Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Discussion and debate about the MotoGP class
kenup283
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by kenup283 »

Tourn46 wrote:
CLX wrote:Jorge is definitely overlooked, but I don't think it's a matter of style. I believe it's a matter of being sandwiched between the most popular and polarizing riders since early 90s. Rossi, Stoner, Marquez. Between Rossi's popularity and the animosity towards the other two, the attention left to Lorenzo was smaller than that a triple champ would have usually had.
I mean, it's a fair comment, but I wasn't really intending it to be a why isn't Jorge appreciated discussion... it's more about whether there is a perception that someone with a more exciting/flamboyant/unpredictable is more talented or "better" than someone LIKE Jorge who is smooth as silk. Whether or not this comes into the equation of someone being 'the GOAT'.

It’s a valid point in the discussion. It’s certainly much harder to “see” the perfection and recognize it.

I suppose with a trained eye when the cameras followed along long enough to permit, or standing track side at change in direction or fast entry, you’d be able to pick it up but even then it’s hard to see if you don’t also ride or at least been watching for many years as a prerequisite.

I now can mostly watch the races at face value without studying the time sheets after and get an adequate enough appreciation for the Job the riders did. The more visually appealing the less effort it takes to appreciate, for lack of better term it’s kind of a what you see is what you get. I still look at post race timesheets but it mainly just tells me now what the cameras didn’t show further back the order.

In Jorge’s hey day it wasn’t until I looked at the time sheets post race when my jaw really hit the floor. I recall one case vividly where he didn’t even need a lap to get up to speed but just the first two corners, a left and right turn, and after that he was on it sector by sector closer than you could click a stop watch in succession for the next 40 minutes plus.

I have not been as impressed by a set of numbers since.

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WayneG
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by WayneG »

kenup283 wrote:It’s a valid point in the discussion. It’s certainly much harder to “see” the perfection and recognize it.
As a sidebar point, even when we can see the perfection of a technique clearly there is another level the top riders possess which we can never see. That is the level of intelligence they possess in their ability to analyse every centimetre of the track and its environs to determine the optimum method of achieving a perfect lap.

Casey Stoner was recently interviewed on a podcast called "Rusty's Gararge" in which he discusses his technique for going through Turn 3 at Phillip Island (now Stoner Corner). I'm sure we have all marvelled at the slow mo shots of him sliding the rear through there at 250km+ but his explanation as to the reason he did it gave me a new understanding of the brilliance these riders possess. PI is notorious for its wind and Turn 3 is particularly susceptible to sudden crosswinds particularly from the inside of the corner. As the track dips towards the apex of the corner there is a tyre barrier on the inside which acts as a windbreak to this crosswind. Just passed the tyre barrier is the "natural" point to initiate a rear slide in order to set up for the optimal line into Turn 4. However if you are hit by a wind gust before you have the rear out of line and sliding it tends to push you offline towards the outside of the track, which slows both the exit of T3 and the entry to T4. In a worse case scenario if the gust is strong enough it can wash the front out completely with disasterous results. Pedrosa in his 125 days or Fogerty in WSBK comes to mind.

Casey's solution to this was to ignore the "natural" line and deliberately initiate the rear slide 20 or so metres earlier while still behind the protection of the tyre barrier. As he exited from behind the tyre barrier his wheels were always out of line due to the rear slide and this made it physically impossible for the front to wash out due to crosswinds and he was sure to make the optimum entry into T4. Since listening to the podcast I have gone back and watched old videos of him through T3 and can now see what he is doing exactly as he describes.

I'm sure all the top riders have their own methods such as this for various corners / tracks but I believe that these minute differences are one of the factors which separate the truly top echelon riders from those who are merely brilliant.

BTW if you haven't listened to the podcast interview I highly recommend that you do. He gives some fascinating insights into all aspects of his career and the GP circus.
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Elton
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Elton »

Visually the most impressive thing about Jorge's style is how incredibly seamless his body weight transitions are. It's almost snake like the way he moves on the bike, which is how he consistently carries such high corner speed - he doesn't upset the balance or grip of the bike at all.

But his style works well on a motorcycle which has particular strengths, like very smooth power delivery, mid corner stablity, excellent turning, and excellent electronics. If you hand him a bike with a weakness in one or more of those areas he can't really ride around it. Where Marquez or Stoner or even someone like Pol Espargaro have more tricks up their sleeve, and can find other ways to get a lap time out of the machine. Ducati eventually gave Jorge a bike he could be competitive on but he was all at sea on the Honda and would have been on many of the previous generations of Desmo as well. Maybe that's one reason he seems underappreciated given his record.

