2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: Of Marquez' Achievements, The Legality Of The Pass, And The Lone Yamaha

It may be, in the colorful phrase of Jeremy Burgess, a "sh*tty little race track," but somehow Laguna Seca always manages to produce moments of magic. This year was no different, with Stefan Bradl finally getting his first podium, Marc Marquez breaking record after record, and Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa coming back after both damaging their collarbones at the Sachsenring.

As memorable as those performances were, they will all be overshadowed by one moment. Marc Marquez passed Valentino Rossi in the Corkscrew on lap 4, running through the dirt in scenes reminiscent of Rossi's iconic pass on Casey Stoner back in 2008. The incident fired the imagination of MotoGP fans for so very many different reasons: the reminder of Rossi's pass on Stoner; the even deeper line which Marquez took through the gravel in 2013; the thrill of a rider running through that corner and still managing to return and maintain his position.

Naturally, it was the talk of the press conference. When asked about the pass, Rossi turned his attention to HRC team principal (and Marc Marquez' team boss) Livio Suppo. Suppo was Casey Stoner's team boss back in 2008, and had complained bitterly of Rossi's pass at the Corkscrew. "You and Stoner break my balls for two or three years about that overtake, because I cut the kerb. So what do you say about that? Have to be disqualified hey?" Rossi asked to much laughter. Not to be outdone, Suppo replied in kind: "Thanks for the question, and thanks to Marc, because after a few years, we pay you back!"

The question is, was the pass even legal? The two protagonists were perfectly happy with the pass. "For me is a normal overtake. Nothing bad with the rules. We have to have the potential for make an overtake without having a problem with Race Direction," Rossi said. "For me, I think it is quite a special place," Marquez agreed. "You cannot do it every lap, but if you do one time in the race, why not? Also we need to be a little bit free in the mind, because in the end, the people watch to see a show. "

But Marquez did exit the track, so shouldn't he have had to give the position back? The rules governing on-track behavior are clear enough, and set out in section 1.21 of the FIM sporting code for Grand Prix roadracing. The two relevant articles appear below:

2) Riders must ride in a responsible manner which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit-lane. Any infringement of this rule will be penalised with one of the following penalties: penalty points - fine - change of position - ride through –time penalty – drop of any number of grid position at the rider’s next race – disqualification - withdrawal of Championship points - suspension.

3) Riders should use only the track and the pit-lane. However, if a rider accidentally leaves the track then he may rejoin it at the place indicated by the officials or at a place which does not provide an advantage to him. Any infringement of this rule during the practices or warm up will be penalised by the cancellation of the lap time concerned and during the race, by a change of position decided by the Race Direction.

Did Marquez' pass violate section 1.21.2? Marquez passed Rossi on the way up the hill, then got pushed wide by the Italian under braking for the Corkscrew. He left the track and then rejoined nowhere near Rossi, without endangering any other riders. Clearly, the pass did not violate that section of the rules.

What about exiting the track? Marquez indisputably left the track, rejoining further down the Corkscrew. Was this a violation of section 1.21.3? The crucial passage in that rule is the second sentence: "if a rider accidentally leaves the track then he may rejoin it at the place indicated by the officials or at a place which does not provide an advantage to him."

Did Marquez gain an advantage? The Repsol Honda man was already ahead of Rossi as they started to brake for the corner at the crest of the Corkscrew, but in an attempt to get the better of him, Rossi tried braking a fraction later. It turned out to be a fraction too late, the Italian running wide and forcing Marquez off the track and into the dirt. Marquez had his front wheel ahead Rossi's in the first part of 8a, before being forced to stand the bike up as Rossi trail braked and hit the outside edge of 8a. His front bike was running wide and into the Repsol Honda of Marquez, forcing the Spaniard further to the right.

As they flicked back right again through 8b, Rossi was hanging on to try to force the bike through the turn. He only just made, but even then found himself crossing the dirt, riding just inside the kerb and technically outside of the track. By this time, Marquez was well off into the hard-packed ground on inside the corner, crossing the off-track section outside of the drain. Marquez finally made it back to the track a few meters later, and joined ahead of Rossi having held on to second position.

Marquez did not gain an advantage through the turn; Rossi, by messing up his braking, ran wide, off the track, and had to back off to safely negotiate the corner. That Rossi had only just hung on to his bike and lost a lot of time attempting to defend his line was clear from the sector times. The lap before, Rossi had gone taken just 18.9 seconds to go through the third sector, which includes the Corkscrew. Forced to back off on lap 4, Rossi took a whole second longer to manage the Corkscrew without crashing. Ben Spies, commentating with the official MotoGP.com commentary team as he was not yet fit to race at Laguna Seca, called the move immediately: Rossi had overshot the corner, and left Marquez nowhere to go.

While it is that pass which will be remembered, it was the rest of Marquez' performance that ended up making history. Marquez became the first ever rookie to win a race at Laguna Seca. He became the first rookie to take a podium in eight of the first nine races. He became the youngest rider to take back-to-back wins. And he takes a commanding lead - 16 points over Dani Pedrosa, 26 points over Jorge Lorenzo - into the summer break. Marquez is on course to equal the record set by Kenny Roberts in 1978, and win the championship as a rookie. Given the odds being offered by betting companies, beating Marquez will be a tough thing to do.

The fact that Marquez won at Laguna Seca is illustrative of ability, certainly, but it says perhaps more about his attitude. He had studied video of the track before arriving, he said, and it had looked 'tricky'. The Spaniard spent Friday learning the lines, and then Saturday finding the bumps - including one during qualifying at Turn 8 which he had missed earlier - and on Sunday, he was ready to take the win. He did not appear to have taken the warnings that Laguna Seca was too difficult to learn during a single visit very seriously.

It is reminiscent of the story of the mathematician George Dantzig, who arrived late at a post-graduate statistics class, copied down the problems from the blackboard, then submitted the answers a couple of weeks later, describing solving the problems as 'a little harder than usual.' The problems Dantzig had copied down and solved were not the homework which had been set, but a couple of problems regarded as almost impossible to solve. Unaware that what he was doing was supposed to be hard, Dantzig had tackled the problem with tenacity and ingenuity, and solved them. Likewise, Marc Marquez appears to regard riding a MotoGP motorcycle at maximum speed as 'a little harder than usual', but very far from insurmountable. An open mind and a fearless attitude is paying dividends.

What will Marquez be doing over the summer break? "Try to review a little bit the first part of the season, and try to improve our mistakes." Given that so far, Marquez has made his mistakes during practice rather than the race, falling only once in the race at Mugello when he found the limit of the tires, the competition should be worried. But as Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo have so graphically demonstrated, you can damage your title hopes just as badly during practice as you can during the race.

There was more to Laguna Seca than just Marc Marquez, however, and 'that pass'. It was clear that the Hondas were stronger than the Yamahas at the US GP, as witnessed by the fact that Valentino Rossi was the only Yamaha in the top five. Stefan Bradl's outstanding weekend started with strong results during practice, taking pole on Saturday, and ended up with his first ever podium finish in MotoGP. What was even more impressive for the German was that he looked confident and comfortable all weekend, rarely flustered and consistently fast. There are those who insist that Bradl's speed was related to the delay in Honda signing the option to extend his contract for another year. The same whisperings were heard in relation to Alvaro Bautista, and the performance clause which he is believed to have in his contract.

