2013 Jerez MotoGP Post-Race Round Up, Part 1: The Aggressive Mr Marquez

We'd been wondering how long it would last. Nobody had started a formal pool yet, but we knew that at some point in the season, Marc Marquez would try something which would generate a mountain of controversy. The question was not if, but when, surely.

It took three races, which is positively restrained measured by the standards of his 2012 Moto2 season. Then, he managed to embroil himself in controversy in the very first race when he ran Thomas Luthi off the track at the end of the straight at the beginning of the final lap.

Yet while Marquez' pass on Jorge Lorenzo is already generating enough print copy to wipe out a small forest, it is totally different from his move at Qatar in 2012. That was a cynical slide to the left which saw him edge Luthi off the track and out of contention. This was a dive up the inside of a gap left by Lorenzo in the final corner of the final lap, after Marquez had spent the previous five or six laps making it perfectly clear to Lorenzo that he was hell-bent on finishing ahead of him.

Watching the replays of the pass, and speaking to both riders and those involved, the move appears to have unfolded as follows: Marquez had been hounding Lorenzo for the last ten laps of the race, after first losing ground to the Yamaha man, only to close the gap after the first half of the race. Throughout those laps, Marquez was looking for a way past, but that was not easy. Lorenzo was faster through turns 4 and 5 leading on to the back straight, but Marquez was quicker down the straight, using the draft of Lorenzo to try to catch him. And misjudging it, getting sucked into Lorenzo's draft and finding himself going too fast into the Dry Sack hairpin and nearly clipping the back wheel of Lorenzo's Yamaha.

In the final lap, Marquez put in one final effort along the back straight, pulling out of Lorenzo's slipstream to dive up the inside, only to run wide. Lorenzo cleverly let Marquez through, turned in, and retook second position without any drama. Marquez was back on Lorenzo's tail immediately - in itself quite remarkable, as in recent times, making even the smallest mistake on a MotoGP bike was enough to take yourself out of the race. He closed the Yamaha man down through the fast right handers, but Lorenzo believed Marquez was too far behind to attack, and held his normal wide and smooth entry into the final hairpin, renamed Lorenzo Corner just the day before. Marquez was closer than Lorenzo thought, and seeing a huge gap open, dived into the hole and hoped for the best.

Lorenzo had already committed to his line, not having figured on finding Marquez there, despite seeing the youngster's Repsol Honda suddenly appear inside and then ahead of him. The arcs of the two men intersected, Lorenzo coming off worse as he held the outside line. Marquez bounced inside, keeping upright and going on to cross the line in second place, making it a Repsol Honda one-two, and taking the lead in the MotoGP championship. Lorenzo was forced wide onto the hard runoff area, coming back to cross the line a couple of seconds behind Marquez, and deeply disappointed, in both the result and the riding of Marquez.

The incident sent the media into a frenzy, and opposing fans into an even bigger frenzy. While the frenzy in the media room was aimed at finding anyone even vaguely remotely related to a team to give their opinion, out on the internet, the fans were furiously discussing the pros and cons of Marquez' pass. Among the fans, opinion was split, though probably not quite evenly. A very sizable proportion regarded the pass as unacceptable, Marquez using Lorenzo as a berm, while the majority were just thrilled to seem some real excitement back in racing.

Among those in the paddock, the overwhelming opinion was that this was a racing incident (see separate story), and that these things happen. The lone voices of dissent came from Jorge Lorenzo's garage, with the Spaniard's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg explaining several times in several languages that in his opinion, the move had set a bad precedent, and that Marquez would have picked up a penalty if the clash had led to either of the two men hitting the gravel. Though Zeelenberg's arguments sounded reasonable, he could perhaps be accused of not being entirely impartial.

So was Marquez' move dangerous? Not in my opinion. Was it a gamble? Definitely. Was it likely to come off? That was completely unclear when Marquez made his move. Could it have all gone horribly wrong? Most certainly.

But those are not relevant questions. The relevant questions are was there an opening, and did Marquez dive into the gap with the intention of making a pass, or of taking out Lorenzo? That there was a gap is in no doubt, as even Lorenzo himself admitted. Did he intend to make the pass? Definitely, but his intention was never to use physical force to move Lorenzo aside. Contact was not the aim of the move, and with Lorenzo on the outside, the Yamaha man had somewhere to go.

Lorenzo could have avoided contact if he'd either been willing to cede the position, or if he'd been expecting the attack. Neither of these were the case, and so Marquez and Lorenzo ended up on a collision course, which saw Lorenzo lose out in the corner so recently named after him. What options did Lorenzo have? He could have aborted turn in, and run straight on into the gravel. That would have meant losing second place, and maybe even third, but it would have been an entirely safe option. It might even have been a gamble worth taking, if Marquez had continued into the gravel further than Lorenzo did.

Alternatively, Lorenzo could have braked earlier once he saw Marquez come by, then turned in much earlier to retake the position. That, too, would have given Lorenzo his best shot at retaining second spot, and demoting Marquez to third or worse.

Why did Lorenzo not do either of those things? In part, because he didn't have much reaction time, and in part because he didn't realize that Marquez was quite so close. But most of all, I believe, because he wasn't expecting Marquez to even attempt a pass, and so hadn't even given the option full consideration. This expectation has been created over the past three or four years, where riding attitudes have changed to be more respectful. With Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner at the front, a consensus formed on riding a MotoGP bike, in which inch-perfect riding was stressed more highly than the willingness to do anything to win. That led to riders only attempting passes which they deemed perfectly safe, preferring to follow each other rather than dice, with the most precise rider winning. This attitude was illustrated most perfectly at Motegi in 2010, when Casey Stoner passed Dani Pedrosa rather more aggressively than he intended round the outside, which he then apologized for by sticking up his hand to indicate his regret.

This attitude became the ingrained and predominant culture, made possible because the top riders set the tone. It became worse when Valentino Rossi moved to Ducati, as that put him completely out of contention for the podium, bar freak conditions such as Le Mans or Misano. When Lorenzo or Pedrosa are riding, this is now how they think.

