2013 Silverstone MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Of Great Racing, Championship Leads, And Dangerous Riding

Over 75,000 paying customers came oto watch the races at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, and each and every one of them got their money's worth. Three classes, three winners, battles to the very end, and serious consequences for all three championships, with two thirds of the races done.

The day got off to a great start for the home crowd with a calculated and determined performance from Scott Redding to win the Moto2 race. Redding had come to Silverstone with two goals: to win the race, and to further demoralize his main rival for the title Pol Espargaro. He succeeded totally in both objectives, much to the relief of the British fans.

When Redding turned up at his home track with a special patriotic livery, the Union Jack splashed all over the fairing of his bike, fans feared the worst. Bad memories of previous years when British riders had sported patriotic color schemes were imprinted fresh on their minds, and they feared that Redding had jinxed himself. Redding disagreed, and demonstrated his point by running in the top 3 in every session but one. He made sure that he always finished ahead of Espargaro, and once he qualified on the front row, posting a stunningly consistent string of fast laps in the process, he had the job half done.

In the race, Redding had trouble shaking off Takaaki Nakagami, the Japanese rider coming past when Redding made a mistake shifting down through the gears. But three laps later, Redding was back past, and this time determined to pull a gap. He was helped a little by the fact that Nakagami was caught up trying to hold off Thomas Luthi, but in reality, Redding was not going to be stopped. A third win of the season was important, but extending his lead by 17 points to 38 points over Pol Espargaro was much bigger. There are still plenty of races left, but Redding can now concentrate on defending, attacking when he can, but not risking anything when he can't, much as he has done all year. Redding is close enough to taste his first title, but he is refusing to get ahead of himself. 'It isn't over until Valencia. Anything can happen,' he said after the race.

The Moto3 race was a carbon copy of the previous race, and of many of Luis Salom's wins throughout the year. The Red Bull Ajo rider is using his experience and maturity to get the better of his rivals, taking it cautiously in the first part of the race, happy to follow when he can't lead. Then, with a couple of laps left to go, Salom attacks, and opens just enough of a gap to hold the the advantage all the way to the line. While Maverick Viñales is displaying some beautifully naked aggression, Alex Rins showing an undying will to win, and Alex Marquez a precocious talent, Salom is giving a masterclass in how to win a world championship.

And then there was the MotoGP race. If the race at Brno was tense, the race at Silverstone was positively asphyxiating, the tension making it hard to breathe to the end. The last two laps went from asphyxiating to electrifying in short order, when battle commenced in earnest between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, Marquez attacking with typical flair and aggression, Lorenzo defending and attacking again with brutal determination and skill, and Lorenzo coming out on top in a penultimate corner pass. Lorenzo clawed five precious points back from Marquez in the title race, but Marquez extended his lead to 30 points over Dani Pedrosa. It was a big race for all involved.

Both Marquez and Lorenzo were sublime, pushing one another to another level. I asked Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg if he thought Marquez and pushed Lorenzo to improve, and he said he believed Lorenzo had pushed the rest to improve. With Lorenzo going so hard from the line, Marquez, Pedrosa and the rest of had to step up their game to catch him. Marquez' passes on Lorenzo were typical, tough and fast dives up the inside at Brooklands to seize the initiative. His last pass was just a fraction too hard, Marquez running wide at Luffield and leaving just enough of a gap for Lorenzo to dive back underneath. 'I think Jorge would have liked to pass "porfuera" (round the outside),' Zeelenberg joked. But he was happy enough just to make the pass and get the win.

It was one of his most emotional wins, Lorenzo said afterwards, and that was obvious from his body language and reaction after the race. The sense of relief - and release - was palpable, Lorenzo finally getting back some of the initiative he felt he had lost. What is clear is that the Yamaha can barely compete with the Honda at the moment, unless things go Lorenzo's way. Lorenzo once again noted the Yamaha's weakness in braking, saying that although they had an advantage in corner speed in the fast corners, it was almost impossible to pass the Hondas on the brakes. There were still ways round, though, as Lorenzo so clearly demonstrated.

