Aragon MotoGP Subscriber Notes: Marquez As Scapegoat, The Danger Of Ride-Height Devices, And How Ducati Made Tire Management Irrelevant

Marc Marquez was hoping to make an impact on his return to MotoGP at the Motorland Aragon circuit. He made an impact alright, but not quite the one he was intending. A lightning start, collisions with Fabio Quartararo and Takaaki Nakagami – much, much more on that later – and a withdrawal due to having a chunk of Quartararo's fairing stuck in the back of his bike. Marquez had come up short on his objective: "Try to get kilometers, try to finish the race, and we didn't get the target. I just did one lap," he said after the race.

We will come to apportioning blame for the Quartararo-Marquez crash later, and how Enea Bastianini came to the championship leader's aid at the end of the race. The race itself was in some ways a repeat of last year: a waiting game, with a burst of excitement settling the outcome in the last couple of laps.

Bastianini's victory wrapped up the manufacturers championship for Ducati again with five races to go. There is no doubt that the Ducati is now the best bike on the MotoGP grid. But the halfhearted celebrations in the factory Ducati Lenovo garage betrayed just how much more the riders championship matters to Ducati.

Pecco Bagnaia closed the deficit to to Fabio Quartararo to just 10 points at Aragon. But the season is far from over. With five races left, there are 125 points still on the table. In theory, Luca Marini, twelfth and 120 points behind Quartararo, is still mathematically capable of winning the championship, as are the eleven riders ahead of him.

Realistically, the title will be fought out between the top three, with 17 points separating Quartararo, Bagnaia, and Aleix Espargaro, with Enea Bastianini, 48 points behind, a wildcard. But as we have seen, a lot can happen in five races. And the cost of failure increases with each passing round.

Which leads me nicely on to the first-lap incident between Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo. Following events live, it looked a lot like recklessness on the part of the Repsol Honda rider, especially in the second incident which caused Takaaki Nakagami to crash. But watching the replays on the MotoGP.com website from all of the available viewpoints and camera angles, and a more nuanced picture emerges.

To read the remaining 3579 words of this article, you need to sign up to become a MotoMatters.com site supporter by taking out a subscription. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here. If you are already a subscriber, log in to read the full text.


This is part of a regular series of unique insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The series includes interviews, background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion, and is available to everyone supporting the site by taking out a subscription.

If you would like to read more of our exclusive content you can join the growing band of site supporters, by taking out a subscription here. If you prefer, you can also support us on our Patreon page and get access to the same exclusive material there.

Source: 
year: 
2022
round_number: 
15

Back to top

Comments

Your point about how much progress the teams and manufacturers make from one year to the next, makes me wonder what it’ll mean going to tracks that MotoGP hasn’t visited since 2019. The bikes and tires are different enough and the data they have is old   Can we expect some surprises? Something akin to the start of a new season where bikes and settings still need to be tuned?

I find having so many Ducatis on the track boring after Quartararo and Marquez dropped out.

8 is way too many.  They want to make it more interesting?  Limit them to 4 bikes.

Fabio said the scooter he went to the pits on carshed into another scooter while he had his leathers unzipped, thats how come he got some many burns on his chest and somach. He said it was worse than the crash :(

Ride us of rid height devices ASAP please and thank you!

Safety issue. Done! And cost savings. Over done. Plus, strongly disliked - burnt and garbage. 

I wasn't sure about start devices. Never ever ok w post start gizmos. Bad for the show, et al. Read all the arguments for. Tried to understand.

Nope. Adios arsedgusters asap.

Little-Brit, I'm in Oregon USA on a Triumph 675R. You're in Britain...and like Hardly Doofisons?! Something is switched up here mate! 

You sincerely like ride height adjusters? Minority opinion it would seem. Sincerely interested, is it simply that they make a bike accelerate faster? Cool to watch the bike drop at the rear? Technically interesting? Added intrigue? Ducati fan? Drive a "low rider" car w hydraulic suspension? Enjoy complexity over simplicity? Futuristic Sci Fi fan? What is it you like?