But that attitude will cut it no longer. With the arrival of Marc Marquez, who honed his skills among the beserkers of Moto2, a gap is there to be exploited. The point of racing, Marquez believes, is to win, and that means doing everything possible - inside the most liberal possible interpretation of the rules - to beat your opponent. And that means that when you leave a gap open, you can expect Marquez to dive into it, in the hope of pulling something off. This attitude is exacerbated by the fact that the Repsol Honda man has nothing to lose; after all, it is his first season, and he is not expected to be challenging for the title. Marquez can afford to risk crashing to gain a place; if he gains a place he wins, if he crashes, he loses little.

Is this a good thing? It will be an unpopular opinion in some quarters, but I believe it is. MotoGP in previous years has become sanitized, riders studying to be inch-perfect instead of doing what it takes to win. Marc Marquez throws that old attitude out of the window, and brings the spectacle back to MotoGP. Where lesser riders - Marco Simoncelli springs to mind - would take risks that would too often end in tears, Marquez' supernatural skills means he can both ride at the limit of the acceptable, and get away with it without hurting either himself or someone else. Of even his most dangerous crashes in Moto2, it has really only been the incident with Ratthapark Wilairot which has caused real injury, and that was in large part down to his crew, telling him to push for a fast lap despite the checkered flag already having fallen.

Marc Marquez brings the excitement back to MotoGP, the excitement that was sorely lacking. Marquez has the talent of Freddie Spencer with the ruthlessness of Valentino Rossi and the bike control of Casey Stoner. He is a dynamite package, in a 60kg frame. And as we all know, explosives need to be handled with care. Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa need to change their mindset: with an aggressive rider like Marquez around them, they either need to cultivate a similar aggression - something which Lorenzo has a long history of - or use Marquez' aggression against him. Either way, MotoGP is about to get spectacular.

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Couldn't have put it better myself. Márquez's do-or-die attitude is exactly what MotoGP needs right now.

First, I freely admit to opining this while laying comfortably on my couch. With that said, I think that as these men are competing for their place at the very top of the motorcycle racing hierarchy, those that are not willing to fight tooth and nail for it are not worthy of the title. I think all of the factory riders are willing to scrap (edit: I'm not saying the others aren't), with varying degrees of will. I'm also happy to see that after tempers have cooled a bit the paddock generally considers what happened as RACING, even if it was also considered an 'incident'.

Finally.....Total agreement! Been sayin' for the last 2 years.

With the death of Simoncelli and Rossi on a uncompetitive Ducati; Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner had become entitled "Toddlers and Tiaras" contestants..... Divas expecting everyone to just move right out of their way and let 'em on by. Especially Lorenzo and Stoner (punching DePuniet and Abraham in practice).

Last season it was left up to Crutchlow to bring the fight to these divas. It was last season when my admiration for Crutchlow grew by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, his machinery was uncompetitive and his opportunities were limited.

Knowing that Lorenzo and Pedrosa might shy away from hard racing, it's Marquez, Rossi and Crutchlow what makes the season exciting for me. I root for these 3 all the time because when they are near the front, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Without the Marquez effort and drama, this race would've been rather processional.

It's ok to make the veterans earn it.....

Thank you Marc!

It's only the third round of 18 -- plenty of time for this to end in tears and for you to reconsider your cavalier attitude about what you need for entertainment.

MAQ could have killed Wilairot last year, and now you want to see MORE mayhem?


I'm really surprised by your cavalier attitude to that incident also David.

Any time a rider runs completely off his line and makes rough contact with another rider I think you have to say its a pretty big mistake. Not a hanging offence, but if were to happen again in similiar circumstances I would expect to see Marquez censured.

Difference between war and racing is that there are no conscripts here. Half the grid is actually paying to be here.

The Wilairot move was outright dangerous, and his crew must bear some of the blame. This move was totally different, last corner, last lap, Lorenzo leaves a gap and Marquez goes for it. Does he pull it off? Sort of, but Lorenzo had options to avoid the collision. Wilairot certainly didn't.

Supposed to avoid the collision, apart from just move out of Marquez's way and let him through. As the rider in front he's perfectly entitled to hold the racing line. It shouldn't be up to Lorenzo to try and avoid contact from the front position just because Marquez is aggressive as hell. The onus as always is on the passing rider to make a clean move, not just barge into whoever happens to be unfortunate enough to be In front. I don't blame Marquez for having a go, but he still has to race fairly and give due consideration to the safety of other riders.

Marquez actually said that he learned from what Rossi did in that corner.. He wants to be careful with statements like that. If he's saying he deliberately ran into Lorenzo knowing full well there would be solid contact then he should be punished.

... Lorenzo was not the guy in front anymore when Marquez passed him. And so you are right: you shouldn't just barge into whoever is in front of you ;)

is although Rossi's pass was very harsh, he apologised for making contact and running Sete off track, stating the contact was not deliberate but just an unfortunate by product of trying hard to win the race on the last corner. Whether you beleive Rossi or not is another matter. But if Marquez is implying he knew hard contact would be the result of his pass but did it anyway then he is knowingly operating outside the rules of MotoGP, and telling the world about it. The new penalty system would be a very appropriate measure in that case IMO.

Desh has a great point in his final paragraph. Marquez is pretty much admitting that he knew there would be contact so the contact was admittedly deliberate.

Personally I think many MotoGP journalist are just happy about anything bringing controversy because it brings more interest and more people reading their columns.

The biggest problem I have with the pass is that it required very little skill, just bravery. If I am fast enough to stay behind someone then I could pretty much always pass them by just entering the turn tight and laying off the brakes. If I make contact I will benefit, the only way I will lose is if we both go down, or I completely overshoot in front of the rider and he ducks underneath me.

