2015 Argentina MotoGP Race Result: Winning The (Extra) Hard Way

Argentina Race Results Below:

Valentino Rossi -- who gambled that an extra hard rear tire was his eventual ticket to the front -- came up a winner in a thrilling MotoGP race that saw him carve away a five-second lead from Marc Marquez, pass him late and take the win, but not before a collision put the World Champion on the asphalt and out of the contest.

Andrea Dovizioso, who shadowed Rossi for much of the race, eventually succumbed to Rossi's relentless pace and finished second at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, his third second place in as many contests in 2015. Cal Crutchlow made a last-corner pass to swipe third from Andrea Iannone (4th). Jorge Lorenzo, who ran as high as second early in the race, finished fifth, a full 10 seconds behind his race-winning factory Yamaha teammate.

Rossi, who qualified eighth, extended his championship lead to six points over Dovizioso and a full 30 points over Marquez.

Bradley Smith continued his best MotoGP season with a sixth-place finish after qualifying in 10th. Aleix Espargaro, who has been surprisingly quick in practice and qualifying, secured his best finish of the season in seventh, giving the restarted Suzuki MotoGP team its second top-10 finish in a row. His brother Pol brought his satellite Yamaha in at eighth, in front of Scott Redding (9th) and the other factory Suzuki of Maverick Vinales (10th).

Early on, the race didn't appear to headed toward a gripping fight when Marquez opened a massive gap nearly immediately. Within one lap, he led by a second and within four, the two-time champion opened a three-second lead.

But Marquez, too, had gambled. He chose the hard rear tire -- the next softer option from Rossi's and Lorenzo's extra hard. The World Champion had decided to push the pace early and then manage the lead as his rear tire deteriorated from the heat and abrasive track surface. Initially, it seemed like a good plan when he extended his lead to four seconds with a third of the race completed.

Crutchlow claimed second from Lorenzo only to run wide and give the position to Dovizioso. Lorenzo's pace faltered and eventually he was passed by Rossi for fourth with 17 laps left.

Then Rossi started his charge.

He immediately dropped Lorenzo and upped his pace. His next lap was quicker than Marquez's who remained 4.3 seconds ahead. Rossi closed on the lead group, cutting the gap to Marquez to 3.4 seconds with 10 laps left. With eight laps to go, Rossi's pace of 1'39s put him a full second a lap faster and cut the Spaniard's lead to 2.7 seconds. Rossi passed Dovizioso but the Ducati rider initially hung right on Rossi's tail, getting dragged closer to Marquez.

With five laps to go, Rossi set a new course record, dropping Dovizioso in the process and closing within 1.2 seconds of Marquez. With each lap, he slashed more than half a second from Marquez's gap. But would there be enough time?

With two laps left, Rossi locked on Marquez's tail.

The World Champion and Austin race-winner refused to to go easy. Rossi passed the Honda and Marquez lunged inside bumping Rossi. Rossi again passed Marquez and got half a bike length in front when Marquez aggressively darted into to Rossi's bike. His front wheel thumped the right rear of Rossi's M1, immediately dropping Marquez's Honda to the track. Both the bike and rider slid off and an obviously agitated Marquez chased down his Honda but it was too damaged to rejoin the race.

Race direction declared the collision a no violation racing incident immediately following the race.

Result:

Pos.   No. Rider Bike  
1 25 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 41'35.644
2 20 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 5.685
3 16 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 8.298
4 13 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 8.352
5 11 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 10.192
6 10 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 19.876
7 9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 24.333
8 8 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 27.67
9 7 45 Scott REDDING Honda 34.397
10 6 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 34.808
11 5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 40.206
12 4 43 Jack MILLER Honda 42.654
13 3 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 42.729
14 2 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward 42.853
15 1 6 Stefan BRADL Yamaha Forward 43.037
16   69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 43.252
17   50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda 43.4
18   63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati 43.808
19   19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 44.878
20   33 Marco MELANDRI Aprilia 56.236
21   17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda +1'03.371
22   15 Alex DE ANGELIS ART +1'08.444
Not Classified      
    7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 1 Lap
    93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 2 Laps
    68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 19 Laps

 

Round Number: 
3
2015
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Total votes: 52

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Comments

ROSSISISSIOSOISOSISOISOSIROSSIROSRISROISROISRROOSSIII!!!!!

Total votes: 139

Me 3

Total votes: 70

What a race! Other than MM blunders to kind of sour the mood that was just perfection by Vale. Not sure what happened to Lorenzo but I reckon he'll be back up front duking it out with 46 sooner or later.

Total votes: 93

When MM went down after that sketchy attempt at defense, I couldn't help myself from muttering "Eff You, kid"... Rossi is as bold as they get. Ask Sete, Max, or Casey. The list grows still...

Total votes: 114

I had the exact same thought. It looked like Marc was trying to bully him and ended up in the dirt instead.
I also like the fact that Rossi didn't complain about the hard moves from Marc.

Total votes: 115

Marquez has plenty of experience, despite his youth. But it's a wise man who knows when to concede and take an honourable second rather than a dumb crash.

Watching the pit boards, he would have been aware that Vali consistently had more pace, yet he chose to vigorously contest the series of corners. Not his smartest moment.

Great riding from Vali - apart from Lap 10 when he had to navigate Iannone and Dovi, he was in the 1.39's consistently, and whittling MM's lead with very precise and persistent riding.

Good to see Dovi and Crutchlow get podiums. Jorge is get lonely riding on his own lately. Needs to get amongst 'em a bit more aggressively.

Total votes: 138

Funny, because MM's strategy once Rossi caught him was exactly what Rossi used at Laguna to beat a faster Casey Stoner - get back in front immediately after you've been overtaken. It's just that MM's execution was flawed. I would have preferred to see them both racing hard to the finish.

Total votes: 101

... that tactic would be hard to pull off at such a fast, flowing track such a Rio Hondo... Somewhere twisty and 'slow' like Laguna has a much higher chance of success imo.

Total votes: 86

It worked for Rossi at Laguna where he somehow managed to stay on the bike after running himself off the track, but not so much at Jerez 2011..

This time it was Marc being too bold IMO. I guess he had to fight back hard or Rossi harder tyre would have allowed him to escape, but when you race that close sometimes stuff like that will happen. Not really any fault of Rossi's though.

Now Aoyama was running about in about 13th before he crashed if I recall, let's say Stoner was in this race and got a good start, he could potentially have held Rossi up enough for Marc to escape even without much preparation. HRC should be ruing that that decision.

Total votes: 73

How is this guy dominating the field on Sundays when everyone else is a decade younger than him?

Total votes: 110

The only thing that surprised me about the "incident" is that Marquez wasn't sanctioned. Rossi put in a hard but fair pass, Marquez touched him once and then flat out rammed him on the exit. When another rider is taking >0.5 seconds / lap out of you - news flash - you won't be able to hold them off, and potentially destroying two races (and possibly racers) is not a good solution. This is the 2nd time this season Marquez has tried to play demolition derby on a MotoGP bike (remembering Qatar) when he hasn't had the pace to win.

I lost a lot of respect for Marquez today. He's very quick, but I think we're beginning to see that the Honda's advantage over Yamaha flattered him in 2013/2014 and it clearly went to his head. Over 1 lap he's obviously the quickest. But over a race...not so much. Rossi has set faster race laps in all three races, including COTA.

I sincerely hope he doesn't hurt another rider before his antics catch up with him, but he's so quick in qualifying that I fear he will. I think DORNA should look into this, and possibly give Marquez a pit-lane start or something like that to get his head right.

My goodness, can that Valentino ride a motorcycle though! Holy cow, Marquez BS aside, that was an ASTOUNDING ride! You can only shake your head an marvel...

Total votes: 160

The way Marc was slamming into him and not giving him any room freaked me out a bit. I looked super dangerous and I was worried they were both going to crash. Glad they both didn't crash and glad Marc is unhurt. This will be declared a racing incident, but I'm sure it won't be forgotten if Marc does something like this again.

Total votes: 107

Would like to third your statement that MM was riding dangerously.

I thought he'd matured a lot since 2013, but have lost significant respect for him today as I believe I was wrong.

