2015 Misano MotoGP Race Result: Luck Favours The Brave

Jorge Lorenzo in pole position, changed tyres on the grid while his teammate Valentino Rossi lined up to his right, with Marc Marquez splitting the pair, with wings on his bike. Would it rain, just to add yet more excitement?

Jorge Lorenzo led Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi through the first few turns, and Lorenzo and Marquez wasted no time in building a gap from Rossi, as many predicted. It looked like the race everyone predicted, Marquez chasing Lorenzo, would come to be.

And then it rained.

At the start of the second lap, the white flags waved, signalling that riders could change bikes, but nobody bit. As the track adhesion diminished, Rossi set the lap record on the third lap, beaten a lap later by Lorenzo, on his way to closing up with the front two.

On the sixth lap, the white flag crossed with red came out. It was raining properly and everyone behind the lead three started riding cautiously and deliberately. Scott Redding crashed out a lap later as riders started pitting in for wet tyres. Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi stayed out one one more lap. Marquez looked back at Rossi to ask if he was pitting in next lap and Rossi signalled back with his right leg that he would be.

Almost everyone else pitted in on lap eight, with Bradley Smith and a few others notably staying out, and Lorenzo left the pits with the same soft wet tyres as everyone else in fifth position behind the last slick hold-outs.

On lap nine, all the hold-outs pitted in, with the exception of Smith, and Marquez, having passed Lorenzo, led the way ahead of Lorenzo, Rossi and, further back, Smith.

As Smith was swamped by faster men on rain tyres, he still didn't pit in, dropping back handfuls of positions a lap, while at the front, Marquez and Lorenzo had over a three second gap to Rossi and were looking to return the race to its original script. Marquez went a little wide on the tenth lap, letting Lorenzo through, but the pair still had a decent gap from Rossi.

The rain stopped.

Valentino Rossi, when faced with a mutable track, has an edge. He started taking over a second back from Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez and had caught them convincingly at the halfway point. Marquez responded by passing Lorenzo, then deciding to drop back to third, behind both Yamahas, forcing them to make the decision when to pit back in for slick tyres as a dry line was visible, even on the newer dark tarmac. Rossi took advantage of a blip by Lorenzo to take third, a move much appreciated by the yellow crowd filling the track to capacity.

Further back, Loris Baz, having changed to slicks was scything through the pack, showing just how good he is in limited adhesion situations, something anyone who followed his Superbike career would be well aware of.

On lap eighteen, Lorenzo gets shown a pit in sign by his team, but it's a rider decision, not a team one and he decides he's not going to blink if Rossi isn't. A lap later, Marquez blinks and pits in. Neither Yamaha does.

A lap later, when it's obviously time to change to slicks, Rossi and Lorenzo still stay out.

Another lap, lap twenty-one of twenty-eight, Jorge Lorenzo pits in for slicks. Valentino Rossi is in trouble now. He leads the race ahead of Marc Marquez, Bradley Smith, Loris Baz, Scott Redding and Jorge Lorenzo, but he needs to change his tyres. He comes in a lap later and relinquishes the race lead to Marquez.

Rossi is now looking at seven laps remaining, not enough time to catch Lorenzo and losing points in the championship lead. His decision to stay out another lap looks like a costly one, right up to the point fate steps in and deals him another ace. Jorge Lorenzo, on his first lap out on slicks, miscalculates the heat in the side of his tyre and crashes out, possibly injuring his left hand.

The crowd goes wild.

The next six laps are Marc Marquez managing a six second lead from Bradley Smith, still wearing the same tyres he lined up on the grid with, while Loris Baz tries in vain to hold off Scott Redding, a man who crashed, picked his bike up and pitted in, while Valentino Rossi manages a fifth place ahead of Danilo Petrutcci.

Marquez takes his maiden victory at Misano ahead of a tearful Bradley Smith and exuberant Scott Redding. Loris Baz in fourth, the best ever Open bike result, also looked quite content with his race.

Bradley Smith claims he didn't pit in on time and was eventually forced to stay out, muttering "luck favours the brave" to himself. Scott Redding's third place makes this the first podium in the top class with two British riders since 1979.

Somehow, Valentino Rossi left Misano increasing his championship lead to twenty three points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. and Marc Marquez crosses another track of his list of tracks he's won at. 