But perhaps Lorenzo's joy should be tempered a little by the condition in which Marquez was racing. The Repsol rookie had crashed in morning warm up, going down very shortly after Cal Crutchlow at Vale, both men victims of the cold conditions and the bumps at the corner. Marquez had managed to dislocate his shoulder in the crash, having it popped back in by the medical center staff, and then given a pain-killing injection to allow him to compete. Marquez lacked some strength when changing direction from left to right, and so was not quite at 100%. Would Marquez have been able to challenge Lorenzo more if he had not been injured? Who knows. But the fact was that Marquez WAS injured, much as Lorenzo had predicted he would be if he continued to take such risks.

The risks Marquez was taking left him sitting with two penalty points. At the point where he crashed there were yellow flags being waved and the oil flag shown, yet Marquez was pushing hard enough to crash. Marquez denied he had seen the flags - from the overhead footage, you can see that the marshall posts are a long way back from the track, a consequence of having lots of run off around the circuit - but Race Direction rightly disregarded that excuse. When you are on a race track in a competitive session, it is your responsibility to be aware of the yellow flags, and act accordingly.

Cal Crutchlow had a lucky escape, though his bike was not so lucky. The Tech 3 man had gone down earlier, and he and the marshalls were standing over his bike when Marquez' Honda RC213V came flying in. Crutchlow later had nothing but praise for the work of the marshalls, saying that if they had not employed a spotter to see looming danger, the aftermath could have been very ugly indeed. Other tracks could learn a lot from the standard of marshalling.

Dani Pedrosa had finished the race in third, losing important points to both Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo in the process. The Spaniard had had a mediocre start, finding himself stranded behind Valentino Rossi and Stefan Bradl, and taking his time to work his way past. Once done, Pedrosa put the hammer down - the letter 'T' being shown on his board, he later revealed, was short for 'Tirar', the Spanish phrase for go as hard as you can. The Repsol Honda veteran broke the lap record on three consecutive laps on his way to catching Lorenzo and Marquez, but once he arrived, his tire had overheated and he had nothing for his two rivals. There was one section where he could overtake, Pedrosa said, the fast section through Copse toward Maggotts, but he could never really get close enough to try.

For the Tech 3 team, the British Grand Prix was a disaster. It had all started to go wrong on Saturday, when Cal Crutchlow had a couple of huge crashes. Crutchlow suffered serious abrasions to his right lower arm, with his leathers tearing open and gravel and dirt getting in to rip up his skin. It is the fifth time this year that his leathers have let him down, though of course, if he didn't crash, his leathers would not be subject to such abuse. That is no excuse, however: motorcycle racing leathers should not burst at the seams, and riders should not be picking gravel out of their arms with a wire brush.

Crutchlow had destroyed one bike on Saturday morning, then badly trashed his second after getting back to the pits and getting out again. The Tech 3 man had only one bike for qualifying, then the crash in warm up did even more damage. It was not so much his crash that caused the problems, but the fact that Marquez' Repsol Honda had slammed into the bike after the Spaniard's get off.

Though the lack of time on the bike hadn't helped, the truth was that he and the team had lost their way, Crutchlow told reporters. They had gone round in circles chasing set up ideas with the new tank, running back to back with the old tank, and trying to fit it all into 45 minute practice sessions on a race weekend. It was far from ideal, so hardly surprising they would end up confusing themselves. At the next race, Crutchlow had to focus on enjoying himself again, and not worrying about set up. Just ride the bike and enjoy racing, was Crutchlow's advice to himself. What he needs is a good weekend, and Silverstone was definitely not that.

Both Crutchlow and Smith were rather humbled by the home support they received both during and after the race, despite both feeling they didn't really deserve it. They had come to Silverstone to put on a show for the fans. They had failed in that objective.

Fortunately for them, other riders had that covered. Redding's win was the best way to start the day, but then the scintillating race between Marquez and Lorenzo had been the icing on the cake. With glorious weather - late August/early September is a much better time to hold a race in England, rather than in June - it had turned out to be a fabulous day's racing. Britain needed it, but MotoGP needed it too. Here's hoping for more.