Total votes: 107

Val made the pass. Marc wanted right back. Rossi ran them both in deep. Rossi came back into the turn while Marc was trying to get back up the inside immediately. That's the first touch. The second touch was directly related to how both of them came out of the first corner, and Marc's position from trying to get back up the inside. They had to flick back left and because Marc tried getting back the inside and failed. It left him right next to Rossi and too close. That's why he hit the deck.

Hard,fair racing. Shit happens. Marc was thinking about one corner and seemed to forget about the next. Easily done given the circumstances.

SMFH at all you Marc haters. Two greats battled today. I hope to see more this year.

Total votes: 151

Well, after Misano last year, again it looks like Marquez succumbed to the pressure of Rossi. Then it was by Rossi running off at the front, now by Rossi chasing him down.
Or it was just a little mishap, but I like to see a pattern here ;-)

Total votes: 91

A masterclass of surgical precision by "the Doctor".

Total votes: 92

Rossi for his tenth title!! What a race, again from 8th on the first lap. Shades of 2005-08 when he really looked one with the M1.

Marc, you live by the sword.......

Excellent again from Dovi and great to see Cal back.

Jorge is now irrelevant. Which is sad, however it's a long season but I just can't see him up there at present. Might be time for another ride next year

Total votes: 83

Guys this was what was missing from rossi since Jerez 2005, laguna 2007, motegi 2010. And now this... now it seems that marc will learn his lesson that if you throw rocks, rossi will reply with a boulder. Well it was clear that marc touched him first in the right hander and den for the left rossi was simply ahead. No point trying to overtake him there. Racecraft of rossi and marquez...36 vs 22, still marc needs experience to handle such fights. Everytym just knocking riders out of their line or sending them wide does not work kid...

Whatever goes around comes around. Everytym luck doesn't favour and in those situations limiting the damage is the wisest thing. This was what marquez missed out on. Seems like jorge is out of title contention already.... one thing is clear about him though, he is the rider who cant ride with heat resistant tyres how hard he tries though he must be happy as in a way he got his jerez 2013 revenge. hahaa

Total votes: 89

was today the weak point of Marc. Funny cause he talks the talk, has said many times "when we can't win we have to be smart" etc. But in practice...

Rossi was the man, though, anyway you look at it. Had the pace, had the right tyre, had the cool head. Always there on race day. 10th title eh? If he continues like that it will be fully deserved.

Dovi dark horse for the title!
Miller in 12th?!
Pitty for Lorenzo, the opposite of Rossi, in the race does worse than practice.

Total votes: 88

Confidence and Judgment determined the outcome. Rossi clearly had the better of both. Marquez looked as if he was gripped by petulant madness in those last moments he spent upright - Rossi's not supposed to be there, I should be in front, I'll just ride THROUGH him!

I think the ensuing and rather undignified 100mp face-plant may cure him of that un-strategic urge in the future. In the heat of the moment, Marc was fighting a battle and Rossi was fighting a war. Vale-Tzu won.

I've been watching Marquez' pre-race affectations with interest; he seems to be practicing a kind of high-intensity calm that I don't remember seeing last year. Marc thought he was "Return of the Jedi" Luke Skywalker - He's actually still "The Empire Strikes Back" Luke. Maybe last week's 122 Seconds got to his head a little bit... It's a shame because we were deprived of a really good fight.

And big love for Cal Crutchlow with that plunging, stabbing pass at the very end for a podium. Did I really hear him say "Thanks to everybody who wrote me off" in the post-race comments? :D

Total votes: 97

You heard him say exactly that. My guess is that Crutchlow got on the podium because the team finally got the correct weight distribution to effectively carry the massive chip on his shoulder. ;)

Total votes: 156

The race incident was a clear case of VR46 working inside of MM93´s OODA-Loop (observation,orientation,decision,action) and about the importance of fast transients.

At the end of the first corner where MM93 bumped into Vale,
Vale closed the radius so much (fast transient) and was pulling very much to the outside on the right, to be in a nice position for the left hander. It was during that fast transition from right to left when he cought out MM93.
Look at the helicopter shots!
He knew exactly where MM93 was because he turned his head and saw him.
He did the transition right into his/MM93´s path.

It shows in my opinion that he was in absolute control of that dog fight and made another decision (faster OODA loop) ahead of MM93 by extending his left/right-transition across the line of Marquez.

That was excactly the point where Vale was better,
because he fullfilled his OODA cycle with another action that was not anticipated by MM93.

Col.John Boyd would´ve been proud of Rossi:)

Another "fact" in my eyes was what the mental impact of a chasing VR46 was on MM93.
It obviously spread fearsome confusion into the head of MM93.
4th generation warfare at its best.
Amazing how much the name VR46 is still worth in gunpowder after all these years.

It was a battle I was looking for for a long time and I was more than pleased with the outcome.
An interesting side note was from Vale during the press conference, that he said that a key to the success of the weekend was, that "they didn´t care about Marquez"...and focused on the extra hard tyre and the respective set up only.

Let the psychological warfare begin I say...

Total votes: 85

He does turn his head to the side because that's the side where MM just bumped into him at the previous corner. There is no way to know how much corner speed MM is still carrying after the collision. I doubt he could see him and then make a tactical decision, especially one which is totally unnecessary and could take himself out in the process. Either way MM certainly got schooled and I would guess he'd stay cool and just take the pints should a similar situation arise.

Total votes: 77

On the road to the tenth title......ahmmm ahmmm

Giacomo watch out just 12 more to go and with the remaining season this year he has full 2016 season left. I hope its not long before we'll be seeing the most successful grand prix rider bask in his success glory

Nice rides from miller and baz.......laudable.

Total votes: 80

+ A tyre strategy war from start to finish
+ Grit
+ Determination
+ A fireball
+ A rookie getting top open
+ An underrated rider getting the podium
+ Another underrated rider getting a top 6
+ Edge of the seat shouting at the TV moments
+ Two Suzuki's in the top ten
+ A hero
+ A nice guy turned villain who got justice
+ A Ducati on the Podium again
+ The possibility of VRx10 becoming a reality not a dream
+ The 'wheel of god' (Maradona reference for the non footballing nations)
+ Colin Edwards

Fantastic stuff.

Total votes: 122

Your list is accurate.
But your aphorism is brilliant.
Cheers, mate.

Total votes: 77

The observation is not lost on me but it does Rossi a huge disservice.
That was simply a racing incident. Hard but fair.
The "hand of god" was a spit in the face of the game and all who play by the rules.
Maradona brazenly cheated and deserves to be remembered for that.

Total votes: 88

Yet Rossi chose to very blatantly reference Maradona on the podium therefore the 'wheel of god' seemed a fitting riposte - one controversial event to another, needed some fun poked at it. ;)

Total votes: 74

Very funny too. No problem with your rather clever comment, and I've waxed and waned on Rossis version of sportsmanship at times but I just couldn't let that one go through without calling out the cheat.

Total votes: 73

Tire options are the critical element. If the teams had access to a long list of compounds, like they did in the 990 era, the races would look like the 990cc era.

Hopefully, Dorna will invest some money in Michelin, and get them to bring a wide variety of constructions and compounds to every race. Tire strategy is as important to good entertainment as all of these multi-screen videos, onscreen graphics, super-slow mo, and gyrocams.

Total votes: 69

Wow. Rossi just keeps amazing me (and the rest of the racing world). I really didn't think he could catch Marquez once Marc had 4+ seconds but catch him he did. Shades of Phillip Island when he was penalized the 10 seconds and came back to win. As for the crash, I agree with most of what's been said already. Live by the sword etc. Marquez was due for a little come uppance and he certainly dealt himself a plate full.

Total votes: 91

Somewhat lost in the Drama (yes capital "D"!), is the fact that Dovi has finished 2nd now in every race. I think it's pretty clear that Ducati has built a very special motorcycle, and the spirit hand of Audi looms over them - they don't race to lose (see Group B, Le Mans prototypes, CanAm with Porsche and the old Auto Union cars). I recall that Hayden won in 2006 by basically finishing 2nd a lot on the best bike while Rossi had a bunch of DNFs for example.

Dovi isn't in the same class as Lorenzo, Rossi or Marquez - maybe not even Pedrosa - but he's very, very good. And that bike appears to be superb everywhere, combining somewhat Honda power with Yamaha handling; Dovis margin for error is much bigger than Rossi's and might be bigger than Marquez's (I rate Honda ahead of Ducati by a hair but it's close, and both ahead of Honda).

