Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Are track limits MotoGP’s new tyranny?

Some people hate MotoGP’s rules over track-limits, but to understand why they are there we need to look at racing safety over the years

It’s a funny old world. Here we are in 2019 arguing about MotoGP riders exceeding track limits when motorcycle racing already had the best punishment for this crime more than a hundred years ago.

Great big stone walls did the job just fine – the ultimate deterrent to riders who sought to better their lap times by taking faster, wider lines.

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2020 Provisional Calendar - 20 Races, Finland Added, More Back To Back Races

The FIM have issued a provisional calendar for the 2020 MotoGP season, which sees the series expand to 20 races, and lays the basis for expansion to 22 races. The biggest changes are the addition of the Kymiring in Finland in July, and the moving of the Thailand round of MotoGP in Buriram from October to 22nd March.

The racing season kicks off as ever in Qatar, the MotoGP race being moved to the first week of March. From Qatar, the series heads east to Thailand, the MotoGP race taking the slot of the WorldSBK race at Buriram. Attendance for the WorldSBK round had fallen since MotoGP went to Thailand, and so the WorldSBK round is being dropped, with another overseas round to be held in its place.

From Thailand, the paddock heads east once again to cross the International Date Line and head to Austin, the US round moving up to become the third race of the year, ahead of Argentina. The Argentina Grand Prix takes place two weeks after Austin. 

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2019 Argentina MotoGP Race Round Up: False Starts, Close Fights, And The Raw Emotion Of Racing

A sense of dread must fill the hearts of senior MotoGP staff as they head to Argentina each year. There is so much to love about the round – one of the best race track layouts in the world, and probably the best atmosphere at any race – and yet somehow, the Fates always find a way to cause controversy, filling the media and fan chatter with debate about rules, regulations, and anything but the actual racing.

Since MotoGP first returned to Argentina in 2014, we have had customs hold ups, a collision between Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez, rear tires blistering and shedding rubber, compulsory pit stops, complaints about bumps causing riders to crash out, start line chaos, another collision between Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi (and between Marc Márquez and a whole bunch of other riders), just to mention a few things in no particular order. On more than one occasion, the Argentina round of MotoGP has forced adjustments to the rules, or clarification on how the rules are applied. As sure as night follows day, intense criticism (whether deserved or not) of Race Direction follows a MotoGP race at Termas de Rio Hondo.

Rolling

So why would 2019 be any different? Sitting on the starting grid as the starting lights came on, Cal Crutchlow balanced his LCR Honda RC213V on his tiptoes, and inadvertently rolled his toes forward, moving the bike imperceptibly forward a few centimeters. Just as that happened, the lights went out, and the pack tore off towards Turn 1.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Is Márquez unstoppable?

Marc Márquez scored his biggest dry MotoGP win at the Argentine Grand Prix while Valentino Rossi saved his tyres to take second, which is where Cal Crutchlow should’ve finished...

Another MotoGP race, another row about the rules.

In Qatar the argument focused on the guidelines relating to aerodynamic fitments. In Argentina the aggravation concerned Cal Crutchlow’s jump-start, which resulted in a ride-through penalty that probably cost the Briton a second-place finish.

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MSMA Solves Aero Crisis By Splitting MotoGP Class In Two

As many of you will have spotted, this was in fact an April Fool's story. Splitting the MotoGP class into two is a severely unlikely proposal, and would be a lot to ask. The splits between the manufacturers over aerodynamics continue, but should be solved by creating clearer regulations. This story was just an excuse for me to make a truly terrible pun.

After the past three weeks have been filled with controversy over aerodynamic appendages, a compromise has been reached among the manufacturers involved in MotoGP, MotoMatters.com has learned. At a meeting of the MSMA in Termas De Rio Hondo, Argentina, on Sunday, the six manufacturers agreed to a new format for MotoGP which would allow both the opponents and advocates of aerodynamics to get what they want from the series.

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2019 Argentina Sunday MotoGP Fast Notes: Initial Thoughts On Winning Margins, Managing Races, And Jump Starts

Regular readers may have noticed that my race have been getting longer, and as a consequence, also getting later. So for the next few races, I want to try something different. On Sunday night, I will be posting my initial thoughts and reactions in bullet point form. Later in the week – late Monday or early Tuesday – I will be posting a full, in-depth race report, trying to cover as much as possible. The initial thoughts will be for MotoMatters.com subscribers, the full race report will be for all readers. Send me your thoughts on this change to feedback@motomatters.com.

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