2013 Aragon MotoGP Sunday Round Up, Part 1: Pedrosa vs Marquez - Who Is To Blame?

The Aragon round of MotoGP left an awful lot to talk about in all three classes: Alex Rins' masterful victory in Moto3, forcing Maverick Viñales into an error; Nico Terol's emotional win in Moto2, dominating all weekend after illness; Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro's epic battle for the Moto2 championship, which Espargaro came out on top of, though only just; Jorge Lorenzo's astonishing speed at what should have been a Honda track; Marc Marquez' astounding victory, moving him closer to the 2013 MotoGP title in his rookie year; Valentino Rossi's wily race, holding off first Stefan Bradl and then Alvaro Bautista to get on the podium; and much, much more. But I won't be talking about any of that tonight.

I won't be talking about it, because what started out as a minor mistake turned into a massive incident, with a spectacular crash as a result, leading to an ongoing investigation by race direction and a lot of talk about dangerous riding. Do the facts justify the debate? In my opinion, no, but the issue needs addressing, and so address it we will.

First, the facts, insofar as we know them. Jorge Lorenzo led away from the line, and was quickly hunted down by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa passed Marquez cleanly on lap 5, on the way up to the Sacacorchos, or turns 8 and 9. Marquez sat behind Pedrosa for a lap, harrying his teammate throughout. On lap 6, on the way into turn 12, Marquez made a small mistake, getting a little too close and braking a fraction too late. Seeing that he was going too deep, Marquez tried to stand the bike up and run it wide, in an attempt to avoid prejudicing Pedrosa's race. He did not quite manage to avoid contact with Pedrosa, just clipping the back wheel of his teammate, a contact which at first seemed to have no effect on Pedrosa. Marquez ran wide and off the track, Pedrosa continued for a few meters, before highsiding suddenly and unexpectedly.

What had happened, it emerged later, was that in the contact, Marquez had broken an electrical cable connecting the rear wheel speed sensor to the ECU. The cable was located just above the swingarm, and Marquez had ripped it either with his elbow or with his clutch lever. Marks on Pedrosa's swingarm suggested Marquez' clutch lever was to blame, while marks on Marquez' leathers were evidence that the rookie got a taste of Pedrosa's rear tire.

The electrical cable turned out to be a crucial part of the Honda's traction control system, according to team principal Livio Suppo. When Pedrosa then opened the throttle, the traction control had stopped working and the tire bit and flung Pedrosa off. Though the Spaniard was not seriously hurt in the incident, he suffered a couple of big bangs on his lower back, hips and groin. He was in pain, and could not walk properly.

Those are the facts, but they leave more questions open than they answer. The first question, and perhaps the biggest question, is whether Marquez is to blame for Pedrosa's crash. That is not as easy to answer as it at first appears, and both sides will make a passionate and reasonable argument either blaming or exonerating Marquez for the crash. What is clear is that Marquez made a mistake, and that he touched the rear of Pedrosa's bike, but from there, the waters soon turn very muddy indeed. So muddy, in fact, that Race Direction have taken the incident under investigation, and will not make a judgment until they have seen more data and a further technical report from HRC due at Sepang. It could be two weeks or more before Marquez knows what his fate will be.

Firstly, did Marquez' contact damage Pedrosa's bike such that it crashed? It would appear so. Certainly, when the bike was shown on TV - and here Pedrosa's manager Alberto Puig plays a rather peculiar role, inviting the Spanish TV cameras in to Pedrosa's garage to get the damage on film - the cable was clearly broken. What was more surprising is that the cable broke and was not dislodged. At one end, the sensor is connected to a metal tab, which is held in place by a screw. At the other end, the cable ends in a connector, which sits in a plastic clip. The clip could have sprung open, the connector could have come loose, but the cable simply ripped.

The only mark on Pedrosa's bike is a small black stripe where what looks like the clutch lever contacted the swing arm. The contact between Marquez and Pedrosa was so minor that Pedrosa could hold his line through the corner, the rear of the bike moving almost imperceptibly. The problem came when Pedrosa opened the throttle, the bike spitting him off without warning. The Honda, it appears, uses only a single rear wheel speed sensor, and once that breaks, the safety mode the system goes into leaves the bike without traction control. Pedrosa's first touch of the throttle throws him off the bike and onto the ground.

This raises two related questions: the first is why such an important cable was so exposed. In this case, contact with another rider knocked the cable loose, but a crash or a trip through the gravel, or even being hit by a stone thrown up by another bike. Which, given the frequency with which the bikes travel through the gravel and come out unscathed, makes the breaking of the cable even more unusual. The second is why Honda's system - which is incredibly complex, and combines factors such as engine speed, gear, lean angle, track angle, suspension compression, throttle position, engine torque output and many others to calculate the correct amount of power to deliver to the rear wheel - uses only a single rear wheel speed sensor. The system used by Ducati uses two, one on each side of the wheel to insure against precisely such an occurrence.

Why, also, is the failure mode of the traction control system to switch off completely? With so many inputs, why remove TC, instead of ramping it up to a very high level, protecting riders from such an event? Is it a conscious decision to put control back in the hands of the riders, in the hope that they can continue the race, duly warned that the TC is not working correctly?

The answer to these questions is known only inside HRC, and is unlikely to ever emerge. When I asked Livio Suppo whether Honda will take another look at the design of the sensor and cable, he said merely, 'yes', and then walked away.

Then to the question of contact. Did the contact cause the crash? It is true that the contact caused the damage which caused the crash, but could Marc Marquez be reasonably expected to know that such relatively minor contact cause such a major incident? If one rider hits another with sufficient force to run them off the track or cause them to crash, then they may be assumed to have been aware of the consequences of their action. But does a relatively minor contact - large enough for Pedrosa to register it, but small enough for it not to knock him off his line - which dislodges a sensor in a vulnerable location constitute foreknowledge of the consequences of their action?

Should contact be allowed at all? The previous Race Director Paul Butler certainly believed so, as long as such contact was an unintentional consequence of a racing move. There is something to be said for that argument: If contact were to be punishable by exclusion, then the Moto2 and Moto3 grids would be permanently down to ten riders or less. The thrilling battle between Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro at Aragon would have seen both riders excluded, both men having pushed each other to the very limit, yet neither complained.

Does Marc Marquez have previous form for contact? Certainly. His 2011 crash with Ratthapark Wilairot was perhaps the low point of his career, and the fact that he was not banned for at least one race was a black mark against former Race Director Butler. Dani Rivas received a two-race ban for a less dangerous incident at Silverstone this year, a sign perhaps that new Race Director Mike Webb is taking such incidents more seriously.

Marquez has also come close to running into the back of riders in braking maneuvers throughout his career, though he has bettered himself since moving to MotoGP, something he says is a conscious effort to be more careful. And yet at Jerez - before the clash with Lorenzo - Marquez nearly ran into the back of Lorenzo a number of times, especially at the end of the back straight. Bradley Smith, who also raced against Marquez in Moto2, says of Marquez that he never keeps any margin of safety, always seeming to brake to his braking markers, regardless of whether there is another rider in his way or not.

This disregard for fellow riders is what has caused Marquez to receive such criticism. Jorge Lorenzo at Jerez, and now Dani Pedrosa at Aragon both roundly attacked Marquez' riding, saying he was too close to the limit too often. He is an accident waiting to happen, they both implied, referring to incidents in the past with previous riders. Throughout the discussion, there looms the specter of Marco Simoncelli, hanging over the discussion like Banquo's ghost, with no one daring to speak the name of the rider so often criticized as being dangerous, and who ended up dying in a racing incident at Sepang.

This, it seems, is why Race Direction is holding the incident between Marquez and Pedrosa under investigation. Jorge Lorenzo keeps insisting that the only thing that taught him to change his attitude was the race ban he received after Motegi in 2005. A race ban may help Marquez learn the same lesson, retaining his aggression by applying it more prudently. The trouble is, none of the incidents Marquez has been involved in since his move to MotoGP have deserved a race ban, being on the limit of acceptable rather than outright dangerous. By cleaning up his act, Marquez has made it more difficult for Race Direction to teach him the lesson which so many other riders would like him to learn.

Based on the evidence we have available to us at the moment, it would be an injustice of Marquez received a race ban for the incident at Aragon. It would not even be particularly just to hand him another penalty point, given that the incident lies half way between braking mistake and excessive aggression. What the further details being provided to Race Direction show in the future, we cannot know, but it seems hard to believe they would have much influence. At the moment, Race Direction is inclined to regard this as a racing incident, and I would be inclined to agree.

This does not mean that the incident was fair on Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa clearly had the pace to win at Aragon, and only a truly bizarre sequence of events saw him robbed of it. Did Marquez trigger that sequence of events? Certainly. Did Marquez cause Pedrosa to crash? That is a much, much more difficult question to answer, and one to which I would answer no. Pedrosa's crash was down to a minor error, a design mistake, and an unforeseen chain of events. It is yet another example of the inexplicably poor luck which has dogged Pedrosa throughout his career. And Pedrosa definitely does not deserve that bad luck.

Back to top


Particularly difficult place to brake consistently, I remember 2 riders went down there on the opening lap. Any word on that? I know Petrucci, Laverty, and Scassa were involved. You have to feel for Pedrosa, that was the worst place possible for the TC to cut out. Epic win from Marq. Despite a crap start, Lorenzo's 1 sec gap in the first few laps, and running off track he passed with time to spare.

Note: After watching the onboard footage Marq clearly let off the throttle very early to give Dani room, and then miscalculated his new braking point. I have to say this incident was due to an honest error and not over aggression.

Racing incident.
What amazes, though, is the possibility that Marquez' clutch lever scraped Dani's swing arm. Man, that's what I call tipping it in.......
Disappointing for Dani, who looked fit for a scrap.

except this:

"but could Marc Marquez be reasonably expected to know that such relatively minor contact cause such a major incident?"

I think this is irrelevant. If you make contact with another rider it's a mistake, unless you intended it which is worse. Whatever Marc thinks would be the result of the contact doesn't matter, contact was made and when racing motorcycles touch on the limit sometimes unexpectedly bad shit ensues.

by this happening. It's something that's happened throughout MM's career. Over agressive riding causing incidents for others. As Desh said If you make contact with another rider it's a mistake, unless you intended it which is worse. Whatever Marc thinks would be the result of the contact doesn't matter, contact was made.

The simple truth is that MM shouldn't be on a factory Honda this year. Oh, that's right, he's the golden boy from Spain with the biggest sponsor, Repsol (also spanish) in a series that is run by another spanish entity, DORNA. That's the simple reason why the rule, which some called the Ben Spies rule, was ignored and MM was on a factory bike in his rookie season. Anyone wanna say there's no favoritism in MotoGP? Please explain. It's been going on for a number of years with different riders. I'm not say they aren't/weren't talented, just stating facts.

I don't think that MM should be banned any races for this incident. I do think that he should get some kind of penalty. IIRC, wasn't he already given 2 points/warning recently for ignoring yellow flags? That action damn near took out a couple riders and marshals. Thankfully, one of the marshals was doing his job well and saw the defecation hit the rotary oscillator and people were able to get clear. What good is this new point system if it doesn't aggregate and result in some type of action? But, he's the new king and they'll find a way to let it all wash. I just hope he doesn't hurt someone with his lack of care for the safety of his competitors. Due to that fact, he's a danger to the others he races with. I'm not so sure that might not effect those he's racing against. Simply because they aren't sure just what he might do next. That's quite evident by the comments of his competitors.

I've met and respect Mike Webb and his view on safety. I'm just curious if he'll push back against his superiors and equals to have something actually done about this or if MM will be allowed to put others in harms way in the future as well. Marquez is probably the most talented rider on the grid right now. That being said, it doesn't mean that he's the only one on track and can use the others as berms, stopping kerbs, run folks off track, etc. If they allow him to continue as he has, someone will get hurt due to it.

...not Spanish, nor am I American, but I think the conspiracy theories are just that.
Marquez is on the bike, he deserves to be on the bike because he is proving himself to be the fastest guy out there.

I agree he needs to tame things a bit, I never have been the biggest fan of 'ragged' styles (give me Rossi and Lorenzo any day of the week!). I don't want to see riders fall at all, let alone be knocked off. But this accident 999/1000 would not have had the same consequence. I don't want this sport to turn into something where riders aren't allowed to pass or race too close.

