Casey Stoner On Competing, And Why Qualifying Is Better Than Racing

After a prolonged absence, Casey Stoner returned to the paddock at Portimão, where he gave an extensive press conference to the media present on site and via zoom. Just as when he was still racing, his observations were well worth listening to, and without the pressure of race weekend and an endless string of media commitments, was even more thoughtful and insightful than usual.

One subject which he was particularly interesting on was the question of competition, why people race, and what drives them, and especially, what drove him. The pursuit of perfection, of wanting to do everything just right to extract the maximum performance from themselves and from the bike is one of the most important motivations for most motorcycle racers, and indeed, most elite athletes.

That pursuit of perfection explains their obsessive attention to detail. The many rituals you see riders go through before they get on the bike and leave the pits is part superstition, but also a way of eliminating errors. By doing everything the same way on each exit, it makes it easier to ensure they haven't forgotten anything: boots, leathers, gloves, helmet are all securely fastened, correctly fitted, and not causing discomfort, and therefore distraction.

The devil is in the detail

This attention to detail can become quite compulsive. Andrea Iannone's nickname "The Maniac" was not given to him for his wild riding, but for the obsessive way he would arrange everything, in his pit box, in his motorhome, in every aspect. At media debriefs on site, Valentino Rossi would carefully arrange the various voice and memo recorders placed in front of him to for a neat configuration, rather than the chaos created by journalists flinging their recorders onto the table at the last moment.

That obsession with perfection was highlighted when Casey Stoner was asked if there were ever any times that he would feel the urge to be on a bike again while watching MotoGP at home. "The only times I’d have it is probably around qualifying," the Australian said, surprising a few people.

Why qualifying rather than the race itself, given that competing is so deeply entrenched in the psyche of every racer? "I quite honestly didn’t ever enjoy race day that much," Stoner told us. "Sometimes it was nice and easy and everything went well, but when you’re on the edge of these things, it’s so easy to make those mistakes. So, I constantly had that."

Perfectionism, a fear of mistakes, and feeling the pressure he put on himself not to let his team and the people who supported him down made race days tough. "Unfortunately, it was just part of my personality that I didn’t want to make mistakes. It’s not that I just wanted to go out there and ride comfortably and naturally. It was like, I don't want to mess up because I’ve got a whole team of people that are expecting something out of me," Stoner said. It was something that got better with age and experience, fortunately. "I learned to deal with that better in my later years and didn’t have to worry about that as much."

One perfect lap

He didn't miss racing, Stoner insisted. "I don’t really get the wish or want to race again, but I did enjoy practice and qualifying especially on the weekends. Certainly not testing. Practice and qualifying was always fun when everything would come together and then you just got to go as hard and as fast as you possibly could for a lap or two."

Stringing together a perfect lap gave a special kind of satisfaction to the Australian, precisely because he could extract everything from the bike in a single lap, rather than having to manage it for 25 laps. "When you got everything right, I got way more of a thrill out of that than I ever did winning a race. In the races, you never went as hard as you could. You always had to manage tires, fuel. You were always managing the situation. You’d look like a fool if you’d try and go as hard as you can and crash. So, there was always an element of holding back, whereas qualifying a lot of the time you got to let loose and that was a lot of fun."

That ability to push hard consistently was what had impressed Casey Stoner about his former rival, Jorge Lorenzo. "I respect someone who can pull out a lap, but for me, one of my toughest competitors that I always had a heck of a lot of respect for was Jorge who could turn out lap after lap after lap," the Australian said.

Crush your enemies

He had enjoyed watching Lorenzo dominate alone at the front of races because of that, even though it ran counter to the usual fan preference for a tight and hard-fought battle. "As much as I used to enjoy myself having to pull a lap out and being able to push everything that you can out of a bike, I also enjoy watching dominance, as much as people don't. They love to see racing and all the rest of it."

But for Stoner, the ability to impose your will on your rivals and show how much faster you are than them was the true mark of superiority. "If somebody goes out, dominance is clearly better than the rest for me. I got a lot more respect for that. I like seeing that a lot more than someone who can just pull a lap time out and then in the race be a little inconsistent. I want to see someone who can go out and week in, week out, session whether it’s qualifying or practice, they’re always there and always turning out laps. I really like to see that."

That desire to dominate, to go out and win, had been his prime motivation when racing, and had been one reason for not returning to racing after he retired. But this was not true for everyone, Stoner acknowledged. He was asked about the fact that Valentino Rossi was still racing nine seasons after the Australian retired. Everyone has their own motivations, Stoner said. "If Valentino was still loving his racing, then there’s no reason not to race."

He was not wired that way, though. "I myself wouldn’t be able to do it because for me, racing was winning. I still accepted the fact that I couldn’t win sometimes, but at the same time, the reason I got up in the morning to go racing was to win. So, I really would struggle to not be running competitively at the front."

Having competed for most of his career against Rossi, and knowing exactly how great a racer the Italian is, he had hoped to see Rossi at the front again. "I’ve missed Valentino at the front. I think the last two or three years I would have loved to have seen him battling it out with the guys. I think racing could have been incredible with that like he was in the season before."


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12 mins recent video: Gigi details Pecco's bike and aero strategies using smoke directed in each particular one. Bet you see one that is new to you.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PBKnXgcYkrg

B E W A R E - - ENTER THIS COMMENTS SECTION AT YOUR OWN RISK.

;)

(News bit via a Lorenzo comment this week brings a re-hash of the Rossi/Marquez 2015 misery. Plus, some other off season considerations that are cool AND several readers sharing great personal experience racing etc). Nearly zip to do w Casey's interview, just a latest GP related post to keep up w things under.

Tangentially though, as Casey DID talk about his rivalry w Vale when asked. And, Lorenzo, hence the stuff below you really honestly may wish to skip. But, if skimmed, there is also cool stuff in here! It is always your own ride, eh?

Beautiful imagery. I wonder if it's accurate CFD presented :-) Do the teams carry laser scanners to measure each others bikes so they can learn about aerodynamic details ?

Right?

Looks like they can just photograph and copy. It is changing a great deal, quickly, and a few are clearly knicking it!