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He punished his tyres a bit catching I'm sure, but they were good enough for him to match or better Marquez's times for the next 10 laps or so. At a couple of points he was almost alongside Marc, so why didn't he have a proper go? Put it this way, if the positions were reversed I couldn't see Marquez not attempting a pass on Dani!

Because that's what he does. He's always fast - if not fastest - in the races, but he's unable to fight it out. He wins by clearing off. After Brno last year I thought something had changed... He hasn't shown any of that since. His chances to ever becoming world champion are really thin now, but seing what Lorenzo does with the Yamaha, and especially what Marquez does on the same bike, I don't feel sorry for Pedrosa at all. Something is just missing !

Can you explain the repercussions of the Penalty Points Marquez received, as I am unfamiliar with the MotoGP rulebook? Does it affect his Championship points status? Does it means that he's on probation or something?

At the moment the points Marquez received mean very little.

But if he receives more points in future then the following could happen:

1. Reach a total of 4 and you start the next race from the back of the grid;
2. Reach a total of 7 and you start the next race from the pit lane;
3. Reach a total of 10 and you get a 1 race ban.

Points only get reset to zero after reaching 10 and/or at the end of the season (i.e. no carry-over to the next year)

As the tracks get wider the flags get away from the sight, it seems. How'bout a yellow light (similar to rain lights) at the rear of the bikes, operated by race direction? Riders would always pay attention to the bike in front.

The problem there is that there was no bike anywhere in front of MM when he was flat out passing the yellow flags.

With all the advances in bike technology it is amazing they cannot come up with a better system than flags. Marc is not the first person to miss a yellow / oil flag. Rossi twice has been penalised for missing yellows and passing (from memory).

Agree that light on bike in front does not help when nobody is there but something like a transmitter to the bike and then lights either on dash but better would be on the inside of the helmet.

As you pass a "flag" point where the accident is it would flash yellow then green when clear. It could also be used for oil, about to be lapped, pit penalty and race stopped.

The idea is good of course, but unless it can be implemented at every track in every country, it's not possible to implement it. Small tracks can't afford it, full stop.

Also every bike would need the receiver on the dash - more dollars - and of course it would also have to go across to cars.

And at the end of the day, you'd still have all the marshalls in their boxes, pressing buttons instead of waving flags, because their secondary function is rider assistance for crashes.

It just goes to show how tough MM, JL, and DP are as humans and athletes. If a player in the sport that has all the match fixing was hurt as bad as the injuries those three have raced through, that player would still be lying on the ground rolling around and crying to their mothers like they just had both arms torn from their sockets. Some sports breed heroic participants, some pathetic.

Especially as race TV direction thought it was a good idea to keep cutting away from Lorenzo-Marquez to Rossi-Bautista during the last lap! Seriously, I'm getting sick and somewhat angry (shouting at the TV!) at the TV coverage that cuts away from the leaders on the last lap for reaction shots from pit lane or some minor battle going on behind.

Good on Rossi for beating Bautista again, but 10s back from the leaders and only fast in the last 1/3 of the race isn't good enough.

Bautista is getting pretty consistent in his fighting for 4th-5th. More consistent than,

Bradl, who seems to be losing his way a little despite being seriously fast some of the time.

Oh Dovi. Reduced to trying to beat your team mate and a rookie on the bike you left behind and then falling off. Do you think you can still beat Crutchlow when he joins you next year?

My theory is that the director is actually a mildly intoxicated monkey.

(Old, slightly fermented bananas are cheap, and if there's anything DORNA likes, it's saving money.)

The technology has been around for a long, long time yet MotoGP, WSB, even F1 don't use picture in picture technology when there's great action in more than one place...

And I can't understand why they don't do it.

If they used the (cheap) technology they could show the leaders on the last few corners and still have, for example, the Rossi/Bautista tussle in the top corner (or vice-versa)...

