Reaction To The Last-Corner Incident At Jerez: Rossi, Crutchlow, Smith, Suppo, Zeelenberg And Poncharal Speak

After the final corner incident between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, the media spent the afternoon canvassing opinion from anyone they could find in the paddock, to ask how they felt about the incident. Below is a selection of the responses, split between riders and team staff. Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi represent rider opinion, while Herve Poncharal, Livio Suppo and Wilco Zeelenberg speak for the teams.

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider

At the end of the day, it's racing. I don't think Marquez did anything wrong. If Jorge had the opportunity, he'd do exactly the same. Marquez never rode into the side of him meaning to hit him. He ran a little bit deep, and Jorge was there, and that's it. You think Jorge has never run a little deep and ran into somebody? You think he won't for the rest of his career? At some point in racing it's going to happen. But if it happened to me, I'd probably be pissed off for half the slowdown lap, but then you've got to think about it in the sense of, I could have done it to somebody.

You don't think Marquez is a dangerous rider?

Not in any way, shape or form. No. He's a hard rider, there's a difference.

If you've got a load of bikes going round on a track at the same time, something's going to happen. As long as it doesn't happen in practice and qualifying, because there's no need for it then. But in the race, of course, you're battling. It's weird to race by giving each other positions and saying you're happy with third, because you're not happy with third.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing rider

I saw the last corner just one time, so I don't know exactly. But it looks like, is the last corner on the last lap. Marquez tries very hard, it looks like Jorge leaves space on the inside, Marc tried to go in, they touch, and you know it's normal that Jorge is upset, especially now after the race, but this is racing. It's the last lap, it's the last corner, and sometimes the guy behind try very hard, and it finish like this.

Bradley Smith, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider

Racing incident. If you're going to leave the door open like that and invite someone through, at the end of the day, if you've come from 125 and Moto2, you learn that if a gap's shown to you like that, you take it. I mean we go for tiny gaps, so when it's that wide, you don't hesitate.

I don't think Moto2 is necessarily breeding a more aggressive type of rider, I think let's be honest, Jorge has been a world champion for a number of years from 250s, he's not had to race. When he catches someone, he passes them, he leaves them. Or he rides around on his own and disappears into the distance. You lose that last little bit of aggressiveness. Let's be honest, his last serious race, you're probably looking at 2005, Motegi? Where like it was tooth and nail, back and forth with De Angelis and Pedrosa and those boys. So that's what we're probably looking at. But at the end of the day, Marquez was looking a little bit lairy all race, was nearly in the back of him a few times.

At the end of the day, if you don't want someone to pass, you cover you're inside line. That's like the first rule of last corner. You're the one that takes the inside, if he wants to go round the outside, that's up to him.

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing team manager, and team manager to Jorge Lorenzo

It was a hard move, but this isn't tennis, and if Race Direction decide not to do anything about it, then I can offer my opinion, but we just have to accept it, swallow it and carry on. I'm glad he didn't fall, because then Marc would probably have been given a penalty, because that move was fairly over the limit. If Jorge hadn't been there, Marc would have ended up somewhere in the grandstands, because he definitely used him as a berm to help him turn.

What should Jorge have done differently?

He should have shut the door a bit more. We discussed that. He kept to the left after coming out of the fast right hander, but then moved to the right, a bit too far, and that opened a gap. There wasn't really any room, because Marquez would never have made the corner. Jorge was supposed to take that corner in first gear, to block and hold the tight line, get off the brakes earlier, to ensure he couldn't get by. Unfortunately, he thought that Marc was not going to try to get by here.

It has nothing to do with the different riding styles and lines of the Honda and the Yamaha. Marc just thought, I'll try and see where I end up. Luckily for both of them, it ended up OK, because if he had crashed, then he would have been given a penalty. [Race Direction] spoke about the pass for a long time. Dani and Jorge would never have tried to pull such a stunt, they don't use their opponents as berms to try to make the corner, and that's a bit what happened here. It's not a contact sport, and this sort of thing happens, but if they don't act against it, it gets accepted, which I think is a bad thing.