Though it is true that there was plenty of discussion going on at Laguna Seca - Bradl was rumored to have been summoned to meet senior HRC staff after the race at Laguna, without LCR Honda staff present - the answer is somewhat simpler. The podium - and indeed the win - was easier to achieve with the two men tipped for the championship slowed by injury. Neither Jorge Lorenzo nor Dani Pedrosa were strong enough to challenge for the win, and were riding careful races aimed at maximizing their points haul. Had both men been fit, there would have been a lot more competition for the top spot.

This fact was not lost on Marc Marquez either. "You never want a bad moment for any rider," Marquez said, "but they took the risk to come here and Dani took 11 points and Jorge took 10. And even like that [with broken collarbones - MM], they finish 9 seconds and 12 seconds behind me, so they did a very good job. For that reason, I am interested in making a race with them at their 100% level, because then we will see the reality, where my level is."

In the midst of the howling Hondas, Valentino Rossi did well to stand his ground. He was the only Yamaha to be able to put up any resistance - Jorge Lorenzo was still suffering, and Cal Crutchlow had what he described as his worst qualifying and his worst race, though he admitted he had no excuses - and his battle carried him to the podium. He had no answer for Marc Marquez - few do at the moment - but he held off a charging Bautista for the last five laps or more to hold on to third.

Rossi was delighted, much more so at Laguna Seca than a week ago in Germany, he said. "This podium is a lot more important and make me a lot more happy compared to Sachsenring, because in Sachsenring I think I can have a better potential. Here we work in a better way with the team, we stay concentrated, and try as much as possible. For the race, my bike was OK. In this track , it looks like we suffer a bit compared to the Hondas, we are a bit slow."

Rossi's confidence is growing. The bike is still not exactly where he needs it to be, but his team is still making progress and finding ways to solve each problem as it arises. Though his former days of dominance may be past, the goal he set himself when he returned to Yamaha - to be able to compete with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa (and now Marc Marquez) for podiums and wins - is within reach. "Race by race I have more feeling I can stay in front, I can enjoy and can do some good results in the races and in the championship," Rossi said. "For that I am happy."

MotoGP is now packed up, the bikes heading off to Indianapolis ready for the third of the US rounds in four weeks' time, the riders and teams back to their respective homes and a well-earned vacation. The first half of the championship has been intriguing. The second half could see some real fireworks.

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I think rules aside, precedence has to count for something.

It was OK for Valentino to do it in 2008, and you race how you want to be raced against. Marquez was no stranger to hearing that when people tried to return the attempted murder favours in Moto2, right?

Also, had VR stayed within the white lines himself there could be a question about it, but he didn't. He tried to force the charging Marquez off the track like Marquez did to Luthi at Qatar last year.

You could argue that both riders got what they have dished out in the past.

The track is designed to allow for running wide safely there - the sand is kept well back from the white line.

went to a local bar after the race to grab a drink with my buddies and got to meet:
Bradl - spoke with him for a couple of minutes and he is super cool
Jorge Lorenzo - for as fast a racer he is, he is a terrible dancer! but the horde of hot chicks didn't seemt to mind! Got to shake hands and say a few words
Hayden - was just chilling in the window with some friends and took a minute to shake my hand
Dovi - really nice
De Angelis
Rossi - shook my hand and was cool.
Scott Russell -
Gavin Emmit and the entire BBC crew

it was ike walking into the twilight zone. An awesome end to another great weekend at Laguna Seca.

I would pay serious money for a night like that ;)

Beyond the birth of my baby and getting married, it was the coolest night I've ever had. Two days later and I still can't get over it and, unfortunately, have no one to tell except a bunch of people I've never met on MM because no one I know cares who these guys are - which is tragic!

We'll do a meet-up next year and I will take us there.

I'll start by saying that I'm a big Rossi fan, even though he's far from being my all time favorite Grand-Prix rider (that one comes from an earlier time).
I still think Rossi's "original" overtaking in Laguna Seca'08 was completely bonkers, though not the cleanest I've seen for sure. With that said, it always looked to me as complete improvisation at that very last moment, which luckily ended "OK".

This time with Marquez, I'm not so sure this one wasn't a "calculated risk" that had been staged in his mind already.
The whole overtaking maneuver (with Rossi also not making it easy in the process, granted) seemed way too optimistic right from the beggining, so much so that (to me) it's almost impossible to avoid the thought that, perhaps, the off-track excursion which happened 'by necessity' may had been planned in his mind already (as last resource, or whatever you can call it).
No matter how many times I watch the replay, it still doesn't make it different.

I understand that both the Media, Dorna, the sponsors and the fans have a huge thirst for spectacle and drama, the whole Marquez ubber hype thrown as high and far as possible even since it was known he would come to the top HRC factory team (replacing Stoner in the end), etc, etc.
All of which, obviously, makes it even more interesting to spread and sell because it also involves Rossi, no less.
Dorna and the Media must be happy.

The big question in my mind is how would the same situation be treated if it wasn't Marquez and Rossi, how would this be if it happened instead in a mid-pack battle, for instances, in Moto2 or Moto3....?

I mean, it's the second time in one season that a controversial maneuver from the same rider (Marquez) gets shrugged by the organizers.
First was Jerez with that 'overtaking' (rofl) on Lorenzo, and now Laguna Seca'13 with another "Rossi cover by Marquez" act.
It had also been shrugged back then by the organizers with Rossi's "original" maneuvers of similar characteristics, and TBH it still feels just as strange today that some riders can get away with it, perhaps much easier than others (?).

Honestly, it all leaves a question of "how far are they willing to let it go?"

I don't see how Marquez AVOIDING contact can be called a controversial maneuver. ;)

It also may be of note to you that two mid pack riders made contact during an overtaking attempt in the very same race and nothing came of it.

someday some such maneuver that everyone loves so much, because oh the clean skillful overtakes on tricky corners (stoner, lorenzo, pedrosa style) are so boring and not much "showy", will lead to a nasty accident with a nasty injury to some rider and maybe then some people will wake up out of action movie mentality.

it's a shame it sometimes takes a really bad incident to remind everyone why this sport is a fucking serious business and not something merely for the damn "show".

that said, this particular maneuver was not at all dangerous..this was okay....it wasn't as much forced (like literally), controversial and outrageous as marquez' 'punting' move on lorenzo in jerez, which to me was just downright un-skillful (oh sure it was entertaining. action movies remember ?)..but that move also wasn't much dangerous..but you get the point, one of them days it's going to be highly dangerous and god knows what it'll end up to... but it's marquez, no ?..whatever he does short of literally throwing someone away is excused.

you saying that during the season that the two most "clean" (and perhaps fast) riders have had big accidents on their own. I understand you mean more than a broken collarbone, but Jorge had two massive highsides all alone at and above 200 km/h; could have been worse. Last year the third "clean" rider you mentioned destroyed his championship hopes in exactly the same way.

