Recent comments

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    My first comment seems to have disappeared - so I'll write another.

    Rossi wasn't angry at Lorenzo, he was angry at Marquez. This is a subtle but important difference.

    I do think Rossi made mistakes this year, and Lorenzo certainly won a championship by being a damn fine rider, but the issue isn't Lorenzo - this is all about Marquez.

    This will rumble on, and the real story will not come out for years. I am interested in noting how many ex-racers have supported Rossi's theory, including a number of ex MotoGP racers - and they certainly know about the dirty side of racing - not that you'll see anyone risking their reporting career's on repeating their stories.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    In advance I apologize for eh length of my post. Here goes.

    Thanks for all of your hard work and excellent analysis leading to your outstanding series of articles on the state of MotoGP. The comments of Kenny Noyes were a very nice addition to your articles. Your efforts to cull the wheat from the PR chaff is always appreciated.

    Several items from the weekend stood out for me. The presence of Biaggi among Jlo's parc ferme group ws one. We all know that VR and Max aren't best mates. At least 2015 spared us the spectacle of fisticuffs similar to those between Max and VR. The presence and display of the Spanish flag by Jlo on the podium could lend credence to some of VR's "there is a conspiracy" statements. Jlo also made several post-race references about bringing the championship to Spain. Clearly, there is still a gulf between our Spanish and Italian friends. Dorna is Spanish and Spain does have 4 GP's. The absence of VR at the FIM gala was scarcely noted. I wondered whether he would show up and how it would go.

    I view the bilious nature of the “fans” on social media no more or less surprising than the response of football fans when the star goes down in the 18 yard box (dive or penalty?). It all can be traced back to that concept of functional dualism. All of us see things as “right or wrong” “positive or negative” through filters, among which is our affinity with a person, position or team or even motorcycle brand. I will admit to wondering when MM would attack Jlo as I watched the laps wind down. I was a bit surprised that no kamikaze last corner attack came. That was uncharacteristic of MM as I see his approach to the races. I will not judge whether it was the courtesy being shown to a championship contender or part of a “Spanish Armada” conspiracy.

    As we stand on the cusp (brink?) of a new era with new tires and more standardized software, 2016 promises to be as unpredictable as any season in recent memory. Unpredictable, probably, interesting, likely, boring, nope. In addition to the aforementioned changes, the arrival of several riders into the class, Rabat among them, who are unprejudiced by history with Bridgestones may result in a shake-up of the usual order. As I understand, the Michelin front is very different from the current Bridgestone offering. Apparently the rear is also quite different in grip but not so dramatically as is the case with the front.

    Moto2 2016 seems to be a fertile ground for lots of battles with the arrival of Olivera and Kent, as teammates, no less, and the attempt of Zarco to repeat. To paraphrase The Who, The kids of Moto3 are alright. New manufacturers in Moto3 should be a good thing. I could go on about lots of things about 2016 but won't.

    As a former (not very talented but persistent) road racer myself I will cop to being involved in a shoving match or two over behavior, real or imagined, on the track. It is so easy to fall into the mindset of seeing other riders as enemies out to get you rather than similarly self-centered people trying to win. The animosity between competitors transcends motorcycle racing and is evident in virtually every individual sport. It's not called “the red mist” for no reason.

    Whether one views Jlo as a robot or the quintessentially precise rider is irrelevant. As I have previously said, it is no easy feat to click off virtually identical laps. He spoke this year of “focus” which in my opinion was a big help to his efforts. Clearly, he did ride very well in 2015. Having the M1 was surely an advantage especially for his riding style. The Honda package was ultimately too aggressive, even for the poster boy for aggressive riding, MM. Perhaps there is a larger lesson to be learned about being too aggressive.

    VR is doubtless among the greatest our sport has seen, but his recent activities and statements were uncharacteristically petulant. In his post-Valencia media briefing, I heard some doubts about 2017 and beyond. I believe he said that “We will see what happens.” Are we seeing the dimming of his star before a farewell? On a related matter, it will be interesting to see whether MM will have an outstanding 2016 or continued reliance on a “ win or bin” philosophy haunts his efforts. In sum, thanks for treating us as thinking human beings not as idiots as so many media, both print and electronic do.

    I became site supporter to demonstrate that I do value your work and want to see it continue. Ciao! Have a great holiday season.

