Sunday Summary at Phillip Island: The Omnishambles – Adding Excitement and Confusion to MotoGP

10/21/2013 @ 12:06 am, by David Emmett36 COMMENTS

Sunday Summary at Phillip Island: The Omnishambles   Adding Excitement and Confusion to MotoGP Sunday Phillip Island Australian GP MotoGP 2013 Scott Jones 10 635x423

There is only one word which everyone would agree accurately describes the 2013 Tissot Australian Grand Prix, and that word is ‘eventful’. There are an awful lot of other words being used to describe it, some fit for publication, some less so, but nobody would argue with the fact that the entire weekend at Phillip Island was packed with action, controversy, surprises, and even the odd spot of excitement.

The tire issues suffered by both Dunlop and Bridgestone caused the Moto2 and MotoGP races to be shortened, and the MotoGP riders forced to make a compulsory pit stop. The pit stops certainly added an element of suspense, and even surprise, but they split opinion among fans, riders and paddock followers straight down the middle: half viewed the whole thing as a farce, the other half thought it made for a thrilling spectacle. The arguments between the two sides are likely to go on for a long time.

If splitting the race in two added plenty of suspense, it also added a great deal of confusion. That confusion was not aided by the fact that Bridgestone changed their advice to Race Direction after cutting open the tires used during the warm up on Sunday morning and finding further evidence of blistering.

With ambient temperatures some 10°C warmer than Bridgestone had been expecting when they selected the tires for Phillip Island, the rear tire was simply not coping with the stress of the newly resurfaced circuit.

The new surface was generating more grip, which was producing more heat, and having hotter ambient temperatures pushed the tires well over the edge. The race was shortened again, from 26 laps to 19, with riders only allowed to do 10 laps on each tire.

And here’s where a momentous mistake was made. More than one, in fact. It being so late in the day – the decision was only made during the Moto3 race, a couple of hours before the MotoGP race was due to start – there was little time to communicate the decision properly, and so an official communique was drawn up and issued to the teams. Instructions were put on paper, and then handed out by IRTA officials to everyone in MotoGP.

This was the first mistake of the day, and triggered a chain of events that would end up shaking up the championship. If a rider meeting had been called, where all of the riders and their key team members had been briefed, the exact rules and their consequences could have been laid out.

This, of course, is difficult, as getting all of the riders to be in one place is like herding cats, and Dorna is not in the habit of issuing the riders with stiff fines if they don’t turn up on time for official events as is usual in other motorsports series.

As it was, a piece of paper was handed out – one among many in a garage at any time, with time schedules, tire selection sheets, gearing charts, timing charts, official notices, and a million other sheets of A4 floating around – on which was written the rules, and the penalty for disobeying the rules.

The next mistake was made on one side of the Repsol Honda garage. A small group of people – four men, according to Marc Marquez, including Emilio Alzamora and Santi Hernandez – gathered around to ponder the implications of the rules issued. They immediately seized on the following line in the newly arranged rules:

3. No rider is permitted to make more than 10 laps on any one slick or wet rear tyre. This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 9 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race.

That, according to their calculations, meant that they could do 10 full laps, and then pit on lap 11, as the Repsol Honda pit was situated before the finish line, and Marquez would therefore have only done 10 complete laps, coming in on the 11th lap, but swapping bikes before the 11th lap commenced.

They were wrong. In their haste to exploit the rules to the utmost without actually breaking them, they had overlooked the line before that, which contained an explicit definition of what was expected. It reads:

2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race. In normal circumstances this means that the rider must change machine only at the end of lap 9 or lap 10. (My emphasis).

That is perfectly clear. There is no misconstruing its intent. ‘At the end of lap 10′ is, quite simply, before you cross the line to complete lap 10. If you do not enter the pits, then you start on your 11th lap, your 10th lap having been completed.

Marquez did not enter the pits at the end of lap 10, despite Jorge Lorenzo doing so, the Yamaha man leading Marquez and directly ahead of him at the time. Instead, he pushed on for another lap, as instructed by his team, and pitted at the end of the next lap.