My point is that serious accidents don't just happen when you go late on the brakes, it's usually the other way around (early on the gas) or some weird combination of circumstances (Sic, Kato) aided by insufficient track safety measures.

well, you read or interpreted what i wrote wrong..nothing what i said had anything to do with them breaking their collarbones or something.

and yes, most riders that have been killed or severely injured had their crashes alone..that still doesn't change the point that physically forceful kind of overtakes may end up risking 2 or 3 people at a time..sometimes they are fun and not dangerous, well probably most times that's the case, but just once being way out of luck can be enough for destruction.

i didnt say they were 'clean riders' per se..the phrase 'clean riders' alone makes no sense unless you specify clean as in doing what ?

read the phrase i wrote again :) i said those who do skillful clean overtakes on tricky corners...i was talking about their ultra skill, which is much harder to achieve/master and execute at chance than anything else, in overtaking with rarely any punting, running off the track/curb or even slight fairing touching..clean as in being so precise in tricky situations...more often than not..actually, almost always except a few times..

as much as i too love crude/on-your-face aggression (it's not like those 3 riders can't be aggressive in that way if really needed, or that they were never so), i like aggression in a more awesome and skillful way, so much sometimes that it doesn't even look like aggression..a recent enough example - lorenzo's pass on dani in the last lap of brno 2012 a few corners before the last corner..he took an overtake so beautifully and skillfully through a gap that was hardly even there all that much - yes that's aggression in a sublime form..shit like that requires highest form of expertise, and that kind of stuff marquez hasn't yet shown me..you might ask what was in any sense aggressive about such a pass ? well, if he weren't aggressive at that point, why would he even try to overtake at full lean through a gap that was barely there ? he did so because he was asserting his will to take the lead at the slightest hint of a gap, even if it was seemingly hardly enough for a motogp bike to go through..he was aggressive in his will..

i have seen plenty of stuff like that in lorenzo, stoner and rossi as well...nothing of the kind so far in marquez..he is a brilliant alien rookie, but i will be sold on him when he does something of that sort a couple of times..

I just decided to call Dani, Casey and Jorge "clean" for the sake of the argument and with the collarbones I was trying to say (admittedly a bit unsuccessfully) that you probably meant more serious injuries when calling for caution instead of ruthlessness.

But relax, sure nobody wants to see people getting hurt. I just found a bit of irony in the way this season has so far unfolded. Your comment made me picture the three "clean" riders battered and bruised at home licking their wounds (obviously CS could only be doing that last year) while MM and VR are spending their honey moon in the Caribbean recalling all the dangerous passes they've put on people in their careers.

Back to seriousness, I agree with you, it takes more skill to be able to pass everybody cleanly. However, it takes a DIFFERENT kind of skill to be willing and able to partake in a dogfight. Sure, all DP, JL and CS have this skill but they prefer the "clean" approach. The presence of so diverse and fast riders this year just makes for an interesting championship. For example, in Catalonia, JL and DP doing their usual blistering, perfect laps and Marquez right behind, being all over the place and trying not to collect Dani in turn 4. I certainly hope that this attitude is here to stay.

Stoner passes Lorenzo a por fuera at 265 km/h on the edge of the track. I figure that is a much more risky pass than the relative low speed passes in the corkscrew or Jerez turn 13.

That pass is without doubt the ballsiest pass I have ever seen in 20 or so years of following GP racing. I've seen smarter passes, tougher passes, scarier passes... but for sheer big brass ones, that one takes the cake, and the table the cake is on too. It would probably qualify as the most unexpected pass of the last 20 years, too, if you were to ask Jorge : )


The people I have spoken to here in the Laguna Seca paddock all generally agree that the pass was ok, although a few chuckles over the irony of Livio Suppo finally getting "revenge" for 2008 :-)

However the real significance of this was that of the youngster using the old dog's tricks against him... I think we may well be looking back to this as the moment the torch was truly passed from the old superstar to the new one.

Are we ready for many years of Marquez dominance? :-)

Marc crashed in turn six during QP, not eight. :-)

He himself incorrectly said turn eight in a few interviews.

Turn eight is the left entering the corkscrew.

Sykes was clear. It was an advantage to him. MM and Rossi, lucky they both can out. Stoner and Rossi, lucky they both came out.

To compare running straight on at Monza to two riders trying to get down a 3 story drop is silly. ;)

I will merely note that Marquez in 2013 and Rossi in 2008 somehow miraculously managed to stay on the track when they weren't passing.

But I'm sure that's just a coincidence, right?

One of the best passes and hardest moves I've seen there was Ben Spies vs Maldin. Both stayed in between the curbs.

Rossi and Stoner were fighting. Neither wanted to give room. Same with '13. Stoner never had a problem with "that" pass. Not sure why anyone else would. It was hard racing and sometimes that happens. Suppo didn't like it because his rider lost.(I'm a stoner fan) Yamaha didn't like it this year because their rider lost. In the end, if the riders are ok with it. Then the stewards should stay out of it. They were ok with it in '08 and '13.

"I know hard racing, I've been in hard races all my life, but for me, that was past the point"

I remember him saying that, and I'm not the only one:

As for the race: Great! :-D

As for a track rookie winning the race: Superb riding, but Spies did the same quite a lot in 2010 WSB, IIRC.

Be gone with the summer break. I wan't more action :-D

He was not talking about the corkscrew pass and has said himself that that pass wasn't the issue. He was much more vague about it, where at the time there was a lot of speculation that he hinted at Rossi brake checking him at some corners.
I even wonder if this quote is 100% accurate, since I am sure he said '...some of those passes...'


OK...but wouldn't shake his hand!

And anyone that has playstation or x box knows that the fastest way through the corkscrew is straight over the top! Props to both of them for pulling it off in real life but that does not make it any more legit.

When Rossi did it in 2008 I thought it was an illegal move as Stoner clearly had to take evasive action to get out of Rossi's way when he re-entered the track. This time I think it was of less questionable legal status as Rossi also just barely went off track too so it cancels out. At least race direction is being consistent and living by the precedent that they set.

Can't wait to see what pass The Corkscrew brings us next year!


is what I read here "It may be, in the colorful phrase of Jeremy Burgess, a "sh*tty little race track," but somehow Laguna Seca always". Especially coming from someone who has never visited Laguna Seca . We've disagreed in the past David but I always respected you. That went away today, due the above statement. What is it exactly you saw there when you visite.... OH, that's right, you've never been there. That completely explains what you're basing that statement on. Sensational blurbs in your articles now that make you look like more like Crash or The Daily then what is expected from this website. BTW, are you really afraid to say shitty here? You don't seem to have an issue with profanity alot on FaceBut . . Book.

I'll seriously be reconsidering whether I'll be continuing my support of this site. Am I the only one a bit shocked by that term? How long will my comment last?

Two things. Firstly, the quote from Jerry Burgess - said by Jerry Burgess, and in a sound file on my computer - was used to make a point. Laguna is the second shortest track on the calendar, and realistically, too short and too tight for MotoGP bikes. It also, as I wrote in my preview, has one of the best corners in the world: Turn 1. It is the favorite event of 95% if the paddock, with only us curmudgeons and weirdos preferring other races. Laguna always delivers.