The shape of this championship is only beginning to emerge, and I think Ducati is looming large. Rossi is the fastest race-day rider right now (he was even a hair faster on his best lap than Marquez in COTA!), but on any "HP" track, Ducati will take points and will threaten on handling tracks. A track like Mugello, for example, is a classic example of a place where Ducati may be favored.

I expect David E. will have plenty of interesting things to say about this. Right now I think the Championship is a straight toss up between Dovi, Rossi and Marquez with no advantage in any direction.

Total votes: 86

I'm not sure how good Dovi actually is, I suspect he will show us this year. From memory he is only one of two riders to improve on the Ducati and now that the Ducati has also improved he may well become a force to be reckoned with.

Total votes: 79

Remember why honda had three bikes several years ago? Its because Dovi outrode His teammate and had a contract clause preventing himself from being cut when Stoner arrived.

He has consistently ridden the horrible prior Ducati very well, and now has a bike worth riding. Its a shame Hayden was so badly treated first by honda, then by Ducati.

Total votes: 83

experience pays off, Marquez making all the same moves many a phenom before him has, obviously he's a great rider, just takes time to mature, when he made the wrong tire choice he seemed to succumb to the pressure and made too many forced errors, as for Rossi what can you say, reminds me of Greg Hancock, some riders get better with age!

Total votes: 78

.....Im a Rossi fan, since he was 125's....Im a Marc fan simply because....and Im glad Ducati is back, as it makes the racing soooo much more interesting. The BBQ'ing of Marc here, is, quite frankly, comical. He made a mistake, thats it, a mistake. It seems mistakes are allowed, as long as your name isnt Marc. This mistake him 2nd place/20 pts which might haunt him in November, but he'll learn by it. Im surprised he made it, as in Qatar, he slowed down and picked up pts. Oh well.

Jorge: what the hell is going on with him? Has Rossi and the kid got into his head? He looked terrible in this race.

Ducati: stunning job by Gigi, thats all you can say.

Rossi: there aren't words, quite frankly!!!

Total votes: 106

... but from the front replay, on the corner exit and after MM had already bumped him, Rossi looked across and then cut harder than normal to the right, taking out Marc's front. I didn't see Marc barge into him, at least not a second time.
Even if correct, Marc can't really complain, live by the sword and all that. He clearly didn't have the pace to stay with Rossi if he let him stay in front for more than a corner or three. But that's exactly the strategy used by Rossi in the much lauded LS08 race - stay in front at all costs and disrupt the faster rider's flow. MM might have been thinking he could do the same and hang on for the final laps. He got owned. :)
It was certainly a masterful race by Rossi, and a nice clean pass on MM before the biff and barge began. He seems to just keep getting stronger, amazing.
Either way, this season looks like getting really interesting - if only between the lead pair. The gloves are off and the smiling has ended, this was Rossi signalling to MM "I'm back and I'm going to beat you, you run into me, two can play that game and usually the other loses". I just hope Lorenzo and Pedro can get back into the game, but it seems Rossi has really made the jump into wherever it is Marq is - hyper alien?

The other big thing of that race was the Ducatis once again more or less on the pace to the end, in spite of the softer tyre. I'll engage in a bit of baseless analysis and postulate that if Lorenzo remains uncompetitive he will come to blame Yamaha and/or his team for his lack of pace and the grass will look mighty green in the red garage.

Total votes: 107

... Rossi probably looked to the right because he had just been whacked by a Honda the previous second. If you look at how far Rossi's head moves, Marc is unlikely to be in his line of sight.

I would just leave it that Marc was a little too enthusiastic to bite back and made a mistake this time.

Total votes: 106

I wonder that same thing. I could see it happen. These guys all have big egos, and I don't think Lorenzo is going to want to play Number Two to anybody, ESPECIALLY a guy he graciously accepted back into the garage because he was no longer a threat.

On the other hand, I don't know how well that would work out for him. Lorenzo is a special rider, so he'd be fast on anything, but that Yamaha particularly suits what he is best at doing. Unfortunately, this style seems to be leaving him unable to fight with other riders this season, as he's left open to being block-passed unless he rides off into the sunset.

Also, the Michelins might throw everything up in the air again, so moving factories might be jumping the gun. All of these things would have to be going through his head.

As to your first two sentences... A tiny, cynical part of me wonders this as well. I don't think Rossi swerved to hit him or anything, but I suppose it's possible he took a wider entrance in the turn than usual. Even in this case, I don't think this would be for the purpose of collecting Marquez, but rather to block him from attempting a return pass. This happens in just about every race--and definitely EVERY Moto3 race, and 99% of the time the trailing rider does the sensible thing: Roll off so they're not collected. You got beaten. Deal with it. Therefore, I believe Rossi when he says the second collision caught him by surprise.

You know what, though? I came to the conclusion that, even in the most cynical case of Rossi intentionally collecting Marquez' front wheel (which really does seem ludicrous), this is one of the rare times when I'd be fine with it. "Seriously, I'm half a second a lap faster than you, and you're going to broadside me after I make a clean pass and then hold the throttle on like I'm going to just give up? Uh... here you go..."

Still, though, I'm pretty sure it was just a mistake by Marquez, not anything on Rossi's part.

Total votes: 104

"stay in front at all costs and disrupt the faster rider's flow", except in this case Vali was the faster rider.......

Agree with the "live by the sword" comment. The Karma Bus can be a bitch when it hits you. It's a long season, so there's plenty of time to recover, and who knows who else will interpose themselves into what is already becoming a fascinating season.

MM has shown he can recover from the odd brain fade, viz the fall in the wet last year, so I expect him at the pointy end again soon.

Oh, and by the way, have I mentioned yet that I'll be at Assen for the MotoGP, after my IOM TT pilgrimage???? Yes I know I have, but I am more than a little excited given how the season is already unfolding.

Total votes: 72

Rossi was certainly the faster rider here, and given that we know MM does not ever just lie down, then the most likely thing is that MM was going to try to upset Rossi's flow enough to stay with him. Optimistic, but probably what was going on.

Total votes: 74

Travelled from the states to Assen twice in last 5 years. Awesome venue! You will love it....and the men piss everywhere and anywhere. No one pays the $.50 to use the toilets. F'in hilarious! Never seen anything like it. If you're under 6 feet tall, you're going to feel very short in the food lines!

Total votes: 68

The Dutch are a very tall race. My daughter backpacked through the Garden Route in South Africa over 6 weeks in December and January and she met up with a couple of Dutch girls - both stunners - who were both around 6 foot.

Total votes: 70

I did the IOM TT and Assen double back in '97. Was awesome. Saw Joey Dunlop win at the IOM and mighty Mick at Assen. ENVIOUS ... would love to do it again!!

Total votes: 71

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/1020743/road-rash-o.gif

I had the same thought when I watched the replay. I doubt Rossi was turning this into a game of "road rash" but it did look kind of suspicious. Also, you could argue that if this was a game of Road Rash, then Marc was a willing participant by trying to run Rossi of track.
PS I don't really think they were trying to make each other crash, just get in each others way

Total votes: 82

What a fantastic ending to a race that was frankly a bit boring in the middle. Never was a big fan of Rossi or Marquez, being a fan of the best is too easy. Been saying all along that someone has to get to Marquez and mix it up with him. Glad to see Rossi do it. Not sorry to say I'm glad Marquez couldn't restart, high time Mr Lucky started having regular luck...

Total votes: 88

There are a couple of interesting subplots here when you read between the lines, both action on the track and what was said afterward.

Although Cal denied it in the presser, claiming that all of his new parts and support were promised long before Pedrosa's injury, I think what we're seeing is a lot of people getting their wish: Cal has, in practice, replaced Dani Pedrosa. He was already a factory rider, and I think Honda has upped their support while Pedrosa is out. It was telling to me that Cal kept referring to "Marc and I" like they were teammates. Listening to him, it really sounds like he's getting what Marc's getting.