  • 2016 Provisional Moto3 Rider Line Up   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Happy to see Maria Herrera getting another go in 2016. She showed some really good rides, especially at Silverstone. Where she eventually crashed, but still. Getting up to fourth place (and even close to third for a moment) means you do have speed. I'm really hoping to see her make another step next year.

    I must say Ana Carrasco has done a couple of good races too, albeit more so last year. I wonder how much of a factor the team was in the lesser result this year.

    Anyway, cool that women compete with men on completely equal terms in motorcycle GP racing. Motorsports (bikes and also cars) is pretty unique in that respect, I believe.
    Go Maria!

  • A Modest Proposal: Prevent Towing In Moto3 By Paying, Not Punishing Riders   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Why not just adopt the same qualifying as the MotoGP class for all 3 classes. In moto 3 the top half(16) after the 3 practise sessions go through to Q2 with the bottom half (Q1) battling out for 2 spare places in Q2 Or why not try the F! style of qualifying - the only exciting part of F1 these days!! Starting with 36 riders, drop the bottom 12 after Q1 than the next bottom 12 after Q2 leaving the last 12 in Q3. these 2 different qualifying ways would take the same amount of time as you would shorten the Q1, Q2 & Q3 to fit in the allotted time - It may work. A 10 minute Q3 in Moto 3 would finish up looking like a mini race

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    David, I always enjoy your analysis, present article included. But, as some others have implied, Occam's razor cuts both ways, and my "simplest" understanding of observable events in the last two races of the season differs somewhat from the way you have shaded things in this article. I think your attempt at "balance" is somewhat overwrought. You may be straining at a gnat (Rossi's pre- and post-race comments, and his infraction at Sepang), and swallowing a camel (Marquez' claims compared to his actual actions on track and his entire body of racing history).

    Some brief background:

    I began following MotoGP in 2008 when the Championship came to Indianapolis (nearest location I could affordably travel to see GP racing for the first time). I have been back to Indy each August ever since, and have followed MotoGP like an addict for seven years.

    Being from the States, I naturally began as a fan of U.S. racers. I was not really a fan of Rossi during his first stint at Yamaha. However, after following him through the lean years at Ducati, watching him struggle yet continue to fight valiantly, always with a cheerful outlook, and upon his return to previous form at Yamaha after many thought he was "washed up," I eventually changed my mind and became a fan. Rossi had won me over, although I've never really had a taste for the "yellow kool-aid" that some of his fans routinely drink.

    In 2013, I was amazed by the young phenom Marc Marquez, and came to admire his abilities on track and his seeming innocence and youthful optimism as well as his obvious and abundant talent. In 2014, I was cheering him on, hoping he might run the tables and break many more records on the Honda. As for Lorenzo, I admit I have never been a fan, and I have negative biases that shape my perceptions of him. He has been, at least for me, the great "spoiler" on the grid, preventing both Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies from greater successes. To me, Lorenzo's immaturity, arrogance, entitlement mentality, and apparent inability to get along with anyone across the team garage is off-putting (I cannot totally forgive Lorenzo for whatever role he may have played in Ben Spies' disastrous 2012 experience with Factory Yamaha, and I admit I have a rather visceral dislike of him personally, despite his ample skill on track).

    Fast-forward to Sepang 2015 and my hopes of Rossi winning a 10th title. When Rossi accused Marquez of "racing for Jorge" at PI during the pre-Sepang race interviews, I thought perhaps he was joking or had momentarily lost his mind. I thought maybe the pressure was getting to him in his old age, and just wrote it off as mind games. However, after seeing the battle between Rossi and Marquez at Sepang, the obvious ease with which Lorenzo passed Marquez and yet the fight Marquez gave to Rossi, I saw that Rossi's argument was not only plausible but probable. And, after Sunday's race at Valencia, and what appeared to me to be obvious blocking for and cushioning of Lorenzo by Marquez throughout the race, without ever challenging for the race win, without even showing Jorge a wheel or making even the slightest attempt at a pass on Jorge, behavior never before exhibited by Marquez, I am convinced that Marquez inserted himself into the championship both at Sepang and at Valencia, determining the outcome and delivering the championship to Lorenzo. Lorenzo himself has implied as much to the Spanish press, as others here have noted. Either out of spite, or out of consideration for his own future legacy, and independent of any self-serving claims he may make otherwise, it seems clear to me that Marquez rode in a manner at both Sepang and Valencia that although technically legal, has soiled, cheapened, and tainted the 2015 championship.