Secondly, the reason for Bowdlerizing profanity here is because motomatters.com needs to be available behind corporate firewalls, which all too often incorporate filtering software. Profanity tends to result in blocking. My Facebook page is my own, personal page, where I am myself. That includes profanity and politics, subjects I exclude from the website. The website is professional, my personal Facebook page is, well, personal.

If you do not feel you wish to support the site I will be happy to refund you in full.

Ah, I see, so now shitty and short are synonymous. Too short and tight? Yeah, it's purely criminal that they don't have 1 mile straight stretches so we can create a bigger gap between the factory bikes and the others before they have to turn somewhere. It's a tight demanding course with little time to rest, the best riders generally do well because it's not purely a HP track. Obviously, that makes it shitty. Sorry, but it was classless statement by JB and it didn't get any better when you used it. That's my take.

If I'd have wanted a refund, I'd have requested one.

And for those giving me single stars on my comments . . . please stop, you're gonna make me cry. ;)

Man really?? He made his point about why he used it and you're still bitching. Did you go this year??

And your comment about the stars. If it didn't bother you you wouldn't have said anything. The fact that you did shows that it does bother you.

Respect others opinions. Even if you don't agree with them. We're not at war here. It's not a life or death matter. It's a racetrack. Sooner or later it will give way to another. There's only one on the calendar that's stood the test of time.

I just reread the original article with the quote.


For a guy whose rider won the race JB seems quite bitter. And didn't Schwantz just get raked over the coals for saying what JB says about Pedrosa in the last part?

Burgess (as great as he is as what he does) seems to show the classic signs of paddock tunnel vision: Laguna is a track different than everything else he is used to so it must be crap. Even through the riders love it.

"and to be perfectly fair it's highly undesirable for the sort of motorcycles we're riding"

Then why are the races as good as anywhere else and usually better? The riders like it and last I saw they are the ones riding the motorcycles.

"It's interesting, I was asked to write a story about the bikes that have won there, but everyone I've spoken to says that it's not about the bike, it's about the rider around Laguna."

So finally we get a track that is acknowledged as rewarding rider skill and bravery and it's shitty?

"if you ran the measuring stick around the place you might not find that it doesn't quite measure up. We'd rather be racing at 5km tracks than the ones that say they're 3.5km while they're really 3.3km."

Some rock songs are long, some are short. All the great ones are as long as they need to be. Just like racetracks. Like most great tracks this was carved from the terrain that was there with the eyes of an enthusiast. I'll take some sun and dust and a great track over the sterile swaddled environment of any of the new designed-for-F1 tracks any day.

It was a shitty statement when JB said it and has not improved with age on this reuse.


to Chris' comment, as far as the stars go. He preceded his statement with a few other comments and then says damn near the exact same thing that I did.

I get 83/84 1 votes and yet with 28 votes cast for more or less exactly the same statement Chris is averaging 4 stars. Too friggin' funny. I truly think I'm gonna cry . . . from laughter. So Chris is right and I'm still wrong? There truly is no better show then when the internet zoo opens it's gates, truly none.

At least I'm not the only one that thought it was inappropriate, creative literary license, interpretation and all that aside.

You said you lost all respect for David and thought about pulling off being a supporter over a recycled Burgess quote. That's pretty extreme. I appreciate David's articles even when I disagree with them as if everyone had my opinion the world would be a pretty boring place. When I do disagree I try to put some facts or quotes behind it.

What seems to be an accurate statement is that Laguna's amenities are not the latest and greatest and it is a short track, but it is extremely challenging to the riders and produces better racing than most places. As far as the paddock buildings go the track is in a national park and can't just go about renovating at will.

What I would do is encourage David to go to a Laguna GP (;)) so he does not have to recycle other people's opinions on the place.


David has been encouraged to make the trip across the pond, not just by myself but I'm sure by a large variety of our mutual friends and acquaintances. As well as many others I'll wager. I fully understand why he doesn't come to Laguna, it's an expensive trip to make and with only the MotoGP bikes there as well. He has a budget he has to stay within and the Laguna trip doesn't make sense at this time. He's better off to miss Laguna and make 3-4 other rounds in Europe, etc. for the same cost. I get it.

I was harsh in my criticism but I also feel that the quote is just as harsh. As I stated or inferred earlier, it's not David's style to use (what I consider) a derogatory term towards someone/thing, so I called him on it. Did I lose some respect for David? Yes I did. I thought he was above using comments like this. If I was indeed serious about completely pulling my support, I would have accepted his kind offer of a refund.

Oh, just so folks know, Laguna Seca isn't my favorite track. My favorite is no longer on the calendar, the Hockenheimring (old course). Second comes Phillip Island with Laguna close in third. I also don't have a "personal" relationship with Laguna so I don't take comments about it personally.

Someone earlier accused me of whining because of the lack of stars I received. Au contraire, I was poking fun at the number of 1 star votes I was receiving. So please, everyone join in and let's make sure this comment gets at least 100 1 star votes. It would make me feel much worse, really it would. ;)

edit to add: It's actually a Monterey County park not a National one. I'm sure the bikes wouldn't be allowed to race in a national park. Although the run through Yosemite could be one helluva track. I'd rather not ply my cornerworking skills there however, the runoff sucks in spots.

I was just poking at David. I remember him posting something on FB about hating when people tell him he should go to Laguna....

>>It's actually a Monterey County park not a National one. I'm sure the bikes wouldn't be allowed to race in a national park.

Oops! You're right on Laguna but I'm pretty sure Pike's Peak is a national park so it is allowed on them.


can't compare to bigger ones. fact. anyone who's raced motorcycles knows that the bigger tracks are usually more fun. i know it's a gross generalization, but look at the tracks that are considered the favorites by the racers and see which ones come up. mugello, philip island, suzuka (formerly a moto gp track), brno, turkey (no longer raced), Assen (old layout). you can also apply this to cars- spa, monza, etc. sorry laguna, bigger is better.

I see nothing wrong with that. As far as GP bikes are concerned. It's a shitty little track. Very difficult and very demanding. Out of a 1:22 lap, these bikes are at 100% throttle for only 4 seconds. I love Laguna, to me it is a special place. There's nothing else like it on the calendar. The riders love it. The fans love it. The crew chiefs have a difficult time with it. Where else does the rear suspension compress fully when the front is fully extended? So yes, from him. A shitty little track it is. It's narrow, short but like the article says. Always provides something unexpected. I hope you can stay on, even though we may disagree. We have a common interest and that's what makes coming here special. Differing opinions are welcomed as it gets boring right quick talking to a mirror.

"Where else does the rear suspension compress fully when the front is fully extended?"

Presumably, anywhere a bike wheelies.

You will not get a bikes rear suspension to FULLY compress, just by doing a wheely.
The original statement is spot on..

that Burgess said. Read the interview again. There were some slightly complimentary things he said about it and the event there in CA. If you've read or heard much from JB over the years being effusive is not is game. Laconic, reductive colorful phrases are more his style. The "shitty litte track" part was meant specifically in a technical capacity. More about his job having to set up bikes akin to greyhound dogs to race inside a doggy day care pen built for ankle biters.