What do you think of the "turn by turn" electronics function that was made illegal (GPS etc based)...? I haven't heard anyone back them specifically yet. One peep of "it should be wide open tech because prototype class" perhaps, piggybacking on a frustration w cost saving arguments that don't ring true. A safety nod. The (double?) clutch being illegal gets mention. I disagree, and someone always pops in and says MotoGP shouldn't have regulations. I think of politics, ethics, and critical thinking/logic errors. Not a popular thing on a site like this. Oop.

Aero, like/dislike? Prefer Bstone and Dunlop back, or like single tire? Is Race Direction doing a good job? Prefer not to get poked at here? I get curious! Friendly tone intended.

;)

That's interesting. The rules say no as was my understanding...'Specifically it is prohibited to control any

aspect of engine or motorcycle performance using the GPS signal'
. I think they just model the lap from the sensors with fall backs for f'ups. In that respect the ban on GPS has had a small difference but the new method takes longer I guess at some point cost more. Nice to hear Jack outside of the Dorna bubble.

Remembering the pit lane start for Maverick w Yamaha (I think?) as triggering his to malfunction/forget where it was on track? Then he (___) and got the boot.

Another rider too had a bike w wildly off "turn by turn" --> wreck. No time to research at the moment. 

Btw, link to Toprak testing wasn't there on the other article's comments, was it? Is there news re Morbidelli's future?

I think it's happened to Miller and twice to Crutchlow.

I was lead to believe that the ECU works out where it is from the timing segments.

A lot of bikes have what appears to be GPS antennas on their tails, are they allowed for datalogging?

I think it's a pretty cool thing. If they get banned, they should at least be able to be 

used for the start. It should be available on street bikes for us very short riders who can barely touch the ground when we start out. I had an R1 that was so high up  that to come  to a stop , I had to slid my ass off the seat to one side or the other just to touch my toe to the ground. I sold the bike mostly because of that.  Plus it's really cool that they look like drag bikes at the start of the race, lol.

 

I like the way the bike looks when they're active, I like seeing them in action on camera in anger and for me makes the bike look more like a Transformer like prototype, instead of a WSBK machine. If it's about turning motogp into sbk, I'm against it on principle. The failure rate should be a lot higher than this.

Heck, brake calipers have a higher failure rate. What you're gonna do about it?

^ There we go, thanks! You make sense to me, a part of me has liked watching the rears drop. Red's was so smooth, Black's looked undampened. Suzuki was slow to get it, Mir was upset.

But the Suzuki "conventional" bike holds my affection over the "NASA" Ducati despite my intrigue. How Bologna has gotten away with control of rules wrestled away from Honda has been impressive. 

I liked it when Carmelo got the transition via CRT's (as crap as they were) to the magic of 2017 on as an era.

What would I do? I disagree that brake calipers fail much. I would have banned ride hight adjusters after the start devices. Without a doubt. I would also clarify a stricter boundary on aero. No tail, yes tire cooling, keep the rest the same. 

I would give Marc a clear warning right now, safe riding or you will be asked to improve fitness or fix bike handling problems accordingly. Long lap penalty next even minor offense. Taka was hurt, LCR nor HRC have said one word. I LIKE Marc, and would set limits w him out of care and fulfilling my role obligations. Which is in reality not even a blabbering MotoMatters journo wannabe! Just a fan like you. Back to work w me. Interesting well received discussion, thank you! I like getting disagreed with constructively. Scroll by if you'd prefer, this could stray from racing for some folks? 

I wore my new Ennea Bastiannini #23 purple/lavendar shirt Saturday AND Sunday. I may get superstitious. I intended to get a Mir shirt over Winter but did not! And DID send Cloverleaf an authentic Aprilia shirt sent to England for winning the 2021 contest here. Hmm, should I buy a Bagnaia shirt? Or Quartararo?! Brad Binder! No joke, becoming more and more a fan. 

Cloverleaf, are you going to buy the 2022 Top 5 and Rookie winner a shirt to keep things paying fwd? Are you superstitious? Going to wear the Triumph shirt today and try to get added HP/rpm's w reliability for next season. Oh, look!

