2015 Silverstone MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Controlling The Uncontrollable, And Championships Drawing Closer

The key to success in motorcycle racing is to control the variables which you can control, and adapt to the ones which you can't. The British round of MotoGP at Silverstone turned out to be all about those variables, the controllable and the uncontrollable, about right and wrong choices, and about adapting to the conditions.

The one variable over which those involved in motorcycle racing don't have any control is the weather. Especially at Silverstone, especially at the end of summer. That it should rain is utterly unsurprising. That it should rain during a MotoGP race even more so. The outcome of the MotoGP race – and in fact, the outcome of all three races at Silverstone – was entirely predictable: the rider who was both best prepared and best able to adapt to the conditions won. Behind the winners – Valentino Rossi, Johann Zarco and Danny Kent – came a mixture of those who adapted and those who didn't, those who had controlled the variables, and those who had overlooked some of the variables they could control.

Rain may have been predictable on Sunday, but the timing of the rain created an entirely unpredictable situation. The Moto2 race had started in the wet, the track drying after the rain eased off, wet tires getting chewed up as the laps reeled off. The MotoGP riders went to the grid on a track with a clear dry line, slick tires the right choice for the conditions, though there were a couple of corners where the riders had their doubts. Reports coming in to Race Direction from the marshal posts around the track said the track was dry, the fine drizzle falling not making an impact on the track. The driver of the safety car reported spotting on the windscreen during his lap of the circuit before the start of the warm up lap. Race Director Mike Webb declared a dry race with five minutes to go to the start, and with the keen sense of irony which the weather gods always seem to possess, that proved to be the signal for the rain to start getting heavier, especially around the southern end of the circuit.

As the riders embarked on the warm up lap, reports started coming in from the marshal posts that the rain was starting in earnest, and was starting to impact the track. The safety car, which follows the riders around on the warm up lap, reported that conditions had changed massively, and the driver was having trouble controlling the slides in the car. Race Direction got ready to red flag the race (technically, the race has started once the bikes have been sent off on the warm up lap), waiting only to see what the riders would do.

It was pretty clear what they had decided to do. The new procedure, implemented since the Sachsenring last year, to prevent the dangerous situation of a mass start from pit lane, with riders jockeying for position, is to start the riders from pit lane in single file, in the order in which they entered the pits. This creates the incentive for riders to hurry to get back to the pits, especially if it is clear that a large group of riders is going to come in, swap bikes, and start from pit lane. A race within the race broke out on the warm up lap, with everyone pushing to get back to pit lane first. It was a delicate undertaking, racing on slick tires on a treacherous track, the riders tiptoeing around the track as fast as they dared. Once the entire grid entered the pits, the decision was simple: Race Direction red-flagged the race, and ordered a restart. Race Direction's job is to ensure that the race takes place as fairly and safely as possible. Safety considerations meant a restart was the best option.

The restart did throw up a curious anomaly. After the chaos at the Sachsenring last year, the new rules had been drawn up with a situation in mind where some riders would stay out on the grid, while others would head into pit lane. With that in mind, the rule was written to state that if one rider went to the grid, the race had to be started, the idea being to reward riders who were either properly prepared or willing to take a gamble.

The rule makers did not take into account the scenario where 24 riders headed in to the pits, and only one stayed out, regarding it as deeply improbable. Silverstone made them reconsider the probability of that happening, Mike Webb told us, with safety being the priority. They still want to give riders a chance to gamble on a different strategy, and take a chance on the grid, but safety must remain the priority. Expect a rule change soon, giving Race Direction the option to deviate from standard procedure on safety grounds.

Ordering a restart was the right thing to do. Not only did it avert chaos, but it also gave the fans a race worth watching. Jorge Lorenzo got his usual lightning start, but was soon going backwards as he struggled with grip, while teammate Valentino Rossi charged to the front, his crew having found a perfect set up in the wet morning warm up. Marc Márquez went with Rossi, and they soon made a break, opening a gap to a group battling for the final spot on the podium.

The race from that point on proved the value of proper preparation. Rossi won comfortably – though at one stage his lead did not look as comfortable as he might have liked – after Márquez crashed out. The Repsol Honda rider's crash was a carbon copy of his crashes at Barcelona and Mugello, and occurred for exactly the same reason. Márquez' crew may have solved the engine braking problem in the dry, but with almost no time on the bike in the wet this year, the issue was back at Silverstone. What Márquez described as "the floating feeling", the rear not sliding predictably on corner entry, made it hard for the Spaniard to control the rear under braking. In the end, he lost the battle with physics, and ended on his backside.

Where Rossi's preparation was impeccable, Jorge Lorenzo's left much to be desired. It was not that he did not have the speed in the wet. He was not at the level of Rossi and Márquez, perhaps, but the Spaniard believed he could have finished in third. If he had not had a problem with his visor fogging, that is. While Lorenzo was battling with Dovizioso for third place, his visor fogged up and he couldn't see properly, forcing him to give up any hope of the podium. It also meant giving up three extra points in the championship, which could yet prove to be invaluable come the end of the season.

This is the second time this year that Lorenzo's helmet has cost him points, after the lining came loose at Qatar causing him to drop back down to fifth. So is his helmet manufacturer to blame? There certainly appear to be both quality control and design issues with the HJC helmets, at least at the level of professional racing, as this is not the first time which helmets have caused problems in the race. Ben Spies suffered a loose visor, and then fogging of the visor in the rain. Lorenzo has had two issues this year which have cost him points, as well as previous problems with fogging. Some of that is down to Lorenzo himself, as at Silverstone, Lorenzo did not fit the breath deflector, which is part of the solution to keeping the visor from fogging.

Lorenzo's predicament is indicative of the dilemma faced by top level racers. His contract with HJC is rumored to be exceedingly lucrative, and Lorenzo provides important feedback which goes towards improving the design of HJC's production helmets. But when a helmet manufacturer suffers multiple problems in one year, potentially causing the loss of a championship, perhaps it is time to reconsider. At Silverstone, Lorenzo told the media that he intended to complete his contract with HJC for the rest of the season. Whether he will continue next year remains to be seen. Money can't buy you world championships.

Rossi's victory gives him a twelve point lead in the championship once again, and most importantly, it means he has either led the championship on points or been tied all season long. Rossi pointed out the importance of that fact at the press conference, while at the same time trying to downplay the psychological importance of taking the lead again. For his part, Jorge Lorenzo told reporters he was not worried. He had caught Rossi back up twice now this season, gaining back 29 points in the first part of the season, and 13 points in the last couple of races. He had shown it was possible, and there were still six races to go.

Who holds the advantage? Marc Márquez offered his view of the situation, telling reporters that he believed that in the dry weather, he would have been battling Jorge Lorenzo rather than Valentino Rossi. Lorenzo agreed, saying that he believed he was capable of victory had it remained dry. Even Rossi himself could see the truth of that statement. "Sincerely speaking, I think that is is difficult to arrive in front of Jorge in the dry," he told the press conference.

On a dry track, or under normal conditions at least, Jorge Lorenzo holds a clear advantage. Lorenzo has proven to be fast everywhere, and can grind out the laps at a pace others struggle to follow. When conditions are not perfect, or when the races throw up something unusual, or a situation Lorenzo had not been expecting, then he struggles, while Rossi uses his experience to adapt.

Each of Rossi's victories in 2015 has been down to circumstances going his way, or something unexpected happening. In Qatar, Lorenzo had a problem with the visor, in Argentina, Rossi chose the right tire, and benefited from a mistake by Márquez. At Assen, Rossi rode a brilliant race and outwitted Márquez, while Lorenzo struggled with a tire he did not like. Here at Silverstone, the rain played to Rossi's strengths. All of Lorenzo's victories have come from simply being much faster than anyone else, and taken when conditions had been what you might regard as normal.

Marc Márquez summed it up as follows: "In speed, Lorenzo is faster, but Valentino has unbelievable experience." He uses that experience to benefit where others fall short, Márquez said, giving him the ability to gain points when circumstances permit. Misano would be crucial, Márquez said, with Rossi wanting to win at home, and Lorenzo wanting to deal Rossi a psychological blow. "But I hope neither of them win, and that I can take victory!" Márquez said.

So who has the advantage in the championship? That depends on how you expect the next six races to unfold. If we have six relatively normal races, with events not conspiring to throw everything askew, then Lorenzo has to be the favorite. A couple of strange races, however, and Rossi gets the upper hand. The odds say that six fairly normal races are more likely, making a Lorenzo title a strong bet. But you never know what could happen, and it is always foolish to write Valentino Rossi off before the season is done.

Márquez' crash and Lorenzo's visor problems put two more Italians on the podium. Danilo Petrucci rode a thoroughly brilliant race in the wet to come home in second, his first podium in MotoGP immediately making a mark. Andrea Dovizioso, on the other hand, was as solid as ever, and took third on the factory Ducati.

Petrucci could hardly believe what was happening. When he was chasing Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, he found himself wondering what was going on, as it had never happened before, "except on the Playstation." When he started closing in on Valentino Rossi, he was scared he was doing something wrong. "It's not usual you gain some time on Valentino," Petrucci remarked drily. When he crossed the line, he was laughing in his helmet, while at he same time expecting to wake up from a dream at any moment. On Friday, Petrucci had joked to me that he loved England, because it always rained here, and he was very good in the rain. After Sunday, he will only love England more.

It really couldn't happen to a nicer guy, and Petrucci is definitely one of the most underrated riders in the paddock. Everybody was happy for him, the applause for Petrucci louder when he entered the press conference room than when the winner, Valentino Rossi did. On his way out of the circuit in the evening, he was greeted and congratulated by members of the IODA team, who he raced for last year. They were just as happy for him as if he was still part of the team.

Further down the field, Scott Redding crossed the line in sixth, his best result in MotoGP. Redding had no explanation for his strong weekend, saying only that the bike had felt good from the moment they had rolled it off the back of the truck. The set up was almost identical to what they had used at Brno, where Redding had struggled badly. Perhaps the piece of mind of a new contract with Pramac Ducati helped concentrate his mind.

In the Moto2 race, Johann Zarco reasserted his dominance, though the race was one of the better races this year. In difficult conditions, Zarco made a break a third of the way into the race, opening a gap which no one could follow. The win takes the Frenchman into an almost unassailable position, Zarco leading now by 85 points with six races left to go. It is not entirely inconceivable that Zarco could wrap up the Moto2 title before the paddock heads off to the flyaways.