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 48'23.819
2 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha +7.288
3 45 Scott REDDING Honda +18.793
4 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward +26.427
5 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +33.196
6 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +35.087
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati +36.527
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +37.434
9 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +39.516
10 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki +39.692
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +41.995
12 43 Jack MILLER Honda +46.075
13 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati +48.381
14 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki +52.325
15 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia +53.348
16 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia +58.828
17 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda +1'02.649
18 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +1'04.768
19 50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda +1'05.677
20 71 Claudio CORTI Yamaha Forward 1 Lap
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda 1 Lap
    Not Classified    
  44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 2 Laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 8 Laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 19 Laps
  15 Alex DE ANGELIS ART 19 Laps
  51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 19 Laps

 

Round Number: 
13
2015
Tweet Button: 
Total votes: 77

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Comments

The fish swam away, living to swim another day, while the shark wound up with a hook in his mouth. The fat lady has not sung yet, but...

Total votes: 150

Oh, boy! If Lorenzo hurt himself we'll still be arguing over who deserved the championship long after the apes take over the planet. It'll be fun.

Total votes: 132

He has not broken his hand, it would appear. The X-rays were clear.

Total votes: 131

Great news! I want all riders to be healthy and in the zone.

Total votes: 125

What a race!!! Valentino? What can we say about him? Not enough! Bravo!

Total votes: 142

What can we way? I'll say one thing: "He's a damn fool."
He displayed terrible judgement and richly deserved to lose to Jorge. If 99 hadn't crashed, he would have emerged from the pit sequence ~8 seconds ahead, with 7 laps to go.

Total votes: 122

He has an awesome smoothness and in my books would be true all-time great but for his weakness in rain and changing conditions. When it starts raining, he seems to fall apart.

Total votes: 145

Valentino seems to have s blind spot in these circumstances. I can't remember when, but he's made exactly the same mistake before, staying out way too late on the wrong tyres. He could have had an easy 25 points today and a major buffer for the next few races.

Total votes: 146

If he had pitted in, there's no saying he could have beaten Lorenzo. There's no saying Lorenzo would have crashed if he weren't out on his own. 

If my grandmother had had balls, she'd have been my grandfather. 

Total votes: 163

He had, at Le Mans (can't remember what year). I kept screaming at my screen for him to pit in before the other two does, and he didn't. In this case however, had he did, Lorenzo might not have fallen, being in a rush to take the lead from him. Just my opinion though... and as Jared above said, it's a pointless argument.

Total votes: 118

You're both right of course, and part of me was wondering whether he was staying out deliberately, trying to sucker Jorge into a mistake. But still a terrible miscalculation as he 'coulda' ended up 6th to Jorge's 3rd, given JL would have probably been close enough to have a go at Baz and Redding.

Total votes: 129

is a real race horse. Fast, strong and high strung. I think he gains more from self-belief and loses more from self-doubt than any other champion. I think it was none other than Biaggi who described him as fragile (think about that for a bit).

Marquez has learned to trust his team in these situations and it paid off today.

Total votes: 141

If you are a Rossi fan, would you rather see Rossi win this race and Lorenzo finish second OR this result being Rossi 5th and Lorenzo scoring zero? Why?

Total votes: 123

One thing was abundantly clear from this race: Rossi only cared about finishing in front of or right behind Lorenzo. Nobody else mattered at all. His staying out too long, even knowing that he would hand the victory to Marquez, showed he really didn't care about anyone but Jorge.

Rossi doesn't care as much about wins as he does a tenth title.

Total votes: 174

Rossi's strategy, and Lorenzo's strategy also, should not be judged on the criteria of winning the race because that was not their main goal. To those two guys, this was a 2-man race and the other 24 did not count.

Total votes: 130

He ended up with an advantage he couldn't have hoped to have had he and Lorenzo both ended up on podium.

Total votes: 114

I am definitely a Rossi fan, and would definitely rather see Rossi win and JLo second. Rossi did a terrible mistake not going earlier in pits, and I think his crew also did a terrible mistake not pointing him strongly into the pits 2 laps earlier. I know it's easier with a hindsight, but they had Smith's and Baz's lap times, they could see closeups of destroyed front tire, so it was a no brainer to come in, much safer for the race and the championship than staying out. This time, in contrast to Silverstone, it was really huge luck for him that JLo crashed. He almost didn't deserve it. But it this happens to be his only strategic error this year, he definitely deserves his hard earned 10th title.

