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.
Moving MotoGP’s goal posts
And here come the players, out of the tunnel and into the stadium; just 15 minutes to go before the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, and the noise and the tension in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium are almost unbearable…
Wait, hang on a moment. There’s something very strange going on at the end of the pitch to my left. There’s a group of FIFA officials and they’re digging up the goalposts! I can’t believe it: they’re moving the goalposts! And there’s more FIFA people doing the same thing at the other end of the pitch, moving those goalposts five metres to the right…
It wouldn’t happen, would it?
But it has happened in MotoGP. Just two days (!) before the first race of 2014, new technical rules were approved in reaction to Ducati’s decision to take the Open option. If Dorna had been even daring to think they were even beginning to win their war with the Japanese factories, their red-faced Factory 2 retreat must’ve been something of a shock. And then a few days later, their counter-attack: that MotoGP will become a control software series in 2016, a year ahead of the scheduled change.
Anyway, enough of that fiasco, what about the racing?
It’s surely going to be all about Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo again. If they keep at it long enough, their rivalry may just turn out to be era-defining, like Roberts versus Spencer, Rainey versus Schwantz and Rossi versus Biaggi.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.