Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: The Honda/Yamaha pendulum is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

The Honda/Yamaha pendulum

Amid all the Assen drama it was easy to forget about the forlorn figure of Dani Pedrosa, slumped in his pit, wondering what might have been.

If all things had been equal, victory should have belonged to the Spaniard. Instead he finished a distant fourth, just one place ahead of the remarkable Jorge Lorenzo. So instead of stretching his advantage over his main title rival by 14 points, he gained just two points on him.

Pedrosa may still lean on points but his season has gone awry since his back-to-back wins at Jerez and Le Mans, because for one reason or another he hasn’t been able to get the best out of the Bridgestones. At the three races since Le Mans – Mugello, Catalunya and Assen – he has cited tyre issues for his inability to challenge for victory.

At Mugello he struggled with Bridgestone’s heat-resistant rear tyre, new for this race. “We had many problems with the new rear tyre and we had to set up the bike completely differently to get grip,” he said. “Jorge was faster in the corners.”

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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Is Honda just crap at chassis design or is it the new paradigm? Honda bests Yamaha, Bridgestone introduces new tires during the race season, Yamaha bests Honda.

Beautiful race at Assen, BRAVO! I am pondering if in addition to the Yamaha being a more neutral and favored in set-up variability could be that relative to all the other Honda riders (esp DP26) MM93 may have a more dynamic riding style which rides around problems, uses various tires AND bike set-ups better with looseness, and get more heat into the carcasses. He was backing it in a lot last weekend. Gorgeous riding!
He may upset the "Honda vs Yamaha track" applecart? Inspiring.

I definitely agree! MM has been Stoneresque for me as he has shown in many of the races that he can ride the bike when it visually doesn't seem to be happy. The last person I remember to go into the corners sideways with control was Stoner. I believe the "tweakability" of MM is his ability to learn and apply immediately while riding the bike. He is a sponge, every lap more knowledge, more experience.

I agree entirely with:

"There are people in the paddock who believe that the circuits in the second half of the championship suit the Hondas better than the Yamahas, according to results from the last couple of seasons. I’m not so sure. I think these things change from year to year, according to the bikes, the riders, the tyres and the track temperature."

And, of course, no matter what suits whom, there is the Marquez factor to the second half of the season. All predictions based on 2012 can be blown away by him. And if suddenly Rossi keeps moving up...