    Thus, for me, I can no longer be a fan of Marquez. He will never be "the GOAT" in my eyes regardless his future success. What I believe Marquez did is, to me, unconscionable and unpardonable, legal or not, and the 2015 MotoGP championship is for me forever tainted, in spite of an otherwise amazing year of racing. Mind you, the race results are not tainted in my mind because of Race Direction's points sanctioning of Rossi at Sepang. This was probably unavoidable given that Marquez baited Rossi into an illegal maneuver. The 2015 Championship is, in my view, "fraudulent" because Marquez was able to ride legally yet insert himself into the determination of the outcome that was and should have remained between other riders. Marquez' aggression toward Rossi at Sepang and the "cushion" he created at Valencia for Lorenzo, even when his own teammate attempted a pass, is simply unforgivable. The fact that Lorenzo, a most unworthy race winner and champion in my view, is now handed the championship because another rider wishes to express spite or protect his own future legacy, disgusts me in the extreme.

    I hope to continue following MotoGP, but the distasteful outcome of the 2015 championship, along with the fact that Indianapolis has been cut from the schedule and that there are no longer any U.S. riders in the series, will make it less appealing, at least for me. In any case, I will be rooting for Rossi and Pedrosa (and against both Marquez and Lorenzo) in 2016 one way or the other.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    This is a very interesting and eloquent analysis. Thank you for that.

    However, let me try and sum up a few important points that seem to not have been accounted for in the analysis:

    - Lorenzo was the fastest this year. That's what numbers say and numbers can hardly be refuted. Which numbers, though? Championships do not (and should not necessarily) go to the fastest rider but the to the best overall rider. There is speed, but there is also consistency, intelligent riding (tire maintenance), resilience to adversity (rain), grit, and, of course, sheer luck. The one and only number that grants championships is total championship points. And the equation yielding this number has many more variables than just 'speed'. Lorenzo claimed bad luck, problems with his helmet, the flu, and even rain (!) as personal adversities, in an unfortunate attempt to counter Rossi's accusations of MM being JL's bodyguard. For one thing, Lorenzo should know that when it rains, everyone rides on wet, not just him. So, post-Valencia, he did seem to be blaming everyone and everything else for his poor start in the championship this year, without which (he implied) he would have snatched the title earlier and much easier. This is just very poor, maybe even petty, argumentation from a man who seems to complain more than his stellar riding skills perhaps allow for.

    -Philip Island: taking a careful look at MM's laptimes throughout the whole race, one cannot easily explain his inconsistency. The difference between his fastest and slowest laps was around 1.5 seconds (this is eternity in motogp time). His laps were very fast when he was behind VR but much slower after he was taking the lead. This very suspicious pattern kept going on for several laps, with lap-differences of around 1 sec from lap to lap. After overtaking both VR and AI he charged rapidly and managed to overtake JL very easily in the last lap, perhaps after he made sure VR will finish at least one position behind JL. Is that too crazy of a conspiracy theory for one to find convincing? Not at all. Why didn't he let JL win? I could mention two reasons: 1. What VR said: JL was not fast enough and he just couldn't stay behind after a stunning flying last lap. 2. He had to make it look 'real'. That being said, I truly cannot say where VR would end up if MM was not involved in this battle. Iannone vouched for VR during the press conference that followed (MM was playing with us) and this is a fact we must factor in.

    - Sepang: a furious MM attacks Rossi and rides like crazy, overtaking Rossi multiple times within a few laps, before VR makes his big mistake: to run MM wide in order to make a (valid) point: slow down Marc, this is not your war here. The rest is just history. MM fell because he bumped his head on Rossi's bike. Rossi opened the gate, and Marquez went in, after a few rounds of dangerous driving, way beyond the line, given that it was not his battle at all. MM in Sepang broke every unwritten rule of fair play and sportsmanship. VR violated the 'book'.