Even if the Rookie rule wasn't dropped, Honda would place Marquez in satellite team (existing or newly created just for him) for this year but he would get factory Honda nevertheless.

Fortune favours the brave. Now I'm not saying Danni is not brave, in fact all of them are unbelievably brave in my opinion. My thought is that Danni needs to be a little tougher in return, answer bumps and harrassment with bumps and harrassment. Or he will likely retire as the best rider to have not won a championship, as a friend of mine said to me recently.

Marquez is supremely talented and a pleasure to watch, but I can't help but feel is 'getting away with it' a little. Gorge and Danni were injured during the season, they now appear to be trying to ride at a pace to force Marquez into a mistake, so they can get back into the championship. A better tactic I think, may be to race him, ride on his rear wheel, overtake tight and hard. I'd really like Rossi to be competitive again, Marquez might discover that hits are returned with hits, and that GP racers will dog fight with you. Rossi just would not take it, and would love dishing it out a 'little Marquez' to Marquez on the track. If only Rossi was a second quicker on the track. Wow, I'd like to see the old street fighter take it to the new street fighter.

Lorenzo and Pedrosa have both shown they're not afraid to scrap with another rider--they've just demonstrated that it's not the most efficient way to win races. David has illustrated in previous posts, through the words of multiple riders, how hard it is for the Yamaha to get past a Honda, or vice versa, so I don't think they'll be adopting that theory any time soon.

As for your thoughts on Pedrosa--how exactly would you suggest he toughen up? Pedrosa executed a brilliant, clean pass on Marquez (and probably could have pulled off another couple if the 'incident' hadn't happened). He doesn't need to bump or harass. Poking someone whose poked you is child's play, and Pedrosa is better than that.

As for his toughness, I seem to remember many times in his career when he swung his leg over the bike and rode while in great pain. Same goes for Rossi, and Lorenzo, Crutchlow, etc etc. Every single one of those riders has some hefty brass balls between their legs. Toughness and talent are the two things everyone on that grid has in spades.

I should not have used the word 'tough', he is plenty tough, I probably should've said 'mongrel' or some word which means 'stick it to Marquez more than Marquez sticks it to him'.. If you know what I mean? Make Marquez WANT to be cautious around them.

but dammit! Clean up your act! I think Marquez has already proven he is the fastest, he doesn't need to race the way he does. Say what you want but if the whole grid raced like Marquez they would probably have to end racing in general for safety concerns. Maybe he's better than he was in moto2 but what does that mean, really? If he keeps riding with complete disregard for his competitors then people are going to start really getting hurt...
Marquez is a hard racer and incredibly talented, if he wins the championship he completely deserves it. But he's too fast and too good to have to put everyone else at risk like that. Just my opinion...

"Don't race ban or penalize, but, dammit, clean up your act!"

You mean, exactly what the penalty point system was designed for?

This is the best MotoGP site on the planet, and, obviously, I'm a supporter. David has also been a Marc Marquez apologist for some time, even before he graduated to the big bikes. I guess nobody's perfect...

Why is it impossible to be in awe of a rider's skill while also being impartial when they screw up? In the very first paragraph, David admits that it was a Marquez mistake that started the chain of events. Not just a mistake, but the same mistake he makes over and over and over again!

There is no parallel between this incident and Redding/Espargaro's battle yesterday. The latter's contact occurred during the course of successful passes, not one rider almost plowing into the back of another. Nobody had to run off track due to the moves or the contact, and everyone stayed on their bikes.

I agree that this incident, on its own, doesn't warrant severe punishment. But the fact that it's a recurring theme sounds like exactly what the penalty point system was designed to deter.

And here's the thing: You don't have to stop being a Marquez fan (or a fan of hard racing) to accept this. It doesn't matter how fast he is, it doesn't matter how great for the sport he is, it doesn't matter if he's the future face of GP racing. It's a good thing to put the kibosh on his reckless riding, because he doesn't even need to do it! The kid is just that fast. He can leave a tad bit of room for his braking points, avoid "bounce passes," he could remove every dangerous aspect of his riding, and he'd still win the championship. And he'd still surely do it in spectacular fashion. He's proven that he's good enough to make hard, exciting passes without the need for the reckless mistakes.

I know this is a response to both an individual comment and to the article itself, so sorry if there's any confusion, R6rider.

is that this should have been nipped in the bud way back when MM severely and dangerously overshot the last corner and was saved by running into the side of JL. At this point,clearly a great many people,then as now,are blinded by the genuine talent MM displays on a weekly basis and unable to see clearly his recurring inability to reign in his reckless enthusiasm. As you pointed out,the two need not be mutually exclusive. One can certainly appreciate the brilliance of his riding performance and still recognise the danger he presents to himself and others. This continued reliance on good fortune will not end well,and we received a taste of the unintended consequence of his lack of control this weekend. The resulting damage will not be entirely his fault,as those charged with the responsibility of race safety have so far neglected to take the steps necessary to change his behavior,instead being subdued by the wide eyed fawning over his obviously immense talent and the heretofore lack of blood and broken bones. Was this incident an example of blatant recklessness? No,absolutely not. It was an example of a young and supremely talented rider displaying unbridled enthusiasm combined with a lack of experience and understanding of the resulting consequences,intended or otherwise. The young man has much to learn,and if no one steps in to teach him,then he will learn in a much more graphic and painful way than any sanctions can....

Goes without saying that all should be admirers of MM's great talent, but consider the Silverstone incident for example:

Be in no doubt, that if Crutchlow and the volunteer marshalls hadn't legged-it, there would have been deaths caused by his flying crashed bike. He did not slow down under a yellow flag, and in FP too, very reckless. Doesn't matter that Crutchlow forgave it, Crutchlow takes risks as part of his job, the marshalls are volunteers who give their time for nothing to assist in safety and enable us all to enjoy the racing.

His youthful exuberance, whilst making him great to watch does at times need mitigating with discipline and if necessary, points deducted and pitlane / back of grid sanctions. He has a long record of this stuff going way back.

Whether this Pedro incident was 'as bad' I agree doesn't matter, it's part of an ongoing pattern.

. . . all made several great points. Let me extrapolate a bit on the inside the track aspect. I've been a cornerworker for almost a quarter century. I've done all the jobs : from chasing and getting bikes, flagging, rider pickup, crash truck to working in race control at GPs and absolutely everything in between. There's often members that work across the pond at various races and there's numerous workers from out of the US that come work Laguna. As I watched the Crutchlow/Marquez incident at Silverstone unfold live I got my ass in big time trouble for screaming "MOVE" at the TV in those early AM hours here, US Pacific Time. I apologized but when the missus saw the replay, later that day, she understood my anxiety.

Thankfully the marshals from the UK were doing their duties with diligent care and saw the bike coming in and got people moving quickly. I was very glad that the "lookout" was doing his job where the bike was being picked up and the gent with Cal was watching up track. Of the many folks I've helped train over the years, that's the first thing I try to brand on their brain, ALWAYS look up track (towards traffic) as that's where the danger comes from. There's times you can't look uptrack, such as picking up a bike from the gravel, but you better have a lookout with a whistle in their mouth to warn you when it all goes wrong.

Here's an amateur video of the incident and here's a copy of the incident from the MotoGP feed. These show how alert the workers were to what was going on. If you don't believe Marquez's mistake could have been fatal then please watch the MotoGP video closely from the 40 second mark. I rest my case.

It's not just the mistake he made this time, it's his lack of concern over his mistakes and continuing to do the same type things. I simply hope no one gets seriously injured, including Marc himself.

Goes without saying that all should be admirers of MM's great talent, but consider the Silverstone incident for example:

Be in no doubt, that if Crutchlow and the volunteer marshalls hadn't legged-it, there would have been deaths caused by his flying crashed bike. He did not slow down under a yellow flag, and in FP too, very reckless. Doesn't matter that Crutchlow forgave it, Crutchlow takes risks as part of his job, the marshalls are volunteers who give their time for nothing to assist in safety and enable us all to enjoy the racing.

His youthful exuberance, whilst making him great to watch does at times need mitigating with discipline and if necessary, points deducted and pitlane / back of grid sanctions. He has a long record of this stuff going way back.

Whether this Pedro incident was 'as bad' I agree doesn't matter, it's part of an ongoing pattern.

A very objective analysis.
A very subjective "fan" wish is to make MM start from the back of the grid. It'd be unfair to him but very spectacular for us :)
More seriously it is a design flaw exposed but some unlucky circumstances. I wonder if it is the only one or just that most of the others will never emerge because no event triggers the discovery.

In any case I believe one cannot feel for Dani, luck has never been in his favour since he moved to the major class.

I know this is very tricky in regard to riders safety but imho at some tracks such as Aragon, there are too many (or at least too extensive) paved run-off areas.
Nobody wants to see riders hurt more often when they run-off track directly into gravel traps but with such long and wide paved run-off areas you can outbrake yourself, completely miss the corner while only losing a fraction of a second to your opponents who are on the perfect line.
Just see how Marquez closes in on the fallen Pedrosa after missing the apex by a mile or so...

Maybe if such paved run-offs were more limited in area they would still allow riders to scrub off enough speed before crashing in order to avoid serious injury (and even allow them to rejoin the race losing only a few seconds if the mistake was such as they did not visit the gravel trap) while not inviting them to overshoot some corners as many times as they want during the race with absolutely zero consequence on their laptimes.

I'm all for safety but perhaps run-offs singing "come on buddy, you can go crazy here, oh yeah baby, kamikaze me" aren't the best safety feature in the world.

were a frequent complaint from Stoner. He was right then, and he is still right. The Sykes run-off earlier this year at Monza is another good example, yet he received no penalty even though it was contested by Aprilia/Guintoli.

How would a clutch lever cause the cable damage? Don't they all run bar end 'Gibernau' lever guards these days?

After all, it's another piece of metal. It's there to guard against a lever being actuated but would make a fairly good scythe on its own. Actually, probably a better one than a lever since it's fixed and rigid.

...on the MotoGP site, during the slow motion high def part where Marc is passing Dani as he slides on the track, you can clearly see the guards on both their bikes. And yeah, I agree, that seems likely to be what snagged the cable, if the cable damage really occured during the on track incident.

The guards are only on the right handlebars to cover the front brake lever...no such guards on the left bar.
The wire was broken by either the clutch lever or the end of the handlebar. An amazingly unlucky freak occurence.
Honda need to change to 2 sensors AND protect them somehow, ASAP.

Ah, yes, of course, you're right about MotoGP bikes only having guards on the brake lever. It's getting common to see them sold in pairs, so I totally forgot.

I think this was just a racing incident, and a minor one at that. Marquez does need to be more careful, but this could have happened to anyone. According to him, he braked a little too late, locked the front wheel and then had to release the brake and stand the bike up in an attempt to avoid Dani. They barely touched. It was a mistake. Once they start legislating against every minor mistake, racing is over.

What's really astonishing is that Honda, after spending mountains of cash on development, could devise a system without a redundancy. Failsafe mode means switching the system off? Seemingly without any kind of real warning for the rider?? Were they worried about blowing their gazillion-dollar budget by 27 bucks? Could they not save 44 grams of weight somewhere else?

How about the failsafe cuts engine power/throttle response to a safer level and the rider can choose to override it via a toggle switch if he chooses? Maybe not the best technical solution because I'm an idiot and thought about it for approximately 20 seconds, but surely Honda can come up with something.

How about just installing a redundant sensor and making both and their cables out of something other than Mentos and Twizzlers? Maybe don't have them hanging out there like the awful turn signals that Honda puts on its production bikes?

Clearly I'm stunned.

It's the type of mistake Dani just doesn't make. So if they don't give Marquez some sort of wrist slap the real message is its fine to run into other riders a little bit, and in fact Pedrosa isn't exploiting the existing rules to their fullest by doing the same thing.

Well, to touch that is. It happens all the time in racing. You cannot have close racing at this level without some physical contact now and then. Completely bumping another rider off track is a different issue, but a slight touch like this is just part of the sport or it wouldn't be worth watching.

