2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

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CLX
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2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by CLX »

This has got to be the most intriguing battle in a very long time.

It has multiple contenders whose form has fluctuated between dominance, outright lack of pace and errors. Lorenzo has all the momentum but a reasonable point deficit to claw against Rossi, whose only flaw has been his qualifying.

On top of it, all pre season predictions regarding Marquez dominating have been rendered moot. His status has shifted from favourite to long shot hoping for some sort of quick fix. At least that's what it seems following and incredibly uncharacteristic weekend in which he should thank Ianonne's shoulder for finishing 4th instead of 6th.

Dovizioso has been as consistent as ever on the vastly improved Ducati, but, Qatar aside, not close enough to the wins which would cement his place as a serious season long contender.

Pedrosa is back and but out of it, the best he can do is become a joker, like Ianonne.

And next comes Mugello. Beyond the possible insanity of a Rossi win realistically in the cards, it could also help him put a halt to Lorenzo's ideas and nearly bury Marquez's hopes.

So, how do you guys see all this? Is it a simple two Yamaha horse race in the making?

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Kropotkin »

Still wide open, another 13 races to go. I have a sneaking feeling it's going to be a 2-horse race, but with the Ducatis in there stealing points, it is getting very interesting indeed...
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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Zaphod »

Lorenzo and Rossi.

If Rossi doesn't start putting it on the first or second row, Lorenzo.

Dovi to capitalise on any misfortune. Unless the Duc finds that last bit of the puzzle in the next three to four races.


Marquez will win another couple, but on the whole the bike is not up to the task of performing at a multitude of different circuits on a planet that has varying weather conditions.

If he tries too hard to make up the shortcomings, he will bin it. I think LeMans proved that to him, hence a sensible 4th, and very hard battle....... against a bloke with one arm.


Pedrosa to announce retirement at the end of the season.


I'll stick by all that as my prediction.
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Grahluk
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2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Grahluk »

Zaphod wrote:
Pedrosa to announce retirement at the end of the season.


I'll stick by all that as my prediction.
Very bold prediction! I tend to agree but am a little more reserved to voice it. He's had arm pump issues & surgery before. I can only imagine the issue's managed not solved. The Honda's quite a handful too it seems. Will credit you as calling it if he announces. Hope it doesn't happen though. His recent absence underlines the point that there isn't anyone else in line as able to turn in his results.

Title? I'm with Krop. Still too wide open right now. I didn't get in on the season prediction thread due to being busy at work but my view from pre season tests hasn't changed. I think the title this year will be won on consistency rather than win streaks or dominance. I'm not so sure yet that the Honda is in as much trouble as made out at the moment. It's not the all dominant wonder weapon it's been but still plenty potent. Different tracks & different conditions may produce a reverse of fortunes from Le Mans. The M1 has surely closed the gap in some respects. It can enter corners far more aggressively than last year which negates one of the Honda's advantages. It also has better grip or grunt out of them where the Honda seems to have problems at the moment. Still I think HRC can attack problems & find solutions faster than anyone. They may suffer all season or they could turn it around in a race or two & go from a position of weakness to strength just as they did in 2012. Yes JLo took the title that year but he didn't have as dangerous a team mate & Ducati was a non threat entirely. Again, I predict consistent podiums will win the title rather than a win streak.

As for people?
Rossi? I'm coming out of secret & supporting him for #10. I don't rate him as the favorite. I do think he could do it by squeezing out 2 more wins, staying on the podium, & circumstances turning in another poor result or two from Marc & Jorge. He could do it. It's against the odds but not out of the question. I think that's why I'm rooting for him. Not out of fan adoration (I am a fan though) but it's too good of a fairy tale in a fairy tale career to not cheer for a storybook ending.
#10! Year of the GOAT! Forza Vale!
Ok. Got that out of my system. You won't hear it again from me unless it happens.

Jorge? These last two races removed any doubt of him as a threat & reminded us why his rivals were not so sure to write him off as many others were making noises to. I firmly think Jorge's problems up to Jerez were mostly in his head. He said almost as much himself after dominating in Jerez. He got some things figured out with the bike but mostly he changed his approach & his attitude. He loosened up a bit & just rode the bike. All the solutions followed on from there. If we've indeed got the human metronome with that almost subdued cocky self belief then I think he could grind out the wins, podiums, & championship. Only question is what happens when he starts getting roughed up? He's a fighter for sure but I don't see him dominating in recent fashion if he has to duke it out with Rossi, Marc, & 2 Ducatis. That's a different kind of racing that the mentioned rivals are all shown to be more than his match when it comes to banging bar ends.

