Emilia-Romagna MotoGP Subscriber Notes: The Winner Who Wasn't, Reinventing Maverick, Championship Math, Ducati Braking, And How Messages Work

Just when you thought the 2020 MotoGP season couldn't get any weirder, the Emilia-Romagna round at Misano threw up surprises we never even knew were possible. You would have that that having MotoGP race at the same track twice would make matters even more predictable, but instead, we find ourselves deep inside the world of Donald Rumsfeld's famous unknown unknowns.

The race itself was more a war of attrition than a bar-banging battle from lights to flag. It was hardly bereft of excitement – the battle for the podium grew intense and controversial in the last few laps – but the eventual winner spent pretty much the whole race alone. The same was true for the rider who should have won, but managed to throw it all away with seven laps to go.

That was far from the only crash. Of the 20 riders who started the race, only 13 managed to cross the line at the end of 27 laps. That is one of those surprises we really hadn't seen coming – two races and a test, combined with almost perfect weather (the briefest of showers during the Moto2 race, just enough to force a restart interrupted a week of otherwise endless sunshine) meant the newly resurfaced track had more grip than the tires could handle, and by Sunday, the riders knew every bump around Misano better than the knew their own mothers.

The end result of the Cattolica Carnage was a sixth winner in seven races, a championship leader most people had discounted, and the top four in the title chase covered by just four points. There was a controversial penalty which cost one rider the podium. And a winner who everybody had written off after the first round at Misano last week.

And we still haven't got a clue who is going to win the 2020 MotoGP crown. With seven races to go, there are eight riders all within 25 points (or one race win) of the championship leader, and the top ten are covered by 27 points. Four races ago, the championship leader was in fourth place, and the rider now in fourth, just 4 points behind him, was down in fourteenth. It is a cliché, but the championship really is wide open.

So there is plenty to discuss in these subscriber notes. From Pecco Bagnaia through Maverick Viñales to Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Márquez, and much more. Here is what you will find inside:

  • Why Pecco Bagnaia didn't get the maiden win he seemed to deserve, and how a thin sliver of plastic turned out to be the bane of Pramac Ducati
  • Maverick Viñales' unexpected revival: what changed, and why he didn't end up going backward like last week
  • Why isn't Joan Mir walking away with the 2020 championship?
  • The penalty which robbed Fabio Quartararo of a podium, and the perilous path dashboard messages follow from Race Direction to the rider's dashboard
  • Alex Márquez saving the day for Repsol Honda
  • Why did so many riders crash out in otherwise perfect conditions?
  • Andrea Dovizioso explains how the new rear Michelin is forcing him to change the way he brakes, once his strongest asset
  • The state of a championship which nobody appears to win
  • What happens at Barcelona?
  • And whether we can actually draw any conclusions from a race which was so thoroughly weird.

So close, and yet so far

As always, a lot to get through. So let's begin with the rider who deserved the win, right up until he didn't: Pecco Bagnaia.

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year: 
2020
round_number: 
8

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Comments

sorry, David --  amazing writeup!   but 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence.. 

"Of the 20 riders who started the race, only 7 managed to cross the line at the end of 27 laps."

?? you did mean that  "7 did NOT manage to cross the line .."      yes?

 

 

 

About one lap before Bagnaia's crash, his name suddenly dropped 5-6 positions on the screen for one second before coming back on top, this is enough to kickstart my new conspiracy theory that Dorna went on full scripted mode with races and championship /s.

So, what are they conspiring on as the desired result? I'm not that big on conspiracy theories for the simple reason that people do love sharing secrets and, with a cast of thousands, those who are disadvantaged would be making noise.

what I do think is that the loop/transponder gubbins are not entirely reliable. I'm sure we've all seen plenty of races where this or that rider temporarily disappears from the timing screens only to reappear in the same position soon afterwards. That said, I was saying to myself, over the final few laps, that Quarty needed to be careful as it looked like he was touching green every now and then. Shame to lose a spot though, especially if he loses the title by just two points.