    -Valencia 1: MM did not have the pace to overtake JL? Is that true? Taking a close look at his laptimes, we can see that in 16 out of 30 laps MM was faster than JL and in the remaining 14 their times were either identical, or JL was marginally faster (around 1 tenth of a second). Is this the 'vintage' MM we used to love? The one who follows because he 'doesn't have the pace'? No, he took it easy because he didn't want to risk an accident that would cost JR the title, if that was not his cunning plan all along.

    - Valencia 2: Rossi's pace. VR started the race from the back of the grid and I am guessing his bike's set up was to get him as fast as possible in the front, and perhaps save his tires for later, if needed. Once he cleared space and reached 4th, DP was already 10 secs in front of him and he had no reason to push to the limit and risk a crash. I am convinced that his bike's set up would be different if he started from the front. In any case, his pace after clearing everyone else was not far from the leading pack. The conclusion that 'he would still finish 4th given JL's strong pace' is anything but safe and sound.

    -Why did JL admit that the HRC Spaniards took it easy on him as for the "title to remain in Spain"?

    My conclusion is that everything that happened in the last 3 races are too many far-fetched coincidences for Rossi to NOT have a valid point. For the record, I do not believe (hope) JL was involved in all this, and Marquez's plan was strictly his, and perhaps - after a point - that of his team as well.

    In order for MotoGP to regain its prestige, riders must stick to the unwritten rules of sportsmanship and stay out of battles that aren't their. Marquez blatantly failed in doing so, despite Rossi's mistakes in handling the situation.

    If MM is to be indeed the future of MotoGP, he needs to change atittude. Quickly. This can only make him the true legend that he seems to be capable of being.

    As for JL, talking less and keeping on riding ridiculously fast as he usually does might be the best thing to do.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Would be the old smell of two-Stroke exhaust or maybe some freshly burned race gas to accmpany each article. Week in and week out your team's work puts us at the track, behind the scenes and even into a pilot's mind. Very thankful for your passion and dedication and thank you cor sharing it with all of us.

    I am pleased that your paid subscriptions are seemingly on the rise. It is well deserved (and short-sighted of non-paying readers (get your wallets out -we need David to stick around!)

    Thanks again, David (Jared, Mat and photoGP)

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I'm sorry to those who can't see collusion when it hits them in the face, but that was fixed. Don't be so naive to believe that your precious sport wasn't fixed by the players. It was- and Rossi is right that it was a farce. I don't care that the fastest guy won the championship, that doesn't make me feel better. We see in other sports that the best/strongest competitor doesn't always win. I want a fair contest- we didn't get that.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I am a Rossi fan and it is truly a tough way for Rossi to end his season, leading the championship until the end, but to lose to his teammate. When I first read that he called MM93 out, I was shocked, then I was shocked that he ran MM93 wide, and I'm shocked again that he said his comments after this final race. I do understand he is human and he is going to feel angry and upset that he lost out finalizing his name as the "GOAT" with a tenth world title. Maybe he will feel better during the offseason. He just needs time away from the drama. I respect Rossi as a fan, a racer and as a person. Hopefully he can still be competitive from the start next season.

    Next year will be a different season, single ECU, no Bridgestones, equaling sort of a level playing field for all riders. Maybe Rossi will be champion next year, or someone else than the top four. Lorenzo is fast out of the gates, but his personality and his ways just taints him as as a likable person, in my opinion. When Rossi retires from Yamaha, its going to be a sad day in Motogp.

    All in all, congrats to Lorenzo for becoming the 2015 champion, congrats to Rossi for riding from last to fourth and performing well this season. Next year is a new year.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Agree with Machine 100 percent as that is exactly how I saw it.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Didn't Rossi say "on the track he's a deserving champion but not off the track." His point about it being tainted has to do with his opinion of the role Marquez played in deciding it.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Marc passed Vale with 7 laps to go. Vale passed him back with 3 laps remaining. Marc counter-attacked immediately but Vale held the lead with a better drive out of the corner.

    THEN Marc attempted his collision pass on the last lap.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    With the success of JL and VR in the 2nd half of the 2014 seasons, fans had a portent of things to come. High on his new success but riding a new untamed beast saw MM in the gravel bleeding points to the Yamaha riders. Finally unable to tolerate the pain DP finally underwent arm pump surgery and missed the early races. (it's fairly commonly done by MX/Dirt riders).