There was another reason Vale gave Iannone the nickname The Maniac as I heard it...heh heh heh.

As far as Marquez nixing Rossi's 10th. Yes, he did play title decider that year, but fully understandable to me. If you have ever owned a class in racing (I have), but for one reason or another you are not winning the title that year, I think it is human nature (not an admirable quality, but understandable) to still want to play kingmaker in "your" class. Incredibly petty, of course, but who says racers are saints? Want to see them? Go to church.

But MM is unique in his disrespect, contempt even, for those around him. He doesn't seem to get that other people have a right to their part of the track. It's far worse with him than with others I've seen.

We are in shoddy territory, but a quote in the news churned it eh? The Marquez - Rossi pissing match seemed a 40/60 on blame with more on Rossi and his fans off track. 

Marc was a sinner on track for a period of time in both Moto2 and GP. RD gave him the rod. It worked. It was not only during the ushering out of "the polite era" (which I am appreciative of), but also ushering in MM93 as our top rider.  

I'm with Mtiberio about not needing saints on track. Off track? It was Valentino and fans that struck me as off putting. Remember Marc, Alex and one of their friends getting accosted at their home?! Et al.

Lorenzo may have just said this, but he also just accepted an invite to come to the Ranch for a visit and ride. Things move on. 

^ Hey Mtiberio, what racing were you doing and on what bike(s)?

Hard disagree. I watched in 2015. I know what I saw. I need no other evidence nor anything. MM is a punk. A fast punk but a punk nevertheless. I'll be glad when he's gone tbh. The class is all class except for Marc. Motogp doesn't need anyone like him. No class at all. But he's fast. Woo effing hoo. Cheers!

... but I agree. The fact that idiotic Rossi fans staked out other riders' homes is a separate (pathetic) issue.

Fans are fanatical and I make no excuses for them as there is no excuse. But I don't care about that. On track is the only thing I care about.

....you should watch PI 2015, to

me it seems The Maniac was the punk in that race, of course if you wear rose tinted glasses you probably won't see it. Either way, now with Rossi being gone, the hopefully his so called fans will be gone too

I've never been a Rossi fan other than admiring his results. I like a little less showmanship and I call things as I see them. As I said elsewhere, we all see what we need to see. Either way it doesn't affect my day it's just interesting in a 'racing history' way. There was major controversy about Sweden '83 and it still is going on to this day. Same as '15 will be '54. I think that is great. We can all weigh in knowing no one is going to settle anything about anyones' opinions today or anytime soon. Bench racing is 1/3 of the fun.....maybe 1/4. But fun anyway.

Happy for multiple perspectives and disagreeing friends. We might agree on something there, I remember being very uncomfortable and critical in real time.

Then, also with Vale's choice of response on track. Had to avoid all the feces slinging that followed and persisted. Was with Vale on the gravel trap crossing race that followed. Happy with what has seemed like a pretty well considered and balanced/non reactive or biased perspective on my part.

I really liked Vale before that period! Still do appreciate him a great deal. And The Marc. Plenty of room to not choose a favorite. But Vale said it himself that the new top rider was good like him, but with upgrades. I agree. Rossi can be a petulant entitled child at times, and I still like him. Btw, I enjoyed repetitive dreams for a long time in which we spent time and became friends. I was going to get to ride at Laguna Seca in the National support classes they did there. But I spend so much time hanging around with Rossi as regular comfortable pals that I neglect to get my bike ready in time for my race. Nice to remember those dreams now.

Cheers as well Brian!

I hear you on prioritizing on track goings-ons. But then, WE are off track right now, and this is interesting, right? Then, what about where off track/on track blend? Like protesting? Or in each others' garages apologizing or fighting? Or during practice sessions doing intimidation or annoyance?  Pushing your employer to not take another rider on in the garage? When Vale rolled off and stopped racing that fateful day, causing a crash for Marc, that was starting to move from on-track to off in a literal way (he was punished accordingly!). So forth. It isn't just gossip. Behavior seems important, more than mere words. And it has a continuum of relevance/importance. On track, on Sunday, effecting the outcome, involving the lead riders? Most important indeed.

2010 was a terrible year, went out for and qualified for 2 nationals in DSB, but never got to turn a lap. Blown motor in practice at Sonoma -- too poor for a spare -- and Laguna was terribly cold and foggy that year. There was a mixup with my "crew" -- I think the tires were on the warmers for _maybe_ 15 minutes from dead AM cold? Crashed in T5 on the warmpup lap. The ride home was tense to say the least. Then Peter died the next month. Took a break after all that and never really came back.

If you look under the "ay" in Raceway, you'll see my back turned to the camera next to the generator.

https://motomatters.com/news/2010/07/25/fog_threatens_to_delay_sunday_mo...

One day I'll get prints from David to give to my sons, but its still far too painful.

We did have a Rossi sighting in the paddock though. I think he was coming back from some media event in town and the Scramp car driving him around went down a dead end in the paddock, stopped suddendly and a CHP motorcycle cop escort following them rammed into the back of the car. We heard that sickening sound of a bike hitting something mostly immobile and went to investigate. Vale looked at us like "...please just let me get to my box without having you guys try and talk with me...", we all respected that and hobbled away on his crutches.

I hear you Tim. Ouch on cold tires/warm up! Just qualifying for it and such is impressive! I saw T5 grab a few riders. Tommy Hayden comes to mind. That fence comes fast, not much run off there!

Peter was a kid I loved, his Dad Mike was a team mate and Peter would always be hopping around our pit on race weekends. I used to pick him up and carry him around. His sisters are neat people too, so are Mom and Dad. As soon as he got on pocketbikes, he was off and flying. It doesn't seem like long ago. It was tough. Hard to start to imagine what it was like for his parents, they were a closely knit family. Sadness in the memory. We almost lost another good friend Brad in 2006 too. I had a horrible wreck ending my racing. Just the loss of no longer getting to do something like race motorcycles? Grief. We all must have mixed emotions and memories eh? 

Viva Peter Lenz #45, and care here for all our losses. Glad we got to get out there and fly. Flippin magic.

Mike drove my stuff around the year before to a number of WERA rounds. Peter was a great kiddo.

