Misano MotoGP Sunday Subscriber Notes - Marquez vs Quartararo, and A Lack Of Grip from The Stars

Subscriber notes

The outcome of the MotoGP race at Misano was decided some time ago. Several key decisions went into determining the result, most of them many weeks, or even many months ago. Those decisions set in motion a train of events that led inexorably to the domination of a single manufacturer at the Misano World Circuit on Sunday.

One of those decisions was to microblast the surface of the track to remove the build up of rubber from the track and improve the grip in the wet. The microblasting took place some three months ago, and on Saturday, Michelin boss Piero Taramasso explained what had been done. "They shot very small balls of metal with high speed into the asphalt. From one big stone, this treatment makes many smaller stones. So this treatment you reduce the macro roughness, and you increase the micro roughness."

"Normally this is the way to increase the grip. What happens is that as soon as you do the treatment, you increase the wet grip. In wet conditions the grip is better instantly. But for the dry, you have to wait more and more time for dry grip because this treatment cleans all the track. It makes it like a brand new track, no rubber, nothing on the floor. So that’s why the grip on dry is lower for the first five, six, or seven months. After that, after the track has been used a few times, sometimes it’s better."

No rubber

Despite the circuit's best efforts to lay rubber down on the track, it was still basically bare stone during the test, and in a similar state during the race weekend. There was no grip, and the manufacturers who had been strong here in the past – Ducati had been outstanding in the last two years, and Cal Crutchlow put the Honda on the podium in 2018 – suddenly found themselves struggling.

The Yamahas weren't struggling, or at least nowhere near as much. Where the Hondas and the Ducatis couldn't lay down the horsepower, the Yamahas have always been much smoother, and relied more on corner speed. So while the Ducatis were losing in acceleration, and the Hondas were losing in braking, the Yamahas were losing less in both those areas, and also losing a lot less in corner speed compared to the other brands. The Yamahas had a distinct advantage at Misano.

Some of this advantage comes from the changes which have taken place back in Japan and in Europe since the end of last season. Key staff have been replaced, and development has stepped up a notch. We saw that in practice, with both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales running a new carbon-fiber swingarm and a new double-barreled exhaust aimed at improving power delivery. The bike is better than it was at the start of the year.

Long shot

Then there was the choice by the Petronas SRT Yamaha team to sign Fabio Quartararo. At the time, it was met with skepticism. Though Quartararo had arrived in the Moto3 with a reputation as a superstar, having dominated the Spanish FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship, his results after the initial few races dropped off a cliff, Quartararo spending most of his time riding round more or less anonymously. The Petronas team took a chance on him, believing there to be talent there, and believing they could point Quartararo in the right direction and keep him on the straight and narrow. A risky investment, but one which has paid off.

Put all these things together and it was inevitable that Yamaha would dominate the Misano round of Grand Prix. The bike was simply best able to deal with the conditions, and it had the riders to exploit those conditions.

How good the Yamaha was was evident from the results. In FP2, there were four Yamahas in the top 5. In FP3, all four Yamahas were in the top seven, in FP4, the four Yamahas were inside the top 6, and the four Yamahas qualified in the top seven places. In the race, the four Yamahas finished from second to fifth. By any measure, this was a bike that had a clear advantage.

There was of course a fly in the ointment. One bike finished second in FP1, third in FP2, fourth in FP3, first in FP4 and warm up, and went on to win the race. Marc Márquez was his usual inexorable self at Misano, chasing Fabio Quartararo for most of the race and finally getting the better of him on the final lap to take the win.

Marc versus the world

And it was Márquez, not the Honda, that much is clear from the results of the other riders on the RC213V. In FP1, no other Honda was in the top 15. In FP2, the next best Honda was tenth. In FP3, Takaaki Nakagami finished as sixth fastest, but neither Cal Crutchlow nor Jorge Lorenzo could get into the top 12. FP4 and qualifying, no Honda in the top ten, and again in the warm up, only Nakagami able to get up to fifth, Crutchlow and Lorenzo again outside the top 15.