With Sadmoon's very serious consideration, you may be missing the real story here. Yamaha just debuted their Holestuck Device. Have you any idea how difficult it is to get a tear-off into an intake duct? Absolutely brilliant. The interference may have blipped his transponder. 

With a button that tucks your tail down between your legs, you never know what it does if pushed hard the other way. "Eat a tear-off damn Duc motor!" "Long lap penalty now? When I have a PODIUM?! Eat a tear-off Race Direction!" Looks like it still needs a bit of development Fabio.

;

Sincere and ignorant question: memory says both tires have to clearly cut green for a track limits infraction, and that I have seen riders hoisting their front while apparently doing so and not getting a warning. Does being on one wheel vs two have anything to do with the rule at all? How about how RD seems to be applying it?

I think Fabio saw his message but chose to get the podium for a moral victory and demotion to where he would end up anyway. His "didn't see it" being honest In the manner that one can note something but not take it in. Before you react and reduce things to concept and rationalizing, which someone is about to do here anyway, see that you just "saw" this very thing re concrete operational reductivism with your eyes but not your mind, and went ahead via "how I see things." Then even double down saying you didn't and don't see that you did, but that the other person that you disdain as wrong is like Fabio and this is delusional etc. And miss the irony/paradox entirely? Blergh. (By the way, the pedantic trudgery processes are here often. Concrete operational functioning is of the schoolyard child developmental stage, and is supposed to subside in latency's metamorphosis kicking off authentic nuanced individuation. Unless there are developmental issues and/or Honda fans). Back to bikes, but this slots in with a few rider considerations.

Bagnaia's crash, he may have been on a subtly different line/rhythm after a slight overcook of the previous corner. While his data says same as every other lap re lean angle, throttle, even where he was at, I would not speculate that there was an additional factor. He just asked plenty of the front and it tucked. What Pecco was doing so brilliantly was throwing the Ducati right at that apex edge grip over and over. He was with the pliability of the limit, there is a lot of grip...until there isn't. The front tire wear might be a factor, and Occam's razor always applies. So does Sangster's (insert least personal for most simple). Heart sunk, sadness welled. He and Mir have me this year. 

So does KTM. Wow! It is a big deal that they got their bike to work here this week. No bogey track, they had a set up and development challenge to which they were successful. Watch out! Ascending.

Rossi crass error alone? At Misano? He is at his sunset. And rather than start a team in the paddock, he ALREADY has an academy that offers lots of autonomy and relational satisfaction. Marini has a manager. I don't think he will directly principal a team. He has something organic that will grow. I wonder if he will naturally get someone from his crowd involved with the Yamaha Euro Test team. Not him, he doesn't want to do donkey work, he is relational and responding to what arises of meaning and satisfaction. Really! He is letting go of his attachment to the paddock itself as it is now. He is one for enjoyment, shared love for racing the bike, and one another. Is that what running a team is like? No, it is a desk and a phone and a computer and meetings and calls and money and stress and logistics and contracts and...not Vale. He is the antithesis of a manager. Something unique and great is coming in Italy though. (He may make a bike happen for Luca mind you, but he will not be running the team).

Vinales - he is a bit hot under the collar. His improvement is part tire choice, part preparation with full tank for race pace, but where it all goes is cooling his squirrel off. He HAS it for a scrappy fight. And a Q lap. To do what he can on Sunday involves something he has a hard time with - temper the push of intense "extra effort." It is counter intuitive to him. He articulates this finally, as David has captured here. Deeper even, Maverick can cognitively "get it" but not hold awareness of the doing of it. He is not subjectively experiencing desperation, he is striving and  "into it." At the time he thinks he is bringing the goods. Same reason I keep putting too much hot sauce on everything, or plan to have one slice of pizza until having one. Butter is smooth, hammer is rhythmic consistency. The heat in the pan or smithy's coals is already there! Very happy for Maverick! Keep the heat where it is at, not higher, and keep it from varying. Notice flurries of egoic process that urge ungrounded "extra." Be aware of subtle frustration and disappointment with self immediately preceding them. Maybe even touching on disgust or shame, an entirely different heat source? That one is NOT to be tended. There is some "storying" narrative influencing it trying to transcend despair just out of awareness. Appreciate that willful defense, and return to good old settling back in to felt sense reference of body and bike together. Everything is there for you when a bit of exasperation doesn't remove you from it.