Ok, i don't like some of his moves but I'm old fashioned maybe....however...

You can watch Lorenzo riding an M1 and it's magical. When he was on form it was almost impossible to tell the difference between Lorenzo pushing and Lorenzo cruising beyond looking at the stop watch, some kind of genius or something.

Rossi was often fun to watch but usually when trying to recover positions in a race or going for a fast lap. You could see when he was pushing, looking a bit dodgy on the brakes, asking a bit much of the front. He looked like he was trying....or clowning in a race. Exciting.

Dani was nice to watch also, just the technique, the movement on the bike, awesome.

FP1 usually these riders aren't worth watching so much, maybe at the end. FP2, FP3, FP4 etc...same. Most of the laps it's just not exciting. Then you get riders like Casey. Always worth watching him ride. Proper nut job. Always the exits, watch that guy lap in any session and you will see something special. However , even Casey built up to qually giving more and more to the eyes.

Marc Marquez is like Casey Stoner on a mixed bag of steroids, amphetamines and radioactive ants. Makes every lap worth watching. His work rate is mind bending. Spectacular in the extreme. It will be a huge amount less interesting to watch when he's finished unless another crazy fool turns up. FP1, 1st timed lap, what is wrong with this guy ? He's mad !

It's all cyclical. King Kenny was Vale, Eddie Lawson was Lorenzo and Freddie Spencer was Marquez back in the day. There's always another generation coming along. Now we get Pecco as overdog, Fabio as smooth/fast and Martin & Basta with the extreme body positions dragging shoulders and who knows what all. Same as it ever was.

 

I understand but I've never seen anything come close to Marquez before. You see flashes of it with lots of riders, they do something special and you notice. With Marc it's most laps, almost don't notice what he's doing because it's just another lap of the same. Maybe the bike forces a lot of it. Pol on the KTM and on the Honda is also all action to watch. In fact Pol is right up there on the exciting to watch scale. Marc is a grand approximation of a position somewhere between crashing and doing what the others do.

Watching Pol dragging his elbow through T12 at PI on that Moto2 machine in 2012 changed my opinion of him forever. I spent all weekend watching him carve it up through there and it never once got boring. 

Pol has always been a good one to watch. In 2012 I usually awaited the Moto2 races with more anticipation than the MotoGP races. Classic season.

My career in a nutshell, 4 WERA SuperVintage National Titles (3 in vintage 4, 1 bump up in vintage 5). Was me and my Guzzi against Bevels, Triumph triples, Kwacker 1000, Suzi 750 triples, etc. at the same time I was running AMA Pro-twins (different wheels, etc), against 4 and 2 valve belt drive Ducks, and many other twins. Best pro finish, 1 3rd through the streets of Miami in 1990.

^ Wow! Interesting. Nice work over there.

Brave to put those old bikes up on pace at their limit eh? The handling is, um, waggly-wonky right? Chassis has a hinge flex in it somewhere? You try to change line, it says "maybe, hang on" and does a side to side wag first?

;)

More motor than brakes can accommodate too? 

(I had a 70's Honda CB550 Supersport that tried to kill me)

Thanks guys, I try to keep it in perspective. BS titles, but I never saw one that was not competed for. It took me years to learn to shred tires, and then to be smooth, and that was the secret on a shaft drive bike. Maybe that is why I like Lorenzo. After high siding and breaking ribs one Saturday at Loudon. I learned to (had to) minmize shifting, couldn't take it. I learned to over rev at the end of a straight rather than up shift/down shift going in. Learned to use my torque and 250 style lines to stay in a higher gear for corners (finally declaring the secret to roadracing is to take every corner in as high a gear as possible, in a way). The next day I raced the entire track in 2 gears and went 2 seconds a lap faster than I ever had (same thing worked at mid-ohio and summit point). Go figure. A few star f*cker moments. I've beat Doug Polen (he DNF'd). Beat the Britten (it DNF'd often early on). And finally, at the WERA GNF in Atlanta, I think it was 1992 or 93, I was in small bike practice. Nicky Hayden was about 13 or 14 and the only thing they let him roadrace was a 125. I came up on him not knowing who he was, and realized "hey this guy has really good corner speed". Followed him for that entire practice session (we both topped out about 140) adding to my knowledge base. I raced with broken wrists, ribs, collarbones, and feel it every day. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

mtiberio, I saw you race many times! I went to Loudon every year--both the old course and the mutant Nascar layout--until the AMA finally gave up for safety reasons. Often that was my only overnight motorcycle trip of the year. Kids never saw me on Father's Day.

Loved the Twins class, so much variety and innovation.

 

I raced a Guzzi (poorly!) one weekend. Anybody who can ride one that well deserves a LOT of respect, lol.

Valentino never once called off his fans no matter how twisted and dark they got.

Not with Biaggi. Sete. Casey. Lorenzo. Marc. He wielded his might in the media like a twelve inch dick at a party and weaponised his fans for competitive edge at best, and utter contempt and bitterness at worst.

If you could read what Casey's family used to recieve from those fans you would be horrified. We're talking about a couple of semi-retired parents chilling on a farm. It was absolutely disgusting. Valentino knows quite well what his fans do (and have always done) and never once did he ask them to keep it clean (and that's all it would have taken). He is complicit. "Silence is violence!" yadda f'n yadda.

Rossi was an entitled brat from the beginning. He threw his toys out of the pram every time things didn't go his way. Blame manufacturers. Refuse teammates. Refuse specific journalists. Cry foul. Treat competitiors with utter contempt. Build walls. Weaponise fans.

Lorenzo had the late season pace in 2015 and all of the momentum. The times are right there on MotoGP.com for anyone to see that wishes to go look. If Rossi wanted to escape Marc's apparent 'tactics' it's rather simple - beat him. He didn't have the pace at Sepang and ended up running him wide because of it. There's two other ways that day could have (and should have played out) - Marc beats him and takes at least another four points from his championship fight. The other scenario is a black flag - which he deserved. Faux go-nowhere appeals, more pentulant screeching and all for naught. He didn't have the pace, he'd burnt all the bridges and the chickens finally came home to roost.

