors who've never even been on a track.
All of those competitors deserve their rides because they are for the most part the best of the best. I don't care how "boring" the races supposedly are I think it's a privilege to see these people ride.
So Lorenzo's playing mind games.....so what they've all had a go at that.
I also feel that Marquez is the most most exciting rider to have come along for a while. I also think that his riding is so over the edge it's ridiculous and at the same time strangely graceful. The criticisms he has earned for bad/dangerous moves differs I think because of the way he almost rams his objective in quite clearly (to me) out of control moments. different in a lot of ways to a bit of harmless fairing bashing, which you see a lot of in other classes or last race.
But hey I must be easily impressed because Wayne Maxwell went past me at Broadford into Crash corner sideways smoking it up which left me a bit gobsmacked and grinning like an idiot.

Total votes: 57

MM has had his critics here,

and I am certainly one of them...but I have never read or written one word concerning his inability to race someone hard or his overall talent. He has raced all year side by side and shown himself to be tremendously skilled at it.What JL and he engaged in on Sunday was hard racing. What he and JL engaged in on the last lap tussle which JL won was hard racing. Banging fairings and elbows is a part of the game...Any and all criticism of MM,from JL and others has been of his seeming obliviousness to other riders in non racing/strategic situations and his failure to alter his braking points to fit circumstances...and his (near) blasting into them,usually sliding to a near crash and slim avoidance,other than t-boning JL and clipping Dani,when there was no reason to even engage him at that point...,and of course his head up his ass at Donnington. Sunday was an example of MM and JL at their best. MM has earned his impending Title by displaying his tremendous skill and enthusiasm.He has earned his criticism from immaturity and youthful ignorance. Sunday he displayed nothing but the best in a racer.....hats off to him and his success.....

Total votes: 62

MM has had his critics

Well said! In style MM and JL are for me polar opposites and their respective machinery is better at different things but MM really matured in my eyes at Sepang.

Total votes: 48

What if...

...JL moved to HRC in 2014 and Yamaha were so desperate, they lured CS in...? Anything in his contract with HRC...? Apart from his own refusal to get back into the circus...

Total votes: 53

A lot of the problems with MotoGP......

A lot of the problems with MotoGP come from people obsessing over things they don't see as 'RIGHT'
Time to get over yourselves!

There used to be a time when a race happened, it used to get discussed down the pub & that was it!
Now we have to 'like' riders or they have to have a personality & we have know the in's & out's of a rats arse!

Please can those people go & watch 'Big Brother' or 'The only way is Essex'!

Knowing too much can be very painful!

Total votes: 59

Great Race

That was another fine race. Watching Dani channel his frustration into a win felt like a monkey off my back, so I know it must have been good for him.

However, I am one of the people still angry at him for Estoril 2006, and yes it is still valid. Yes Marquez touched him and Pedrosa went down the last race, but A. Marquez did not mean to hit him and has shown ALOT more respect to him in this rookie year than Pedrosa showed to Hayden even though Marquez has shown to be a SUPERIOR rider on a mental and physical level than Pedrosa has ever shown. B. Pedrosa in his rookie year had NO respect for Hayden (because he did have less talent), but Hayden DID beat Pedrosa. Fact. That is why reading, (not actually witnessing, and also hearing from commentators), that Pedrosa was reading the riot act to Marquez incensed the mess out of me. Pedrosa is no longer a little boy, he can talk to him behind closed doors man to man about it. Personally, hitting Hayden the way he did in 2006 was WAY worse than the small touch that Marquez did to him. Absolutely no punishment given. If Marquez hit Pedrosa the same way, there would have been calls by fans, racers, people in the paddock to BAN Marquez for at least one race. Not dock A point, not start from the back of the grid, not start from the pitlane. There would have been screams and threats from Puig to BAN Marquez for at least one race or face some type of legal action.

Pedrosa is as talented as Marquez and Lorenzo, but mentally he is not there. I even root for Pedrosa from time to time, but this constant bitching about the bike, the riders, all comes back to him. If it is everything around you wrong it must be you. Until he clears out the excuses and cuts to the point, he will never be a world champion. Marquez whether you like him or not has had every goddamn trick and situation in the book thrown at him this year and he STILL is winning. Leads Lorenzo and Pedrosa by 40 some points. Pedrosa bitched about the bike in 2010, Stoner comes in and says that bike is smooth, wins. Hayden....not considered to be the fastest and Pedrosa is believed to be the superior talent, loses. Three people have won on that bike, he still has not and probably never will. if he needs to blame or bitch about something or someone, he needs to look in the mirror. It took an accident to bring out the winning side of him.

I am done ranting, but just could not let this go.

Marquez and Lorenzo are set to be rivals in the future. Lorenzo has a solid belief and mentality that only is matched by Marquez. Marquez has the talent and mentality to become potentially the greatest of all time. His mess ups seem to inspire greater determination in people, (see Pol Espargaro last year, Pedrosa this last race).

Total votes: 51

glad you don't hold back

glad you don't hold back david, good for you to speak your truth

Total votes: 50

This isn't the first time

This isn't the first time Lorenzo has been a hypocrite. I agree with those who mention he bemoans hard passes and is happy to dish them out. He is, to me, a hypocrite on such matters. I forget what race it was, about 2 years ago, in 2011, where he was lighting someone up, probably Simoncelli, in the pre-event press conference about hard passing, how it was dangerous, etc, etc, really going out of his way to complain. Then in the first few laps of the race two days later he banged fairings with someone for a pass he put in.

There will always be contact in this sport and racing in general. Riders/drivers are paid top salaries to perform, and try to win....therefore, at times, there will always be two humans trying to occupy the same piece of tarmac and contact will happen.

Total votes: 59

Dani

Insignificant? really?

Total votes: 50

Jorge's riding around the

Jorge's riding around the yamahas problems better than the other yam riders? The yamaha has been designed to suit his style which is different to most other riders(have they learnt nothing from ducati?). Where as the other riders are giving away huge chunks of time on a bike that is poor in braking and turn in, as a direct result of Jorges requirements.
If they can't out accelerate the honda and can't outbrake them where are they going to pass?? mid corner?? Time to bin Jorges dream bike and get back to what they do best. A neutral bike that is very strong in braking and turn in, as it was only a few seasons ago. Till then all yamaha riders but one are handicapped. Can't think of another rider on the grid that rides like Jorge and there is part of the problem/answer. Your teamates can't help Jorge, because you bike is designed to act against their strengths.

Total votes: 44

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