The Suzuki gets reeled in to lose it's corner speed edge at a high grip track. More bikes can do the cornering business (example, Bagnaia's bike had ZERO turning in troubles here) when there is so much adhesion from the track surface and rubber down. Especially when they can spend two weekends and a test day sorting bikes (KTM and Duc, Honda). So maybe Rins is easier to understand, and Mir even more impressive Sunday? 

A contrast seen at Misano of the KTM and Yamaha, with Suzuki shooting right through the middle. This has been most interesting. Hard rear Vinales struggled to start, soft Pol struggled to finish. Orange gets out on the gas, Blue gets in on the chassis. Enter into the mix yesterday the Suzuki under Mir, struggling with neither. A fresh tire can't yet be exploited for a early fast lap, but once settled in for race pace the Suzuki has everything. Judging by where momentum is undertaken now? We could have a Mir/Suzuki 2020 Champion. Especially if the team can master fresh tires? And if the bike's normal race pace character has a "fresh tire-like" adhesion, what then? It is very gentle on tires. It doesn't seem to need more grip anywhere to do its thing. It is well balanced and forgiving. Well, maybe sacrifice just a little bit of rideability for outright power? Take a step towards screamer? Beats me, but cheering you on wee underdog. 

Careful not to follow mainstream media in preoccupation with what design is on Vale's socks. Bringing awareness to such things as nuance revealing what Mir is manifesting on this Suzuki can be much more compelling and essential. Details and subtleties abound. Context and history. So much less comes of an overdog. For the programs too...you get great clear compelling information from doing anything besides winning. Information from winning is vague and dismissable. Even misleading. Right HRC?      ;)

Good questions at the debrief Neil Morrison, nice to see your face. Over the years I have been in harmony with you more than any other person I am aware of. (Crafar too since his recent arrival, can you believe he got such grief and criticism here?). We are lucky to have you aboard, thank you. Thanks for integrating him here David. 

Great incisive supplementary points to an otherwise (as always) outstanding post race report. You are the Creme to Emmetts Brulee, Saluté.

From a technical standpoint "We've seen the message on TV so that means it's been sent and it's all good" is a nice way to put it, but I wonder if the message is acknowledged by the bike transponder. If the transponder says "I got the message ok". Pretty standard in communication protocols. I would dare to say it's the first step to establish reliable communication.

If not, well, using transponder loops may be inexpensive and convenient, but that's poor engineering, and given the message cannot be resent / picked up until next loop even an ack on the next loop would be somehow sketchy.

I'm led to believe that with bikes going over the loops close to each other there is more room for error on the RF/transponder side (that has been reportedly glitchy during the event) than with the wired onboard chained systems...

Maybe the invaluable knowledge of the Very Wise Mister Bom could shed a bit of light on this ?

Hi David,

Nice article and straight to the point as usual. Still, two questions:

- what about KTM? They aren't really singled out in this article and both Pol and Miguel had good races;

- about Viñales: I'm thinking that the guy that took all the blame for last week's tyre should be praying that he starts going backwards again in Barcelona. Do you think he has THE mentality to win this?

Thanks!

Though I count myself firmly in the Pecco fan club, I don't think it's credible to speculate on the tear-off lightning striking twice and causing his crash. There are plenty of more plausible suggestions, such as his new and super effective technigue finally finding its limit. As for Jack, well also gutted for him but after hearing that he had chosen the soft rear again I was fully expecting a tumble down the order from mid race anyway. I do appreciate that there are people in the team way smarter than I am on this stuff but everytime I hear Jack's tyre choice I wish he would go at least one step harder. And when he chooses a hard option I wish he would consider snow chains - cause we have had a couple of years of Jack shredding the black stuff and, gotta be honest, it's frustrating. Noting Mr Oxley's recent article about the vicious nature of competition across the Moto classes, I am compelled to observe just how genuinely pleased other riders were to see Maverick's win. Yes MotoGP might be a ruthless business but I reckon that on the whole motorcycle riders are a pretty civilised bunch - at least after the flag comes down.