It would prove to be a very costly choice by his team. The rules set out by Race Direction – however convoluted and painful, a situation not really of their making – had been broken, and after a brief conference, the decision was made to exclude Marquez. He was shown the black flag, and forced to pull in and retire.

The reaction of his team and of HRC was telling. In a video on the MotoGP.com website - thankfully free – the entire situation is shown, including the reaction of HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, who expressed his disapproval of Race Direction’s decision in rather strong language. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo took his complaint directly to Race Direction, issuing a fiery rebuttal and making their case.

It was to no avail. Honda had tried to game the wording of the rules, but Race Direction would have no truck with their attempt. Before he was made Race Director, Mike Webb spent many years as the MotoGP Technical Director, and was all too aware of how the teams would attempt to twist the wording of the rules to their advantage. That was the reason why Race Direction’s interpretation of the rules had been set out so explicitly.

It was also a totally unnecessary gamble. Marc Marquez went into the race at Phillip Island with a lead of 43 points. Wrapping up the title in Australia would have been very difficult, especially given just how competitive Jorge Lorenzo was at the track.

Even if Marquez had been able to beat Lorenzo – very far from certain, given Lorenzo’s blistering speed – he would have needed help from his teammate Dani Pedrosa. Getting one Honda ahead of an unchained Lorenzo was difficult, getting two of them in front was likely to be nigh on impossible.

And wrapping up the title at Phillip Island would have been nice, but for the real fairy tale, he should have clinched the title next weekend in Japan, at Motegi, the track owned by Honda, and in front of all of Honda’s senior management.

The nature of the track at Motegi massively favors the Honda, the Yamahas struggling with fuel consumption, and with the many heavy braking zones at the circuit. If Marquez and his crew had played it conservatively, and stayed within the strict letter of the law, taking the title at Motegi would have been a racing certainty. Instead, they gambled and lost.

That gamble has made Honda look bad, coming on top of other mistakes in recent years. On Saturday, an engine mounting bolt almost fell out of Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V during practice. Last year at Misano, Dani Pedrosa’s team committed a catalog of errors on the grid at Misano, which ended up costing Pedrosa his shot at the title.

HRC spend somewhere between 50 and 70 million euros a year to race in MotoGP, at least 20% more than Yamaha, and probably twice what Ducati spends. They have two of the three best riders in the world, and clearly the best racing motorcycle. Yet they are being let down by schoolboy errors and unnecessary risk-taking.

It could have been much worse. Marquez’s tire had already given him a couple of warnings, nearly highsiding him off at Lukey Heights, and sliding horribly on his final lap before pitting. Once he got off, the left-hand side of the tire was shredded, great chunks of rubber missing from the carcass.

Bridgestone had not been kidding when they said they couldn’t guarantee their tires lasting beyond 10 laps. Marquez’s tire looked positively dangerous.

Speaking of risk, the other mistake, if you can call it that, was extending pit exit further along the straight. This was done to slow traffic along the terribly narrow pit exit, only allowing them to accelerate once they had cleared the narrow path and were on the outside of the area leading on towards the first corner, the incredibly fast Doohan Corner.

The extended line caught Dani Pedrosa out – more on that a little later – but it also caused a horrendously dangerous situation when Marquez left the pits and rejoined. He looked back as he exited pit lane, but could not see anyone coming. Once he passed the white line, he gave it full throttle, accelerating as hard as possible before passing the line and entering the track.

This is where it got dangerous. Marquez hit the corner just as Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa arrived at the turn. He may not have seen them when he looked back, but as they were traveling at over 330 km/h, they were approaching fast.

Jorge Lorenzo ran a little wider into Turn 1 than he had done on previous laps, and found Marquez in his way. The two collided, but both were lucky to come away unhurt, apart from a heavy knock to Marquez’s arm.

Should Marquez be penalized for this? Both Lorenzo and Marquez admitted some blame for the incident. It is hard to award points, as once Marquez passes the white line demarcating the pit lane exit, he is on a hot track and racing. At that point, he is in the lead, and it becomes the responsibility of the rider behind – in this case Lorenzo – to only attempt to pass safely.