We'd have had a 3 way battle for the lead if not for that bump. But if they had both just carried on then of course it's not worth mentioning. But they didn't, Marc damaged a sensor on Dani's bike by bumping into him, those are the facts and Dani's title is over be because of it. I don't think sits just if Marquez just gets a race win for it and that's that.

... so what do you propose they do? Give all riders radios so they can ask each other if they are ok to overtake?

It was an extremely minor collision and it's something we see happen all the time in Moto3, Moto2 and it's not that irregular in MotoGP.

It just happens that this time there was a consequense. How can you penalise Marc for this for such minor contact, when we see it every other race? It would set and precident which we'd end up either seeing no overtaking whatsoever, or girds half full every race because of all the bans/points handed out.

I understand that the consequence for Dani was huge. It does put a different perspective on the incident as a whole, but the contact and the accident which Marquez is hard to even see with slow motion replays!

You simply can't punish Marquez for this and then let 20 other riders off with bigger contacts for the rest of the weekend.

...you see, the rules book will tend to look at a penalty for the immediate and individual, specific situation at a single event, so that it doesn't descriminate riders. This is not wrong per se.

One of the problems with this is, penalties should ALSO be given according to background, i.e, previous situations that show a pattern of behaviour should be taken seriously into account, a bit like in the citizen rules in our society. This is where, I think, the rules book really need to be further evolved, as to consider a rider's "previous history" and tendencies, and correct very firmly as soon as bad patterns of behaviour appear on track for a given rider.
...I think it's fair to say that there's plenty "previous history" for M.Marquez...

Then there's another problem - the previously badly judged situations influencing those happening today, provoking controversial (I would say mediocre?) judgement and subsequent decisions. Almost like there is a "too-important-riders-better-not-be-punished" magic wand around.
For example, a very hot subject this season was, is, and will always be, whether M.Marquez should have received a penalty for both his last corner overtaking at Jerez (on J.Lorenzo) and his corkscrew "off-track" overtaking at Laguna Seca (on V.Rossi).
Both situations had happened years before (with V.Rossi as the culprit) and weren't penalized. Therefore, penalizing these newer situations would have looked nonsensical and unfair..... so M.Marquez "got away with it", as did V.Rossi years before.

Call it conspiracy theory, but the way that Dorna handle the rules towards their own preferences for this and that rider are more than intriguing. Look at the way the "rookie riders" rule have been suddenly changed or ditched (the "Ben Spies rule") specifically for M.Marquez, or the passivity towards reckless riding of certain riders.
To be honest, I think this is actually much more negative and harmful towards the image of Dorna, rather than M.Marquez.

Consequences matter. If I rider makes contact with another rider by mistake but both are able to continue without detriment then you call it lucky (unless it was extremely foolhardy), and there are no penalties. If a rider makes contact by mistake and there are dire consequences for the rider on the receiving end, then the rider who caused the accident also receives some sort of penalty as long as fault can be attributed. That means overtaking isn't outlawed, but dodgy moves that cause issues receive penalty points.

The thing is, there was no dodgy move in this instance. Only one rider making a mistake by braking a fraction too late. So it's not so easy in this case.
These guys aren't machines after all, even if Pedrosa and even more Lorenzo could make you think so.
There was no reckless riding involved. I think it's insane how closely the riders are following each other, but apparently that's what they have to do to get a chance of a calculated pass.

It seems everyone is viewing this contact as racing. The fact is. It's different than hard racing contact. We see riders putting their bikes into spots that there just doesn't seem to be one. It stands the other rider up. We saw this this weekend with Moto2 and WSBK. MM contact was made from behind. Dani didn't have a chance to stand his bike up. If you've watched him throughout his career, he's done this numerous times. In Jerez he ran wide and almost took out Lorenzo at Dry Sac 4 different times.

Bautista was handed a penalty when he took out Lorenzo for this exact same thing. Contact on the side when riders can see you or stuffing it in and standing a rider up. Is completely different than over shooting your brakin point and running into the back of another rider.

If this was the first time that it had happened. It would be looked at as just that. He missed his braking point. But it isn't, he's done many many times this season.

We've seen hard racing between Lorenzo and Pedrosa many times in the past. Many times they've touched. That was hard racing.

... other riders has he actually taken out this season?... Dani is the 1st & was the result of a minor mistake by Marc & a design flaw by Honda. A 2mm difference in line & we'd be saying how well he's going at circuits he's never ridden a race on a MotoGP bike at before & how, despite some mistakes, by the end of each race he looks like he owns them... without doubt & almost without exception he does, regardless of where he's finished in the race.

Silverstone is a major blot on his copybook for which he has been penalised... no doubts... but this was nothing to do with that. They're racers trying to go the fastest they can around a track... when there are no yellow flags they are duty-bound to their teams & sponsors to do that... Marc is a rookie... if you don't expect a rookie to make mistakes then you're going to be continually disappointed.

Marc is only a rookie in the big class. He's been racing for a long time and is a professional motorcycle racer.

... he's classed as a Rookie MotoGP rider & is eligible for the MotoGP "coveted" Rookie of the Year title... that's because it is the 1st time he's ever raced a bike anywhere near as powerful as this at these circuits... hence the mistakes that most newcomers make in their 1st year (though, as said, Silverstone was a serious infringement rather than an error, but has little to do with this race). Everyone knows he's raced a bike before... ?

But to be honest, he has been rightly critiqued for not always showing enough aggression when the situation warrants it. I'm not calling for any rider to willfully run into another, but sometimes contact is a byproduct of close, aggressive racing. Of course there's a line and it should be observed, but I cannot agree with the hysteria over this episode.

The main fault lies with Honda and an ill-conceived TC system that defaults to highside mode (off) with no warning when it's damaged by a fairly run-of-the-mill contact.

Someone made a very good point further down the page--these bikes are nearly unrideable without very complex electronics. And the more complex the bikes get, the more there is to go wrong. Yet Honda lets a single cable failure render its multi-million-dollar machine nearly useless, and, in fact, dangerous, and could have seriously injured one of its riders.

It doesn't matter as much that Marquez's mistake caused the failure. These systems should be designed with the expectation that they might be damaged by an incident. That happens in racing.

If you want to blast Marquez, do it over missing/ignoring the yellow flag at Silverstone. That was a truly dangerous mistake that should never happen again.

This is tricky and you can get accused of manipulating championships, either way.
However, last weeks BSB race provided an example, which I didn't agree with at first (being of the 'it's racing' persuasion).
Put simply, Lowes knocked Byrne off his bike. Not a Sofuoglu type move, more a Marquez- type move.
He was excluded from the results.
They were both up for the win, the fallen rider made no mistake. The 'at fault' rider didn't profit from his risk-taking.
Nothing is totally fair, but that seems reasonably so. The key thing is, why should Dani be penalised for someone else's mistake?
Also, the punishment fits the MO, not just the crime.

Aeroplanes are designed to allow primary systems to fail and stay safe. Race bikes are designed for maximum performance, with safety a close second - as in, first make it fast; then how do we make it safe?
Patching-up bikes after a crash is also a consideration - double the kit and you make time a problem. Sensors and wiring, even lightweight race stuff, is a burden no rider or team wants - even if the base bike is under the regulated weight you want to decide where you put it, not be forced to compromise.
David's suggestion that you look at the software makes sense. In the event of a fault the system should default to safe, with enough TC to prevent the type of accident Pedrosa had. The system can then show a warning, the rider can override the safe mode with the knowledge that it's his wrist, not the ECU controlling things. Whether any rider could still get near the podium with such a set-up is doubtful, but they would probably be grateful to be un-hurt and a few points might help. In cold calculation, as he is seemingly un-hurt, Dani may be better off having crashed and then Marc being excluded. Time will tell.
This is such an unlikely event that it probably wouldn't happen again. In this situation the cable is 'exposed', but under most situations (flying gravel) its quite well protected by the swing arm.
HRC are probably reviewing quite a few things now that they have Marquez riding these things.......Other teams need to do likewise, because there are many riders around/coming through that will be watching Marc and 'learning how to win'.

Glad someone else understands this. I don't think you want to model anything after Ducati at this point. The fact is that the Hondas fall and tumble through gravel and everything else and this "bad design" has never been a issue which makes me think maybe it's not such a bad design at all unless your teammate is out braking himself and hitting it.

Ducati has it right. Any part of the system that critical being carried by a wire needs redundancy, that's just smart engineering.

Has anyone stopped to consider that the exact same result would have happened if the single wire just had not been installed correctly (loosely) and it just became disconnected during the race?

MM role was exposing a bad design. If it's that critical they should have routed it inside and through the swingarm.

Red faces at Honda engineering right now.

Excepting a defective component or incorrect installlation, this shouldn't have happened as a result of such a run-of-the-mill contact. Worst of all is that the system just shuts off without warning. Imagine grabbing a handful of throttle leaned over on one of these things expecting TC when there is none. You'd be about eight feet in the air before you'd have any inkling of what just happened.

It was a racing incident like when Rossi/Bautista clached at Mugello. Reminds me of the Kevin Schwantz quote when asked about the tyre marks on his leathers "Did Rainey accidentaly hit you? " (smiling) "No we are both much to good for that" Rubbing is racing.
I find it a bit hard to fathom that a cable could be hooked under a guard and not to nearly reef the bars from Marquez's hands or a clutch lever could slice it it two.

A more interesting note is Nicky Hayden was a full 1.3 seconds SLOWER per lap than on a supposedly unrideable carbon framed GP10 800 back in 2010.

I agree with most of the article, lots of valid points. MM definitely walks the line and dips his toe over the edge fairly often, but I think this time it was just a small mistake on his part, and not worthy of a penalty.

But I have to completely disagree with the statement at the end of the article.
The contact between the two which severed the traction control cable was surely caused Pedrosa to crash, it wasn't intentional and not even that much of a mistake, but it caused the crash.

Me thinks HRC should have invested in a good Medicine Man (and I don`t mean Costa) a long time ago....that poor lad is just down right cursed....

If DP's cable hadn't broken maybe this wouldn't really be mentioned. Who knows what the result would have been. Also race direction is different this year to others and therefore what happened in the past is not totally relevant, in the sense of what should, if any, be the punishment. Depends on your side I suppose.

Thing is for me DORNA are in the entertainment industry, point blank. MM provides this as Rossi has. Not to dis JL but to me he is a bit like Federer in Tennis, brilliant but his style sometimes can be boring from the "entertainment" side. No doubt he can battle with others and up his game to levels that I think even astounds Rossi. But the entertainment side is what may lose. Look at CS, in his WC year at ducati he cleared out and was gone. Good for me as a CS fan, possibly, good for the sport, less so, good since he was an Aussie, less so again. Have a look at the Dakar Rally, Tour de France, Formula 1 etc. You don't have to look far to find decisions made that really defy logic and fairness. But its a business and if DORNA don't sell their (product/business model) well then their business goes up in tire smoke, no matter how close/far/exciting the racing.

Repsol want vision, it sells their product. Does JL, MM, DP, CS out the front help that, no. Quickly we are looking at 2nd, 3rd, etc. One thing Rossi did well is he battled, won a lot but battled, meaning his sponsors got the vision. Maybe he hasn't changed, I can't remember he being the kind of rider that cleared out a pumped out inch perfect laps like JL. Maybe he didn't try to clear out like riders do now, maybe the bikes didn't allow it, maybe the electronics have something to blame here. I think many of us would like to see them toned back a lot. But then maybe honda/yamaha would pull out. Would that be good long term, maybe. I remember in our local tin tops in OZ bridgestone sponsored a GM team, but the control tire was dunlop. I wondered why until I realised/was told, that all GM products come with bridgestone tires and the OE replacement was the same. I wonder if Repsol has the same tie up. Hence is honda left would they as well.

As much as like to see MM win I think that maybe from a entertainment side punish the guy, start from the back of the grid and I reckon we shall see a great race. As has been said in other write ups here, Bring back CS and see how the bikes get ridden. Do I think it will be closer, no. WIll it be more entertaining, maybe.

As said in the Senna doco, the issues between senna and prost sold papers, stories etc and the ratings got better. How much air play did the punch between biaggi and rossi got? Probably more than the race. Maybe Danni should have walked into MM's garage after the race and snotted him one, would have made front page news in the moto world. Plus then we may have seen lego impersonators battling it out on youtube!!!!!!!

