2015 Mugello Sunday MotoGP Round Up: False Starts, Italian Pride, And Honda's Predicament, Again

Mugello is always a little magical, but packed to the rafters with delirious fans, it becomes something greater than just a race track. Over 90,000 fans turned up in Tuscany on Sunday, up 20% from last year on the back of the renaissance of Valentino Rossi and of Ducati, complete with two Italian riders. Something special was always going to happen here.

It certainly did, but perhaps not in the way the fans had hoped. Valentino Rossi did not score the dream victory in front of the ecstatic yellow hordes which packed the hillsides, nor did Ducati finally get the elusive win they have been chasing since 2010. But the MotoGP was packed with excitement and incident, the Moto3 race was a typical Mugello classic, and even Moto2 had some tension down to the final lap. Those who came got their money's worth.

The MotoGP race may have ended much as you might have predicted based on pace in practice, but the journey to Jorge Lorenzo’s third utterly dominant win in a row was a lot more intriguing than the results suggest, with drama right from the start. Literally: Andrea Iannone made what looked at first glance like a jump start – though not as blatant as Karel Abraham's – and Marc Márquez threaded the needle from thirteenth on the grid to make up seven places before the exit of the first corner. And did so surgically and cleanly.

But first that Iannone start. So convinced that the Italian had jumped the gun were HRC that they sent someone up to Race Direction to complain that they were not doing their job. Race Director Mike Webb was able to show them that they were doing just that, by going through the footage. He explained to me the process: there are high-speed cameras on each row and on the lights, capturing the start at a rate of several hundred frames a second. After the start, a dedicated official responsible for all of the video reviews goes over the starts, and checks for a jump start. If one is spotted, such as Karel Abraham's lurch forward, then a penalty is issued. That must be done within the first four laps, to make it fairer on the offender.

They looked at Iannone's start a number of times, but it came down to luck. Going through frame by frame, they could see that on the final frame where the starting light was red, Iannone was still in place. On the next, where the color of the light was changing, indicating that Webb had taken his finger off the starting light button, Iannone was moving. Could Iannone have anticipated the start that well? Absolutely not. "He's the luckiest rider on the grid," Webb said. Iannone told the Italian media he had been holding the bike on the front brake waiting for the lights to go out, but the clutch had started pushing him forward. He started moving involuntarily, but by chance it was just as the lights had been turned out. It was not so much that he got a perfect start, as he mistimed his jump start. If Iannone moves a hundredth of a second earlier, he is coming in for a ride through penalty.

That Honda, along with many fans, believe that Iannone made a jump start is hardly surprising. The lights have clearly not gone dark while he is moving away from the grid. The problem is that Mugello still has a slightly older starting light installation, which uses incandescent spotlight bulbs. That means that when Mike Webb takes his finger off the start button, cutting power to the lights, they do not immediately go dark. It takes several hundredths of a second for the filament to cool and lose its glow, color fading from the lights, rather than going dark straight away. At a newer circuit, which tend to use LED lights, the transition is much sharper. There would have been far fewer question marks over the start if it had happened at, say, Aragon.

While Iannone's start raised a few eyebrows, Marc Márquez' had people holding their breath. Fears had been expressed of what might happen into the first corner with the world champion coming through from thirteenth. They needn't have worried: Márquez sliced with absolute precision inside and outside of the riders in front, gaining seven places by the exit of the first turn, and another two by the end of the first lap. The Repsol Honda man was determined to make amends for his miserable qualifying, which had seen him stuck in Q1 after strong laps from Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez.

For the first few laps, Márquez held his own at the front, looking set for a podium, and a chance to keep his championship hopes alive. But those first laps were deceptive, an artifact of having the new rear tire providing the grip Márquez needs to brake into the corner and get the bike turned. As rear grip dropped off, and the rear tire started sliding uncontrollably, Márquez was having to use the front end more and more to turn the bike. The front wheel became a pivot, and despite fitting the hard front tire, eventually the front started to lose grip until at last it let go. Down Márquez went, and out of the race, his gap to the leaders increasing to 49 points. That is starting to look like an insurmountable problem for the Spaniard.

Despite the crash, there were positive aspects to come from Mugello, Márquez explained. "One good thing was that in the first laps we had the speed with the new tire," he said. "When I had the support on the rear I am riding really well and I feel really good with the bike. The problem is with the used tire, for example in the first laps at Jerez I was able to follow Lorenzo but when the tire dropped a little bit I was sliding in entry and it was more difficult. When I go into the corner I am sliding too much so I push a lot on the front and then when I use the brakes I cannot stop the bike as the slide continues and makes it difficult."

Marc Márquez was not alone in his travails. Cal Crutchlow fitted the same hard front tire, and found the limit on it on lap 21. It let go at a place you don't want it too, at the Arrabbiata corners. After a big crash in warm up, where Crutchlow banged his head and his hand, he then got caught up with his bike in the race crash, dislocating his ankle and taking another beating. It is a tough time to be a Honda rider at the moment.

It is a great time to be racing a Yamaha, however. Jorge Lorenzo thanked his team, and especially Ramon Forcada, for giving him a perfect bike during the race. Lorenzo gave a masterclass demonstration of just how perfect that bike is, dusting up the two factory Ducati men, before making a break to take the lead. Once he had the lead, he did not relinquish it. After the fourth lap, the result was never in doubt, the only question just how big a margin Lorenzo would win by.

Lorenzo invited crew chief Forcada up onto the podium with him, to receive the manufacturers trophy. It was an expression of the debt Lorenzo feels he owes to Forcada, and also to show him that he had been missed during his brief absence on Friday. Forcada had been away for personal reasons, relating to his family, and Lorenzo had missed him keenly. Though the bike did not change much between Friday and Saturday, when Forcada made his return, he did enough to make Lorenzo feel at ease, and when he is at ease, he is unbeatable.

The winner may never have been doubt, the battle for 2nd was enthralling. At first, it was Márquez versus the two Ducatis, the three men jockeying for position in anticipation of the final lap. But first Andrea Dovizioso dropped out with a technical problem, the rear sprocket shedding teeth and becoming totally destroyed. He had had a vibration, Dovizioso explained, and it had become just too difficult to continue. It had been a very tough day in the office for the Italian, after he had also crashed in the morning warm up, being thrown off the bike by a cold Bridgestone, after spending the first half of the lap waving to the adoring crowds.

It had been pretty tough for his factory teammate Andrea Iannone, but the Italian came away with much greater rewards. Iannone put up a ferocious battle to defend second place, fighting off all comers, including Marc Márquez, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. Riding with a fractured elbow, and still having trouble with a shoulder injury picked up at a Mugello test, Iannone held his own, and returned as good as he got in the battle with Márquez. "It's an incredible day for me," Iannone said in the press conference, "It's really special." Iannone had shown exceptional pace, exceptional courage, and extraordinary maturity on the way to second place. The Italian has a reputation for being wild and reckless, a reputation reinforced by his choice of nickname, "The Maniac Joe". Nothing maniacal at Mugello, Iannone was more warrior priest than wild beserker.

