Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 143: Retro Review - The 2015 MotoGP Season, Part 2

In the second part of our look back at the historic 2015 MotoGP season, Neil Morrison, Steve English, and David Emmett review the dramatic events of the second half of that year. The period from the German GP at the Sachsenring through to Phillip Island saw some of the most eventful and thrilling races MotoGP has ever seen.

We start off discussing how the momentum of the season swayed back and forth between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, with Lorenzo drawing level on points after the race in Brno, before Rossi took back the lead with an outstanding win in the wet at Silverstone.

We then dive into the bizarre and dramatic dry-wet-dry race at Misano, which saw surprise podiums for Bradley Smith and Scott Redding, and Jorge Lorenzo make a mistake which could have cost him the championship. We discuss how Lorenzo withstood the pressure to bounce back and dominate at Aragon, before heading to the flyaways.

Then we get into the events which would lead to the infamous clash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez at Sepang. We look at Motegi, and how much that took out of Valentino Rossi. We discuss Marc Marquez' outstanding victory at Phillip Island, in what would become one of the greatest MotoGP races of all time. Then we discuss the events of Sepang and Valencia, which cast a pall over the 2015 MotoGP season.

We revisit our opinions of who was to blame at Sepang, and how the race in Valencia played out. And we finish up taking a look at the legacy of the 2015 season, and what it meant for the futures of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, and for the profile of MotoGP as a whole.

if you missed the first part of our 2015 season review, you can go back and listen to it again here.

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of this monumental season. I was at 3 GPs that year, especially the finale at Valencia. I'm so glad David's sage and measured summing up of this race amongst all the hysteria of the time matches my vivid recollection of the day. I was in the red section, top row so I could see all the circuit except for the mid section of the last corner and (I think) turn 2. I said to my wife in the morning I'm tired of the conspiracy theories and the football-like level the fanboys had taken it to so was going to take advantage of my birds eye view,  binoculars and no commentary that I could understand to study the race from an excellent position. I had heated discussions with friends upon my return to the U.K. who felt Marquez could've passed Lorenzo at anytime but held off, they had watched on the excellent but narrow perspective of TV, I could see most of the track. It was clear to me that Lorenzo's metronomic pace was always stretching Marc, especially when he came back into view on the finish straight: they went out of my sight into the last turn, but when they returned into view, Jorge had pulled 5-6 bike lengths. Yes, Marc was closing right up to him into the apex of the turns but I could clearly see that as Marc was finishing his savage braking off, right on the back wheel of JL99, he was already on the throttle and, again and again, punching out another gap. Yes Dani caught Marc by surprise and he passed him back but they were both well off line and right in front of me. As you guys know I've been trackside since 1985, this doesn't make me an expert but I trust what I can see, especially with the view I had that day. 

Michael Scott coloured the introduction to Motocourse in black and white that season, a stark reminder of the way the sport was tarnished at the time. Yes it generated the excitement and interest outside the sport-I'd imagine F1 fans couldn't process all the action quickly enough!- but it also had a lot of bitterness, a lot of acrimony and a lot of PR events, celebrations and other things stopped due to it. My wife is a huge Lorenzo fan and was insistent on wearing her colours; for the first time ever I was slightly reticent, fearing that maybe Valencia's football stadium layout might create football-style boorishness, even trouble. I needn't have worried as, despite the tension, everybody just enjoyed that incredible day. 

I am a fan of the sport, the health and the future of it; I'm in awe of all riders of this level and-having watched Vale win his first premier class win- do realise how special he is and what he's brought to the show. I'm not, and never will be a 'Fanboy', seen too much and am too old for that. However, my ideal day would've been seeing Danny Kent finally claim the Moto3 title for Britain, tick, and also being there when Valentino claimed his tenth title, as unlikely as that may have seemed. The podcast was so good to revisit this outlandish year, and I have to agree looking back that this time, the master of intimidation off track met his match as the unimaginable pressure of his efforts to win ten led to the inexplicable things that unfurled. All of the three were-at various times-guilty of dirty tricks, Lorenzo in particular could've let his own pressure cooker calm down by not getting involved to the degree he did. People have said Dani was respected for distancing himself from the media heat but remember he was never in the fight due to his recurring injuries and subsequent recoveries; he also is no mug in these situations. I can only sum up by thinking what an almost surreal year this was, and the legend will only grow. Although there were many incidents that were at best unsavoury, the one that I thought was really not at all professional was Vale not turning up to the FIM championship presentations. This superb podcast surprisingly didn't mention this but as Lin Jarvis came out to collect Vale's award, I did wonder who was in charge of the riders? It seemed to get buried at the time with the amount of mud flinging but that was the one single incident that disappointed me the most. Anyway, many thanks for bringing the chaos of 2015 into sharp relief. 


On track? Some interest in the season. Not off of it.

Here's full race for Round 3 in Argentina. Of note, Crutchlow illuminates what the Honda can be like, and how good Marc is. Backing that bike in, scrubbing, over riding it on brakes - it is VERY difficult to do consistently relative to how other bikes are ridden.

The more I see, the more I love 2017/2018.

Great show and because of the show and spent plenty of time in front of the TV. Over the weekend I watched the Jorge Lorenzo Guerrero documentary and the Phillip Island and Valencia races. 

Thank you for the podcast.  Still to this day I don't know what to think about the 2015 championship.  Unfortunately this final quote from Lorenzo leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  “In another race they would have tried to overtake but not in this one, We are Spaniards and it was right that the title remain in Spain”.