I don't think it should be punished, but, starting from the back may teach him something, and a lot of us here wether we agree or not would look foward to the first couple of laps!!!!!!!

Anyway thats my aside, now out there in the www to be high sided into next week........

Livio Suppo's reaction to David's question was an understatement of biblical proportions. So the mighty HRC produces their MotoGP bikes using an electrical design quality worse than seen on a cheap Chinese scooter? You bet they are looking into it Livio, and my take on this is that it is the team and HRC that is being investigated by Race Direction for this incident. Tyres get rubbed all the time. What would be the response if Bridgestones started popping after being brushed by a riders knee? HRC are prejudicing safety through design, not MM for causing another rider to crash from that miniscule contact.

I've never seen (on the screen) Marquez so tense as he was in the post-race press conference. He was told that Suppo blamed him on the occasion. But in the video below , Suppo seems like telling that Dani's line wasn't usual and he was taking different line and did brake early. But both Dani and the press was very vocal about Marquez's `over the limit`. Data will show it for sure but it could be Dani who did unexpected behavior.

Nonetheless the damage seems so suspicious to me.

I'd have selfishly liked to watch elbow-to-elbow, knee-to-knee fights. It's like tango vs vals.

Somebody has to stop this immature racer. He’s crossed the line once more and burned Dani’s scanty possibilities of becoming champ for heck once.
Marc’s angelical face clearly indicates he does not mean to damage anyone, but when he slips into his overall he turns into a public enemy and does not think beyond his mount dome.

I think this issue would be better analysed leaving aside this specific accident.
I don't think anyone wants contact to be banned altogether from racing but at the same time there is the need to punish reckless maneuvers that put in danger other riders.

The fact that an accident is not intentional and that the rider causing the accident with his mistake (not necessarily a direct consequence of reckless riding) could not foresee the outcome of it, are both irrelevant.

The discriminant should simply be the fact that as a consequence of the contact the rider receives a substantial damage, be it a crash or even a marked loss of his line.

And I think that the new penalty system, if correctly applied, would be very useful and fair in addressing the issue of reckless driving. It is fair because it acts as cumulative warnings, it gives a second chance to a rider that is too "hot" before giving him a ban or whatnot but at the same time can help hot riders to understand better their limits and their responsibilities towards other riders.

Very good write up. The only thing I'd like to mention is about the TC "default setting". As we all know, the rear wheel speed sensor is used by the computer to compare the speed of the rear wheel to the front wheel, and then calculate how much faster it should be allowed to spin than the front wheel at any given time. Without the rear wheel speed sensor, the TC cannot work. How can you have a default setting for a system that is not working?

Yes, you can tell the ECU to control the engine output at any given lean angle, pitch, gear, or whatever, but that won't do any good unless you know how fast the rear wheel is turning. Because if the front wheel is turning at 1000 rpm, and you don't know how fast the rear wheel is spinning, then how do you know the rear wheel isn't turing at 900 rpm? In which case, all any default setting would do would be to slow down the bike. Okay, this might work in that the rider could then immediately turn it off, but this would probably be confusing. His first thought would be the engine is failing.

Alternatively, what might have saved Dani is if a massive speaker in his helmet had bleated" TC Fatal Error!!!!". And then he might have been able to adjust quickly enough, and ride around it, and he would have been slower of course. But he could have finished. But even in that case he probably could not have saved it as he would have no idea where the safe throttle position would be at that moment, since the throttle is I assume "connected" by a ride by wire. I remember Eugene Hernandez saying that the Ducati had a completely different throttle opening pattern than the CRT he was riding previously, all due to a different TC set-up. But I don't know enough about this really. I just assume that suddenly riding a bike with no TC would be akin to trying to learn a new bike in the space of 10 meters.

Having two wheel-speed sensors (with I assume two connecting cables seems) in hindsight seems like a good idea. But seriously - how unlucky can you get? I'm sure MM won't be penalized, but Dorna will tell HRC that MM is in danger of getting a major penalty if he makes another "mistake".

I don't blame MM for this error, but I remember him chasing I think it was JLo or Dani earlier in the season and he charged up the back of them and got within a hair's breadth of their back tire, and later MM said that he had braked so late that his hand had seized and he couldn't let off the brakes. That seems like a dangerous situation for a rider to get himself into. Because it implies that he has pushed his riding to the point where he is "out of control".

Let's not forget that the worst thing that could happen in MotoGP is not for there to be "boring" racing, but that someone might get killed or seriously injured. Who wants to watch a sport where people get killed because reckless riding is fine.

You're ignoring the fact the rear wheel is gear driven. So if you know gear, gear and drive ratios, rpm, lean angle, and tyre profile, you can pretty darn exactly estimate the rear wheel speed with only a slight error for chain slack (which could also be estimated based on suspension compression and acceleration). There is absolutely a method of a software calculations that could put a 99.5% as effective traction control system in place as a backup to losing the rear wheel speed sensor.

Front sensor, not so much, unless the brake discs have speed sensors too, but rear, yes.

The Yosh (Bazzaz) system was excellent when compared to their competitors who had nothing. It is a software based system that cuts spark when crankshaft acceleration goes above a certain level with maps for each gear. Compared to a wheel sensor-based system that can compensate for many factors, including tire wear, it is inferior but was a clever way of working around the wording of the rulebook at that time.

That said, it would be pretty sloppy of Honda for the failsafe mode to be zero traction control. They can surely do better than that. They even already have a backup signal- engine RPM and gear ratio, which someone above already mentioned. Especially with their torque transducer on the countershaft sprocket they should have have a high fidelity rear wheel speed signal. That brings into question how long the system takes to acknowledge failure and enact a recovery mode. The rear wheel only made a few complete revolutions between the cable break and the highside. Maybe all the failsafe stuff was set correctly but the system just didn't have enough time to reset. Or maybe it needs a rider input (handlebar button or something) to acknowledge the mode switch. I wonder how many of these details will be disclosed?


But I'd have to assume that the failsafe mode would be enacted by something like the ECU detecting a broken circuit and the backup signal being processed in parallel, if that makes any sense. If there were any significant delay in the system, it would render it fairly useless, unless it happened with the bike upright on a straight. If the system goes down in, say, a combination of corners and the rider isn't aware of it, it's highside city.

Requiring rider input to enact the failsafe system seems backward to me. I'm not sure there's a really reliable way to alert the rider that the system has failed in the first place, short of the dash display. And who knows if they'd see it in time? I think it makes much more sense to enact a failsafe mode, and let the rider switch it off if they choose once they're aware. All of this is also a good argument for redundancy, too.

Think about it- two bikes at what, 80/90 mph, riders with knee on the deck and one rider gets his clutch lever stuck on the swing-arm of the other bike, and elbow on the back wheel, makes him fall off (cause very unusual and indirect, accepted), runs wide (thankfully, as he then missed said fallen rider and bike).
Same rider who nearly knocked Lorenzo off a few weeks earlier (which incident I ignored as no-one fell off).
The main issue for me is that Pedrosa lost out, not just a place but a whole race that he had a good chance of winning/being on the podium. He stopped Rossi claiming another record as the most-consecutive-4th-placed-MGP-rider-ever, even.
I'm fairly cool about the whole thing, but I don't feel Pedrosa came out fairly, and sticking your bars on someone's swing arm has to be close to reckless, not enthusiastic.....
I admire riders who finish races with rubber on their arms/legs and rub their shoulders/helmets on walls/Armco. But when you knock someone else off, even in a freakish way, you have to be penalised if only because you caused them to crash. Nil points would be fair, and give those other poor souls a chance too.

Wouldn't it be an idea to regulate how to enter the track when running off due to own mistakes, when run-off areas are wider than an airfield. Compare to the chicanes at Monza where sbk riders have to drive around some cones before entering the track. Of course there will be cases when race direction have to decide if run-off was because of others or own mistake, but at least we don't need to see drivers over charging into the corners.

I was thinking along similar lines - the boundaries of the circuit are there for a reason - you race the circuit between the lines. One consequence of the better and better circuit safety: if you leave the track you can often rejoin with a minimal inconvenience to your race.

That should change I think. Keep the circuits safety improvements coming, but if you leave the track you get a penalty. The only way of doing so really is either the ride around cones, or a ride through - harsh penalties, but as someone (Sheene?) once said "it is also possible to ride round without hitting the bales".

It seems to me that Dani is more than anything a victim of two events. 1) A small amount of contact with M.M. and 2) an extremely rare and unusual event; a poor piece of electro/mechanical design by HRC (the position of the cable and the design of the cable connector)

I believe that the real culprit of this incident was the electronics and not Marquez. If is not for this little cable that snapped, it would have gone by as any other crash. Marquez is not to blame, it is just a crash caused by the way the electronics of the bike are designed.

I've not heard any issues with the riders that crashed on the first lap, so IMO, this is pure BS.

I don't think Marquez was reckless. I think he stuffed up, overestimating Pedroda's speed in to the corner, coming in too hot on the back of him on a different line and having to stand up. He's really raced quite cleanly this season.

People forget he's a rookie because of his speed and wins. He's not as clean as Dani or Jorge because, quite simply, he hasn't been riding the same tracks with them over and over and isn't as able to judge their exact lines and speed. His lines aren't as consistent as theirs, because he hasn't been riding a MotoGP bike as long as they have, and is still finding where the limit is.

There's a saying in racing. Young kid, cold tyres, fucked up. Take out cold tyres, and you have the situation.

I don't find he races any more recklessly than Rossi, Stoner or Crutchlow do/did.

This incident is the responsibility of HRC Engineering's poorly completed design failure mode and effects analysis.

I'm surprised that there's only one comment raising the possibility that Dani had braked early or was slightly off line. The answer is in the telemetry, but Honda is unlikely to ever share that with the rest of us. I still see the event as a racing incident. Sucks for Dani, but if you want passing rules, buffer zones you might as well start spectating at your local trackday. Marquez made every attempt to miss Pedrosa and Honda certainly deserves plenty of blame for their design. Unfortunately it often takes a crash or worse to identify what is an obvious safety defect. Now I think I'll go down to the garage and see how my wheel speed sensor is routed on my race bike!

I'm so tired of traction control. It's so invasive now that the bikes can't even make it through one corner without it. That's pathetic.
If you listened to the riders in the press conference, last race, MM, JL, and VR were all asked about electronics and HP. They were asked if they'd like more HP and less electronics. All said that the power, currently, was good enough but MM and VR wanted less electronics while JL liked it the way it is now and didn't prefer less electronics. Rossi then expanded and said that the majority of TC was for performance and only a small portion of it was for safety. He also said it had made the racing boring and would rather race with much less TC.

This is incident #2 in recent races. Spies 2013 GP season is over because TC wasn't working and his MotoGP career may be over as well because of it. (Rumors being punted to WSBK) Now Dani's 2013 MotoGP title chance is over due to a traction control wire. Same thing in both cases, TC wasn't working in one corner only, both went down, and one got hurt badly. Dani could have been hurt quite badly also, and was lucky not to after that high side.

And I still maintain that TC killed Marco, seeing that the article mentioned him. TC kicked in, attempted to deal with the slide, re-grip, and turned him into a bowling ball. No TC, he lowslides, and lives.

It's time that the journalists and fans start pushing the MSMA and Dorna to ban TC. Rossi says only a small portion of it is for safety, so remove the rest, limit it, or ban it altogether. Take the chance of Honda leaving. They are liars as far as I'm concerned. They do not need TC to prove to their boards their reasoning to go MotoGP racing. Honda and HRC own their own test tracks in Japan where they are free to pour water, chop up the pavement to make it irregular akin to a normal road that I ride on. They can test on these tracks 365, and 24/7 in all weather conditions. Surely a beat up road, or a wet one, is a better source for testing TC than a perfect asphalt MotoGP track that is smooth with few bumps. And road bikes don't have pneumatic valves, or carbon discs, and gas charged forks, etc, etc.

TC is a performance advantage only. The selling of it by the MSMA, mainly Honda, is politics, and nothing more. It is a barrier to other manu's joining the circus, a barrier to sponsors as it has made the price of the bikes too high. It needs to go. When the bikes slide again, come out of a corner crossed up again, when the tires smoke, when there are burnouts during a race celebration.....you'll see viewers increase, numbers at the track increase. More people watching and attending means more bikes sold, for everybody, but Honda and the MSMA can't see that. For such intelligent people that are completely stupid.