Valentino Rossi made it two Italians on the podium, and a welcome sight for the home crowd. But the Movistar Yamaha rider had not made it easy for himself, getting a poor start and then struggling in the early laps of the session. Qualifying in eighth did not help, but his situation was made worse by a poor start and a slow couple of laps in the early stages of the race, Rossi having problems with a full tank of fuel and new tires. As the tires started to wear, so Rossi got faster, eventually running a similar pace to his teammate. But by then, it was way too late. There have been some weekends where Rossi has got everything perfect, going on to take victory at Qatar and in Argentina. And there have been tough weekends like Le Mans or here, where expectations were higher, but where Rossi and his crew simply could not find the right bike set up.

Dani Pedrosa crossed the line in fourth, the Spaniard once again missing out on a podium. Pedrosa wanted to know just how well his arm would survive a race weekend, and Mugello proved that he is well on the way to being fully fit again. Pedrosa also got a slow start, being swamped in the first laps but soon making up ground. Pedrosa had fewer problems with the RC213V than Márquez did, but he said there was clearly room for improvement. "From the race, I could see that we have a lot more spinning than the others, either Ducati or Yamaha, so this is one point to improve," Pedrosa said. Fourth is what the Honda looks capable of at the moment, Mugello being the second race in a row without a single Honda on the podium.

Asked what he would like to improve, Pedrosa said the main thing was that it needs to be more consistent and easier to ride throughout the entire duration of the race. "One of the crucial points for the bike is that you can ride the bike for many laps, because MotoGP is physically demanding," Pedrosa told reporters. "So it's important that you can go fast, but you can keep that fast line. At the moment, now, it's sometimes difficult to make the same braking, the same corner speed, the same entry, because one lap you have more spinning, or more sideways into the turn. So we have to improve a little bit in that point, to make the riding a little bit more constant. This will also give the rider more confidence."

Perhaps the most intriguing battle was between Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. The Tech 3 teammates are engaged in a fierce internecine battle for supremacy in the squad. Both men are out of contract at the end of this year, and neither man has anything else obvious on the horizon. Smith has upped his game in 2015, scoring consistent results and running rock solid races. Espargaro has not made the step forward he had hoped to make this season, but has still shown signs of his talent. Smith emerged victorious once again from the scrap, but Espargaro was pleased to have been able to catch his teammate. Pol is only just recovered from arm pump surgery, and had had an enforced layoff from training of ten days, something which never sits well with racers. Espargaro had closed the gap at the end of the race, but it had been Smith who prevailed.

Maverick Viñales is also worthy of note. Suzuki had feared this would be one of their worst tracks, Viñales had told reporters, and so to finish seventh was a great result. The Spanish rookie has been impressive from the word go, and has learned to ride a MotoGP bike in very short order. With Aleix Espargaro not finishing the last two races, Viñales now leads his teammate. Espargaro was once again unlucky, being taken out by Danilo Petrucci in the opening laps. That was deemed a racing incident: Petrucci had been trying to brake to make the first corner, but the gearbox was not letting him downshift. It left him running too hot into the first corner, and smacking into the side of Aleix Espargaro. It was a deeply unfortunate incident, and terrible for Espargaro, but not something Petrucci could do a whole lot about.

With so much happening in MotoGP, the events of Moto2 and Moto3 will have to wait for another day. Mugello served up too good a dish to use it all in a single sitting.

Total votes: 130
Total votes: 77

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Comments

"So convinced that the Italian had jumped the gun were HRC that they sent someone up to Race Direction to complain that they were not doing their job."

Total votes: 130

Great write-up David as usual. One minor correction, Crazy Joe injured his shoulder at the private Mugello test not Le Mans

Total votes: 92

I really cant listen to another race broadcast of his.

1. Iannone had a dislocated shoulder and a fracture in the elbow. Not a fractured shoulder.

2. Stop referring to Lorenzo as a 'party-pooper," what are we, like 12?

3. Are we even looking at the same screens? Passes seem to go completely unnoticed, both from the timing screens and the broadcast, yet you cant even double check your positions before mouthing something out.

4. Stop exaggerating meaningless words.

5. Every race is going to be "a real cracker!". WE KNOW.

Total votes: 199

Stop asking Lorenzo dumb questions. Especially those pertaining to his "ALL OF A SUDDEN" change in form. The look on Jorge's face is near priceless as another reporter asks him if he is "finally at his top form." No offense to Dylan Gray, who I'm praying is being groomed to replace Nick Harris.

Apparently 2010 and 2012 are far too distant memories for anyone in the entertainment business.

Maybe ask him how he feels closing the gap to VR46 to just 6 points, and the possibility that he could take Championship #3 in front of a dejected MM and become the most dominant spanish rider in GP again, you'll get that Lorenzo smile instead of that look of "i can't believe I've just been insulted again."

Back to my favorite dartboard target Nick, stop pre-phasing a question to Jorge in the pre-event press conference referencing what Vale has already said, and then what Marc has already said. Ask him a question geared towards the individual and maybe you'll get a clever, intelligent answer.

Total votes: 163

where I decided a few races back to constantly mute the commentaries just to hear ambient sounds (website subscribers). Harris bringing nothing to the table despite being so long-winded is making really worth it. I feel bad for the guy, pretty sure Harris is a good person but he's been doing this job for far too long, the fans and himself, we seem to all need a change of scenery.

Total votes: 141

Nothing like having Espargaro mis-pronounced ess-pa-garo followed by es-par-garo not one minute later. I can' see having problems with some of the riders outside the top ten in Moto3 & Moto2, but there is ZERO excuse for screwing up the pronunciation of a MotoGP rider. ZERO.

Sure they're better than the former "Speed" announcers, but only just.

Total votes: 111

"Sure they're better than the former "Speed" announcers, but only just."

Ouch, that's setting the bar pretty low... in fact you might just have to dig a few inches under the dirt to find it.

Total votes: 103

"Lets go to Greg White in the pits for a 2 minute interlude in the middle of the race for a lesson on rider knee pucks."

If there was ever a TV station that was too stupid to live then it was Speed TV.

I used to twitch uncontrollably as the Nascar type position ticker ran across the screen.

Now it's the Elmer Fudd girl on BT sports that makes me twitch - that and all the extrapolated BS about how terrible the Honda is around here.

Total votes: 91

. . . it's nice to be continually reminded about Rossi's age and the speed down the main straight in both KPH and MPH. I enjoy Nick's unique insights into a rider's thinking, "He's absolutely desperate to get past," and, "He's afraid Lorenzo will get away at the front." Amazing stuff for mortals such as we. As for humour, how about at Mugello, "Deja VU over again." We'd miss him.

Total votes: 113

"jorge Lorenzo, exactly where he wants to be [at the front], now he will start reeling off those very fast and consistent laps and he will put the message back to the Ducati's, Marquez, "can you run this pace throughout the race, because you know, that I can!""

Total votes: 108

be thankful for a small mercy if Brno is dropped. Harris has never, never been bothered to pronounce it correctly, calling it BRUNO. Should have been refused entry into CZ.

I have to endure the Harris commentary here; from the beginning of last year, I simply muted the motoGp commentary out - due to respect for my TV. I DID turn on the commentary for a few seconds and after one 'AB-SO-LUTELY', 'A MASTERCLASS' and a 'plunging down' in about 20 seconds, muted again before I got the '9-times World Champion' comment.