We keep talking about mistakes, and they are mistakes by Marc, errors of judgment, but so far, he has got away with it.

Herve Poncharal, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team boss

There are some tracks like Jerez or Assen, where in the last corner always a lot of things happen, and everyone remembers. Everyone remembers Vale [Rossi] on Sete [Gibernau], Colin's [Edwards] last corner at Assen, or two weeks' ago, in Superbikes, they had some incredible moves there. So this track is like that, and I think that if I was Jorge's manager, I would say, this is a little bit too much and this is not what we are here for, and if I was Marc's manager, I would say, you had a chance and you try, and this is why you come here, you have to show fighting spirit to the very last corner. This is what he did.

For me I would say 50/50. For sure Jorge was may a bit too confident, a bit too cautious, but if he had braked very late, maybe he would have been a bit wide, and opened even more room for Marquez. But if you're Marquez, you do it, there was a possibility, he arrived from very far behind and he was faster on the brake. I don't think Jorge was expecting that, he thought he was in control, but Marquez is quite special. When it's Dani and Jorge and Vale, they are a bit more experienced and maybe a bit 'cleaner', but Marquez is from Moto2 and Marquez is 19, and Marquez is a young lion who is so hungry.

Livio Suppo, Repsol Honda Team Principal

There was some space, and in that corner, it's not the first time and it's not the last time that something happens there. Honestly I don't think, in my opinion is less aggressive than what happen between Vale and Sete in 2005. And nothing happened then, I can't see why should something happen now.

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Cal is lacking that last little bit of racecraft. He made a mistake in Qatar that potentially cost him a spot on the podium. He was praised for his ride in Austin, when he should've been fighting with Lorenzo. He made another mistake here in Jerez(although not really as big the previous two) that kept him from challenging Rossi or at least coming home 5th with an lonely race. He's almost there and when he does learn that final bit. He'll be a force for sure. Lets hope it's soon!!

Yes, I had the exact same thought/wish. However, I would put it down to different riding styles.

Since Jorge brakes early into corners and tries to carry corner speed, Marquez tends to close in on him at each corner as he brakes late which in turn gives him an opportunity to try something.

Rossi on the other hand tends to brake harder and later than the Honda, and Marquez finds himself gapped while going into corners which in turn leaves him the only opportunity of trying something on the gas, say on the straight (which he did).

Is obviously upset, I take his comments with salt.

Wilco said Marc made a mistake. Not really, he knew he was going to be wide. The mistake was from Lorenzo. Period. Wilco said it. He's just a bit sore that his rider wasn't the one in 2nd. It happens. But he's wrong.

In the words of Rossi from '05. "......for sure it was a hard move, for sure Sete(Lorenzo) is upset, but these are the races" ciao

Lorenzo is capable of fighting. He's done it many times in the past. Even in GP. What he rarely has done in GP is fight hard like his 250 days and come out on top. The days of riding around and settling are gone.

I can see both sides.. of this....

I'm not sure if that move was more or less aggressive than Rossi and Gibernau in 2005? (I think no - but great racing in both cases).

I kind of agree that Lorenzo was more or less a berm... at the same time it seemed like Lorenzo tried to close a line / door that was already closed? Not a question that will be settled anytime soon. Lorenzo should of seen it coming however but mis-judged how close MM was?

it's such a pleasure to see actual racing!! even if it's not for the lead.

I am thinking lorenzo will not come up on the short end of this scrabble again? I could very well be wrong however. But I'm going to enjoy it either way.....

I have not been 'that; thrilled with the last couple of years of motogp.... the technical race craft of Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedro, etc not withstanding..... but damn, the finest riders in the world are going to be engaged in something just short of bloodsport for the rest of the year.. and I can't wait.

Please guys keep it safe - big tragedies are.... they just suck.... (Be somewhat careful out there please)

3 questions:

1st) how is Dorna going to deal with Spain on Spain Violence?

2nd) I'd wonder what it would be like to be a fly on the wall inside Lorenz's brain about now? sheesh..