Comparing elite motorcycle racing, an act volutarily pursued by those fueled by the desire to be the best in a sport comprised of the Top 1% of competitors to those enlisted in an army in order to pay for college is a bit silly, isn't it?

These guys race because they want to win and go fast, not because there are people watching them on TV.

As said elsewhere, perhaps you flip over to the ping pong or checkers channel. Would hate to see you get viewers remorse.

Brilliantly argued and articulated perspective, David. Totally agree.
Much as I am a big CS fan - and I fully remember that Motegi incident - those three did make it much more about skill and precision than outwitting each other.

"Is this a a good thing? It will be an unpopular opinion in some quarters, but I believe it is."

So do I. Good on ya. Was so tired of the "lets hold hands first" passing the past few years. Grand
Prix for decades was hard passing and fighting. This sanitized version is only the past 5 years or so and why Valentino called these guys "pussies". Go epwatch some legendary races between Schwantz and Rainey. They'd run you off the damn track.

Go for it. Always.

Though my new yardstick is that if Bricktop thinks it's a good thing it's almost certainly very foolish indeed. (And please note David criticising a person for their previous history of wrong statements is not an ad hominem attack).

The people you seem to be criticising have all suffered major injuries 'entertaining' you. Perhaps you need to experience the same thing yourself in the act of 'journalism', oh that's right, you picked a very low risk occupation.

is what I believe caused the coming together, and the relative slowness of the corner was a major contributor.

Lorenzo had been fairly apparently battling the front tyre from fairly early in the race and had, as far as I could see, modified his usual optimal line for a slightly later apex point so he could accelerate away without running out of track on the exit. He certainly chopped fairly abruptly across Marquez's nose several times earlier in the race, and while Marquez may have been being a bit loose, he may also have expected Lorenzo to be carrying just a wee bit more speed than he was, had things been usual for him.

One of those occasions saw Marquez come within centimetres of having his front wheel taken out, and even if one allows for Marquez being a bit hyper, that is not usual even for him. He was, I believe, expecting Lorenzo to be a metre or so further up the road allowing him (Marquez) to carry his speed. He appeared to drop back a bit and adopt a watching brief for a few laps to pick up on Lorenzo's rhythm, looking for the best opportunity to pass. That he had the speed to recover the ground to Lorenzo is pretty clear from the last few laps.

The actual pass was in fact rather similar to some of the riding we have seen from Rossi in the last couple of years: go for the gap and hope the inevitable off-line exit recovery will still hold good for the pass. I'm thinking here of, for instance, the Rossi / Dovi duel at Le Mans 2011, and the Rossi/Stoner duel at Le Mans 2012 as examples. Some times it comes off, some times it doesn't, but at the top level it doesn't all that often end in too many tears.

I don't believe that Marquez could not have made the corner even carrying the speed that he did as he dived for the gap because it is a slow corner - but he would have had a dreadful exit line and had Lorenzo cut back behind and inside him, I believe the place was Lorenzo's to hold.

However, Lorenzo appeared to have had problems of his own with the front tyre requiring him to come back towards the apex quickly or end up having to roll off on the exit himself, so I don't think he could have carried a Por Fuera line with Marquez inside him. He had selected a line that was the fastest in the condition he was in and had left himself no real option - the front tyre was not going to answer the call for just a little more traction to handle anything more than Lorenzo had set out as the task ahead of it.

I doubt that Lorenzo wished to be on any bit of track currently occupied by a ballistic Marquez any more than Marquez had figured on pulling off a cushion shot using Lorenzo; they had both selected options that stretched physics to the limit and the point of coalescence was pre-ordained by those choices.

Lorenzo misjudged Marquez's closing speed and opened up the gap; Marquez misjudged just how much speed Lorenzo was carrying at that point and put himself on the bit of road that Lorenzo rather desperately needed to make the corner stick, by a matter of about one metre of track length. Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner racing together seemed to have those limits for and of each other down to centimetres after what? - roughly eight years of racing together.

Racing incident, though it would be good to see Marquez shave perhaps .0005% off his ambition quotient.

Nice. And this:

"Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner racing together seemed to have those limits for and of each other down to centimetres after what? - roughly eight years of racing together ..."

... is a far more accurate explanation of racing in recent years than simply calling people 'pussies' or whatever.

Give Marc a (very) few more races, and he'll have just as much knowledge and will be able to judge passing opportunities just as accurately as the Aliens did -

that is, if any of them are actually in front of him!

I agree, how often have you actually seen close wheel to wheel racing? The reality is there have been very few races where two riders stick so close to each other throughout the whole race. It's usually catch, stalk, pass and clear off.

Maybe I'm a biased CS fan, but I've never seen him sit behind a rider and accept second place, name a track and year where that's happened and he's been close enough to attempt a pass? Stoner binned it last year trying to pass Pedrosa on the last lap at Sachsenring rather than settling for 2nd place, and had a few ballsy passes getting past Lorenzo last year.

Maybe they don't run their opponents offline, but that's probably because Marquez misjudged his speed more than the fact that DP, JL and CS were not aggressive enough. They knew the bikes better, they've had years on motogp machines executing passes. Marquez has a total of what, 12 career passes in MotoGP? The other 3 have hundreds of them. This is where their skill and experience show in comparison to MM, not in their lack of aggression, but in the fact they can get the same job done with less mess.

I think the difference here is that if it had been DP or CS behind JL, they would have made the pass and made it clean at that point. Jorge made an error, a rare one, and that's what lost him the race in my opinion. Marc misjudged when he saw the opportunity and braked too late. If he was a fraction earlier on the brakes, I believe he could have made a clean pass at the same point.

Dani showed how it is done when he passed Jorge. Jorge was still able to keep it tight through the corner but Dani made the pass stick. It shows the trust they have in each other.

It wasn't exciting, it was as you put it a dive into a hole and a hope for the best. There was no great show of skill. There was dumb luck and JL as a berm. MM made other overtakes that were exciting, he deserved the places he gained from those. He did not deserve second place as he could not have made the turn without the unwilling assistance of another rider. Pity idiocy is as usual being rewarded.