Speaking of bar end bashing, whither Marquez? Too early to call him out. Nothing much to say of him that we don't already know. He's got himself in an underdog position if that would have been imaginable. He's also won in every other way imaginable. I wouldn't rule him out of a come from behind title victory. He's another fairy tale narrative & the racing gods from time to time like to favor such dramas. I can only think of the chunks of points he was exacting from Bradl in his rookie Moto2 season. Whether on track or in the title chase it's not a comfortable place to be in having Marc coming up behind you. If it comes down to the last races & Marc has a mathematical chance of the title I'd be very nervous to be Rossi or Jorge & see Marc +0 on my pit board. He wil go for it. He will attempt the audacious. I'll relish every moment of it!

Team Bologna? I don't see it. Not a real title threat. Title spoiler for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if the title losing moment couldn't be traced back to a race where a strong Ducati bumped a main protagonist off the podium. I really like Dovi. He seems the rider I think I'd most like to be stuck with in a car on a transcontinental road trip. Even keeled & cool headed. I don't see a title this year but could see a dry win. I'm also coming out of secret & rooting for that to happen, preferably at Mugello. Would be tough. JLo's hammer is in full swing & that's a track he's very strong at. Rossi's also determined to keep his title chase in the positive, he also loves Mugello, & there are those races like Misano last year where he's accepting nothing less than victory. I still hope Dovi takes it for Ducati at Mugello. That would almost be like a title itself for Ducati. I love fairy tales & happy endings.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Zaphod »

Grahluk wrote: Hope it doesn't happen though. His recent absence underlines the point that there isn't anyone else in line as able to turn in his results.
Hope it doesn't happen either, and I agree with you in regards to the things his absence has shown.

Chipping away for this long, the injuries and the never quite getting there.......it must be starting to take it's toll. I can't justify my reasoning, hell...I find it hard to even quantify it. Something about his demeanor over the last season and a half. I'm probably reading the signals wrong.


Also agree with your Lorenzo opinion. My oath he's a fighter....but..... I get the feeling somethings changed. As a hypothosis, IF Rossi had gotten away closer to the front in LeMans, I had the distinct impression Rossi was able to run a faster pace, and muscle the bike to what he asked of it when the tyres went away.

In short, he'd have gotten Lorenzo, and I didn't pick up the mongrel in Lorenzo that he had when they smacked and rubbed fairings in Japan all those centuries ago.

Can't see MM though. Not because of anything to do with him. The bike's too hit and miss in it's set-up, bit of a prima-dona when it comes to conditions and circuits.
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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by AdrianM »

Too early for me to write off Marquez and Honda. They may not have many podiums but realistically without Pedrosa how many would they expect with the on fire M1's?Marc was fastest by a country mile in morning up on Sunday and very strong second in Spain and would have been in Argentina...

I think Lor/Ros/Maq will all take points off each other and it will go to the wire, shaping up to be a brilliant championship year and one to remember with the Ducatis and Cal right in the mix. Really looking forward to Mugello - taking first ever trip there - has all the hallmarks of being lively!

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Tourn46 »

I posted this in the Le Mans thread, but it seems more appropriate here... Goes to show that jumping to any conclusions now seems a brave move. It is too close to call at this stage. I just hope they all stay on their bikes and it goes to Valencia!

A few stats after Le Mans courtesy of Martin Raines on Twitter...

Vale, Marc and Jorge have won 4 races each over the last 12 races.

Points scored over the last 12 races:
VR46 - 224
JL99 - 213
MM93 - 168

Points scored over the last 18 races (equivalent to a full season):
VR46 - 316
MM93 - 306
JL99 - 305

Hope it continues to be this close!

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Squidpuppet »

Man, some of you guys are writing Honda off a bit early IMO. There are 13 races remaining and 325 points up for grabs.

Let's not forget that this is HONDA. They are certainly in a self induced pinch right now, but they are also famous for solutions. They could easily show up at Mugello with a new "XYZ" that is 1.25mm wider/narrower/thinner/thicker that offers more/less flex. Let's remember, Marc aint down and out, it's the bike. If they design/find/build/bring the Silver Bullet, things will change quickly. And we all know (we should anyway) how capable Honda is of doing this kind of stuff.