3rd) do you think rossi can compete with the new class of aliens and win at least one race? I love rossi (admited fan boy) but he's going to have to punch above his weight go the distance with these boys... I am along for the ride and soooooo looking forward to it!

Bring on LeMan

says Marc moved according to established ethos --that of top riders, of Rossi namely. Wilco is wrong. Even Lorenzo admitted --he himself kind of admitted Marquez in.
Marc lulled everybody to a safe sleep with 2 races of 2 'nice a kid' behaviour. And the video game boys are now jolted awake, with a surge of high pulse rate, feeling the baby faced predator breathing down their necks.
By the way, why only Yamaha people's statements? Where is Honda's? I would really to know what Nakamoto said, reacted, grimaced, letting his big laughter take over his face.

I think Wilko, while biased for obvious reasons, said it best with this quoted bit:
"It's not a contact sport, and this sort of thing happens, but if they don't act against it, it gets accepted, which I think is a bad thing."

I like to see fairly agressive racing, but as a (very) long time fan, and as much as these last years have been boring, I want to see superior riding skills, moves (and courageous, bolded ones!) be the factor that 'tiebrake' a direct/close battle between two or more riders on the track.

And today "MM vs JL" wasn't that.
For more than once, we all saw MM riding a bit nervous, almost colliding with JL's bike (clipping its rear wheel) at some points. "All good", I thought. The sport needs more brave maneuvers on track anyway (IMO). But then that last corner.... bit of a shame.
I do think JL did the (very big) classic mistake of opening a door on the very last corner of the race (which becomes an invitation for your opponent to get in), but it was a careless -bortherline dangerous- maneuver from MM, wether we, as fans, liked the outcome or not.

At this point, where MM is the "rookie" in the big class and, clearly, the "full-on-bet" of Dorna for him to be the next "goose of the golden eggs", he'll simply get away with a slap in the wrist (just like Rossi back in '05).
Racing incident or not, I honestly don't think any rider should get away with it just like that. With no penalty, his action today can be interpreted as "accepted" and it may open a wrong precedent among riders (and fans), especially the younger ones.

Gah....if Race Direction penalises Marquez for this I will be extremely dissapointed. it would signal to all riders that hard moves for doors left wide open are not accepted unless everyone comes out smelling like roses. And that's rubbish as far as I'm concerned.

Come on... we don't want inch perfect processional racing again. Marc is here and like simo he's goingt o shake it up...pi** people off.... get used to it.... and enjoy the show !

Rewatch the whole race, if not just the last corner, please.
If you put a tight group of guys riding like Marquez was doing yesterday, then you get the extreme radical opposite of what we've been calling "over-polite" processional riding manouvers for the past years... it then becomes moronically agressive towards the dangerous, instead of pure skills mixed with bravery on a racebike, which is what this sport has always been about.
We need a happy medium, which means neither "pussy-racers-afraid-to-piss-off-fellow-racers", nor "hot-headed-ramming-opponents-playstation-gaming-like".

While JL left the door open for MM, the line was impossible for both to make the corner, and I find pretty funny that no comment from the paddock or jornalists has mentioned that yet (that I've noticed anyway) - Dorna appreciates it, I guess.
Well, at least a good outcome for this could be that MM probably painted a target on his back with this, spicing up things for upcoming races. :-)

I beg to differ. Marquez was faster the whole race than Lorenzo. Lorenzo was able to fend him off time and time again throughout the race. Marquez kept challenging for a position he clearly knew he deserved. His pace was at, and slightly above that of Jorge's, yet Jorge kept him off for nearly the entire distance of the race. To call Marquez's racecraft moronically agressive is moronic in itself. As Crutchlow said himself on Marquez, "he' not dangerous, he rides hard."

heh... I was refering to the unclean and dangerous aproaches the kid has become famous for in past seasons, and seen during this race now too (nearly clipping JL's rear wheel and that last corner ramming).
That has been a constant throughout the whole career of Marquez, which, funny enough, has been penalized more than once(!).
Among others, watch again situations with Wilairot, Luthi, P.Espargaró, Kallio, Corsi and Aegerter.