    After MM finally succeeded in getting back some of his old frame, he was still mathematically in the championship picture, but only if both Yamaha riders crashed and rejoined, or failed to finish or experienced a very very bad day. Statistically, the windows closed for him, the shutters slamming shut after each race until he became irrelevant in the championship picture no matter what.

    Even prior to PI, I had a feeling that both JL and VR would do everything in their power to avoid a DNF, and that other riders would play a part in the final point standings. Post Phillip Island, I thought initially that it was a beautiful race, but when Rossi brought his allegations to bear, I re-watched it in light of Vale's accusations, and Valentino Rossi's web hung together tenuously; the Laguna Seca corckscrew, the 2015 Argentina and Assen incidents, and the race in in Phillip island hanging like dewdrops at the intersections.

    Then came the Sepang incident, which will be discussed for years. "The luckiest kick ever?"

    Valencia also. Since the championship was a Yamaha battle, what role did Bradley Smith play, how significant was Petrucci? Something to ponder and enjoy pondering over in off-season, but in MotoGP there is never really an off-season. Somewhere in the darkness of our imaginations are men and women toiling to do better next season, pouring over engine designs, aero, training regimens, and in some cases where the money is going to come from.

    The "powers" that be are debating how to contain/use the press and are clutching closely to their chests the loose golden screws of financial metrics that ultimately fund and fasten the sport. The degree of opacity and control for a few days, the reactionary statements from representatives of major sponsors make this a watershed year for us as fans.

    Change is strange. There are rules and there unspoken rules about dealing with the press and how one conducts themselves in the age of new media as a rider, and what is available to fans via journalists. If you throttle the cow, there will be no milk.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    What a relieve.....finally someone with an excellent analysis.

    Very nice to read. It is spot on.

    And as my subject says finally a objective article about the greatest sport in the world. So sad to must have seen all the garbage lately...

    So onwards to 2016.

  • 2016 MotoGP Provisional Rider Line Up   3 weeks 1 day ago

    .....Marquez was in the same team as Lorenzo?


  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    With respect, David, you've just spent 1000 words blowing down a straw man.

    Nobody, at least certainly not Rossi, has ever claimed that "MotoGP is rigged." Or that "Marc Marquez wanted a Spanish champion." Or even that Marquez was being "blamed" for Rossi's loss.

    Marquez is being blamed for one thing only: using the racetrack to take out an obsession with personal revenge. It doesn't really have anything to do with Rossi losing the championship, it's solely about calling things as they are. Even if Rossi had somehow won the championship, he should still have called out Marquezr. It's not really even about racing, it's about an ugly character flaw.

    I think the reason so many professional journalists (with a few exceptions) have trouble seeing this is because they're trained to avoid ugliness. So they've missed what is clear to most fans and almost every other rider and their teams. (See the video of Rossi's cool-down lap and his return to his pits.)

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Have to echo the thoughts of Russki_Bear. Like my Mum says, "if you got nothing constructive/helpful to say about something/someone, then say nothing".

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Just on a point of fact, there was a small but clear time gap between Rossi looking at Marquez and Marquez turning into Rossi, by which stage Rossi is looking ahead and is back on the throttle (judging from front suspection movement). So it's not clear to me that the look contributed in any way.

    Regardless, that's irrelevant as that's not what Webb says he penalised Rossi for. Rossi was penalised for pushing Marquez wide. Which seems a decision inconsistent with racing, to me. Getting in the way of others racers, getting to a point on the track before others and blocking them from using it fully is part of racing to me.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter. It's done. I would have been very happy to see any of the aliens win the championship, as long as it was by racing - even if hard racing. Blame who you want, but we presumably can agree we have been denied that.

    I'll won't really be happy again seeing Marquez win. However, mostly I blame race direction.


  • 2016 Provisional Moto3 Rider Line Up   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Khairuddin's been on a steady decline in recent years. Any news if he has a ride anywhere?

  • 2016 MotoGP Provisional Rider Line Up   3 weeks 1 day ago

    ...this guy. I mean to survive those injuries and to come back on that machine knowing that you'll end up last at most races (as much as I like Alex and underdog teams) you have to be either crazy or motorhead that can't live without bikes....

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Call me a blinded Rossi fan, because that is what anyone who supports him or speaks in his favour is called to shout them down nowadays...