The fact that Marquez is not traveling at the same speed which Lorenzo is moving at becomes irrelevant; this is not the same as if Marquez had been a lap behind. In that case, he would have been shown the blue flag and been forced to move over. In this case, he was back in the race, and in the lead.

The real problem here is that the exit of pit lane feeds onto the fastest part of the circuit, normally less of a problem, but because of the extended exit, it put a rider onto the track going slower than he otherwise would have been. But it was a no-win situation for Race Direction: if they had left the pit lane exit as it was, it would have caused chaos as riders started battling on the exit road, in too little space. Both situations were dangerous, and everyone was lucky to come away uninjured.

Then there was Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider had exited pit lane and crossed the extended white line too early when he exited the pits. He was issued a penalty by Race Direction, and ordered to drop a place. Pedrosa was shown the penalty board the lap after Marquez rejoined, Pedrosa passing Marquez in the collision with Lorenzo.

Riders are given five laps to drop the position, and within three laps, Pedrosa had been passed by Marquez. The wording of section 1.21.3 containing the rules on dropping a position is not explicit about whether the position was ceded voluntarily or not, and Pedrosa’s loss of a position looked anything but voluntary. The letter of the law was satisfied, however, and Pedrosa had paid his penalty.

There were some questions over whether ceding the position to Marquez was enough, and whether he should have dropped behind Rossi back in 4th. The argument goes that Marquez had already infringed the safety rules by putting in an extra lap, and so was due to be excluded.

But when Pedrosa dropped behind Marquez, Marquez was still in the race and had not yet been shown the black flag. Race Direction’s decision on Marquez only came after Pedrosa dropped behind him, and so the conditions of Pedrosa’s penalty were fulfilled.

Of course, none of this would have happened if Bridgestone had brought tires which could actually last the race. Which could have happened if they had come to the track to test, something which almost every rider was at pains to point out. Valentino Rossi had harsh words for the Japanese tire company, pointing not only to a lack of testing, but also to the trouble with the tires this season.

So far throughout the year, all of the riders have only really been able to use the softer of the two rear tires which Bridgestone has brought to all of the races so far.

The riders are supposed to have a choice of two tires, but so far, only the soft has worked, Rossi describing the harder of the two options as ‘unusable’. Bridgestone has to work harder, Rossi said, and in the future, a fast rider needs to be sent to test a newly resurfaced track.

Despite the farcical nature of the shortened race with compulsory pit stops, there was plenty to enjoy and admire as well. Though I am no fan of pit stops – as Dani Pedrosa said in the press conference, motorcycle races are one stint, flat out – the grace and agility of the riders was a sight to behold.

Jorge Lorenzo had practiced a bike swap in morning warm up, but it had not gone well. So after warm up, he had sat in pit lane with his crew, being pushed in front of his pit box, then leaping off that bike and onto the other, several times. It paid off, the bike swap in the race being done in no time at all.

Differences in style were also interesting to note. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa favored the vault, jumping off the number one bike and landing on both feet, before leaping onto the second bike. Marquez went with the spin, swinging his left leg over the bike and then pivoting on his right foot, turning 360° until he was facing the right way to leap onto his second bike.

It was elegant, efficient and imaginative. Cal Crutchlow lost out in the bike swap, entering pit lane ahead of Valentino Rossi, but exiting behind. But Nicky Hayden emerged as king of the pit stops, swapping bikes over a second faster than any other rider, according to one estimate. He picked up three positions in the process, passing the two Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

If Honda come out of the Phillip Island race weekend with egg on their faces, Jorge Lorenzo and his team have demonstrated once again why they have two world championships under their belt. Lorenzo didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, his only minor misdemeanor being collecting a seagull during qualifying, and even then, he managed to catch it cleanly behind the neck, killing it instantly.