Dean Adams is reporting that Marlboro dropped the the "ultimatum" on Ducati: no more money after this year unless result improve. Have you heard anything about this?

While Malboro money is very nice. Audi doesn't need it. They won't miss a beat.

I think Rossi's salary departure would soften any funding blow but no company ignores a step increase of costs in the $10M range. Audi purchased Ducati for mostly prestige and if Audi's board sees continued crap performance with huge costs anything, including withdrawal, is possible. It happened to Suzuki and Kawasaki. It could happen again.


Marlboro nearly pulled out after 2012. There was talk earlier this year that Marlboro is looking at not renewing at the end of 2013. There's a good chance, but the problem is they have nowhere else to go if they want to stay in MotoGP, as any rebranding of an existing team would fall foul of EU tobacco legislation. Can't join another sport for the same reason. If they leave Ducati, they would 'only' have Ferrari in F1 left.

I have heard these rumors a lot, but have not reported them. Been trying to confirm them, but senior Marlboro personnel are good at avoiding the media.

To contrast what motomania stated, this article is exactly what I've come to expect from this site. Another well written and insightful Article; with the best possible coverage, reporting, and the most in-depth analysis. You've given me just the fix I need to keep the MotoGP Summer-break withdrawals away.

To put my money where my mouth is, I've reconsidered my (lack of) support for this site and decided to become a Site Supporter before leaving this comment. Thank you! Keep up the Twitter activity too!


Stefan has stepped up a lot in the last few rounds and I think the switch to Brembo brakes has really helped a lot. From what I understand, Honda extended the option on his contract to see what he would do at Laguna Seca and what better performance could Honda have asked for? He got his first podium and it gave Honda a points boost in the Constructors championship (important since Dani was injured). Sure, Marquez caught him, but he has the very best Honda can provide and I am sure Honda would have preferred Marquez win anyways (Congrats to Marquez though, that was some impressive racing).

If LCR offers the seat to Crutchlow and he decides not to go to Ducati - who is Ducati’s second choice for the open seat? Would they offer the ride to Bradl?

Scott Redding has been mentioned, but I think he would be better suited to the “Junior” team while he learns to tame the monster --if he hasn’t already accepted the 2nd Gresini bike...

Spoke with Nicky after he came out of the garage. I told him he should head to WSBK and wipe the floor with those guys to remind the world who he is and what he still can do. He looked at me and said "There are alot of options on the table and it's very possible I'll be wearing the shirt you're wearing next year." If that is true then Noale, Italy should rejoice!

Talking to someone who knows Cal, he jumped for the money and signed with Ducati. Apparently £5M per year. That sucks If true

In the '08 race, Rossi also cut the inside of Turn 4 onto the dirt, raising observable puffs of dirt from both wheels, overtaking Stoner, and then ran right out to the edge of the track; Stoner had to roll off to avoid pushing Rossi off the outside. If Stoner hadn't given Rossi racing room, the end result of '08 could have been very different.

Since they swapped places so often in that race, pretty much any pass could be deemed to have been remediated, whether by one rider 'dropping back' (ha!) or the other rider reclaiming the position. Take your pick.

And a small point - if Marquez 'learned' the manouever by watching a video of the '08 race, Lorenzo should have done his homework for '11, because Stoner did at least twice to Rossi the Turn 1 Por Fuera move he pulled on Lorenzo that year - just not starting quite as up close and personal with it..

Last night on facebook, after multiple posts of video clips and image stills, I got David to admit that Marquez had not been a bike length ahead of Rossi when braking, and that they were even when going up the hill at the start of braking. You can see Rossi's wheel in the on-board video of the pass when /Rossi/, not Marquez, starts braking first. Marquez begins braking 3 frames later on my video. Looking at the still here you can see their tires are even on the shadow of the ad board. http://i.imgur.com/suP7fMn.png Rewatching the onboard video from the world feed will show you who braked first (Rossi). Here's a clip from it, the first frame the Rossi is on the brakes while MM is rolling off still. MM's brake doesn't come on for 3 more frames, tho he hits them harder at first. http://i.imgur.com/RhgSFcG.png

Because of this I was disappointed to read this paragraph:

"The Repsol Honda man was already ahead of Rossi as they started to brake for the corner at the crest of the Corkscrew, but in an attempt to get the better of him, Rossi tried braking a fraction later."

You don't need to add your own fantasy to this story to be 'right' about the legality of the pass.

I'll stay on the side of, legal or not, off track racing shouldn't be allowed. If Rossi out braked himself then surely Marquez did as well to place himself perfectly on the outside of Rossi at the apex of 8a? Had Rossi truly out braked himself, MM ought to have been able to let him run wide and cut back the inside of him. They both messed up, the both went off, and the pass is allowed to stand because Marquez happened to have half a wheel in front is the explanation as I've understood it.

Amazing to most people but looks like amateur hour to me.

The video which MotoGP.com put up on Youtube of "best overtakes" at Laguna includes a helicopter shot of the pass by Marquez on Rossi. The pass starts 18 seconds in. You can see that Marquez is ahead, Rossi catches him briefly, then Marquez shoots ahead again. The link below starts at the beginning of the sequence.


In this earth, u can't pleased everyone. N in this world of motor sport. The risk is always high so as to say these guy knows what they're doing and we, the armchair expert aren't even their level. So shut up, David has every right to his opinion.

has the right to disagree and state so? I know David well enough to know that he can wage his own debates without your assistance. So maybe you should be the one to shut up, instead of telling someone else to do so. This website gained it's reputation for good reporting and lively yet respectful debate. Censorship isn't one of the tools David uses and I don't expect that to change.

You are right in that Rossi did not try to brake later. He braked earlier but in his interview said "release the brakes off". Which explains why he braked earlier yet ended up beside Marc in the corner and why he did not make the corner without running wide.

There is no guarantee that Marquez would not have stayed on the right line as he did not have a chance to do that. He did not have time to let Rossi through.

The Rossi on Stoner past was totally different pass. Rossi out-braked Stoner so Casey could pull in behind. The reason he out-braked him was because he was going too fast to make the corner without running off then coming back on the track and nearly pushing Casey off the track.

..missing from your analysis regarding braking and who was ahead.

Aside from all else, you assume equal braking performance on different machines, different people, in different places on track and assume once one brakes one does so at a set rate until you've set the required speed. What if Rossi did brake first then, as he has made a career of doing, let the brakes off? Etc...etc...

It is a shitty little track. The course is extremely short. The grandstands, paddock, media center, parking, etc, are all behind the great European circuits, COTA, etc., in terms of being up to date. It's almost a throwback to 30 or 40 years ago and the infrastructure is badly in need of updating. Moto 3 and 2 wouldn't even have the necessary garages.