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Mikesbytes »

Marquez's shoulder problems raising their ugly head again. While I don't think that its going to stop him, its yet another example that lots of crashes isn't a good way to prevent retirement

https://www.crash.net/motogp/news/93547 ... d-expected
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warthog1
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by warthog1 »

Not seeing that much in it.
Still a shoulder reco so still a fairly major procedure.
It will still take time to heal completely.
You expect the connective tissue has had a similar level of insult.

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Fingernails
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Fingernails »

I did note that in previous years they have mentioned that there are more crashes in a weekend than there used to be. Will we start seeing more riders whose careers are limited more by injury than they are by motivation or loss of performance due to natural ageing?

p4p1
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by p4p1 »

Fingernails wrote:I did note that in previous years they have mentioned that there are more crashes in a weekend than there used to be. Will we start seeing more riders whose careers are limited more by injury than they are by motivation or loss of performance due to natural ageing?
Edit: this post got a bit off the original topic, sorry in advance.

Would you think that’s because of the increased competition? I’m not sure if it is that there is more talent than ever on the grid or if control tyres, electronics and parity amongst factories. The days are gone when a rider could cruise to a 10 second win, which has caused riders to push over the entire weekend more than previous generations had to leading to more crashes.

Personally I believe a lot of luck (good or bad) is involved where crashes are concerned. Marquez thus far has been lucky given the sheer amount of crashes he has had and his shoulder problems from my experience of having a shoulder reconstruction would be unlikely to effect his results as long as the shoulder stays in the socket. Lorenzo had once crash that didn’t appear to be any worse than his previous ones but it effectively ended his career. Jack Miller had that massive crash and got up to walk away with no injuries IIRC. Doohan was unlucky not because of his crash but because of a medical mistake that could’ve cost him his leg and career and for a lot of people probably would’ve been career ending.

For me Rossi has probably been the luckiest one, while he isn’t known as a crasher he came along at a time when the 500cc 2-strokes were no longer the evil machines that would spit you off for daring to open the throttle a fraction of a second too early. That plus the advances in safety have helped him and others during and after his era prolong their careers. Rossi has been lucky that none of his crashes have had a serious career threatening injury, his worst being the leg break in 2010 which while gruesome looking is not the most serious of injuries. His clash with Taka this year caused Taka to have a more serious injury than Rossi has ever had in his career. He could’ve quite easily (as any others could have) had a small crash that caused a serious injury. Then you can also add all the crashes and serious injuries riders have sustained over the years due to mechanical failures beyond their control ie Stoner in Suzuka, Pedrosa in Aragon. Yes I know Marquez’s bike cut his traction control.

While success in all sports is built on hard work, talent and often timing, luck can be the biggest component deciding if someone will be great or not. Brazilian Ronald probably would’ve been the consensus greatest soccer player ever if not for serious injuries that changed his career projection. His success after the injuries is a testament to his gifts after being stopped from ever reaching his full potential. Sometimes we see guys who’s bodies succumb to wear and tear after a short time at the top level ie Ronaldinho, while other guys like Gary Ablett Sr and Jr (AFL Players) are able to play football most elite footballers couldn’t dream of well into their 30s. Luck. The first time I tore my ACL it was because after jumping for the football in a marking contest and not being able to see the ground due to the sun being in my eyes. The second time I tore my ACL I was wrestling, at the exact moment the guy who I was wrestling against shot in for a single leg takedown another two guys doing the same thing crashed into the leg I was standing on at an awkward angle. When I dislocated my shoulder and had to have a reconstruction, I slipped over throwing a kick in the ring and landed awkwardly popping it out. I slipped over because the ring matting was a bit loose. If I had been just a bit luckier in any of these situations I never would’ve had injuries requiring surgery which ended my short career in professional *sports.



*The shoulder injuries was a blessing in disguise, it meant I had to stop working for 3 months. This meant I spent 3 months at home with my father before he unexpectedly died. Outside of that I’m happy that I had to stop combat sports when I did because after a long lay off with back to back to back injuries I noticed the damage that getting hit in the head was doing to me. I believe if I had have continued I would’ve been suffering from effects of CTE by now.

kenup283
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by kenup283 »

The number of crashes have actually decreased this past year significantly. Matt Oxley had an article on the main page about it recntly.

Basically the crashes peaked after the intro of the Michilins and have now dropped back down after some years spent getting riders and bikes sorted around the tricky feeling and reduced grip front end.

Moto2 had a significant reduction in crashes this past year with the change to triumph, away from a front end dependant riding style. Moto3 more or less stayed same. Previously Moto2 was topping the charts with the highly competive and dominantly front end style 600s. So level of competion is a factor but more if it results in pushing the front harder or not.

Electronics, well there are no electronics for the front in GPs, but strategies for engine braking and rear tire grip factor in. The rear overpowering the front was and still remains one of the main hazards teams work around and leads to many crashes.