The man is a complete and utter twat.

Total votes: 127

So spot on. You have my stomach in a knot from laughing so hard.

Total votes: 93

Australia's CH10 pretty much canned their motorsport coverage.

I don't hate Nick, but I think it time for him to move on to something else.

Daryl Beattie would be brilliant at it, assuming he is available and wanted it.

Total votes: 91

The three of them do a fine job, IMO. Lots of nitpicking comments here that really amount to nothing of true substance. The entire coverage deserves an A+ grade from me.

Total votes: 123

You might think you want an analytical genius behind the play-by-play mic, but you don't. We were all spoiled by having Moody behind the Eurosport microphone, with Jules alongside, but finding someone with equal parts professionalism, insight, and excitement is rare.

If you're forced to choose between an anorak and a Harris/Heuwen-type, the latter is preferable. The problem with Dorna's official commentary team is that they always hire two versions of Nick Harris. They have no Spalding or Ryder to keep the commentary balanced for the serious fans. Nick Harris is probably not to blame for this hiring practice. Plus, if you get rid of Harris, and you hire some heavily-starched Oxford shirt to say all the right things, you lose virtually all historical insight that comes with a commentator who was actually there when the events transpired.

Total votes: 108

he would pair well with a good analytical guy. Your annoyance of him will create a feedback loop of misery for every motogp race this year. Not sure what your other options are but you need help if you are not enjoying these races and are crusading for this nonsense instead.

Total votes: 93

Surgical is not the word I would have used to describe Maquez's run into turn one.
Lorenzo is surgical.

Lucky would be the more correct terminology for Marquez's effort, given the front folding twice under heavy braking while the back was airborne and swinging as he "aimed" up the inside and hoped.

Marquez's run was like Iannone's start. Both looked dubious in real time, with the slo-mo showing just how much "Phwoaaar" factor was involved.

Great effort from Pedrosa. Purposeful, controlled and methodical. Showed exactly why he's still on HRC's payroll.

In regards to the above reply....... I have no idea why Harris is still there.

Total votes: 141

It was not MMs faulth that there was no crash in the first corner. He did EVERYTHING to make a crash happen exept crash himself.

Total votes: 111

Now that did make me laugh. Nice wit.

Total votes: 87

Nick Harris' blunders aside, riding through a recently dislocated shoulder and with a fractured arm, I am awed by the character and guts of AI (as well as most of the grid from that perspective) and his result. Julian Ryder quoted AI over at SOUP as saying even he knew he would not be a contender due to injuries.

Beyond that, are we watching a transformation in front of our eyes? Of all the compliments I have for AI, consistency was historically not one of them. However, he seems to have really gelled with what appears to be an awesome machine and while he loves a good scrap, and can give as good as he gets, I believe of late he is showing himself to be more in control than is his double-world champion contemporary. I understand that MM is fighting his bike, but I am referencing his lack of judgement and questionable passing, etc, over the years.

I have to think Dovi is a great teammate/mentor in that respect (and being on the receiving end of advice from and friends with VR doesn't hurt either).

My only armchair criticism/observation for him was the number of times he followed an out of control MM (after his tires went) in too deep and allowed himself to blow a few entries. (Easy for me to say doing approximately 0 mph on my couch).

I see a lot of Super Sic 58 in him, but he is maturing on track a bit more quickly. I call him a future race winner and world champion if he can keep himself in check.

FORZA, MANIAC!

Total votes: 126

I agree. I'm very impressed by his riding. But since when did sportspeople get to choose their own nicknames? It's Crazy Joe!

Total votes: 101

Iannone is once again the racer of the day for me. Riding with an injury and becoming a much more calm and calculated rider showing his growth and maturity along with ambition to keep going at that level warmed my heart. Still think Iannone, not Dovisioso will get Ducati's first win. Do think that Iannone did jump the start though. Dovi is fast, but he seems to always find problems with the bike to hold himself back. This race is a prime example. He could have finished. Maybe not in his position, but he could have finished the race.

Lorenzo was so imperious in this race that they did not even show him. I guess winning a race so far ahead that it looks like he is practicing on the track alone does not make for good viewing.

Tech 3 team, Bradley in particular seem to be doing quite well. Herve Poncharal should get an award for being a Team Boss that seems to help every last rider on his Motogp for that past few years find their maximum potential.

Marquez I am feeling for because he is in a rut right now. Honda will eventually fix the gremlins in the chassis. And there should be no doubt that Marquez, chassis fixed or not will be back with a vengeance.

Rossi... he is going to have to find something in himself to make up for when their setup is not perfect. The Yamaha is arguably the best bike out there right now. So he is really going to have to dig deeper than he ever has in life to find a way to get the speed. He has shown that he does have speed this year. But with Lorenzo back on form Rossi will have to get up to speed even with a bad setup to compete. Otherwise he is going to get trounced by his teammate in a way that will hurt the his fans, and most of all him. But I refuse to write him off.

Total votes: 118

If teeth were coming off the rear sprocket, I think it best he stopped and didn't wait for the chain to come loose, I would have thought. I count that as the right call.

Total votes: 150

Dovi came in and that had a new tire ( and sprocket ) ready. If they had changed it he would be out again in less than 30 seconds all in all and he would have been in the points.

Ok they did not see the missing teeths at first but had that tried to change the wheel they would have spotted it right away.

Bad call from Ducati crew.

Total votes: 105

Can the 8 people who voted 1 star tell me where I was wrong here?

The team HAD a new soft tyre ready and they always change the wheel with the sprocket at the same time.

If they had done so the Ducati would be allright, yes ?

He would problaby be in the points since the last man who got points was some 50+ seconds behind Lorenzo in the end.

So was it a bad call ??

Please enlighten me where I was wrong.

Total votes: 100

by explaining how you would be a better judge as to sending someone back out again than the best motorcycle mechanics in the world?

Total votes: 101

Again. They had the tyre ready.
IF they had swapped it thay would have seen the missing theets.

Now they just looked like the second best mechanics in the world:)

I race bikes myself AND have been a machanic for several national, european AND world champions in Motorcycle dragracing as having been Norwegian champion in Dragracing so I am no idiot behing the spanner myself ( well ... that is maybye only in my head :(:) )

Total votes: 93

if the chain had been sliding over the sprocket, it was suspect. a new sprocket was only half of what they needed, they needed a new chain as well, and that takes a minute or more to do. sorry, you are wrong.

Total votes: 104

Swapping a wheel would not be enough. As others have pointed out already, they had no idea what other damage their was. They would have had to check the chain thoroughly, as well as the front sprocket, to see what damage had been done. To be safe, they would really have had to change the chain and front sprocket as well. You simply cannot risk a damaged chain locking the rear wheel at 360km/h down Mugello's front straight. And the stresses on the chain from 270hp are likely to cause a weakened chain to break. Swapping a tire is possible, swapping a chain would have taken minutes. By that time, Dovizioso has next to no chance of scoring points, unless a lot of riders crash out.

Dovizioso came to Mugello to try to win. That was lost.

Also, for a sprocket to fail is really surprising. They use a new chain and sprocket set every couple of sessions, and they almost never fail. Something so unusual first needs analysis before they can be certain what happens.

