Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Motegi Mysteries

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.


Motegi mysteries

The world of MotoGP holds thousands of mysteries, many of which are way beyond my ken. But there is something that has bothered me for the last couple of seasons, with ne’er a reasonable explanation offered by anyone in the paddock: why does everyone gift the racetrack to Jorge Lorenzo at the start of qualifying?

You could set your watch by Lorenzo’s first QP exit: off he goes, ahead of everyone and chased by no-one, with the racetrack all to himself, just the way he likes it.

How does this happen? Why do his rivals let him do exactly what he wants? Why do none of them accelerate out of pitlane sucking up his exhaust fumes, using him to lower their own lap times, perhaps even learning something, perhaps even showing him a wheel to upset his equilibrium? His rivals should do anything and everything to ruffle his self-styled Buddhist calm because winning isn’t merely about being faster, it’s also about being cleverer.

Andrea Dovizioso offers this explanation. “It is impossible to be quicker than Jorge on the first lap because he is so fast on new tyres.”

But it wasn’t always thus. Lorenzo didn’t used to be fast out of the gate. Lorenzo learned this risky trick from Casey Stoner, who used it to devastating effect, because he knew it was the only way to compete with the Australian.

A few winters ago Lorenzo worked hard at this: storming out of the pits with new tyres and a full tank to learn the skill which has become the foundation of his success: pole position followed by the same on-the-edge tilt into the first corners of the race.

At Motegi someone did for the first time try to rattle him in Q2. And the man who did the rattling was team-mate and title-rival Valentino Rossi.

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

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Comments

Motegi was a return to this last year behavior for JLo, but for the most part this year, he has been willing to lets folks clear out and then slot into the empty track before the first exiter returns from their outlap. I expect a return to this behavior for the remaining races. He only did his first out of the pits trick at Motegi because as he stated, he wanted a two stop Q2.

Rattled? Hardly. He ran a hard pace on a drying track with wets and ruined his tires instead of managing that gap between himself and Rossi.

Mat needs to be Rossi's PR arm and not a so-called journalist. His fanboi scribbles are tiresome at best.

If you were watching qualifying you'd have seen a very pissed off Lorenzo when he got off the bike. Despite taking pole (by less than one tenth) he looked very aggravated. He looked like a little schoolboy who'd just been mocked by the popular kids.

as you must know.....but i doubt you know, is that theres no wall anymore.

Data is being shared with all yamaha riders. So JL can look into BS data and PE can look into VR data.

Not that it wil help alot because as stated befor by JL and VR they cannot ride with the setup of eachother.

There is a whole lot of difference between being able to look the other rider's data and using the same setup.

Using my experience as crew engineer for a multiple national champion here at my place and being a rider myself, I have a different view on this issue.

For the rider, the most crucial thing ain't setup, it's data (corner entry speed, when to get back on the throttle, etc). The setup is important for the mechanics to try and better the bike.

So if VR indeed has access to JL's data, that's a big thing and a main reason for the latter to be upset.

I struggle with the media reporting on any riders strategies when we are so close at the end of the season.
Like they live in a bubble and can't in any way effect the outcome of the season.
I'm sure that if the riders aren't reading these articles people from their teams sure are.
Can't we save some of the observations until the season is over...,
I appreciate that some are once only strategies and others maybe used again.. And
I think I know why Rossi saves these plans to the end. Someone might blow it for him...JC

This isn't war, no one is telling the enemy where and when the troops are moving. They're simply commenting on strategies that have already been employed. No secrets being divulged, just comments on what has already happened.

Lorenzo Buddhist?
Buddhists are known for cultivating willingness over willfulness, expansive perspective, "beginner's mind" fresh here and now awareness, gentle flexibility, patience, loving-kindness, wisdom, compassion, decreased reactivity, and dissolution of ego.

Nope!

I like this article. The place one might be coming from in marginalizing it as "fanboy" might be projecting personal bias, subjective, sentimental, self involved, reasoning via emotion, interpreting the intentions and frame of reference of the other via a goal oriented lense, and...well...fanboyish.

I like the showdown gunfight perspective of them at the beginning of Q and perspective of JL's efforts to leap out on fresh tires. Interesting stuff. Motegi was not what I expected. Nor is Pedrosa lately. Nor the Honda this year. It can be really enjoyable what one does NOT have understanding of. Curiousity may kill the cat, but it makes way for awe for humans. Where we don't know everything much is possible. This season is a humdinger!

I actually want Rossi to win the championship. I always want the old dog / under dog to take it. I just want unbiased reporting.

If you read Oxley's articles, he really should quit trying to be a moto-journalist and simply become Rossi's PR arm.