    But here is my analysis. I have supported Rossi since 125cc days so I have not jumped on the bandwagon because of his success. The season that he has ridden this year at 36 is without doubt one of his best. Age is no mans friends and to even be able to get a few podiums let alone take the title to the wire is an achievement that most mere mortals could not even dream of.

    Valentino has been wrong a few times in his career, most notable when he went to Ducati believing it was the bike instead of Stoner and when he left Yamaha. Both times probably the biggest errors of speech he has made he has since come out and said what an amazing rider Stoner was and how he was wrong for the reasons he left Yamaha in the first place. He could of stuck by what he said and his legion of fans wouldn't of questioned him, but he was a man and admitted to his mistakes. Which brings me to my point. Wait a few years and if Valentino still says what happened these last three races did happen then we know it is true. You can judge a man by his past. Just as we will be able to judge Marc Marquez by his past in a few years.

    I have had time to reflect on the last three races and I still come to the same conclusion. Marquez rode to stop Rossi winning the title. Throughout Rossi's career he has always focused on his rivals during a championship battle. Why would he come out and say this if he didn't believe it were true. Do you think he was stupid enough to think it would make Marquez attack Lorenzo and not him, knowing what he already knows about Marquez? I doubt it.

    People miss the point about Phillip Island, everyone, journos included say 'well he beat Lorezno so it cant be true' Try reading between the lines, Rossi clearly had the pace to beat Lorenzo. Marquez had the pace to beat everyone. He knew he could sit back and hold up Rossi and Iannone yet still take the win, which is what he did. At that point no one really suspected what was going on, so why would he make it blatant by letting Lorenzo win at that stage? There was no need to. He cost Rossi some points and still won the race- job done.

    Then comes Sepang and Rossi speaks out and says what he knew was happening as did Iannone in not so many words. It speaks volumes when Iannone who is obviously told not to say anything as not to drag Ducati into it changes his facebook cover photo to a picture of him and Rossi, and how Rossi defended Iannone for racing him hard and fair.

    The journos say, well Marquez bike wasn't handling right at the start of the race in Sepang, funny how it starts to handle well enough just after Rossi comes by to pull some of the craziest moves ever and still not fall off... Journos forget to mention that part.

    Did Rossi kick him? Maybe not. Did he mean to run him out just to take a better line, probably not. Did he mean for him to crash? Maybe... After Marquez chopped in front of his wheel dangerously though who could blame him? Carbon copy of the Argentina crash Marquez was trying? I think so. Journos fail to mention that little but important fact.

    I have watched back Argentina and Assen incidents before writing this just to clarify the situation in my mind. Argentina, Marquez rammed into the side of Rossi first, he pulled the first punch in this titanic battle. My opinion is Rossi was clever he took the racing line but knew full well Marquez probably wouldn't ease off and would go down. Who started the dirty side of their fight in Argentina and this ongoing fued? Marquez.

    As for Assen again Marquez miss judge his move left it to late, what did he expect Rossi to do brake hard and go down in the gravel? Both incidents were not racing incidents but started by and lost by Marquez. Again the journos prefer to ignore this fact.

    Valencia was an absolute farce, how anyone can not see that Marquez just sat behind Lorenzo and let him win was beyond me. When has anyone ever seen Marquez in a race like that and not try one pass the whole race? Oh but it was tactical like Indy the Journos cry! Rubbish. More like a clever ploy to say it was tactical.

    If Marquez was really a team player, he would of known Pedrosa was faster and let him through to attack Lorenzo and win the race for Honda and their sponsors. Instead he didn't. Funny how he can start fighting his team mate and not Lorenzo. I firmly believe Dani would of gone for the win and I really respect that.

    Marquez wanted so badly to be the next Rossi. Title wise. Image wise. Fan base wise. He had the world at his feet. Now the world will crush down on his shoulders for the rest of his career as the fans are not stupid and can clearly see what has happened the last three races.

    Rossi can take solace that he may not have won the title but he has been proved right. Even ex racers and current racers have come out to show their disgust. These people are better qualified to judge than us all yet the journos still think they know best.

    As for the journos. The jury in my opinion is still out on you Mr Emmett. You have a very clever style of no committal writing where by you say enough good and bad about all just about to cover yourself against people crying foul play.