Imagine a world where you accuse another rider of being so fast that he can apparently lead a race, drop back down the order to mess with you specifically and then go on to easily win the race. Imagine a world where people actually think that it's a rational take. "You are so good that you can do as you please with me! - REEE!". When it was Rossi doing it, it was considered 'beautiful theatre' and he was 'intentionally writing a beautiful story' and 'his ten second penalty at PI proves it!'. When Marc apparently did it? More screeching. Hilarious. And then he wanted to help Lorenzo by taking five points from him. GASP! Of course! It all makes sense now!

Again - don't want him to mess with you? Overtake him. Gap him. Beat him. Rossi couldn't do that so it was off to the media to fire up his fans. But it backfired this time because Marc was immune to his tricks. Karma kicked in just like it has for Marc recently. They can only blame themselves, but instead they'll always blame each other.

Of course Marc didn't want Rossi to win his tenth. At the start of the season he didn't want ANYONE winning a championship besides himself, and no doubt after Assen he REALLY didn't want Rossi doing it. It's a big nothingburger article and just another opportunity for Valentino to cry victim.

Had he beaten him on the track all of these problems wouldn't be problems.

Vale couldn't beat him. He didn't have the pace. Makes one ponder as to why the rider with better pace didn't just clear off into the distance never to be seen again. Hmmm...

RIDER - BIKE - FALLS - RACES (OUT OF 18)

Iker Lecuona KTM 26 18

Marc Marquez Honda 22 14

Pol Espargaro Honda 20 17

Alex Marquez Honda 19 18

Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 18 18

Enea Bastianini Ducati 15 18

Jorge Martin Ducati 14 14

Jack Miller Ducati 12 18

Takaaki Nakagami Honda 12 18

Miguel Oliveira KTM 12 18

Alex Rins Suzuki 12 17

Danilo Petrucci KTM 10 18

Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia10 9

Johann Zarco Ducati 10 18

Brad Binder KTM 9 18

Luca Marini Ducati 9 18

Valentino Rossi Yamaha 9 18

Joan Mir Suzuki 8 18

Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 7 18

Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 7 18

Maverick Viñales Yamaha/Aprilia 4 15

Michele Pirro Ducati 3 3

Stefan Bradl Honda 2 5

Jake Dixon Yamaha 2 2

Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 2 13

Tito Rabat Ducati 2 2

Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1 1

Dani Pedrosa KTM 1 1

Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 0 4

Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 0 5

Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 0 4

Well, what do you think? Iker is our stand out, and a bit of an exception. Honda is STILL a gravel trap hound, holy smokes. Top riders are pushing enough that they lose it over the limit some, but are not high on this list. 7 times? Ok. The Yamaha stays upright, as does the Suzuki. It seems that rookies are often more crash prone, and especially if growing and becoming fast. Martin for example, Bastiannini. Excusable?

Big winner re rate is Morbidelli. But, where was he on track? Was he pushing? Is it possible to have too low of a rate? We always have a couple of riders that crash very little. Colin Edwards comes to mind. Dovi is one in this era. 

There are the changes from last yr too. Like last yr's crash heavy Cal going zero in 4 races once on Yamaha and off Honda. More notables, let's see. Orange Pol had 10 last yr, and TWENTY on a Honda. Ooph. Aleixsh went way up from 12 last year, even though the revolutionized bike had been further sorted. Why? Pushing harder. He raised his expectations of himself. He charged the limit. I am tempted to give him praise and respect for it. What do you think of A.Espargaro's big increase? 

Marc still crashed a LOT, per Race. When it happens matters, the Rins crashes each meant much more than how some other riders keeping it to Friday. But this is just sheer numbers.

2019 and 2020 had lots of crashes for Zarco. Not just for him, but those around him that entered his "luck changing aura." This yr? Fewer! His bike is improving in feel and turnability. He too though has gotten into the reasonable zone. Without major injury to self we might add. His Season points reflect it. I had been a fan way back at Tech 3. He did well to adapt to the Ducati. There has not been a back flip (race win) in MotoGP. I think he has zenithed. But, good job reeling the crash rate in Johann. 

Aleix had twelve crashes in fourteen races last year. This year he crashed four or five times at COTA. If that race is dropped, his 2021 crash rate is on par with last year. Aleix's comments indicated he was very unsettled by those COTA whoops. Maybe the Aprilia with its ultra-stiff frame was also? David mentioned it looked real beefy.

MM93 as usual, king of the hill. The young apprentice steals the crown through more opportunity this year me thinks. The interesting figures are which crashes happened on Sunday afternoons. Jack had a good year by his standards.

Jack is just missing that little bit of magic. I hope he finds it.

Thanks David. Casey's ability to just get on a bike and absolutely max it within just a few laps has always impressed and intrigued me. Always wondered if that made him a good test rider or a bad one because he was so good he could just make it happen. It's always interesting to get a bit of insight into what makes our (my) hero's tick.

Stoner's mystery ailment was no mystery to me. Just because someone can do something doesn't mean they like to do it (Lorenzo as well, oddly enough). Stoner's body reacted to all the stress by giving him his lactose issue and probably his current ailments as well. No shame, auto immune stuff is no joke.

 

An article reporting comments by Stoner reignites the Rossi Marquez debate and ends up with the comedy stylings of Iannone, I think we can say that the shark has been jumped for 2021. Let's all chill off now and develop our withdrawal avoidance strategies to next March. Thank You to David and the truly brilliant Motomatters community - I am educated, enthralled and entertained by your contributions.

This IS the withdrawal avoidance technique, LOL. And when it's as respectful and enlightening as it is here it makes a nice way to entertain ourselves while we endure the offseason. Also, it led to Mtiberio's racing record which is majorly impressive. So not all bad.

Even for the long term readers this must be impressive. Article about Stoner, straight into a Rossi v Marquez argument and at some point at the bottom Stoner finally referred to. Come on guys!

Quick follow up - Stoners POV about racing is super interesting. Doing something the best vs doing something slightly better than everyone else. Hugely intriguing motivation for someone that's been at the very top. 