Dovi is leading the championship on the basis that he hasn't had a DNF.  Its a bit like leaving Austin last year,  Marquez had crashed and the championship was tight.  Then Dovi lost ground for the next three races.  Then Dovi gets a DNF compliments of Lorenzo, and the true state of the championship was revealed.  If the last race of the season were next weekend, would Dovi really be the favorite?  He will actually have to beat the other guys sooner or later.  Right now, he's a midpack rider and not the fastest Ducati on any given weekend.

Mir looks like the man to beat.  Even after being taken out and being robbed of a race win, he's still at the top of the standings, and he's fast everywhere.  Everyone else in the top group will be too inconsistent to stay there.  Plus I don't think KTM is done running up front, and there's rotating group of racers who will feature at the front without being part of the championship fight.

I would really enjoy seeing Mir, Fabio, Franco, even Jack, win the championship this year. But I am starting to embrace my advocacy of old, slow, boring Dovi--our championship leader. He might win the crown this year without even reaching the podium again! (but of course then the cries for a no-Marc asterisk will be deafening)

What started as a painful racing void has turned into a very enjoyable, albeit compact, season.

There were a lot of crashes during the motogp race at the freshly repaved Catalunya track in 2018. The theory was that the surface was so grippy and smooth that it was hard to determine the limit until it was exceeded.

Crossing paths with a tearoff at the apex of a turn sounds strange, but maybe it could have travelled there by wind or somehow piggybacked a ride on a bike. Weird happenings are the new normal for 2020 motogp.

The Ducati is not immune to inexplicable front end washouts. Bagnaia joins a list that includes (but is not limited to) Stoner, Dovizioso and Bautista in both motogp and wsbk who crashed out while leading the race and were at pains to explain afterwards.

On his final three completed laps, Bagnaia's pace was dropping more than Viñales'. On paper his race pace was the best by at least a couple of tenths. He demonstrated that advantage on track during the race as he persued his first motogp victory until he ended in the gravel. Afterwards Bagnaia said he wished people would stop asking him about next year's possible factory contract. Maybe all of the cummulative pressure got to him just a tiny bit and that was all it took because currently the margins are so fine in motogp.

On the bright side Bagnaia has Gabbarini in his pit box who teamed up with Stoner for two world titles on two different manufacturers the first year with each team. And maybe Bagnaia and his team are the fix for the Ducati's turning woes. 

The timing on the feed showing rider placement was constantly screwing up during the race. This was causing the announcers to think that riders were crashing erroneously. Steve Day sounded a bit stressed about it all, which is understandable. It is quite plausible that Quartararo's bike did not receive the track limits warning. Maybe teams need to take a step back and put TLW on the pit board just in case.

The timing on the feed showing rider placement was constantly screwing up during the race. This was causing the announcers to think that riders were crashing erroneously.

Great point, almost forgot about that. I am somewhat surprised that a comms check with the bikes isn't required before each race start? Maybe it is and we just aren't privvy to it. But for such an important system I find it hard to believe they wouldn't do something like this.

I wouldn't say constantly, really just impacted by the one time the finish line missed our satellite Ducati friend and had us thinking they went grass touring.

Maybe not constantly.  However, the announcers experienced this more than once during Sunday's Moto2 and Moto3 races.

I remember a while ago, a rider (I think it was Hector Barbera) was doing quite well in a race when he received a ride-through penalty for a jump start. But the message didn't flash on his dash because of some technical glitches, so he kept going. Race direction waited for a couple of laps and then black-flagged him. 