:)

...back to work. Looking fwd to comments.

One for Fabio as well, for running into the back of people when trying to recover from a not great start after a not great qualifying.

It is his second run into someone offence as well!

... when the guy in front makes a mistake and backs off right in front of you, that's Fabio's fault? I'm no MM fan, but this one was just a racing incident to my mind.

I completely agree and that was the point I was trying to make.

Racers race and should continue to do so irrespective of whether they are returning from injury, whether they are on a fast bike, where they are in the championship etc. 

It’s time to put a stop to this dangerous practice. Henceforth any rider who slides the rear wheel should be punished. First offense…banned for weekend. Second offense…shot at sunrise.

….you keep going on about Marc and his riding, you might want to check Ben Spies famous tweet about Marc’s riding since it was specifically written for people like you…

for the 2022 Top 5 and Rookie winner. And for several other participants whose rider selections or contributions in other ways to the competition I feel deserve recognition. Especially, of course, our redoubtable scorekeeper, without whose contribution we would none of us know what was going on. I often proudly wear the Aprilia shirt you awarded me when enjoying recorded highlights. But it’s red for live racing. Superstitious? Moi? 

Lap 9 Bastiannini has become a signature mark. After overtake into the lead, over cook a corner by a LOT. Then, claw his way back for a dozen laps. 

Psychologists can help. It is happening for a reason. I did it myself, just getting into podium contention. Too much eager juice and grab at a pass overshoot your brake marker. 

Beautiful onboard video from Enea's bike!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=flhbkRrPIgw

P.S. if you still don't think the Ducati is the best bike out there w a half a bike length gap to Aprilia, you are smoking some Japanese opium. 

Ducati, Aprilia, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, KTM. Doubt there is a single significant change in that from anyone. 

EB23 and PB63 have the most similar riding styles of all the Duc armada. The bikes then, the 2021 has an advantage on drive out grip from full lean at apex. 

The 2022 is easier to ride, and gets through longer sweepers well. But under the right rider, the slightly less stable and more agile 2021 can...win at Aragon in a straight fight. Even after overtly blowing a corner from excitement and joining tarmac with B.Binder 33 leaving a sizeable gap to recover. 

Difference? Engine character. Why is it said that more power isn't as valuable as tractable power? This. I was thinking in real time that gearing was a tooth better for Lavendar than Red. Might never know. This was the 1st time though that I wondered if 4th couldn't challenge 2nd for the 2022 Championship.

That Enes onboard vid was great. Old school onboards are so much better than arse cam.

Great wrap up DE, thank you. The Marc haters are being exposed for what they are, and it most certainly isn't rational enthusiasts of the sport. I just grabbed this screenshot below which tells a whole lot more of the story than most of these 'fans' would bother analysing.

https://imgur.com/HA0JSLs

Marc might be slowly pulling left, but when Taka's front wheel came back to earth that's where he was pointing.

https://imgur.com/i49LZFm

As Marc continued moving left, Taka dropped the elbow first after he too moved a full metre to his right after touching down.

https://imgur.com/026SWE7

Which cost him, because as they trucked on, the rug was essentially pulled out from under him. He expected more resistance at that point no doubt and Marc has clearly moved a long way to the right in the process, probably from Taka's elbow and momentum.

https://imgur.com/CaPgc8Z

Then Taka dumped it, Marc essentially has no choice than to brace for impact.

https://imgur.com/8EotHQl

Which he does. If he doesn't, guess where he goes? Straight into/under Marini with the pack on it's way through.

But hey, don't analyse and debate the facts. Get your opinion from those REALLY in the know.

https://postimg.cc/gxJtGrLT

Nice pics. I sometimes get the feeling that Marc simply has to ride and behave in a more penitent fashion. Then maybe, occasionally, sometime in the future, as long as he is nice to the other children, he will be allowed to play again without the scolding.

Not sure if you are being serious however in my opinion perhaps he might be better advised not to try and win before he has trialled his endurance properly especially when it can have the result we saw on Sunday… For sure he is an incredible talent but this year stands no chance of winning the title again. The Fabio incident was just racing but possibly he could moved out of the way instead of keeping his head down and maybe Nakagima would’nt have collected him as well.