Total votes: 125

No doubt the win even though only five points difference. Winning is worth more to the ego. In his case, maybe also a psychological blow to Lorenzo who'd been fast all weekend.

Would've liked to have seen a dry race and see how the end would've played out.

Instead, on to Aragon and hopeful of the fight we're waiting to see. The one where they dispose of the rest of the field and pull out the knives. I'll put all my money on Rossi for that one........

Total votes: 103

No-one likes asterisks. Obviously its better this way for his championship, but I like to think that uniformly appearing on the podium would give Rossi the cup at the end.

Total votes: 130

VR is a better racer than JLo, the adversity and changes of off a perfect condition day makes him a weaker opponent as we have come to notice the last few races, and years as well, at least I will not scratch my head thinking "oh boy, I wonder had he no fell and hurt his hand, would VR won the championship? Or JLo?" No I would not ask myself that question, the lack of adaptability on JLo's part makes it an easy decision, VR is looking like the best racer out there this year, and many years before, not every but many. Enjoy everyone...

Total votes: 144

effectively won today's race. In a usual podium of 3 aliens, the maximum extension of lead that Vale could've secured was just 9 points. And given that Lorenzo had always either won or came runner up at misano, this is so perfect for rossi's championship. A result much better than a win even though he came up 5th. Gods must be watching over rossi dearly.

First the race itself turning wet and then back to dry. Marc doing his "I have nothing to lose" tantrums. Enough variables going variable eto keep Lorenzo out of his zone. How else would you explain Lorenzo crashing of all the people, the guy who hardly ever crashes. Someone up there really likes rossi. While Silverstone was an advantage rossi was quick to welcome with both hands, misano has been all about advantage chasing and finding rossi even when he fell through the deepest rabbit hole.

With the race at such a neutral venue, it was expected that rossi and Lorenzo would be aping each other should anything come down to tactical decisions. And the way eveything panned out, seems like both were right in doing so.

But I am curious as to what could've been going through marc's mind. Asking rossi for his oppinion on pitting? Dropping back to third? Was it all about learning from rossi or some wild tactical genius by Marc?

It was heartbreaking to see where Michele pirro ended up. When his desmosidici had to be wheeled out just before the warm up, I was like wtf? Can anyone elaborate on what happened with this guy? Why he pitted even as he was already on wets? Seems strange and sad, could've been a better result for him.

And as for Smith, there was nothing luck about his podium. He decided not to pit in, which is a master stroke. And the only explaination could be that he expected it to dry up soon. And that is not luck. It was calculated decision, made out with his superior understanding of the environment. It is quite evident that he is good at reading signs, his analysis before the race clearly shows this.

Another race where my favorite rossi got away with whatever he did. And got away handsomely. Sad for Lorenzo to have crashed. But he crashed on his own, no one costed him his points. So that's a positive(forsake of argument).

At the end of the, a race no one expected the way it would turn out to be. A race where the fish got swallowed by the shark, only to get struck by the throat and thrown out with a sneeze.

As for marc, I Don't think he would've won if he had been in the shoes of rossi or Lorenzo. His only advantage being that he have nothing to lose. Cheers to smith, redding and Baz for a great race.

Total votes: 143

Pirro had to start the race from pitlane on wet tyres because his bike just died on the grid. He swapped to his wet bike, but it wasn't wet enough to warrant wet tyres. He most likely just chewed the wets and had to pit because of it. 

Total votes: 116

Starting from grid part. Thanks for that. Still! How could've that wet tyre degrade so fast? I mean, track was cooling down quick even before race started. All the wet bikes were being preped, and into like 2 laps white flags were waved. Tyres took such a toll in that short period? Aliex was even going with soft option tyres for race distance.
And both rossi and Lorenzo went over the limit on those wet tyres for several laps followed by like 10 full wet laps. Nothing seem to add up about pirro's wets...

Total votes: 114

Agree about Rossi. If you'd have told him yesterday that he'd leave this weekend with a 23 point lead over Lorenzo he'd have thought you were crazy.

Total votes: 117

"At the end of the, a race no one expected the way it would turn out to be. A race where the fish got swallowed by the shark, only to get struck by the throat and thrown out with a sneeze."