If this is true, a few comparisons can be made. First, between the apparent "quality" of the respective factory bikes--at least at the circuits that have been visited so far. You can see that, over the course of a whole lap, they're all quite similar. The Ducati certainly looks the part of a competitive motorcycle. I think the myth of the Honda just being this incredible, unbeatable machine is being exposed. It may be better at some tracks, but not at others. And the Ducati will be better at some. To me, the machinery seems so equal at the factory level this season that, more than any other time since the four-strokes came into play, this one is going to be all about the rider.

Which brings me to another comparison that can be made: Riders. For whatever reason this year, Rossi is about ten seconds faster than Lorenzo over race distance. Similarly, Marquez is about the same over Cal (who I'm calling Honda's #2 rider at the moment). Dovi has a small edge over his teammate, and I think finally having even machinery and lots of factory support and experience is exposing him as one of the class riders in the field.

As for Marquez, why should anyone be surprised by this? Really? He was a dirty rider in Moto3, a dirty rider in Moto2, and a dirty rider his rookie season in MotoGP. I was impressed with how much he seemed to mature last year, but I'm starting to wonder how much of that was just that he was clearing off into the distance in most races. I think Qatar and now Argentina have shown that his entitled attitude has not been quelled. The track is his, and you just need to get out of the way. He's Dorna's new golden boy, though (with good reason, I suppose), so they've done an awful lot to rehabilitate his image as this nice guy that's grown up and races cleanly. He's won two championships on the trot and has a LOT of fans, so I'm actually quite surprised that the commentary here has largely called him out for his rough maneuvers in this race. I half expected at least an equal number of comments blaming Rossi, complete with freeze-frames from weird angles that "definitively prove" that it was Rossi in the cloak room with the candlestick...

Although I still think, pure talent-wise, nobody on the grid can ride a bike like that kid, I think Honda need to start letting smarter people do more of his thinking for him. Obviously you can't control what he does on track, but he also seems to outsmart himself at least once or twice a year with poor strategy decisions. In this case, he lost this race due to three poor decisions: Strategically for the race, he got too cute with his tire choice (I really got the impression from the commentary team that the Bridgestone reps didn't agree with the choice). In the moment, he lost his cool and didn't roll off the gas to cede the position and live to fight in the next turn. And strategically for the season, he made the poor decision of not knowing when to take 20 points when you're clearly outgunned. When somebody closes over four seconds on you in ten laps, you're not going to hold him off for two whole laps. I get taking a risk to make a pest of yourself if you're on the last lap and feel you can hold out, but when there's five miles to go and the other guy is taking half a second off you in the first sector alone, the race is lost. Collect your 20 points and fight another day. Tough lesson.

I still think Marquez has to be the odds-on favorite for the title again this year. Thirty points is nothing this early. Lorenzo, though? What's happening there? I noticed he, too, bucked the trend with tire choice, in this case with the front. I just don't think the rules/tires are cooperating with him this season.

One last observation: Aleix Espargaro is impressively fast. Even more impressive, though, when you study his riding style. I've noticed since last season that he seems to ride far more crossed-up than everyone else on the grid--butt out and head over the tank. He must find a setup that works well for him that way, but it's interesting in that it's different than the way things are trending. More than one way to skin a cat, I guess.

Total votes: 109

Val made the pass. Marc wanted right back. Rossi ran them both in deep. Rossi came back into the turn while Marc was trying to get back up the inside immediately. That's the first touch. The second touch was directly related to how both of them came out of the first corner, and Marc's position from trying to get back up the inside. They had to flick back left and because Marc tried getting back the inside and failed. It left him right next to Rossi and too close. That's why he hit the deck.

Hard,fair racing. Shit happens. Marc was thinking about one corner and seemed to forget about the next. Easily done given the circumstances.

SMFH at all you Marc haters. Two greats battled today. I hope to see more this year.

Total votes: 93

When I was watching the race and the first camera angle was from behind, my initial thoughts were, “Marquez, typical barge attempt to try and pass him back, then arrogance when he raced too close and got his front taken out…… karma”.
Then the replay from the front was shown and I though “Hang on a minute… it looks like Rossi glanced at him, saw he was there and decided to take up a bit of Marquez’s space to block an attack… did he hope that there might be contact?”
Then they showed the aerial shot and you could see that on Marquez’s first attempt to pass back in the right hander, there actually was more room than the first camera angle showed and Rossi cut back for the apex pretty hard, so you could understand why MM went for it, even if it was a bit hopeful. Plenty of other racers, including Rossi and Lorenzo would have went for it. Then Rossi feels the bump, looks back to see if MM was still there. Anyone who rides a motorbike at speed knows that a glance away from your direction of travel when at speed can slightly disorientate and all of a sudden the left hander was coming upon Rossi and he reflex flicked the bike to make sure he stayed on line. Then they collide…….
As much as everyone likes to “know” the whole story from the living room (me included obviously), it was pretty much a racing incident. Two hard chargers wanting the same bit of bitumen. Case closed. MM paid the price of close racing, something he and VR love to do.

Total votes: 87

We won't know what exactly both of them intended to do unless they tell us. Just my two cents: If you look at the shot from the front, you see Rossi looking over his right shoulder before entering thet left corner. But he's clearly not turning his head very far because he's obviously in the middle of two corners in an infight with the world champion. Anyone who ever wore a motorcycle helmet can probably concur that one's field of vision is rather limited to the left and the right. I think it is most likely that Rossi heard Marquez' Honda, as it is much louder than the M1 and he looked briefly to his right to check if he was there, before flicking his bike over to the left. After all, they had just made contact a second ago. But there is no way that he could have seen Marquez at his rear wheel with that head movement.

Racing Incident. But that is just my opinion. But it seems that both riders would agree. And so did Race Direction.

Total votes: 79

since I yelled at the TV like that. I must have looked like Rossi's people when he made the last lap last corner pass of Lorenzo at Catalunya all those years ago. Marquez tried to rough it, but ended up on the floor. He is clearly not used to the confident contender Rossi. He has only known the humble not quite fast enough Rossi. And that is not the same Rossi as Lorenzo, Stoner, Gibernau, and Biaggi know. Marquez was in the wrong, but Rossi knew where he was and in my HUMBLE opinion due to the fact I have seen him work people while they are behind him, (Stoner 2008)... gave Marquez a lesson that no one else has ever seemed to be able to give.

But back to the yelling, from when Rossi passed Dovi and started to close down the gap to Marquez, (standing up muttering "Rossi....Rossi"). Then as he caught Marquez, "Rossi! Rossi!" Then after "The Incident".

"ROSSILlISIMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Always proves me wrong when I doubt him. This dude is magic. He is a living Peter Pan. Two history makers that are Multi Time World Champions on track on top form at the same time battling. Both with a killer instinct that is of such a ruthless and cutthroat level that make everyone else seem, soft. Priceless this year. Absolutely priceless.

Total votes: 95

after the race was over? I had time to kill, and I needed to make up for the first two races not quite being barn-burners.

I wish we could have seen more of Crutchlow and Ianone's battle near the end. Also, there was a huge pack in the middle that all finished within like three seconds. That might have been fun to see. Can't blame them too much for locking in at the front, though.

This season has been unbelievably awesome so far, reminding me of 2006 with the number of riders capable of winning on any given day. Now all we need is one of the satellite riders to ride on fire like Elias in Estoril so that we can finally see another satellite rider on the top step. Hernandes tried today, but he obviously took "on fire" a little too literally...

Total votes: 69

Straight after all the talk etc post race, i watched the race again in a slightly more relaxed manner. Just finished work now and am about to watch it again.
Brilliant to watch! Vale at his best.
As for the incident, that's all it was, racing incident. I must admit though, and bear in mind that i like Marc, that i was kinda glad to see him on the receiving end of some hard racing moves for a change.
Jorge must be well peeved looking at Vale's form at the moment! :-)

Total votes: 77

Rossi once said (forgive me if the quote isn't perfect) "a lot of racers think because they're leading, they're winning" Today was a perfect example of that! What a race!!!.....and WSBK wasn't too shabby either!

Total votes: 77

"Rossi is riding like and 18 year old on a motorbike".... what? No, he is riding like the savvy 36 year old multi-time champion that he is. Completely schooled the youngster. Out-smarted him in every way. Great race.

Total votes: 131

... a massive ego trip in the span of 1/10th of a second. Marquez' disbelief was palpable in that fraction of a moment, he simply couldn't comprehend or accept that Rossi was about to march past him a mere 2 minutes from the end of the race.

Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate Marquez and he seems like a great guy... but he was clearly on cloud 9 and far from reality in that moment. A more grounded racer would've allowed the pass, then likely retaliated in the full lap remaining and possibly won the race.

How many times have we seen Rossi dismantle his rivals? This looks eerily familiar.

Total votes: 90

Spot on. Marquez showed he still has some things to learn yet, namely when to know when you are beat. And there is nothing wrong with that, these mistakes will forge him into an even better rider.

Total votes: 82

I'd like to know what Honda is thinking right now since they didn't let Casey come back? Right now Marc is fighting Vale and Ducati alone. Look at what Aoyama didn't even finish! I would have loved to see Casey out there today! I bet he would have done a lot better than Aoyama! But I hope they rethink it and let Casey have a go! Right now he would be like a Pitbull on a leash that is about to break! This racing is what he would love to be battling in and if Suzuka goes well he would probably want to come back next year with or without Honda.

Total votes: 95

Maybe for Ducati!?....wait a minute, uhhh nope. Not going to happen! Maybe Rossi's teammate!? ....uhhh, nope. Not going to happen! Any other inferior team....definitely not going to happen.

Total votes: 70

While Casey is/was as capable as any other double champion at fighting this is hardly the kind of racing he'd be craving. History already showed us that. He never gelled with Rossi's attitude and Marquez is much more along those lines.

The guy seems happy, these races involve more discussion, longer interviews, more questioning at the next race. Isn't that one of the things he hated. Dude had a great career, time to start letting it go and respect his THREE year old decision.

Total votes: 82

Rossi said from the first practice session that the extra-hard would be his race tire, and he spent Friday and Saturday setting his bike up for it. What do you mean, Rossi "gambled that an extra hard rear tire was his eventual ticket to the front"?

Total votes: 81

...as did his team that he'd cede a bunch of time early and hope to make it up later in the race which was not a given. He knew Marc was very fast with the hard option and that Marc's strategy might pay off. (Rossi also was pretty quick with the hard option.) He didn't know that he'd have enough time to catch Marc at the front with a tire that was just OK early but fast late. But to your point, you also could frame it as Marc gambling -- and losing his bet.  

Total votes: 79

Actually, I don't think either one them gambled. Rossi said from the start that he "had" to use the extra-hard tire. He was faster on the hard tire, but he had to use the extra-hard one. He reiterated this during the post-race press conference, mentioning that based on last year's experience, he knew all along the extra-hard rear would be his tire.

As for Marc, he said in a post-race interview that he had to use the hard tire because he could not match Valentino with the extra-hard. I think each rider chose the best tire for his bike.

Here's what I find interesting. Marc said he knew that he wouldn't be fast enough with the extra hard tire, so why did he come to the grid with the extra hard, then change to the hard in front of everyone? Bit of gamesmanship, I guess.

Total votes: 73

...but when I saw MM93 on the fence laying on the fence and his arms around his head, I realized VR46 has finally gotten inside his head....

Reminded me of Stoner 2008

Total votes: 121

When Stoner was completely obliterating Rossi every race, was that because Stoner was in his head or because Rossi was on a Ducati. After Rossi's utter failure on the Ducati along with so many other riders in the same boat I'm surprised anyone still questions Stoner's mental strength.

Total votes: 70

Just watched the post race interviews... suppo, marc and cal were all talking about "no way to hang with Vale on the same tires, so marc needs to just go out, get a lead, save something fr the end of the race, manage tires"

I was kind of taken aback that Cal was in on this, he was talking like the plan was to let marc go ahead, hold up the rest, slow down Vale.

odd.

Total votes: 78

I think it shows that the HRC is taking the threat of Valentino very seriously. I'm not so surprised that Cal was in on it. But I am surprised at how he broadcast it all over the place.

Total votes: 73

Seriously, I can barely walk in my riding boots and I couldn't believe how fast Marquez was sprinting to his bike. I've seen riders run to their bikes but this was the first time I've seen a rider run that fast to their bike. And I don't understand the comments that MM should have rolled off and conceded 1st place. That's not the attitude that wins races and Championships. You battle when appropriate and fighting back immediately after a pass is appropriate. It was purely a racing incident. MM went hard, VR went hard and they touched as VR prepared for the next corner. As a previous poster said, MM focused too much on getting up the inside while VR began to prepare for the next corner while braking. Watching it from above it's not so much about the lines but the fact VR brakes while MM is still focusing on going up the inside. You can see MM realized this at the last split second as he begins to adjust to the right but it is too late. But what else would you want? The Champion to let another rider pass him without a fight? MM's grit and determination was made evident last weekend and reinforced today. But can he cope with VR's brilliant mind games. Interestingly, I see no ill will towards VR in his reaction. Not one gesture towards VR after the incident. He knows what he did and my initial analysis is that MM will be immune to VR's mind/track games. But let's not forget that this was all made possible by a bad call by MM and his race team. Otherwise, he would have been long gone.

Great season so far. And now off to Spain. Can't get any better (well it could if Jorge can find some pace).

Total votes: 96

and I assume you may be referring to me as the one who suggested Marquez should have "rolled off and ceded the position," as I did type those words. I feel I should clarify: In no way do I mean to suggest that Marquez should have hung it up right then and accepted second. Like, I think, most of us, I was drooling at the prospect of a battle to the line.

By "roll off and cede the position," I meant, like, for a tenth of a second. Just enough for both riders to safely navigate the rest of that corner without colliding (as happened). A tenth of a second would have been more than enough, and this simple concept happens numerous times every single race. He executed a perfect block pass. You can either accept it, deal with it, and try stuffing him in the next corner...

...or you can let your pride get in the way of good judgement, hold it on the outside far too long, thinking that you're just so good that you can ride right around, and get yourself collected.

In other words, I think Marquez started a game of chicken with a guy that had a head start, and he lost. Would have been smarter to momentarily roll off (after hitting Rossi the first time and before they transitioned to the left) and survive to fight in the next turn. Marquez' "attitude" and decisions in that moment is apparently not what wins races and championships, as we all saw. It's what put him on the ground and a further 20 points in arrears. Not that I think he still won't win the championship, as he still has to be the favorite, but days like this certainly don't help.

I appreciate your viewpoint, though, so five stars from me.

Total votes: 90

I actually wasn't specifically referring to your post. I also use the phrase roll of the throttle and used that phrase to sum up some of the viewpoints. I agree that MM lost the battle of Argentina. And I know in his mind he probably would do it differently. But I also believe, in his heart, he knows that he did what he's done his whole career and that's battle in the moment.

I see the argument that the pass wasn't in any way a surprise and he should have handled it better. MM saw the gap coming down each lap and knew there was no way he could keep up. More importantly, he knew exactly why.

The more I think about the situation. The more intriguing it gets.

Total votes: 70

The amount of masculine bovine excrement that has been expressed about this incident trangresses the boundaries of intellectual analysis and moves well into the territory of religious fervor.

Marquez made a miscalculation of a few centimetres as to where to put his front wheel. That is the entire story, in a nutshell.

However, when trying to extrapolate a 'backstory', there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Marquez believing he might be able to pull off an inside lunge on a Rossi who had slightly overstepped his turning trajectory capability was anything but a wild guess. Go look at Catalunya '07 for evidence that Rossi will take the gap and hope the result is positive - in that case it wasn't, against an opponent in his second year of motoGp racing. Go look at Laguna Seca '08 and Phillip Island '09, to see a Rossi who could have been ridden off the track easily by an opponent who did not take the advantage handed to him.

The argument that this was a mistake created from inexperience, silly expectation that every corner has to be won when it is the long view that needs to be taken into account? That this was a classic case of naive failure to look at the long view? That Rossi is the God of strategic thinking?

I submit Rossi, Valencia, 2006. Threw the lead in the WC by 8 points away in the last race of the season.

Racers ride mano-et-mano, with the objective being in front at the finish line on the final lap. This time, Rossi beat Marquez. Two sublime riders, only one possible winner.

Roll on, the next race.

Total votes: 91

...just like yours is.

I'm not surprised at all if it gets into the territory of personal bias or religious fervor. None should be, I think.
VR has been around for 20 seasons, 16 of them in the premier class. And still delivers a show of mastering racecraft. Again.
Love him or hate him, that is undeniable (and from what I recall, not even Agostini from the height of his 15 champs comes close).