That said, I do relish the prospect of a season long knife fight between Jorge and Vale.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by CLX »

Going by recent history, it took them some months to get on top of everything in 2012 and, without mentioning the unmentionable aussie whose mention is an irreversable thread diviser, PLEASE, the riding around problems approach wasn't enough and ended sourly with a crash.

Marquez's luck now is that Rossi and Lorenzo have been takings points from each other, which might prevent either from running away with it. So he better hope they really get on each other's way and force some mistakes (Dovi could help too). Because Lorenzo's title approach is the same as his race approach. If he hits the lead and builds a solid gap, he just won't relinquish it.

I hadn't though of it before writing this reply, but it's true. Lorenzo manages the titles as he manages the races, clear lead = win.
- 2010 and 2012, reached a clear/solid lead and then managed of points and races perfectly.
- 2008 (rookie season, Michelin tyres, trying to beat a in his prime VR: totally forgiven but fits the trend), 2009, 2011 and 2013 were all compromised by crashes and subsequent injuries.
- 2014 was the only time he never really stood a chance.
Last edited by CLX on Tue May 19, 2015 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Fingernails »

Lorenzo is looking very strong right now. Definitely in championship winning form. And so is the Yamaha. Both Rossi and Marquez need to start being Lorenzo soon if this is to remain a wide open championship.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

No way in hell I would write off Honda and Marquez yet. Remember he had a race last year when he looked uncomfortable on the bike and finished off the podium (Brno) but then still came back with wins afterwards. But, obviously the machinery gap to Yamaha and Ducati has gone, perhaps Rossi and Lorenzo (and lets not forget the Dukes) seem to have got a bit better as well. I'm no longer finding myself going to make a cup of tea with 7-8 laps left as I did during some of the MM dominance wins last year.

Certainly going to be interesting to see how long Lorenzo can keep this run going. It will get to the point, really in Mugello, where Rossi is simply not going to be able to settle for finishing behind him.
Zaphod wrote: Pedrosa to announce retirement at the end of the season.
.
You obviously know something that Pedrosa has said he himself doesn't know then Zaphod! :)

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Zaphod »

Nah, you can call me "Schultz"........ ;) :lol:

Just a feeling. I could probably use some random events to try and quantify or prove my hypothysis, but it'd just be manipulating facts or unrelated events to suit my point of view.

So....... just a feeling. Gone end of this season. Next at the latest.


I have the same feeling about the Honda. 2003 to 2008, repeat. Maybe not for the same five year period, but I think it will persist throughout the rest of the season. Good on some days, shocking on others.
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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by danwilliams »

At this time, 5 races in to the season i see it like this.

Right now i believe we have 5 riders that can win or podium, they are. Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo, Dovisioso, Iannone & Cruthlow :arrow: sorry Dani :(
Now, if Pedrosa "comes good" then a podium or 2 would not be out of the question. Dani taking points off the guys going for the championship, id like to see that happen.

My only prediction is come the flyaways, Motegi, PI & Sepang we may have 3/4 riders at the pointy end or within range of each other points wise. Lots of speculation i know, but this scenario playing out could see one of the best end of season we have had(motogp era).

Having said that, im still finding it hard to rule Marc out. He has plenty of races(13) to go & at this stage the top 5 are within 40 points :arrow:

1 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 102
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 87
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 83
4 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 69
5 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 61
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 47


2015 has seen a fantastic start to the motogp season, and its great to read all these opinions/facts & varying views. Great topic.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by danwilliams »

Grahluk wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
Pedrosa to announce retirement at the end of the season.


I'll stick by all that as my prediction.
Very bold prediction! I tend to agree but am a little more reserved to voice it. He's had arm pump issues & surgery before. I can only imagine the issue's managed not solved. The Honda's quite a handful too it seems. Will credit you as calling it if he announces. Hope it doesn't happen though. His recent absence underlines the point that there isn't anyone else in line as able to turn in his results.

Title? I'm with Krop. Still too wide open right now. I didn't get in on the season prediction thread due to being busy at work but my view from pre season tests hasn't changed.
I think the title this year will be won on consistency rather than win streaks or dominance
. I'm not so sure yet that the Honda is in as much trouble as made out at the moment. It's not the all dominant wonder weapon it's been but still plenty potent. Different tracks & different conditions may produce a reverse of fortunes from Le Mans. The M1 has surely closed the gap in some respects. It can enter corners far more aggressively than last year which negates one of the Honda's advantages. It also has better grip or grunt out of them where the Honda seems to have problems at the moment. Still I think HRC can attack problems & find solutions faster than anyone. They may suffer all season or they could turn it around in a race or two & go from a position of weakness to strength just as they did in 2012. Yes JLo took the title that year but he didn't have as dangerous a team mate & Ducati was a non threat entirely. Again, I predict consistent podiums will win the title rather than a win streak.