Danny Kent's objective is to wrap up the title at Motegi, he told us after the Moto3 press conference. Taking the title on a Honda at Honda's home race would be magical, Kent asserted, and just reward for the hard work they had put in. It would also be just reward for Kent, who has dominated the championship almost from the start. He kept his cool in the wet while others crashed out at Silverstone, inheriting the lead from Isaac Viñales who crashed out from first place.

Because of the nature of the Silverstone pits, Kent wasn't sure how big his lead was, as his pit board was right at the end of pit lane, and too close to Turn 1 for him to risk anything more than a brief glance without outbraking himself into the corner. It was only really once he looked up at the big screens which line the circuit, and saw title rival Enea Bastianini sliding the gravel that he could relax. Kent added another record to his impressive list of results, becoming the first British rider to win in the lightweight class at Silverstone. But he is not focused on records, Kent told us, there is only one thing that counts: becoming world champion. With his lead in the championship now back up to 70 points, that goal is coming closer every race.


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Total votes: 139
Total votes: 79

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Comments

Finally! I am taking a well deserved brake from work and reading the round up. My F5 button was getting a pounding all morning :)

EDIT: Excellent write up as usual. Taking a subscription next.

EDIT2: Done.

Total votes: 116

edit.
wrong place.

Total votes: 118

Glad to see that I'm not the only 'addict' that's constantly hitting the refresh button as we wait for David to publish his Round Up.

Total votes: 116

The Moto3 race was last race this time and when I watched the Moto3 rider interview on the grid, I realized all Moto3 riders interviewed were having the breath deflector piece installed in their helmets, prepared to avoid fogged up visors.

And all of us who has ridden in the rain with full face helmet knows how important the breath deflector can be in humid condition. I am a bit shocked that Lorenzo's team overlooked that.

And Lorenzo's 2nd bike in the pit lane was not fitted with rain tyres under the tyre warmers. Luckily there was a restart, otherwise Lorenzo might had finished in 14th instead of 4th.

Total votes: 125

There is nothing in the lapchart that supports Lorenzos claim that the visior fogged up. In the last 4 laps he was faster than Dovi in 3. Only the last one he was slower. When he came into the paddock I thought " Not much fog on that one " Everybody who rides in the wet know that it starts fogging when you stop....

It was just Lorenzo who needed somebody to blame.
( and that is something ALL racers do... There MUST be something wrong because they did not win.. )

Total votes: 205

"There is nothing in the lapchart that supports Lorenzos claim that the visior fogged up."

Just cause hes not going any faster than anyone else doesn't mean his helmet isn't fogging up. Who knows, he might have been able to go faster.

I have ridden plenty of times in the wet, (tropical) storms, snow, ice, hail, over freezing mountains, suffered hypothermia, etc... and the helmet starts fogging up with you start breathing hard and there is a temperature variance, condensation, fog, it happens, and it doesn't just happen when you stop. Anyone who actually rides a bike (not just to look cool) actually knows the helmet can fog up even when you are moving.

Considering Lorenzo's brakes were wrong on his first bike, and people are talking about his tires being wrong on his second bike, it's a miracle he even finished inside the top 5. That was a poorly executed race on his side of the garage, and it was not all just in Lorenzo's head.

Total votes: 148

I Use a Uvex Onyx helmet with the Supravision visor.

Never had any problems with fogging even as low as zero C.

I guess the visior of a MotoGP helmet use something simular. If not I have a brand new Uvex for sale to Lorenzo :)

Total votes: 124

And here I thought that Rossi won because he was the fastest but no... he won because of luck.. and has been lucky 4 times this year... Damn that man is lucky.

Total votes: 236

Thanx man again for this round-up. A minor question. Marquez blamed floating of the rear during corner entry, but he lost control exiting the corner and getting on the gas. Or did I not see it correctly? I mean I do not doubt the floating, but maybe his right hand twitched a bit more aggressivly than the grip allowed and thus, maybe, more his own fault?

As for bringing in serendipity or even the Goddess of Luck in the championship equation: I think I can detect a certain convergence of "cosmic circumstances" towards VR46. And so, despite the accurate opinion of MM on who is fastest at this point and your own probability analysis, I would say it can be that the cosmos is conspiring in favor of Vale. Somehow it befits Rossi's tremendous biography to earn a 10th title.
Of course it could be that my own affinity to the man's age and status as "old" crossdresses my wish as opinion... It could also be that my ancestors devised the "Deus Ex Machinap" intervention for a reason....
What a season!

Total votes: 129

In his interviews he said that he had not opened the gas nor was he on the rear brake, so it seems like its the electronics, I think floating describes that engine character maybe picking the bike up a bit or giving him the sense that he is not fully in control of the rear end whatever his throttle setting is.
Lorenzo was all over the place on the grid, shaking his head and clearly unhappy. MM was just doing what he does, twisting the right grip all the way back, he is a racer and wants to win, when he loses, its his fault and he admits it always seeing the positives he got from falling off, he found the limit. JL - well I fully expected to see him go straight out the back of the box, however, his excuse was preferred so he sat with his hat on for 5 minutes. A great race and lets hope for more right up to the end of the season. If it goes all the way to Valencia, then Vale may be more than a bit nervous thinking back to '06.
I wonder if Cal smacked Miller somewhere, it would be very un-Cal like if he didn't, that ranks with Dani's punt at Nicky in 06 as a pointless move.

Total votes: 118

Watching the on-board video of his crash, you can clearly hear he wasn't on the throttle before or during the crash. To me, looks like the back wheel locked (marginally) under engine braking, and it was enough to spit him off.

Total votes: 136

I bet Jorge looked out the window from his hotel room in morning and said "maldito seas Valentino!", Jorge knows how good Vale is in the wet, and probably rode within himself, minimising the chances of a DNF and losing the championship right there.

Total votes: 128

but luck is something that you need to win.

In 2013 the only title fighters were injured. some several times.
in 2014 there was only 1 guy that could really ride the heat resistent tyres.

another example is this years medium edge grip tyres which seem to fit jl better then most and thats luck for him.

Also i think that without the development skill VR has to let yamaha know what needs to change JL wouldnt be where he is now.

So if you gonna talk about luck you need to take all in to account

Total votes: 181

Bit surprised to read VR's victories are brought down to the circumstances going his way, or in other words; being lucky. I'd say getting the best tires to work properly (Argentina, Assen) are more down to skill and craftmanship than just luck. As for Qatar, I wonder if a "properly visored" JL would have been able to fend off a storming-through-the-field-from-8th-place-Rossi.

On the other hand, one could argue that at every round where Bridgestone brings the edge treatment tires (majority of the races), those circumstances favour JL?

I do believe it's long but over, even if there would be 6 "normal" races left. Can't wait to see it unfold.

And eventhough his second place was obviously rain-inspired, hats off to Petrux, what a race from him!

Total votes: 138

If VR win the championship prepare for the classic "he was on the best bike" to go into overdrive with a "he was on the best bike and the best helmet".

Total votes: 171

Whomever becomes WC, unless it is Petrucci some people will always claim it was due to equipment.

Total votes: 111

When discussing luck for VR, we have also some for JL;
In Barcelona MM missed JL during a brakezone by the narrowest of margin and Pol did go a bit further and nearly run JL of the track in the wet in Silverstone. I guess luck will go either ways here.

Total votes: 119

If I remember what JL said, he didn't mention breath deflector. He said that HJC didn't want to put an undervisor, instead they sprayed the inner side of the main visor and said it'll do. And that was a mistake, I think. Because on my two helmets who fogged heavily, when I put the pinlock undervisor, I never had ANY fogging, ever. Ok, I don't race or drive 200+kmh, but I have friends who do, and they swear on it. So more or less it's a no-brainer to put an pinlock or similar undervisor. Maybe there's some new stuff out there (like this spray) that beats pinlock most of the times, but I'm not sure.
Also, top helmets should have the fog setting of the visor, where it lifts the visor a milimeter or two from fully shut, which enables air flow just enough to demist the visor, but doesn't impair the vision because of the draft. Again, maybe this doesn't work on 200+ kmh, but I don't know if JL's helmet has it, or if he could have done this manually and save himself from 'disaster'. It would be interesting to see some photo or video footage with his misty visor in the closing laps. Just to confirm he's not talking BS.

Anyway, gorilla-banging himself on the chest and saying "I'm faster, he's luckier" won't bring him anything good, on VR's relationship or fan base. Pathetic attempt to increase his confidence and self-belief, but I think even he knows that's not entirely true, so why make it public? Dunno.

Total votes: 135

From experience, you really want to lock the visor down so it can't open. Popping up into the wind at nearly 270, let alone the 320+ the GP guys get up to, it's a lot of air being forced into the helmet and I started to wonder if it might actually open up. It also means that the seal isn't seated at the top of the visor and helmet and water gets through.

Total votes: 106

Vale took the 5P rule to the heart:Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!
He used the time of the warm-up to take at least a look at a rain setting, whereas all others obviously didn´t do it that much.

So it was mostly his discipline and correct working method,
that left him with a usable basis when it finally rained.

Everything else was pure talent....and to finish first you first have to finish.
These two things MM93 has a hard time to learn somehow.
But I´m so so grateful that he did not crash into Vale to begin with.

Total votes: 148

Twelve races in, and only one has been wet. And that one was continuous rain, not changing conditions.

Total votes: 127

Hi David,

You have done great job mostly, but being my first post here, I have to state I disagree with your contents in this post.

You do seem to have certain bias with article vaguely favouring Lorenzo or Marquez. Yes I agree both are now faster than Rossi in general.

But I think it is poor taste to use this article to say Rossi wins 4 races due to circumstances, Marquez running off in Qatar? After passing all other riders, Marquez couldn't reel in Rossi or front group.
And what about Argentina?
All you seem to do is Rossi wins due to circumstances working for him and against others, isn't that the case Rossi lose because circumstances against him as he couldn't get a good qualifying? Catalunya? Despite Lorenzo hammering out strong pace, Rossi was actually closing in. If Rossi was right on Jorge's tail from lap one, who knows what would have happened?