Also, if MM is really a combination of all the riders you mentioned, I can't see much excitement building...realistically wouldn't that combination put him out front and unable to be caught in almost every situation?

I agree that battles are exciting, a bit of rubbing is racing, but battles are exciting because they have multiple overtakes and shows of skill that take your breath away. All this move from MM delivered to me was a surprised gasp and the word d**kh**d.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a fan of JL, DP, VR or any other rider on the grid.

I don't know why everyone is getting all worked up over a simple block pass. Marquez was allready ahead of Lorenzo when Lorenzo ran into him so I don't know how you can say this, "he could not have made the turn without the unwilling assistance of another rider". How do you figure that statement?

I figure that statement by the fact MM was in too hot and would have ran off/ran wide if he didn't have JL to push off (his berm, and the unwilling rider giving assistance).

Also, block passing has never been particularly popular with the majority of viewers, when it happens people get worked up.


What you have just written is just another fine example of why I keep coming back every day to see what you have posted. I agree with what you are saying.

For years now I have said that there need to be racers that people love and hate because it creates a good drama. Tension is what is needed to keep people wanting to see racers either win or lose. If everyone is singing "We Are the World", and holding hands in a sport that is supposed to be dangerous and cut throat, it takes away the tension and feeling of things are right on the knife edge of handling.

The Villains and Heroes of the sport give people something to root for. Biaggi vs Rossi, Schwantz vs Rainey, Doohan vs Criville, etc. These battles were not always for the win, but people watched these battles closely every race that the two 'combatants' entered and ended up battling in.

Keep the posts coming. Loving all the commentary.

So this is a bloodsport now? Should we be honest with ourselves?

I think this is the first time I've ever disagreed with David on this blog (not that that's a big deal), but I do.

Marquez is a phenomenal talent, no doubt, but from the start of his career he's been groomed for something bigger. I like Rossi enough, but that doesn't prevent me from seeing things for what they are regarding his career, and Marquez really appears to be Rossi 2.0. I think everyone from Dorna to the MotoGP press to the fans have been clamoring for the next big star to carry the series, and Marquez' obvious talent on the bike at such a young age made him the obvious contender.

Which is why it's not surprising that he's been given a pass over and over and over again regarding his behavior on the track. And not just a pass from the organizers, but a pass from the fans and the media as well. "He's amazing! He's exciting! He can do no wrong!" There's always an excuse. There's always a passing of blame.

But here's some very simple statistical analysis: When a single rider is the common denominator in such a large number of incidents? It's way more likely that said single rider has a problem than that x number of unrelated affected riders all happened to have really bad luck or made boneheaded mistakes that caused them to hit the deck or run off just as said single rider barged his way through.

To me, what's worse than the rare failure to connect these dots is the seeming majority here that understand this pattern and simply consider it an awesome new development! Even David talks about press members needing to start a pool covering when Marquez would first be involved in a controversial incident--but this is a good thing. It's good for the sport. It's injecting "excitement."

Marc Marquez may weigh next to nothing, but him plus bike is still over 400 pounds. That's enough weight to do serious damage to another human being even at what's considered a really slow speed on track. What happened if he was a few inches to either side when he used Lorenzo as a berm? Maybe he puts a footpeg through Lorenzo's leg? Maybe he fracture's Lorenzo's leg and takes him out of the championship? Even with Lorenzo escaping uninjured, what if he would have hit the deck and been unable to finish?

Still "exciting" at that point? Still "great for the series"? Are we NASCAR fans?

I like close racing as much as the next, and I, too, want to see the series livened up. I want to see the guys at the front take the gloves off and throw down. I'd just rather not see any of them seriously hurt for my entertainment. Call me a "pussy"...

Bottom line, it doesn't matter what Lorenzo did ahead. It didn't even matter that Marquez was ahead of Lorenzo when they collided (if he was). What matters is that Lorenzo would have safely negotiated that turn in the absence of Marquez, and Marquez was running wide at best with the absence of that berm--I mean, Lorenzo. That's all I need to know about who was at fault. If Marquez was ahead when they collided, it was because he stupidly got in hotter than anyone was capable of pulling off. And, as EVERYONE around MotoGP seems to agree, this sort of incident was only a matter of time in coming. I guess I'm just one of the few that's actually bothered by that.

You have made your point much nicer than others that are blaming MM as ruthless. I should say in advance I'm with David on this one. And I would like to point out some inconsistencies in your reasoning.

1) If a guy is continuously involved in "incidents" it doesn't mean he's nasty, it means he's a racer. Marquez didn't shoot for Lorenzo, didn't initiate contact, just went too hot. The contact was also Lorenzo's fault, and also Marc's of course. Had Lorenzo expected that, today we would have been talking about a brave but failed attempt at snatching 2nd in the final turn. Look at it this way: How many times has JL been involved in incidents? With Sic in 2010 and then blaming him (!!!), pushing Dovi out of the way in Jerez 2012 and then lifting his arm not to apologise as commentators in MotoGP.com suggested, but to say "get the hell out of here". The nerve this guys has is sometimes unbelievable, but that's what's made him a double MotoGP world champion.

2) I don't like "if"'s but to bare with you, say the contact was nastier, you claim Lorenzo's leg could have been fractured. That's too much. They were doing 50 km/h and collided sideways. Go see again the pass of Nakagami on Espargaro from yesterday. Now that was brave and IF it had gone wrong, it could have gone much more wrong that the MM-JL incident could ever be.

3) As I said, I don't like "if"'s so this statement "What matters is that Lorenzo would have safely negotiated that turn in the absence of Marquez" is a disgrace to racing. As Hayden says, that's why they line up every Sunday. This isn't about ghost laps. This isn't about who's faster only. It's about who can win that race without putting him/herself and others in danger. And this was not THAT dangerous, but it surely felt like the 2nd place was stolen from Lorenzo. As David emphasizes in text and Lorenzo admitted himself, MM didn't just come out of nowhere, he was right on his tail for at least a lap. Lorenzo should have known.