As for luck. I won't deny luck has a big role but there might be some things that could be said about tilting the table in your favor. How and where you crash are two things that come to mind.

Going from high sides to low sides for example is one and a big reason we can have so many crashes with yet so few injuries. So it is easy to see where changing the nature of the crash is a big factor and to the extent this is in the riders control then changes their "luck".

How controlled the exit from the bike and the orientation the rider enters the gravel trap is another "luck" factor that has a lot to do with how bad the injuries are.

Lorenzo got off the bike well but started into a roll at high speed as he entered the gravel trap that led to a head over heels tumble. Bad luck, sure, but if there was a way to reduce the chances of going into the roll, and subsequent tumble, then there might be another factor in minimizing consequences. Big words from a key board I know, and this might not be the best example either, it's just to say that beign down to luck does not necassairly mean the outcome can't be manipulated for better or worse.

Marquez is a good example of this. He has a lot of crashes but mostly they've been controlled crashes. Calculated risks.

What I noticed this past year is he started applying more his skills at saving the front, which he perfected on lower speed turns, to higher speed turns. We also saw him pushing to make saves that he may not have in the past, one example in a slower turn sent him shooting across and off track at an odd angle.

Im not saying he should not to try to save it, just that he's pushing his skills into higher consequence territory. Into a space where he won't be able to influence the outcome as easily and how he exits the bike as he has been able to in past. It's becoming less calculated risk and more reactive. In ordinary terms his luck may be running out.

p.s. sorry to read about your injuries. Good to see you found a silver lining in them.

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Mikesbytes »

There's a degree of the original discussion point around whether Marquez would hit the metric to be considered the greatest racer of all time or whether injury would prevent that happening. With the banter around this 3rd pending operation being that if it happens the recovery time is 6 months. If that's the case then 2021 will not be a championship year, however he is still young and would be the main candidate for 2022
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

I always say this but I f*cking hate this 'greatest of all time stuff' :D
As brilliant as Stoner, Rossi, Marquez or whoever are, could you convince that they are emphatically better than Hailwood or Saarinen?
Other than the rough baseline of nutters riding a two-wheeled combustion engine around a marked perimeter of race tarmac, the world has changed so much since then. I don't think you can even compare Marc to Doohan, the racing world had changed so much in even that 25 years.

Also how do you even class 'greatest'? Just on results? The riders are racing on 4 times as many tracks in a season as they were in the time of Hailwood and the safety has improved to the point where we're not having a fatality every other weekend, as it was at one time, so you can't just go on numbers alone.
Freddie Spencer won simultaneous championships in two different classes in the same year
John Surtees won the Motorcycle GP championship several times then became F1 champion
Max Biaggi was a multiple middleweight champion on different machines then won both his first 500gp and first World Superbike race
Eddie Lawson won the premier category four times on two different makes of machine and won races on three, including a Cagiva.
Doohan came back from almost having his leg amputated and two essentially 'career ending' injuries to win five championships.
Let's not get started on Rossi :D

In my mind all of these riders are 'greats' and it's impossible to rank one feat above any other. The most any rider can do is beat their peers and their rivals on the track at that time - in which case they are the greatest of their era, but saying the 'greatest of all time' isn't demonstrable by any means.

Schwantz34
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Schwantz34 »

Agreed to a certain extent, think it's impossible to compare riders from totally different eras but I think you could have reasonable debate about Stoner v Marquez v Rossi and co

bikermike
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by bikermike »

I think GOAT is a silly idea, but if there is one, it's Surtees.
Everyone else has won varying numbers of championships on 2 wheels. Over the fence they are arguing about who has won the most championships on 4 wheels.
Nobody else (AFAIK) has won the top class in both.

It's why I'm a bit dissapointed with Rossi - he did seem to have a genuine chance at doing that and didn't.

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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by hdot »

The value of determining or even discussing the GOAT is def debatable, but as far as who the GOAT premier class rider is I feel like it has to be Marquez. He won his first championship and won what, 6 out of his first 7? The latter ones being against MotoGP's most competitive field. Plenty of riders have achieved great things but I don't think anyone has dominated so quickly and decisively as Marquez.

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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by bikermike »

With his style he'd have been dead in less than a season in the 50s.

Maybe he can ride another way, but we haven't seen him do it at top level. Stoner won championships on two different machines (at least one of which was unrideable by others). Rossi jumped from 2-stroke to 4-stroke and then on to Yamaha. None of them were "hard to ride" (as viewed by their peers at the time), but it's still 3 different machines to learn.

To do what Marquez has done is immensely impressive, but what qualifies as great? I'd say you've got to demonstrate greater than mastery of one category...