That's a great summary of the day's events.

Total votes: 114

I think Smith in fact was lucky in the way that basically everyone missed the right time to switch back to dry tires. He was over 70 seconds behind the lead group at one point, something like 40-50 seconds away from the top 10, so all those guys could comfortably have swapped bikes and come back in front of him.

But they didn't, they preferred to stay out and go 10 seconds a lap slower. And so Smith's gamble paid off. Kudos to him for giving it a try, but he needed a lot of help from the others for it to end up with a podium spot

Total votes: 126

I looked at the segment times for Lorenzo and Marquez's first lap post-slicks - and Lorenzo was not going that fast. He was whole seconds slower than Marquez through the first 3 sectors and Marquez's first lap out on slicks was on a wetter track.

I think Jorge's lines caught him out here, not anything else. Personally I would have preferred to see it dry to the end, but it is nice to see others on the podium. If it had stayed wet it appears that Rossi would have ridden away with it.

Was Petrucci the top Duc again? Someone should give him a GP15.

Total votes: 124

Yes, you're correct. Lorenzo wasn't actually going that fast compared to Marquez but he was passed by Redding so probably rushed it a bit. Also turn 15 at which he crashed is a left turn which is preceded by a number of right handers. Track temperature was low and there wasn't enough heat in the tyre especially on the left side to carry that much speed.

Lorenzo usually doesn't crash much as he is very calculated about all these little details so it was surprising to see him crash out. Pressure can get to even the aliens I guess.

Total votes: 125

Today's race was terrible! The only thing that mattered for Rossi was to show to Lorenzo that he's still the king. I didn't expect that from an experienced 9-time champion. He was looking back to Lorenzo to see if he's pitted or not. Rossi should have pitted and secured another victory regardless of what Jorge is doing.

I'm unhappy with Rossi. His decisions were selfish today and probably caused Lorenzo that mistake. I felt really bad for Lorenzo.

Total votes: 167

So Lorenzos crash today was Rossi's fault? Huh? If you crash on your own it's your own fault, plain and simple. Lorenzo was trying to take advantage of his decision and he crashed. It was his own fault.

Total votes: 141

Yes, it was his own fault! So what?! He would have finished in front of Rossi hadn't he crashed!

Rossi made a bad mistake today! Does he really need to play tricks on Jorge to win the championship?

Lorenzo is not mentally as strong as Rossi is and Rossi definitely knows that and is taking advantage of it. Yes, they are rivals but... i would prefer a clean fight!

Total votes: 150

Considering the perfectionist that i am, my comments makes sense to me. I couldn't swallow this round seeing Rossi not finish on the podium. I wanted him to win the title with a podium on all races, something that hasn't happened so far (as far as i know) someone winning the title while ending 1st to 3rd on all races.

Rossi was too concerned with Lorenzo and that makes me frustrated. Yesterday too, he annoyed Lorenzo in Q2. Now I don't buy it that Rossi didn't do it purposefully.

I am not a Lorenzo fan at all. But I respect the guy and understand that he's not as strong as Rossi. Lorenzo lacks the strategy and mental strength that Rossi- to some great extent- and Marquez (more than Lorenzo) possess.

What I want to say is that Rossi is strong enough to win the championship even without doing such tricks!

Yes, why wouldn't Rossi even guide Lorenzo (his teammate) and change their tyres together?! That's what I wanted and yes, my comments may be emotional!

Total votes: 134

Rossi is obligated to Yamaha, his team, the fans and him self to concentrate on Lorenzo. His major task for the rest of the season is to make sure JLo don't get too close. That is all that matter, nothing else. In that regard what you write make no sense what so ever. It's absolutely not about games or tricks but all about the title.
The weather was the only one playing tricks today and as the leader of the race he did the typical conservative choice, staying out and increasing the distance between him and #2. We and the team could see that he should come in earlier but that is not as clear for him and he had to do his own calculations while racing.
That's just bad choice not tricks.

Total votes: 119

JL aint no retard......but you make it sound like he his.

Play tricks with JL......you make it sound like JL is a puppy.

JL is in MotoGP sinds 2007 and he knows how to deal with it.