Their explanation afterwards was that the dash messages are there as an additional source of info for the rider, and the rider's primary mode of communication is always meant to be the pit-board operated by his team.

Terrific interviews with the rider's mentioned! Dovi is particularly full of remarkable commentary even about what he observes in his rivals. When he is done racing motorcycles he could have a great career as a TV analyst. Thanks for the article!

He and his team had changed both the bike and the strategy over the weekend, he explained, and that had been the key to victory at Misano. 'This weekend we worked a little bit different.'

I'm having flashbacks to EVERY OTHER TIME he's had a good race after a string of bad results. "We changed our approach", and then the following week it's back to square one. It's not just me, correct? I don't want to sound like I'm against Vinales, and it'd be stupid for him to not be hopeful for the future. But this same song-and-dance can only go on for so long I feel.

How much longer will the occasional strong result keep him at Yamaha? He was the Lorenzo replacement, expected to fight for the championship after his strong start at Suzuki. Since this has not yet panned out (except this year, because 2020 be like that) and Quartararo is the assumed next golden child, will Yamaha get tired of the results? I have heard no rumblings to suggest as much, this is just what's in my head.

At the halfway point in this season, Vinales is tied on points with Quartararo, trails Dovizioso by just one point, and is still very much in the title hunt. Not much for Yamaha to complain about at least for now.

The test at Misano also helped a little, as witnessed by the surprisingly strong results of the two Honda riders left on the grid, LCR's Takaaki Nakagami, and Repsol Honda's Alex Márquez, who finished sixth and seventh respectively. 

Why is this surprising? Marc Marquez spent all of the 2019 season, demonstrating the potential of the new Honda - he stopped crashing, started running a soft front, and was smoother than ever on the bike.

Nakagami took just one race to figure it out - he was posting strong results long before the Misano test. If not for Vinales' choice of brakes at Styria, he'd have already scored his first podium (perhaps even secured a win).

Alex Marquez has been making steady progress as well - he's shown excellent race pace for while now (just struggled to extract the maximum out of new tyres) but even more importantly, he's done so while keeping the bike upright.

Howdy Kant. I noticed Nakagami had "that crash" on Saturday. There was so much attrition Sunday that, while good improvement for them, doesn't convince me that this Honda isn't shite. It is no KTM even! Or Suzuki. Or Ducati. Or Yamaha. And at least the Aprilia lets human beings stay on it. If with their concessions they can get an evolution of the engine with more low end grunt, I will peg the Honda on the bottom rung. If a new rider from Moto2 were asking which bike to chose last now, Honda. If I could run a bike? Might not even get the softs into operating range, but  1) Suzuki, 2) Yamaha, 3) Aprilia (conventional please). Superbike? BMW. Supersport? Mine (sorted Triumph). Nothing like ease of getting to speed, handling and consistent feel. 

;)

Howdy shrink, Nakagami's crash in Q2 was the result of a team screwup - he came into the pits and asked for a medium front, while his crew got their wires crossed and sent him out on a hard front (and apologized for it afterwards).

Also, all the attrition doesn't change the fact that Alex Marquez beat the championship leader Dovizioso. Did he do that on an unrideable shite bike? Not likely.

I'd put it the current Honda at par with the Ducati as the most complete bike on the grid - it's got a steeper learning curve than some other bikes but it's plenty fast. Everywhere.

Tip of the hat to a well articulated and founded perspective. An enjoyable and mutually respectful disagreement can be something to appreciate these days.

Cheers! 

He won the French GP on a soft front (cold conditions). He also used it numerous times in free practice and qualifying. In about half the races he used the medium front as opposed to his usual preferred hard front. 

I don't think it's entirely out of the realm of possibility that Fabio saw the long lap penalty flash up on his screen and decided with 1 lap to go he was better to keep the pressure on Pol - who doesn't mind throwing away a good result - and hope that once he crossed the line Pol was either on the floor or had a made a mistake that cost him enough time to hold onto the podium. Clever move in my opinion and very mature and calculating should that be the case. 