Since 2007 electronics have severely increased in this sport. In that time until now, VR has broken his leg, JL and DP various high sides and busted collarbones, ankles, etc. Casey Stoner, multiple injuries, Depuniet a broken leg, Marco Simoncelli died, Crutchlow with multiple injuries. Just about every factory rider has had a severe injury to Traction Control hasn't saved anybody from anything. These bikes are interwoven with it, requiring it to function. Every mfr. could build a new bike, void of it, and it would be cheaper, thus making sponsorship requirements less and easier to attract. The riders want that, the fans want it. We need to risk losing Honda to get it. If they are gone others will join. The bluffing back and forth needs to end. A bunch of injuries, ruined seasons, and the racing hasn't got better since 2006 when the 990's were put to rest. It's only got worse. You get a race with some exciting passing once in a while, but a far cry from 2006.

A busted wire ruins a race, causes physical pain, and ends title hopes? I hope people can see more than a design flaw and see the bigger picture. Electronic rider aids are now bigger and more important that the rider, the human. Nakamoto needs to watch some BSB racing. The folks with the $ are still at the front and the injuries didn't increase.

These guys race for money, right ? Marquez was just doing his job. Unintentional racing incident, let's move on. There's no guarantee Pedrosa could have won the race as he has failed miserably many times in the past including this year. Sad to see him go down so hard , but he didn't really have a chance in the championship anyhow.

... whether this is actually true- there are plenty of other conspiracies, why not that?

As David alluded too, Puig dragging in the press is bizarre, (this man is bizarre and I would prefer him out of Honda BTW). As too is the fraying of a wire rather than it simply becoming unclipped- the rubbing was insufficient to wear through so it 'must' be a break?

All strikes me as opportunistic politicking, not only by Puig but by all competitors (I even read Do I weighing in on it!) As for Danny's frequent complaints at MM (and Sic), it was only luck on his part he didn't wreck his teammate's championship himself. Hayden was gracious enough to accept his apology and shake his hand- the two things Dani wouldn't do with Marquez and Simoncelli respectively.

I can't imagine that the HRC bigwigs were particularly amused by Puig's antics. Dragging the issue into public view must be outright heresy in the eyes of Japanese MFG culture. David, any chance your Favorite Evil One has landed himself in hot water?

and this allegation is probably why Race Direction want to see the data. The sensor could have been snapped in the crash and unless Puig can show data supporting the claim that MM broke the sensor and caused the crash then there is no case apart from a large barrel of sour grapes.

At the time of the incident I called the reason for the highside as Dani running slightly wide and getting on the gas a fraction too hard on the dirty part of the track. Maybe he was spooked by MM, maybe the brush caused him to miss his apex by a few inches, or maybe he was running a bit wide on his own but until the sensor claim was made by Dani's side of the garage (Puig it seems) I had put it down to Dani crashing on his own.

I think Race Direction definitely have there work cut out cutting through the bull here. Sepang on thursday will be very interesting.

MM93 ran into a corner too hot (again) left zero room for margin (again), ran into another racer , putting another helpless blameless racer in great danger.
In it's simplest form that's what happened.
That's not a racing incident, that's poor, dangerous riding, which he should get a penalty for. Simple

I can't believe all of the people that want MM to change his riding style, you all are nuts . I am not a fan of Marquez, but you have to respect his abilities and his cajones. MM saved MotoGP this year is was set to be a bore fest without Stoner, but MM is exciting to watch even if I don"t want to see another Spanish motoGP champion.
I think he is riding great and yes very close to the limit and sometimes over it. That is how you grow. If you don't ride close to and over the limit you will never stretch the limit. Mistakes are happening out there all the time. Yes he out broke himself, but he was on the outside, stood up the bike and went off track, no biggie, not too aggressive. The incident is a bizarre coincidence.
This is motorcycle racing after all contact happens. Anyone who races knows it happens and accepts it as a part of the sport.
Lets not dumb down the exciting and dangerous sport that we love.

the former World Supersport champion said: “I didn’t think anything of it. Marc wasn’t out of control. Yes he ran wide but he was going off the track and he still came back and won the race.

"He won the race and he won it fair and square and he could argue Dani braked too early. Loads of things could happen that I don’t believe should happen because he won the race fair and square and if that happened to him he wouldn’t even be bothered or say anything. He would say a sensor broke and he crashed and that’s the difference. He never knocked Dani off.

"People are trying to pass each other and make mistakes and people run wide. Does that mean Dani or any rider has never made a mistake? Marc was the fastest guy and he won the race. He didn’t do anything wrong.”


Honda only have one cable for traction control for the rear wheel sensor!!! Oh my how terrible that is, an absolute design flaw!! How long have Honda been using such an antiquated system and never had any problems before? Well, so what does it mean? Honda are so terrible not to have some form of redundancy built in that handles the problem of a lack of input from the rear wheel sensor? Now lets punish Honda for having such an unsafe sytem. That way we don't have to have disciplinary measures for consistently outrageously dangerous Honda riders...........
MM has a design flaw, he leaves no margin for error!! He is dangerous and inconsiderate for the safety of other riders, as well as his own safety, in an already inherently dangerous sport. Generally it is a lack of respect for his fellow competitors or rivals. You cannot fault his enthusiasm to want to win, it is his naturally competitive nature but, to win at all costs appears to be the attitude he has adopted.
I think the Kid is fantastic and a breath of fresh air in the MotoGP world. He is exciting and like everyone else recognises I think he is the next super hero for the sport but, he does need to be severely punished for consistently running into the rear of his fellow competitors. I want see racing not crashing all the the time. Effectively it ruined what could have been an even more exciting race. Yup a race ban would help kick his very young, immature and naive mind into the correct gear.
Do we call him Doctor Marquez or Devil Marquez?

Dani made a clean pass and set about gapping Marc in pursuit of George. Given that Dani was using the harder front,he was not racing according to his pre race strategy. The smart thing would have been to hang behind Marquez as long as he was closing Lorenzo down and pounce when the hard front came into play. Alas it all turned turtle for him. Marquez made a minor error,Pedrosa's highside can be laid firmly at the door of the resultant electro/mechanical issue. The devil is in the detail and the law of unintended consequences. Marquez' evasive action, and subsequent save is to be commended rather than condemned.
Marquez' complicity within the context was a minor error. The dreaded #58 Sic issue involving Dani raises its ugly head yet again. Yeah, the Le Mans race back then. In that instance Dani also had the raw pace over race distance and should have let Sic go and crash out all on his lonesome as he surely would have. I don't like the fact Dani lost out big time, but he is the old head and Marc is the rookie. Penalty? Definitely not for Marquez is my opinion. I don't know how many of you watched SBK Laguna race 2 and watched Giuliagno's moves. Marques' little error pales in comparison. Thing is, Guiliagno's moves did not compromise any one's bike's integrity, hence no discussion,no one thrown down the track.

In my industry, we track the frequency of losses/incidents closely as increased frequency of incidnets ultimately leads to a large catastrophic loss. We try to prevent loss based on what data tells us via recommendations, fines for bad behavior, consultation, etc. It is more difficult to track near misses in my industry, but we do try to do it as best we can.

Conerning Marquez, he has frequently been directly involved in both small and large incidents, as well as the catastrophic (Philips Island; incident with Pol last year; etc.). Worse yet, our eyes tell us that he has been involved with plenty of the "near miss" types. It is in fact only a matter of time before we see him harm another rider.

Do not let the Cult of Personality that pervades MotoGP prevent supporters from seeing what is plainly obvious to the rest of us - while supremely talented, MM is right on if not over the razor's edge too frequently. He needs a shot across his bow to make him think through what he is doing.

Not the single incident that is the issue here as you point out.
If you were to analyse his career to date you would see he has a much higher than average incident rate, especially those involving others. He appears to be willing to take more risks with both his own safety and that of others than is generally the case, even amongst a risk-taking population (motorcycle racers are not exactly a bunch of cowards.)

He's already been involved in a couple of incidents where the other rider was hospitalised.

They have a system for dealing with this - in this case he should receive the minimum point penalty as he did instigate the incident, that's undeniable as is his history of running into others.

And that's what we all have to keep in mind - the more often you behave like this the more likely it is for the really bad low probability events like permanent injury or death to occur.

You keep rolling the dice and snake-eyes will eventually come up.

Last year MM got away with a lot of BS out on the track and was, in my opinion, very dangerous. The only thing that saved the other riders from more incidents was the fact that he was so fast no one really raced him much, when they could it often got ugly. His dominance reminded me of Spies and Mladin in the AMA a few years back, he could start at the back of the pack and still will races.

BUT this is MotoGP Premiere class and you have to judge him on his performance on the track this year, and although he has been close to other riders I have not seen the reckless rider I watched all last year. When he has been close he has given as good as he has gotten, no whining from Rossi for the corkscrew or at the first race in Qatar.

I think you are spot on about this incident, it is an unfortunate racing incident started my Mark's mistake but certainly not the sole fault here, gotta wonder about the engineering and safety decisions in the Honda TC. Very unfortunate for Pedrosa and the Championship, would have liked to see 3 riders go to the end in this fight.

As an American it is certainly refreshing to see that Puig has stood by his guns and continues to argue that these are just racing incidents and no one should be blamed...

Marquez is such a phenom that the "Rookie-Rule" was taken away just so that the world could witness first-hand what this new Legend can do on a Factory-MotoGP bike! But let's all remember... he is still a ROOKIE!? Marc's race-craft will improve, he's just doing what he knows to do... he's still learning! Dorna will not let anything too drastic happen to Marquez that will keep him from winning the title this year. That's why they need time to create a good excuse not to penalize him. Another Racing Incident. Marquez being the 2013 MGP Champion will generate more press for everybody... meaning more sponsorship/tv deals to be part of the Big-Show. And that's the bottom line. However, the Powers-That-Be may decide to create a new rule to handle Marquez-like situations and for other riders moving up through the Moto-2 and Moto-3 ranks. Something like: after 2-3 separate race incidents involving rider-contact which induces a crash, the guilty rider gets a 1 race ban/penalty points etc etc.

If Pedrosa had not fallen off there would not be any talk of this incident. MM recognized the severity of his situation in time! the contact did not cause the the crash! there is the possibility(!) that the contact resulted in the damaged wiring. I am not convinced of it. Pedrosas crash was a high-side on completely on the pavement. high-sides are extremely violent. It seems to me entirely possible that the crash caused the damage to the wiring. So why did Pedrosa crash? All these riders are riding very near to their limits, he had just been bumped, it looked to me as if he tightened his exitline, even with TC these guys high-side on occasion. It could happen. None of this is clear cut.

these are two of the fastest riders on earth competing for positions and a world championship, it is going to get close.

Punishment? it seems to me that there would have to be a clear infraction no clarity here.

BTW I am a Yamaha fan I think it sucks that Honda is most likely going to win another championship what are you going to do Marques is simply stunning.

HRC would not let this story out about a TC malfunction on their machine if it was false. There would be an immediate press release to counter any such claim. All the bikes have accurate telemetry, and on their analysis quite obvious if the wire was damaged before or after the crash.

From the photos, the cable appears to be aluminium, extremely weak at the best of times, so would not take much from another bike to damage it. Tho no fault of HRC as these bikes are not built to withstand blunt force trauma.

I guess its not much different from mine which is industrial instrumentation. Vortex flow meters,differential pressure,mass flow and linking it all into analysers. The problem is that a human element and a human aspiration is a parameter that cannot be integrated into the final analysis.
Its simple really. Like his prdeccesor,Stoner,Marquez races to win and Championships are incedental whilst he wends his merry way. As evidenced on the day, the sport needs less techno interference and not more.
Within the ambit of viewership the FIM need to banish him to the back of the grid for Sepang. Most would lap it up,scything his way from bone last to win a la Valencia last year Moto 2.
You see,that is a distinct possibility. Sepang is vast and wide with many overtaking opportunities. This bloke is not Sic revisited. He knows exactly what he's doing. Ruthless yes,calculated definitely. Over the top of his ability? Definitely not. Dani has had ample opportunity to take the title in GP1. Like Biaggi, he loses the plot as regularly as blokes like Stoner and Marquez seize it.