4) Are we Nascar fans? Surely not. Motorcycle racing is not kickboxing, but also not ballet dancing. It's something in the middle and IMO a bit of fairing bashing is acceptable as long as it doesn't put riders to extreme danger and as long as bashing is not itself the purpose of a pass. This was clearly a very successful shot at 2nd place.

"What matters is that Lorenzo would have safely negotiated that turn in the absence of Marquez, and Marquez was running wide at best with the absence of that berm--I mean, Lorenzo."

I think that's a perfectly accurate summary of the incident. Watching the footage over many times it seems clear that Marquez would have unintentionally swung wide if he hadn't hit Lorenzo because he braked too late and had too much speed to take the line he was hoping for.

How is that okay when it results in colliding with another rider? We're less than 2 years removed from watching someone get killed in this sport, yet now we're condoning a collision because it wasn't 'intentional', because no one got hurt, and because the rider who was hit may have had the opportunity to avoid it if he was more defensive? I'll take less excitement, thanks.

This isn't the first time and won't be the last. Take the players out of the equation, in every instance, and the question is where to draw the line. I think it's fair to say that an attempted pass with no chance of success resulting in contact could be considered for a penalty. There's enough dissent here from many different sources to suggest that this wasn't sufficiently ill-conceived to warrant a penalty. I think that the discussion then should be around whether or not this is considered racing in a more general sense and whether a change to the rules is warranted.

Personally, I'm not a fan of this kind of block pass where the other rider is shoved out but I do believe it's part of racing. MM was pretty close to passing JL through that last lap and had made an attempted pass where he ran wide which could have had the same outcome.

As far as "excitement" in the light of Marco's death, given Marco's rather cavalier attitude, demonstrably more aggressive than MM, I'd guess that Marco would have considered this move just a racing incident too.

Ultimately, if you want less "excitement" you may need to switch channels.

"...What happened if he was a few inches to either side when he used Lorenzo as a berm?" Racing is a precision game proven by riders that hit the same mark within an inch and within 1/10th a second each lap for race distance, but racing is also a game of instinct. Most often, a racer's instinct at this level is spot on. Sometimes instincts are incorrect. In this instance he was off the mark -and he rubbed JL99 in much the same way that I've seen JL99 mix it up with others - and there was a racing incident, but his instincts have carried him through to world titles in both support classes.

And to your point about his receiving preferential treatment and equipment, it obviously helps but I can assure you his talent helps more. As proof, all you would need to do is imagine me on his equipment. I wouldn't do much but be a rolling chicane.

I do agree that with frequency comes severity, but I do belive this is much a do about nothing. Lastly, this series has been on life support since 2007 because of the sterile racing. Compare races to Doohan, Schwantz and Rainey and you'd think these guys are rolling around on pink bikes with streamers coming out of the handle bars.

I am not clamoring for blood - watching Sic die in Sepang was the worst thing I have ever seen. Period. - but I abhor the kind of "racing" we've been forced to stomach for 6 or 7 years.

"Where lesser riders - Marco Simoncelli springs to mind - would take risks that would too often end in tears".
When I read rhetoric like this my appreciation for your otherwise great journalism takes a big nose-dive.

Even as a massive Marco fan myself, you must not let emotion override facts.

Marco was extremely fast, having taken pole in Catalunya, and podiums at Brno and Phillip Island in his second MotoGP season.

However, the incident with Pedrosa was, IMO and many others including David's, was far riskier and dangerous to both riders involved.

Marquez has already secured 3 podiums in 3 races, 1 of which for 1st place. What is clear is that Marquez is outperforming every single rookie in MotoGP to date.

... but not as fast as in people's fond memories. He was never going to run with Pedrosa, Stoner, Lorenzo on a regular basis, and Marquez would have blown him out of the water completely. He had charisma and charm, but not the talent of the very top.

I dislike seeing "that's the way they did it in the past". Please supply specific examples to support your argument. Again, the only exception I can think of was Rainey vs. Schwantz in the '87 Transatlantic Match Races where they were out for blood. When they got into GP, they raced hard, but clean.
In my estimation, it was due in large part to the fact that in the "old days" putting another rider off track could get him killed.
Having watched it a number of times, I do think Lorenzo left too much room in that final corner, obviously not expecting Marquez to try it. He was wrong and I'll bet he doesn't make that mistake again. I think Lorenzo's headshaking after the incident was partly over being punted out of 2nd place and partly for having left the door open. That's why in the postrace conference he called it a mistake on his part rather than raking Marquez over the coals.

just spent the last 15 min watching the replay again and again.

what is clear is that Jorge made a mental mistake that affected him in 3 spots.

1. The previous corner saw Marquez run very wide. Jorge underestimated how well Marquez recovered from that corner.

2. Let his guard down going into last corner. Assumed Marquez too far back, left a gap that from Marquez' camera was clearly open and undefended.

3. Turning into Marquez. Jorge is one of the masters of slipping back underneath someone making a bold pass on him. His relaxed mind let him assume Marquez wouldn't be there, and Jorge failed to slip back underneath which I'm quite sure he could have had he looked harder into the inside of the corner. Marquez was in no way going to make the corner and 2nd place would have been Jorge's.

In the words of the great Ayrton Senna, "If you see a gap and you don't go for it, you are no longer racing."

I'm with you, but look for more of this, especially as more and more Moto2 riders advance to MotoGP. Bradl rides cleaner than Marquez, but is not afraid to bash fairings in the later laps of a race. Just ask Nicky Hayden.

While I am starting to become a big fan of Marquez, I'm getting quite tired of the constant dismissal of the last few years of racing just because Rossi wasn't as competitive.

So Marc has started making hard moves, and I've just seen a bear heading toward the woods carrying a toilet roll. Oh, and the Pope going into a Catholic church.