My biggest dissappointment in this artice is that big efforts to write about circumstances gifting Rossi wins,...yet you had chosen to overlook one very important part of this race,.... Rossi making a brilliant race under treacherous conditions.
Have you just noticed how hard and how much on the limit Rossi had been pushing in the wet? I think it looked awesome Rossi lap after lap with his M1 fish-tailing out of the long corner exits.
That look awesome to me, not sure if anyone missed that out. Instead of paying some highlights on some of these things, you had gone on great lengths to praise super smooth Lorenzo which I admit is great too.

And do you realize how tough it was to hold off Petrucci in view of the championship at stake? Rossi's mistake was slowing down too much, but it's certainly big mental strength required to start managing that lead, 4 sec, to 3 to 1.5 sec, Rossi was increasing his pace back to maximum gradually, instead of doing a panic increase which may end in disaster, that is big feat.

Total votes: 207

And being a Marquez fan, and being a Stoner fan, and being a Rossi fan, and being a Hayden fan. And being biased against Lorenzo, Marquez, Stoner, Rossi, and everyone else. All these things I have been accused of. 

What I try to do is write about the things that I see. No doubt Rossi rode a brilliant race on Sunday, managing conditions extremely well. He judged the circumstances thrown his way perfectly, and got the best out of them. But that wasn't the point of the article. From now on, the only thing that matters is the championship. Every race until the Valencia will be viewed in the light of how it impacts that. If we were sure it was going to rain at every race, then the race which Rossi did at Silverstone would make him the favorite for the title by a long way.

But it is more likely that most, if not all, of the rest of the races will be dry, and so far, Jorge Lorenzo has been faster than Valentino Rossi in the dry the majority of the time. That, by the way, is not just my opinion. It is the opinion of Jorge Lorenzo, of course. It is also the opinion of Marc Marquez (see the quote in the article above). And it is the view of Valentino Rossi: "on the dry I think that it’s difficult arrive in front of Jorge."

I realize that many people don't agree with the things that I write, and almost everyone disagrees with me on something or other. That's fine. I try to describe what I see, and hope that my readers will trust my judgement. They may not like it sometimes, but I can't change my view just to suit the taste of one group of fans or another.

Total votes: 243

“This victory is so important because sincerely speaking in the dry I think it was difficult to arrive in front of Jorge.”

Rossi was talking about this race, not about the rest of the championship.

Total votes: 160

Not easy to make everyone happy :)
A read your reports with with an open mind and despite being a Rossi fan I'm not " offended" when you say the his wins are up to circumstances.
I don't entirely agree but that's ok. And as I'm sure we agree: the victories are well deserved. Four victories are a bit to much to put on the luck account.

Your view of the reminder of the season is a bit strange though.
Why wouldn't things happen? Why is it likely with 6 "normal" races. IMHO that would in it self be unusual.
Why are you so sure we will not have rain at Montegi, PI og KL?
We have seen no mechanical failures among the top riders yet. As the engine are getting used up, why should we not expect one of those?
You sound very much like Harris (MotoGP commentator) as he so often wrap it up too early, as he did on Sunday too, failing to see Rossi lost 2.5 sek on the lap MM crashed out.
I find the variables way to many and way to uncertain to make even a good guess, but what I feel almost certain about is that all remaining races will not go as normal races without special events influencing the result.
Sure, it could just as well be Rossi that have a mechanical failure but something will happen.

Total votes: 125

David,

While I wouldn't suggest that you have a particular bias against Rossi, or for some other rider, etc., I would suggest that the available data paints a different picture than what you have written above.

If we look at the fastest race laps from each of the races held so far in 2015, the following is shown (new lap records shown in bold):

1. Qatar: Rossi
2. CoTA: Iannone
3. Argentina: Rossi
4. Jerez: Lorenzo
5. Le Mans: Rossi

6. Mugello: Marquez
7. Catalunya: Marquez
8. Assen: Marquez
9. Sachsenring: Marquez
10. Indy: Marquez

11. Brno: Marquez
12. Silverstone: Rossi

At Qatar, the fastest rider (on the day) won the race. Full stop.

When CoTA rolled around, Marquez again cruised to victory, but it was 5th placed Iannone's turn to shine... on the 4th lap of the race, Crazy Joe set the fastest lap, using the Ducati GP15 to circulate CoTA's undulating curves ~1/4 of a second quicker than any of the three podium finishers could manage (Marquez, Dovi and Rossi). At CoTA, Rossi's fastest race lap was 0.210" faster than Lorenzo's, and Rossi finished the race nearly 4 seconds ahead of Lorenzo... who admittedly had the sniffles that weekend... which suggests the rather tongue-in-cheek question: should Rossi's podiums also be "questioned" like his race victories are?

At Argentina and Jerez, the fastest riders once again won their respective races, while setting new lap records in the process! At Le Mans, Rossi had the fastest lap, set a new lap record, and had a strong race pace overall (very similar to Lorenzo's own rhythm). Most of the four second gap between Lorenzo and Rossi at the finish line can be explained by time Rossi lost while trying to work his way through the pack.

At Mugello, Marquez set the best lap, but Lorenzo clearly had the best race rhythm, winning by a large margin. At Catalunya, Marquez set the fastest lap. Again, Lorenzo won, but it was arguably Rossi who had the strongest race pace, whittling Lorenzo's lead down from a little over 2 seconds to 0.885" by the checkered flag... in this race, Rossi was once again hampered by his Achilles heel: a 3rd row start!

At Assen, Marquez took "fastest lap" honors, setting a new lap record in the process. However, Rossi took pole position and led the race from start to finish, taking a well deserved win.

Marquez was untouchable at the Sachsenring, setting a new lap record and setting a blistering race pace, eventually taking a comfortable win. At Indy, Marquez and Lorenzo clearly had race rhythms a step above anyone else's, but it was Marquez who set the fastest lap, again breaking the previous record! Once again, the fastest rider won the race.

At Brno, Marquez set the fastest lap, but it was Lorenzo's pace that eventually afforded him the very comfortable win.

In this weekend's race, it was Rossi who set the fastest lap, under very treacherous conditions! As has happened so many times before, the fastest rider (on the day of the race) won!

Reviewing these data, it appears that Marquez is still "the fastest rider" (6 "fastest laps"!), but that Rossi is not far behind (4 "fastest laps"). Marquez should be leading the championship once again, but has had difficulty accepting any finishing position other than 1st place, and so has DNF'ed enough times to (effectively) remove himself from contention.

Rossi is leading the championship, both through consistency and racking up enough race victories to place himself above his teammate. As you have noted before, Rossi's biggest challenge appears to be qualifying, as he often languishes in the 3rd row of the grid. However, it appears that he and his team may be turning this situation around, as his starting positions seem to have improved somewhat since the Assen round. Where I differ from many pundit's opinions is in this: I think that Rossi's wins were a result of Rossi's and his team's dedication and hard work, not luck or extenuating circumstances; that is, much like anyone else's wins, I don't think an asterisk need apply!

Lorenzo has only had one race where he had the "fastest lap" all season long, so of the top three, is he the "slowest" rider? As ever, it is his metronomic consistency and strong qualifying performances that have placed him in the hunt for the title. Wracking up a string of 4 four victories in a row, and then following that up with a dominant fifth win at Brno certainly demonstrates that the answer to my rhetorical question above should be a resounding "No!"

As many have stated before, 2015 is shaping up to be one of the best seasons we have ever witnessed.... I, for one, am definitely not ready to proclaim that either Rossi or Lorenzo "will win the 2015 championship"; in my view, this title fight is as open as ever, and both of the main protagonists seem very capable of wrapping this year up satisfactorily for their teams. When it's all "done and dusted" I am sure we will marvel at the performances we have seen!

Regards,

Gidgster34

Edit: I forgot CoTA! ;)

Total votes: 156

In the last paragraph I think you mean what you write! :-)

Amazing the amount of comments this generated. I thought it was pretty realistic....except this: "Andrea Dovizioso, on the other hand, was as solid as ever". While it is true, I believe what he did was rather remarkable. Maybe you didn't notice that he qualed poorly in 12th and then at the start spun out and nearly ran into the wall. After that he was basically at the back of the pack. He recovered and had to go through the whole field to get on the podium. That is how he was behind Petrucci in the first place -who started in 18th?

Way to go Petrucci, outstanding ride! He must be the only one who LOVES riding in the rain. It is always nice to see people have fun.

Lorenzo is quite impressive when he can dominate start to finish but he does seem to be lacking in some areas when he actually has to race people. If Rossi wins the championship it will be because of his skills and consistency in all the other areas. Time will tell, it should be fun to watch.

Total votes: 123

If Lorenzo or Marquez had started fourth, passed their title rivals and lead every lap except one under such challenging conditions, it's hard for me to imagine this article describing their performance in the manner used to describe Rossi's.

References to blistering pace or a crushing rhythm drawing mistakes from the competition would have been par for the course, methinks.

Total votes: 175

The problem with the obsessed rossi fans is they can't see the highs of lorenzo. Well its not that lorenzo has better skills. The facts over the years which time and again has always proved that in terms of skill they are at very similar level. If one is down in one area then the other is good in that area and vice versa.

Lorenzo is almost all the time better in dry conditions, now some will say its due to the special edge grip tyres. Well its not, the tyres which lorenzo prefers and has had success is almost the same tyre from the 2013 and earlier seasons. At that time no one said anything about tyres. Since the 2014 heat resistants came it changed people's perception that it is the standard tyre of motogp which it isn't. The so called edge grip tyre has been used in the recent past seasons except for 2014 so its nothing like "special tyres for lorenzo or special edge grip tyre", its similar to the past onesand is the standard tyre of motogp. Infact the heat resistants are the new ones.

Coming back to the first para, the problem is simple that whenever someone poses a threat to rossi, be it stoner, lorenzo or marc the result is unjustified retaliation. Valentino's experience was his most significant weapon in yesterday's race and he has better ability to adapt in comparison to jorge. But jorge covers that thing by totally dominating in normal conditions where valentino falls short and has better qualifying ability and RAW speed too. And valentino apart from ability to adapt better has better race craft and is almost invincible when there is a fight in last laps. In the rain jorge was very good (le mans 2012, sepang 2012) but since assen 2013 he has lost that speed in the wet. So there is little to choose between both of them.