As for people?
Rossi? I'm coming out of secret & supporting him for #10. I don't rate him as the favorite. I do think he could do it by squeezing out 2 more wins, staying on the podium, & circumstances turning in another poor result or two from Marc & Jorge. He could do it. It's against the odds but not out of the question. I think that's why I'm rooting for him. Not out of fan adoration (I am a fan though) but it's too good of a fairy tale in a fairy tale career to not cheer for a storybook ending.
#10! Year of the GOAT! Forza Vale!
Ok. Got that out of my system. You won't hear it again from me unless it happens.

Jorge? These last two races removed any doubt of him as a threat & reminded us why his rivals were not so sure to write him off as many others were making noises to. I firmly think Jorge's problems up to Jerez were mostly in his head. He said almost as much himself after dominating in Jerez. He got some things figured out with the bike but mostly he changed his approach & his attitude. He loosened up a bit & just rode the bike. All the solutions followed on from there. If we've indeed got the human metronome with that almost subdued cocky self belief then I think he could grind out the wins, podiums, & championship. Only question is what happens when he starts getting roughed up? He's a fighter for sure but I don't see him dominating in recent fashion if he has to duke it out with Rossi, Marc, & 2 Ducatis. That's a different kind of racing that the mentioned rivals are all shown to be more than his match when it comes to banging bar ends.

Speaking of bar end bashing, whither Marquez? Too early to call him out. Nothing much to say of him that we don't already know. He's got himself in an underdog position if that would have been imaginable. He's also won in every other way imaginable. I wouldn't rule him out of a come from behind title victory. He's another fairy tale narrative & the racing gods from time to time like to favor such dramas. I can only think of the chunks of points he was exacting from Bradl in his rookie Moto2 season. Whether on track or in the title chase it's not a comfortable place to be in having Marc coming up behind you. If it comes down to the last races & Marc has a mathematical chance of the title I'd be very nervous to be Rossi or Jorge & see Marc +0 on my pit board. He wil go for it. He will attempt the audacious. I'll relish every moment of it!

Team Bologna? I don't see it. Not a real title threat. Title spoiler for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if the title losing moment couldn't be traced back to a race where a strong Ducati bumped a main protagonist off the podium. I really like Dovi. He seems the rider I think I'd most like to be stuck with in a car on a transcontinental road trip. Even keeled & cool headed. I don't see a title this year but could see a dry win. I'm also coming out of secret & rooting for that to happen, preferably at Mugello. Would be tough. JLo's hammer is in full swing & that's a track he's very strong at. Rossi's also determined to keep his title chase in the positive, he also loves Mugello, & there are those races like Misano last year where he's accepting nothing less than victory. I still hope Dovi takes it for Ducati at Mugello. That would almost be like a title itself for Ducati. I love fairy tales & happy endings.
Im of the same opinion, something like 2006.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by motor »

I'm undecided between Rossi and Marquez for now...

Marquez
Strengths:
- All out and over-the-edge pace
- Qualifying
- Dogfight skills
- Honda resources
- Age and aggression
Weaknesses:
- Current machine woes
- Impulsiveness? Age and experience?
- Race start?

Lorenzo
Strengths:
- Metronome, hammer, and assorted utensils
- Qualifying, race start
Weaknesses:
- Temperament?
- Dogfight skills, need to lead and get away - one dimensional ?
- Hard tire?

Rossi
Strengths:
- Temperament, cunning, ruthlessness, and experience in wrapping up championships
- Speed on race day
- Dogfight skills
Weaknesses:
- Qualifying
- Gradual approach to setup (one washed out session affects him badly in the race)
- Age ? (umm)

Assuming that Honda 1. fixes their issues and 2. makes a further step forward, I would go with Marquez...otherwise Rossi.
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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by andrebt »

CLX wrote:Marquez's luck now is that Rossi and Lorenzo have been takings points from each other, which might prevent either from running away with it. So he better hope they really get on each other's way and force some mistakes (Dovi could help too). Because Lorenzo's title approach is the same as his race approach. If he hits the lead and builds a solid gap, he just won't relinquish it.
This true, but mathematically speaking Marquez have been losing points. Sure there are ton of points left, but in case of Marquez at their current Rossi, Dovi and Lorenzo it making his path to a 3rd straight title difficult.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by andrebt »

motor wrote:Assuming that Honda 1. fixes their issues and 2. makes a further step forward, I would go with Marquez...otherwise Rossi.
With the development window in terms of software quickly closing Honda has tons of work to do.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by freighttrain »

Nice break down motor..
I concur on most of all of your points

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Tourn46 »

freighttrain wrote:Nice break down motor..
I concur on most of all of your points
The only thing I disagree with is that I think JL has a lot more fight in him than people give him credit for, but I guess I agree that he perhaps is one notch behind Marc and Vale on that point so as a comparison of the 3 riders, it's probably a fair assessment.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Zaphod »

I don't think it's lack of fight. I think it's self control.