I loved his statement at the press conference with JL sitting stone-faced at one end and Pedrosa in between the two.

If I'm not mistaken Marc said this in translation; "I'm sorry Jorge is upset, but there's going to be plenty more of that so he may as well get used to it".

A new era has dawned. It was obvious to me that it would end in tears, as Smith said, he was making a lairy ride of it all the way through. But in the end, the riders themselves reckon its a racing incident. They're the one's out there doing it, and we are the forum jockeys. Race direction is there to step in when it gets out of order (and believe me, it will).

As Parrish said on the BBC, don't get mad, get even.

Dissapointed in the write up. You have become such a fan of the rider that you have become blind to his poor behaviour on track. Have a good look at the pass Dani put on Jorge. That was class, not like the garbage Marc serves up. These guys take enough risks without running into each other just to please the morbid desire of the fans and make a few more dollars for Ezpeleta. Jorge was penalised quite heavily in the past for exactly this behaviour and was chastised by the press. Now the newly annointed Rossi replacement is behaving the same and he is the saviour of the sport? Although he made a pretty gruesome point YZRM1 has a point.

This particular piece is pure fiction "The relevant questions are was there an opening, and did Marquez dive into the gap with the intention of making a pass, or of taking out Lorenzo? That there was a gap is in no doubt, as even Lorenzo himself admitted. Did he intend to make the pass? Definitely, but his intention was never to use physical force to move Lorenzo aside. Contact was not the aim of the move, and with Lorenzo on the outside, the Yamaha man had somewhere to go."

Marquez was never going to make it through without hitting Jorge. Contact was inevitable.

Please show me where I said it was in MotoGP. I am obviously talking about his behaviour when riding 250's.

... how much of the condemnation of Marquez's pass is because he is the 'New Rossi' rather than the incident itself.

... just asking the question.

Your comment prompted me to ponder it... wasn't accusational.

You are going to be disappointed a lot, if you think this was bad. Lorenzo left the door open, and Marquez came through, plain and simple.

If you believe I am a fan of Marquez and turn a blind eye to his errors, then I suggest you go back and read some of the comments I made about him last year. Marquez' boss Emilio Alzamora is still very cagey with me, and accused me of being a 'bad journalist' after I asked Marquez if there was something wrong with his eyes at Barcelona last year.

Do I believe Marquez is unbelievably talented? Certainly. Do I believe that talent means he should get a free pass for his actions? Absolutely not. When he makes an irresponsibly dangerous move, I shall be among the first to criticize him. This was neither irresponsible or dangerous. I refer you to Marquez' pass at Dry Sack, there Lorenzo expected him, and acted appropriately. Lorenzo wasn't aware that Marquez was so close behind, and then turned in at the last corner, despite Marquez already being ahead.

"Lorenzo wasn't aware that Marquez was so close behind"

That's immaterial. Jorge could have covered his line more, but he's still entitled to hold his line without being bumped nearly off the track. Marquez wasn't THAT close, his move came from a long way back, hence Marquez running wide and into Jorge path.

There's no way Jorge could have seen Marquez coming, all Lorenzo did was take the natural line into the corner. The contact was 100% instigated by Marc and he shouldn't get a free pass for it.

There are multiple video links in this very thread that show what you say, as a view that doesn't exisit. I suggest you review these videos and edit your comment. I'll edit mine once you have.

He's overshot the racing line by a long way and cut Jorge off who was on the correct line into the corner, but Marquez's trajectory was to the outer edge of the track, not the apex.

But looking at the footage again I'll agree its not as bad as the Rossi/Gibernau contact. To me though if one guy is on the correct racing line and is ahead as they BEGIN to turn in (which Jorge was just), then the fault for contact has to lie with the guy who is attempting the pass and overshooting the racing line.

All things considered though I think Marquez had the right to attempt the pass from where he was.

After watching the last lap several time it seems to me Lorenzo was expecting a dumb move at almost every corner he had no choice but to take a wider line or risk be taken out. At the last corner he seems to almost pick the bike up just as he started his turn he knew Marquez was going to try something. as for the no one wanting to call a spade a spade Marquez is the next big thing and I'm sure has a good memory so no journalist in they're right mind would say anything to offend him without killing they're chances of getting an exclusive and I'm sure lucrative interview with him in the near future

I'm sure that MM had no intention of using JLo as a berm. That it turned out that way is no fault of MM. As stated by JLo himself he left an opening. MM full of adrenalin went for it, a split second descision to try to successfully do what he's there to do....overtake and make up positions before the chequered flag.
And as for 2005 with Rossi, I clearly remember watching it live...and watching it over and over afterwards on my VCR. Rossi dived in and was level, if not slightly in front, when Gib turned in on Rossi. Gibs fairing caught Rossis front brake lever and pulled it off, out of Rossis hand, briefly causing Rossi to surge forwards before he managed to grab the brake again, causing the pair of them to run wide and Gib being on the outside came off worse...racing incident...no blame either way.
These 2 incidents are similar in that I believe that MM and Rossi did not intend contact. And that's why RD did not get involved.
MotoGP has become more interesting with MM arriving and Rossi back on the Yamaha....hallelujah.

Marquez just tried it (most of us forgot how it was after the last years) and did it with a bit of luck and a mistake from JLo. Lorenzo was the first one to claim it and that says it all.
Lorenzo hasn't practiced his dogfight skills recently but he proved with facts that he is a great learner and in this case he just need to go back to the old days. So I am quite confident he will be able to tackle aggressive racing. Despite not being my favourite rider I am in awe at his uncanny ability to apply a method and improve continuosly.
The only issue is how long Marc will be behind them. Rossi said it right, we have to beat him now because soon he'll be gone. Finally we have the new Rossi and like him he will also learn to make safer passes. Let's consider that if Lorenzo didn't make a mistake and let him go wide, or retook him inside, Marquez would have finished third or worse.

And whatever he says ... he is a title contender already this year.