Total votes: 104

Besides put wear and tear on the equipment, and subject the rider to the possibility of injury for 0 points (likely), what else would Ducati accomplish?

Plus, when you have an equipment failure, it's usually best to step back, and see if you can figure out how much of your equipment is effected.

Total votes: 101

I cant see Marquez or Rossi give up like that but Dovi... any day of the week. Thats why he has never been a champion in MotoGP and why he will not be this year either.... to bad.

( I remember Le Mans a few years ago where Rossi pitted more than once....... Marques has also started dead last and not given a fxxxk and stil won.... )

Total votes: 95

Still nobody has given me an explanation...

Again I say that they had not seen the failure in the sprocket ( the broken teeth was problaby hidden by the chain ) but to change the tyre would be the easiest thing in the world and THEN that would see that the theet were missing ( unless it was Stewie Wonder and Ray Charles doing the wrencing ).

To do nothing and just stare at the bike is just.... well wrong.
They didnt know if it was anything like a spun rear tyre.

And Dovi would have known it was OK even before he had left pit lane..

I still claim that this was a MAJORE fuck up by the crew and by Dovi. I think he was the one who said: No way I am riding this POS.

But there is another explanation and that is that the missing teeth is just a coverup... Like Elvis death....

:)

Total votes: 114

Did you not see Dovi motoring around the last lap with his hand up, staying off the racing line, and letting everyone past? He would have easily been 30-40sec behind Lorenzo before he even entered the pits.

Throw in the prospect of a stressed chain from jumping teeth and chance of smashing a set of engine cases thereby losing one of your precious engines and it's a no brainer to park it up.

Total votes: 101

You also have to consider that the Mechanics probably did not know that the rear wheel was the issue (maybe they did have some sensor data to go by, but it's inconclusive). Dovi would have taken 5-10 seconds to mention the issue, 5-10 seconds to inspect, 15-20 seconds to change the wheel. Add that to the enormous time he would have lost coming in to the pits, he would have been nowhere in contention for a point.

While it's true that many racers (Pedrosa in last race and at Sepang, MM after his crash in the rain last year etc) have carried on to see the chequered flag, but there wasn't much to be gained in that scenario for Dovi.

Total votes: 109

An Italian who is a serious 2015 title contender, on an Italian bike, in Italy... I suspect that if they could have sent Dovi back out, they would have done so.

A sprocket dropping teeth is likely to have done further damage - the chain itself, the drive sprocket, engine cases, the electronic sensors around the drivetrain... any of those could have been damaged.

Logic and commonsense dictates that the guys on the ground, hands-on with the bike in question, made the most appropriate call.

But feel free to carry on with your tirade : )

Total votes: 101

The chain would be toast, and throwing a chain at 300kph+ is all types of bad news

Total votes: 104

A couple of reasons he didn't go back out: generally it takes them a couple of minutes to swap a tyre, never mind the in lap and the out lap. This is why Marc often changes bikes rather than put new tyres on his #1 bike during QP.

Dovi would finish dead last, if not dead last most certainly out of the points.

Secondly: unless I am mistaken (and this may be the case) I believe the only tyre change you are permitted under the rules is to swap dry for wet (or vice versa).

Thirdly, as per many other posters: there could be other damage. The chain (good luck changing one of those in under a couple of minutes), the front sprocket, etc.

So, risk of injury (every race carries it, even more so when trying to push through slower riders, and even more so with potentially un-diagnosed further damage) for pretty much no chance of points, plus wear and tear on the motor - it's a no brainer.

Total votes: 81

It's swapping bikes that is limited. You may only swap bikes if they have different tyre setups. Swapping tyres is not limited, though.

Total votes: 95

this one, could have been so much more if it wasn't for Bridgestones very narrow tyre options, its no surprise that the medium has been the ONLY option for the past 3 rounds and Jorge has magically walked away.
As lets face it on the harder options in Argentina and COTA he was nowhere, and he certainly wasn't winning Qatar even without helmet issues in my opinion.

Can't wait for Michelin. I wouldn't be pointing too many fingers at Rossi and Marc and their setup, they have just not got the rubber they need to compete in the last three rounds, and Jorge has. Hopefully with higher track temps in Spain we'll see the harder options back and we may get a race.

The format of the weekend also highlighted a lot for me this round. And on race day the pace was noticeably slower than what had been shown in practice I thought Rossi and Jorge would be in the 1.47's all race with the Duc's, but it was more low-mid 1.48's. What I'm seeing is a rather pointless attempt by most of the teams to get on an unrealistic pace in FP just to try to make it into QP, a pace that is completely unattainable for most of them in the race, making it much harder for the likes of Rossi and Marc to refine their setups for the race when the rubber doesn't work for them-instead chasing irrelevant laptimes every session to ensure they don't get left out of QP, well this time Marc did. And throw in softer rubber options for the Open bikes just for good measure!! Surely 3 FP sessions that do not contribute to grid positions, and then a dedicated QP session has a better chance of providing a good race?

I was really hoping for a Rossi or Ducati win here, I also noticed Rossi quite irritated in Perc Femme with his talks with the crew. Hopefully the Italians can spoil the party in Spain, now I sound like Nick Harris too! I agree with the comments here-he is now getting very irritating I was ready to turn down the volume.

Total votes: 117

You very conveniently ignored that Lorenzo was comfortably in the lead in Qatar before his helmet issue and he had solid race pace for the rest of the evening as well, considering he was riding around with seriously impaired vision. I know this is all "coulda woulda shoulda" but he was legitimately fast and in contention for a victory at Qatar. Not so much at Austin and Argentina, that's for sure.

Regarding race pace at Mugello, the temperature during the race was higher than it had been all weekend. That could easily cause a few tenths drop-off in the pace.

Total votes: 83

Rossi was gaining massive ground on JL-who was not escaping from the Ducati's-and after a start that saw Rossi in 9th on the first lap.......Hardly a comparision Helmet issue or not to what JL has done with the Medium in the last three rounds.

Total votes: 88

I must be missing something. I watch the races on the MotoGP website. The commentary is quite poor. As many posters have pointed out they waffle on about something that happened in the past. "Marquez leads Iannone . . . ". Well he did but that was three corners ago. Hello, anybody home?

So here is my question. Are they actually watching the same video? And if so, do they get paid money for this?

To be fair, it is still a thousand times better than that "nightmare in a bubble car" person who used to be on the BBC. That was just embarrassing. I can assure you not all people who come from Australia are like that.

Total votes: 123

Yeah, just a few races ago, they had already written Jorge off---now he's on top of the world again. Rossi is always referred to as "The Old Guy" yet he somehow manages to make it on the box every race! Marc is having a hard time lately, but I expect him to come out of it soon and once again show his pace. On top of all that, the Ducks are back! I think it's a great season...

Total votes: 106

More Nick bashing. Nothing new here.

Rossi's team misses setup yet again but he stays on the podium while Marquez's Honda troubles put him in the litter again. I hope they can both solve their issues as it would be a fantastic championship to see the Ducati Men, The Yamaha crew, and the Honda boys all duking it out every race for the top step. A 6 way title fight would be outstanding.