Instead of blaming David for bias towards jorge and marc, people should look at the bigger picture. He is one of the best in his subject and knows when and where to give credit to riders. He very precisely analyses the events and reports to us which cannot be refuted and he states exactly the circumstances which prevails in the current competition and cannot be easily identified by the general readers. So if few are not happy with his reporting they can go to their nearest P.S with their problems because david is sagacious enough and cannot do anything to change this.

Total votes: 176

He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and I am really happy for his podium.

However, looking at his motorbike past racing career, I am a bit surprised he made it all the way to motogp.

Does anyone know how come he ended in that Ducati? Was he a paying driver when he joined IODA? Did he shine once in MotoGP and Pramac hired him for his results at IODA? Is he still bringing money to his teams?
Does he have amazingly good skills to bring feedback to the engineers, and that is why he is in Motogp?

Total votes: 126

I think an idea for a restart on a wet warm up lap would be to return to the pits, get on the spare bike then do an extra circuit of the track and form up on the grid again immediately for a start, would keep the schedule on time and would provide a safe start. Keep the race distance the same as the spare bike would be fueled for the full race distance.

Total votes: 111

Assuming they don't customize Jorge's helmet for him I have exactly the same HJC helmet that he does. Maybe it's about how the helmet fits each head differently, or maybe it's about how I don't ride at 300+ km/h, but for what it's worth my helmet is the best I've ever owned at eliminating fog, in all sorts of different rainy and wet conditions.

I do however have the pinlock fog insert and can't imagine why you wouldn't ride with it (if indeed Jorge rode without one). At any rate I'm not necessarily disputing what Jorge is saying but I do find it interesting that I've had pretty much the opposite experience (albeit riding in a rainstorm to the cabin, not racing MotoGP).

Total votes: 126

hahaha I was just thinking about that as I was scrolling through all the comments.

I agree, I have the HJC Lorenzo replica and the breath deflector and pinlock shield make a heck of a difference on inclement weather.

Total votes: 106

If it is raining on a trackday, or a bit cool, my pinlock stays in.

But if it is a nice day, it comes off as i get really distracted by the distortion on the edge of the pinlock reflecting things in my peripheral vision, especially in the braking zones when the red and white edges flash past..... they must be really distracting at moto GP speeds!!

Total votes: 115

IMO -peripheral vision is so important, I could see why JL did not put in the pinlock visor.

Total votes: 118

... the remainder of this season will be Rossi's greatest-ever challenge if he hopes to win the title, I (foolishly) assumed this would be a dry race at that point. But now, after Rossi has been gifted frankly ideal conditions with which to overcome Jorge, I think the remaining 6 rounds will be a colossal struggle for him. However, if there is any rider in motorcycle racing history who can thwart a near-perfect rival (who admittedly needs near-perfect conditions) it is Rossi.

But I'll be damned if it won't be hugely difficult.

Total votes: 126

are all his favourite tracks so I would not be so sure. 106 points each for the last 6 races last year. And I don't think he has been gifted anything, he raced a very hard race. As he said, he hasn't won a wet race for 10 years or won at Silverstone, so how this was 'gifted' beats me.

Total votes: 130

.... at the chance to defend Rossi, and you did. I'm not criticizing Vale, and the wet conditions were absolutely a "gift" for Rossi yesterday. A wet track gave him a much MUCH more realistic opportunity to take a win at Silverstone than if it were a dry race, based merely on every practice session and qualifying. Did he capitalize on the opportunity? Yes, he made the most of it and then some. Just telling it how it is.

Total votes: 134

I'm a big fan of both Lorenzo and Rossi, but if you are saying that rainy conditions are a gift to Rossi, then it would follow that dry conditions are a gift to Lorenzo because dry conditions give "him a much MUCH more realistic opportunity to take a win" and so far, 11 out of 12 races have been dry, so Lorenzo has had many more gifts this year than Rossi, yet Rossi still leads the championship.

Total votes: 164

The man is 36 years old. His main rivals are quite a bit younger, but he keeps teaching them lessons here and there. And in between he teaches the lesson of fighting to be on the podium.

Maybe that'll be enough, maybe it won't. But, I think if he can win two more races this season, that will put him in the hunt. And I can think of at least 3 tracks he'll be at least as equally as strong as Lorenzo before we get into misted visors and iffy tire choices.

No matter what, it's like watching the last ride of the magnificent seven. Pretty awesome if he could pull it off.

Total votes: 138

needed the harder tyre because of tyre life and safety. And on all those races JL complained, or maybe i should say talked about why there wasnt any medium tyre and constant telling that bridgestone wil bring the medium with edge treathment soon. Non of the other riders did i hear talking about it. The biggest luck for JL is the medium edge grip. without it he basicly dont stand a change. He rely so heavily on it, more so then any other rider in MotoGP.
In Qatar VR mas making ground on JL and AD even befor the helmet issue.

David emmet just wrote he writes things as he sees it and thats fine and more so even better for us. And i really enjoy it here getting to know things you wont see or find on other sites.

the only thing that sting me was was that he said VR won with luck while JL due to pure speed. Maybe thats true but with the LUCK of the edge grip tyres as hes the one who can exploid them full. while VR won due to pure speed on tyres he could exploid to full potential.

Total votes: 125

There's some clear questions to be asked of Webb & Co.

Did they base their stupid 'Dry Race' theory on Florian Alt's dry weather lap times towards the end of the Moto2 race, rather than reality?

'Reality' was that the weather was closing in.

'Reality' was, that with advanced, sophisticated weather warning systems, Race Direction were aware of impending rain but called the race 'Dry' instead.

'Reality' was an entire grid changing to 'wet' bikes and starting from the hugely dangerous confines of pit-line.

'Reality' was just one rider deciding to start from the grid on a 'dry' bike forcing everyone else to start from pit-lane.

'Reality' was the sighting lap on slicks in full wet conditions - the most dangerous lap of the 'race' according to Hayden.

The race? Well, that was a complete farce from start to finish.

Webb & Co had better start revising the rules and come-up with better solutions to the more obvious, pressing questions.

Reality is that Silverstone turned into a sad joke - despite the brilliant efforts of the riders (and track-side staff).

Total votes: 145

..depends on what your agenda or rider preference is for what shapes your opinion. After travelling world wide to GPs for 30 years now and having no favourite rider, I just admire the quality on this site- quality that your superb articles generate from us lot.
Of course I'd like to see VR win his 10th in Valencia, who wouldn't, especially if he's earned it, which, the way this barn-burner of a season is going, looks like being the case.
Why don't folk out there understand that, when all is said and done, yours is just what everyone else's is- that being an OPINION. You may have better journalistic skills than most of us, and have your nose pressed up to the glass in a way we can only imagine but you have earned the right to be there and send back your excellent dispatches that provoke all this- thanks David and I for one will accept it as is and if I don't agree then that is my difference of OPINION, doesn't have to mean I criticise you...

BTW, have to pick you up on one thing in the lead article, "Andrea Dovisioso, on the other hand,was as solid as ever..."

David, he's in my fantasy team, solid as ever this season?

But really, I ain't falling out with you over it...

Total votes: 115

Are you kidding me now? i guess Marquez is a chump then since his most serious contenders suffered from injuries in 2013 and his bike was far superior in 2014.

That's the kind of stuff you expect to find in the Crash comments section.

It's not Rossi's fault if Lorenzo can't match his pace in the wet and Qatar 2015 was always his, faulty visor or not. Also Lorenzo's visor issues(if real...) are on his team and him only.

What a disappointing write up.

Edit: Also what about Marquez, Crutchlow and Miller crashing thus allowing Lorenzo to avoid a disaster? How's that for 'luck'?

Total votes: 148

Let me start with stating the obvious, I'm a huge VR46 fan always have, always will but I must say that I also like Lorenzo (to the point of even buying his replica helmet) and like the way that he's like a machine of sorts that when he gets on his zone, he's unstoppable.

That being said, it seems to me that every single time that JL99 has not won, it has been to some 'unusual' circumstance... helmet, bad tire, lack of grip, "didn't have the pace", helmet again, etc...

The way I see it, Lorenzo 'struggles' when he's in the middle of the pack or has some pressure put on him. Last week I stated that VR46 needed to go into a dogfight with him but I guess all that was needed was some rain to rattle his nerves because I think that this race's pressure started before the lights went out.

When the race was Red Flagged, not sure if everyone noticed but JL was shown without a helmet and somewhat nervous talking with R. Forcada, the Ohlins guy and the Bridgestone guy in a somewhat 'accelerated' manner vs Rossi who returned to the box by his own means, not with the help of his crew, kept his helmet on and was simply preparing for battle. It felt to me that Marquez was the same way. But that up for interpretation.

If Rossi continues to qualify 4th or better and do a good start enough to pressure Lorenzo I believe we will see some good races on the dry but I also believe that we'll still have 2 or 3 races with wacky weather and that obviously changes everything.

No we go to Misano where Rossi could probably race with his R1M and still score some points.

Yes Lorenzo and Marquez are faster on the dry than Valentino but then again, conditions must be perfect for Lorenzo to excel with his tires.

Without a doubt, we're in for a excellent finish to this great season, so excited and can't wait for Valencia...

The Danilo Petrucci post-race conference is fabulous! Glad to see him up there, showed similar charisma as Rossi and could immediately notice that the other two podium finishers where quite happy for him not to mention the rest of the teams...

Total votes: 136

It is interesting thinking how this plays into next races, especially where Rossi has an advantage
Misano , Philip Island (2014 tires) and maybe Malaysia.
Finishing on top of Jorge on this races should be enough?
I wonder also how Marquez now that he has decided he might take podiums instead of crazy risks can affect the championship.

Total votes: 107

Yet again I read on here a Rossi win is luck or down to this or that. When Lorenzi wins, or Marquez for that matter, you gush over them, their skill, etc. When Rossi wins its down to this or that, circumstance, always an excuse. How many times did you say asterisk in regards to his first win back at Yamaha at Assen?

"in Argentina, Rossi chose the right tire, and benefited from a mistake by Márquez."
Rossi didn't benefit from a mistake from Marquez. Marquez simply crashed trying to stay with Valentino, nothing more. Just like this race at Silverstone, he crashed trying to stay with Valentino, over riding his Honda until finally he pushed it too far.

"Here at Silverstone, the rain played to Rossi's strengths. All of Lorenzo's victories have come from simply being much faster than anyone else, and taken when conditions had been what you might regard as normal.".
No, in the rain, the bikes aren't as fast due to conditions. That means the taller riders suffer less with the fuel restrictions. This is why Petrucci got second. Fuel limitations removed we get to see who has the talent and throttle control to get the job done.