His team crafted the perfect strategy, and got the bike swap down pat. They did everything right, and came away with the 25 points they hoped for going into Phillip Island, as well as the bonus of narrowing the gap from 43 to 18 points in the championship. Lorenzo’s goal has always been to take the title chase to Valencia, and he took a step closer to doing that at Phillip Island.

Also worthy of praise was Bradley Smith. Smith has faced a lot of criticism throughout the season for his results, mostly as a consequence of being compared with Marc Marquez. But Smith has made solid progress every race, and at Phillip Island things started to come together. The gap to the front is still large, but Smith is slowly moving up the field.

He had his best weekend since the Sachsenring, and is having less and less trouble with the Ducatis. His next target is the other satellite riders, but he still has to find half a second a lap or so before he catches them.

Words of praise are also due for Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro wrapped up the CRT ‘Championship’, though no such title formally exists. Espargaro has been the head of the CRT field this year, and has worried the Ducatis all season. Race in, race out, he has been far further up the front than anyone expected, and pushing the riders on the prototypes. He got everything possible out of the ART, and even a little bit more.

He didn’t get the recognition he deserves this year, including from this website, mainly due to a lack of time to fully acknowledge his achievements. I made a note almost every race that Espargaro’s performance should really be mentioned, but time always caught up with me.

He clearly deserves to be on a more competitive bike, and his hope will be that the FTR Yamaha he will race next season will be a stronger package. There could well be a fair amount of fireworks between the two Espargaro brothers next season.

Was the race a success or a farce? A little bit of both. The best description I saw of the Phillip Island MotoGP race was the fine English word ‘omnishambles’, describing a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged. Fortunately, it all worked out well in the end, with everyone finishing safely in what could have been a monumental disaster.

The hastily improvised solution actually ended up providing a lot of excitement, though it was perhaps a little too manufactured to my taste. I noted a couple of weeks ago that motorcycle racing, like all professional sports, is an entertainment product. But the purity of the sporting contest needs to be guarded closely, to ensure the credibility of the sport, and add to its value as an entertainment product.

If the fans feel they are watching an artificial spectacle, they will stop watching. By all means make the current racing more exciting – dropping the fuel limits would be a massive improvement, and imposing spec-electronics would be another – but do not create spectacle where there is no need for any.

Pit stops – along with ship-to-shore radios – are manufactured spectacle, and pose a real threat to the riders, as the collision between Lorenzo and Marquez showed. Motorcycle racers are vulnerable and exposed, unlike cars, and the dangers they face should be kept to a minimum.

Most of all, though, after a thoroughly confusing weekend, I am left with a feeling of disappointment. MotoGP is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, its premier class. If this is the best MotoGP can do, what kind of a sorry state is the sport in?

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. BBQdog says:

    I found it highly entertaining. And Marquez really should visit an optician. Maybe not because the bike change incident but because of riding on the ideal line not being at race pace. Another Marquez ‘incident’.

  2. article dan says:

    How about damo cudlin being apologised too for being wrongly black flagged. What a joke motogp is turning into. They seem to be making rules up as they go along. Ye it was entertaining but only cos motogp has got soooo booooring. Oh well wont be able to watch it next yr thanks to dorna/btsport.
    Also I have a feeling “inch perfect” lorenzo knew exactly what he was doing and couldve avoided marquez.

  3. Jimbo says:

    MM should be penalised for stretching the rules. However I think black flagging was totally over the top. Either let him finish the race and incur a time penalty or send him through the pit lane again. The fact there was no rider meeting means that there should be leeway.

  4. vman2957 says:

    Every other rider made it to pits on the right lap and had to deal with the same variables. To add to that Marquez almost took out the leader of the race after he pitted on the wrong lap, not saying its his fault, I actually didn’t think he deserved a penalty for the Pedrosa traction control incident. Nothing against Marquez but the law “stuff happens” is finally biting him. I am sure the kid will be fine, as long as he doesn’t spend two years on a Ducati.