Rossi's save in the race was unreal. Seen Colin do it in practice, as well as Marc, but to fold the front in the race like that and climb to the podium was something else.

Lorenzo is drilling everybody but I also think it has a lot to do with the tires. When the hard compound is required hi run will be over and Rossi or Marquez will win again. Hopefully that Ducati wins comes soon also.......

Total votes: 120

works well for Jorge, but not so well with Rossi/Marc.

Total votes: 110

... and if you're already out in front, you're not trying to push the front tyre quite so badly under brakes as Marc was to try and pass the Ducati. There was no way he could come close on the straight so the only option was DEEP under brakes with predictable (given the recent front end woes he's having) results.

Total votes: 88

Do you know what; I've never known any commentary team on any network (from the UK anyway) that people don't moan about. I really liked the BBC team, they were derided, The Eurosport team, even the excellent Julian Ryder - derided. The BT Sport team - derided.

Commentators are like politicians or the weather, poeple love manning about them.

What needs to be appreciated are that commentators are like the incidental music in a film, they're there to help build the drama, so of course they use cliches, how much and how often is the skill (less the better if poss admittedly) if you don't like it them just don't listen.

I'm more concerned about when the camera cuts to pit celebrations at the end of a race when you want to watch the guys battling further back to the line; now that's irritating!

I'm not Nick's greatest fan but it's quite good fun when you're right about something and they're not, makes you feel superior :)

Total votes: 116

I watched quali on Saturday on a crappy BT feed, but found the insights and information from Jules very interesting. I watched the race in dutch as its free on eurosport here, the transmission delay was a 1 minute behind the live timing. At least I could watch the race continuously on Motogp channel during the many adverts shown on Eurosport.
For me the best coverage was on Eurosport with Jules and Randy still there after they got rid of 'Background' Noyes who wouldn't have noticed the sinking of the Titanic in front of himself. Plus all the insights from Martin Raynes. I love Burnicle and Whitham on Superbikes, pity they dont do Motogp, though Jamie doesn't really know Motogp so he can't provide his insights that he does on Superbikes.

Total votes: 101

I don't know why Nick Harris is bashed so much. He is alright. He makes stupid mistakes, but that is not a reason to deride him. I remember Murray Walker used to make unbelievable goof ups in Formula One and it was upto Martin Brundle to correct him, which he did ever so gently and sensitively. Walkerisms exist and are world famous but that does not take away the fact that Walker made a very good commentator. Nick Harris is not Murray Walker but he is okay in his own way.

Total votes: 102

I think all of this really just highlights differences in personal taste, and what you've got used to. There are some commentators who I don't enjoy that much, but trust me, not even the worst of those on the scene these days compares (as badly) to the commentary I once heard while watching South African racing. The current crop all do at least a reasonable job of creating atmosphere, tension and drama and yes they do drop some howlers from time to time (or minute to minute some weekends) but I imagine they have a director giving direction through one ear while listening to their co-host for a cue with the other, have one eye on timing screens, another on multi-screen race coverage, and so on. Personally I've got used to the BT crew, know what to expect and would enjoy the races less without them.

Total votes: 88

Really agree with sttrain about the qualifying, and not just in relation to its effect on VR. Yes, two-stage qually was effort to bring a bit of a show to process and avoid massive clustering in last ten minutes. But the result is FP1, 2 and 3 are now qualfying for qualifying instead of genuine setup opportunities! And don't even get me started on the soft tyres for open classes - all I can say is that this has never changed the outcome of a race, simply giving a warped and misleading grid. Worse still, it has regularly provided genuinely dangerous opportunities for lower tier riders to torpedo the elite out of races in the first few corners. That's not the kind of show we need.

Total votes: 110

Mike Webb's final thoughts before he renders his final decision on the closest jump start call in recent memory:

I'm in Italy. Andrea is Italian... Riding an Italian bike.

Let me recall, do I need a second arsehole? No I don't think I do.

Total votes: 107

If you think Nick Harris is bad, thank goodness you aren't listening to Keith Huewen or Neil Hodgson on BT Sport. Those two are truly infuriating to listen to, enough so that I've sent off a letter of complaint to BT Sport. Terrible missed commentary on Keith's part, argumentative with Julian for no good reason and Neil is awkward and not in the good way.

Total votes: 104

Can't get over how much I hate Keith Huewan's commentating, even leaving aside how often he gets riders wrong or misses stuff worth commentating on the petty picking he does on Jules is shocking almost bullying at times.

Love Neil Hodgson's work on BT sport so can't agree on you with that one!

Total votes: 87

For everyone in Europe with access to the Eurosport Player: I can strongly recommend it. I got 12 months full access to all Eurosport Channels including additional live streams such as onboards and the official MotoGP-stream without commentary. All that for EUR 39.99

I'm highly satisfied. I get to choose between english and german coverage including the official MotoGP-stream without all the blabbering. And you can watch all sessions until
three weeks after, if I am not mistaken.

You get WSBK, SSP, BSB and Endurance racing, too. And a whole lot of other sports events. I, for instance, happen to like pro cycling a lot. Anyway, I am not getting paid to write this. Just pointing out an obvious (and imho reasonably priced) alternative for all the Nick Harris and BT Sport-haters out there.

Oh, and did I mention no commercials? In the MotoGP-stream, that is.

Total votes: 96

Great... a low-cost choice we can't get in the U.S. I look forward to the day when the internet finally kills regional broadcasting right boundaries for good and anyone can get access to any streaming service from anywhere in the world.

I suppose I could try to use my VPN service to try Eurosport Player out... the bandwidth can be pretty iffy through the VPN servers sometimes though.

Total votes: 100

if you want to see Motogp live, get the feed off Motogp directly. It works in any country, the only thing is the useless commentary, but you can always turn the volume down.

Total votes: 94

I have a subscription to MogoGP website... for 99 Euro per season. Plus I have another ~99 Euro subscription for MXGP.

I like the 39 Euro price for everything a lot better.

Total votes: 86

Marc showed great show yesterday. If it wasn't for him the race would be like in 800cc era.

Total votes: 101

the honda seems to behaving good in the hands of DP but the other riders were trying to ride like mm but thats not the way. but it seems you dont have to ride the bike like a wild bull. The Duc dont need that riding style the Yam dont need that riding style and it seems the rcv doesnt like it eighter. MM was always riding with the settings from cs and trying to ride like CS but theres only 1 guy that can ride like that and thats CS. MM should try to create his own style rather then copy CS. And it seems that HRC really needs DP as mm aint no development rider at all.

Total votes: 111

Quite obviously you haven't followed Marc prior to his stint in the top tier, he's always ridden that way and is quite competent at it. Go look up his start from the back at Motegi 2012 - in the damp.

I'm a big fan of Dani, don't get me wrong...

Dani rides differently yes, however he has zero world championships in MotoGP to his name in the past 8 years, and Marc is 2 from 2 so far.

Oh and Casey is instrumental to Honda in the HRC's development.

The Duc became gradually less competitive in his time at Ducati. The Honda has lost its edge this year with Casey as a development rider.

Perhaps it isn't Marc who is the problem with the bike development??