Bias much?
There are still fuel limitations in place for all the factory riders. That means the taller and heavier riders always suffer more and have to be that much better at racing to deal with the handicap. Rossi taller than the rest of the factory riders and why his campaign in 2015 is so impressive, forget his age. This was a master class win by Valentino. He didn't start from the front row. He fought his way to the front and managed it the rest of the race. In the rain, the lead rider is taking the biggest chance as changing conditions he will be the first one going down on the pavement. Marquez was right to sit behind him and let him take all the chances. And Rossi did that to the checkered flag. No excuses, no circumstance, simply superior riding in difficult conditions.

As far as Lorenzo and his visor let's put the facts on display. He chose not to use a breath deflector. Two, Dovizioso said in the post race press conference he couldn't see anything at the end of the race. He doesn't use a HJC by the way. Three, the rest of the riders cracked or opened their visors on the cool down lap, Lorenzo did not. He chose to ride the entire cool down lap with his visor down so he could steam it up and make a big drama for the cameras when he entered the garage. He is a sore loser and always looking to blame something when he does not perform.

Total votes: 193

as usual BrickTop. It's crazy how people like to sh*t on this guy for no reason yet he never say a bad word about anybody.

Apparently Lorenzo himself said 'luck' is Rossi's main strentgh.

Im taking Voodoo lessons starting now. There's no way his disrespectful behind wins this championship.

Total votes: 130

I was there at Silverstone, conditions were awful,so I dont understand how Rossi was lucky to have to ride in that,at his pace,with Marquez snapping at him,then holding off Petrucci to take the win.Sounds more like talent to me.I think Lorenzo's only issue with his visor was the view through it of Rossi winning. My experience of riding is that you open a misted up visor at the earliest opportunity, not sit in your pit box with it closed.Lorenzo has proved he can be faster on the edge-treated tyres in the dry,Rossi has proved he is faster without,and in the wet.He won this on merit not luck,and Jorge knows it.my guess is that if he wins Misano Lorenzo will start to crumble.

Total votes: 160

And without lowering the tone maybe you should read what my comments about Dovi relate to. Accuse me of not seeing if you must but perhaps you need to look a little further down the road...

Total votes: 101

Reply to fuyas:

I don't think there was a lot of options in the CRT days. He got an opportunity through lack of availability of riders willing to ride a CRT. Just my thought. He has certainly made the most of it though. Very solid year.

Total votes: 100

Comments of bias are perhaps overlooking the oblique praise in the write up that is rossi's by right. To have the craft and sheer skill to overcome rivals with a faster outright pace is something incredible. In this arena you make your own luck.

Total votes: 116

David, great article as ever and I concur with others about wearing out my refresh keys, in anticipation for your great write ups - and Paddock Pass - everyone should be listening to those Podcasts.

Now, full disclosure, I'm a rabid VR46 fan. I'm also a fan of everyone on the grid. As a hobby racer, I understand how the slowest rider on the MotoGP grid is still otherworldly.

So on to luck and things falling in line for Valentino. I like to think luck has very little to do with it. To me, luck can be replaced by two things: race preparation, as you say, but also race craft. To log the fastest lap times is important to winning. HOWEVER, race craft informs a rider what to do in varying situations to capitalize. Lap times alone won't get you out of a scrum with five other riders - race craft will.

Race craft, of which Valentino has more of than anyone, is what you need to get to the front to have an opportunity to put those lap times to use and then to managing the pace to ensure you last the distance.

Very little is luck. There's just more to it than outright speed.

Total votes: 138

...but Rossi wins wars, and enjoys doing so. That's why I like him.

Total votes: 125

Or, "Rossi qualifies relatively well, wins"

His position certainly helped his results. That said, when it rains I tend to mentally divide riders into good rain and bad rain riders. Rain involves luck because it favors some riders over others. It sometimes also involves luck to avoid crashing out or being crashed into. But rain riding is also a skill some riders have and/or develop. Rossi was lucky it rained so as to take advantage of a particular skill. Don't sweat the semantics people!

Total votes: 131

I've just watched the aborted start and noticed the BT commentators point out that Lorenzo's visor was steamed up after the the FIRST warm up lap. You can clearly see fog inside his lid. So he already knew he had a problem yet went out again for the restart without having dealt with it.... That's not unlucky, that's just daft.

Total votes: 127

he knew what to do about it befor the race!

Total votes: 112

what a bunch of butt hurt crybabies. there are usually some pretty insightful comments on David's articles here but this time,,,,,,,not so much.

Total votes: 143

I was thinking the same thing. You guys need to temper yourselves a little. Wah wah.

Total votes: 122

Is sadly falling prey to the legions of Rossi fanboys which has been the case for all other popular motorsport websites.

Rossi is a masterclass in the wet, there is no doubting that. He was also the best rider of the day in the conditions as they were. Those are all facts.

Even by Rossi's own admission, Lorenzo was out of reach in the dry (at Silverstone). The only chance Rossi had to get some points over JL at Silverstone was if it rained (or if JL crashed, which would be part-luck as well).

Rossi winning the race in the given conditions was not luck. He was just better. The conditions aligning perfectly in Rossi's favor however, was completely down to luck. Mad fanboys will flat out refuse to acknowledge or admit that fact.

Total votes: 133

'Each of Rossi's victories in 2015 has been down to circumstances going his way, or something unexpected happening.'

EACH.

Had Mr Emmet only talked about this race in these terms maybe, just maybe would he have a point(i still think he wouldn't. Rain is part of the game.). As it stands he has no case and neither do you.

Also he implied in his only reply in the comments sections that Rossi had admitted that Lorenzo was OVERALL faster than him, not only at Silverstone, which is also false. Good thing someone called him out on that one too.

There's a difference between expecting a journalist to cheer for your favorite rider and expecting him to give credit where it's due. Something all the people white knighting for mr Emmet seem to have trouble understanding.

Total votes: 135

You don't have to agree on everything and you can always feel a rider deserves more credit, but some of the bitter disappointments expressed here are rediculous. Don't bother looking for write-ups that are less biased, it will be much easier to find some that glorify your favorite rider.

Total votes: 134

Probably due to the "tears" running down Lorenzo's face...he's very sensitive sometimes!

Bring on Misano!!!

Total votes: 117

as an avid Moto fan,I devour this site,

its was a great Brit GP meeting,the weather upset the apple cart,but there are
three worthy winners,

as far as luck is concerned,all riders have it.some good,some bad,look at both
Vale and Cal,

but my other passion of high speed is Golf,there used to be a player,Gary Player
to be exact,that was accused of being lucky,but he worked damn hard practicing,
and lo and behold,he kept winning,he stated,funny thing luck,the more I practice,

the luckier I get,
strange that,

keep up the good work David,
BTW,any Michelin testing after ??

Total votes: 111

A couple of years ago, I was puzzled by how quickly moto journos discounted Rossi and took up the banner for Lorenzo and later Marquez. Now I think it's really pretty simple. There are two forces driving this dynamic.

First, journalists are supposed to spot trends before the layman does. So it behooves them to announce the next big thing before others do. Remember when Pedrosa was supposed to be the next Rossi? Moto journos wanted to claim they spotted him first, so they made their proclamations hastily - and erroneously. Now Marquez is the next Rossi. Perhaps they will be correct this time, but the point is that moto journos have an incentive to declare that "Rossi's day is past, and behold the new sensation."

The second factor is that journalists are not supposed to play favorites. They're supposed to report the facts. The good journos are colorful, no doubt, but they are not supposed to be fan boys. So when Valentino is facing a powerful challenger, moto journos have an incentive to write him off quickly. The longer a moto journo holds out hope for Rossi, the more he looks like a fan boy instead of a journalist.

So if David, or any journo, writes things up differently than you or I might, understand that he runs in different circles than we do. And to his great credit, he provides this forum where unwashed fans, like me, can voice alternate perspectives. Ahem :-)

Total votes: 133

but you don't imply that being the quickest on the best tyre for race distance was down to being 'lucky' for choosing the 'right' tyre. Especially when his main rival is the best 'only' on a specific set of tyres.

You don't imply that a man who's been on the podium after EVERY race so far and has bagged 4 wins leads the championship only because he's been lucky.

You also don't forget the fact that the very same rival only 'managed' to avoid a complete disaster just because quicker riders crashed out. Not because he was particularly good that day.

Nobody expected him to call this the greatest ride ever or to cheer for Rossi in his article.There was just no need to try and downplay the man's achievements.

I'll give it to Mr Emmet that he tries very hard most of the time to be as unbiased as he can , but this one here is a failure of epic proportions.

Total votes: 144

The thing with journalists and Rossi is one very common to other MotoGP fans (yes, MotoGP journalists are fans). They want or need to appear impartial and knowledgeable. Casual viewer of the sport will say that Rossi is the best rider and Rossi-fans are supposable the most irrational. That leads journalist into an "I'm not a Rossi fan" bias, in which they feel that they always have to know the detail that takes the "incredible" out of Rossi achievements and brings him down to earth. The higher the prejudice towards Rossi-fans the harder they'll try to put down Rossi. There's actually a lot of people now a days saying that the 2004 Yamaha was the best bike on the grid, bringing some obscure interview with Kenny Roberts Jr. as evidence.

However, I don’t think it takes anything away from the work of those journalists, and I still respect them very much. To me is quite understandable, after all we're all here for love and passion. Let them bash.

Total votes: 127

Thank you for stating it so well.

Total votes: 104

Did no one mention how lucky Lorenzo was not to be knocked off my Pol when they came together??

Total votes: 119

Sorry to interrupt this scintillating discussion, but can someone explain why Crutchlow was able to crash and change bikes? I can't recall this happening before (I could easily be wrong).

Total votes: 107

His bike was damaged in the first crash, but he can still ride it back to the pits, and it was still very early in the race so he merely tried to hopefully still get some points. However the spare bike was still in the dry race settings, so upon returning to the race he crashed again immediately afterwards.

Total votes: 101

Yeah, I get that, but why has no one else ever crashed a bike, driven it back to the pits, and used their spare? Or have they? I thought the only reason for allowing a second bike was to be able to race in changing conditions.