So it's unlikely it'll ever happen. Not with this guy we've got at the moment. I have to wonder, if he's even watching the same race as the rest of us. Although, I think he's been swapping notes with the World Superbike guy as the coverage from the Nurburgring was almost beyond belief. Several times when the bikes were coming along the front straight with somebody attempting a pass, he'd cut away to show us either the pit boards, or even more amazingly, the people in the crowd!


I think the TV director might be someone with about 3 different media related qualifications, but absolutely no interest in MotoGP. It's like he or she thinks they are building the drama with these useless shots of the pit crew etc, where in fact all we want to see is the ACTION. I was also frustrated that the battle for the lead on the last lap was cut away from for quite a few corners. I know it's Rossi but have some respect for the people who want to see the riders actually batting for the lead!

A synopsis of the action would be like this

Marquez shadows Lorenzo out of turn 13 and gets tremendous drive, he might be setting up a pass..

People in the pits, standing..

Marquez is through! But Lorenzo has the tighter line leading into turn 16, Dani isn't out of this yet either..

A man in a Yamaha jacket says something to another man..

Lorenzo passes Marquez and there's contact! Only a few corners to go, Dani looks out of it now and the race is about to be decided..

Rossi passes Bautista for 4th, Uccio claps..

That Dorna is doing those camera switches between JL-MM and VR-BAU because they want us to pay for their Multiscreen option online...

Living in the USA I have to pay for the annual video pass because Speed Channel flat out sucks but I refuse to pay $100 for that Multiscreen crap

I'm not sure that's it, they've been making horribly poor choices with cameras since well before the multi screen app came out. It drives me nuts too, I seriously don't give a crap about how excited the people in the pit are when the race is going. I can't understand why directors of motorsports coverage think these things are important during the last 5 laps (or so). We can see live timing, we can see where people are on the track why do I need to see a pit board. I also don't care to watch other people's reactions to the thing that I'm reacting too, it's so frustrating.

As much as the slow motion replays are beautiful to watch they just don't fit the rhythm of a moto gp race. During practice or after the race it's more than ok otherwise it gets me utterly mad.

A super slow mo of a wheel going around is cool in a practice session, not during the race. I also hate the on board camera angle from the back of the bike where the riders back and arse takes up the entire view. Its useless.

The reason is I had to stop, as it was 4:30 in the morning. I can't cover everything, I try to pick the things I think are important. I miss an awful lot. I'm hoping to write some more.

Redding has impressed me and made me eat some words. Cannot wait for him to move up to Motogp to see how he does. Pol on the other hand has made a nut job out of me. Always spoke up on his speed and skill. But this year he just looks mentally weak. It is not his bike. His teammate is killing it. I guess that fued between him and Marquez brought out a level of speed in him that does not exist without the rage.

Motogp race was one of the best this year. Last lap was tremendous. Hope more battles like that happen again.

Hi David - I rarely disagree with you but... I agree that we had a day of cracking racing but for my money it was the spectacular red bull rookies race that capped a perfect day! Still have goose bumps recalling that final lap!!

...is where we ended up sitting yesterday, and I damn near became a Lorenzo fan! My wife and I went NUTS, along with the rest of the place, for that last pass! Bravo! Silverstone was just as hallowed and magic as I had hoped...

while injured is no more excuse(and he clearly made none) than JL and DP losing while injured,or Ben Spies not winning ,for that matter....Injuries occur,either through inattentiveness,bad luck,equipment failure,or just plain riding on the edge one time too many.....Besides the clear competition that he faces,I am as intrigued by MM's ability to continue to push the envelope so regularly....I find him extremely lucky to this point that he is still able to move around. He is a truly brilliant talent,but I also believe that several on the grid could be equally spectacular if they were willing to do so. The pain and disappointment of injury can have a very calming effect on one's enthusiasms and most of all,one's absolute confidence in the ability to maintain control no matter what....Whether MM's naive confidence in doing so is the real reason he has accomplished so much ,so quickly, remains to be seen. He isn't remotely close to finding out at this point...his confidence in his abilities unshaken,his good fortune combining with his exceptional skill to take him to the historic heights he has reached. Good luck to him and to all his fellow racers and a heartfelt thank you for giving us a race like this one...it is why we watch and why we care.....

