Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 70: Three Talking Points From Argentina

The latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out. In episode #70, Neil Morrison, Steve English, and David Emmett join a conversation across three countries and two continents to discuss a chaotic and controversial Argentinian round of MotoGP.

There was an awful lot to talk about, but the boys tried to break it down into three different talking points, and cover the ground that way. First up is Valentino Rossi's accusation that Marc Marquez was "destroying the sport". Is Marquez really destroying MotoGP, and just how many rules did the Spaniard break on Sunday in Argentina? And how did his misdemeanors compare with that of Johann Zarco, who ran Dani Pedrosa wide, the Repsol Honda finally crashing and breaking his wrist.

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2018 Motorland Aragon World Superbike FP3 Results: Limited Adhesion Limits Progress

Jordi Torres was quickest in a session where it started raining before anyone put in a properly quick lap. Leon Camier was able to get himself into Superpole two, though, knocking Michael Ruben Rinaldi down into Superpole one. Marco Melandri ended the day on top, with his quickest time in the second session proving to be the overall fastest of the day.


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Guest Video Blog: Freddie Spencer On A Controversial Race In Argentina, in association with Motor Sport Magazine, is proud to feature the rider insights of 1983 and 1985 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer. After every MotoGP race, Fast Freddie will share what he saw and learned from the race.

There was certainly a lot for Freddie Spencer to talk about after an eventful Argentinian round of MotoGP, and the former world champion starts his latest video blog off with a memory of the only time he got to race in the country, his very first race in his first full season 500cc.

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2018 Motorland Aragon World Supersport FP2 Results: Krummenacher Pips Mahias In Dry Session

As the weather was much more conducive to fast riding, the laptimes were significantly better than in this morning's session. Lucas Mahias looked like he would end the session quickest but was just beaten by Randy Krummenacher. Sandro Cortese, Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel made it an all-Yamaha top-five, and unlike this morning, all riders were within the 107% of the fastest lap required to qualify.


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2018 Motorland Aragon World Supersport FP1 Results: Cluzel Leads Mahias

With tricky conditions continuing, only the first nineteen riders were within 107% of Jules Cluzel's time with fellow Frenchman joining him as the only other rider recording a laptime under two minutes. Federico Caricasulo was two seconds off the quickest time in third place.


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2018 Motorland Aragon World Superbike FP1 Results: Rea Quickest On A Damp Track

In the first European round of the season, with a drying track after a wet morning, Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea opens the weekend with the quickest time, over half a second quicker than Marco Melandri on the Ducati and Leon Camier on the Honda. Michael Ruben Rinaldi, a one event rider with the Aruba IT Racing junior team, was fourth quickest.


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Joining The Dots – A Lap Of Aragon With Chaz Davies

Chaz Davies has dominated Aragon in recent years and he explains to the keys to a fast lap of the Spanish circuit

At one point the Kingdom of Aragon was one of the Europe's most powerful in Europe. It was a central hub of the Mediterranean and one that controlled shipping in Spain, France and Italy. That power ebbed and flowed until eventually it fell. It's been 400 years since anyone ruled in Aragon but if there is a modern day King it would certainly be Chaz Davies.

The Welshman has won four of the last five races run at the 5km circuit, including delivering the first WorldSBK victory for the Ducati Panigale, and he sat down with to explain the nuances of a fast lap at this complicated circuit.

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Alex Lowes Interview: Eager To Prove His Potential

Alex Lowes feels that he's at his best when blood is in the water and he's fighting at the front. Winning in WorldSBK appears to be just around the corner for the Englishman

Alex Lowes at Jerez on the Pata Yamaha

Potential energy is the energy possessed by an object due to the factors surrounding it. For any motorcycle racer the biggest factor around them is their bike, and since moving to WorldSBK in 2014, Alex Lowes has been held back by the machinery at his disposal. Now, though, he's confident that a change in fortunes is just around the corner.

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2018 Argentina MotoGP Race Round Up, Part 3: Marquez vs Rossi, Marquez vs The Rules

On Friday, the Hondas were looking pretty strong at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Dani Pedrosa led FP1, with Cal Crutchlow just behind him. In FP2, Marc Márquez opened a big lead over Crutchlow, with the rest some distance behind.