Confusing audacity and supernatural speed (which the kid does have) with bonehead maneuvers and subsequent careless atitude -and never learning from it- is also moronic. ;-)

I understand that the press loves this kind of controversial crap but, if at some point even Alzamora (his manager) got sick and tired of it, why should the other riders, or Dorna, or even the fans, accept it?

Lorenzo did a ton of them to MM.... Casey Stoner would have had a kitten after the race if that would have been him...

Each time 93 had a near miss with 99 into a corner, my thoughts were 'brake check'. Lorenzo is known for corner speed, Marquez knows it too, so thought he could safely draft Lorenzo to the apex; Lorenzo however had clearly decided to mess with Marquez and see if he could force an error.

Marquez was not riding dangerously at all. And despite Lorenzo's antics, Marquez stayed cool, then repaid the favour in the final corner. Genius :)

I always like Wilco's comments. They are always different than others and in many times biased and inaccurate. Just look for example what he said about how much fast will Yamaha be for COTA. David Emmet wrote what he's said. We all now how that went. I you reed these reactions to the last-corner incident at Jerez, you will notice that his reactions are not diplomatic and same as the others for example Poncharal's. Wilco you're constanly talking about penalty and you're working for Yamaha, do you remeber Jerez race from 2005 and the duel between Valentino and Sete? Because of this Lin Jarvis didn't want to push things. It would be unfair. Valentino was Yamaha rider and Sete was riding Honda.

I think Cal says it best. “At the end of the day it’s racing!

It is called racing for a very good reason. It is not called - a parade, it is not called - he who is fastest down the straight wins, it is not called - safe (in any circles I can think of), it is not called - don’t piss off the other competitors – IT IS CALLED “RACING”!

Webster’s online dictionary uses the following words to define synonyms for the word race: “fight” – “battle”. (Synonym is described as: one of two or more words or expressions of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses).

The word race is also listed as an “intrasensitive verb” as - to go, move, or function at top speed or out of control.

So let us not forget why we all watch MotoGP “racing” – to see races, i.e. fights and battles.

That is what we got yesterday a race, a fight and a battle, just the way it should be. Parades have become all too common in recent years. Hopefully the events of yesterday will wake up JL to the fact that there are now fighters willing to do battle to get the desired results. If MM had settled for third place he could not be considered a racer he would have to be considered a participant in a parade. Is that what the naysayers want? I would suggest they watch something other than racing then.

MM, CC and VR are all great for our chosen sport. Be glad they exist because without the likes of these folks…YAWN!

In the original “On Any Sunday” movie Gene Romero had this to say (he was fighting for a Grand National title at the time): "I don't want to hurt anybody, but I just gotta get out there...get third or come and visit me in the hospital, man, I dig carnations."

I think that that quote pretty well sums up the thinking of a real racer. Although I would have like to have the word “third” replaced with “first” you have to remember that a third place finish was critical to him being able to win the title.

This is how real racers think, and we should all be extremely grateful for that!!!

Wilco said it best (through clenched teeth). But you simply can't dangle a carrot like that in front of Marc and not expect a head-first charge from him, physics be damned. This is shaping up into another season of Marquez-controversy, only with 120 more horsepower! That's good for the series by the way, regardless of your allegiances.

and said well by Bradley Smith "If you're going to leave the door open like that and invite someone through, at the end of the day, if you've come from 125 and Moto2, you learn that if a gap's shown to you like that, you take it. I mean we go for tiny gaps, so when it's that wide, you don't hesitate."

If the gap left by Jorge was so big why was it necessary
for Marc to ride into him?
I want MM to win this year, and I don't mind if there
is some fairing bashing, but that move was just a little tougher/rougher than another rider would expect to cop.

JL was lucky not fall off.

Not worthy of a penalty this time, (IMO) but a warning
wouldn't hurt.


MM is MM, JL left the door open. It's like the old tale about a snake and crossing a river or some such. "You knew I was a snake and you act surprised?".