Total votes: 110

As per the FIM rules, in the MotoGP class only, machine changes are permitted only under the following circumstances:
- If the race has been declared wet
- If the White Flags have been displayed indicating that machine changes are permitted (means a flag-to-flag race)

I also don't remember any similar case in the near past, but likely no one have their bike survive the crash in the wet, or not enough incentive to continue the race. In this situation, Cal was only about 3 laps into the race, so if he's fast enough he probably can get back into the points, which turned out not to be.

Total votes: 99

The Gran Prix rules can be downloaded here.
http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/regulations-and-documents/grand-prix/

See subsection 17 of section 1.18. When a rider changes bikes during a wet race, there are no restrictions on the type of tires that my be used.

In the past, if you came in on rain tires and changed bikes, the new bike had to be on slicks. This meant you would change bikes only because of changing track conditions.

But now that there are no tire restrictions, you may change bikes for any reason, including, "I crashed my 1st bike and want my 2nd one."

Note that this is possible only in wet races.

Total votes: 98

I have a vague recollection if Vale doing something like this at Le Mans - 2009 or 2010 I think.

On that occasion, if my memory serves me, he dropped it, came round to the pits and swapped bikes, his team fixed the original bike and he returned to the pit and got back on it.

I think he also had a drive-through - it seemed as if he spent more time in pit lane than he did on the track!!!

Total votes: 91

Reading through the comments section it feels that many people didn't read carefully enough to see between the lines. Every complaints seem to be about how Rossi didn't win his races by luck but by merit. I have no problem about that, but I think David merely pointed out some established facts about the circumstances surrounding the season, which have seen Rossi and Lorenzo going at it one on one to the line in ABSOLUTELY NO RACES SO FAR.
I'll try to take it one by one here:

- "In Qatar, Lorenzo had a problem with the visor"
More accurately his helmet foam dropped down and blocked part of the visor. He was leading until that point, so with Rossi charging through the field, the pair could have scrapped to the finish line. Instead Lorenzo had to drop his pace down for some damage limitation, the first of many races this season. Everyone knows what happened to Marquez in this race already, so I won't go further. Next.

- "in Argentina, Rossi chose the right tire, and benefited from a mistake by Márquez."
At this point of the season everyone was saying that Rossi wins because Lorenzo couldn't handle the hard compound tyre like Rossi can. Again, Marquez's plight is already well known here. Next.

- "At Assen, Rossi rode a brilliant race and outwitted Márquez, while Lorenzo struggled with a tire he did not like."
Same as Argentina, except Marquez had a better bike and were able to fight Rossi to the line, something that Lorenzo again failed to do - with the very same reason he keeps on saying for two years straight. Next.

- "Here at Silverstone, the rain played to Rossi's strengths."
And many other factors, but I won't put more fuel to the fire. Next.

- "All of Lorenzo's victories have come from simply being much faster than anyone else, and taken when conditions had been what you might regard as normal."
As the record this season shows, in all Lorenzo-won races, he was leading every single lap of it, with no one able to get even close to him. No arguments on that one.

So is it down to luck on Rossi? Although I'd say not quite, but when opportunity presents itself, he was ready and able to pounce on it. While Lorenzo is better on bike setup but more of a one trick pony, incapable of using different approaches in tricky situations, failing to capitalize on his own luck. With so many races where he gets better grid positions and better launch starts than Rossi, he should probably be the leading rider in the championship by now, yet he's not. However the worst of this situation is that we, as spectators, are deprived of an exciting duel between those two, like Rossi and Marquez had a few times this season. Hopefully Misano will be the first.

Total votes: 139

I have no doubt that Lorenzo fogged his helmet. But I also think that Lorenzo's helmet issue was operator error. No way to know for sure, but he made some strange decisions - especially to not use a breath deflector. We've also heard how physically demanding his style is. I have an expensive Shoei and a less-expensive HJC, and in my experience in bad weather...the HJC clears faster (much faster, actually) and has better overall visibility, but is heavier and doesn't fit my head as well. In both helmets, if I don't consciously breathe "down" (neither have a breath deflector) then they both fog dangerously unless left partially open, even with all the vents open.

In fact, I always had viewed HJC helmets negatively until I got one and I was frankly more than a little bit surprised, and in a good way. I think Lorenzo's reactions to being slower are more mature than Marquez's (ramming speed!), but still reflect a certain psychological deflection and inability to appreciate that you aren't always the fastest.

Total votes: 113

“The more I practice, the luckier I get.” - Gary Player

Yes, Rossi was lucky.

Yes, there's a reason for that.

Total votes: 127

Nice.

Total votes: 107

Dave touched on how Vale is the best at adapting to conditions due to his experience...and innate skills.
There have been many discussions about all riders getting off on equal ground as they must adjust to the new Michelins next year.

...and due to Vale's skills at adapting to any situation, including equipment, I foresee an advantage for him next year.

Total votes: 112

I've been telling my buddies this for a long time since the news came out about Michelin taking over from Bridgestone.

In the current field of riders, I believe only 4 have Michelin GP experience running thru it in my head. Both Yamaha riders, Pedrosa and Hayden, with JLo only having one season on them. As I recall, that was a really painful season for JLo.....

Rossi always went well on the Michelins and Pedrosa knows them, but somehow I feel that particularly MM will not get away with how he pushes front tires into turns. And JLo, if he's............pre-occupied......... with racing in the wet, well he may be a bit pre-occupied going back to Michelins. He may well make good use of that astronaut helmet he sports occasionally.

And I guess my compatriot Hayden may well be on Pirellis next year.........

Total votes: 118

I can't believe the commentary!

This is my summary of the article - I think it was absolutely spot on:
FOR THIS RACE ONLY:
Rossi was prepared and adapted to the conditions in order to win, Marquez couldn't follow him and Lorenzo was clearly not as prepared for the conditions. It was a good race, born of preparation and intelligent analysis of the possibilities for race day.

That seems to me to be exactly right. Right?

Rossi is quite intelligent, I think everyone acknowledges this. It is reflected in his riding, because he always has a plan. When he is running at the front he generally isn't alone, and he is still The Doctor when it comes to winning when the lead is under contest. He has had this edge for his entire career. It often makes the races when he wins very exciting, which is one of the reasons he is still the heart and soul of MotoGP.

Lastly, should Rossi win the championship, there will be no asterisk against it. No talk of better bikes or weak competition. It won't be because of crushing pace or superlatives like it. It will be intelligence, racecraft, setup and race pace. And for me, that would make it all the more special.

BTW - I tend to back JL99 simply because I love his riding style.

Total votes: 115

Jeremy Burgess once said that one needs roughly 7 race wins (along with a strong season) to WIN a championship.

With that in mind Jorge has 5 wins to Vale's 3.

However, Vale is showing how through shear podium consistency and capitalizing on the right race wins, you can leverage experience over pure speed.

BTW, Silverstone is not the only race Vale has admitted he was lacking the speed to fight with Lorenzo in the dry BEFORE a race. Lorenzo has shown relentless domination of the front row for qualifying, but Vale seems to always find the bit more confidence in the WUP and builds his confidence further during the race. I believe this is because Vale knows his real skill set is setting fast laps on worn tires and his natural aggressiveness from actual racing picks up the extra tenths he is missing during practices where he focuses almost purely on PACE. Notice how the races Lorenzo has dominated it is usually because he finds his setting/speed very early in the weekend and is then able to focus on pace, tire life, etc, Rossi has even pointed that out on certain weekends.

Just like how Lorenzo exploits his corner speed to the max because this is his gift, Rossi exploits his race craft and experience knowing that every race is long, tires will fade for everybody, and it is not where you start but where you finish that matters.

Total votes: 114

has four wins now, not three: Qatar, Argentina, Assen, Silverstone.

Total votes: 111

thanks for catching that. Argentina skipped my mind i guess.

just realized how many MM doff's and DNFs are in those 4. The pressure of Vale.

Total votes: 106

I've no idea about the role of luck in Rossi's success so far this season, don't care, don't know squat about Lorenzo's helmet issues, but...

I don't entirely agree with the prediction on the coming races. It would be very very very difficult to beat off a determined Rossi, with a championship at stake, at Motegi, PI, Sepang, or Misano...or even Valencia. At least, Lorenzo is simply not the man for the job.

It's not even a question of talent or outright speed, but simply a matter of mental resources in the most generic sense. I really don't think - just my opinion - that Lorenzo is quite at the level of Rossi in that department. Without being overtly critical, the way Lorenzo reacts to certain events, the amount of support and management he seems to need, all points to him being located in a different personality quadrant from Rossi.

I do have to agree with David's conclusion that Lorenzo appears to be faster in general.

But there's this stupid theory I've been growing but yet to name - at any given point in a motogp season, the ideas and opinions of a passive interested observer is determined blindly and unequivocally by the outcome of the last 2 races.

Total votes: 115

Nope. Having good luck and tremendous skill aren't mutually exclusive. Leading the championship because of hard work and talent and leading the championship because of good luck aren't mutually exclusive.

Examples? Rossi beat Marquez at Argentina due to hard work, skill, and racecraft. Rossi put 25 whole points on Marquez in that race due to luck. Marquez did something that Rossi had no control over, and that gave Rossi's championship hopes a tremendous boost: He crashed. Lucky Rossi.

I think the problem here is that people are conflating David's assertion that circumstances have periodically favored Rossi this season with David suggesting that Rossi will have not earned a title if he is to win it. I don't think that's the case at all. People also seem upset that David focused on Rossi's good luck this season, when his rivals have also had episodes of good fortune, such as Lorenzo benefiting in this race from a miracle collision save and the LCR debacle. Well, it's his article, and those details are outside of the scope of the point he was trying to make. He also didn't mention the mating cycles of indigenous northern beavers, but I'm not reading anybody complaining about that...

There are a lot of parallels to 2006 here, and I don't think anybody can claim that Nicky didn't "earn his title," although a dispassionate writer would be justified in pointing out that Rossi had cruel luck that year--and this is a big time Nicky Hayden fan writing this.

Bottom line: Lorenzo's wins this season have, indeed, happened under what you would call "normal" circumstances. And they have all been absolutely crushingly dominant. Rossi's wins have all been a lot more full of drama, suspense, circumstance, and... would "passion" be the right word? I know as a fan of all these riders, I've enjoyed Rossi's wins a lot more from a spectacle and drama standpoint.