If Marquez wasn't a rookie in MotoGP. Otherwise I agree with your point, fit Lorenzo beating injured Pedrosa isn't news.

"...could be equally spectacular if they were willing to do so."
I honestly don't understand what you are trying to say here. If they were willing to do so? Some 20 + riders do not want to win hard enough?

A lot has been said about the marshals lookout at Vale at the Crutchlow/Marquez crashes helping avoid some potentially nasty consequences, and rightly so. I do have a feeling of surprise that this isn't a fundamental risk assessment issue though, and that everybody doesn't do it.
A similar issue around the SBK race1 crashes - somebody should be on the look out for fluids, not just smoke, and waving a flag. That old Germanic efficiency didn't work on this occasion - although they did learn for race 2, to be fair.
I know these guys do it for 'free', but they and the riders deserve the best training/support. Perhaps they should be rated to suit, much like riders licences, and paid something sensible for covering these types of races.
A lot of the coverage on the work done by these people is borderline patronising, but something more serious with a view to us understanding their role, and what they need to do their job well/better might be worthwhile.
Lastly, I am starting to think that Crutchlow needs a new sponsor for his leathers - those Spidi's seem to fall apart rather too easily for MGP. He does test them thoroughly, but their tendency to open up indicates they are not the best things to crash in. Either that or he should be called Hulk.

David, do you know whether Cal damaged any of his engines in those crashes? That first one was a biggy.

This video is interesting, and not just for showing the incredibly poor marshaling at Nurburgring that year. What year was it,1999, 2000? At one point Foggy's leading and a window opens in the top left corner of the screen, showing Michaela Fogarty looking on. Just like someone mentioned a few posts ago - picture-in-picture technology. Fourteen years ago. The director does the same stupid cutaways now, but we have to miss the action to see somebody's wife or girlfriend sitting in the pits, watching the monitors showing... herself.

just happy to be on the edge of my couch again, shouting in the final lap ! It's been a while.

JLo said it though, how long can Marc keep having massive crashes and pop up without serious injury ? Just pop your shoulder back in there you go, now go push the world champ to his limit and beyond. I for one hope MM keeps bouncing nicely cause he's brought so much life back to the show.

Dont know where to start, but.....the 'style' of racing, in the years to come, has been set by MM. No more following around and being content to finsih on the podium. If you want to win, your gonna have to PUSH, and not only PUSH, but be willing to take a few chances! I feel kind'a sorry for Dani. He's had the bike for years, but cant get it done and yesterday was a classic example. He was on MM's tail, with no attempts to pass, while MM is stuffing inside Jorge numserous times trying to win the race (with a separated collarbone!) Casey gets on his bike and mops the GP grid with it in 2011. IF Dani can get put front, he blisteringly fast, but.....and Im not trashing on Dani, but the simple fact is he has not gotta it done his entire career at HRC, while Casy & MM....

Cant wait for the next few races!

MM93 didnt have a separated collarbone. he had a dislocated shoulder which was fixed back to its place.

don't know how so many people are so mixed up between the two. it's clearly written in all articles all over the net. :)

The MotoGP world feed commentators referred to his injury as a dislocated collarbone several times, hence the confusion.

At the rate that Crutchlow is throwing the Yamaha down the road, Ducati would be well advised to start building up a significant inventory of red bikes for this guy. As I understand it, the Yamaha is a little easier to get around a corner that the big red Ducati

[I]t had turned out to be a fabulous day's racing. Britain needed it, but MotoGP needed it too. Here's hoping for more.


If you watch the free video on motogp.com, start at the 22 second mark and watch the right of the screen there is clearly an oil flag posted under the Aperol sign. It is the responsibility of the riders to know where the flags are located.

I hope they add more flag stations if needed. Easy to say MM should have seen it, but he did not. Don't be pig headed. Add more stations.