Total votes: 130

Why would Vale -or any other championship leading rider- not be concerned with their closest rival and the only one able to take the WC from them? I guarantee you that if you were the only one that i have to routinely finish in front of to win my title, you are the only one i am watching.

and this had nothing to do with VR head games out on track. This was about JL getting spooked in bad weather after he broke his collar bone a few years ago with that nasty highside.

Lorenzo needs to do what Pedrosa did a few years ago and turn his weakness into a strength. Pedrosa was not a good wet rider several seasons ago and started riding on sandy tracks to mimic rain and low traction environments during the offseason to improve himself.

Similar but different, Stoner was not a great late braker when he came into the premier class and saw he was giving too much hard work away in the braking zone and went on to force himself to be a monster on the brakes.

Easy for me to say sitting on my dry couch, but JL is as posted above - working against himself. He is beating himself mentally.

Lorenzo is faster than hell. But these aren't time trials. They are races and Rossi is a better racer.

And not for nothing - but all racers are selfish!

Total votes: 122

Personally I blame Scott Redding for JLo's crash. He should have slowed down and warned #99 it would be dangerous to try following him since he was riding on warm tyres.
I hope Race Direction takes strong action. This ungentlemanly conduct is tantamount to cheating, and destroys the hard-earned British reputation for fair play.

Total votes: 193

If Rossi wins the championship no one will remember who won the races. Everybody knows Ago won 15 world championships, not many know he won 122 races. I'll bet you know this would be Rossi's 10th championship. Do you know he's won 112 races, so far!
I'll bet he puts more stock in the championships.

Total votes: 134

Love Jorge's riding abilities but hate his interviews.

I can't believe he blamed the team for telling him to pit early. If he knew his pace was better than Rossi's in the dry, he should have stayed with Rossi and not pitted and waited for him to pit.

At least he'd have a shot of overtaking him or at least finishing only one spot behind. I believe that one mistake of pitting in could have cost him the championship.

Total votes: 139

Some may grumble about the vagaries of wet-dry racing, but these races are a real champion's test. Hard to imagine what kind of concentration is required to ride those beasts while simultaneously making the calculations when to pit.
It was also good to watch unfancied runners barging their way onto the podium. Overall a good weekend for the Italians - what with their two ladies upsetting the favorites and tussling for the US open championship at Flushing Meadows.

Total votes: 121

There was a certain satisfaction to see Marc Marquez' comments after the race mirrored my intuition. Anybody critical of the various riders' decisions should reflect on the multi-tasking turmoil which lies behind these words.
""It was difficult to think on the bike because in the end you are riding on the limit. You must think how many seconds is the other rider, how is the track, how many laps remain? Try to calculate the lap time, what you can do in dry tires and wet tires."

Total votes: 111

To me, Rossi played Lorenzo perfectly given the situation. With him clearly faster than JLo and Marc on the wet tires (after half-distance) and the weather clearing up, Rossi had to make a decision. Pass for the lead and try to break Lorenzo with a gap, or ride conservatively and shadow him, hoping to pull something out at the end of a closely-matched even fight. But Vale's advantage in the hectic conditions would be quickly evaporated once it was dry and Lorenzo was back into his preferred world.

This race was pure Valentino at his best. Open a gap in the lead and put the pressure on Lorenzo. For those 3 or so laps Rossi watched the screens and saw Lorenzo falling further back. Of course on the same bike, feeling the same degradation of tires, Rossi could judge where both his and Lorenzo's limits were.

He knew he gave up any chance of a win with his gamble, but he forced Lorenzo out of his zone and into frustration. Even if Jorge didn't crash, look at his times: he was in the thick of it and Rossi still had a chance to finish ahead of him (or just as well, right behind him down the order and off the podium where the points gaps are minimal.) Seize control of the situation and force your opponent into uncomfortable territory.

Brilliant stuff, and Lorenzo undid himself in the end, no one else involved, other than Valentino Rossi in his head disrupting the Martillo y Mantequilla.

Total votes: 157

I wouldn't say Rossi was selfish and intentionally caused Jorge's fall. Rossi miscalculated the conditions. Whereas Smith was betting on the conditions drying, Rossi, was betting the opposite. He probably hoped for the rain to return and favor his slicks to increase his lead. The bet was wrong, but in the end he stayed on his bike. Can't fault him for that.

Total votes: 117

to win the war. Rossi wasnt slow in the dry and he was fast in the wet. he now has a even bigger lead and his 10th title is very close now.