Few seem to recognise and acknowledge he was on the inferior Suter bike last year. Huh? Analyse that. That being Moto 2 2011. No wonder he pushes as hard as he does, has to, because he likes winning. Who doesn't?

I'm sure a lot of Dani's outburst/anger is due to pure frustration at yet again being taken out of the Championship race by another rider. If it's simply a case of not winning enough then no-one to blame but himself but as per several other years and now 3 years in a row (Simoncelli/Barbera/Marquez) it has been taken out of his hands. It must be pretty rough especially with all the "always the bridesmaid" talk.

I do think if Marquez bumping Dani's bike caused the crash then that should be punished. Regardless of how small/big the touch was, if this caused another rider to crash out and get a DNF then the rider causing the DNF should be penalised somehow, partuclarly if they go on to finish the race. I'm sure if the roles were reversed Marquez would not be sitting quietly either.

Ths is racing, we cant judge a pilot because of his past or because he seems to be too much over the limit. On this precise affair, Marquez did what dozens of pilots do at each race ... miss the brake, avoid the guy in front ... this is a very unlucky incident, also due to poor Honda engineering (quite rare for them) ...

Marquez should have been more severely punished for the awful move on Espargaro, or for his stupid and dangerous mistake on Willarot ... or even this year, with the "marshall affair".

But not this time

He is dangerous for sure (this is his style, suicide in every corner, that's also why he is so special), but in motogp, for the moment, he did not really cross the line, we've seen far worst in the past !

What I really don't understand is the Livio Suppo reaction:
- now Pedrosa and Marquez are officially "ennemies"
- Honda engineering appears ridiculous
Puig pressure on him ?

I have just read a quote of Rossi on Marc incident. They asked him if he should be penalized or not. He answered: "Yes, for two or three seasons. It'd be better for me" :)

That's probably the only way to stop him :D

castigating Marquez obviously have never raced ( at least at the sharp end .........) and never experienced swapping paint, tire rubber and the " love taps " that are part and parcel of close racing.

Definitely not a Marquez fan.........when #27 retired, I was looking forward to not having to organize weekends around qualifying and race schedules, Marquez has put paid to that dream !! ( we need smilies ...........!! )

One has to question if the offending speed sensor has always been in that position or if this is a new location, reason being that sensor location has usually been somewhere where it is " safe " from wheel changing operations, stands, etc. It's not that uncommon to see front to rear wheel contact in all classes with varying outcomes. IF, IF the damage to Pedrosa's sensor was from the #93, that is the one in a million occurrence and can only be classed as a racing incident.

You're just as fast as the rest of us given you too are now a keyboard jockey.

ok. I will play.
No, I am no "health and safety type" and have raced for many years and am not afraid of getting bashed and broken as my pins and plates will attest to. But... I think, or, I at least hope, you will agree that those that are continually reckless on the track have, for all intents and purpose, an unfair "edge" because the competitor has to spend more time than is necessary worrying about what the hot head next to you is going to do and if he is going to put you in the gravel... all of these guys are on the edge and there has to be trust in order for it all to work so well. Do you think Rossi was inimidated by Bautista's racecraft the first few races of the year or by the fact that he was the human equivlalent of a human torpedo? Ask Lorenzo the same question of the same rider last year; ask the field of about DeAngelis several years ago or Barbera today. The field do not trust therse riders because they ride in an unsafe manner.

Racing is racing, I get that, but there are also rules (vague) and MM has historically been a step over the line.

I can assure you that if you ride as hard, fast and with the devil may care attitude as respects your opponents, your competitors do not think well of you while on track because you are not safe.

Getbouc ( below ) is the perfect answer to your attempt to justify your whining about the #93. Sure, he may have been a bit OTT with EARLIER incidents, but Aragon WASN'T one of them !

As you seem addicted to the culture of " it must be someone's fault ", you could, say, blame Honda for not using a 90 degree boot out of the sensor ...............?

And another comment, 100% on the money, from;


" Funny How
Submitted by Nate on Wed, 2013-10-02 13:04.

Imagine if a song and dance like this was made in the day's of Doohan, Rainey and Shcwantz! People would have called them soft and told them to put up and shut up. But now if they break a nail it's to crazy and they should be punished. Sad to see racing go this way. "

I Rest My Case, M'lud................

What exactly was your case again? I remember hearing you call dissenters non-racers, too slow to know what happens on track or whiners.
I don't see a case.

to quote you ; " dissenters non-racers, too slow to know what happens on track or whiners. "

End of story .

Just read Getbouc's post below...............or do you prefer to ignore the facts ?

David, perhaps you could source the statistics on who has executed the most passes in MotoGP this year. I suspect MM would be right near or at the top of the list. More passes generally equates to more risk.
From my club racing days I know that if you are faster than other people you will have to try to pass them at some stage. MM is the fastest rider out there at the moment, and of course if he doesn't get a good start or makes a mistake and loses places then for certain he is going to then have to pass other guys.
It's not an exact, easily controllable activity....sometimes there is going to be collateral damage. I can't see what the fuss is about.

Compare this to the WSBK races from Laguna Seca on the weekend, where numerous passes were way more ambitious than MMs slight touch with Dani, and there's been little or no fallout.

The real question, of course, is not about the emotive Dani vs Marq thing, it's about Honda's implementation of the sensor and the default traction control settings that are applied when such a failure occurs. I sure hope DORNA don't approved such implementations with their default ECU.

The fault rests with Honda, not MM.

The technical aspect of this debate is huge and very very gray, I won't pretend that I know enough to debate that aspect but I will make this statement...

Pedrosa forgets his own history and lack of empathy when him and his bike made a wayyyyy more aggressive and asinine attempt passing his "then" team mate Nicky Hayden jeopardizing his chances @ that elusive world championship - there was no penalty and even sadder no debate from the world GP establishment (like there is now) that he should be penalized nor given a one race ban for his actions.... oh but that was different, Pedrobot was the up and coming Spanish golden child and.... wait a minute .... that sounds vaguely familiar to the present day situation .....

Pedrosa and his asshat handler Puig need to quit bitchin' and whining, They need to forgive and forget as Nicky did and get back to what matters - trying to beat this amazing individual that has taken the season by storm and take it to him on the track where it matter most - KARMA is a bitch Dani - remember your own mistakes and forgive and forget.....

Hi. You got a point there. Dani should have waited for a better spot to try and overtake Nicky, although I can’t remember another chance when Dani pushed anyone off track.

Nevertheless, the question now entails the censorship of an iterative behaviour. Marc is characterised by lacking the skills to control his bike. His riding style is always on the verge of crashing and this is ok if you are racing alone but when in a group you have to be able to learn where your boundaries are.
Dani’s and Jorge’s riding styles are even and as quick as Marc’s and I’m pretty sure both Dani and Jorge and Vale are uncomfortable when they have Marc in the vicinity because they are aware they can end up in the ditch any time.
So far, several Marc’s overtakes or attempts to overtake have been dubious to say the least although, to his credit, I have to say he is determined. When he sees a chance he goes for it without hesitation. The quandary is that HE CANNOT READ THE RACES. In many cases, he has proven to be unable to discern when it is the right time and place to pass.

I mentioned Stoner in my earlier response because he was the previous class of the field. I was never a stoner fan except when he rode Ducati and even then I was more a fan if the bike. I have always found him to be whinny, but as a rider he was and most likely still is a sheer joy to watch and the best rider in MotoGP. Stoner, in my opinion is the only rider capable of truly challenging Marquez. The next closest is JL99, maybe, on equal machinery.

The best response to the Marquez issue I have seen here today was the quote by, CC35. That is the way a real racer will view the incident. Look back at his interview in the last after the flag and get the true racers perspective.

If Pedrosa is mad a Marquez it is misplaced anger, he should look in the mirror and be real. He didn't loose the championship out there Sunday it was already gone. Marquez has beat him handily and consistently this year and even if he won at Aragon he was still way behind. If there is a penalty handed out for this incident I will be completely shocked.

I have no doubt whatsoever that MotoGP will give Marquez a one-race ban or exclude him from the Aragon results.

Not because of what he did; compared to the other stuff we've seen this year, it is absolutely nothing. If this were the standard, as David said, we'd have 10-rider grids in the support classes and Dovi and Hayden would be on the sidelines for the rest of the year.

Remember that Dorna is not in the racing business; it is in the entertainment business, and having Marc carry a 39-point lead into the final four races is bad for ticket sales, MotoGP video passes and television viewing.

So ... we'll get a bullshit, hypocritical, entirely subjective ruling that Marc violated a rule that no one can seem to articulate, thus creating an artificial drama that will spike interest and Dorna's profits.

It's the old NASCAR "debris flag" ... or the bullshit "jump starts" that the AMA started handing out this year to make sure that Josh Hayes wouldn't run away with the title again. (Josh, buddy, you got screwed. Most of us know who the champion is, man.)

and I'm willing to put my wallet where my mouth is. T-shirt and cap for any rider you choose if they do a race ban. Otherwise, it's mine on you. This isn't DMG, thank god.

Your call.

I'll take that bet. I lose, I make a small donation to the Roadracing World Action Fund for soft barriers in your name or the name of anyone you designate. In lieu of a hat and shirt, if I win, please consider doing the same.

And I'll be honest, I hope I lose this bet, I really do. But I've seen this episode of Oprah too many times in my time as a racing fan ...

soft barriers. Or another that is in need right now is Dave Stanton, who was injured early this summer. Either works well for me.

I'll be stunned if they are dumb enough to pop Marc a race for this incident. That would set a very bad precedent. Don't get me wrong, DORNA is quite capable of making unwise decisions. Been there, dealt with that. I'm going strictly off of my read of Mike Webb after a weekend in race control with him, although there weren't any real conversations either. He's in a difficult position.

With 2 points sitting, 2 more would make him start at the back of the grid, while 5 more would mean a pit lane start and 8 more would be a race ban. I can't see him giving more than a point or two.

With that being said, I've tasted crow before. LOL.

Don't the penalty points reset at the end of the year? Therefore the closer to the end he gets, the less they matter. Ultimately in the last race you effectively have a 'free' biff up your sleeve!

I believe we have a gentleman's bet where there are no losers. Excellent!

I really hope you're right. I'm just ... you know, last season it seemed like they were penalizing Marc for anything and everything in a surprisingly aggressive manner. I think his last penalty came for wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

I think if Race Direction is left free to make a call, it will be do nothing, or a point at the worst. But if Dorna gets involved ...

And so we wait . . and wonder. Oh, Mike Webb is part of DORNA but its not just Mike that discusses it. Several are involved including Loris Capirossi and Franco Uncini to name a couple. Although I believe Mike makes the final decision, after its discussed and interviews are done.

At best, dani was robbed of a nine point gain, that's if he'd been able to win and mark came third. He'd still have been 25 points adrift of mark with only four races to go, and a further 38 points on the table.

I say only 38 points because barring further spills, Marquez would always come at least third, since there are only these top three capable of taking podiums.

But that would be at best. I think it far more likely mm would have won anyway and dp come third, or dp would have held up mm long enough for Jorge to get away. To say dp was just setting off to blast away both mark and Jorge is, from where I was sat, a flight of fancy.

I'm not even 100% convinced that mm caused dp to crash, and wonder if dp's side of the garage just leapt to that conclusion. I reckon dp and jl are having to ride out of their skins to race mm, which makes them more vulnerable to crashes. Maybe dp's bike was fractionally unsettled by the brush, and because dp was so on the limit he lost control when he cranked the throttle.

So, as I say, what difference has it made, championship's wise? None, I think. Jorge seems to have given up on it, he clearly wasn't going to get into a probably pointless dogfight with mm and possibly crash out himself. Perhaps dp just hasn't yet reached the same place mentally, enough to let mm go and race for second in the championship. Not that I'd blame him, either way, though sometimes it's better to know when you're beat.

On a final note, mm does need to be careful now. The only way jl can win is if mm crashes out once or twice now, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are wicked thoughts in the heads of a few people up and down the paddock - it's never good to have enemies in this world.

