Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 166: Steve And Gordo On A Wet And Weird Magny-Cours WorldSBK

A soaking wet weekend of WorldSBK left Steve English and Gordon Ritchie a lot to talk about on the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast. Steve and Gordo chat about how the weather affected the races, and what effect it had on pushing the title decision to the final round of the year at Estoril. They talk about how the additional grip of a new surface made for better racing in the wet, and perhaps made it harder for Jonathan Rea to wrap up the title in France.

The fact that Rea is on his way to a sixth straight title leads on to a discussion of what it will take to beat him, and what Ducati have to do to knock Rea off his championship perch. There is a discussion of what Ducati do with their rider line up for 2021, whether to hold on to Chaz Davies or move Michael Ruben Rinaldi up to the factory team. There's a long discussion of what is next for Yamaha, what Loris Baz will do at Ten Kate, and whether Garrett Gerloff will go to the factory Pata Yamaha squad.

That naturally led on to a discussion of Gerloff's season, and his mistake at the start of the first race, and whether Race Direction should have stepped in. Then they talk about the Honda CBR10000RR-R, and the crashes the bike has had.

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Sounds like you had enough rain for a year riding through France Gordo, though you said you were in Reims, did you go and see the old GP track grandstands etc down the road near Gueux, very interesting!?

I listened to the commentary above and am compelled to defend the 1st turn incident they clearly blamed Gerloff for causing. Sykes left the gap open and Gerloff filled the gap just like we have seen on 1st turns in every series countless times. I think Sykes was the erring rider. He saw Gerloff was there and should have stood up a little. Instead he came down on him. Gerloff didnt push up into Sykes. Later on we saw Gerloff stand his bike up a few times when pursuers dove under him. We saw Rae get stood up a couple times as well. That's what they are supposed do when they get stuffed. Sykes has punted quite a few guys in his career so he should be the last to complain, but he's a whiner and blames everybody else. Regarding the rest of the grid compaining about Gerloff is simple. He has shown he's going to be taking a lot of points from most of them. They don't like that. Most of them have been on that grid for years and years and they want to stay there. They don't want to see any threats... If WorldSBK is going to regain its glory, they need new talents for fans to get excited about. Not the same old faces that have been there for years and years running about the same as always. MotoGP is pretty good at bringing in exciting new talent that show new speed too. As a result, they get the fans.

I'm quite exited to see Gerloff pushing on in WSBK, however it is probably best for balance that a very detailed and calm description by Eugene Laverty is digested. It's clear we didn't have a great angle on the cameras in what were horrid conditions, when Eugene describes the angles on that corner it's clear GG was, let's say, somewhat over ambitious amongst some very experienced riders. And if it's true he didn't offer any kind of explanation or apology to the riders then maybe that's a mark of his naivety. Still, I'm sure he'll learn and it's good to see a Yank challenging up the front. 

^ Hi you two!

Glad to see a rising aggressive Yankee Gerloff Dandy. Bummed to not see BMW's in a race they could excel in. This isn't an incident I have strong feelings about otherwise, there was enough room for a small elephant to get into so Gerloff just looks fairly ambitious to me. "Faster riders" always feel they deserve their lines, up and coming ones always take them when they get them, eh?

Here it is

Well OK, Laverty may have been detailed and calm (reminding me of Bradley Smith) but he did play "American Idiot" on social media according to our WSBK announcers, so maybe not entirely calm.

Have to point out again that in their next race, starting from pole and not hindered by crazy 31 diving under them, Laverty and Sykes scored a single point between them. So, even if you feel he was at fault, maybe Gerloff didn't actually cause much harm beyond a couple of wadded BMWs.

His bike rolled over him and he stood up and walked away seemingly unscathed when his bike could have squashed him into the rubble. Good job BMW bike! Looks like Sykes became aware of Gerloff's presence when some component of Gerloff's bike or body (knee?) came into contact with Syke's elbow causing the highside. At that time, Gerloff's bike was maybe abreast with Sykes' bike. Or further ahead on track. Hard to say from the camera angle. Racing incident? Who knows better than the guys involved...

Just responding to the comment. I'm not one that would usually come to Sykes' defense but I seriously doubt he saw Gerloff until they touched, just as Tom was turning into the apex. If he had eyes in the back of his left shoulder & amazing enough reflexes to stand it up at that moment, he would have run right into his teammate who he doubtless was aware was to his outside. To be fair I think GG was simply aping his start from race two at Catalunya where he got his first podium but didn't execute it as well. He made a dive for the T1 apex there too, this time inside Loris who did see him (as GG was all the way beside him as opposed to just barely getting there in France) and did stand it up as you say and amazingly made it off track w/o taking anyone else with him. I do think race direction was correct in not issuing any penalty but rather just a warning in this instance. 

Yes yes, fair enough. Warning good. 

Rare instance here in which the ****'s can be missed for comments. Not popularity contest, but indication of perspective agreement. Regardless of being right or wrong, used to be nice to see where the views stand amongst peers. Betting most would see it as "racing incident in which Gerloff was edging out of big ask and into error" given the conditions. But most giving him a thumbs up for being on the uptick and emergent.