In the race which Márquez won, both Cal Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami failed to finish the race, crashing out in the latter stages, leaving Jorge Lorenzo as the best finisher down fourteenth, his result in no small part down to riders ahead crashing. If we can look at the results of the Yamahas and say it was down to the bike, then it is pretty self evident that the results of the Honda riders are down to the bike as well. The results of the Honda riders, bar Marc Márquez, that is, who is clearly in a league of his own at the moment.

The incident with Valentino Rossi during qualifying also had an effect on the outcome of the race. The clash of egos during Q2, when Márquez and Rossi both got in each other's way, failing in the attempt to improve their lap times, and rekindling the bitter rivalry between the two. That left Márquez determined to win in front of Valentino Rossi's home crowd, and to rub their noses in it.

Motivation

"You know, honestly speaking, I knew that it was not necessary to win, because I saw that Rins was out and Dovi were far behind," Márquez told MotoGP.com pit lane reporter Simon Crafar. "But honestly speaking, yesterday was extra motivation, an extra push for the race." The lesson here for Rossi and perhaps for his fans is to not poke the bear. They poked the bear, and Márquez took victory and hammed it up on the podium in front of a mildly annoyed crowd.

Then there was the fact that Márquez had not won since Brno, losing out in the final corner at both Austria and Silverstone. That inevitably played on Márquez' mind, until he felt he had to take a little bit of a risk to correct it. "First of all, of course I’m human," Márquez said. "My team try to keep me down and try to just focus for the championship, but the last two races I lost on the last corner. It’s not the best way for a rider."

"Maybe today the easiest thing was just to follow Fabio and on the last lap just be 0.8 behind," Márquez said. "He was faster than me and I could finish in second place. But it’s not my way. So for that reason I pushed until the end. I had enough confidence to try again."

Márquez was acutely aware of the view of the fans in Italy, and that whatever he did, he would be subjected to a barrage of criticism, especially if he came up short again on the last lap. "I know that if I lose again the people will speak again," he said, "but I don’t care about this. I just keep pushing and I will try. It’s the best way to improve the face to face battles. Unluckily for me, you need to try to improve in the race. The cameras are there in the race, and if you lose, everybody sees."

Wake up call

Again, Márquez emphasized that the clash with Rossi had motivated him far more. "The other thing, yesterday somebody woke me up," he said." The best way to speak is in the track. I know that here with the microphones, the battle is lost, but on the track is where my real battle is." Márquez was rewarded with more motivation while he was on the podium, the crowd, clad in yellow, whistling and booing him as he accepted the reward. Márquez will store that up again for next year, and when he returns for the next race in Italy, he will use it to make himself faster.

We are seeing Marc Márquez at the height of his powers. He is at the peak of his experience, and the peak of his ability. He has an insatiable appetite for victory, both for races and for championships. He has mastered racing a MotoGP bike, and is capable of doing things with the bike which no one else can. As I pointed out before, just look at where the other Hondas are, and how badly they are struggling, compared to Márquez. In truth, he had no business being at the front of the race in Misano. And yet there he was, pushing hard and winning a race.

They used to call Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx 'The Cannibal' when he was in his heyday, because he would try to win every race he entered, whether it suited him or not. That seems an appropriate nickname for Márquez right now.

A new hope?

At the same time as admiring Márquez at his peak, we may well be seeing the youngster who will one day knock him from his throne. Fabio Quartararo rode an outstanding race from start to finish, taking the lead from Maverick Viñales when the Monster Energy Yamaha rider started to struggle with the front, then pushing hard enough to keep Márquez at bay right until the end of the race. It was only Márquez' determination, experience, and endless ambition which allowed him to force his way past Quartararo, and hold him off in the final corners.

Márquez himself praised the pace of the Petronas Yamaha SRT rider. "Maybe the best rider today in the race was Fabio, because he did all the race in front," Márquez told the press conference. "The way that he’s riding a Yamaha, he’s riding in a very good way. You can follow the other Yamahas but he’s riding in a very good way, very precise all the time but especially on the fast corners. He’s very, very fast."