It's my fault for thinking breaking news might find a welcome here. I apologize for upsetting the equilibrium of the motorcycle universe. I can see it was so finely balanced that one unwanted thought or action could topple the whole thing - BOOM! - and we'd be left with only gossip and soap opera. I am terribly sorry for referencing the history of motorcycle racing while I'm supposed to solely be talking about today. I am old and unable to forget the past as well as I should so some things strike as 'everything old is new again' and it interests me. Mea culpa!

 

Of course, you could just ignore it and allow people to conversate about what they wish to. Hmmm?

Brian it was PI that was the tell of the tale, not Sepang.  I remember the race like it was last night.  In Aussieland, here it's a 12am race live on Saturday night/Sunday AM.  The blocking etc, mid race, I was watching the race on a friend's 120" projector with my ATV and iPad for MotoGP.com, in HD.  I saw the shenanigans live and was saying WTF are you doing man?  It was piss poor and easily visibile.  Rossi beat Marquez in 2015.  Marquez couldn't handle that, so he acted like the petulent child he is.  He's a poor sportsman and no respect.  I lost that in the support classes before he was even a rookie in the premier class.  He'll never be able to say he won 5 titles in a row across 2 manus on three different motorcycles either.  Yeah Rossi was a little shit when he was a young bloke.  But he never pulled bs in practice or qualifying.  Like many racers before him, yeah, the last corner of the last lap he was the devil.  Sepang, still don't blame him one bit for slowing down, which is all he did, nothing more.  He had, had it, with the shenanigans.  Marquez showed no respect for him or himself, acting that way, so Vale rolled off.  And had Vale has a Spanish passport I highly doubt he'd have started at the back of the grid for Valencia.  And to me, to this day, seeing a quarter century of his races, 2015 Valencia was his best.  Last to 4th, at 36 years old.  Finishing 2nd on the season to Lorenzo, a whopping 5 points behind, who was 28 years old.  

And Rossi's "fans".  I'm so tired of reading that nonsense here, it's just played out.  Not all of Valentino's fans are a holes.  And most of them stuck with him, in good times or bad.  A far cry from many fair weather fans of a rider or the sport in general.  The lunatic few are not the many and never will be.  Give it a rest.  It's amazing to read, the hate that persists, even after all this time, even after he's retired.  Lorenzo, one of the main characters in this story just admitted it, but people still choose their own distorted reality of history.  Ok then. Wasn't buying it in 2015 and still don't today, over 6 years later.   It's good to read Jorge finally admitting the truth, even if it's still through the media tinted lense. 

To borrow a phrase from my German colleagues..."I give a pice of s*** on it".

I will never understand the exclusivity and the hypocrisy from both sides.

6 seasons ago Pedro was 11.

It got brought up in the news. Vale commented on Jorge's comment today. Looks like the same old stuff is still lurking down there, even with irony. Ah well, time marches on.

Marc is telling people he is going to be riding at the next test in Feb. Sure hope so. I want to see him challenge for another title, but get bested by Pecco. There could be some fantastic battles amongst 4 manus and 6 riders up at the front next season! Salivating.

Where is that goss coming from? Having him turn up at the Allianz gig with no patch, no wobbles and all smiles was a pretty good look. From all of the discussion here a few weeks back even walking was supposed to be a challenge.

It was one of the most iconic moments in GP history. I don't get all the butt hurt about discussing it but then I don't feel an emotional involvement. I feel as though I saw something controversial that can be interpreted in different ways by people with different personalities and experiences. That is interesting to me. Sure does seem to wad everyone's shorts into a bunch. Are there other events we should steer clear of too? Asking for me.

Flat earth and the moon landings ?

Brian, you know, it was an event and it can be discussed. However...and no pointing fingers anywhere...it usually turns into an exploration of how how much venom can fit into one paragraph. I think the main problem is that many of the opinions are based upon facts which are actually just other opinions. Personally i would have preferred Rossi to win the title that year but I'm more sad that Marquez went out at Sepang. If he hadn't we would have enjoyed more laps of great action...contrived or not...it was nice.

"Marc is so superior to Rossi that he can move up and down the order to mess with him specifically and still win the races."

- Rossi fans 2015

BEAT HIM! PROBLEM SOLVED!

Clear off into the distance if you're so much faster. What is it that keeps bringing you back to the slower rider?

Don't forget btw that this came up this week when LORENZO agreed with/confirmed Rossi's take on Marc. At the same time sharing that he accepted Vale's invite to go spend time racing at The Ranch. 

Those two, both on inline 4 carving implements, had a damn blood feud on track. It was a bitter rivalry. The racing was AMAZING. Scary to watch, I can see a Japanese GP in my head where it seemed like their bikes were doing impossible homicidal things at the end of the race. 

Water can go under the bridge. 

Last season we had some intense conflict amongst a few riders. Miller - Mir is a standout. One didn't need to make it personal, creating a guilt/blame spiral, or projecting one's own righteous anger on it.

What I saw was primarily about what those two BIKES put two assertive fast racers in to. The Ducati has motor to fly by when legs can be stretched. The Suzuki can turn in amazingly tight carrying a TON of corner speed. The lines of the bikes come together RIGHT there. Over and paint swapping over.

Yes, subjectively for the individual rider it feels incredibly personal and not ok. At times, the other rider has indeed crossed the threshold of careless and unsafe riding. But another perspective or three remain, eh? What is "true?" You mean for Miller, or true for Mir? Or RD? Or a Quartararo fan from Nice? 

One thing that is true? When aroused/upset/passionate, multiple perspective taking and flexibility of awareness drops like an Illmore. And what you are saying is true is filled with reactivity, projection, and frankly a bunch of subjectivity masquerading otherwise via ego. P.S. target fixation is related, awareness shrinks to one aspect of awareness, and adheres there. And there is paradox/irony, it makes "real" the shite fear/anger that you were crashing...because you subjectively felt like you were. Then you did. Not everyone is doing that.