Total votes: 134

It would appear that Jorge did not have enough heat in the front tire or maybe in both. He was not, as was observed above, going especially fast on this out lap on slicks. He was slower through the sections that Marquez had been and than Rossi too. The whole flag to flag thing is a disaster waiting to happen. I was against it in print, on TV and in talks with Dorna and FIM officials. It is a bit like democracy…a terrible system but there is nothing better. Nothing better from the point of view of maintaining TV schedules and offering excitement.

Lets put in this way: If you ask Bridgestone if their slicks were safe on a wet track they would say no.

So when riders are on slicks and it starts to rain, the Championship should protect its riders by stopping the race and allowing the riders to put on tires that the manufacturer (the only entity competent to opine about the use of their product) considers safe.

There are a lot of arguments in favor of flag to flag…one is that there have been no major problems. There will be and when that bad thing happens many will say that they saw it coming. They may have. Privately I have found deep opposition to this system from riders and ex-riders, but nobody seems to want to say so publicly except Jorge who often is the only rider to admit and inconvenient truth.

If you, my friend, were racing a 270 HP beast on slicks and it started to rain, would you not be grateful to see a red flag? What I like about Dorna is their ability to do an about-face. They did one smartly on the 320mm discs and on minimum weights too, but this one hits them where they live….in TV time. What I liked about the quick interview we did with Carmelo Ezpeleta (I work in Tele5, Spain) is that, when asked (well before the race) is the flag to flag system was the best solution available, he said, carefully, "Hasta ahora parece que si." (It seems to be, so far.)

I know Carmelo very well and it is thanks not to Dorna or the FIM but to him individually that so many safety improvements have been made and, as the father of a son who races (rally cars) and as an ex-racer or cars and bikes himself, he means it when he says that safety is vitally important. He also runs a business and has share holders to please and understands the importance of maintaining a TV schedule.

My suggestion would be to use the same regulations in MotoGP that are used in Moto2 and Moto3 and start the racing a little later with Moto2 as the curtain raiser followed by a good break and then MotoGP with Moto3 pushed down to the third race so that if delays took some major channels out of their slots, that Moto3 would be the race that was not televised in some markets.

Because, as sure as the sun rises every morning, this flag to flag racing is going to result in a major injury or injuries, or worse.

And, before you respond, please imagine you are out on a 220 MPH 270CV MotoGP machine on slicks and it starts to rain and you understand that you are expected to continue racing while your team gets the second bike ready and then decides just how far they want to stick you sweet neck out. No matter how macho/brave you think you´d be are and no matter how much this hypothetical you need the points, would´t you rather see a lovely red flag and an opportunity to return to the friendly faces in the dry garage and have a think while the weather decides what it is up to?

If you say, Hell no, I want to race in the rain on slicks, that, you are a braver man that they are, Gunga Din.

Total votes: 146

Great post Dennis.

With bikes on slicks in rain we are also likely to get accidents where they should and can not happen.

Total votes: 122

Best, most well-informed thing I've ever read about the flag-to-flag conundrum.

Too bad it is often thrilling, but luckily it is quite rare. Only once or sometimes twice per season.

Another detraction: look at Pirro today. If there is an issue with one bike you are screwed.

Total votes: 129

An interesting race and result, but never been a fan of flag to flag. Why gamble with the riders' safety in such a way just to run to a TV slot?

Total votes: 131

and I agree that the flag to flag system is flawed-particularly when there is only wet rubber and slicks available.

I think we were lucky not to witness more incidents out there, these conditions were amongst the worst imaginable with the format, and at the end of the day luck really did decide the day.

Total votes: 115

there is only one truth about rule-making, and that is that not all things can be foreseen and written down in rules.
ok, so we stop the race as it begins to rain for riders to change tires. but what if it only drizzles a little bit ? who can decide it it's too wet for slicks ? and if they stop, is it wet enough for wets ? What if it rains only on one small part of the track and the rest is dry? Following your idea, we would have had 3 starts. What if it had started to rain again today ? You would have had a dry start, followed by a wet, another dry and another wet ... 4 starts just to complete 28 laps ? And let's not forget that riding with wet's and bike setup for dry or vice versa for sure isn't in the interest of safety, so you would need enough time for the setup's to change. Not all channels broadcast all 3 categories, so even if Moto3 was behind MotoGP, they may not have finished in time, let alone the trouble for all the TV-channels who do not cover Moto2/3.
I understand your problems with flag-to-flag, but I thinck it is the best possible solution as it put's the descision making into the hands of the riders who knows best what's possible with which tires.
[sarcastic mode]and if you don't want accidents to happen, you should put more efford in banning motorcycle racing all together[/sarcastic mode] ;-) thank God men are still alowed to do dangerous stuff legaly in this politicaly over-correct world !