Anyway, even if you're some die-hard Rossi fan, what's so offensive in reading this?

Keep up the good work, David.

Total votes: 140

Horribly misinformed post. First of all, you for some reason this towards Marquez makes no sense since the point was about Rossi and Lorenzo, and the only thing that crash in Argentina caused was for Lorenzo to gain an additional point. Under normal conditions (which seems to be the new trendy word these days) Marquez understands his situation and takes the 2nd place.

People here are disagreeing with him because he is creating circumstances that can only be agreed with if you are biased against Rossi. Argentina, Assen and Sachsenring especially were straight forward dry races drubbings under the most normal conditions, unless they don't work for your narrative, in which case poor little Jorge didn't get his special tyres of course.

"People also seem upset that David focused on Rossi's good luck this season, when his rivals have also had episodes of good fortune, such as Lorenzo benefiting in this race from a miracle collision save and the LCR debacle. Well, it's his article, and those details are outside of the scope of the point he was trying to make."

What a ridiculous point, how can anyone then take this seriously if he just chooses to pick and leave out facts that suit his viewpoint? First of all, those 3 guys crashing out possibly finishing between them is a far more tangible point than most of his explanations why Rossi's wins have been lucky.

"There are a lot of parallels to 2006 here, and I don't think anybody can claim that Nicky didn't "earn his title," although a dispassionate writer would be justified in pointing out that Rossi had cruel luck that year--and this is a big time Nicky Hayden fan writing this."

Allow me to laugh. In 2006 Hayden has a major bike advantage on top of Rossi losing about 60-65 points to him on technical failures, yet still it came down to the last race. It was another dominant Rossi year on pure performance, not quite at the level of 2005, but pretty close. This year the two are teammates who neither have have technical issues all year.

"Bottom line: Lorenzo's wins this season have, indeed, happened under what you would call "normal" circumstances. And they have all been absolutely crushingly dominant. Rossi's wins have all been a lot more full of drama, suspense, circumstance, and... would "passion" be the right word? I know as a fan of all these riders, I've enjoyed Rossi's wins a lot more from a spectacle and drama standpoint."

Okay? Sure, Lorenzo has been better at qualifying as Rossi more or less sucks at it nowadays, which has resulted in Jorge having all of his wins to be flag-to-flag. What qualifies those as normal though? Because MotoGP on average sucks and we are conditioned to think one person leading is normal, and fighting for the win is not? Besides, Catalunya and Le Mans were not dominant on pace, as Rossi was matching him throughout (a bit faster in Catalunya), only hampered by his Q position.

Bottom line: Can someone make one good argument why Rossi has been lucky this year, as I have yet to see one? It being wet in Silverstone is the most relevant argument, but even then it has its logical fallacies as somehow Lorenzo not able to match Rossi in the wet shouldn't matter.

Total votes: 117

nobody crashing out unexpectedly, no mechanical failures between the title challengers, no sinkhole opening up in the middle of the track and swallowing up half the field, etc. Lorenzo hasn't won every dry race, sure. But all of his wins were "normal" dry races.

I bring up Marquez' crash being lucky for Rossi because I'm guessing if you asked Rossi at the time who he most feared in the title chase, that guy would have been wearing orange. Things have changed since then, but that crash left Rossi with a fairly decent lead in the championship at the time. There haven't been only two riders racing in this series all season long, even if there are really only two left in contention now.

My statement you quoted in your third to last paragraph had nothing to do with qualifying and everything to do with the dramatic fashion in which all of Rossi's wins have played out: Tearing through the field at Qatar while front row starter and expected winner Marquez botched the first turn and dropped to the back of the field, taking him out of win contention; making one of the more dramatic comebacks I've ever seen due to a prescient tire choice, getting "Marquezed," but he stays up and Marquez falls; motocrossing through the gravel for the win after a collision in the final chicane; and then race start pandemonium leading to a sudden soaking race that he wins after his only challenger falls behind him (Marquez beating Rossi would have been worse, pointswise, for the gap to Lorenzo than Marquez crashing out and not being between them). All of these wins took incredible skill, determination, courage, and team effort, but you can't say it isn't pretty unlikely that he made it through all of that unscathed. I mean, what are the odds that somebody has three close encounters with Marquez in which somebody hits the deck or collides or runs off track and Marquez' opponent comes off better all three times!? Compare that to the (seemingly) relative ease with which Lorenzo has taken all of his victories, and you should be able to see where David is coming from. It doesn't have to take anything away from Rossi, it's just how one writer processed what he was seeing.

I think it's especially acceptable to use the word "lucky" in the aftermath of this particular race. The one in which the rider in question himself implied that he did not have the speed to hang with Marquez or Lorenzo in the dry. That's a 21 point swing had the track stayed dry and it went down that way: Huge at this point.

I mean, holy crap, it's like a single internet article that 90% of the complainers aren't even paying to read just totally ruined their whole freaking life!

Total votes: 124

"nobody crashing out unexpectedly, no mechanical failures between the title challengers, no sinkhole opening up in the middle of the track and swallowing up half the field, etc. Lorenzo hasn't won every dry race, sure. But all of his wins were "normal" dry races."

So what disqualifies the 5 dry races Rossi has beaten Lorenzo, Qatar, Austin, Argentina, Assen and Sachsenring, as normal races? Marquez taking himself out from a hopeless position in Argentina?

"I bring up Marquez' crash being lucky for Rossi because I'm guessing if you asked Rossi at the time who he most feared in the title chase, that guy would have been wearing orange. Things have changed since then, but that crash left Rossi with a fairly decent lead in the championship at the time. There haven't been only two riders racing in this series all season long, even if there are really only two left in contention now."

Sure, that's 70% Marquez, 30% bad luck (because he was more than asking for it, hitting Rossi prior to the incident), but this discussion has always been about Rossi and Lorenzo, so not relevant to my point.

"My statement you quoted in your third to last paragraph had nothing to do with qualifying and everything to do with the dramatic fashion in which all of Rossi's wins have played out"

Shouldn't that only make him more worthy of the title judging on the Stoner-curve? Fact is he was faster or as fast as anybody in all of his wins. Qatar, sure Marquez could've challenged but from what I remember his overall pace was slightly slower, Argentina it wasn't a prescient choice for Rossi, but Marquez. Everyone had admitted they couldn't match Rossis pace on hards, and Marquez almost stole a win on the mediums. Assen, a last lap battle Rossi won, from pole as well.

None of these disqualify themselves as being normal dry races, unless you want to argue Marquez would've won in Qatar or Rossi was in the wrong in the last corner at Assen.

Also, there is no proof Marquez could've won last Sunday at all, a rider in a must-win situation crashing out trying to keep up with the leader definitely isn't taking away anything from the leader, it's the leader being too fast/good.

"I think it's especially acceptable to use the word "lucky" in the aftermath of this particular race. The one in which the rider in question himself implied that he did not have the speed to hang with Marquez or Lorenzo in the dry. That's a 21 point swing had the track stayed dry and it went down that way: Huge at this point."

Yes, this is the only thing I can understand and have already covered, the 16-21 point difference. Like I said previously, in it's essence it is operating under a logical fallacy in which somehow Lorenzo not matching Rossi on the wet on a track he most likely had better dry pace shouldn't count. Also, is it really a 50/50 proposition whether it rains in Silverstone or Argentina?

"I mean, holy crap, it's like a single internet article that 90% of the complainers aren't even paying to read just totally ruined their whole freaking life!"

I've read, and fully understood the article; it's just that I completely disagree with his and your argument as the basis and then the train of rationale of it are both faulty. Looks like the majority agrees with me on this one as well, many of them not even Rossi fans. Sorry, try again next time, and don't end with such a clumsy strawman as it takes away even the little credibility you had after that absurd 2006-comparison.

Total votes: 128

It's interesting that Rossi is being written-off in the remaining six races. Didn't he win at two of these tracks last season in the dry and podium at all of the rest?

Total votes: 120

25/0/16/25/20/20 Vale 20/25/25/20/16/0 Jorge, identical scores with a dnf each

Total votes: 119

I am sorry I started this so lets finish it:
Whats really lucky ( for MotoGP ) is that Rossi and Honda broke up.

Total votes: 123

With Rossi's penchant for late braking, can you imagin how he would be on the Honda. Damn shame.

Total votes: 111

If Valentino would have stayed on at HRC, he would have several more championships to his name and would have already eclipsed Ago in total wins.

Total votes: 132

No, let's not go there ;)

Total votes: 119

Is an interesting term in this discussion. And what a discussion it is. I believe that David unfortunately this article is not your best work, and for me not even in the same league as what we normally expect from you. Sorry about the critism, however this is much more what I'd expect to read from a Spanish Journo or even worse an Australian Journo during the Stoner years. I have read your glowing gushing reports on Marc and Jorge and of course Rossi too-but here I believe you've horribly discounted achievement.

Rossi has displayed a consistency in performance this season which no other can match. As we all know Jorge is only 'Faster' when he's got his tyres and when he doesn't he is fighting for 4th-and I did mention the nullification of the fuel computers in the wet in the comments on the race report. Now here at Silverstone, if you want to talk about luck, the luckiest man on the grid was in fact Jorge-and it wasn't due to good management at all. If Marc, Cal, Miller and Pol hadn't crashed Jorge would have finished 8th. Speaking of luck, on occasion it could be said that Jorge has been lucky that Rossi has qualified so badly this season.

Across more conditions and more varibles in tyre, Rossi has been faster and more consistent than any of them this season-which is of course why he is leading the championship. It is dissapointing to read here that his victories have been the result of others misfortune rather than his outright speed or ability, which is clearly not the case at all.

Total votes: 140

Your are absolutely correct, but:

1. Qualifying is part of racing, and as such Jorge was not lucky that Rossi had not qualified better, Rossi was simply slower;
2. Yes, Jorge is faster when he has his tyres, aren't they all?
3. Finally, the liner of his Helmet started to have problems in Qatar, not sure how unlucky you need to be at that point to have had that happen. At 200 mph and your helmet falls apart, a) do you retire, b) are you black flagged when the shell comes off, or c) do you slow down?

I guess it comes down to how you see it, in the races Rossi has been the most consistent, the scoreboard does not lie and his name is at the top. Do I think he has been faster than Jorge? Qualifying and seven wins says "No".