What I find really interesting is the refusal of Jorge to make himself a victim by whingeing about the move. He's made apparent how pissed off he is by his interactions (or lack of) with Marquez but by the time he got to the interview room he must have had some wise counsel (maybe his own) that it'd be smarter to just let it go... as far as any statements.
So he gives no oxygen to the debate at all. Best possible strategy I think.
Really, any complaint from him would be viewed (unfairly, but realistically) as either whingeing, hypocritical, not tough enough, loser... nothing positive to come from it. So well done Jorge!

2 things.
1) I pray not, but MM may just take himself out any any moment. Perhaps this is why JL put a zipper on his lip. It is nice to be lucky and good, but you can bend the rules of probability, for only so long, with impunity.
2) It appears that JL once he finally noticed MM, actually turned back to the left in a failed attempt to shut the door. I believe this made the contact worse than it might have otherwise been.

I think that Lorenzo has put a zipper on his lips because he was outsmarted and because he was angry. I don't know about you but I have prayed that Lorenzo doesn't crash when Marquez was chasing him. Lorenzo looked totally atypical for him. His lines were wide and he was unprecise. Marquez is good, no doubt about that, but lucky? Luck is the greatest factor for all, including Lorenzo. How else would he won two MotoGP titles if he wasn't lucky? In 2010, most of his competition got injured, Rossi and Pedrosa, and in case of Stoner, well, all I can write is - Ducati. In 2012, to me luck has played great part in his championship, like in 2010. Poor year for watcing. This year he can't just settle for second if he can't be first. There will always be someone who can spoil the things, and that's good for the show.

For what it's worth... it's was the move by Marquez and the subsequent discussion on here that made me register, finally, just so I could add my 2 cents. I've been visiting this site for a while and have always read the different opinions with much interest, but never was I really tempted to voice my opinion. This time it's different though. And, even though I'm 'just one fan' I think it highlights a change: the passion is back in MotoGP and I want a piece of it. I'm not saying there was no passion at all previously... but I can't remember many Mondays during which a heated debate unfolded about 'yesterday's race'. Or perhaps it was when #58 was still among us... interesting.

With regards to the actual incident, you should have a look at the footage again if you haven't already. The human brain plays funny tricks on us... and our memory is clearly not as clear as we might think it is. After watching their 'get together' only a few times it becomes clear that Marquez was already well on his way past Lorenzo, when the latter 'decided' to turn in anyway in a half-*rsed attempt to shut the door and contact was made. At that point Marquez has almost his entire front wheel in front of Lorenzo. Doesn't that make him the 'leading rider' at that moment? Doesn't that mean that Lorenzo needs to adapt? As far as I know there's no rule about which line to take. Yes, Marquez took an unconventional one, but it doesn't say anywhere that he's not allowed to, as long as he doesn't take anyone out. That's probably where some of you will disagree with me, but when is a rider 'in front' of another rider? Surely having most of your front wheel in front suffices?

Just for fun I also looked for the Rossi/Gibernau incident and guess what? That aggressive move for which a lot of us admired Rossi, actually looks a lot less clear cut. Rossi and Gibernau are pretty much even and Gibernau has already fully committed to his lean when Rossi rocks up.

Compare the two and I reckon you'l find that what Marquez did was perhaps risky, bold or even aggressive... but surely not over the top, regardless of who you support.

From watching the video it looks to me that Lorenzo makes a mistake, Marquez sees the opening BUT also makes a mistake trying to hard and gets in too hot, but at that point he is past Lorenzo. Couldn't tell if Jorge just didn't see MM or what, but to me it was 2 mistakes where the kid's over zealous jump into the gap worked out for him, I doubt it will work out everytime, if the front tires weren't an issue for Jorge this weekend I would be bet he would have the control to counter.

I don't like seeing racers get hurt and I don't like seeing dirty racing, period. But these guys can put the bike on the same line every lap consistently, there is enough control there to have a little rubbing here and there. Rubbing is not T-boning someone though, don't get me wrong. I think that David is spot on, let's get the aliens fired up and see some passion in the racing, not "well I can go faster on an open track so I deserve to win", that's BS and not racing.

That being said I think MM is still very young and needs to be watched, like Lorenzo in his first year, Simoncelli....throughout his career :) (this is not disrespect, meant with full respect and admiration for the guy).

All criticism/comment of the incident aside, if MM doesn't make that move and meekly tucks in behind JL for 3rd place, that would have been just another extremely boring race. I nearly fell asleep mid race. It was BORING, with the exception of MM nearly taking out JL at Dry Sack several times.

Keep up the great work, David. I love this site. Not so much some of the armchair whingers, but it's the internet, nobody said it was perfect.

All criticism/comment of the incident aside, if MM doesn't make that move and meekly tucks in behind JL for 3rd place, that would have been just another extremely boring race. I nearly fell asleep mid race. It was BORING, with the exception of MM nearly taking out JL at Dry Sack several times.

Keep up the great work, David. I love this site. Not so much some of the armchair whingers, but it's the internet, nobody said it was perfect.

A few more comments: two posts mentioned Jorge's ridding style, which was VERY un-Jorge like. He wasn't smooth, changing lines/braking points/etc. why? He was doing everything possible to keep MM behind him, knowing that if he was passed, MM would be gone after Dani (and no, I don't think he had anything for Dani). Plain and simple, Jorge underestimated MM, and left the door wide open. Jorge was PO'ed at himself more then MM. It was a boneheaded mistake....and I don't think he'll make it again!

The move and fairing banging was at 30 mph, not 130 mph. IF, repeat, IF, Jorge had braked early, like he did a few turns earlier, MM would have deep, and Jorge would have turned back in and finished 2nd.

I've been watching GP racing since the late 60's.....