Break over here, back to next patient. Enjoying the discussion, with EVERYONE here. None of us have no egoic crap nor blindspots. Me included. Just trying to minimize it and grow, which is inherently uncomfortable. Self doubt is a necessary element. A patient came in to the clinic yesterday on their motorcycle. Riding/cornering and fear, self doubt came into the session as a microcosm of human nature. It was cool! Trust what you have experienced. Half our thoughts are shite. Our feelings aren't to be seen as real just in what they SEEM like in the raw and unmitigated moment. Be aware of certain ones, like shame/guilt and worry/anxiety, that can have you avoid them and chase other compensations. 

I really do hope they actually came to the clinic on a bike...as in through the doors atop a bike like Lemmy accompanied in the background by obnoxious rock music. After all, they should bring everything to the table.

I agree comletely. Your description of events is what I remember.

Hey, another bit. It will be talked about later quite a bit - are you folks seeing the riders and bikes going to World Supersport right now? Initial testing is beginning. Big names, a handful from Moto2. Promising kids from Moto3 etc, not just the usual. The R6 Cup is GONE, and WorldSBK is on a big popularity upswing.

Baldassari to MV Agusta, Bulega (did I remember right?) on the Duc Twin. So forth.

I was impressed by Casey on the 250s & 125s, despite 27 never taking either championship. He was always up against Dani Pedrosa and others. Followed his career from last century. Even on the LCR Honda in 2006 Casey was fast. Pole at his first ever MotoGp race if I recall correctly. Let me think a minute. fast and crashed a lot. Remember the big one at Mugello 2006, Arrabiata 2 iirc! BIG, really big, demolished the bike!

Ciao Valentino you were awesome, many times, less than perfect sometimes. Like Agostini, Sheene, King Kenny, Freddy, the Waynes, Kevin, Mick, Jorge and Dani we will miss you. We still remember the past but time moves on.

We move on to; but remember the history.

For example; Dani v Simoncelli Le Mans 2011, it doesn't matter what I think, but I'm with 58 there.

Kropotkin prefers if we "don't mention the war" to quote Basil Fawlty. * I agree, nowt to be had there.

Casey V Rossi at a wet Jerez? It doesn't matter what I think. Both are retired, they are over it, let's move on.

Next year is going to be better than this year & 2021 was all time!

Yes 'shrink the R6 cup is going to be a lot more interesting.

Commiserations to those stuck in the cold north and not riding. Second day of summer down under and today is warm & sunny, I will get the dirt bike out. Dirt bikes in the snow can be fun.

https://motomatters.com/analysis/2015/10/27/2015_sepang_motogp_round_up_...

Adios amigos, Will post more nonsense later.

 

Here's an opinion I've never heard from anybody else and this forum is the only place I'd share it with because of the generally high IQ displayed by most members.. 

Valentino stoked the fire when he came out swinging at Marc at the pre event presser at Sepang 2015 a week following Phillip Island - best race of the century!! I vividly remember watching the presser when he said "Marc was playing with us and helping Lorenzo to go far in the championship".. I laughed thinking that it was a joke and so did all the journalists. It's only in his solo interview after the presser that he really came out swinging and really chastised Marc...

Here's why I believe he said it - Ianonne had copped tremendous flak from some of the Valeban for passing Valentino to 3rd at Phillip Island..Valentino was asked about this and said something like "they are stupid and not my real fans".. iannone also got behind the 'Marc was playing with us' theory and supported Valentino at the presser.. I believe this was an attempt to deflect the criticism away from iannone towards Marc. 

Valentino may have believed that the press and the fan pressure would get to Marc like it had to all his past rivals( you know - one of those mind games played by Valentino that were always viewed in awe by the media and the fans) but it backfired spectacularly..  Psychologically Vale had met his match and this boy wasn't going to roll over..

As a huge Marquez fan and also Valentino (prior to kickgate), it seems to me in retrospect that Marc was smarting from the losses in Argentina and Assen but was being very careful not to show it publicly.. whether he was playing with the field at the best race of the century is beside the bloody point - he won the race didn't he and took 5points away from Lorenzo in the same manner Iannone took points away from Valentino.. 

I believe as soon as he was singled out by  Valentino unfairly for "playing", it is quite plausible that he may have thought - "Mate,I wasn't playing before and I'm not going to throw words at you because you're gonna win that one but i'll show you what playing looks like, Mudderfluffer".. And "bodyguard to Lorenzo" in Valencia was also a way of showing Valentino that if he was really helping Lorenzo at Phillip Island this is what it wouldve look like.. 

So whose fault is it??

I am a die hard marquez fan but I also love the sport and highly appreciative of Valentino's contribution and enjoy his charisma and past shenanigans.. There's faults on both sides to be honest.. There's always a trigger and a raft of consequences.. I wished Valentino got his 10th title, he mightve been the "moral victor" (to borrow from Raul Fernandez) but Lorenzo was pretty bloody quick that year with more victories.. 

Rambled on enough but there you go..They say something about opinions being like arseholes because everybody's got one..so there's mine..opinion that is.. 

 

Thank you David for another bumper year. Happy holidays and I look forward to hearing all of you on the paddock pass again! 

Oh yeah, I remember having that exact same reaction of laughing at that very first presser comment from Rossi. Nearly lost it in all that followed. Nice to see a self professing rabid Marc fan join in, this site has had fewer of you than Yellow fellows. The tone here is warm btw, smiling.

The hornets nest has been kicked, sleeping dog roused, by Jorge of all people around the retirement of Vale. Marc has been really cool and basically conciliatory. Vale isn't much for handbags out either. Looks like time has moved on, and we are just at a comment from Lorenzo. He also said, soon after, "if I said I didn't want Rossi back at Yamaha they would have (gone with) that." It was all just Lorenzo about Lorenzo. If anything, we can remember that he was personally a bit of a turd. Don't 93 and 46 fans ALL agree on that?! (Amazing on a bike though!)

;)

Welcome Randy. Put in a 2022 Top 5 and rookie? Where to put Marc?

One thing that always struck me as funny was the complaints/conspiracy theories about Marc not attacking Lorenzo in Valencia and the complaints about the rest of the field allowing Rossi through during the race... After the accusations concerning Phillip Island and Malaysia, plus the s*** storm in the race, plus the penalty given to Rossi and all of that madness in the press, race control informed the riders that they shouldn't be getting involved with either of the championship contenders....all of the riders did as instructed.