Nice to see contrarian views without rudeness though.

Total votes: 130

certainly could be argued to be as much of a game of luck as the race, particularly in today's over regulated series. Softer tires for Ducati and Suzuki, traffic, Yonny Hernandez the new tow king, squashed timeframe, a battle for hot one off laps to get into Q2 all weekend and so on.
Tires are a major factor, and Rossi is more consistent with a variation of options, now including the wets.

In Qatar, Jorge was leading the race for a lot of laps, Rossi was faster than him for the whole race, it was only the last 3 when Jorge had his helmet malfunction and by then Rossi was past after coming through from 8th, hardly an excuse or a reason to add luck into it-there was no way Jorge was beating Rossi in Qatar helmet dramas or not.

In Qatar, Argentina, COTA, Assen, Silverstone and Sachsenring Rossi has been faster, Arguably a very similar pace if not a little quicker in Le Mans and Catalunya with qualifying being the major issue. So I disagree, both riders have shown tremendous speed however Rossi has prevailed better when the tires and conditions haven't suited him-making him faster in my book and in the eyes of the scoreboard as you pointed out.

Lets not talk about the fact that he is the better part of a decade older than most of his competition, has a height and weight disadvantage and has the weight and pressure of expectation from his armies of fans at every round. The point stands-you can't say he has only won due to circumstance in 2015 at all-if anything his victories this season against what most punters consider to be the strongest field in the modern era are some of the best in his illustrious career, two of the passes he made on Marc at Assen were amongst the best I've ever seen him do, and I've been watching him since 1996.

Total votes: 121

I believe he's had 5 to Rossi's 4.

Yes, he's quicker in qualifying. Lorenzo that is. Unfortunately for Lorenzo, points are given for races, not Q sessions.

However, I'd say that Rossi has finished ahead of Lorenzo more times than not. This season and probably even last season.

So, what does that say?

Total votes: 107

If Jorge had 7 wins I reckon he'd be leading the championship.
Enough said...

Total votes: 113

The problem with fans in general is that they are just that... Fans... Weather they are a Rossi fan, Marquez fan, or Lorenzo fan, there will always be people who are having problems with being objective in regards to their favorite rider. Which can clearly be seen in some of the comments above...

I'm not a fan.. I like Rossi, a lot, as many others clearly do. But I also like Marquez a lot, and I am pretty fond of Lorenzo as well... I fact, I like most riders... What I AM a fan of though, is the sport... And MotoGP... Having a close championship like this makes me a lot more excited than having one of my favorite riders win it by a mile...

I think that you are doing an extremely good job here David, producing well written and well informed articles with a lot of good fact based conclusions. And you are also doing a good job of staying objective... So, a pat on your back there...

When it comes to Jorges decision (or lack of) not to use a breath deflector, or anti fog solution (pin-lock, visor, or whatever), I wonder if it was a conscious decision, or if the over looked it. I any regards, it was clearly a mistake... One which could cost him the championship...

As a racer myself, I am having a hard time getting my head around the fact that you can make such a mistake at this level of racing. Especially since I have never felt like these solutions have ever been an hindrance or a problem myself. So there is never any reason NOT to use them. I have both a pin-lock solution, and the breath deflector, on both my dry- and wet-weather helmets. There is no reason not to... I mean, you can run in to conditions where your visor can fog up even in the dry, if it is cold and damp outside. So why take that risk?

On a side note...

I haven't seen any engine allocation information in a while... Could engines be a deciding factor in the outcome of the championship? Are both Valentino and Jorge doing OK with they engines? Or are any of them in trouble?

All I could find was that after 8 races, Valentino's and Jorge's engine strategy was exactly the same, and the both had 3 unopened engines.

Total votes: 128

Now, just to show my bias doesn't affect my logic and educate the defenders of this article of a truly lucky win, the kind of Mr. Emmett is referring to, and by Rossi nonetheless, Phillip Island 2014. No matter what you think of Marquez' riding, it's extremely rare to see him crash out like that from such a pressure free situation and Lorenzo suffered with the similar tyre issues Rossi did in Austin that year, preventing him from probably battling with Rossi for the win until the end. That was definitely a fortunate win for Rossi, this year, not so much.

Total votes: 125

Not really. One tyre was quicker, the other more likely to go race distance and as with argy this year nobody could match Rossi on the race distance tyre so mm again gambled on the softer tyre because its the only way he could be quicker. Rossi simply won the race before Sunday as many riders have and will continue to do.forcing the competition to risk everything to keep up is 100% skill and speed just like Sunday when he blew mm and Jorge into the weeds. No leprecauns, no horseshoes or rabbits feet anywhere to be seen.

Total votes: 113

Was there something like that, I don't remember? I just recall Marquez crashing on his own and Lorenzo having a faulty tyre like Rossi in Austin, but if you say so, I guess I'll take that back.

Total votes: 107

That is what's been going on here. Valentino's this position in the championship no one can say has been down to luck because luck only favours those who are there at the position to grab it playing in his favour. Valentino has been lucky this season on two occasions, once getting a 3rd pos in mugello after marc crashed and here getting a good opportunity to win because rain gave him an advantage over marc and jorge. He is better than them in rain and the time in which rain started was pure luck (at the warm up lap). So instead of getting third or fourth, he got first. Jorge on the other hand would have finished fifth if marc hadn't crashed and the others who are saying cal would have overtaken him and even esP is just crap. The moment cal got taken out by miller, jorge was through him.

In the normal circumstances jorge and marc are better and in unusual circumstances valentino adapts better. In terms of speed too those who were saying that if rossi qualifies better he can fight jorge in the last laps. It isn't like that because we got a demonstration of that in brno. Rossi can win only if he is strong during the whole weekend as in assen which is normal and if the circumstances changes drastically. Nothing to argue about so much. Rossi is to be given due credit and so is lorenzo and marc the same. The remaining season if nothing changes then surely it will go down to the wire.

Total votes: 122

We had a strange weekend in Silverstone that made Rossi come out on top.

I think no one argues that in the dry a win for Rossi seemed unlikely but I also think that Marquez would have won at Silverstone in the dry.

So Rossi came out with +12 points instead of - 4 compared to Lorenzo ( giving that the order at the finish was 93,99,46).

Now we have problaby the strongest circut ( at least on paper ) for Rossi coming up. If he wins there and Lorenzo is second then he leads by 17 points.

Aragon is Hondaland and Maybye Rossi will slip out of the podioum for the first time ( Marquez, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi )
After Aragon Rossi leads over Lorenzo by 14 points

Montegi: 93,99,46 Rossi still ahead by 10 points

Phillip Island: 46,93,99 Rossi gains to 19 points

Sepang: 93,46,99 Rossi to 23 points clear of Lorenzo

So in Valencia all Rossi has to do is to score 2 points.... But we all know what happend the last time that was the case :)

If we try to see the races through Lorenzos (rather foggy) visior it might look a bit different:

I really dont think he can beat Rossin in Misano so after Misano it will still be advantage Rossi ( 46,99,93 ) by 17 points.

Aragon... I think Lorenzo wants to win there but if he does I truly belive Rossi will be no 2 because of the test they had earlier but lets say 99,93,26,46. So after Aragon Lorenzo is only 5 points after Rossi.

Montegi 93,99,46 and now Lorenzo is only 1 point behind Rossi.

Phillip Island.... I cant see Lorenzo in front of Rossi.... But maybye Marquez: 93,46,99 and Rossi is 5 points ahead.

Sepang: 93,46,99 Rossi 9 points ahead.

In Valencia we may get a repeat of 2013 with Lorenzo trying to outsmart Rossi ( in 2013 it was Lorenzo vs Marquez ).. But this time Marquez dont give a fuck and wins ahead of 99 and Rossi 3th... Title goes to Rossi with 5 points.. Hell if Marquez wins Rossi can even be 5th :)

Total votes: 111

A totally epic race. I’m blown away this year how MotoGP is the exciting class wile last year it was Moto3. In any case I think David wrote and exceptional article. As fans we love the riders and want our favorite to win. David is a journalist and has the interesting task of being a fan of all and a fan of none all at the same time.

With the second half of the championship well underway I think we are at the cusp of seeing something so amazing. Personally I think that’s why we get all hot and bothered defending and supporting what riders we want to win. Anything we can possibly do to try and comprehend or rationalize how our favorite rider could and maybe should win.

My heart is more with David here then without. I’m a huge Rossi fan and wile what he’s saying is painful it’s a reality i can’t walk away from. Since the second half of the season started i’ve been worried. Marc on a rampage and Jorge’s relentless pace overshadowing everyone and exposing Rossi’s flaws. I actually find it interesting because Marc and Jorge have been getting to the track and getting on the pace right from the get go. Rossi hasn’t really done that all year(accept maybe Assen). P1/P2 he’s down in 6-10th. P3/P4/Q2 he’s normally on the second or third row DAMN IT!!! Most of the time though he’s had the pace of Marc and Jorge. But, as we all know working your way through all that traffic and he’s miles behind when the checkered flag drops. That said he really does have exceptional race craft and his ability to fight back up the field and get on the podium this year is second to absolutely nobody.

Jorge simply being Jorge this season will bring him all the way to the end of the season with a really good possibility of being world champion. Rossi on the other hand i think is going to have to dig extremely deep to pull this one off. I can’t lie that I really would like to see Rossi win a 10th. The past five year have been like a Rossi stock flash crash. Watching the rats flee his sinking ship of a career while he was at Ducati. Then his relentless bounce back after his return to Yamaha. It really would be epic to see him win a 10th.

On a different note I think it’s incredible how dominant Jorge and Rossi have been this season. Of corse that’s down to Rossi and Jorge feeling good if not grate with the Yamaha wile Marc struggles but it’s still interesting to watch. I’ve only been watching MotoGP for three years but after last year Marc just seemed invincible. Marc is a tremendous racer and it's my hope that this probably disappointing dose of reality for him only makes him a better racer in the long-haul.

Total votes: 119

At the end of the day of the race, the bike does not ride itself.

The conditions were tricky. Jorge has won rain races before. He saw his visor fogging up before the aborted start and refused to take care of it............

But then he decided to blame it even partially?

No luck anywhere involved. The man with the most balls won the race. It was difficult for everyone.

Total votes: 125

To prevent the discussion getting even further out of hand, I am closing comments on this article.

Total votes: 142