The question is not should the punishment fit the crime! The question is how many times do you let the offender keep doing the same thing without a decent slap down? Slight contact ? irrelevant. There is no question who is to blame for Dani's horrible highside and ruined chances. HRC know it. Everyone else knows it. Seems quite a few people here don't though.

How can you penalise someone for past record when there is no record? There were no minor penalties for much of the incidents that we consider to be 'on the knife edge', and therefore it can't be used against him or it will be challenged to FIM. This has already happened.

There was another thing that I was astonished by that has nothing to do with the Marquez/Pedrosa incident:

During the first lap crash that involved a couple of riders near the back, the second crasher's bike barely missed the first crasher as he was walking away. This was scary in and of itself, but when the camera zoomed out, something even more astonishing caught my eye: One of the crashed bikes had crossed through the gravel field and reentered the track! It was laying on its side on a hot track.

This should never be allowed to happen. If this incident would have happened mid-race instead of on the first lap, it would be possible for the riderless bike to reenter the track right in front of another rider at pace. That could get ugly. They need to build some kind of barrier between those two corners to prevent bikes from crossing back onto the track.

Or did I completely see that wrong?

Let's penalize bikes that skid back on the track after crashing ;)

Only if that riderless bike makes it a habit of doing so!...

Seriously, though, that's definitely a safety issue at Aragon. There's no way the Safety Commission didn't see that and take notes. I'm sure it'll be addressed before next year's race. Simple as building a short wall through the runoff.

That section of Aragon was not a "hot track", that is the section WSBK use, when they continue down the back straight, and then have a hair pin. The crashed bike ended up on that unused for MotoGP section.

I don't know if starting from the back in Sepang is going to completely work. If by chance he does start from the rear of grid and makes the podium, which lets be honest is quite possible, then he hasn't really been punished. The racing will be great for sure.

What happens in that scenario if the same thing happens, a fluke of a touch breaks another cable on another riders bike and the same end result. He starts at the back again? and if by fluke it happens again?

If a penalty is going to apply either ban him from the race, take the points away. Or let bigons be bigons and get over it.

And this may be one of the issues with the penalty system. If Rossi had done something similar, going in too hot, and lets be honest he has (stoner/rossi 2011, ambition comment) but he finished 4th then its not much of a big deal WC wise. If it happened to Dovi or NH in 7th or 8th then its not a big deal WC wise or even overall. Maybe a penalty of time as given to Rossi in PI is a better way. That way he may finish first but come 4th, but also anyone racing who got given a penalty would finish quite possibly lower down the time sheets.

Maybe to spice it up a little the time penalty is not listed (eg how much time) until the race has started. As Rossi said when he went past the pit board in PI and saw -10s, it can change how you operate and probably would make you change your style during the race and in the future.

But having said all of this trying to make Motogp safe, I mean truly safe is not going to happen, someone in race direction i think needs to say *&% happened, and someone lost out, but thats racing.

I am not going to apportion blame on anyone for the incident that happened between Marquez and Pedrosa, because there is no way in which the blame can be placed at anyone's doorstep Honda included. When Casey Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa rode adhering to safety standards it was processional racing, so boring that by lap 5 one knew who would win and who would take the other two positions on the podium. That for me is not racing. I guess there is no getting away from the fact that motor racing is always fraught with danger and however many precautions one takes incidents like the one are bound to happen with riders having to take or change decisions in a split second while riding at an insane speed. Then factor in the fact that the riders are under pressure to perform and make sure that the sponsors and the teams get the visibility that they want in return for their money spent.

Then there is the question of attitudes of riders. That way Marc Marquez is like Ayrton Senna for whom the only thing that counted was a win and to quote Murray Walker for Senna second place was the first among losers. Marquez too seems to like that, he wants to win and will do anything to win, just like Senna did. And Marquez is not the first rider with the win or nothing attitude. Kimi Raikonnen said very clearly that second place was inconsequential. I remember when Max Biaggi was racing for Aprilia in the 250cc category there was one incident involving him and Loris Capirossi (I think it is him but I am not sure) and the other rider complained about Biaggi who said "This is motorcycle racing, not classical music, how can you not expect contact?'" I also clearly remember a race, forgotten the venue when in the 250cc class Luca Cadalora and Helmut Bradl were banging fairings in the run to the finish line in order to prevent the other from winning. And the banging was vicious with each rider deliberately hitting the other.

Marquez's bright eyes and the smiling face which gives a look of innocence are a perfect camouflage for the killer instinct in him. He has to win and nothing else matters. One has to accept that with that attitude he is always likely to ride at the ragged edge and it is upto other riders have to make their own strategies to counter him rather than expecting race direction to penalise him. And for all those obsessed with safety here is a reminder that racers know what they are getting into and what the dangers are. Many lives have been lost and some more may be lost. If that is unacceptable then the only solution is ban racing altogether; it will make the Green groups happy. I would like to end this post by looking at Road Racing and specifically the Isle of Man TT. I wish all those who are concerned with safety would rally around and ban the sport, where there is no safety of anykind and it is routine for one or two riders to die every year on an average. Even then riders go there in droves every year. And to all those who are sympathising with Pedrosa about his bad luck (I am one of them) please think of tennis legend Bjorn Borg, who despite all his spectacular achievements could not win a single US Open title. Luck is like that, so guess life is also like that.

but Mr. Emmett summed it up so perfectly that I don't really have something left to say.

More of a question. With Marc's "F*** it I'm going deep" attitude. Are we waiting for a miracle now ? Marc's scary good but he's also literally scary. We don't want to see this again.

Gotta pray (whoever, whatever) and hope that if Marc has to take someone out to finally channel is recklessness, so be it. But please, make that no one will be hurt in that painful process.

Hi, i am a long time Pedrosa fan and Marquez since his 250cc, of course I'm happy that he wins but I am more sad that he is the cause of his team mate crash and not scoring any point from that race. When dani lapped marc, he sets a lap record, it means dani is faster than the two and possibly could win the race. Now, marc needs to tail dani (he wants to win of course) or possibly overtook dani somewhere, while Dani is very clever as noticed on video, taking his perfect line while defending. Marc closes to Dani in a couple of turns by over powering his machinery and brake later which is very dangerous. He missed the braking points caused of his over aggression thats why he overshoots his team mate and touched the rear wheel. I like marc because of his aggressiveness but Dani is professionally superior. For marc he needs discepline and be mature and don't neglect the weaknesses of each and everyone. Racing with others on anywhere is not like you are racing alone. He must be cautious at all time. You can taste more the win if you are playing clean. Well congrats to marc and dani til have another luck next time.

What is your hurry Marc? Dani just overtook you and is faster than you are or at least as fast as you are, besides Dani is leading you to chase down arch-rival JL and its clear the gap is diminishing. Marc, why brake in on Dani like that? He is your TEAMMATE. Do you know anything about team task? He is not slowing you down and is not an enemy to subdue at any cost. Cool down, there are still 16 laps to go and you both are nearing Jorge, who is showing signs of decay. Can't your beardless face see this?
Why in heck are you so pushy and pigheaded attempting to recover 2nd place? What is the point? What difference does it make to be 2nd or 3rd when the whole race is still ahead?. There is only one tenth between you two. You should have remained behind Dani and worked with him to win the race. Is it a question of pride and insensibility? Can´t you see Dani has a faster pace and he´s only showing you the way to beat Jorge? Can´t you see this is a men´s business not a schoolyard entertainment? Remove the dummy from your mouth!
Marc, you have a lot to learn from your seniors, especially when it comes to elegance and respect. Have you ever seen Dani or Jorge or any other brake in on you like that? They have stood a couple of chances but they have been capable of pulling their brakes in time. Hold back your horses!! You just entered the top class and are jeopardising the careers of riders who have been around working hard, fending off legends like Vale, enduring injury-plagued tough seasons and struggling fairly to write their names in Motogp history. Every rider is able to ram opponents to look aggressive and rough. That is nothing to boast about, it is a discredit to you because you need resort to shady manoeuvres in order to prevail. It is a shame and a pity! You do not need that. You sport the best bike that gives you the edge to overtake clearly and justly. Do not stain your curriculum like that!
Marc, you have nothing to prove!. You have already proven you are swifter and more stupid than anybody around, but you have miserably failed to show the equanimity and serenity needed when racing at such speeds that a slight touch can mean a tragedy. Watch Jorge. He is a smooth, respectful and graceful racer. And he has won the title twice and has never been involved in a questionable move to do so. Temperance will probably come with time but meanwhile, go back to Moto2 or race in Siberia alone and take a vacation and a dose of Valium pills. This is not a game! There are limbs and lives and mental stability at stake. It is a miracle you and others have not ended up in hospital after your hair raising crashes. Do not go any further!

I guess your paternal lecture perfectly underlines the core of the issue. This is a 20 year old kid in his first year on a big bike. Give the son a break.

I know David is tired of the "Estoril 2006" argument and its old and tired, however, hypocrisy has no time limit and Dani boy, as well as you Pedro, should quit throwing stones when history has shown us how far ANYONE is willing to go when they want to win or beat their team mate & or championship - Didn't stop Dani from taking NH out then and won't stop MM now.... you start penalizing these "over braking" maneuvers and "aggressive" passing instances and pretty soon you won't have any bikes on the grid !!! Multiple riders have shown these aggressive tendencies as they have come into MotoGP and learned the ropes as well as veterans that used it to get into an opponents head when challenging for the race and or championship.

Be careful what you ask for in penalizing MM, because once it starts it will include ANY questionable move by ANY rider and it will make racing even more of "a follow the leader" procession with a grid full of riders that will be too afraid to pass someone out of fear of being penalized....

Sure, Dani made ONE mistake in 2006 that almost cost Nicky the championship. He skidded his front tyre when he was CLEARLY overtaking Nicky by the inside. It seemed to have been an ISOLATED and FORTUITOUS bump and Dani stood no chance to avoid it. Marc’s mania to rub others at high speed when the probabilities of passing are none is what makes the difference. That could be in his DNA.
That said, Dani, unlike Marc, has always been a smooth and respectful pilot, i.e. he has NEVER attempted an uncertain overtake, especially if the move meant a crash possibility. If you look back at those careers you will certainly see a good difference. Marc has rammed riders (and he appears to carry on doing so) and his riding style is far from orthodox, which puts group pilots in peril.
Ambition is good but when it implies collateral damage, you should be able to assess the aftermath and restrain. Nevertheless, Marc’s vitality and drive are just remarkable. He is a true champ.

"skidded" is an understatement if that is what you want to describe DP's torpedo move.... there was NO WAY he could have passed NH in that corner riding on the track's edge strip !!! And he was quite aware of his team mates situation in the championship - he should have never attempted the move... His reaction after taking out his team mate was one of arrogance and disrespect - as if it was NH's fault that DP had taken out his team mate and not the other way around.... MM brings the spirit of MOTO2 w him and I for one am excited to see some passion again in MotoGP !!! I miss the spirit of Marco and that do or die mentality - it is what makes the racing so exciting !!!

Was there any punishment when Biaggi ran Rossi off the side of the track trying to get into his head @ Suzuka in 2001 ?? how about Rossi and Biaggi bouncing off each other and trying to out brake each other in the opening race of 04' @ Welkom ???

How about Rossi and Gibernau and Stoner and Lorenzo ???

How about Jerez 2010 when DP used JL as a berm in the last corner of that race !?

I agree w/ you that Dani has had a hell of a lot of bad luck BUT he should temper his comments knowing what he has done to a team mate and riders in the past. If this was ANYONE else that had done this we would not even be debating the move, which to me is the real point of the matter we discuss... Frustration about an upstart showing you up and the second team mate in succession that has come into the team and won the championship before you is a sad fate considering all the races he has won but he has had his chances and faltered.

Numerous riders have rammed fellow riders on the track and it may just be a matter of time before MM gets a dose of his own medicine... I for one am excited to see how he responds when it happens to him !!

I'll have to admit that I'm intrigued by all this conversation which appears to me to be nothing more than a minor race incident. Marquez out brakes himself, stands it up in the corner and runs off track - on most other tracks he'd be off in the kitty litter and that would have been that - no more Marquez in the race. Lucky for him there are plenty of runoffs and he got back on track.