  5. TM says:

    All of the crap that came together to produce this fiasco is overshadowed by what might have been had the incident between Marquez and Lorenzo not turned out so well. Had Lorenzo been a few inches wider I think we’d be talking about two very seriously injured riders this morning. This was predictable event. Why not have a special flagger at pit out to let the guys coming out know if they were about to impede the progress of a 200 km/hour missile?

    It’s beyond belief that Honda was willing to seriously risk the safety of Marquez by having him disregard the directive of Bridgestone to not ride these tires beyond 10 laps. This is a more flagrant safety violation than not protecting a traction control wire.

  6. Craig says:

    Well, I feel that making any change was not the best… but after seeing the tire on MM’s bike after 11 laps… they made the right call right at the limit and while it was not the best and it could have been BETTER… it was simply a decision that had to be made and everyone had the same information and performed by the same rules…

    I feel bad it had to happen, they could have tested something there, but it was one change… they are professionals and it’s why you get paid the big bucks…

    Of course, the entry point was another issue and the white line should have been extended on down the corner like a bike path to keep folks from drifting over to set up the left corner…

    The other fact is… someone at Honda needs to tell MM that he has this one in the bag and he’s not in a shootout and to quit riding like it… I know he is young, talented and ballsy, but the corporate brains need to help out here just a little bit…

    I like the racing and appreciate that MM has made EVERYONE step up their game… I didn’t mind the decision yesterday… but they simply had no time to consider a lot of options besides having a 10 lap race…

  7. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    I am in serious doubt the “team” made a mistake. MM’s team was shocked he did an extra lap. They’re on camera looking at each other going “wth? why didn’t he come in?” It was a brilliant moment–they were puzzled and frantic at the same time! haha

    It’s nice the team wants to pretend it was their secret strategy and their mistake but it seems clear it wasn’t. The little bonehead was supposed to come back into the pits on lap 10.

    The boy is dim.

  8. Mark says:

    I watched the FREE Video at MotoGP and when Lorenzo pitted and Marquez blew by, his team goes nuts, they were in shock, and knew right then and there Marc was going to get the Black Flag. So for hrc to say that it was their decision to pit after the completion of lap 10 is 100% total Bull S- – -! Marc chose to ignore the rules and decided on his own to pit on lap 11, and he’s incredibly lucky he didn’t have a massive high side!

    For Race Direction to Black Flag Marc was the only thing they could do, the rules were clear and so was the penalty if the rules were broken or disregarded, and as always, Marc disregarded the rules, but this time, FINALLY, he got nailed for it!

    I would have to disagree with you David on you view of Marc re-entering the track and interfering and running into Lorenzo. In any other motorsport, those that are re-entering the track ALWAYS stay out of the racing line its just the rules of racing. Can you imagine NASCAR employing your analysis that the slower car entering the track can clear the white line then jump up into the racing line of the freight train of the fast approaching lead pack? Marc should have stayed wide letting the Lorenzo and Pedrosa by, but he knew they were fast approaching and again decided to do what ever the hell wants, throwing is bike in on the Fast Line, putting the other two riders in great danger. Marc should still be penalized for the contact with Lorenzo and should be starting at the back line in Japan. Lorenzo is a class act and took part of blame for of the incident when he didn’t have to. Lorenzo and Yamaha are class act and hrc and Marc are just a gigantic pile of crap of rule breaking garbage.

    I’m so sick of Dorna kissing hrc butt, it’s why Casey walked from MotoGP. hrc continues to wreck the class. Please honda leave MotoPG so Kawi, Suzuki, BMW, and Aprilia can join the party in MotoGP, we’re sick of you leave now!!!!!

  9. Kev71 says:

    Marquez has made the championship more exciting and Lorenzo has had to perform at an extraordinary level to compete. I have found this year to be very entertaining; much better than the previous years of processional racing. I am sure deep down that DORNA is excited that the championship was not decided in Australia and they have everything to gain by it continuing to Japan. They have no one to answer to so they can do what they want, it is their series.

