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.
MM v MV: never the twain shall meet?
The much-hyped Márquez/Viñales title fight is turning out to be the weirdest in GP history. Here’s why…
Remember all that preseason hype? This was going to be the year of a new duel, a new rivalry to follow Marc Márquez versus Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi versus Casey Stoner.
Márquez and Maverick Viñales were the new duellists, battling for the 2017 MotoGP title from start to finish.
In a way, they are. And in a way, they aren’t. The championship reached its halfway point in Germany on Sunday, with the two Spaniards at the top of the championship separated by just five points. But the pair hasn't stood on the podium together this year. Not once, in nine races. How weird is that?
And they’ve hardly been on track together – not once have they fought for victory. About the closest they’ve been all year was during qualifying on Saturday when they had a little coming-together (above). They had seen so little of each other recently that they took the opportunity to have a little wave at one another.
All this proves is that 2017 is the topsy-turviest championship in years, perhaps ever. And the man who best copes with the confusion will be the 69th premier-class world champion.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.