Schwantz34
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Schwantz34 »

I do hope he goes for it with another brand, if he's fully fit I can't see him being anything other than dominant on anything aside from the Priller

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Mikesbytes »

I think the GOAT term was started by Colin Edwards who coined the term at Rossi. Agostini piped up to point out he had more world championships and the debate started and raged on forums etc around the world.

In regards to Marquez I started this thread from the viewpoint of a metric seeing that his high number of crashes put him at risk of not exceeding the metrics in place for Rossi and Ago while what has been pointed out is the difficulty of comparing different era's of racing
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kenup283
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by kenup283 »

Marquez’s high number of crashes were not an issue. They actually helped him. His worst season was when he crashed the least. He was a strategic crasher.

What changed towards end of 2019 was this strategy went out the window. It started becoming apparent he was pushing and making saves risking higher consequence crashes.

We used to ponder if his shoulders were done no favors by his holding onto the bike after his latest low side. But what we saw change were several saves and near misses where holding on after the “crash” would not even be an option.

He was starting to push his luck and it ran out. It didn’t take long either from time this change became observable for a season ending injury to happen.

bikermike
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by bikermike »

I think his riding style is *amazing*, and the controlled crashing is something else, but put it in a different set of circumstances and it wouldn't work. Hopefully in less fatal ways than I mooted, but can you imagine pushing a bike beyond it's limits anywhere on the Mountain course?

To me Agostini will always have an implicit asterisk because of the disparity between his bike and anything else for most of his championships. But he still gets up IMO because he got on another bike to race succesfully.

(Doohan has the same issue, but (1) I reckon he'd probably still lamp me, and (2) the disparity wasn't as great or as long)

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Marquez rides the way he does though simply because he is of this era. You wouldn't be able to ride like that in the 50s (or even the 80s for that matter) and so no-one did, although you could say even the very act of racing in those days was lunacy with that kind of fatality rate. I guess there was a reason a lot of ex WW2 fighter pilots did well in motorsport after the war, their conception of 'risk' was probably very much different to you or I.
But, I think Marc takes the risk/reward equation further than anyone else, combined with his talent is why he is a 6-time premier class champion. But, him taking it too far is why he lost in 2015 and now 2020, and it may well turn out his career 'has burnt twice as bright, but half as long' unless he can come back strongly from this injury.

As for Doohan, remember that he had team mates and there were other riders on an NSR500. And he utterly destroyed most of the field year after year, especially 1994 onwards. I'll go as far as to say he nearly destroyed the sport such was his dominance, at least here in the UK, I think 1997 there were about 17,000 at Donington (which I think was an optimistic count) which only resurged with the coming of Rossi and the 4-stroke era.
And that was on top of what should have been two career-ending injuries. I think you have to have him in conversations about the greatest, he was certainly one of the greatest in his era (and rode against some real legends in the 'golden era' of 500cc)

Damn I am now being drawn into a conversation I wanted no part of :D ;)

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Fingernails
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Fingernails »

Is it unthinkable that next year or a year later we could see Marquez retiring before Rossi does?

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Mikesbytes »

This year has shown that the competition is fairly close to each other and its also shown that there isn't a big difference in the bikes itself. If Marquez is fully fit in 2021 I would expect him to walk all over the competition
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Schwantz34
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Schwantz34 »

Fingernails wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:30 pm
Is it unthinkable that next year or a year later we could see Marquez retiring before Rossi does?
Doubt it, even next year if he can't come back I'd expect at least one attempt at it in the years after
Mikesbytes wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:53 pm
This year has shown that the competition is fairly close to each other and its also shown that there isn't a big difference in the bikes itself. If Marquez is fully fit in 2021 I would expect him to walk all over the competition
If he's anywhere near fit I'd concur with that

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Mikesbytes wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:53 pm
If Marquez is fully fit in 2021 I would expect him to walk all over the competition
That is a BIG statement Mikesbytes :D

We will have to start a 2021 predictions thread.. maybe give it until after Christmas though :)

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by Mikesbytes »

MiniNinjaMk5 wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:06 am
Mikesbytes wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:53 pm
If Marquez is fully fit in 2021 I would expect him to walk all over the competition
That is a BIG statement Mikesbytes :D

We will have to start a 2021 predictions thread.. maybe give it until after Christmas though :)
Hdot is our expert at predictions ;)
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bikermike
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Re: Will Marquez become the greatest racer of all Time?

Post by bikermike »

noting that Morbidelli is having a crack at 4-wheels, I wonder how that fits with my argument about greater variety of titles = better
Would a WSBK champ with a WRC title under his belt be more GOAT than a multiple MotoGP rider, or an F1 champ with a World speedway crown etc
(or for that matter someone who excels at a non-competitive thing - eg James Toseland and his musical abilities). Damon hill raced RD350s in the UK before slipping to the dark side.

I still think Surtees has it for Grand Prix bikes and F1 cars.

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