But, the course is beautiful and it takes big shiny brass ones to be fast. The area surrounding the track is beautiful, housed in a gem of California. I've always looked forward to the area as much as the racing when I go and that is why the riders love the round. There is no place like California and there is no other course in the world like Laguna Seca. It houses the greatest turn in motorcycle racing. The beauty of spectating there is the bikes come by your turn, or straight, so many times, it's like you get your money's worth and then some. Compare that with COTA where the bikes are gone from your turn with what seems like ages, and the ownership isn't patron and motorcycle friendly the way that Scramp is to the point the two aren't even comparable.

I love Monterey and Laguna Seca. I'm glad the riders agree. Bye-bye Indy.

What makes me more angry than anything is that people here assume David cannot be opinionated and that his opinions can't be wrong.

Motomania, if you have truly been following David on facebook you'll know that he likes to have his share of fun with his views on the whole of human civilization. I abhor his taste in music and if he were to meet me I'm sure he would hate mine. My point is, how does that even make a difference? What matters to me is that from the time I have following this blog he is the only guy I know who writes with his heart but keeping his sensibilities at hand. He has always been unbiased when it comes to writing anything about a bike. The difference between him and other moto-journalists is that he is at the end of the day one of us, a guy who dreams of being on two wheels all the time. And from my experience, most bikers never agree with each other on most things but share that feeling of brotherhood just because they ride bikes. David lists from time to time what he wants to dispense with once he rules this world. Which is why I'm happy he sticks to writing a moto blog and doing a fantastic job at that. Were you even there during the times he used to post and there was no one to even read? Did he even once complain that no one reads his blog like you're complaining about your stars? Most times he gets no money out of this but is happy to be doing what he does and knowing that he is awesome at it.

Isitnotme maybe you should gift yourself a pair of vernier callipers to compare bike positions. David is no more a young guy pulling wheelies and breaking his legs and not caring a dime. He is pretty old (although I can't quite say from the colour of his hair (of which there is none)) and has many more responsibilities than just writing this blog. And there are other sources that might provide him with better income. Yet his primary objective has been running this blog. If you have not already noticed, he doesn't even have time to correct his grammatical errors, and he is a grammar-nat-zee. That he sat down to argue with you over it and micro-analyze it is a big deal and there are many more like you in his life breaking his b***s for it. You speak as if you should be paid for your arguments. If you are so particular, go pick a fight with Dorna if you have the guts, why haggle David? And from what I remember from the facebook discussion, he has already accepted his mistake once but would still like to stick to his point of view regarding the whole incident. He has his limitations; accept them, shake your head in despair if you disagree with him and get on with your life.

I generally don't get personal but you guys are speaking about a guy who has inspired many people like me to follow MotoGP the way it should be followed. David isn't a god. David is therefore allowed to be lousy at times.

...about the problems corporate firewalls can cause when filtering language but, really, it would be a f*** of a filter that could recognize balls as bad language!

ps loving "grammar-nat-zee".

There is been a lot of talks lately about Marquez bringing the "show", back in MotoGP. And even I will admit that for a series that doesn't generate enough money and interest it's a much needed ingredient.
But every time an offense by a crowd favorite is overlooked just because "he's a nice guy and has a big smile" (Rossi I'm looking at you too), and for the sake of the “show” leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It all started in Spanish GP and the "controversial" Marquez on Lorenzo pass. Sure Lorenzo might have left a bit of a gap, but Marquez was nowhere near in a position to attack and diving like a madman and using your opponent as a bumper-car to gain a place in not at all OK. Carving inch perfect lines and racing with respect for your opponent and his life is something for which Pedroza, Stoner and Lorenzo have been criticized. But have no doubt it is much, much harder to do, than making a boneheaded move with no hope of staying on track. And my respect goes to them for being more intelligent than being opportunistic. Taking an opportunity can lead to genius moments like Barcelona 2009, passing at a seemingly impossible corner at the last possible moment. And that's how legends are made, so yes I would agree that a rider should take risks. But if you get it wrong as Marquez did on Lorenzo you have to be penalized and take it like a man. That's what "taking a risk" means, it means that if you try something and get it wrong you will suffer some king of consequence.
Jerez 2013 was the perfect opportunity to slap Marques on the wrist, it was a second place pass early in the season with no big effect on the championship, instead the officials choose to disrespect the world champion who was used as a safety barrier. It was a real WTF moment and decision, and have in mind I was cheering for Marquez to make an overtake during the final laps. MotoGP rule makers have gone through the trouble of introducing new penalty system. And they didn't award even one measly point for such an unsporting behavior. All this has done is to inflate Marquez' ego and assure him that he can get away with murder. And the big hype that journalists create doesn't help either. How did it even occur to you to compare a MotoGP rider to mathematical genius ?!
Moving on to the corkscrew pass, 2008 was not OK, neither was the one this Sunday, but for very different reasons. In '08 Rossi made a pass by cutting the track with both tires while Stoner respected the confines of the track, more so he nearly collected Stoner while getting back. If it was any other rider in any other circumstance the public's opinion would much more one sided.
And now the Marques on Rossi move, it's baffling to me why Marques choose this exact spot to overtake Rossi. The Honda's speed was evident and a smart rider would have chosen a better place of overtake instead of taking a huge risk of crashing over the Corksrew. So while all may hype Marques to no end, I say it was another boneheaded move (even though I'm a fan of his). Rossi's off-the-brakes counter wasn't something to admire either and as a result he ran Marquez off the track leaving him no choice but to go two wheels outside the curbs. Did Marc have a choice ? No. He couldn't have stayed on track even if he had chosen to pick up the bike and undercut Rossi's line because it happened to deep into the corner. Did he gain advantage by cutting the track? Like hell he did! But...ummm it was somewhat OK because he didn't have space.
So what is my solution? In F1 if you gain advantage by cutting the track you must give the place back. Also in overtaking you should leave enough room for the other car. It wouldn't have cost Marques anything to give the place back and use his speed to regain 2nd position a few corners later with a smarter move.
And Rossi should learn that he's not the only guy on track.
I love this site and your articles David. Also love reading the very polite and intelligent comments, unlike virtually every other MotoGP comment section. This is my first comment and I was forced out of the shadows because I can't tolerate the smugness of the two pals Marc and Valentino, saying it's OK move and setting another precedent that hurts the sporting nature of the event. Casey wasn't present to defend himself , and it’s obvious to me that such overtaking maneuvers are clearly not OK. The hypocrisy of Rossi is a bit too much on this one. 2008 he was battling for the championship with a rider who he didn't understand and thus feared and disliked. Now it was a move with absolutely no significance for the outcome of the championship or even the race made by a close friend and protégé, he even said "another me". And he can let it slide thus bashing further Casey and making his own 2008 move legal.
I get it the whole gladiator-wouldn’t-give-an-inch-of-space-metal-to-metal-racing and the bloodthirsty crowd. But once you’ve done some laps on a track yourself you can see that it’s not really admirable to race this way, it’s a lot harder to be perfect and consistent, always concentrated and calculating while doing insane speeds, and maybe the bloodthirsty crowd can think a bit about that. And stop letting a certain type of rider bend the rules of the sport. And the rules themselves should be a bit more clear, it’s laughable when a frame by frame analysis should be made to see if a rider is by a tire length in front of the other.