"We cannot forget that Fabio is a rookie and what he’s doing is incredible," Márquez said. "But today he showed to all of us, and to all of you, because I already knew that he has the talent, he has the mentality to lead a race, to win a race. Next year he will be a tough contender for the championship."

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Source: 
year: 
2019
round_number: 
13
Total votes: 52
Total votes: 21

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Comments

If anything at all happens to Marquez, Honda will be stuffed for years, as the bike is more and more extremely built for his talents. No one else will master it and they will be back to the drawing board for a very long time with their chassis. What a great race that was yesterday. The two talents that will rule MGP for the next 5 years +

Total votes: 22

I don’t understand what Honda are playing at. They have arguably the second best rider in the championship, the only one to have taken a title off Marquez and the only one to have proven that he can help with bike development on 2 very different bikes and it doesn’t look like they are making much use of him?!

Total votes: 11

Great effort by rookie Quartararo, even better one by Marquez to beat him (and the next 3 Yamahas) and keep his string of top twos going at yet another circuit.

The reported 500 rev restriction on Quartararo’s bike to compensate for him having less engines fascinates me. Despite this restriction and the Factory boys having new exhausts, carbon swing arms etc, Quartararo beat all the other Yamahas including Rossi over 10 seconds behind.

Lots of questions come to mind:
How often and for how long is a MotoGP bike close to the redline at circuits without long straights?
Online footage seemed to show lots of short shifting while leant over during the race.
Is Quarteraro’s bike mechanically identical to the others with the reduced revs being achieved through electronics?
Does Quartararo’s bike have a revised torque curve, use different gearing etc  to allow for the missing revs, or does it just have less ability to rev beyond peak power.

Does anyone have any clues?
Would the missing 500 have made any difference to the result?

Total votes: 13

I'm gonna say no

I don't think MotoGP bikes even begin to put down full power until 4th-5th gear. And Misano is hardly a high speed track. Plus I think Fabio was 2nd at Austria which is a high speed track. If there would be any difference it would come from true factory level support.

Total votes: 9

I think it is more a case of his talent can cover for a extreme bike. 

Total votes: 17

Good questions and comments fellow site supporters.

According to the TV coverage we get in OZ, MM had a 5km/h advantage on the (shortish) Misano straight. That's a fair bit and in previous eras I can recall riders screaming at their engineers about precisely this sort of an advantage. So while I think that there are legit questions about the real effect of the 500 revs, I don't think Fabio would turn them down, if offered. And it's hard to imagine he doesn't get them soonish.

And I struggle to explain MM. Others have pointed out that no other Honda was anywhere near him. That's telling enough to go for the talent explanation to be conclusive in my mind. It is amazing that with the proliferation of technology (e.g.telemetry) and training that we still see such unique talents dominate like we are now. I think right now there's only one alien.

Total votes: 22

The first thing that I thought of in the heat of the last-lap battle was: "Did Marquez just brake-checked Quartararo?".
At that moment it seemed to me as though he deliberately stopped his Honda more than any other time in that corner to mess up any attempt to get a good drive for Quartararo. Smart move, if it were so. Having studied his opponent previous laps may have thought him it was his weakness / Quartararo's strength. But, wouldn't have been sportsmanlike would it have been so. Hard to tell from the couch :)

Total votes: 26

I believe the incident in question happened because MM lost traction and bobbled, losing drive. But he was also riding really defensively, knowing that the Yamaha had pace he could not easily match. Smart cookie, that MM.

And I also believe that Saturday incident was initiated by MM lunging up the inside of VR. So if MM found motivation from an incident of his own making, that speaks of entitlement. I don't like either of them, so I thought it was (ha ha) funny.

You voted 1. Total votes: 27

No brake check.  He approached that corner very tight to the inside.  Probably more than he had all weekend.  So his point of reference for how hard to brake and how to enter the corner would have been slightly unknown.  His only concern was making the apex.  If he missed it FQ could have gone up the inside. As CMF said, Marc had a small bobble at the limit of traction, so he was doing everything to keep it on two wheels and make the apex, meaning he undoubtedly was slower than when using the optimum line.

