MotoMatters.com 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.
Why did MotoGP get nasty?
Who to blame for the poisonous end to the 2015 MotoGP season: (in alphabetical order!) Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Márquez or Valentino Rossi? Or how about none of them? How about thinking about the problem a little more deeply and investigating its root causes?
Here’s a theory. This problem has been coming for years and we’ve been cheering all the way, unaware of what’s at the bottom of the road we’ve been travelling down. We get excited when the first four rows of the grid are separated by just one second and last April we greeted the Argentine GP – the first premier-class GP in which the top 20 finishers were covered by less than a minute – as a wonderful moment.
Which it was, in a way. Back in the 1960s and 1970s races were often won by several minutes, which can’t have been much fun. Now races are often won by several tenths of a second, which is fun. The 1991 season – Wayne Rainey vs Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan and the rest – was the closest of GP racing’s last golden era, but it wasn’t as tight as last season. We all want exciting racing and that’s what we’re getting, because this is another golden era of Grand Prix racing, but sometimes there is a price to pay.
The various fall-outs between MotoGP’s three greatest rivals can all be traced back to the riders wanting the same piece of racetrack: Lorenzo and Rossi colliding at Motegi 2010, Márquez and Lorenzo at Jerez 2013, Rossi and Márquez at Rio Hondo and Assen 2015.
Collisions have become a more common occurrence in recent years, largely because the motorcycles are so damn good. Way back in 2009 Rossi told me “now the bikes are too good and the tyres are too good”, and they are even better now.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.