Total votes: 128

Perhaps you should go and look up who Dennis Noyes is before painting him as a politically over-correct wuss. 

#notyourstrawman

Total votes: 145

I don't have to look him up, I'm well aware of who he is.
does that mean we can not go in discussion with him ? does that mean his ideas are always the correct ones ? I simply wanted to demonstrate that his idea also presented problems .

and I didn't say he is political correct, and thought the use of [sarcastic] and the wink would make it clear it was a joke. my mistake if it wasn't clear enough.

Total votes: 136

Most (all) of us commenting here know of course who Dennis Noyes is, and we are very thankful he takes the time to do so. It's just that in topics like these with many factors coming into play, it's often worth listening to more opinions. JanBros voiced his opinion very clearly and very politely and actually I find his point a very valid one, as I also do with Dennis'. This kind of commenting should be encouraged, if anything!

Total votes: 120

Excellent way of putting it Dennis, no way would I want to have to judge when to come in on a track accumulating moisture. Conversely, should or even could, the opposite be true? How about a drying track with rains on, that is pretty close to as dangerous.

The rule that really kills me is the one where they can come in to the pits after the warm-up lap to change to wets. Sachsenring last year I believe and somewhere this year (Silverstone?) First, they race around the wet warm-up lap with slicks on to get as far up in pit lane as they can for the start. Change bikes and then from there pretty much seem to make their own rules. Sachsensring could've been a total disaster more so than the race this year.

I mean, grid yourself how you feel and then race in an area with too many bikes in too little space and Armco? Isn't that a recipe for disaster? Exciting for the fans, but I'm sure not so much for even these bulls on bikes.

Total votes: 109

As much as I love the intrigue and excitement that the flag-to-flag races bring, I take Dennis' point that they do elevate the risks, and are done solely to placate TV broadcasters. But we've seen that happen with the Phillip Island race scheduled so late in the day that everyone on the ground knows exactly what will happen as the temperatures drop dramatically.

I always enjoyed the aggregate time format in the past as it would allow a racer to build a huge margin in one segment, and then "manage" his gap in the second segment by sitting on the tail of other racers, knowing that all they had to do was keep them within a certain gap. The problem for Dorna and race organizers was that it was difficult to know who was actually "leading" the race, so they brought in the flag-to-flag format.

Yesterday's race was unique in that the riders went from dry to wet and back to dry bikes, but as for the danger aspect, they're professionals who ride and race for a living. I couldn't even fathom riding one of those bikes in the dry with no one around me. So to ask us plebs to postulate what it's like to ride one in the wet on slicks is pointless as we have no idea, and never will.

I think that racer will see the specs of rain on their visor and either get a knot in their stomach (Lorenzo) or start grinning (Rossi). That's part of what makes a complete multi-faceted racer. And it's why Rossi has been on the top step for as long as he has.

Total votes: 119

I don't know how wide Rossi's grin is come rain. Rain is _always_ risky. To go fast enough to win in rain put even Rossi at a high risk of crashing out of the race.
I bet he would take his chances in a dry race from a top 5 grid position rather than rain almost any time.

Total votes: 110

He might have been trying to take advantage of being faster in the wet. BUT he knew how badly his tires were degrading, even if it had started raining again he would have been in serious trouble. So, initially he might have made a mistake not to pit but then I think he was trying to sucker Lorenzo into staying out so that neither of them would get on the podium. Less points would have been at stake then and he would have maintained his lead. In the end Rossi ended up with an even bigger lead. Was that Lady Luck?

Smith also initially made a mistake not to pit but then turned it around too. I am impressed that he stayed out there the whole time. That was brave indeed.

Total votes: 122

Genuis Rossi Tactics? NOPE!