As a Rossi fan I've been excited about his occasional speed and results this year, so was at first annoyed with @motoshrink's "sunset" comment. But in a season where consistency can win the championship, and staying upright can gain podiums, I gotta admit that Rossi is definitely fading. As for Dovi, points are points, and if he wins the championship he's a worthy champion, but like Rossi on Yamaha, Dovi is rarely the fastest Ducati out there. The closeness of the new generation of riders and all of the brands is making this the most interesting season, for me, in years. I just wish it didn't require an injury to Márquez to enable it. 

What has been fascinating is how for a particular manufacturer how well their satellite team has done whilst the full factory team has struggled. Look at Pramac - in years gone it was simply a second string team running last years bikes - now they are running 2020ish spec machinery and leading the factory boys. Also look at Petronas and Tech3.

In terms of the older riders, it does look like the end for some e.g. Crutchlow, Rossi and even Dovi. Rossi might do another year but if I was him I would be looking to buy into Petronas outfit as a part owner. No point in racing to come 5/6th every race.

Unless things change over the next few races it might be more the case that 2020 was the year when half the paddock lost their chance and one person managed to just accrue more points than the others. I do appreciate that's the point, but it doesn't feel like anyone has 'broken through' this year, with results so different from week to week.

I think even if Rossi had won the championship last year and went on to win it this year it is still unfortunately the sunset. The sunset would just be more glorious. Time marches on for us all.

I actually feel a bit sorry for Rossi. Certainly time must have taken something from him but think about it, at his age he is possibly riding better than ever, getting more out of what he has than ever before in his life. Yet when life took those 2 or 3 tenths out of his pocket and landed him in the current MotoGP paddock, bikes and riders all, those tenths land him on the 3rd or 4th row. It's a shame in many ways that this season has so far been the exact kind of season where Rossi could now have been sitting pretty at the top of the points. The Sunday man has always produced good results on a consistent basis even if he wasn't winning anything. One engine and one front end spill later however...

Sunsets are often the most beautiful part of the day.

And the VR sunset is occurring on the back of VR Academy, which has been a fantastic initiative for the future of the sport. I think this has really enhanced his reputation and it's a very classy way to pass on the legacy of such a fantastic career.

Right?

Quite the colorful glow with his progeny on podiums! 

Hope we get a good documentary movie...

Lilyvani, i feel like we've seen this before. In 2016 Michelin became the sole tire supplier again and we saw wins from Lorenzo, Marquez, Iannone, Miller, Crutchlow, Rossi, Vinales, Pedrosa (amd i think Dovi). There wasn't an asterik next to Marquez with his title win. The tire created opportunities for riders to exploit - and suffer. I feel like that is what we are seeing this year with the tire's new design. I also know i am grateful for the show we are seeing and love that there is no predictability to the rostrum. 

I just had a look at the results for 2016 as I thought it'd be the case that Marquez was always in the top three, but not at all. While he won a smattering of races he was in fact a bit all over the place. How did I forget that year. Maybe because he was already well established as the man to beat. Anyway, I don't think 2020 will be an asterisk year, at least not in any negative way. More that it may mark the year when the racing became so incredibly tight that, barring a stand out talent like Marquez, predictability went out the window for the foreseeable future.

It takes a particular ego to be a motorcycle racer. First and foremost one must believe that what they are doing is important enough to risk their lives for glory. Then they must be willing to be the front woman or man, the face, the individual that is the rider. Even though there are many, many people that contribute to putting that rider on the bike. And let's face the simple fact - out of the entire pack of wolves, the warriors, only one can win the race. The majority are usually left with various levels of satisfaction and disappointment. And the rider can be the one that takes the brunt of criticism when goals are not met. And who knows what goes on behind the scenes? Who knows the true story of each and every rider and race? Who knows the story of every rider at every moment of every race?

We make it up the way we see it. Welcome to mind. 