I think Jorge simply made a big mental error of over confidence, he believed that 2nd place was 'his' to keep. He had successfully fended off Marquez for most of the race and to his thinking he certainly could not lose 2nd place with only Lorenzo Corner remaining. If Lorenzo had closed the door properly, we would not be talking about any of this as Marquez would have settled for third. Instead he was visibly shocked that Marquez rather rudely exploited a gap he left open. That tells me he never believed it was possible he could lose the position at that moment. When he entered that final corner, Lorenzo Corner, mentally it was His to own. He didn't see it as his to lose otherwise he would have defended it.

And there was no crashing and no injury so I don't think much will come of it but I see some very shallow thinking in the statment 'but his intention was never to use physical force to move Lorenzo aside. Contact was not the aim of the move'

Marquez himself was quoted as saying "When I saw at the last corner that Jorge had opened a little bit the door. Then just I go in. Many times it has happened in a similar way there. Just I learned from the videos." How can that mean anything but 'I have seen riders in that exact corner use other riders as berms and get away with it so that is what I did?' Seems clear as day to me, he was following precedent and knew exactly what kind of move he was attempting. I think he has the talent to plan and pull off a rebound shot move like that. His oft-reported angelic smile servs an important function in making others automatically think the best of his motives while he has shown by clear example his willingness to push other riders out of the way, by contact if necessary. This is just one more in a long list of incidents with clear intent.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the 2 very close near taking out of Lorenzo from behind. Marquez did look very out of control in those situations and it seems that he was about to crash 2 or 3 times in that one braking zone alone but kept recovering. And he didn't leven lose a second to Jorge! Definitely an amazing talent. Even more amazing that he recollected himself and got close enough again to pull off the last corner move! But I don't think for a second that he was concerned about causing contact and that it was his plan. He never says 'I didn't mean to touch Jorge' so why is that assumed to be his intent?


Nice video. How long will it stay online ?
Shows MM was going to go quite wide and seems to me that JLo could have avoided contact..

George used all his considerable styles and wiles fending Marc off lap after lap. Marquez correctly figured he could get after Dani if he could dispatch George as he did with Rossi. It did not pan out that way and George perhaps and probably did not anticipate the do or die last corner effort. Actually it panned out okay for both of them. Thats the big issue. George can excuse him for this one. Clearly Marc was too hot going in,but George left a gap to be exploited. A complacent one at that. George won't make that mistake again I guess. Probably treat Marc as an old hand future hence and he should. Marc should expect block passes as par for his future course aplenty.
Afterthought and poor old Dani. No doubt Schwantz was peaved that one of Puig's blokes cut the the mustard yet again.

I prefer Jorge, pronounced in the spanish way ... Rorré :)

Marc being forced to run wide lap after lap with brake checking supreme from George. Thecosman,there was much going on inside those 2 helmets. George would have been happy enough to see Marc in the gravel from behind. Likewise Marc was not going to let him enjoy such a moment.
Dani knew he had to get out of it quick and he did. Kudo's to him.
Bigger picture. Its George and M1 vs 2 HRC aces just like 2012.

I would have seen the incident, but unfortunately there are no rear-view mirrors on my bike. HELLO! Did anyone notice me kicking everyone's butt for the entire race on what's supposed to be a Yamaha track?



When I saw it real time, and saw Jorge leave the inside so unprotected, I thought maybe he was setting Marc up by giving him the corner entry, and planned on squaring it up and taking him inside on the exit. But when Jorge hit him (...yeah, I did say that, didn't I?...), I no longer had any idea what the heck he was doing.

Most passing these days involves outbraking, taking the corner entry, and expecting the passed rider to concede his line somewhat in the corner. When Jorge passed Dani in turn 2 at the start, he needed Dani to pick up his bike a bit and concede his intended line for it to be accomplished safely without contact. When Tina passed Marc in 13 at the start, he needed Marc to do the same. So when Marc beats Jorge into the corner, and Jorge fails to pick up the bike and plot a new strategy, I think Jorge is at fault for the contact. And I don't know why he handled it so poorly, when it seems likely he could have had the position back by corner exit.

Or not, it's all merely a suggestion. Maybe Jorge was caught off guard because he was busy admiring the new sign...

His way of saying Rossi.

Now that Marquez has passed the tests of Jerez and Qatar with flying colors, I guess it is time to etch my prediction in stone... Marc Marquez will win the 2013 World Championship! Anyone want to jump on the bandwagon, now is the time! I'm driving!

Hey David, can we get rid of this "preview" before we post. Its really annoying.

I realize that the preview is annoying, and I apologize for that to everyone who posts on here regularly. But it will remain for the following reasons:

It massively cuts down on spam. The difficulties in registering (which I really need to get fixed) combined with the preview means that SEO spammers (people posting comments containing links just to promote a commercial site) give up before their spam is posted. I can cope with the more persistent ones, but this makes my job a lot easier.

The preview serves a second, and more important purpose. It gives everyone a chance to pause, reread what they have posted, and reconsider if necessary. I believe it is an important contributing factor to the quality of debate here. You really have to want to post to go through all of the steps. That discourages the short post containing nothing but insults, which is usually posted in a brief surge of emotion. That emotion has usually subsided by the time people notice that they have to go through a preview process, they give up and don't bother. This is the main reason it will remain. And I'm sorry the regulars have to suffer because of this, but I truly believe it is for the best.

Thanks for the reply and having the best Moto site available.

The link provided above completely changed my view. I thought, on balance, that MM's move was harsh but just about acceptable.
On seeing the video it looks more like JL was overtaken and pulled back to try to cut him off (these guys have great peripheral vision, I believe).

Some similarities to Rea's pass on Haslam at Donington after the Melandri bulldozer went through....last corner, tight, slow, unlikely anyone is going to get hurt.......(not suggesting it was deliberate in either case, but subliminal risk assessment might have factored it in....).

Lorenzo's feelings about that corner must have changed a lot over the weekend. He will be sharper there than anywhere else in the future.

That corner is also, perhaps, a little bit of Austin in Spain, or vice versa, as the M1 was not able to stop and go like the Honda, which helped MM once the gap was opened.

As Smith said, though, you can only use a gap if it's offered.