    MM made the mistake and his team is covering; as said earlier, it was obvious he was supposed to come in. He looked back twice while coming onto the track; I believe he did see them. Should he have been Black Flagged? YES, if that’s the penalty. Imagine the cries of “conspiracy” if he would have been allowed to continue. We have to remember that he is a rookie and if you look at some the top rider’s history their first couple of years they made some very poor decisions. Unfortunately, the poor decisions made can cost, at the least, lots of $ and injury, at the worst…. Someone’s life. So who is to blame? I think all party’s involved need to share responsibility; however, you really can’t hold DORNA accountable in any way since they control the series. Such is life!

    By the way… Why isn’t Alex Espargaro getting any attention, yet Pol is signed with Tech3?

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “However I think black flagging was totally over the top. Either let him finish the race and incur a time penalty or send him through the pit lane again.”

    BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…!!! (ron popeil voice)

    exactly how does the new penalty points system jive with all this then…?

    (better question)

    how’s this scam of series workin’ out for ya guys…?

  11. tony says:

    nicky hayden, king of the pit stops ! …not sure he wants that on his gravestone hey?!

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “MotoGP is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorcycle racing…”

    …but instead it’s the pinnacle of script writing innit…?

    don’t say you weren’t warned, ’cause I did.

  13. Norm G. says:

    re: “MM should be penalised for stretching the rules.”

    here’s a crazy thought. how about we stop being preoccupied with the notion of assigning blame…? we throw out the results Philip Island and just move on to Motegi.

    or is that too easy…?

  14. tony says:

    why would you do that norman ?

  15. Ian says:

    Norm G with the “Moto GP is fixed” blast again?!?!

    I don’t agree….but the Championship will be more exciting for the next month.

    If Marquez wins in Japan….at Honda’s track…..and something weird happens to Lorenzo….then maybe….

  16. Cal says:

    Hey where are the pictures of MM 11 lap tire???

  17. Kev71 says:

    WOW DID I MAKE A MISTAKE?!

    I watched the race yet again and have noticed a couple things I did not before. There was a shot of MM’s pit board and L2 is put on it, whereas a few seconds later (but on the same lap) Lorenzo’s pit board says to come in in 1 lap, did Lorenzo stay out 1 lap longer than planned or did HRC really make the mistake? If HRC made the mistake than spending $50-$70 million Euro’s should be able to get them someone with better reading comprehension skills.

    Also, after watching Marquez entering the track from pit lane he does look back a 2nd time; however, I noticed that he is actually lower than Lorenzo and Pedrosa (who are crossing the line) so it appears he was looking “up” the hill as they were cresting it (I have never been to Phillips island so someone can correct me if I’m wrong). Perhaps he did not see them. Has MM commented on whether he saw Lorenzo and Pedrosa?

  18. Gonzo says:

    Well, they do call it the “Continental Circus”! DORNA should just drop all pretense and just send Race Direction to Clown College in Wisconsin! In all fairness though, NONE of this would have happened if it weren’t for the Tire mfg.’rs incompetence in this matter.

  19. Hugo Lopes says:

    In every sport, the most important point is the show, the drill, the excitement.
    And Once I read the news of the required pitt stop, the excitement increased a lot! Its more dangerous? Yes! But if you didn´t like the danger Motorcycle Racing would not have space in our world!

    In the end of the race I was not happy because I am a Marc Marquez fan, but I really loved the race and it was clear that if Marquez had continued he was going to pass Jorge and win the race!

    At Phillip Island the best rider always win!
    It happened with Valentino when he was the best 4 times in a row, and then with Casey 6 times in a row! (Both with different bikes)

    This time the best rider was disqualified its a shame, but it was a hell of a race!

    A&R, continue with this brilliant work! This is the best web site with the best articles and the best photos!

    Cheers from Lisbon!

  20. MTGR says:

    A farce. Its all down to the single tire rule. Why should Bridgestone spend extra to test and develop? They are guaranteed the win every weekend without it. They don’t really have without anything to brag about when they win for good PR but and any changes they try that don’t work are obvious grounds for bad PR. It would be bad business sense for them to do anything more than forced to.

    This is supposed to be the highest form of competition on 2 wheels. Saying a single supplier is needed to save costs is a joke. The pinnacle of the sport can’t afford basic components? Then why are they there.

