MotoMatters.com 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.
What might happen in MotoGP at Valencia
Who remembers the last time the MotoGP World Championship went down to the wire? Of course you do, it was Valencia 2006, the last hurrah of the 990s and the greatest day of the MotoGP era so far. Valentino Rossi went into the race as sure-fire title favourite, eight points ahead of Nicky Hayden, who had lost the series lead at the previous race when team-mate Dani Pedrosa took him out.
We all know what happened at Valencia that day: Hayden barged past Rossi on the way into the first corner and set off after the Ducatis, while Rossi got stuck in the pack and slid off at a 50mph hairpin. He rejoined the race but it was already game over.
This time series leader Marc Márquez has an extra five points to play with. So if Jorge Lorenzo wins at Valencia, Márquez ‘only’ needs to finish fourth to make history as the youngest-ever winner of the premier-class.
For someone who has never finished a MotoGP race off the podium, a fourth-place finish would seem like a mere formality. But Motegi’s Moto3 race – in which title leader Luis Salom was knocked down on the very first lap – reminded us (even if most of us didn’t need reminding) that there’s no such thing as a mere formality in bike racing.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.