Once VR pulled a second or two on Jorge, he essentially handed Jorge the win. (Doh!) 99 had the option - on one of _many_ laps - to come in alone and instantly gain 5~10 seconds using the 'undercut' afforded by being on much faster tires. Lorenzo repaid this massive blunder by stupidly following along like a lost puppy. (Doh!) I'd say that neither rider deserved to gain a championship advantage.

Total votes: 127

My rule of thumb, do what your rival does. In this case Lorenzo should have gone in when Marquez did (he needed to win) and Rossi should have gone in when Lorenzo did. Vale was lucky.

Total votes: 107

He needed to beat Rossi, not win the race.

Total votes: 116

Lorenzo needs to be aiming for race wins. It's a tricky situation for both guys.

Conversely, Rossi knowing Jorge needs to win, will also need to push to basically........win. As long as they are both still in the race.

Total votes: 110

If VR had suckered JL into one more lap on rain tires.

VR is favored when tires are ragged. There is a good chance on one more lap by JL that Rossi could have widened his gap by up to 5 seconds. And, critically, reduced the time JL would have spent on very lightly used slicks. Rossi all year (if not career) has been best when everybody is on shot tires at the end. The double pitting of this race, together with cool temps and wet pavement, meant that even at the end of the race the slicks would be in very good shape. Which heavily favors JL.

Total votes: 131

As above stated Rossi and Lorenzo had their own race. Pressure was on them to not make any tactical mistakes. Remember that last year at Aragon both Marquez and Pedrosa crashed in similar conditions leading the race. Also the Yamahas tend to have problems warming up their front tires on a cold (wet) track like last year at Assen and Sachsenring. Despite being on slicks Lorenzo was only 0,8 sec faster than Rossi on wets in lap 21 (sector 2 and 3).

Total votes: 119

In 1986 I was still racing and won the Spanish Endurance Championship that year, clinching at Montjjuich. I was an advocate of racing there…pure racing…bragged about touching the guardrail with an elbow. Went to the late night meeting still in leathers after my moonlight stint and voted that we continue racing in spite of the fact that a friend of mine, Mingo Parés, had died just an hour earlier. (Actually, I still believe races should not be stopped because of fatalities because the guy who was killed wouldn´t want that if he could vote.)
Years later, now working TV, I am living here in Barcelona within sight of "la montaña" and it still looks OK to me because I am seeing it with the eyes of a rider who understood racing in the village streets with unprotected cerbs and light posts. But in my guts I know it was nuts. We were "real men" and we will never know how many of us were saved from ourselves by a Federation that finally put a stop to Montjuich and all the old Urban Circuits.
I remember when it was considered wimpy to wear a Bell instead of a Cromwell. I only bought a Bell because I had double vision and headaches after a crash at Druids.
If I were a rider now and considered myself fast in the wet, braver that the next guy, I´d probably back flag to flag racing the same way I backed the urban circuits, Montjuich and my Romerhelm. Thankfully for me, calmer and wiser heads took those options away. Everytime I go back to Indy and see the road riders from Illinois and Indiana (I believe 31 states do not require helmets in the USA), I remember riding from Marakesh to Amsterdam (that will tell you a bit as to what I was up to before the racing bug bit) on my BSA Thunderbolt with no helmet at all. Lots of hair though. It was in the Netherlands that I started following racing and started working or at least hanging out with a Dutch team, but they made a rule….unless I wore a helmet I could not dogsbody for them. That was when I bought the Romerhelm…still got it….dented.
It is with that perspective that I see the dangers of flag to flag…and I know there will come a time when today´s riders look back from retirement and realize that it was nuts. I understand all the reasons for the rule, but I also understand the one reason against it. I hope the rule is changed by choice and not as a result of one of those tragedies that prompt everyone who is saying nothing to say, "I saw that coming."

Total votes: 128

I was never sufficiently fast, crazy or brave to try racing - track days gave my adrenal glands enough of a workout.
I remember my first visit to the Montjuich 24 Hours in '82(?). The street furniture sent shivers up my spine even before they fired up the engines. On many bends there was zero run-off - just unforgiving steel and stone and the occasional decorative hay bale. My ominous feelings were well founded - a Laverda crashed early on, leaving its rider with a compound leg fracture. One of the marshals tending his injury was struck and killed by a following bike.
The Montjuich spectacle was something to see, but it was indeed nuts. Perhaps we'll eventually see flag-to-flag the same way.

Total votes: 122