Total votes: 108

Another way to look at it... perhaps Casey's development input has made the bike faster for Casey, but Dani and Marc can't ride the bike hard enough to get it into the zone where it 'works'.

You see what I did there... really, there's little to be gained by speculating about a riders ability to 'develop' a bike. We went through all of this during the Stoner/Rossi/Ducati thing.

But I do agree that while Marc had the advantage of taking over Casey's bike/team, he is certainly his own man when it comes to how he rides the bike.

Total votes: 89

Not a peek is being uttered about the other Marquez who was predicted to be up at the sharp end this year, barely even hear his name mentioned during the Moto2 races.
17 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 18 pts
You saw more of him in the MM93 box than on track this weekend.
Anyway, Barcelona up next, time for them all to shine again, fingers crossed for some glorious weather.

Total votes: 110

It's really a pity and unlucky that Marc went down, because his start of the race was really an epic one. Even more passionate and charged than Rossi's one. On the contrary his start was one of the worse.

I have really enjoyed the fight for second and the group (glad to see Dani back at the top) .... hopefully when tires won't work only one way we will have more situation like this and more fighting.

Man of the day Maniac Joe ... managing a second place in his physical condition and staying in front of Marc and Valentino with authority. Chapeau.

A last thought to another unlucky Spanish guy .... Espargaro, I am sure he also deserved better!

Total votes: 100

... I saw it as inevitable really, given how hard he was having to try and push the front under brakes into turn 1 to try and make a pass on Ianonne.

He was either going to get past and somehow make it stick, or this was going to be the result. The Duc just simply had the legs down the front straight, it wasn't even close - Ianonne just drove past him and off into the distance.

Total votes: 103

Would it be possible to not complain about the TV commentary in every post-race round up? One thing I have learned from reading comments about TV commentators in many different languages is that everyone thinks that the commentary in their language is rubbish, and the commentary in other countries is much better. The kind of hardcore MotoGP fan who tends to read this website and others are the toughest audience of all, as they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport. The thing is, having that knowledge is different to actually being able to use it and repeat it immediately while broadcasting live. Having to watch the race, pick up as many details as possible, talk about them fluently and continuously, all while director is screaming in your ears is another thing entirely. It is easy to criticize from the comfort of your armchair. Actually doing it is something else entirely.

As an example, at the Motorbeurs Utrecht, my local bike show in Holland, they have a commentary challenge every year, where normal audience members are allowed to get up on stage and attempt to commentate five minutes of a MotoGP race. Few manage much more than a few stammers, despite being otherwise well informed.

TV commentary is hard. Some commentators are better than others, but all are surprisingly competent. I know I couldn't do that job.

So please, can we cut the comments about the commentary? We shall just take it as read that you didn't enjoy it, whoever was doing it. At least with the live MotoGP.com feed, you can choose to mute the commentary, and just watch with the ambient sound and listen to the bikes. 

Total votes: 136

And since Nick Harris is most mentioned: sure, the man makes his mistakes and some names he doesn't pronounce very well. But I still think he has a great voice, can get the excitement of the race across really well and knows how te be diplomatic but objective at the same time, which is really difficult with all the politics involved these days. Let's cut him some slack, it's really not that bad.

Total votes: 104

while I may not like the inane commentary, I know it is extremely difficult to do and so I cut them some slack. the problem is, like many things, folks get entrenched. incompetents hang around because they please their taskmasters who are equally incompetent. It would be better if we had new guys every year. then at least if they suck, we know they will be gone next year. I'll say this much for Nick, he does give a historical perspective having been there so long. the history of the sport is important. when he refers to a certain battle between 2 riders at a particular event 10 or 15 years ago, it is nice to be able to say, "yea, I remember that". I can still remember him talking up epic 250 battles back in the day... "grammini, gressini... you could thow a blanket over them..."

Total votes: 101

That's why we have this comment section. So people can whine about people whining.

Great fun.

Total votes: 111

I have always enjoyed BBC and I don't mind BT sports.
Guido Meda on the italian channel is very entertaining and brings huge passion to the sport. Like usual you here mainly the moans ... I agree with you we could do without :)

Total votes: 105

I haven't chimed in up to this point and I agree with what you've said. However...

I find it particularly infuriating when two members of the same team can't even agree on one pronunciation (i.e. Bagnaia pronounced as "bag-NI-ya" vs. "bahn-YI-yuh", Espargaro pronounced as "Espa-GAR-o" vs. "Es-par-jaro", Brno pronounced as "bru-no" vs. "Br-no", etc. ). I consider proper pronunciation for a commentator to be a key item of the job description and and something that requires mandatory pre-season and/or pre-race research. As such, I find it unforgivable when pronunciations are not correct.

Being 'Murican I frequently don't know which of the two is correct, but it's quite annoying when they don't agree within the commentary team as far into the season as we are because TWO pronunciations of a name mean that one is NOT correct and nobody in the production team is bothering to follow through with the correction.

Total votes: 96

While I didn't intend for this to become one of the main topics of conversations of the race weekend, the comment section is one of the few places on the internet where i can double check with other motogp enthusiasts to ensure I'm not completely losing my mind when I blew the lid on Harris. So my apologies there.

However I won't apologize for the fact that motogp.com could and should do a lot better, especially with all this talk of trying to improve the show. We have 2500 fps cameras now, new digital overlays, and gyroscopic, fully rotational cameras. All I'm asking for is that improvements continue to be made in all areas of production.

As far as muting goes, I do use it quite frequently, but that misses out of some exceptional information that comes from pit lane interviews. And I'll continue practicing my personal commentary in the mean time however it is not my primary occupation nor am I being paid to do so.

And for the loyalists, Rossi sacked Burgess for the sake of glory. There is always room to improve even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Total votes: 98

Well spoken David, Its easy to be a critic sitting at home watching. I actually enjoy the commentary because those guys can pick out who is who much faster than I can. And I enjoy hearing the some of the history and back ground of past seasons that these guys know. Was sorry to see Dovi fall back with a mechanical, was really hoping for at least a Ducait 2-3 finish, but all credit to Iannone, his ride was truly epic.

I do just have one question, why is VR46 always referred to as the 9 times World Champion (7 MotoGP and 2 from the lower classes), while everyone else is referred to only in reference to their MotoGP Championships? MM93 has 2+2 and is only ever referred to as the Double World Champion, not the 4 times world champion, as the same goes for JL99 and others. If VR46 is always going to get credit for all his championships, shouldn't everyone else?

As the Championship continues it continues to be sited that it will be VR46's 10th, but if JL99 wins its his 3rd. What about his other 2? It would be JL99's 5th wouldn't it?

Total votes: 115

I gave up on broadcast television here in the states and watch the feed. I kind of wish that mototgp.com would stop posting the winner on a facebook post within seconds of the event. It ruins the "no spoiler" option. At least give me an hour to wake up.

Whatever happened to Gavin Emmett? I liked that guy.

Total votes: 96

-- is a key ingredient for a commentator!
So many people here are having a dig at Nick Harris (quite rightly so!) but Julian Ryder seems to manage to escape scott free!
His pronunciation of Brno and Jerez are absolutely unforgivable for someone who has been in the game for the length of time that he has!

Total votes: 96

If Dorna haven't released the footage of the start, they should.