Not saying MM is a snake, but you can't be bouncing off competitors. It wasn't that bad and they were equally at fault, but at the same time, perhaps a slight smackdown (docked one position?) would be a good thing in the long run, so MM doesn't end up hurting someone. That may or may not be fair, but I don't want to see anyone hurt or worse. The two losses we have suffered in the not to distant past still hurt. Imagine this field with 58 in it!

In all actuality, it was the only excitement in the race.I thought JL ws going to/supposed to run away with it?

I wonder what the interaction on track between JL and MM will be during the test? Imagine MM punts or slights JL in some way. I suspect JL will forgive the 'error' from yesterday and learn his lesson. But if something happens today during testing, the internet will MELT lol.

Would like to see a laptime analysis of Jorge Lorenzo's race. I'd be willing to bet those "brake checks" that have been talked about are more Lorenzo riding defensive lines and Marquez overriding and running up his back.
Marquez was out of shape a lot, and all due respect to his bike skills. A lot of other people would've binned it.

These are 99's times over 27 laps. Riding a defensive line means you lap slower than if you are riding the fast line. These times don't indicate defensive riding to me. Pedrosa's lap by lap times were sometimes .3 quicker than Lorenzo's but there are plenty of laps where Lorenzo was faster by .2 or more.


It confirms my suspicion that Lorenzo was riding hard, and Marquez was out of shape trying to pass. No "brake checks" involved.

How is everyone missing that the way Marquez took that last corner was more or less out of control, and would have ended up in the gravel if Lorenzo was not there? If I was Jorge, how would you like someone behind you willing to kamikaze/torpedo? I take his reaction of anger not just in context of this race and the loss of a position, but the high risk of injury that luckily this time didn't occur.

Also I don't think for a second that any brake checking was going on, again it was Marquez pushing hard trying to exploit Honda top end strength. He could have passed on the back straight if he could get onto it with as much drive as Lorenzo had, also Rossi I think. Perhaps Yamaha in general.

As to saying Lorenzo made a mistake cos he was a bit right of the final left corner, he only mistook Marquez experience because I say again the manner Marquez took that corner was not to arrive out the other side. Lorenzo was preparing for a drag to the finish line, so was taking a wide in late apex approach.

A few years ago a young, enthusiastic rider came up from the lower class and made quite a stir with his hard riding style, with riders making all kinds of accusations about him being dangerous. Simoncelli was practically hailed as the new messiah as a result.

I hope Márquez keeps it up. The alternative is another year of endless processions like we had since the end of the 990 era, where nobody risks taking a chance for fear it might backfire. Perfection is boring.

As to Lorenzo, he knows what can happen at that corner well enough:

Keeps what up? The race was pretty procedural, not many passes and one bonehead move at the end. It certainly is not a race I will remember. A lot of people have been talking this season up like it is something special, I haven't seen anything yet that sets it apart from the past seven season. Somebody feel free to enlighten me as to what has been so amazing about it. Thanks.

I think the outcome of this clash will be a more confident and bolder Marquez, and a wiser and even more accurate Lorenzo. I mean it's not very often you see Lorenzo make a mistake and in this case a slight open door was a 3rd instead of a 2nd. But Lorenzo is one of the riders that learns quickly about his flaws and mistakes, and this incident will make him a better rider. He is very mature in that sense.
The winners will be all of us racing fans, I mean Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Marquez are all serious title contenders and I'm sure Vale will give them a run for their money.
Marquez is impressive in so many ways, but for me the best is when you see his boyish innocent looks, you never expect such a fierce and relentless competitor. He is a bit of a wolf with lamb skin .

I think Lorenzo was caught between a rock and a hard place. Defending his position might have prevented Marquez from attempting the pass where he did, but would almost certainly have resulted in an overtake in the drag to the line. Lorenzo is giving away 6Kg, probably 10 bhp and a seamless shift gearbox and his only chance was to take maximum momentum onto the straight. That involves a wide sweeping line (leaving the door open) which was bound to end in contact if the person behind is a bit of a loose canon....