Rossi, Valencia, 2006.
That's the only time I saw VR put one hand in the air and admit a big mistake (well, besides misjudging CS and Ducati). Even when everybody tried to present argumentation about problematic (defective?) Michelins in his bike, which weren't unseen in that season.
In 20 years, how many more of those mistakes we've seen from him?
Quite good record, me thinks. Phenomenal if compared to any other rider of his generation, or this one for that matter.

I don't disagree with your point of view.
And I do believe that VR is anything but innocent in so many of his one-on-one maneuvers (including this one). But I also believe that the finesse he has on such specific situations of one-on-one, with fine judgement in close wheel-to-wheel delicate situations, is clearly superior to MM's. At least if looking at both riders careers.
VR is the sneaky provocative one, overtaking even when he knows he'll lose the position right after, just to disturb the rider he wants to beat. It has been almost his signature. But he can also combine that with a cold and patient aproach, lap on and on glued to other riders/bikes a-la GP125cc. Quite rare to me in all these years (decades) of nasty MotoGP (+GP500cc) beast machines viewing.
I've never seen MM riding like that, who is more of a bully, less clean and gracious, to the point of wreckless at times. He also doesn't avoid physical contact (almost seems to look for it?). Perhaps a more spectacular style, in the way that he maintains control of his machine, even when things look like going tits up.
But no wonder there are so many people mentioning the "live by the sword...." saying.

I honestly don't think this will shake MM (unlike Biaggi, Gibernau, or even CS or JL). But at least a point was proven, almost in a way of lesson to him. He should reconsider the way he's around other riders. This time, for his own sake.
What matters is that both VR and MM don't turn away from a fight, they seem to enjoy it. Mistakes can happen, they're human afteral. Borderline so many times, sure, but not classified as malicious.
In the end, we all win.
Roll on, the next race, indeed. This story won't end here for sure!

Total votes: 86

“The plan was always to try and let Marc go at the start, hold the other guys up and then try to push at the end."

Is there any doubt left that Cal's now getting the goods from Honda? That he has, in practice, been Pedrosa's replacement? Sounds like he's racing more for Honda there than for LCR.

I like it. Sounds like he does as well. More riders at the pointy end just keeps making this season better and better.

Total votes: 80

Crutchlow got on the podium because Pedrosa is out and Marquez crashed. With both of them finishing a race he is fighting for 6th at best........

Total votes: 88

He finished third.

That was Crutchlows 8th visit to the podium, 7 of which have been on satellite bikes.

In the modem era where only factory bikes win the stats show a good rider worthy of his place.

I'm not a fan boy, credit where it's due is a fair.

Total votes: 88

Crutchlow got on the podium because Pedrosa is out and Marquez crashed. With both of them finishing a race he is fighting for 6th at best........

Total votes: 90

To score points. MM crashed - nul points and Dani wasn't racing for whatever reason. Cal was be fighting with all of them, not to mention that Dani has been on that bike for years and knows it inside out. Cal is on his 3rd race. I am not Cal's biggest fan and he needs to consider what he says better some times, but he was third and thats what the record books will say, not that Dani had a sick note on that day.

Total votes: 80

I think that Valentino is as happy that MM is there as MM is happy to have Vale as his hero. Vale is feeding off MM's success and beating him sets off a cycle for Vale that will see him win the title again. He has the bike now and he always had the ability, now he needs to manage MM mentally like he has done to all of the other riders, only this time from the position of challenger, not champion.
I did my calculations on the 11th lap and expected Vale to overtake MM on the 21st lap, it took two more. What a race, strategy, intense racing and the will to win! He has Honda seriously worried, most riders seem to treat the warm up as just that, for Vale it is usually when he has worked it out and is ready. I think that is why Honda picked that tyre. Let's see if MM wilts if this happens another 2 or 3 times, he as never had to deal with that before.
Expect Jorge on a Honda next year, I dont think poor Dani will be on it next year.
Forza Vale!

Total votes: 82

Nothing to add to the Marquez - Rossi debate. But one question has not yet been sufficiently answered:

What in the world happened to Hernandez' rear tire?!

Total votes: 83

and then caught the tire on fire.

Redding mentioned that he was covered in oil from Hernandez's bike.

It wasn't a tire issue - it was the engine catching on fire and igniting the tire - which deflated it - at least that is what I saw.

Total votes: 73

I had a debate with a friend that Rossi will win despite starting from 8. He asked, how in the hell that you think that would happen when marq always on top during practice.. I was out of an answer, so I just said "watch the last race, he'll crash"... OMG I didn't expect him to literally crash really... but it was funny that he phoned me asking me how in the hell that I knew all that... I told him, next time I wouldn't say "crash" no more.. lol.

Total votes: 74

Ducati and new manufacturers Suzuki and Aprilia get more race fuel than Yamaha and Honda (they can turn up the wick) and a softer rear tyre allocation (at the expense of the hardest tyre option), more engine changes, no engine development freeze and greater testing opportunities.

So despite undeniable improvement Ducati are looking better than they actually are.

Cal is good on the right day but has historically been inconsistent. One swallow does not make a summer.

Total votes: 79

Sometimes you want or need to win so bad it gives your rivals everything they need to beat you. It wasn't Rossi that gambled it was MM trying to out Rossi, Rossi with a tire change play on the start line.

Unfortunately MM has now showed Rossi his hand (or mental state) for the season. MM is no longer cold steel. While MM is much tougher racer than Stoner/Biaggi/Lorenzo, in that Marques doesn't mind a fight, being behind in points is forcing him into bad decisions. Time will tell but will be fun to watch.

Total votes: 88

Great race ! Enjoyed it immensely ! Cal can't you just be happy ? I have decided from this race on no more commentary feed it's turning into professional wrestling/Nascar with all this villain/hero BS. Now if I could just turn off the "knee/elbow down" graphic.

Total votes: 79

For a moment there, in the parc ferme interviews, I thought that Cal had finally got it. Until his final sentence. He should have realised by now that among all those people who wrote him off will be some who needed persuading to give him the LCR ride, some who needed persuading to give him factory parts if that's what he's got, and some who will decide at some future date whether to take him into their team. No-one really likes a spiteful child and if there's a choice to be made down the line between two evenly matched riders, one of whom knows how to behave and one who doesn't, guess who'll win. It would have been so easy to have thanked all those who believed in and supported him, and left it at that.

Total votes: 90

I don't mind his bluntness that much, although it can get a bit much at times.

I found it more annoying how he publicly complained about Lorenzo and Vinales after QP, claiming that he could have been faster if he hadn't had to share the track with them. They might have been unnecessarily occupying the race line. It might even have been dangerous as Cal described it. But my god, you don't have to discuss every little issue through the media, thereby accusing others of failure. There is a safety commission and there's the, what's it called, riders body of some sort.
Lorenzo excused himself saying that he had not seen him. Vinales is a rookie after all. A few private words after the session would have sufficed imho. But Cal took every chance he got to bitch about them. One time even showing thumbs down to the camera crew in his box, loudly calling both their names. I usually take it as his humour. But this time it came across as unnecessary moaning. At least to me it did.

Total votes: 88

I don't mind the bluntness at all, welcome it in fact, but I just cringe when I see a talented young man screw up his future chances for no gain whatsoever. Someone please put Cal on a PR course, forcibly if need be.

Total votes: 77

On top of all this, the 'to all those people who wrote me off' oneliner shows he is dealing with what other people say or think way too much. This will hamper his own performance more than anything. Leave it be, Cal.

Total votes: 79

Crutchlow is using 'siege mentality' to improve his own performance which does come across as negative. It's pretty well known stuff and was famously used by Sir Alex Fergusson when he was the manager of Manchester Unitied.

Not saying it's pretty or right but it works for him.

Personally I want all riders to speak thier minds rather than be sponsers media clones. Media is another thing that VR|46 is very very good at; he can swear on camera on a world feed a couple of times a year from Parc Fermè and he's always forgiven.

Total votes: 84

I am not sure if the gesture is not that common in English-speaking countries, but his celebratory gesture really looks like a "up your ass" (corte de mangas) that is quite common in Spanish speaking countries.

