Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 112: Brno MotoGP Race - Is Marquez Making MotoGP Monotonous?

On Tuesday after the Brno round of MotoGP, and after the test on Monday, Neil Morrison and David Emmett sat down to record another episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast. Marc Marquez extended his lead with a dominant performance at Brno, building on a win at Sachsenring to take an advantage of 63 points in the championship. In fact, Marquez has extended his lead after every race since taking the championship lead at Jerez.

Taking all this in consideration, we take a long look at the state of the MotoGP championship, and ask whether Marc Marquez is making the racing boring. Is there anyone who can challenge Marquez, and if not, why not? We discuss what has changed after last year's scintillating races, and how the 2019 Honda allowed Marquez to change his approach and dominate from start to finish.

After that, we have a long chat about the state Yamaha, and what needs to be done to make the M1 competitive. We take a look at testing, who was testing what, and the response of the Yamaha riders to their first taste of the 2020 M1 prototype at the Brno test.

We then take a look at the situation in Moto2, and the wild rumors which are emerging there. Neil explains Alex Marquez' amazing turnaround in the 2019 season. Could Alex Marquez really leave Marc VDS? Could he end up in MotoGP in 2021? Who will take his place in Marc VDS? And what is going on with the VR46 Riders Academy, after Dennis Foggia, Lorenzo Baldassarri, and Nicolo Bulega all leave the academy.

If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Soundcloud we even have an RSS feed for you. If you do use Apple Podcasts, please rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it. We now also have a Patreon, where you can support the show financially, and get access to exclusive content, such as rider interviews, debriefs, and more. Enjoy the show!

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Simple answer. It's not about just viewing what's on screen. It's also about admiring the unbelievable talent and seeing it develope even further. It's about him evolving his style as he works with engineers to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the material given to him and adapting to it and crushing the opposition. No one has told the other manufacturers to stop producing good bikes or reduce their budget or told other riders that they can't evolve or ride fast. It's up to them to keep up and up to them to surpass Marc and the Honda juggernaut. The bikes are powerful and loud and wild and slidey. It's still a visual spectacle. There will be races where he is miles ahead and there will be races where he will be fighting tooth and nail. Not all of them can be nailbiters. 

Marquez does his homework during Friday and Saturday ensuring a front row start. He gets the holoeshot and is never headed. His new strategy makes for a predictable outcome. Reminds me of the year that Lorenzo led every lap for four full races. At least Dovi's strategy (in the past), and the strengths of the Ducati (like Lorenzo leading at Assen in 2018) made for entertaining races. Now I just hope that somebody, anybody, can give Marquez a hard time. I'm to the point where I don't care who it is...  

Honda did their homework, R&D, etc, to match the Ducati speed and acceleration.  The 2019 RCV is a missile.  So the factory did their work.  Marc Marquez is the best rider on the grid, one of the best in the history of the sport, and may be the greatest ever.  He is exploiting every advantage of the Honda, making up for the few deficits it has over the other bikes.  Is he making the races boring?  Yes, Brno was one of the most boring races of the year, on par with the 800cc era.  Yamaha have failed miserably over the last 3-4 years, specifically not spending money to keep their M1 competitive.  Only now, after they have dug a hole for themselves are they doing anything about it, and they are only doing that because they are embarrasing themselves.  Honda nicked Ducati and Gigi over the winter and Dovi just isn't as naturally talented as Marquez.  Everything is crystal.  Honda has always had a much larger budget compared to the other manus.  It used to be Honda spent about double compared to Yamaha.  Last I read estimates were Honda 50 mil, Yamaha 30 mil.  That simple math changed when VAG/Audi bought Ducati.  Audi opened up the check book and gave Gigi the money he needed to make the Ducati competitive.  Honda answered back this year with authority.  Suzuki is spending more money than they ever have, and Yamaha is starting to spend more money.  To beat Honda (NASA) and Marquez, everyone else is going to have to spend some serious money.  The races are boring, and the 2019 championship has been over since around LeMans.  Hopefully in 2020 the other manus ante up or it'll be the same thing in 2020.

MM93 is part of a team and his talent is undeniable. The bikes are so close now that the racing should be excellent. But it isn’t. Even behind whoever is at the front the overtakes are difficult and this is spoiling the spectacle that bike racing is renowned for, especially MotoGP, or it was. I suspect that this is partly due to the aero. As this is increasing speeds that only adds to safety problems and IMO should be banned by a simple rule - if it looks like aero it should be removed immediately (back to the old fairing or whatever).

I also agree with BrickTop that if you want to win (yes you Yamaha) you need some drastic changes and more cash. Whatever has changed is not enough. Maybe a change of team leadership is needed.

Objectivity? The bikes on the grid are closer to one another re pace. Honda doesn't have a strangle hold on the rulebook anymore. We have one rider that is an overdog on a bike that is quite good. We have had some other eras in which we had two great riders on bikes that could do the business. In some of these eras the gap behind these two was big, and the bikes were more spread out. Only two bikes could win a race. Right now four manufacturers are expected to win a race. Satellite/Jr Teams are expected to win a race. We have multiple fluctuating rivalries in all but the back pack (unless you count Iannone's focused talent with his ego).

Subjectivity? Obviously preferable that the #93 was a tad slower, or that we had a couple of other riders matching him. 2017 and 2018 held some FANTASTIC races, thrilling battles. I would say they were better seasons. We could go on and on re permutations that would make things better on tv at the front, and the championship more tantilizing. What seems a mistake is attaching oneself to an ideal and missing the show at hand. A half dozen bikes can win a race. One snoozer race needn't bring amnesia of great racing going on. And Brno was pretty interesting for me!

The stuff that Marc is able to do is entertaining me. We have never seen anyone make a bike do those things before. When Lorenzo was out front w a Bstone Yamaha, it was the stopwatch metronome we looked at. Now? Elbows, saves, slides and such. He is not on an ideal bike by any means. Ducati has an amazing and quite unique bike. At the moment their riders are terrestrial. Yamaha has turned their corner, and coming. With two very strong riders. Wee Suzuki is here with a fantastic machine that may be the best handling "big" motorcycle ever made...literally (looks like it to me). Rins is great fun. Team Orange is on an impressive trajectory with a promising program.

Rather than ONE bike (V5 Honda et al) being an overdog, we have one underfunded underdog. And even that bike isn't exactly an Illmore/CRT/WCM etc, A.Espargaro has put that thing mid pack.

Rather than one team holding ALL the cards, just our last gasp from the single vestige of CRT is back there holding none. And how many blue flags come out these days?

These are good times. And more looks to be coming, not less. Pray that Honda doesn't get their bike more together. That Ducati does get a rider up over the hurdle. That Suzuki gets a motor halfway between this one and the two monsters, and their Jr Team comes together soon. That Yamaha keeps their project on the pipe. So on and on.

But enjoy everything that is here. There is a bounty. And we are in for a few surprises.