Sorry everybody for the long post.

The rule book really is very clear as DE says.

My view of the two passes is:

2008 Rossi out brakes Stoner up the inside, braking so late he runs off track and cuts the corner and rejoins, staying ahead of stoner. Clearly gained an advantage and falls foul of rule 1.21.3

2013 MM out brakes Rossi up the outside, Rossi lets off the brakes and runs them both deep and wide to defend his position. MM forced off track to cut corner. Neither MM or VR gained an advantage, no foul on rule 1.21.3

Which I think is kinda agreeing with you @Nikkel

How come Moto 2 and 3 are not racing on Laguna Seca?

IIRC the old 2-stroke engines from 125 and 250 didn't comply with the Califonian emission-blah-blah, but now they are 4-stroke and should be ok...??

If the paddock is too small, rebuild it!

My interpretation is that M2 and M3 are not included as a cost savings measure (transport people and equipment) rather than a scheduling measure. The AMA classes are there to fill in the rest of the time on the weekend schedule without M2 and M3.

Unlike past years I got there right as the race started. No paddock walk or days to enjoy practice to qualifying. Burgess may call it a crappy little track, but it always seems to give people something to talk about after the race. The pass Marquez made on Rossi was the biggest move of the race. Neither racer had a problem, so I do not have a problem with it. It was exciting move and no one got hurt. A case could be made that it was dangerous racing, but if you have passed anyone in a race situation, it is a hairy thing. You have to push further into that knife edge that you are riding on. Finding that microscopic edge to the edge to use as an advantage that the other rider is not on. And if it is someone that will not just submit to you passing, it may have to be a forced move.

Rossi is far from a racer who lets people pass easily. Marquez, is not punk even in a Rookie season and does not back down from a fight. He does quite the opposite. So Rossi stayed off the brakes a little longer, Marquez had to go in deeper even though he was ahead, and motocrossed his way down the corkscrew. That took nutz. But he did give a message that Rossi received and will not forget. There were laughs afterwards, but there may be some fireworks later in the year between those two on the track.

Things I did not really hear about but witnessed as I sat over turn 1 looking at turn 2. Dovisioso and Hayden touching stopped my heart for a second. It did not sound like either let off the throttle. They were glued to each other for the whole race.

Bautista seemed to be able to go into turn two a lot harder than Rossi. Seems Nissin brakes are not as bad as everyone keeps saying. He closed on Rossi everytime they went into turn 2. His bike seems to be at the level of Crutchlow's Yamaha. I get why there are so many comments and questions about Bautista's commitment. His bike looked to be able to run faster than Rossi without as much effort. Rossi's bike just seemed to accelerate out of the turns a little slower than the Hondas.

Pedrosa's body language seemed more aggressive than I was expecting from an injured man. Jorge seemed more subdued and hurt than Pedrosa watching from the outside. He moved a little less aggressively than when I have seen him here before.

Race was not a classic, but enjoyed it. David, many people may have issues with the content of the site, but I am not one. Keep doing what you are doing. Me and many others enjoy you feeding our addiction and giving an outlet to express on.

A point that's being missed is that Marquez practised the Corkscrew shortcut a number of times throughout the weekend, both on a scooter and his GP bike. Thus, I am sceptical of any attempt to imply that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision driven by necessity.

He also had the Rossi overtake as a reference, and this is a common line in other 2- and 4-wheel classes, so it's not like these are the only two instances. And it's so smooth through there now - I can remember when that area was pothole city, with loose dirt and no particularly safe line for bikes, but now they might as well just tarmac the whole hill.

Rules should be equal for everybody and for all tracks. If you're allowed legal to go trough the tarmac section outside of the track, why not move the curbs and change the outline of the corner. Thus visually representing the legal confines of the track.

You can't have "oh but you can cut that corner on that track", but can't cut another on a different track. Where does it end, where is the clear idication ? Each time a legality of move should be decided by a panel of judges or discussed in forums MotoGP becomes more of circus and less a professional sport.

They don't need to do that, cutting the corner isn't the fastest way through the corkscrew on a motorbike. There's a natural consequence built in.

There are places like the esses at COTA where it would be an obvious advantage to cut so there needs to be stated rules and ex post facto consequences.

The rules in this regard are fine, and nothing came up in this race to test if they will be enforced.

I hope this doesn't over shadow what Rossi did to Stoner in 2008. In terms of the race there is no comparison. Also for me doing something special that someone has already done before but under much better conditions, (Marquez was a lot faster than Rossi where as Rossi was a lot slower than Casey)is only half as good as the first time it's done..and Rossi took it the way ti is supposed to be taken. Still loved every minute, love the corkscrew and love what MM brings to Motogp. So livio, it's ok for you to do it... nice... Jorge and Dani will be a lot fitter next time out and Rossi is getting quicker every race, providing yam sort out the seamless box it's gonna be a brilliant 2nd half of the season.. And stoner hinting at a return ?? book your tickets for next season now..

I don't get the problem with the Corkscrew overtake. Both went wide, both cut the corner. Marquez got in ahead, came out ahead. It really is that simple. There is nothing in the rulebook that says one has to 'drop a place'. Ridiculous anyway, what were they supposed to do, let Bautista through?

Like I said in another post, nothing to do with 2008. That was Rossi cutting the corner on purpose, and the other rider had to take evasive action (!) to avoid a collision. On this occasion, the two were never even close to touching as soon as they hit the actual corner.

Same corner, same rider, but totally different situations.

(PS I still think in 2008 Stoner should have just held station and let Rossi slam into him. Might have changed the face of the championship).

Laguna 08 was the defining moment of the season without a doubt, and it could have been so different but for blind luck. Rossi rolled the dice and came up with straight sixes, just about anything else would have ended with Stoner winning the race.

I think in both your posts you note the differences between incidents: Rossi chose to go off track causing danger to another AND (worse) rejoined using Casey as a brake whereas Marquez was forced off the track, with nowhere else to go.

I think MM is correct in saying there needs to be a certain amount of freedom in the mind of racers to ensure they don't end up second guessing themselves or their manoeuvres. However, it should take no brain space at all to know you must stay within the confines of a track and this should be enforced everywhere, (I still don't think they'd apply in this incident but would have in 2008).

As for talk about whether a rider has gained an advantage by running off, it is nonsense. Of course they have.

I think the 'grade' in most overtaking manoeuvres should take into account the 'cost' to others- if the only way someone makes an overtake and make the corner is to bang into another rider, that should be deemed 'illegal'.

(I loved both overtakes though!)

Corinthian's observation above ("Premeditated") does seem to offer us a rather different view on the Corkscrew overtake.

If Marquez indeed had rehearsed that move, the possibility arises that the entire incident was cooked up in advance by Marquez and Livio Suppo.

Suppo may even have had a point to make that was wider than mere "revenge". Given how wide Rossi ran at the exit, it seems clear that an overtake of that kind at that place is an outside pass that cannot be blocked.

That is, it cannot be blocked unless the lead rider also leaves the circuit and takes the "overtaking" line.

Food for thought, perhaps, for those defending the legitimacy of such passes there.

and MI5 took out Princess Diana!