It is very telling that a podium finisher prefers to insult others than to celebrate his own success.

Total votes: 81

Some time last year I wrote about the way Rossi gave Marquez a long hard stare in the post-race press briefing, having I think come second, and speculated that it said he was thinking he could beat Marquez, just needed to work out how. Well, I think he's figured that out now.

As for Marquez's riding, he looked like he might crash for two or three laps before Rossi actually caught him and I wasn't in the least surprised that he did then take himself out. Someone really needs to give him a good talking to and get him to realise that if he continues riding this way, someone will likely get badly hurt and it might not just be him.

Total votes: 73

Season is long, more important than one race, and 20 points is a lot come the end of the season. What makes MM great, is the same thing that brings him undone, not being willing to settle for second. Rossi will always settle and take the points if he knows he is being outpaced. How many world championships does Rossi have again ?

How do you beat Marquez, you ride like he does, and be willing to do what he does. I think Rossi knew that when he flicked his bike to the right, it May well be 'touch and go' (haha) and he rolled the dice and won. At 36, after all he has acheived, to still have the kahunas to race this way...? He is the greatest.

Total votes: 81

The usual high standard of informed debate on Motomatters is in jeopardy with some of the posts in this thread.

Anyone, and I mean anyone who is suggesting that Rossi cut out wide to DELIBERATELY clip Marquez needs to stop watching bike racing. Seriously, that's just complete and utter nonsense.

Totally and utterly unfounded and a purely subjective opinion....based on different events to the ones I watched evidently.

I'll tell you what isn't conjecture, Marquez saying he hit Rossi. Period.

Can you go back to Crash.net now please?

Total votes: 86

Hi Hisnibbs, this sort of debate is what makes Motomatters stand out. No-one is saying anyone is an idiot for holding a different opinion.

Total votes: 80

I agree that debate is the cornerstone of a nutritious motorcycle forum, but it is the informed and intellectual members that make this forum a cut above the rest.

...suggesting Rossi deliberately clipped Marquez is neither informed nor intellectual

Total votes: 76

With the video evidence, and Rossi's long history of never letting pass an opportunity to make a pointless point at someone else's expense, it seems quite reasonble to believe that it was completely intentional.

It's just Rossi being Rossi, and it appears many of his fans love him for it, rather than in spite of it.

Marc may claim to be a fan, but if he really had any understanding of Rossi, he should have seen it coming and stayed clear.

Total votes: 90

It is certainly not reasonable to believe it was completely intentional of Rossi.

It's completely irrational and stupid......name me one other solitary occasion where Rossi, a 9 time world champion, has intentionally knocked someone else off their bike?!

Seriously, are you even reading what you are posting?!

I've been watching motorcycle racing, and more to the point Rossi, for a considerable time now. No question Rossi has had his fair sure of dodgy manoeuvres and suspect passes in gaps that don't exist. Not entirely unlike a certain Marquez brother, no?

But are you seriously suggesting he's deliberately knocked people off.

Seriously catch a grip.

Total votes: 74

You have to possess serious race-craft to knock a slower rider off their bike with your rear wheel when you've just passed them. Valentino's crafty - that's for sure. Maybe he even has eyes in the back of his head? ;-)
Could be a revolutionary new race strategy - something like Muhammad Ali's famous 'corkscrew' punch that K-Oed Sonny Liston in fight #2.

Total votes: 79

Dude. Seriously ? What makes interesting reading is following what punters from all round the globe have to say about the race - and not what people have to say, about the other people who post here! What you've posted is mere intolerance for views that don't match your own. This is fairly common phenomenon in the internet age.

Perhaps if you made some observations on the race, and not simply observations on other observations, you might come across as sounding a little more like you are willing to discuss actual racing. Catch my grip ?

And please - the old crash.net line is years old here. But you probably didn't know that. Thanks for playing though !

Total votes: 79

I appreciate your response Pooch, Seems you got your degree in condescension from the same place I did. You clearly didn't do the Irony Degree though, I can tell from your 'completely-intolerant-of-my-opinion-and-absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-the-race' reply to my comments. :-)

...and you are entirely correct with your assessment. I am completely intolerant of other peoples views when they are stupidly inaccurate and entirely not founded in reality. Seems everyone with an opinion seems to think it's valid no matter how ridiculous.....it's a fairly common phenomenon in the internet age.

suggesting a multiple world champion has hunted down Marquez for the entire race, salivating at the prospect of a last lap battle with one of his strongest rivals, passes confidently with a lap to go, gets a nudge from behind then decides you know what, I'll knock him off here, that'll work.

I'm done. I'm away to crash to talk about existentialism.

Total votes: 74

What Marc should have seen coming is the fact that a guy who is burning you by .5 seconds a lap, who you just had contact with in the previous turn, isn't going to just stand it up and go wide on a left-hander to let you up the inside. Rossi's initial pass was hard but fair with no contact. The contact between Rossi and Marquez in the following turn was hard but fair, simple racing incident, two racing lines colliding, no fault of MM93 or VR46. The contact between Rossi and Marquez that caused MM93 to go down in the following left-hander was a result of Marc getting too close and having nowhere to go. You can't expect Rossi to stand it up and go wide on that left-hander when he A) has the pace and more importantly B) can't see everything MM93 is doing behind him going into that turn, putting the onus on MM93 to execute his pass safely, without running his bike into Rossi's. Or, if MM93 was trying to pass on the outside of the left-hander, then he should have gone wider to get around Rossi instead of of letting his front wheel hit Rossi's rear. It's still his job to pass without touching Rossi, and nothing Rossi did made that impossible.

There's no villains here, guys. For once Race Direction has this absolutely correct. Marc made a mistake and he paid for it. That's racing. Simple as that. Personally I think he was too aggressive and Rossi wasn't having it, but that doesn't change the objective fact: Rossi had the line and Marc ran into him, obviously not on purpose. No need for penalty points or harsh words here on motomatters.

Total votes: 83

This shook me up a little bit. Marquez stated that he saw Rossi coming and backed off the pace to conserve the last bit of rear rubber to fight with Rossi in the final stages. If this was really true I would have given him a reasonable chance to fight with Rossi. He also stated he upped the pace in his final laps to give Rossi the fight.

But I saw the reality was different, doing 39's is quite a spread statement. He actually was riding
19 1'39.709
20 1'39.797
21 1'39.370
22 1'39.934
23 1'39.468

Compared to Rossi's
19 1'39.398
20 1'39.019
21 1'39.302
22 1'39.181
23 1'39.198

So although they both were doing 39's Rossi lapped half a second quicker on average. So Marquez really should have settled for second, no way he had any chance against Rossi's pace on this flowing circuit.

Total votes: 83

Anybody who was shocked by #93's tarmac excursion wasn't paying attention. As Rossi closed on MM, the commentators had spoken of the Bridgestone boffins' dire warnings of precipitous tire performance drop-off, the Honda was becoming increasingly skittish and Marquez has a reputation for dubious combat. When Rossi eventually engaged him in battle, I began to wonder if Dovi didn't have the best odds to win the race.
What was truly awesome was Rossi's relentless pursuit. It would be a little surprising if that didn't get into Marquez' head - but how would I know what goes on in an alien's mind?

Total votes: 75

Had MM93 not crashed right there he would have likely used Rossi as a berm come the next corner or two.

Total votes: 78

I have to hand it to Rossi, that was one of his greatest hits. Marc would have been smart to suck up the 20 points and move on.
My two cents is that the tyre decision for HRC went about Ducati's race pace and the potential ramifications. Kudo's to Rossi for deciding on a game plan, implementing it and may the cards fall where they may.
As I understand it Ducati, or Suzuki for that matter lose this and that advantage based on results and blah.
Ducati have lost 2 litres of fuel to date. The next step up the ladder will see them lose the soft rubber.
Question. May they opt to move to factory option i.e extra hard option
voluntarily ?, lose the soft even without results that enforce implementation of the next step of concession loss.

Total votes: 76

Anyone who thinks their way is the only way and other opinions should be forbidden or labeled stupid need to invest in a mirror. You are what you say should not be allowed to comment here.