 

^ Agreed. 

Thanks Damo. Easy on the making it personal though? Great points! Well considered. The helicopter view really showed Quartararo drive right into a squirrely Honda rear eh?

Taka though...this frightens me. Ick. Reel The Marc in just a bit? RD nudge?

Taka's crash frame by frame is alarming I agree. Just like when he cookie monster's the Bridgestone.

As for making it personal, it's fire with fire and not directed at any particular mutterer. If you want personal just go look at the opinions of former riders on the issue, and their opinion of the causal commentators enflaming the issue. Ben Spies is a good start. Huewen even went as far as painting the image of a "tubby journo pecking away  at a keyboard". Krop in shambles! ;)

Its almost like the semi-retired yellow brigade found something to cheer/whinge about after five years in the wilderness, and it's far from being based in reality. It's a bad look for the sport and in many ways I fear for what we currently have if we end up (suffering from) having exponential growth and an influx of new "fans" - Sepang '15 every weekend.

Regardless, your thoughts are noted and respected. 

…when you wrote “Marquez should have known that could happen”, did you mean he must have known, or are questioning if he didn’t think about what could have happened if he opened the throttle too early? 

I wonder why Marquez didn't get on his second bike just to get some track time in.

Because it didn't start raining. You can only switch bikes when Race Direction says you may.

 

Was his own fault, not Marc’s. Fabio ran into Marc so how is it Marc’s fault regardless of how he lost momentum. Taka’s crash was something different. I don’t see how a fairing part digging into a rear tire would cause a directional change any more than applying the rear brake. 

^ It basically did just that perhaps. 

Krop, I dislike Team "orders," but appreciate and understand suggestions. There are natural and logical consequences for transgressions within a Manu's flock. I think we've seen some smart team work amongst riders, and appreciated team players (Pedrosa was one for Marc, quite another for Hayden! Miller too, good for Pecco. Rossi with Lorenzo? Not so much. Et al). The VR46 guys, this is the new club...strong support within. Spain nor Japan have anything like it. And they are on Italian bikes now too! Look at Morbidelli, out there on his own. Getting sacked maybe?

…shows what amazing riders these guys are. I’m a Fabio fan but I really don’t think that MM can be blamed for either incident. This is top level hardcore racing with everyone on the limit and that results in racing incidents. Both were downright scary and I’m so glad there were no serious injuries. I hope that Taka can race in his home GP. Mouthwatering five races left and I’m looking forward to being at Phillip Island. TV is great but nothing beats being there.

The era of randomness domination. Not that Mir, Fabio, Pecco aren't talented. With things this close, and additional failure paths afforded by gizmos, results are much more than talent based.

Time has borne out the Ducati development strategy. From the moment they listened to Pecco who was asking for a more stable set up, the results have just continued to improve. Note that they have also got Jack settled on his set up in recent rounds too. However, the other thing time has borne out is the choice of Enea for the second seat. It looks likely that the relationship between he and Pecco might be challenging to manage, but that's a better problem to have. Besides whatever we think of Ducati rider management it is evident that KTM are an order of magnitude worse. Hereby I am conceding to Shrink that Pecco must be favored for the title now, especially as Crafar's Curse has intervened. Fabio's tenancy on the ragged edge seems to be over.

It's all looking very much like a similar pattern to last year. Fabio holds sway for the first 2/3 of the season then falls off at the end and Pecco picks up the points, with a few others grabbing what they can along the way. Fabio will definitely take this one to the line, but can Pecco withstand the pressure this time round (signs point to yes)?

Well said, and no arguments against here.

I think it is Ducati's turn, Gigi flipped things upside down long ago. They've not been patient, but have been focused and relentless. A bit sneaky.  A few fumbles w rider relations. 

Next year Red #63 = bookie's favorite. No matter what motor Blue brings, nor chassis stability and setting from Honda. Just a question of fitness and Bastiannini prowess, which is on a trajectory towards increased heat and friction but no large issues. Italian dream, Japanese nightmare.