2019 Austin MotoGP Fast Notes: Jump Starts, Winning Ways, A Tight Championship, And Outstanding Team Managers

Jump starts

Have Race Direction suddenly decided to have a crackdown on jump starts? After a long period without a single jump start, we suddenly have three in two races. Look at the video, and it's clear the reason Race Direction issued two more penalties for jump starts is because two riders moved on the grid in Austin. A random statistical distribution tends to be lumpy, not smooth, and so random events look like they are clustered together. And at the point of the race where the riders are most intensely focused, occasionally mistakes will occur. Sometimes even simultaneously.

The two culprits in Austin were Joan Mir and Maverick Viñales. Mir's infraction was the smallest, barely moving and then almost coming to a stop. He was quietly seething after the race, angry at a penalty he felt he didn't deserve, and at the disproportionate nature of the penalty for the tiniest infraction in which he didn't gain an advantage, like Cal Crutchlow in Argentina. "It ruined my race," the Suzuki Ecstar rider said. "All the weekend for this. It ruined my whole weekend. When I see my lap times every lap and the pace that I had, it makes me even more angry because sincerely we had today a great pace to fight for the podium or top five, sure."

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2019 Austin Moto2 FP2 Result: Schrotter’s Two For Two

The final session of the day saw the intermediate class benefit from the added grip of a full day of action but Xavi Vierge quickly became the first victim of the bumps in FP2, sliding out in turn two before even setting a lap in anger. Tom Luthi had no such problems and set camp at the top of the timesheets early on, with only Sam Lowes within half a second of his benchmark for most of the session. The calm before the storm allowed a false sense of security but Marcel Schrotter’s FP1 domination was back in the final time attack and the German rider took the lead by half a second.

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2019 Austin Moto2 FP1 Result: Schrotter On Top

Marcel Schrotter blitzed the field to take the top Moto2 position Friday in FP1 at the Circuit of the Americas. Schrotter’s 2’10.853 easily eclipsed teammate Thomas Luthi’s second-place lap by nearly half a second.  Jorge Navarro rounded out the top three in dry, clear conditions at the Austin, Texas track.


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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.


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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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 subscribers, the full race report will be for all readers. Send me your thoughts on this change to

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