 

If you have ever raced or ridden track days, entering really tight really messes up your line and judgment on corner speed.  Checking FQ up was purely an added benefit of making the corner.

Total votes: 13

So his point of reference for how hard to brake and how to enter the corner would have been slightly unknown.

We're talking MM93 here, right? The man that is claimed to have superhuman feel and cat-like reflexes, the guy practices front-end folds for breakfast :)

 

What I may or may not have done on track is not of any importance to these guys.

Total votes: 12

I won’t say that MM93 Gabe a brake check to Quart in that pass, as that’s a no no I’m racing. But what he did do is deploy a clean block pass, out his Honda on the race line and continue to trail the brakes for another beat or two to alter Quart’s rhythm and slow the corner way down, robbing quart of the ability to carry his corner speed through the exit. It was an example of racecraft mastery in my book 

Total votes: 16

I thought he might have, but if you listen to the on bike coverage, there was no change in engine rev's, as he was accelerating. Again, whatever Honda is paying him, its not enough!

Total votes: 14

MM wouldn’t chop the throttle, he’d simply stab the brake. He definitely did something as his speed changed so drastically that Quartararo nearly rammed him. Shit move but that’s how MM rolls. 

I don’t understand why people think that the guy who’s placed 4th for the past few races should retire?!?

Total votes: 28

How do you just 'stab the brake' at the limit of traction then?

He's stuffed it up inside, and still made the apex, he going to be going slower than a rider on the usual line who would be carrying more corner speed anyhoo.

Looked at another slightly more cynical direction, bike in front is making up for it's piss poor drive grip and acceleration by carrying more speed through the corner, whats yer gonna do ;-) 

Total votes: 13

I don’t understand why people think that the guy who’s placed 4th for the past few races should retire?!?

I don't know if he should retire completely, but I do think Fabio is more deserving of his seat. Who do you think is more likely to win races and championships going forward?

Total votes: 8

Marquez expounding Fabio's talents is a multi-pronged attack. It tells Rossi that it's time that he retires, and the other Yamaha riders that they are simply not good enough compared to Quartararo. Stating in the presser that Fabio will challenge for the championship next year tells Ducati (at a track that glaringly highlights the GP19's limitations like Sachenring, Assen, Malaysia '18) that they had their chance over the last few years and muffed it. Marquez has stated that he knows what it's like when one starts believing the stories being created about one's greatness. Life has a way of proving those stories wrong. Just check out Aragon '15 when Marquez screamed at his bike in the graveltrap like a madman. Marc was going off as if he believed the bike was a conscious being that had betrayed him.

Marquez readily admits to believing that he was unbeatable at the end of the '14 season. The only thing worse than believing all the stories that "others" are saying about you is believing your own grandiose thoughts about yourself. Marquez offered up some food for Fabio's ego yesterday and it's important that Fabio didn't identify as the one that is eating. It's imperative to observe the human ego. Otherwise when life gets rough (and it will because continuous change is the only constant here) the ego can be vicious. Then the rider is fighting himself and becomes a less effective tool on the bike.

Total votes: 34

Praising Fabio is understandable but also a punch in the face of the other Yamaha riders, especially Rossi

People still say that the Petronas bikes are 500 rpm less, but i don't think this officially stated somewhere. The sattelite bikes used to be, but the concept changed I think after Herve moved out and Petronas money find it's way. They just have a well sorted proven bike.... a good team and two surprising talents. 

I think most riders are lighter then Rossi and Vinales which gives them an adventage on tire life.

But again: Yamaha has a history of rider that became outstanding when the fitted the bike: Toseland, Cruthlow, Spies, Espergaro, Smith, Zarco... they all have been fast on second hand Yamaha's that were well sorted out. Especially the first half of the season

Too be honest Rins is suprisingly strong (until the crash) but i cannot see him getting WC, his straight up style must be punishing for the tyres too much compared to other riders. He looks like Alex Debon in 250 some years ago

 

Total votes: 10

Yamaha has a history of rider that became outstanding when the fitted the bike: Toseland, Cruthlow, Spies, Espergaro, Smith, Zarco... they all have been fast on second hand Yamaha's that were well sorted out. Especially the first half of the season

Yamaha satellite bikes have a reputation for flattering rookies, particularly in the first half of the season - as you mention.  However, we're no longer in the first half of the season, and, those riders listed had relative success.