Beware of the voice that says, "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, but this requires members to park the ego at the door." This is the same voice that says "rise above the ego" and "get rid of the ego" and "the ego is the bad guy". This is a very common voice. If you seek understanding in this world you will come across this voice again and again. This voice is simply more ego.

This is the smell of a cult. This is a very limiting belief system of "my way or the highway." It's surrender your belief system and adopt a group ideology. The group ideology comes with a leader that judges right and wrong and is only self serving. And that is mind. The judge archetype of the mind. This might as well be a religion. Adopt a savior so that you will be right and not wrong which will relieve you of the burden of lacking knowledge and experience (ignorance). Whether it be the spiritual game or the game of the higher mind, the ego loves to play these games. And it always hides behind "I".

Not a fan of cults. Not a particular fan of Honda, HRC or Alberto Puig per se, but over the years have grown to respect all the women and men in the motogp world. It seems that there is an undercurrent of Honda/HRC/Puig hatred pulsing within the very being of this forum. And that is not an enlightened perspective that values equality. The equality to see life as an individual, any individual, and express it from a unique perspective regardless of that individual's level of awareness. This energy is somewhat repulsive and there is no interest in engaging in it furthermore on this forum.

Ciao.

Thank you for sharing fundamentalism and reactivity, entirely pertinent. Astute!

Ego is real as a verb, not real as a noun, and is to be known as an adjective quality to be minimized. And minimizing it is much appreciated.

BMW has released the new HP4. The M edition looks like a contender for best track ready off the shelf bike we have seen. With "low spec" suspension and brakes? You sure?

Love 44 Teeth, if you haven't yet connected with them do. And if you reckon, note some egoic processes without being either seduced or rejecting. Both these guys are spot on, just one with the "special sauce."

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iyFJSy5N7RY

Posts, Shrink's and Peter's, very philosophical! I am not quite sure where Peter's was lent to lead but anyway. Having come from a F1 background as a fan I would say that those drivers are absolute egomaniacs, reinforced by their huge salaries, celebrity status and general modus oparanti in F1.

I find Motogp a refreshing counterpoint to that culture. Sure, the riders do have an ego, probably a little larger than most, but they also seem to genuinely be willing to share the glory, seem genuinely happy at their competitors success, at least at time , come across as more humble, more human more self depreciating than their F1 counter parts. Ego, drive to succeed is needed in any aspect of life and but for some individuals, no name mentioning 😉, I reckon the riders have it pretty much right. 

...how the 'illusion' is so required to function as a normal, healthy, reasonable, useful and sociable individual.

^ For sure! It has to be there, and gets us out of childhood and into adulthood. But after that, it can be fun color commentator along for the ride but don't let it grab the wheel. It cannot be thrown out of the car nor shut-in the trunk. If you think you have, it is in the driver's seat. 

By the way, deeply sorry for a four wheeled reference here. And Iannone. Done with psychotherapist thoughts for now, let's race.

(Mir, Bagnaia, Quartararo, Binder, Oliveira, Rins, Nakagami...we are fortunate to have so many low ego, less personae/more person young guys rising now. Great folks!)

CATALUNYAAA!!! This is going to be a barn burner. What a cool season eh? Cheers mates.

Has Viñales' narrow focus on one lap pace during the race weekend been caused by the common belief that the Yamaha can only win from the front? A belief that has so far been confirmed at each of the four Yamaha wins this season. But the irony is that at his first race win of Qatar '17, Viñales started on pole but was shuffled back to P5 by the end of the first lap. At the end of the tenth lap he had only moved up one position due to Zarco crashing out of the lead on lap seven. It was then that Viñales pushed forward resulting in a win at the checkers. It may benefit Viñales to draw on both this memory and that of last weekend's practice sessions for future races. Which start tomorrow. 

Focussing on race pace rather than one lap pace might allow Viñales to be more consistent over the long run of the championship (which is already half over). He has already a proven himself as a race winner many times over in motogp. Is it necessary to prove this every race weekend? As far as the Motogp championship title fight is concerned, for all those with a chance of taking the crown, now is the time for consistency.