I'm only half convinced by this whole store of the sensor. If true, so be it - crappy engineering/design on HRC's part - could have also been a face saving exercise (Japanese do stuff like that) for Dani who, unfortunately, may have lost his chance at ever winning a world championship (assuming this year he won't get the points and next year the competition will be stronger still and he's rumored to be retiring at the end of 2014).

That having been said, Dani is definitely being professional abut the whole thing (unlike Mr. Puig) and not complaining in the press like other racers have done previously.

It'a a shame but ... that's racing.

Somebody needs to teach this kid that. I will echo the same sentiments as a lot of people on here that MM is fantastically talented and exciting to watch, but he needs to learn the freaking line. I'm a fan and I love having him in motoGP and want him here for a long time . . . not tragically dead on the side of the track. I think he needs to be given penalty points for this, without question.

I have also noticed a bit of an apologist slant from David with regards to MM's actions. Maybe it's intentional, maybe it's not. Maybe step back and take an objective look at that, just friendly advice is all.

I seem to recall Pedrosa doing a much more direct job of taking out his teammate in his rookie year.......no penalty to him then. In fact Honda built a complete bike around him as a result.....and he still can't win a championship. I have no pity for the little guy.

Period. I know Valentino picked up one for his indiscretion having the grid swept in Qatar back then. He sure as hell did not pick up a penalty back in Jerez vs Sete. Nor did Marc for his move on George at said venue.
But this one is different. More like a Sete/Loris/Marco... Mugello RACING incident that clearly cost Loris a real good shot at the 2006 title. External glove over the brake lever correctly employed since then.
Nevermind. Marc will probably focus, as will HRC, on him winning the title back for them,2013. A couple of troll around races for 3rd and pick up scrappy 2nd places, a win here or there is all it takes. 4 to go and the FIM jury can banish him to a pit lane start and it won't make any difference. An undeserved race ban or dnf may filter George into the equation. Not likely though.
Is that not the way Nick#69 secured a memorable title at Valencia 2006? He stayed solid all season. Marc#93 just has to stay solid for 4 more races to smash everything Freddie Spencer and King Kenny.
Now! The kicker is 2006 Valencia. Valentino cracked under,would you believe, Bayliss/Capirossi/Ducati pressure alongside Hayden/HRC resilience. Marquez has to navigate that one at the tender age of 20. My guess is he will. George will have other ideas, but does the M1 have engines to play with? Last I heard they shot their load at Aragon.

Altough, all have very valid reasons, no penalty sould be given to MM93 unless that ruling applies to Petrucci/Laverty incident at the first lap. Either, enforce the rules or not at all.

I'll say it again, it was a MINOR racing incident that unfortunately was severely impacted by a design flaw or lack of redundancy of the RC213V eletronics.

Some of these posts are hilarious! Is this a chruch social or MGP? People have been bitching, whinning, moaning & complaining about the 'follow the leader' racing, and 'it aint like it use to be', and now that someone IS racing/passing, they still BWMC! I watched the race and replayed the 'incident' in slo-mo numerous times and have a few comments:

1) Dani's high-sided this year, hasnt he? Was the TC wire knocked off on those highsides?
2) a clutch lever damaging the wire? Is the wire/ connection made out of pasta? And, arent the levers jointed? If they are jointed (as the ones I have on my street & track bike), wouldnt the lever just pop up when hit? (David, does HRC use those type of levers).
3) As mentioned...anybody watch WSBK at Laguna? Hmmm....no one complaining there.

...and finally, a 'racer', CC#35, didnt have an issue with it. Wonder what KR, Spencer, Fast Eddie, #34, Mick, etc., etc., would say about the 'incident'? I have a damn good idea what they'd say. Anybody remember #19 running KR off the track on the last turn, of the last lap, of the last race, to win the WC? Wonder what would be said of the 'incident' today? Especially if #93 did it!

While I have great respect for every rider in GP, it does irritate me a bit to listen to some of them whine about Marquez. First rule of racing...pressure. Make the fellow in front or behind over commit and capitalize on the mistake. That is hard to do from a "margin of safety", whatever the heck that is. Must be Spanish for pussy. It is a dangerous sport to participate in. One could easily look back and see the same disparaging remarks about Lorenzo not too long ago.

Puig...HRC needs to fire him immediately. That is not how you handle a team situation. I understand the sun is setting on his pride and (almost) glory and having the #2, and rookie, smoke you all year has to be frustrating. But to bring the press in like that, not cool. I have never really been fond of him, and this does not help improve that. This appears an honest racing mistake, and having watched it time and time again I cannot see any significant contact. For all I know, Dani may have slowed quicker than usual and contributed to the contact. It was not their first trip around the circuit together...I suspect MM had a good idea how fast they could get through there. Whatever impetus, glad Dani is ok.

During the 500 era, this would not have even earned a mention. Of course, they did not have all these sensors either..... But there was some very tight work going on at times and you did not hear nearly as much bawling.

Testosterone-saturated Marc is having trouble sleeping since he learned Dani’s volley is fire scribbled in his conscience. There is nothing wrong with pressure and it’s a strategy everybody has utilised at one time or another and it means you sense your testicles clutch when you race the main straight and watch your team sign how close the next rider is (by the way, pussy in Spanish is coño, lol).
Pressure IS NOT brushing. If you need to do that in order to nag an opponent, quit, sign up with the All Blacks and return after one season.

are part of this equation.
They are definitely an improvement from a safety perspective. However, they are now being used as track extensions.
Simple cure - if you run off, you have to stop before you re-join, or perform a ride-through..

That will rein-in the desperate manoeuvres, reward skill, prevent short-cuts, and shouldn't detract from the racing.

Marquez (it could be said) caught Lorenzo and passed him because he profited from running off after his Dani 'incident'. That's two people he compromised.

No wonder they are annoyed.....

Contact was light, yes. Originating in an honest mistake, yes. Alone this incident doesn't call for a serious penalty, yes. However, one thing that I think is important is whether MM could have avoided the contact, and it seems from videos and photos that the answer is again yes. There's a good one-meter wide path on the right of Pedrosa that MM just didn't take. Why? So he doesn't run off track much more than he already did. In a sense he 'chose' to touch Pedrosa a bit, although he couldn't have foreseen the consequences of his action.

I think there is certainly an issue here that needs to be addressed cause this spirit of "owning the track" is his trademark by now and it's the only thing that I would like him to change. I agree with David that this incident alone does not call for a race ban, or perhaps not even starting from the back of the grid, but as others have said (geddyt nailed it nicely) this is what the point system was made for. You can't philosophize whether MM is responsible for Pedrosa's accident, and argue that he isn't because there was the broken wire in the chain of events, and then approach his punishment the other way around and say that this move isn't worth of a race ban. No it isn't, but maybe it's worth a couple of points, given how he's gotten away with it this season (outbraking himself endangering others is something he does practically in every race). If those points (together with others) result in him starting from the back of the grid, so be it. I actually wouldn't mind at all watching that race :)

I still think MM is the most spectacular rider out there and he has made the difference this season. His smile says playful but his actions often say arrogant. I want him to win this championship, but I hope he comes back next year with a different attitude. I think he will. Sometimes becoming world champion can be a very strong character-building experience as Jorge has demonstrated.

Lots of questioning and doubting here regarding the TC wire damage, and whether it caused the crash or not.

The teams data will have shown them exactly what happened, and when - to the millisecond. Given that the offending bike is also from the same team, they could extrapolate 93s data against 26 and clearly see - to the millisecond - exactly when the TC went away. My guess is that it would be pretty close to the same time that 93 chopped his throttle and stood the bike up.

If the two riders were from different teams then sure, throw the tinfoil hat on and get those conspiracy theories bubbling... but this is a HRC own goal.

It's not rocket science...

Maybe DORNA should be upfront with all riders at the beginning of the season and institute a “No Harm, No Foul” rule when it comes to bumping. But the opposite should also be true: If there is harm, there is a foul, and sanctions will be meted out. This would be true whether or not the contact was intentional. This way, all riders would be aware that if they get too close and contact causes a crash, or a loss of position, etc., the potential for sanction is there. Each rider would have to decide if the risk of sanction is worth the gamble of riding out of control, or riding too aggressively, or too close. Then DORNA would need to be willing to actually enforce the rule unilaterally, without choosing favorites, and the penalty would need to be more than a wink and a slap on the wrist. So, for instance, if this rule was in effect this season, MM would have been penalized for bumping JL on the final curve at Jerez, because it cost JL second place. In the latest incident with DP, again, MM would have been penalized because the bump cut DP's rear wheel speed sensor and that ultimately caused Pedrosa to crash, even if the crash did occur some seconds later. Using this rule, it simply doesn't matter whether the bump was intentional or not, nor does it matter if the Honda design of this part may or may not be flawed, nor does it matter if the rider in question has a history or not of riding beyond the limits of safety. There was harm, therefore there is a foul.

Given the number of riders on the track, and the close proximity in which they ride, I realize that some contact is inevitable. But what DORNA can do is remove all doubt from the riders minds about the consequences of that contact, should it result in a “foul,” as described above.

In 2006, your debut year with the big bikes, your inexperience knocked down Nicky Hayden in Portugal and the champion-to-be glared at you as he strode to the scooter calling names to most Anglican saints. Probably, the only time when you damaged somebody else’s chances to accomplish the mission.
In 2007, speedster Casey joined forces with Desmosedici and Bridgestone to grab a title which not even legend Vale, and then in his prime, was able to prevent the Aussie from winning.
In 2008, not happy with the pre-season crash that made you reach Qatar unfit, you wanted to check how fluffy the Sachsenring turn 1 air fences were and fired yourself at them when you were leading the championship and the race. Furthermore in the next rounds, Michelin proved to be your tomb when you saw impotent how slower riders overtook you as if you were straddling a 250.
In 2009 pre-season, your tiny organism was dragged around again and you started racing faltering, yet your gifted hands were able to channel the season to 3rd place.
In 2010 and due to a malfunction in your Honda you shattered your collarbone in Motegui’s FP, clearing the way for Jorge.
In 2011, Supersic’s anxiety made your right collarbone be even with the left as you waved farewell to the trophy once more.
Last year it was fellow countryman Héctor who abruptly ceased your astounding winning-streak in San Marino, handing out the championship to Jorge again.
Fortune gods appear to have ruled you are not yet prepared to be lifted to the Olympus of racing motorcycles, but your youth and 12+ year experience in the circus are still your main assets so you do not faint and carry on chasing your dream.
Sigue así!

Pedrosa looked to me to be braking early and on a different line, i thought Marquez made every effort to avoid Pedrosa under braking and may even have made the corner had Pedrosa not been on that line.

Even if MM's clutch lever did cut the cable on Pedrosa's bike, I can't believe 1) that there wasn't some sort of warning (light on the dash) telling DP his traction control had shut off, and 2) he didn't revert to good old fashioned throttle control to avoid the highside?

A penalty would be completely out of order in my opinion. Although I bet Yamaha will be badgering for a penalty!

If Marc did aim to cause Dani to crash by cutting the wire to the TC sensor with his clutch lever, that takes some skill !!!

As it is, I feel it was the unfortunate symptom of a minor coming together.

My personal experience of Honda electrics/wiring over the years has been mixed, so I'm not really surprised about their fragility!

At the pinnacle of any prestigious sport are competitors to whom winning is EVERYTHING. It is the recognition that WE as beholders give winners that nurtures this attitude. Whether it be John McEnroe smacking a ball, Bobby Fischer pushing chess pieces, Mike Hailwood straddling an MV or Ali stinging like a bee, such varying temperaments but they all have/had one thing in common - they are driven to not understand what second place is. And we love these entertainers for it. Time will possibly show Marquez to be from this mold that we have made. So yes Marquez will do whatever he has to, to win while the rest enjoy the ride. Close encounters, passing inside outside or over the top of every rider in front if that is what it takes. And such a nice presentable fellow off the bike. Honda marketing's dream. No, he was doing his thing at Aragon, not his fault if Honda left the wires to dangle. And yes I will excuse Pedrosa being a bit grumpy about his lot. I have rooted for him, trying all these years but he is now unlikely to ever be champ. Dani prove me wrong and I'll cheer.

watch the onboard camera footage again. You will see that MM hit the brakes a bit sooner than DP (who actually gains a few meters) and releases the brakes instantly to try and gain back what he lost with early braking and that made him run into DPs back end.