Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoGP: gentlemanly or full of vicious passions?

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.


MotoGP: gentlemanly or full of vicious passions?

Jorge Lorenzo’s Turn One exit at Aragón ended his chances of another MotoGP victory. But who is to blame for this latest controversy?

I like to think that Jorge Lorenzo has heard of George Orwell, the author of 1984, Animal Farm and other important novels. One of the Briton’s best-read creations is Homage to Catalonia (Homenaje a Cataluña in its Spanish translation), which recounts his grisly experiences of fighting in the Spanish Civil War.

Orwell joined a militia in Barcelona and fought on the Aragón front, close to where Lorenzo and Marc Márquez fought on Sunday. In May 1937 he was shot in the throat by a sniper and nearly died.

Lorenzo didn’t suffer so badly at MotorLand Aragón. His sustained a dislocated big toe and a compound fracture of another toe when he was flicked over the handlebars at the first corner, after Márquez had snuck past him.

His early exit was a real shame, not only for the three-time MotoGP king but also for the title fight, because with two Ducatis buzzing around the points leader, there was just the teeniest weeniest chance that the championship dynamic might get turned upside down. However, it was Lorenzo who got turned upside down.

And he was mad about it: “Marc destroyed my race and my foot,” he fumed. “He also destroyed the possibility I had to win the race and probably also in Thailand.”

In fact, Márquez had done no such thing. The reigning champion started from third on the grid, sneaked past Andrea Dovizioso on the brakes and then swept past Lorenzo as they attacked the tight first corner, a notorious accident black spot. No doubt, Márquez was on the limit, his tyres not fully up to temperature, the rubber crabbing across the asphalt as he tipped into the corner, so he ran wide, because he would’ve crashed if he had tightened his line any further. But there was no contact – he had the line, so it was his corner. Lorenzo’s job was to limit the damage. He also ran wide, onto the dirty part of the track, where his rear tyre skidded sideways, gripped and ejected him from the seat.

“Marc didn’t allow me to enter the corner,” Lorenzo added. “He made me go to the dirt, where I opened the throttle and crashed. It was a block pass. He didn’t care about me, he just braked very late and didn’t think about the exit of the corner.”

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

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Total votes: 8
Total votes: 15

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Comments

"Arrest me...call the police".

Mark Marquez should be arrested and sentenced to 30 days pushing a Ducti through the sand traps and 50 brutal lashes with a Ducati motorcycle chain.

Total votes: 13

I think it is just like Lorenzo claimed! Not sure about the block passes, but Marquez had to check up to make the turn. That is almost like a brake check to screw up the following rider. Just dive bomb him and then stand on on the brakes. But that is a legitimate form of motor racing!

 

 

Total votes: 12

To be honest, people should start riding like Márquez. But I think that’s the crux of Lorenzo’s argument: 24 maniacs riding like that in MotoGP every race would be deadly. 

So those with more brains opt to save the massive risk and beat Márquez using other tactics. I also think 2015’s punishment of Rossi dissuades riders from retaliation - for now. 

But still... the only way to stop this aggression is with aggression towards the main culprit. Enough bashes, crashes or close calls will force Márquez (or race direction) to alter the approach... maybe? 

As it is, it just appears like Márquez is “better” at pulling off hard racing and handily beating the rest of the field. Racing 101: if your opponents are scared of you, good! Keep doing the same thing. See also: Senna, Schumacher, etc. 

Total votes: 18

MM93's counterpart has been seen in AD04, not JL99.

Less entitlement and willful karate, more adaptive smart aikido.

Total votes: 6