Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Lorenzo and Honda: will they win?

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.


Lorenzo and Honda: will they win?

Jorge Lorenzo’s shock move to Repsol Honda caught pretty much everyone by surprise. What are the precedents and how will the deal work out?

In December 1988, a letter from Rothmans Honda chattered through fax machines of editorial offices around the world, announcing that reigning 500cc world champion Eddie Lawson was quitting Marlboro Yamaha Team Agostini to race Rothmans Hondas the following season.

Editors and journalists stared at the letter in disbelief.

A few days later their befuddlement was complete when a fax arrived from Marlboro Yamaha Team Agostini, announcing that Rothmans Honda’s former world champion Freddie Spencer would ride YZR500s in 1989.

‘Steady’ Eddie on a Honda? ‘Fast’ Freddie on a Yamaha? It was like the sky had fallen in. Californian Lawson had won three world titles for Yamaha and Louisianan Spencer had won three world titles for Honda. Their duels on their YZR500s and NSR500s were the stuff of legend. Each name was synonymous with each brand; it seemed inconceivable that both were defecting. One American Lawson fan was so upset he christened his former hero the anti-Christ.

The winter of 1988/1989 was definitely Grand Prix racing’s silliest of silly seasons. Or was it? How about the winter of 1957/1958 when the dominant Italian manufacturers – Gilera, MV Agusta, Mondial and Moto Guzzi – all agreed to withdraw from Grand Prix racing, because a slump in motorcycle sales had hit them hard?

Soon after crafty Count Domenico Agusta announced that MV Agusta would continue racing. The marque went on to win the next 17 500c world championships, all the way to 1974. The Count wasn’t too bothered by the slump in bike sales because he made most of his money selling helicopters to dodgy regimes around the world (full story in Motor Sport magazine, out at the end of July).

Jorge Lorenzo’s move to Honda isn’t quite as dramatic as that, but it’s a remarkable moment in MotoGP history, not least because of the way it came about: the first MotoGP world champion to successfully adapt to the Ducati tricked us all by signing for Honda at the very moment we thought he was about to run back to Yamaha. It’s a very brave move. Only time will tell if it’s the right move.

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

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Comments

The Honda is a proven race winning bike. If Cal, Jack and Danny can win on it, of course Lorenzo will win on it...eventually. 

The Ducati is a proven race winning bike, it won 7 times so far while Lorenzo has been riding, of course he was going to win on it...eventually.

The Ducati Rossi rode was NOT a race winning bike, too bad for him. He is a legend and I’m sure he doesn’t care about Lorenzo’s records. But I’d love to see Lorenzo win on 4 different brands! What a great story that would be. Until then, the story will be the same as at Ducati...watching Lorenzo get destroyed by his teammate.

 

 

" The Ducati Rossi rode was NOT a race winning bike.." You can have your own opinions, not your own facts.

Rossi hopped onto the Ducati at Valencia in 2010 just after Stoner took it to 2nd place days before in the GP, and Stoner had also won 3 out of 5 of the previous GPs. Rossi was about 1.5 seconds behind the pace at the test, then and stayed that way for 2 years.

The Ducati was a race winning bike.

yes, everyone's entitled to have an opinion. and yes we should not take them - the opinions- as facts...

so... some fun facts :

the "winning" bike was so much in a winning streak that Stoner in the 2010 championship was behind the Italian who had missed out 4 repeat four races and then recovering from a broken leg. 

the "winning" bike was so good that Stoner binned it plenty of times, 5 times out of 18 races, and finished off the podium 4 other times... which gives a percentage of 50% off the podium. A figure that would be much higher if two major challengers (namely the italian and Pedrosa) hadn't been out for many races because of injuries

the "winning" bike was so good that Stoner did not want to dump it and go to Honda, right ? I guess he left because Ducati showed him the door, right? Otherwise why would he give up on a "winning" bike

c'mon ! these comparisons are silly and make no sense. You don't like the Italian ? fine! but do not twist basic facts just to transform a personal opinion into reality, and feed with "supposed facts" your personal disliking of a person.

The 2010 Ducati either won or it didn't.

The record shows that in 2010 it won ... three times... so the statement that "the Ducati was NOT a winning bike" is refuted.

Insert your faulty logic and cognitive fallacies as you see fit.

Thank you for your perfect logic. Now please tell us that the 2016 Honda  VDS is a winning bike too....  and shame to all those who did not win with it afterwards.... 

And please confirm that your reasoning is computer generated... is your name HAL ?

 

 

I don't know where you got that the Ducati wasn't a race winning bike, Stoner won 3 races on it in his last year on that bike , ( Rossi had 2 wins on the Yamaha that year ,2010 )..2011 and Stoner won the Championship that year on the Honda and Rossi on the Ducati won nothing.. I'm sure Lorenzo will win on the honda but only if Marquez crashes or had bike problems....  Cheers.