 I think 2015 was the making of Marc, not because of all the crap but because he thew it away. He had the speed and the bike to be champion. 5 wins, 6 DNF and ended 88 points behind Lorenzo. If he had finished 2nd in Argentina, 4th in Mugello, 3rd in Catalunya, 3rd in Silverstone (crashed out of 2nd but Petrucci was on fire that day), 4th in Aragon and 4th in Malaysia (all of those positions have him finishing behind Rossi in the races) he would have beaten Lorenzo by 3 points. He knew it too. Couldn't have helped his sense of humour.

Who knows, maybe the return of the old king to winning form in 2015 had a psychological effect. Marc had to prove he was king even when the day of the race said no. If that is the case there could be only one focal point of frustration other than himself.

If we put together a reel of riders giving favor on track to others outside of intra team orders/2nd rider on a Team helping 1st rider late in a season...what I can see is Italians letting Valentino pass them. There have been lots. Not a big deal at all and understandable, but interesting only in that things seem to be quite favorable for the Italian in so many ways relative to some accounts.

He has gotten quite used to having his way. (Again, REALLY grateful that he isn't now re easy big egoic gross Saudi regime involvement in VR46!). His fans seem to rationalize a contrary narrative with some reactive and personalized skew. It certainly isn't interesting or unique to Rossi, his fans, racing, or any bloody thing. It is garden variety human primitive tribal nature. "Your specialness is the dust of the universe" - utterly ordinary and frankly underwhelming.

Kids bickering in the back seat. The trip is long, just hoping they return to attending to something more meaningful and real. Heck, distract with snacks. Don't bother them with adult conversation, it spoils it and they love that too unfortunately. Go see the comments section of most sites (crush.nut et al).

Re "kickgate," just like "Han shot first," I would like to be clear that saying both Marc and Vale were a bit out of line there is fine, eh? I don't think Vale kicked at Marc causing a crash, looked a reaction to contact. And, neither looked to shiny good there. Uncomfortable w both. Personally, even more w Vale. And, hey, the new top dog was here and the old one struggled back - of course they did. Barely even News. No big deal. Let's call it a draw. 

Love Han blasting Guido away in the original Star Wars cut. But it was a human tribe story. The Guidos would have an equally legitimate perspective of their tragedy should they be here to share. Anyone here from Triba Del Guido? Nope.

Sure, i understand, I was looking from the comedic perspective.

News from Phillip Island and Sepang: Anger at riders who have no place in the championship battle fighting with championship contenders !

News from Valencia: Anger at riders who have no place in the championship battle not fighting with championship contenders !

About the incident. A message can be conveyed in many forms. Sometimes people feel the need to send the message in a very overt form so that the whole world can see. It's a matter of politics. Does such an overt demonstration serve the end purpose well ? In some circumstance it does. In others, most often maybe, it doesn't. If Sig Rossi had not felt the need to demonstrate his frustration to all and instead focused on the action (running Marc wide) without the broadcasting of disgust...we would see an entirely different constellation. I mean, the way those two were battling, something was bound to break, a mistake by Rossi which led to Marc crashing out. A very disappointing end to a titanic struggle. A racing incident.

Same could be said for Miller/Mir in Qatar. If only peripheral vision wasn't what it is inside a hat.

Guido...overt.

Han...understood.

You cannot kick from a motorcycle and cause another to crash. Equal and opposite reaction and all that. There was no effing kick and anyone who says so instantly loses all crediblity with me. I guess that's why the subject needs to be verboten: we can't even stick to the basic facts.

Good lord. I guess we all see what we want to. Cheers!

Shrinkoffski wrote "I don't think Vale kicked at Marc causing a crash, looked a reaction to contact."

You can kick from a bike but it would have to be one hell of a kick to alter the path of either bike or one hell of a well aimed kick to actuate the brakes....a Terminator kick.

Here's another clip from the race with the final touch shown again in slow motion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgfAW99gVc4

I feel so sorry for Vale. Marc, Lorenzo, Honda, Dorna and the FIM all conspired to destroy his chance at #10. They forced him to make wild accusations at the Sepang presser and quite obviously he handled the pressure like a true veteran of the sport. He handled his business on the track like a true champion. He had the late season pace to beat Lorenzo easily but it is everybody else's fault that he couldn't get it done. He would never try and impede somebody else's race, brake test others, run people wide, cut the track, kick out, untactfully jam it up the inside in the wet and drop it, taking out the championship leader, apologise with a helmet on, feign ignorance post race etc. He is above that kind of behaviour. 

He should be commended for standing up to such a vicious group of conspiring competitors and sporting bodies. He is the true peoples champion. Marc Marquez will never be on his level. He's a dreamer. 

--

The HRC vice president, Shuhei Nakamoto, said in a statement that the data from the crash shows that there was a sudden impact on Marquez' brake lever that locked his front tyre and caused him to crash.

When asked about the crash Nakamoto said:

“It is clear that Valentino intentionally pushed Marc towards the outside of the track, which is out of the rules, therefore Marc had no other option other than to run wide. The data from Marc’s bike shows that even though he was picking up the bike trying to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever suddenly received an impact that locked the front tyre, which is the reason for his crash. We believe that this pressure was a result of Rossi’s kick. The data acquisition from Marc’s bike is available if anybody from Dorna, the FIM or media want to check.”

“The lap times they were doing [prior to the race] were quite fast, clearly showing that there was no intention from Marc to slow down Valentino. In addition, after Marc crashed and Valentino had an open track in front of him, his lap times were no faster than during the battle with Marc. We believe, they were both pushing to the maximum. Both wanted third place and to try and catch up with Dani and Jorge, but of course this battle opened up a gap to the front two. This is racing and when you have two talents such as Marc and Valentino you can see a wonderful battle as we saw.”

Dirty HRC. They are still bitter that they beat him 7-4 after he threw them under the bus. Contrary to popular opinion, Rossi is actually happy to have seen that Lorenzo, Stoner and Marquez have him beat in practically every statistical category head to head long before his fall off. 