Sometimes I think Jorge's 250 years are forgotten. He doesn't ride like that anymore. (well..... I see turn one, Phillip Island and a "I'm not really meaning to drift onto the racing line" Marquez as a rather vivid flashback to 250 Jorge.....I'm not buying either of their bullshit, placating, versions of events. 8-) )

He kind-of-did for his first year in Moto, but that hurt too much.




Now, the way I see it, if someone passes him but can't get away.....it's on. If someone passes him and starts eeking out a small gap lap by lap.....forget it, take the points and try another day. Not give up. Just maintain pace, hope, try....but be smart about it.


He's like the Mr Spock of GP racing.

Logical.
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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Fingernails »

While I would very much like to see Rossi win the championship, I get the feeling that over the last few races he has been at 100%. He was winning when other riders when they were less than 100%, and now that Lorenzo is at 100%, he's beating Rossi. Rossi is still in the leading group of aliens, but IMHO he's a touch slower than he used to be. For Rossi to beat Lorenzo without Lorenzo going off the boil a bit (or worse, e.g. injury) may be a big ask.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by CLX »

"Rossi is still in the leading group of aliens, but IMHO he's a touch slower than he used to be."

Only in qualifying. His race pace and overtaking abilities remains impecable.

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2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by Grahluk »

Fingernails wrote:While I would very much like to see Rossi win the championship, I get the feeling that over the last few races he has been at 100%. He was winning when other riders when they were less than 100%, and now that Lorenzo is at 100%, he's beating Rossi. Rossi is still in the leading group of aliens, but IMHO he's a touch slower than he used to be. For Rossi to beat Lorenzo without Lorenzo going off the boil a bit (or worse, e.g. injury) may be a big ask.
That's my general perception of those two as well except for a few things about Rossi. Jorge dominated Le Mans from the first lap but Rossi turned in the race's fastest lap & pretty much ran Jorge's pace as soon as he moved into 2nd & had clear track. Rossi & Jorge could trade a couple tenths from lap to lap but neither could close or pull a further gap. Rossi's definitely leaving it all on the track on Sunday for his results but even on their good days they didn't have much on race pace over Rossi. What's going to lose Rossi the prospects of #10 is where Fri & Sat sessions leave him on Sun morning. Guy needs to do better than the third row to get away w/ Jorge or Marc.

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by danwilliams »

Zaphod wrote:I don't think it's lack of fight. I think it's self control.

Sometimes I think Jorge's 250 years are forgotten. He doesn't ride like that anymore. (well..... I see turn one, Phillip Island and a "I'm not really meaning to drift onto the racing line" Marquez as a rather vivid flashback to 250 Jorge.....I'm not buying either of their bullshit, placating, versions of events. 8-) )

He kind-of-did for his first year in Moto, but that hurt too much.




Now, the way I see it, if someone passes him but can't get away.....it's on. If someone passes him and starts eeking out a small gap lap by lap.....forget it, take the points and try another day. Not give up. Just maintain pace, hope, try....but be smart about it.


He's like the Mr Spock of GP racing.

Logical.
This. Jorge in the 2 stroke era was an entirely different animal, i also think we forget all the publicity in regards his close to the limit/unsafe racing(that's what the journo's said & racers). Personally i think Jorge was much more a "wild/crazy" type of rider than Marc is or has been although i am not forgetting a couple of moto2 races. We all remember Lorenzo first year in motogp im sure :arrow: ouch
He has learnt how to win without hurting himself which is very logical in this sport. Lorenzo needs a bigger chuppa chup ;)

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Re: 2015 title battle, 5 GPs in and beyond

Post by danwilliams »

Rossi wears a different lid for his home race every year(Mugello :?: :?: ), it might be wise of me to start saving some coin for an AGV/DRUDI-Mugello replica :arrow: only IF he wins the championship.

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