    As for Julian Ryder and Mat Oxley I have lost all respect for them. It would seem to me that all the Journos that called out Rossi as being past it during his Ducati days have had a bit of an embarrassment that an old goat has come back and bitten them on the arse. It would seem their only come back is 'Lorenzo was faster' or 'Marquez didn't do anything' to try and put him down once again and prove their previous writings and comments of the last 5 odd years correct. Or maybe it is because they know Rossi will retire in a year or three and its better to go against him than Marquez because he will be around to give you interviews and quotes for the next 10-15 years and you don't want to upset him and speak what you really see. Or maybe it is they don't want to upset Dorna and do their job prospects any harm by stating facts about the commercial rights holders golden child. It wouldn't do their job prospects much good would it? Could Dorna block a journo doing any decent work if they wanted. Definitely.

    To those of you who call anyone pro Rossi 'blinkered' maybe it is you who is blinkered. By hate as a fan or fear of repercussions as a journo....

    As for Lorenzo 'being faster' he wasn't in 8 of the races Rossi beat him in this year, probably should of been 9 in Phillip Island. That means 45% of the time Rossi was faster than Lorenzo. The fastest man is the one who crosses the line first. It would seem a lot of people believe that Moto GP should be run in just about perfect conditions. The world doesn't work like that. Rossi was faster than Lorenzo 45% of the time 50% if you include PI. The other side of the coin could argue that Lorenzo is only 'fast' when conditions suit him. But few say that. Just like few say anything against Marquez.

    I never thought I would say that Moto GP was a disgrace but thanks to Marquez, HRC, Dorna and the gang of anti Rossi journos (excuse me Neil Hodgson not you) who fail to admit what really happened. I think this could be the death of the sport.

    More respect should be show to the greatest of all time, at 36 to give us a season like this is amazing. The journos will have a lot less to write about and maybe a lot less work when he retires. Maybe then you will see the truth....

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    David, I love your writing but there is one sentence I strongly disagree with: "By attacking Márquez, Rossi is admitting that he did not have the championship in his own hands, and needed help from other riders to win it."

    I apologize but that sentence is plain wrong. When a championship so close anything can tip the balance. Lorenzo and Rossi are incredibly hard to fight against; if a formidable force like Marquez decides to plays favorite one of the two contenders, the task for the other becomes almost impossible. Rossi's request was just that everyone raced to win their own race.

    I am with Rossi mainly because I feel he is the most believable. If Rossi did not truly believe that Marquez was playing favorites, I do not see an alternative explanation that would make sense for his attack at the press conference in Sepang. What would have been Rossi's advantage in provoking Marquez while leading the championship by a decent margin?

    It is hard to know what happened in Phillips Island, but let's grant Rossi the benefit of the doubt and I agree to believe that Marquez intentionally created the amazing dog-fight behind Lorenzo (involving, Rossi and Iannone and Marquez himself) to prevent Rossi from beating Lorenzo and getting an advantage that would have been impossible to recover.

    Rossi's claims are that 1) he had the pace for beating Lorenzo (and indeed, Lorenzo did not disappear despite the crazy fight behind him) and that 2) Marquez had the pace to win the race (and indeed Marquez won).

    If one trusts Rossi about the events of Phillips Island (and by the way, Iannone agreed with him that Marquez was playing with them), then everything else follows. The fight put by Marquez against a title contender in the early laps of Sepang was undue, unsporting and certainly maddening.

    Nobody can demonstrate that Marquez's could have attacked Lorenzo at Valencia but, if you accept the premises that Marquez was indeed playing favorites, it would be the expected behavior.

    The key is who is more believable, Rossi or Marquez. Because of his record, his style, his behavior and what he had at stake, I do believe Rossi and I do believe that Marquez intentionally stole the greatest championship finale in a long long time.

    Congrats to Lorenzo, both him and Rossi deserved the title, it is not a matter of who, it is a matter of how. Shame on Marquez.

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I would like to take a step back and look at events under a different light and try to get inside Rossi’s and Marquez’ mind.
    From an early age, Marquez shaped himself as a reflection of his former hero, pre-Ducati Rossi: Mercurial, clever, dominant, fast, resourceful, ruthless and above all cutthroat with opponents who did him 'wrong'.

    Rossi recognised this and accepted it, even saw it as a compliment. And in 2013/14 Rossi wasn’t in a position for it to matter – after all, he had no shout at the championship in either of those years.