To the public it looks like an Italian rider on an Italian bike jumped the start at an Italian GP, and given the history of replete corruption within international motorsport perpetrated by Italians over the years, Dorna should make sure the public can see the footage.

Personally, I don't think the sport was undermined by Iannone's start, regardless if it was a minor jump start or a legal anticipation of the lights, but it's difficult to accept an official argument without evidence when it involves so many Italian factors.

Plus, Max Mosley once opined about the importance of making evidence known throughout the paddock and sometimes throughout the public. He said that di Montezemolo used to privately thank him and Ferrari would provide gifts and try to trade favors whenever the stewards ruled in Ferrari's favor. The team and the leadership didn't seem to understand the concept of rule-of-law and independent fact finding, according to Mosley, as practiced in common law nations.

We're talking about Ducati, not Ferrari, though Ducati do have a history of getting favors in WSBK (it seems). Maybe it's in everyone's best interest to have a press conference or release some data. No reason for any doubt to remain, imo

Total votes: 116

I assume you're addressing me. I have read the article. My posting of that link was nothing other than supplying you with what you asked for. You asked for footage, I provided a link.

If you are waiting for Dorna is going to release "their" footage, I think your waiting will be in vain.

Get over it, around it, under it...whatever you gotta do. It's over.

Total votes: 95

I didn't lodge a protest, and I don't feel the contest was compromised even if the rules were not followed. Maybe David could forward your thoughts to Mr. Nakamoto. He's more qualified to understand the gravitas of your opinion.

I'm more interested in the PR aspects of the sport, particularly the amount of time Dorna spends detailing their questionable plans to fix prices and reshuffle deck chairs (to attract outside investment), but their seemingly lackadaisical attitude towards the appearance of good governance.

Total votes: 105

...are pretty bad ass. But look up the definition of "bad ass" in the dictionary and there is only an image of a golden trident. If you're on/ were on the teams, thank you for being awesome.

Total votes: 86

....your bashing on the Italians may seriously upset some people. All that effort from Blatter and no mention of the Swiss!
:D :D :D

(before someone miss the irony .... non generalisation against any nationality, just a joke!)

Total votes: 94

How much vitriol was heaped upon Ducati for requiring another 200cc in WSBK? How have the WSBK ratings been since then?

People can squeal all they want about political correctness, but the lingering perception is as real as the legendary stories of corruption within international motorsport.

I couldn't care less about vainglorious Italian pride. I'm interested in the perception of MotoGP as a fair contest. Quite a few people still grouse that Ducati gets more fuel and special tires. Maybe they just hate the idea of concessions, but Ducati is still the focal point of their criticism.

Release the footage/data. No more festering PR problems. MotoGP has been a magnet for negative press since the 800s were ratified. A show of competence would go a long way.

Total votes: 96

Release the "footage"? Just what would you do with it? In order to view the original footage, you'd need ultra-slow motion playback machine to see it frame-by-frame. They don't come cheap.

Regardless, the race is over and the lights didn't help Iannone lap so fast MM fell down trying to keep up (with a guy on a dislocated shoulder and a broken elbow who's never even won a MotoGP race in his life.) Instead of admitting defeat, sucking it up and moving on, Honda blames race direction for not doing "their" jobs. Oh, the irony.

As for the the fuel/tire rule, Ducati didn't write that one. Honda did. But the minute Ducati took advantage of that rule, Honda screamed how unfair it was.

MotoGP as a fair contest? That would be a welcome change. Honda's been jinking the rules for years. Capirossi wins a few races on a Duc 990 and suddenly we're going to race 800's. Honda can absorb the engineering costs a lot easier than a little factory can. Stoner rides the 800cc Ducati to a championship and the next thing you know we're going back to 1,000's. No big deal. For somebody as big as Honda. 20 liters of fuel? Easy. For a factory big enough to engineer it overnight. On and on it goes.

Thankfully AUDI is here to put a stop to this nonsense. They can out-Honda Honda. Maybe they'll sign Stoner. The Espargaro's. I'm sure Tito Rabat could use a big a big check. Why not send MM an offer for 40 million as well. AUDI's got the money. The 800lb gorilla just ran into King Kong.

Total votes: 98

Relative virtues of the manufacturers is not the issue. Quite a few people find the explanation given by race direction to be dubious, especially since the lights were still on while Iannone was moving. If they have data that shows it wasn't a jump start, and that the lights lagged, they should release it.

Do you not understand that proof helps Ducati?

You want people to just forget about it and move on? Why? So people can continue insisting that Italians cheat their way through motorsport, even in the present day. It's hard enough when the average fan doesn't understand how the rules work, why do you give them more ammunition?

Total votes: 87

I think confirms what was stated by Mike Webb, that the lights were out but still glowing due to their not being LED. My eyes honestly tell me it was razor close and that DORNA made the right call. Granted, I am an AI fan, but I too want fair sport and think it was called correctly. (Now, if the bike was emblazoned with #27, I would be going bananas. Kidding. Kind of!).

Total votes: 96

That's why they are being deleted. No time for that kind of conspiracy theory here. All it does is generate vicious arguments, and bring the tone down.

Total votes: 100

Harris' voice is emotive to me and makes it feel like I am watching MotoGP...much as Murray Walker did for F1. Their commentary may be eccentric, redundant or a little of-the-mark at times, but it 'feels' like MotoGP to me. I don't think you could find a person more passionate about MotoGP, and that to me, along with his voice, is endearing.

I do really like Dylan Gray because I actually learn new things when he talks. His explanations of the new Honda swingarm the last few weekends have been very educational. I just wish he would tell his more experienced colleague that it is pronounced "swingarm" and not "swingING-arm!" ;)

Total votes: 102

Swingarm is the more American way and swinging arm more British, but the British use both terms rather commonly. So, it's not incorrect, just uncommon.

Total votes: 91

... going to be interesting over the next few rounds. Now that Jorge is getting all zen on the rest of the grid, it'll be up to Vale and co. to figure out a better qualifying method to keep him on the first 2 rows. I have little doubt that he can pull it together if he gets away with the leaders, namely Lorenzo. But if you give Jorge a 4 second lead from the off...

Total votes: 89

... is that the rest of the guys on the first 2-3 rows are all fighting each other into turn one and the first couple of laps (because no one wants to let him get away), and meanwhile Jorge has gapped them and f**ked off.

Fighting to try and get behind Jorge slows them all down, burns their tyres and just makes it easier for Jorge.

Someone needs to take the fight to Jorge off the line, get dirty and battle him close for a while and prevent him from getting a jump. If they can't then trying to help each other is the only way they're going to catch him.

Given all the main contenders are running laps within a few hundredths of each other in QP lately, handing Jorge a 2-3 second gap by fighting amongst themselves at the start of the race just isn't feasible.

