Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Lorenzo vs Márquez is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Lorenzo vs Márquez

There’s been so much written about bump and grind in MotoGP that I hardly dare add to it. But here goes anyway.

During Thursday afternoon’s pre-event media conference at Sepang, Jorge Lorenzo let loose with a sarcastic appraisal of the one point penalty imposed on wild-man Marc Márquez for his Aragon indiscretion – when his RCV no more than kissed Dani Pedrosa’s, leading to the latter’s downfall.

In fact the reigning world champ was quite funny, but his sarcasm was lost on most of the attendant media, possibly because sarcasm is a bit of an English thing and there aren’t many Poms in the MotoGP media.

“Race Direction should have given Marc an extra point for the World Championship,” Lorenzo deadpanned. “This way Moto2 and Moto3 riders would get an example from his riding style and they could do the same, so we could have a better show because rider safety doesn’t matter so much. The important thing is the spectators and that they enjoy the show. Marc’s Jerez action [barging into Lorenzo] was a great show, watching the marshals running like chickens at Silverstone [where Márquez crashed under yellow flags and nearly ran over several marshals] was a great show and when he overtook Valentino [Rossi] outside the track at Laguna it was a great show, so they should incentivise this type of action to make an example to the young riders.”

Lorenzo has been the chief drum thumper whenever the matter of aggressive riding has arisen in recent seasons. He had heated public arguments with Marco Simoncelli on the subject and now he has public discussions with Márquez, who keeps grinning all the way through. Lorenzo’s attitude is usually holier than thou; which is fair enough, because although he used to be a nutter, his riding is generally correct these days and also blindingly fast.

In Sunday’s race, however, Lorenzo finally decided enough was enough – he was going to give Márquez as good as he got, and quite right too. For once, instead of getting mad, he was going to get even.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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Until Marquez bested him again. The kid lives on the edge. Lorenzo's strategy of forcing MM into a mistake or at the very least drawing a penalty point out of him for a brash retaliation is smart, if not a bit cynical. I did enjoy that JL decided to up his game. He can RACE for sure and it's great to see him ride like that. Now if only he could shut his mouth between races - he might become more likable and seem less of a hypocrite. He was frustrated and quick to mention what he thought was a 'dangerous' maneuver by Marc out on the edge of the track. In the context of the entire discussion- he then back-pedaled and acknowledged that both riders could see one another and this is the pass -although he didn't acknowledge that MM was ahead of him. Max is right though, he definitely rides clean (for the most part) and fast but he makes it hard to like him.

In the parc ferme, Lorenzo's face showed defeat & a bit of hopelessness. But it was also a proud one - that he gave absolutely everything he had in order to stop the young'n. I thought the sarcasm was a brilliant off-track tactic to try to get inside of Marquez's head. And it proved mental strength of the rookie.

I'm sure Yamaha is trying like hell, but I hope to see some improvements in where they lack for the last few races. I'd like to witness a down-to-the-wire battle at Valencia!

Glad to see a respected journalist point out George's hypocrisy. Some of the MM members were copping flack for pointing this out in the Sunday round up. Lorenzo seems to think it's fine for him to trade paint in a pass but if anyone does it on him it's a crime. That's the kind of thing that loses respect.

Cal, as usual, is dead-on. "Marc rides very hot,” said Cal Crutchlow at Sepang. “But some riders make a controversy of it for no other reason than they’re annoyed they’re getting beaten; simple as that.”

I like how in the press conference post race, people asked Jorge if he touched Marc. Jorge denied it and said he didn't feel it and that if he did it must have been tiny.

Meanwhile, Marc is just giggling to himself and when asked by the media confirms that yes there was contact (as was obvious from the video footage) but "it is ok".


Not that I agree to what Lorenzo said lately even though he is one of my favorites but I remember reading that MotoMatters is the best MotoGP blog with intelligent comments from readers. The recent comments(not just in this article) against both Lorenzo and Marquez(he also got quite some) are not very cool IMO. Just saying that we should tone it down a little maybe. Just my opinion though.