    Competing tire brands would allow a variety of designs to work (as the Ducatis once did) creating some much needed variety and also inject an unknown variable to add excitement without turning it into a contrived mess. Competition is what it is supposed to be about folks. Tires included.

  21. N/A says:

    If Marc’s tyre was as bad as people are saying at the end of lap 11, the race should have been even shorter, no? I’m sure the chunks didn’t start appearing/flying off between the end of laps 10 and 11.

    As for his pit exit after the bike change, Lorenzo saw Marquez exiting pit lane and gaining the lead, he then likely panicked or decided to brake later, therefore running wide and hitting Marquez. If you can find a suitable image/video of that incident, compare the line Pedrosa was on compared to Lorenzo.

    Now, let’s hope Lorenzo runs out of fuel at Motegi – dnf’ing. But of course Yamaha aren’t that stupid according to some of the comments above. Think back to Laguna last year and Spies incident and how they kept that quiet.

  22. Norm G. says:

    Q: “why would you do that norman ?”

    A: common sense.

  23. Norm G. says:

    re: “Norm G with the “Moto GP is fixed” blast again?!?!”

    re: “I don’t agree… but the Championship will be more exciting for the next month”

    denial, ain’t just a river in Africa any more is it?

  24. TexusTim says:

    David, your dead,, on this the top of the game..they should and could do better than that..Honda going crazy over there own mistake ? they make it look like it’s there series.
    I dont think lorenzo “panicked”..lol more likely he saw marquez out of the corner of his eye and just that momentray distraction could cause him to mis his brake marker and run a bit deep, either way marquez tires were not up to heat yet and he new there could be an intersection of there lines..he just didn want to fall in behind them.

  25. irksome says:

    Unpredictable weather/temperature at PI? Go figure! And I’m pretty sure “omnishambles” is Brit-speak for “clusterfuck”. Say what you will, it WAS entertaining, in the same way a drunken 3-legged race is entertaining.

  26. lancej says:

    I think the larger discussion is why are we even having one ? I believe Motogp has an obligation to racing fans to maintain the credibility of their sport with a consistent product, IE same rules for a every event. Secondly, the tire manufacturer needs to bear some responsibility for not providing riders and fans with a product that performs to a minimum standard IE a tire that can last a proper race.
    Let’s take another sport, football [substitute American or soccer depending on your origin] and imagine for a moment if they made a pair of cleats that now could not last the whole game because the field was recently re sodded or it was too hot outside, and they then had everyone run to the sidelines in the middle of the game to change their shoes and jump back in the field to play , we would all be sitting at home going ”…WTF was that”
    That’s how I felt yesterday.

  27. jet says:

    MotoGP is a fawkin Joke…..World Super Bike is lots more entertaining…….lol

  28. Will says:

    Just wait…Dorna will “fack” (in Rossi voice) up WSBK soon enough. Evo class BS. Mark my words. Thank god it’s football season.

  29. Will says:

    For anybody looking for a pic of Marquez’s rear here’s a link to a couple:
    http://www.visordown.com/discount-racing-encyclopedia/motogp-pitstops-exploring-the-future/23814.html

  30. Mariani says:

    @Hugo Lopes

    “In every sport, the most important point is the show, the drill, the excitement.”

    No. That is the type of thing I’d expect to hear at a Formula One gathering.

    The important thing is the sport itself. In this case, the important thing is the racing.
    Having to swap motorcycles because of Bridgestone’s incompetence is not really an exciting factor once you realize how artificial the whole thing is.

    Last time Dorna tried to deliberately make things exciting they came out with the fan’s favourite CRT sub-class.
    Isn’t that great? You get to see more overtakes because they are 3 seconds slower each lap.

    If they focused on making challenging, fair racing instead, then we would have a show every time that grid goes out.

    WSBK, anyone?