Total votes: 84

George was poetry in motion yet again and well done. Oh yeah! its Jorge. Who cares anyway if Nick Harris can't get his tongue around Bastianini or whomever. We all know who he's talking about.
Old Murray Walker during his F1 days was great. I liken the old established commentators to old established competitors. When they retire you miss most of them. Your memories of them will always be locked into their prime days.
Anyway, it was great to see KTM and Mahindra running a similar top speed to the Honda's in M3 for a change and the win by Oliviera was top drawer.
M2 and Rabat. I always just love watching the bloke ride.
GP. the start. Mike Webb probably got it right, but it was close.
The big disappointment for me was Dovi's non race. If the sprocket was chewed up, some spannerman should be held accountable at this level. On the other hand he should have had the rear wheel, tire and running gear replaced and rejoined the fray. This is exactly how another Nick...Hayden, in this case, lifted the title in 2006. He never abandoned a half chance at points.
Highlight for sure was the other Andrea. Marc was brilliant playing catch up. It was like him at Valencia in M2. It can be argued this way and that way. Should have done this, should have done that in the latter stage.
He wanted to catch and beat George and Vale and the Ducati's. That's his job and what he loves.
Good to see Dani back.
Finally, lay it rest, you blokes with idiotic comments about Ducati concessions. Any fool and his dog knows they were availed to Yamaha and HRC back then, but they opted to stick with their air of exceptionalism.
I hear Suzuki are bringing a more powerfull engine for Catalunya. That will be interesting.
Right now the bike is planted, but a 20 bhp increase may test its current superb handling and balance. Anyway, they do need more grunt off the apex. Great ride by Maverick.

Total votes: 101

Dovi limping around his last lap, hand up, well off the racing line, as the riders streamed past? He would have been 30-40sec behind Lorenzo when he ENTERED the pits.

Even if you spot the buggered sprocket straight away, the chain is stressed/stretched and you risk smashing a set of engine cases and losing one of your precious engines....just to hopefully pass Melandri and not come last. Whatever happens he was going to be well out of the points.

It's a no-brainer to park it up.

Total votes: 105

My arse. Did humpty dumpty do the counting?

Total votes: 104

...but it's such a fizzing, lively debate I'm throwing my lot in, not because it matters, just because the party's in full swing, I've found it and there's nobody guarding the door...
Commentators, yep Harris is, er, Harris but yes, he has historical perspective, you can't purchase that. Michael Scott is THE Godfather where historical perspective is concerned and I hang on his every written word- but have you HEARD him on the few occasions he was on the telly, noooo!!
Forget Murray Walker in F1, I well remember him in bikes, like Burnicle, he was always flawed in his accuracy but PASSION- he loved bikes and still does and, like Surtees, tells any F1 bore where his real love lies. Jack is so similar, flawed (remember him name-calling the then woeful Eurosport anchor man Tony Carter a rude name thinking he was off air before a WSBK race-priceless!!), but Jack LOVES the riders, the circuits, history so I will always forgive him because he just gets excited. The riders in BSB say he really gets to know them, their lives and them as people and always represents them respectfully and insightfully, they appreciate that..
90,000?, 900,000?, who knows? Having wandered around Mugello's haze on a few occasions I am certain that, probably, they don't know-or care. The nearest throw back to the 1970s GPs I know, in all the best ways...
Historical perspective, purely mine, but the more I see of Lorenzo, the more I see Eddie Lawson, Fast Eddie, Steady Eddie, whatever. The press always ask him the wrong questions, they rarely expect him to be where he is-despite his record and he has 'steadily' developed into the ice cool gunslinger who simply crushes the opposition then makes no excuses for leaving the party early. Other than his emotion blasting out on the podium, it was brilliant to see the park ferme and podium parties rocking around him while he just quietly paid his respects to Ramon and the crew and moved on to the next gunfight.
Now, where's my 1978 Motocourse so I can finally settle my mind on the class of Kings' best ever rookie....

Total votes: 91

Such a race, and you guys only waffle on about commentators? Really?

Wow, Marquez into T1 looked right on the edge of the edge as he came up on Pedrosa, what was impressive was not only that he held onto it, but that he then pulled the bike so tight into the corner and passed another two bikes through the apex. Somewhat like last round in Lemans when I thought he was going to fall off when it got so out of shape trying to outbrake Ianonne, not only did he hang on but he made the corner and didn't even lose momentum through the change of direction.

This seems to be a particular skill of Marquez, to seemingly totally blow the corner entry, but somehow be able to make the corner at a normal or even still fast apex/exit speed.

However my observation at the time was that this seemed to be what brought him undone in Mugello because his crash started when he blew the entry to the left, ran wide and then tried to do his normal thing and turn it extra hard after the change of direction and make a normal corner apex for the right part of the chicane.

When all is well for MM he is able to do exactly that and it's amazing to watch, but right now that bike is not working for him and he was subject to the same laws of physics as the rest of the field and down he went.

I'm not trying to hate on him or his team, but I do wonder about whether it was the right idea to gradually move out all of his 2013 team to be replaced by his Moto2 team as is rumoured. Something about baby and bathwater perhaps?

Total votes: 87

I also find the commentary on the official feed bland and frequently annoying, but you have to remember it is the "official" feed. The commentators are essentially being paid by the people putting on the races, so they're going to talk up the excitement when there isn't any and they're going to avoid saying anything remotely controversial all the time. Changing the commentators won't improve anything because they'll just be different people following the same orders from the same bosses.

Total votes: 89

I don't have a problem with the commentators at all. Since I'm relatively "new" to this, only started watching MotoGP 10 years ago, I "grew up" on Nick Harris and it would be a shock to listen to somebody else, every Sunday I religiously wake up and every time I heard the musical introduction and the rough voice, I feel a warm welcome to my little share of fun and excitement. Sorry about the ranters but I do love the style and voice of Mr Harris.

Total votes: 102

About the start of the Race: FIM Procedures have cameras on every row and also lights on every row so that it can be easily determined if a rider jumped the start. I myself hold a FIM race director license, I don't think FIM would play along a conspiracy in these days of the information era, where everyone knows everything and YouTube is expert witness. Ianone was lucky that he's reaction time was 0.00001 for whatever reason.

Total votes: 88

Man. I just read the replies from my comment about Dovi. It was all started because of a lack information from me. Did not know that the sprocket had gone bad on him. And now think it may have been the right call not to send him back out. But it does seem like bad luck, (in this case), or something he finds wrong with the bike as the reason why he never does better than he has done. He is a good rider, but missing that little something that the racers at the very top seem to have. Pedrosa finds the same amount of problems with the bikes, but he has many many wins to show where Dovi has one win and had been on the same machine as Pedrosa at one point.

Better luck to him next time.

Total votes: 87

... for fairly dubious values of "same"

Even Marc and Dani are on fairly different bikes, Dani typically has a rather radical chassis compared to other riders, and who knows what other special parts Dani had that Dovi never got - recall that when he was on the repsol bike for at least 1 of the years HRC really didn't want him there but he had a contract and didn't let them renege on it.

Each bike on the grid is actually fairly unique and its down to both the rider's personal preference and additionally the level of support/testing/early access parts their manufacturer will provide to each rider.

So claiming that 2 guys are both on the same bike is a bit... dubious.

Total votes: 76

Nothing personal to anyone in particular, but there have been many articles here in the past under which there was a lot of fantastic commentary, and I hated to see them slow down and end.

This isn't one of them. Dry up and move south of the front page ugly string of rubbish!
;)

We have a curiously fantastic season on our hands folks, it is like you have a newspaper out during the birth of a child.

Total votes: 78