Seeing how the riders were in the heat of competition without the perspective of the couch it's reasonable to say that Lorenzo may not have known the extent of his bump in the debrief. He surely didn't see it as he was on the inside of his bike hanging off where his outside front mid fairing brushed Marc's right side. No fairing bashing but a healthy brush past. It would be a very vivid experience for Marc having a wall of blue & white come up his inside but for Jorge at best it might have been a little wiggle. Add the tunnel vision of the fight and I could cut Lorenzo some slack rather than calling him a hypocrite or liar.
Marquez' pass on 14 was reminiscent of some of the ones he made in Moto2 on the likes of Luthi & Iannone. Either into the corner or out getting a wheel ahead of them then running them into the curb. Tough racing for sure. A little beyond? That's a case by case call. This last one didn't seem so. Jorge and those racing Marc have to learn what Iannone and Redding figured out in the last couple years. When Marc plays like that give it back as hard or harder. It worked on occasion. Marc is going to fight for the last centimeters like a mad dog. Complaining about it after the fact isn't going to do much.

As a former amature racer I felt the slightest touch from another rider.
Lorenzo, with a super natural feeling for bikes, is lying when he says he didn't feel anything.

He's a passionate rider on a bike that is struggling to keep up and he's frustrated. He's also frustrated with the crap that race direction have been calling rules. My guess is he's also sick to death of average articles like this one, jumping on the band wagon and bashing him in one breath, then selling Marquez to the world in the next. Nice job of stirring up the anti JL hordes. Good old MotoGP... there always has to be a villain!

you've read my mind mate, line to line..good to know there's some more people without tunnel vision and not blindly jumping on the conformity and bandwagon talking shit about a rider most of the motogp fandom always had something to pick on in the first place ever since he stepped his foot into motogp (and to most of these people the said rider never could do right by no matter what).

always has to be a villain, indeed.. earlier, there were usually two villains (27 and 99) vs one loved one (46), now there's one villain (99) vs two loved ones (93 and 46). poor guy.

Lorenzo and Marquez is just what Motogp needs. This rivalry is wonderful. For a minute, Marquez dominance looked like it was breaking some guys mentally. Then, here comes Lorenzo with a level of focus and determination that gave me a whole new level of respect for him. He did not just lie down and get ran over. He came back and won stopping a winning streak that the rookie Marquez was making look easier and easier by race.

Lorenzo and Marquez are polar opposites. Lorenzo craves and wants positive attention but seems to let off so much negativity, (hypocrite at times, I bet on purpose.) Then there is the young Marquez, always smiling, positive even when being lied to, criticized, or even pressured. His results and remarks even under all that, are making his following turn to Legion. This is still just his rookie season. Marquez is even making Valentino Rossi sound like a fan,

“Marquez arrived already with the mind-set to try and win in the first season and sincerely I've never seen a rookie like him, in all the motorsports I know.”

Looking forward to seeing more from those two. Just look at all the talk going on about the race, after the race, between races...etc

I guess you could say I am on the Marquez 'bandwagon.' Truth be told, I didn't like him before this year. His Moto2 antics had me worried for the safety rest of the field in MotoGP prior to the season starting. Same way sadly, that I am starting to feel about Vinalez as he climbs the ranks. Then I track marshalled the COTA race and got to experience MM in person. It was a visceral experience to say the least. He charges the corners. At the track you being to pick out bikes by their sound and smell. You don't even have to look at the track to know who's coming around your corner. With Marquez, I 'felt' him coming. It was hard to explain and probably sounds silly but he has a different presence on the track. I was in awe of what he could make the bike do. THAT is why I'm on the MM bandwagon.

As far as the JL thing goes - I try not to judge someone based on an isolated incident but I've got a few things that have led me to not care for him personality-wise (not a knock on his brilliant ability by any means)
- Valencia 2010 when Simoncelli passed him up the inside (clean) and he threw a minor tantrum, slamming his fist on his tank. 'How dare you race me on my victory laps!!!'
- Indy a year ago- kicking at an over-excited back marker, wild card Steve Rapp who was savoring a chance to race the best rider in the world at a home GP. I didn't see the blue flags and Rapp should have heeded them. Just another example of that appearance of self entitlement.
- The back marker incident in the wet race last season that finally bit JL. He exited the only safe race line in a series of switch-backs and crashed. Later complained of the back markers who didn't get out of his way. Key phrase here: "only safe race line." I don't know where else he expected them to go... Maybe they should have crashed getting out of his way...?

I don't believe in heroes or villains in racing necessarily. I liked Schwantz, but man- Rainey was better and their battles were a joy to watch. It will be great to watch MM and JL go at it for years to come. Well, as long as Marc can stay on the bike that is.