On Saturday, Marc Márquez looked just about unbeatable, despite his slip up in qualifying. Six tenths quicker than Johann Zarco, and effortlessly quick in a wet FP3. Over a second quicker than his teammate Pedrosa in FP4, an advantage that was almost embarrassing. The portents were clear on Saturday night: this was Marc Márquez' race to lose.

And that is exactly what he did, before the lights had even gone out. A combination of ignorance of the rules and panic meant he blew his chance of winning the race as soon as he jumped off his bike to try to restart it on the grid. From there, he piled error upon error to make the situation worse. By the end of Sunday, he had managed to throw away any chance of salvaging points from the Argentina round, and run up a 15-point deficit to Andrea Dovizioso. He had also managed to create a public relations disaster, though to be fair, he had more than a little help doing that.

Ignorance is no excuse

But it all starts with ignorance of the rules. When he arrived back at the grid, the engine of his Honda RC213V stalled as he pulled up at his grid slot. His immediate reaction was the right one: to raise his hand in the air. That lasted a little more than one second (approximately 1.26 seconds, averaging multiple timings), before he jumped off his bike and tried to push start it. That set in motion a chain of events that would generate an unstoppable tidal wave of controversy.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Like Maradona driving a hot-hatch

Sunday’s Argentine MotoGP Grand Prix was like a Gaucho rodeo ride: chaotic, painful and unmissable

First, I have a confession to make: I like a bit of chaos. Few things are more over-organised than modern sport, which mostly runs like a well-oiled machine, so sometimes it’s good to see a spanner thrown in the works.

It’s not unusual for this to happen in South America. Some years ago during the Brazilian GP in Rio de Janeiro, practice had to be stopped because the circuit had a power outage. The owners hadn’t paid their electricity bill, so the electricity company waited for the perfect moment, then pulled the plug. Practice continued once they’d got their money.

This sort of thing rarely happens nowadays. Like I said, everything is too well organised, there are too many rules and very often there is too much health and safety. So I hugely enjoyed Sunday’s action, with a few obvious exceptions. To me, one of the joys of motorcycle racing is that it is a kind of chaos, even when it’s not particularly chaotic. I don’t think any other sport better fits George Orwell’s famous words, written in December 1945, when his mind was already working towards writing 1984.

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Repsol Honda Press Release: Dani Pedrosa Undergoes Surgery On Right Wrist

The Repsol Honda team issued the following press release on Dani Pedrosa's surgery to fix his right wrist:

Dani Pedrosa undergoes operation to his right wrist in Barcelona

Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa underwent surgery to his right wrist this afternoon at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona, Spain, to treat the injury suffered in a crash during Sunday’s race at the Argentina Grand Prix.

A 3D CT scan confirmed that Dani had suffered an intra-articular fracture of the right distal radius.

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Dani Pedrosa Set For Surgery On Right Wrist

Dani Pedrosa has suffered a fractured wrist in his lap one crash at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina on Sunday. Although there has not yet been official confirmation from Honda, well-informed Spanish media are reporting that Pedrosa is to undergo surgery today in Barcelona to fix the fracture in his right radius.

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2018 Argentina MotoGP Race Round Up, Part 2: Rising New Stars, And Zarco vs Pedrosa

Every MotoGP weekend throws up dozens of talking points, notes and points of interest that can help an interested observer better understand what remains the greatest sport on earth. Some weekends have more to offer than others. And then there are weekends like Argentina. Already by qualifying, the Grand Prix at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit had produced more wildness and weirdness than you get at most rounds. And then Sunday came along.

Yesterday, I wrote a little about the peculiar and unique set of circumstances which caused the start of the race to be delayed, and about how Cal Crutchlow came to win what would be a fantastic race riddled with controversy. Before I move on to the most controversial part of the weekend – Marc Márquez' frantic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ride through the field which eventually saw him penalized out of the points – a few more notes on the race itself, and the result as it ended up in the books.

First up, Cal Crutchlow, who took a convincing win in Argentina. What was impressive about Crutchlow's victory was not just the result, but the way he achieved it. It was a victory taken with patience, as Spanish journalist Borja Gonzalez astutely observed. It was a patience born of confidence, the knowledge that a good result was possible. "I knew this weekend that I could win or finish second at this Grand Prix, wet or dry," he told the press conference. "I had the pace over the last years. I had the pace in Qatar to be fast."

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