His character is unquestionably of the highest level of sportsmanship ever shown in the sport, perhaps all sports. He is Italian Jesus embodied and placed onto a motorcycle. Evidence of that is how he parted the sea from the back of the grid at Valencia 2015. A true miracle worker. Perhaps one day he can heal the blind amongst his disciples! 

Jumbo coffees have four shots BTW. 

^ That is high art there from D9's! Fun. If it was pointed at Marc I would still think so too. 

Sincere real apology for the years of low readability on my ramblings here. Between patients I regularly pop on here enthusiastically for a brief break. Maybe it keeps me sane? It has some nuttiness in it. Just a wee text box on a phone and tippity tapping, it isn't journalism or literature. And certainly reads that way. Feel free to skip it! Thanks for the community, you all mean a great deal to me and loving the marrow out of motorbike racing!

Amen mate. This sport has nowhere near then fandom and coverage of most other sports, so the more words the merrier in my eyes. I always have the freedom to gloss over or skip the posts entirely. As long as they're not dead set crash net dregs (which they never have been here) then go hard. Drip sarcasm. Put your blinders on. Defend your sporting heroes! Isn't that what sports are all about? Living somewhat vicariously through the top tier talent of your favourite sports/hobbies/past times.

I'd rather see walls of text than not. The sport needs to maintain its trajectory, especially with the golden child galloping off into the sunset. 

Love the composition but to be fair to Rossi he never tried to hide or deny what he did. HRC's data was just pure crap. Even if they did publish it, it meant nothing other than brake was squeezed. Chaotic things happen.

Have you ever heard what a dollop of the chronic can do for you? Would take care of the symptoms in no time.

He basically has MOST RECENTLY I think. Watched as many pressers etc as are out there. Only heard of one or two remarks, that were removed from context by journos, that might be otherwise.

Have you seen otherwise lately? That "my respect for him hasn't changed" was not much of anything in context. Was there more? Sincere curiosity.

Here is one for example (nice!)...""Valentino has done something unique for the racing world, and I don’t think anyone else will be able to repeat it. As we all know, there have been many riders who have given a lot to motorcycling, winning races, but, besides this, Valentino has been able to attract many people to our sport. He and I have been direct rivals in the past,” he recalled. “I don’t have a good relationship with him now, and I’ll admit that without a problem. But he’s to be admired for what he’s done. I’m convinced that, even without him on the track in 2022, the yellow will not disappear from the stands. There will probably be less, but it’ll still be present, and maybe even in large part, perhaps more than half.”

Contrast, Rossi was asked about Marc's injury this yr..."If he recovers [fully] – which at the moment nobody knows if he will, not even him – he will be back as strong as he was. But Marquez is not the strongest rival I’ve had.”

When then asked whether he has forgiven Marquez for that perceived slight in 2015, Rossi said: “Impossible. What he did to me is unforgivable. When I think back to those days I have the same feelings as then. And it’s been six years. It seems hard for them to change.”
:(

...was amusement that you used "really cool" and "basically conciliatory" to describe Marc. It did make me grin and chuckle.

Vale was a master showman, who realized that fans don't buy tickets to see robots (KR Jr comes to mind...) ride technological marvels round and round, they need a narrative with heroes and villians. As the fact that this Vale vs. Marc comment thread won't die shows!

^ Agreed, Vale has been enjoyable!

I am assuming that this is a bit of a last gasp on this prompted by his retirement. And in the interest of hatchet burying and getting somewhere at which to rest for some. It really is quitatively better here this time. And why not?

To add to the "contentious comments to the press," Razlan Razali just said something interesting. He DIDN'T have excessive pressure from Blue to take Rossi, but that it was his mistake.

Raz said he made two mistakes at the end of Petronas SRT. June 2021 Petronas offered a big cut in sponsorship. He refused, and they never made a counter offer. Big mistake. Then he and Stigfelt had conflicts in creating the new plan, causing a Stig split. He wishes he took the offer staying Aqua, blew it in negotiations misreading the situation.

Raz also said it was a mistake to take Rossi, and that he did have a choice (not Yamaha insistence/pressure). Mid 2020 when deciding he saw Vale on the podium at 2nd Jerez and thought he might still be "able to do it" but he wishes he had not done so.

Bastiannini was asked about the new Duc vs old, and his comment wasn't about the handling...it was the motor. "This year I was riding the 2019 Ducati and it was so aggressive compared to the 2021. The '21 is much softer, you can ride more easy and it's very friendly for the rookie riders. The '19 was more aggressive and for a rookie rider it was so-so!" He said it has more outright power too. The kid may be on a big rise right now. How high? Zarco is getting passed by Martin, and better look out or The Beast may duck under too. Right Jack? 

In further breaking news, the Energica MotoE bike has been exploring throttle reconfiguration. When Crafar dug in for a "Tech Talk," his discovery was that no one gives a shit. Video not attached. Just ignore until the future Ducati Ebike arrives, then look at the weight and lap times. Better beat 400 Ninjas and weigh less than a Goldwing. If not, maybe it will all catch on fire or something interesting. More stupid jerk comments and "news" at 11. 

Raz hindsight. There were many good reasons for taking Rossi beyond on track performance. I also seem to recall many people were curious about the change of scenery and the oh so obvious problems in the factory squad. What a difference a year makes.

Did you folks see the Raz - Stiggy fight? It got nasty! S tried to take the Team over by himself mutiny style. R had to say the grid spots were his and hold his ground. They are keeping it private.

Didn't even get a whiff of it until the news of the demise of SRT.

I've not been a MM fan since his Moto 2 days though I absolutely admire his riding skills. PI 2015, from memory MM said he overheated his front tyre & was having "moments" so had to back off for a while to let them cool. 

Maybe VR should have remembered his comments at Laguna Seca 08 in reply to CS comments about VR check braking & overly aggressive overtaking.  VR - "What a great race. I'm sorry Stoner complained. I understand our fight was very aggressive, but I think he complained most of all because he ended up behind. I'm very sad that he was angry at the beginning but I think after a race like this it's normal when you arrive behind.""

^ And just like that, this all wound down to sleep and never ever had to be spoken of again. Literally, I intend to never speak of it again if things stay as they are. Thank sweet baby Jesus. 

On to bigger and better things!