MM would have been called to the Clerk of the Course for a bollocking. Doesn't matter what level of racing it's the riders responsibility to observe the flags. World class riders have the same rules as the rest of us.

As for the Marshall's they don't let just anybody turn up at MotoGP. Being allowed to Marshall at this level is considered a privilege for those picked to do it. They Marshall's did the job and did it well.
They deserve all our appreciation - these guys give up their free time to scrap riders of the track all season long. Without them racing doesn't exist.

So Dani went from .5 faster to .2 slower in about 5 turns. The announcers saw the "T" on his pit board and commented that only Dani knows what that means. I honestly think it was Team orders to not pass Marc. Anyone else? Right after the "T" shows up on his board, Dani disappears from Lorenzo's board. Both names were on it for about a lap but then the T shows up and Dani is gone. Team Orders noticed by Yamaha?

"But the fact was that Marquez WAS injured, much as Lorenzo had predicted he would be if he continued to take such risks."

They all take "such" risks, Lorenzo included, hence why he broke his collarbone twice already.

"What is clear is that the Yamaha can barely compete with the Honda at the moment, "

Which is why Lorenzo has won four races this season so far...clearly the Yamaha can't compete. Or is it the general consensus that Lorenzo is so much better than everyone else that if he has to actually work for his wins then clearly his bike in extremely inferior to the competition, but he is making up for it with is exceptional skills.

" unless things go Lorenzo's way."

Doesn't this usually have to happen to an extent for anyone to win?

The Honda has its strengths just as the Yamaha its, they may be different but overall the bikes seem pretty equal to me, maybe we should all focus more on the riders and give more credit to the riders who perform well. Four of the last five championships have been won on a Yamaha, clearly a decent bike then and a decent factory effort to keep it that way, yet each year all the talk is about how much better the Honda is. I for one am getting tired of it.

Maybe you are watching another sport then.

Yamaha's only advantage is corner speed. The RC's are better out of the corner (grunt/HP), better into the corner (on the brakes), better in a straight line (HP), and quicker shifting gears. They, the last time I checked, had only used 2 engines out of the allocation, while Yamaha had used 4, twice as many. Ain't seen a Repsol rider bum a ride on the cool down lap neither.

Lorenzo won because he rode his heart out and Marquez was riding after a shoulder dislocation that happened only a few hours prior. And please, go check the constructors championship standings before getting tired of it again. You are going to be really tired of it the rest of the season. At Motegi, Sepang, and PI it's all uphill for Yamaha. Lets hope they bring the updates. They need them.

DE is dead on.

I compared the riders championship because there are only ever a few riders that are going to win each year (Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa, and now Marquez) and it's these guys that get the most out of each bike. Yes Honda does very well in the constructors, they have a good bike, but the Yamaha is still more than capable of winning races and championships which was my point.

I get what you're saying though, and of course my opinion is just that. For sure one bike is always going to have some sort of advantage, I just think whichever bike has said advantage its usually exaggerated, which is why Lorenzo can still win races even though his bike isn't as good. When did a Yamaha rider apart from Rossi bum a ride on the cool down lap? Thinking it might be more of a Rossi thing than a Yamaha thing. I could be wrong though.

I do watch other racing, which is why I think the competition between the three guys at the front is very good and very even.

Minus Stoner Yamaha would have dominated there for almost 5 years. And having just been resurfaced it will be both smoother and gripper, perfect for Yamaha especially with its high speed corners. I'll be putting some money on Lorenzo there for sure, Rossi would be good value too. Motegi is just the opposite, Yamaha are probably screwed there. Sepang is an interesting one, Yamaha actually have a good record there, it has Honda sections but probably more of it is suited to Yamaha. Ad of course Yamaha will go well at Misano. So it will be interesting to see if people are still chanting Honda Honda after a few races, with Jorge just having won as well.

Both MM and DP hit 320kmh in a majority of their laps around Silverstone. JL hit 317...once. You make up a lot of bike lengths with that kind of advantage in top speed and acceleration. Nothing Honda should apologize for, but I don't think anyone seriously doubts that Yamaha has fallen behind Honda's development curve recently.