My opinion is that Rossi knew where Marc was for the second contact and deliberately made his move in a way that was going to force Marc to acquiesce. I do not believe the intention was to smack into another motorcycle wheel at high speed expecting something good to come out of it. I just think Rossi thought to himself, F*** it, I am taking that piece of track whether he likes it or not. It just so happens that it ended up coming out that way. When the red mist comes for people like Rossi and Marc, I don't think logic or consequences factor into the decision-making.

That brings me to Lorenzo. Apart from his riding style leaving him vulnerable to Rossi/Marc tactics in a race, I believe he has lost the edge because of doubt (fear). I'm not questioning his bravery. I think he is braver than many but he is just not willing to go to the ragged edge (anymore) like Marc and Rossi. Without that, he cannot compete on the same level as the others. He used to be just the same crashing and bashing before the Simoncelli incident and the numerous hard crashes that took their toll on his body and psyche. His talent and machinery is what keeps him at the sharp end. His choice of safer (softer) tires and race-craft is what has kept him off the podium lately. I am a fan of his and will remain so but he is not the rider I came to know when I became a fan.

Poor old Cal. I like him too but really, his is a negative personality with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Isle of Man. lol Still, given his no BS attitude, I can certainly appreciate his reactions and comments. Hopefully, now that he got that "up yours Yamaha and Ducati" podium out of the way, he can settle in and just ride for himself and Honda. If his motivation is mainly driven from righting perceived wrongs, he may join Lorenzo and Iannone in fighting for 4th, 5th and 6th places going forward.

Speaking of Ducati and Dovi ... the man is like watching paint dry. Show some excitement dude! He rarely crashes because he rarely lets the red mist overtake his better judgment and in that sense, he is a very good rider to do as well as he does with every manufacturer he has ridden for. Can you become a champion like that? Ask Nicky Hayden ... there will always be an asterisk next to your name on the internet.

I was hoping Suzuki would do better but happy that Aleix is keeping it upright instead of tossing it down the road. Not sure they will make it to the front this year regardless of concessions.

By the way good folks of Motomatters comments section who also subscribe to the videopass at MotoGP.com, please contact Dorna support and ask for action clips of the back of the field after every race. I saw Maverick Vinales pounding his gas tank at the finish line but will never know why. How did Jack Miller pip Barbera at the end and what happened to Aoyama who was running with them?? Athina Forward team ahead of Aspar and in the points? What was going on down there?

Anyway, I keep asking but I am only one person. If you'd like to see this kind of stuff, let them know too. They have footage! They showed a tiny bit with Miller's interview this time around so maybe they are trying to see if it is worth the trouble. Thanks to anyone who writes in for this.

Total votes: 77

I'm a Rossi fan but funny to see MM scepticism all of a sudden. I guess like me a lot of MM fans are Rossi fans first.

In any event either way it's clear this crash was not Rossi's fault but a question of if he knew he was creating contact or not. If the positions we were reversed would Rossi go down? I think most of us would say very doubtful... Sure you can come up with one or two examples over his career but he has slowed up a lot of faster riders and ultimately many of them have made it through without incident versus constant MM incidents over a short career. So at the end of the day while he probably knew he was stuffing MM and it was his stretch of track I have to doubt he thought it would likely create contact.

Total votes: 55

"Hopefully, now that he got that "up yours Yamaha and Ducati" podium out of the way, he can settle in and just ride for himself and Honda."

Thats this season sorted! Cal will need to start again and reset for 2016 when Lorenzo moves to Factory Honda with MM93 and he's in the Factory Yamaha Garage with VR|46 !

I think I'm joking, but depending on what happens with Dani........

Total votes: 64

Like Davids early Nicky Hayden quote. you never know what's going to happen.

I'll admit I missed this race live and hopped on to MotoGP.com just in time to see Cal getting handed his trophy. I figured Marc had won given he's Marc. But it was one of those side angle shots. I was confused because I saw Rossi witch i like but it took like 10 seconds to realize that Cal got 3rd witch meant Rossi was on the top step. I almost lost it. "Where the hell is Marc"

Starting at the bottom I'm really happy with Jack's finish. His goofy antics make him fun to watch and i can't help but root for a guy like that. However Jorge Lorenzo is a different story. His lack of pace being truly baffling to me. Jorge was never much of a stage personality but no one can argue with his abilities as a racer and it sucks to see someone that good struggling. I don't know if its an emotional thing or that perhaps he's struggling with the bikes development direction. Perhaps he's having trouble adapting his riding style and race craft with the competition. Anyway that's something I'd love to hear more about.

Regarding the Ducati. Those guys are on it. Dovi is the most consistent guy out there with three 2nd place finishes now. I was really hoping that the GP15 was going to level the playing field. Thankfully it looks like it has :-)

Regarding the Marc/Rossi crash I certainly don't think it was intentional. We have to think about priorities here. Riders say they only care about the race win. They see the red mist from time to time but what they really want in the end is the championship. Marc had a good plan but the tire dropped off too much too early and Rossi on the extra hard had the pace at the end.

I've replayed the crash a few times now (who wouldn't! :-)) and thinking about stuff at that speed. It looked to me like Rossi had the pace and wanted to get out in front quickly. Marc on the other hand was going to try and pull a Rossi/Stoner at Laguna. Even though the other guy had the pace some times you can still fight by diving on the inside line and helping to mess up your opponents momentum and confidence. That's why when I saw Marc sliding across the asphalt and then running towards his bike his body language wasn't one of being upset with what a competitor did to him. He was furious with himself. I don't know the rules but If your in front then you have the line and it's the person who is behind's job to not crash into you. Granted some times riders go a little overboard here and that's where race direction has to step in.

Marc is a two times MotoGP world champion. He is an incredibly gifted writer and his race craft is exceptional. However on that day it look like he got it wrong. I'm sure he knew that the moment Rossi was passed he would be gone and he had to do everything in his power to stop it but, (and this is where the world championship comes into play) every writer would rather take second then crash out and get no points. That's where Marc made his mistake. On Rossi's second overtake towards the right-hander Marquez tried to dive on the inside line. However Rossi was just a little too far ahead and Marc not being the "please sir come by" kind of rider tried to force Rossi off of his line and Break his momentum. It looked to me like Rossi was just a little bit too far ahead and Marc's plan ended in a touch. Up to the next left-hand corner it looked like Marquez was just too close. Rossi changed direction for the upcoming corner and Marc had no where to go. his front tire got washed out and that was the end of that.

I've seen some comments on here with folks thinking that the action was made deliberately but I certainly don't agree. As a racer you want to win and if you're not gonna when you want second if you're not going to get second you want third. The last thing you want to do is crash out and lose all those points. Especially if you are a returned nine times world championship or an amazing golden child that can do magic with motorcycles.

And that's why (Granted this is just my opinion) Marquez didn't look to me like he was upset with Rossi so much as he was furious with himself.

Total votes: 67

Please provide a link to Marc's prose. I'd like to appreciate him as a "writer".

Total votes: 66

Yeah sorry about that. I'm dyslexic and use my computer for speech to text as well as to read stuff back to me in order to make sure it sounds right. Marc is probably one of those guys that's good at everything including writing :p

Total votes: 73

Put an infinite amount of Marc Marquez's in a room with an infinite amount of typewriters...

Total votes: 69

I wonder how Rossi's sponsors felt about him wearing Diego Maradona Jersey??

I am thinking they weren't so happy about it?

I think Rossi knew exactly where Marquez was - I think he may of picked the bike up a tad sooner? Impossible to know or prove.. just my .02.

Marc is an overly aggressive rider at times.... I think of Lorenzo in Jerez a couple of years ago... this is the only time I can remember that he got a taste of his own meds.

I love watching marc, but am a VR46 fan. It seems to me that more often than not Marc Beats himself. Phillip Island (not coming into the pits), not changing into rain tires in the wet... a couple of other instances.

I greatly prefer MM style and persona much more to Stoners... Marc won't let this get to him - but I am going to bet it doesn't change his style too much.. he's still so young.

Total votes: 74

Maradona was a huge sporting hero in Italy, us 'Northern Europeans' don't think of him in that way but Italians certainly do.

Total votes: 73

It's just a coincidence, but it tickles me that Valentino's favorite colour was used to identify the extra-hard tire.
Ties in nicely with anteater's aphorism, too: let the Wheel of God be known by its yellow tire.

Total votes: 68