    Then in 2015 Rossi’s confidence increased and, with the faltering of his rivals in the early stages of the season, he saw that he had a genuine opportunity at the title, but it would take all his experience and ruthlessness to achieve it: He knew how fast Lorenzo could be and he knew how gifted Marquez was. He sharpened his elbows, put a knife between his teeth and set about Marquez like he did all his previous nemeses. The friendliness had to go. The ruthlessness had to be dusted off. We saw this before with Biaggi, Gibernau, Stoner, all of whom were seen off in one way or another.

    And so here is the conundrum: Rossi has met Rossi disguised as Marquez (not quite as charming but outwardly likeable to start with).

    Marquez thinks he was on the receiving end of two wrongs at Argentina and Assen.

    Personally, I don’t think for a moment that Rossi did wrong in Argentina and Marquez was a knucklehead in that clash and got what he deserved. In Assen Marquez rode very maturely, then had a brain fart and tried to smash a square peg into a small round hole in the final corner, and arrogantly thought he was dealing with a Lorenzo, a Pedrosa or Dovizioso. Instead he was up against someone as ruthless and clever with 20 years’ experience to boot. He could only come off second best – he was lucky not to crash.

    Wind through to PI and I believe Marquez had Rossi’s saying in his mind “you’ll never win a race again”. Others might disagree, but I think Marquez sees himself so gifted that he can control outcomes of races, even championships. All within the rules, apparently.

    Before Sepang, Rossi came to the conclusion that Marquez was going to do what he did as a younger man and was likely to take any route he could to achieve this. Marquez believed those two incidents had destroyed his chance at the title. Possibly, but he did it to himself. And so, Rossi felt that he had to express his concerns publicly to try to expose his nemesis and prevent his prediction coming true. Why didn’t he go the usual route of a campaign via others? Too slow – those approaches take time to come out.

    This is the only point at which I agree with others on the forum: Rossi shouldn’t have done that, but that was his choice – I wasn’t in his position. The Sepang backlash was the final act of a desperate man, desperate for the best last shot at the title, desperate that he wasn’t fast enough to compete on a level with Lorenzo, desperate that even Pedrosa duffed him up in a fight (where did that come from?).

    Rossi sucked up (but didn’t like) the punishment and realised the championship was all but out of reach. He did all he could, and it was a breathtaking display with only one rider getting out of his way. The race up front looked wrong to me. What Rossi made of it is summed up in his press conference and no-show at the awards ceremony. Does anybody out there think that he doesn’t know the MotoGP game inside out, better than any rider, and better than any person running it?

    As a Rossi supporter, I cannot damn him, but as you can see I am not blind to his dark side – in fact that is what makes him so interesting. I look forward to a very ‘interesting’ 2016.

  • 2016 MotoGP Provisional Rider Line Up   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Tito will be on a factory RCV, being Scotts current, not a production bike

  • 2015 Valencia Sunday MotoGP Round Up: How Championships Are Won, Lost, And Destroyed   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Once again, you have your opinion, and I have mine ;)
    I think you're too excessive with Rossi, and you think I am with Marquez.

    And I agree with you on one argument:Marquez didn't brake any rules ... well I must be more precise, Marquez didn't brake any written rules, that's not the same.

    So the big big big difference in our points of view is there, about breaking the unwritten rules, I'm watching sport, and I very very often only watch races (or matches), don't give a f... the most of the time about interviews, or who insulted who ... well that's one of the reason I continue to admire Lorenzo :), and why also I consider his stupid reactions far far less important than what happened in Sepang and Valencia.

    So Rossi did insult Marquez (where I grown up, it's a tiny insult ;) ), and sure he couldn't ask in return any kind of kindness.
    And I agree, that's the first coin in the madness machine.
    But react like that ? Slow down the pace and put a fight for 3rd like that ? Don't try anything against Lorenzo like that ? And continue smiling, continue to think we are stupid ?

    Enough is enough, I'm watching sport, and racers should be doing their best on the track, shouldn't they ?

    Rossi cracked on the track during 5 sec, and has been penalised, like hundreds pilots before him. And frankly speaking, the sanction was soft.

    Marquez mocked us during two entire races in my opinion, and for sure, I will never forget that.

    Just different perspectives ;)

    Cheers (aaaaah it's so hard to express myself in a foreign language, sorry for the awful english)