I'll just put my tinfoil hat on as I leave :oP

btw next round is all about struggling watching the bricks and motogp bikes together...a genius way to limit the performance (even at the best circuit on earth).

Corkscrew moments are magic. We are lucky to have Laguna, this track cannot be built again. They can't FIT Moto2 and 3 in there so no upgrade possible. Any racer will tell you how BEAUTIFUL it is to ride this compelling track. Mastering the corkscrew, Rainey curve, and really the whole track is a meditation in making pliability of the impossible. The only "standard" feeling turns on the track are 3, 4 and 10. The rest is...magic. I liked it better before it was smoothed out for 2006 even.
Everyone loves a chicane. The corkscrew is a full lean chicane WHILE FALLING 10 stories. It was one of the best moments OF MY LIFE working Laguna out. I crashed at the bottom of the corkscrew on the gas and the racer behind me had presence of mind to split me and my bike like goalposts.
Bickering and complaining re the sacred is rather unenlightened.

My interpretation is that M2 and M3 are not included as a cost savings measure (transport people and equipment) rather than a scheduling measure. The AMA classes are there to fill in the rest of the time on the weekend schedule without M2 and M3.

is that I wasn't there! I was there last year to see Stoner win and watched the whole thing from the corkscrew. The only off track action I saw was Vale skid across the top, dismiss the Duc, and get a lift from Nicky. That and see Spies M1 turn into a lowrider. Were I in the same spot this year I would have seen the straightening of the corkscrew by Marquez in tandem with Rossi. Damn.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll visit a verdant wooded setting before a desert setting every time. IMHO if a racer doesn't dispute another racers' move, it's a moot point. I'm sure Rossi was aware of MM's "dress rehearsals" in the corkscrew shortcut, all weekend long.

Claiming that if the riders involed don't have an issue then neither should race direction is logically absurd. By such an argument, if one of the riders does have an issue then race direction should be involved. A horrible thought. There should be many less rules, I would assert but those in place should be enforced regardless of whom is content with the outcome or not.

From where I'm sat the main difference between 08 and 13 was the good humour in which it was taken this year. All for the cameras? Maybe, didn't look that way though, looked like they both thought it was a bit of fun. One other difference - in 08 everyone knew Laguna was a pivotal race and whoever won would probably go on to win the championship, and as it turned out Stoner got well and truly beaten by Rossi in every sense. Rossi proved that day that while he mightn't have always been faster, he was tougher, rougher, braver and better; which is why he's got 9 championships to his name versus 2.

...the fact Rossi had the stability of the same team and an entire, front running Japanese corporation doing all they could and tirelessly following his development direction. Whereas Stoner had an under developed, under funded, barely ridable bike one year and inherited someone else's the second.

Rossi is smart enough to know he could not possibly criticize Marquez for the move, he would have been branded a hypocrite. As for the 9 vs 2, well just take a look at the stats between 2006 and 2012 when these two actually raced each other head to head and you'll see who was the better rider, and the stats clearly indicate it wasn't Rossi. And the argument that one rider is better than another because he won more championships is nonsense. Schumacher won 7 F1 championships, Clarke and Senna won 2 and 3, yet many astute F1 observers consider Clark and Senna better than Schumacher. No-one knows of course, and the same is true when talking about Rossi and Stoner. Different careers, different circumstances, different equipment, different results. But great riders, both of them.

I confess I was being a little mischeivious there, partly because I don't see what all the fuss is about. Over the years I've seen far harder moves than either of these and its all just part of the game. motogp isn't a test of who's fastest, that's the TT, its who's best at everything including rough stuff. But in any case I don't think VR was in the least angry at MM, he'd never have been able to hide that.

Now, we could argue stats til the cows come home - but as we both know, with stats its all a question of methodology and interpretation.

To be fair, cs was more than a match for vr a lot of the time. But an all time great? Nah!

You can keep your most wins and I'll see you the holy grail of motogp champions, the back to back titles Rossi got, the only true test of dominance for riders that can win races for fun anyway, and, he did it from a long way behind... Just ask Casey, Jorge, Rossi, and Dani how hard it is to win a race, then ask them how hard it is to win two titles in a row.. Only one of them can answer that.

If anyone but Rossi had won back to back titles in that era there would simply have been no question who was top dog. However we resort to most wins knowing perfectly well that casey only dominated 2 seasons and the other four he didn't have the most wins, as with both Jorge and Rossi but Rossi has the kudos of retaining it... Someday the story of Rossi's comeback and back to back titles after two seasons in the wilderness in that era, will receive the recognition it deserves but probably not here...:-) I've certainly never heard them mentioned when discussing what riders did what in that era.. As for other titles don't count, they sure do if they've won an awful lot of them in the preceding years, that should be obvious..
DISCLAIMER: Still casey was an incredible rider..
Please delete as and when necessary david..

But any other of the infinitely tedious (from both sides) Rossi vs Stoner nonsense will see a wholesale deleting. People need to get over themselves.

"Marquez was well off into the hard-packed ground on inside the corner"

It is not hard packed ground it is asphalt now on the other side of the curbing

When Rossi did it, it was dirt

Nothing wrong with checking out the run off on scooters etc, MM is just being smart. In both of the corkscrew "incidents" VR was the one doing a bit of asking. This is all racing. No problems here, move along folks.

The strangest thing about the intense rivalry between the 2 of them is nothing to do with riding, winning, bikes or championships.. (or their fans)

It's the fact that Casey and Valentino cannot help but think of each other at least one day every year, probably for the rest of their lives, on the 16th of February....Valentino's birth day and Casey's daughter Alessandra's birth day. I wonder what Casey and Vale really think about this ? The maddest coincidence, or what....??? :O)

Good factoid, didn't know that. And a nice note to end the debate (for now!). Sorry David sir, slapped my own wrist!

Just going back to my remark about stats, I wasted an hour or so the other evening looking at this years results. For those that like this sort of thing, if you take the average points for the top five so far this season but omit things like being taken out and the collar bone affected low scores/no scores, and then multiply by the number of races so far, you find mm would have 183 points, dp 175, jl 174, vr 145 and cc 131. But if you omit jl's horrendous Barcelona it changes somewhat putting him well into the 190's. Which is why, much as I'd love to see dani finally win the championship he so richly deserves, I reckon it's between Jorge and Marc this year, with Jorge the more likely.

If anyone thinks that the Marquez move on Rossi was harsh or Rossi's move on Stoner was harsh then they need to start watching WSBK and BSB. Those lads are like mad flying monkeys if they get a whiff of overtaking opportunity. Good race, everyone is safe, the riders have moved along, why don't we fans do as well :D

...if they leave the track then rejoin they would be penalized too (Sykes aside, seemingly).

If Marquez had in fact ridden through gravel, we might have seen a different outcome but it was plain to see the old gravel was gone and replaced with some bitumen run off.

Thanks to the replacement of that dirt/gravel with bitumen inside the corkscrew pulling off a move like Marquez's is now a viable option which also makes it equally impossible to compare it to passes previously done it that area like Rossi's move in 2008.

Personally I liked it better before.