Is meaningless, sorry. Jorge dominated at Mugello, which has be longest and fastest straight on the calendar.

My statistic understates the speed difference. DP's top speed was 324.9 vs. JL's 317.1. There's not a single rider on the grid that would call 7.8kph difference meaningless, especially when races are decided by hundrenths. Even more, the Honda is noted as having better acceleration out of corners (which also affects achieved top speeds). At Mugello, JL stayed ahead by making up meters through the corners while the Hondas clawed some of that back on the straight.

Well you just said it didn't you, Yamaha's advantage in the corners made up for the Honda's advantage down the straights.

What's more important is average speed, around the whole track. Which is why the only statistic you really need to look at is lap times, and JL can compete against Marquez and Pedrosa on lap times every weekend. And if he can't, how about just saying that whoever is beating him is doing a better job! Lorenzo is riding brilliant, just like he does most the time, but so is Pedrosa and Marquez. It's the combined effort of a bike/rider combination. If Marquez wasn't racing this year, I doubt we would be having this conversation.

and thankyou, someone actually thinking with their noggin!

to me, it just seems if your favourite rider isnt winning then they must be disadvantaged with bad equipment right? in other words if Rossi aint winning it must be something wrong with the bike? thats the general consensus with the horde.

You cant tell me a bike thats won 5 of 12 races so far is so bad to warrant the bleating of fans all over the net, seriously if the Hondas were cleaning up the podium and FINISHING 1-3 every Sunday then ill put up my hand and say," yeah definitely i got that one wrong, Hondas bike is dominating!!". Until then i dont see how people keep lambasting Yamaha, while not giving enough praise to the Repsol duo that is PUTTING the bike on the pedestal. We've seen Cal put the Yamaha on the podium, even Rossi got the win and podiums, And JLO has been on the podium and winning races! Whats letting JLO down, and exacerbating the "Honda domination" myth is the support of his Yamaha rider who are far too inconsistent and not taking away points from the Repsol boys. WE have a up and down Cal, and Rossi whos fixated with p4!
Add in Lorenzo who strops around like a brat when he doesnt win and his pleas for improvement one week, then when he wins hes a happy larry and all is right with the world again! yeah sure it definitely seems like a bad bike that Yamaha eh!

Again, it comes back to the Rossi factor. Because the horde have unwavering faith in him, they would never want to question his skills. Hence the reason why the M1 is under such scrutiny, even though 7-5 record for Honda/Yamaha this year would tell ya its the riders that are making the difference, not the machinery....

Despite being a massive VR fan for many years, I think he's no longer a true alien, and this is bad news for JL. For sure Valentino remains one of the most exciting racers to watch, and on a good day can be up there at the front but on all the other days he's now just the best of the rest.

What JL needs is a wing man who can take points off or mess up DP or MM. While he won well on Sunday I almost felt sorry for him during the latter half of the race as it looked like he could just as easily finish 3rd as 1st or 2nd.

VR's results shouldn't really be coming as a surprise to any of us. It's 4 years since he won a championship and I can't think of any other champion who came back this long after their peak years to dominate again. Maybe we should have realised at the time that during the mid-to-late-noughties we were seeing VR's absolute peak and that he would inevitably drop off over the next few years. The side trip to Ducati may have simply masked that this was already happening. One thing's for sure in my mind: if he was still riding as he used to, he would be up there in the front four in virtually every race, regardless of the bike, because he was always better than DP and that was never going to change (until he dropped off).

Personally I wish he'd go to WSB, for two entirely selfish reasons. 1) I think we'd suddenly start getting decent TV coverage again instead of that crime-against-humanity on channel 4; and 2) it would be fantastic to see him winning again, and bringing the fun back into that series.

I don't think VR is done yet. Maybe the braking issues are really bothering his famously known late braking riding style. But there's one sure thing to me: VR definitely lost a step the day he broke his leg at Mugello. And honestly that was one of the nastiest crash of the past few years. Dat leg was so bent !