  31. Norm G. says:

    re: “it WAS entertaining”

    it WAS unsafe.

    it was unsafe and a violation of a half dozen safety protocols. in F1, a reporter/photog/whoever that was? gets hit by a tire off in pit lane, and the response was to BAN all extraneous personnel.

    meanwhile in MotoGP, we DELIBERATELY have crew members standing in front of speeding MotoGP bikes, waiting to catch them like so much F18 snagging a pendant to expedite pit stops…? (facepalm) WTF…!?!?

    the lot needs to be brought up on charges.

  32. Bruce Monighan says:

    I was disappointed by the race in that last minute rule changes should not affect the outcome of a championship and this may have. I thought it strange to ask teams to do something they never do, pitstops, and ask them at the last minute and not have a serious discussion.

    Actually I think that Marquez’s interpretation has merit. I remember a National Observed Trials event where a rider was deemed to have timed out (one hour after finishing time) but he came in before a digital clocked clicked over to the 61 minute mark so it was decided that he had not exceed the 60 minute mark. In the same way Marquez had not ridden 11 laps. I think based on that theory alone, which was clearly an interpretation Dorna and race direction stepped in s**t of their own making. This should have never happened. Kind of puts Dorna right there with AMA Pro racing for amateur thinking and race direction.

    If Marquez does not win the championship it is a result of this farce of a race

  33. James says:

    Whether Marquez had any involvement on the pit stop scenario I can’t work out, for sure it sounds like Honda tried to outsmart the system and it bit them in the backside so I have to let a little chuckle out for that one.

    The exiting of the pitlane though is unacceptable, dangerous and shows a lack of respect, awareness and sportsmanship.

    As shown in the picture above and whilst watching the race he clearly looks over his shoulder and I would expect sees Lorenzo sit up and set up for turn 1.

    He then exits the white line and heads straight for the racing line tight to the curb. No one does that, hes not up to speed so why would you dive across the track in front of another rider and hog the racing line. Like I’ve heard above, its not the “done” thing.

    Could have been a genuine misake but at this level it shouldn’t have been made and needs to be penalised.

    I do like Marquez but incidents like this need to be wiped out because he’s quickly falling out of favour with a lot of people, fans and other riders.

  34. jake318 says:

    IMHO the MotoGP/WSBK Fan is a purist . They are a educated fan who cherish the fact that the sport is one that pits rider skill against one another where the green flag drops and the riders battle with out interuptions until the best riser crosses the finsh line first . No winning the race because there team changes tires/fuel better . Its the fastest riders riding all out for the whole race until one crosses the finish line first . Simple mano a mano. the motorcycle racing enthusiast doesn’t look at pit stop strategy as racing . If you ask the average MotoGP/WSBK racing enthusiast they think NASCAR racing is about as exciting as watching paint dry . Ezpenosa was experimenting if they could take a page out of NASCAR racing by adding a PIT STOP (THIS WAS PUT IN BEFORE THE TIRE WEAR PROBLEM ) iT TURNED OUT TO BE A PATHETIC EXCERSIZE THAT SCREWED UP WHAT WAS LOOKING TO BE A GREAT RACE . MotoGP in a 2 leg format and , drop fuel restrictions ( which would lower team costs and its pointless ) would be the best of both worlds .
    This would create pure exciting racing . Its good to see people figuring out Ezpenoza agenda to push out the factories saying he is trying to lower costs . But in reality the control ECU costs MORE with factories having to spend more trying to get around restrictions put on tech. If he really wanted to lower costs for privateers he would let the CRT bikes go to 1200cc as displacement has proven to be a CHEAP/easy form of increased performance . Not to m work mention Honda and Yamaha bending over backwards to work with Dorna and running into Ezpenoza accusing them of having too much power . The next slap in the face is in 2015 WSBK is to run superstock engines in a Superbike chassis the factories race for exploring new technologies so Espenosa makes rules to eliminate new tech . he has stated on GPone that he wants a NASCAR formate so the sanctioning bodies have the power and the money comes from outside sponsors . (again NASCAR series format) If this trend continues I fear MotoGP/WSBK will turn into .. go fast go left racing on high bank ovals