Edit: I was wrong about no satellite yamaha podiums.  I must have skimmed the results too quickly as they have hald multiple second places.

Total votes: 9

"no satellite yamaha has finished better than 3rd in the four stroke era - until this week"

Zarco finished 2nd at Valencia 2017, similarly stalked and bested by an even slimmer margin on the last lap by Pedro IIRC.  It's easy to forget now, but Zarco was the beans in 2017 and seemed certain to win a race soon.  We are led to believe that the Petronas bikes are also more "up to date" than the T3 ones ever were. 

Quatararo's run this year is certainly impressive (and to me seems somehow more solid than Zarco in 2017) but it's not completely unprecedented.

Total votes: 16

It's only Quatararo's bike that runs the 500rpm lower limit as he has 5 engines this season while Morbidelli has the full compliment of 7 engines with the same rev ceiling as the factory machines.

Total votes: 9

Agree with lots of what’s said above. Márquez has learned from the master and is (at least trying to) deploy the full range of skills both on and off the track.

He knows Quartararo is coming. I may shave a year off my pompous prediction and agree with him that next year could be very different.

Vale.... been a fan for two decades but it looks like time to hand over the baton. Back in the day, and to borrow a wonderful phrase from Jinx, even if he’d been riding a lamb chop he’d have gobbled up the KTM in half a lap tops.

Marquez.... all a bit reminiscent of stoner on the Ducati, the only one who could really ride the damn thing.

 

Total votes: 16

He did get stuck behind Pol and Franco for far too long. But still...4th place and best of the rest is not valid reasoning that it's time to hang it up. 

Total votes: 18

Fourth place yes, but 3rd Yamaha and Morbidelli was 0.1sec behind at the line. The time has come, step away gracefully at the end of the season.

 

Total votes: 24

Fabio may prove to be the next one added to the Alien club, but let us not forget about MM's rookie year in 2013. Six wins and the first of five MotoGp titles, so far.  Fabio still has a lot to prove. 

Total votes: 23

& if Fabio was on a factory bike, in a factory team with the previous riders (a wc with the same riding style) pit crew??????

Total votes: 14

MM93 unequivocally brake checked Quarty on that last lap corner. Nothing wrong w that. One line through. Honda blocks Yamaha corner speed. Planned ahead. Unarguable. Why would anyone possibly say otherwise?

Addendum - looks like the term brake check is a misunderstanding. "Dropped the anchor" was what I said to myself out loud watching the race. Zero wrongdoing of course. Rolled it off a bit. Park and go. Honda does this a lot naturally relative to the Yamaha. This was more than that.

Good race strategy.

Again, can we skip cheesy drama? We miss the real story!! Yamaha is back. Quarty is kicking arse. If Honda stays still and Yamaha continues forward as they are, next season we have a contender.

With Dovi having plateaued this is as big a deal as we get. It is frustrating and disappointing that our beloved site discussion languish w shite distractions (two other ones lately are drawing too much attention as well, Zarco-KTM drama and the MM93-VR46 Qual handbags...meh).

Total votes: 26

brake check = applying brakes or chopping throttle in an unexpected place dangerously

parking at the apex = strategy to ensure you make the apex and block following rider from getting the corner speed and/or drive they want 

Marquez’ line into that corner was super tight and parking at the apex was his strategy. Had he done that at Silverstone 2016 (I think) in the penultimate right hander, he would have won against Lorenzo. Instead he drifted a little wide and Lorenzo stole the apex and beat him. I guarantee if he could have that corner back he would instead do exactly what he just did to Quartararo. 

I definitely agree with you that it was planned ahead, but nothing more than racecraft. Quartararo himself said he was surprised that Marquez was able to make and hold the apex. 

Great racing!!! Most of us simply would have preferred that Quartararo won! ;)

Total votes: 24

Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec la comparaison avec Eddy Merckx ("le cannibal") car c'est exactement ce que je me disais en voyant Marquez suivre Fabio comme son ombre tour après tour. Ce type est un monstre, il va le dévorer dans les derniers tours, comme il l'a fait avec Petrucci il y a deux ans sous la pluis. Oui, Marquez est montrueux mais c'est un monstre qu'on ne peut s'empêcher d'admirer et sans doute pour encore longtemps.
Marquez n'est définitvement pas comme Lauda (ou même Prost) qui était capable de se contenter de la seconde place quand cela arrangeait ses affaires (comme avec Hunt en 75 à Zandvoort ou avec Nilsson en 77 à Zolder ou avec Jones en 77 à Zeltweg). Pour Marc, gagner ne représente pas que le maximum de points au championnat, c'est aussi un argument lancé à ses adversaires : même quand je suis en position favorable, je vais quand même chercher la victoire, il ne vous reste rien...
Il est capable de broyer le moral de ses compétiteurs comme Rossi au temps de sa gloire.

==

I totally agree with the comparison with Eddy Merckx ("the cannibal") because that's exactly what I said when I saw Marquez following Fabio as his shadow turn after lap. This guy is a monster, he will devour him in the final rounds, as he did with Petrucci two years ago in the rain. Yes, Marquez is showy but he is a monster that can not help but admire and probably for a long time.
Marquez is definitely not like Lauda (or even Prost) who was able to settle for second place when it suited his business (as with Hunt in 75 at Zandvoort or with Nilsson in 77 in Zolder or Jones in 77 at Zeltweg ). For Marc, winning does not represent that the maximum points in the championship, it is also an argument to his opponents: even when I'm in a favorable position, I'm still looking for victory, you have nothing left ...
He is able to crush the morale of his competitors like Rossi at the time of his glory.

Total votes: 17

Can we say the Yamaha M1 and the Suzuki GSXRR are equivalent machines in terms of corner speed and handling but the difference lies in Yamaha having less horsepower but more mechanical grip?

Total votes: 6

Once again, I am going to go ahead and rant about the grid and how ridiculous these factories are. VR46 is still my all time favorite rider, been following him since he was a pup in 96' but its become painfully obvious that the time has come for him to mentor the young talent into Motogp. He's still REALLY fast, but 4th seems to be the highest place he's going to get on any given weekend. I know he contracted through 2020 but shouldnt his support and bike next year go to FQ20? I would love to see:

Factory Yam - MV12 and FQ20

Petronas Yam - JL99 and Diggiantonio (full support)

Factroy Suz - Rins and Mir

Satelitte Suz - Zarco and Bagnia (full support)

Factory HRC - MM93 and Augusto Fernandez

Factory Duc -  AD04 and Jackass Miller

KTM - Pol and Jon Rea

Satalitte teams I dont really care much about except yamaha's and suzuki's because then the youngsters have a great base to start in MotoGP with.

I know this is a pipe dream and the reality is we are stuck with another wasted year for guys like FQ20 and Bagnia in their respective teams for 2020 and watching VR46 get 14-16 top fives all season while not really having any chance to win another title. but a guy can dream right?

 

 

Total votes: 16

Everyone goes fast on the satellite Yamaha, a tribute to the developement work of Rossi and Vinales. Will Fabio go fast next year, time will tell, can't imagine Petronas letting him get away.

Great analogy with Eddy Merckx, "The Cannibal", Jonathan Rea also called "The  Cannibal"  Just reminds us how strong the fear of losing is. Doesn't matter the position, as they say second is just first loser.

Total votes: 7

I wonder how marc will fare on a neutral jack of all trades bikes like yamaha and suzuki. Yamaha philosopy are always to built a bike that everyone can ride. A balanced bike with no glaring pros and cons, just like a swiss knife. Meanwhile it seem Honda years by years getting more distance from a path of building a neutral bike. They want to craft a Heavy Broadsword that only Marc can wield. A stark contrast to Stoner era during his stay at Honda, their bike actually still can be ridden by other riders. In the past Dani got many wins during that period and also Simoncelli able to get pole on his second year in MotoGP i think. Nowaday only Marc input that matter for Honda, Cal and Jorge input doesn't mean a thing for them. As long as Marc stay with Honda i think he will easily win more than 10 MotoGP titles with it. I wish Marc get out of his comfort zone someday in the future. Hats off to Jorge even though he currently struggling, at least he the only MotoGP champion that have big balls for switching to different factory 2 times in a row.

Total votes: 10

What Rossi should do and what he will do are two different things. There is no way he will miss out on an opportunity to have a "farewell tour". Too many lost T-shirt sales. That means 2019 will not be his last year. In order to properly exploit his retirement, he will announce during this coming off season that 2020 will be his last year. Yes he is still fast, but a 40 year old body will never win the title with so many back to back weekends and flyaways as seen in the new schedule. With a short schedule, the larger standard deviation of performance can deliver a title (anyone can luck out, see Hayden 2006). The longer the season, the bell curve tightens up, and the cream (MM) will rise to the top as most everyone is dragged back toward the mean.

Total votes: 8

great article David, thank you!

Lots of disappointment for me about the Moto2 and Motogp races. 

I still cannot get over the obscure reasoning going on in race direction : how can one not punish Fernandez for that one last lap? c'mon! He had already been warned of exceeding track limits, and on the final lap he used the off track space to prepare the lunge on Diggia! ridicolous and unfair. Where is the consistency? sometimes 1 inch off track - done unknowingly-  is enough to cancel a lap or punish you and here the guy does it on purpose to get an advantage and ... nothing?!  

Ducati: big disappointment! Did i get it right that this year's race was 20 seconds slower than last year's?  I'm gutted for Pecco: I really thought that by now he would come to terms with that Ducati. Miller... well, his usual yoyo self, up and down... not good enough.  Ducati might never win a championship again.

another great disappointment : Vinales and Morbido. Oh boy! One is in erratic mode for some laps the other cannot deliver: what is going on? Vinales pace was outstanding throughout the week end. Morbidelli was flying in warm up: he had found something and looked consistent...  On paper Quartararo makes them look bad... but there is more: two years ago, Zarco too made the factory boys look bad on many races, so I'm not certain that it's all down to Fabio being the total new superstar in the making and the other Yamaha riders have become second fiddles. Not yet.

Fabio was brilliant though, he gave it all, and managed the pressure beautifully. MM did brake check him. But it's all part of the learning experience. He'll brake check him too soon. Funny that all of a sudden what is clearly a planned violent stop in the middle of the corner a few inches away from the bike behind is not a brake check... should we call it a Marquez move?

Fabio is doing great, and the people around him in the petronas garage are exprienced enough to boost his confidence whilst at the same time help him to cope and digest his rising star status. Who cares about the 500 revs less ? did that really make a difference in any of the races so far? I think that if he is smart enough he'll stay put in that garage in 2020 building on experience and see offers flock in his lap.

did I see Pol's KTM give a beating to Yamaha 46 on the straight?  His saturday quali was great and his race consistent : still more races to come and with Dani's input we might see a few surprises. All well deserved.

A few side notes : it's so boring to read all these posts about Valentino's retirement! He'll retire soon enough, give it a rest! I'm sure you have better things to write about. And honestly, to read that he stays on to sell more tshirts is quite pathetic. 

I wonder if Lorenzo will find the strenght to stay on, I do wish he does. Motogp will be poorer without him, racewise, certainly not communication wise :) I do wish him well, and that he finds the health and the motivation to go on.

 

Total votes: 7

end of 2020, marc will decide to look for a new challenge and this could be the line up. ducati : jorge & jack , yamaha : fabio & maverick , suzuki : alex and takaaki , ktm : marc & brad , honda : left wondering who other than marc can ride their motorcycle. (much like ducati did after casey left)

Total votes: 8

MM, Fabio, Rossi, Zarco, Pol, Rins, Miller, JL ... lots of commentary on just about every marque and rider. But WTF is going on with Aprilia? 

Total votes: 9