Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 206: Flag-To-Flag Fun At Le Mans

It was inevitable that the weather would have the last word at Le Mans, and when conditions produced the first flag-to-flag MotoGP race since Brno 2017, there was plenty of drama up and down the field. So it is unsurprising that the Paddock Pass Podcast crew had plenty to discuss after the weekend. Steve English, Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett gather to analyze just what went on at Le Mans.

The crew kick off with a debate on the merits of the flag-to-flag races, whether there is a better system to handle rain races, and the problems in trying to avoid flag-to-flag races. We discuss the move by Marc Marquez on Fabio Quartararo while entering pit lane, the legality and why he did it. We talk about Marc Marquez' first crash in the race, and what that indicates about where Honda is in terms of development. And we praise Jack Miller's remarkable win at Le Mans, his second win in a row.

We ask whether Alex Rins is throwing a championship away by crashing too much, we debate the outstanding race by Fabio Quartararo, in his first flag-to-flag race, and his strength compared to the other Yamahas. And we discuss who did well in the mixed conditions, and how the race was won. Then we finish up with our winners and losers.

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Thank dog somebody called out Mir for not pushing his bike back to the pits for a new bike. Morbidelli did with half a knee. What no one seemed to notice is Mavericks comments, attributing his poor performance once the race started to being "pissed off". If I was Yamaha, I'd fire him on the spot.

One dog, let’s call him Marc, throws himself down the road in practice and in the race, twice, attempting completely unnecessarily to ride several seconds faster than anyone else despite the challenging conditions, when there were plenty of laps left to get to the front without taking as many risks. But he’s a master racing tactician because he made an overtake entering pit lane. Oh, and the crashes weren’t anything to do with him pressing too hard, unnecessarily, they were the fault of the bike. He’s battered and bruised, he’s been soundly beaten twice since his return, he has a mountain to climb in terms of the championship and with all his success and experience should have known better. But he made an overtake entering the pits and he’s angry with himself, so that’s all good, move on, nothing to see here. Another dog, let’s call him Rins, shall we, has also crashed several times this year, unluckily and through overriding the bike and failed to capitalise on promising positions. He’s not made any audacious overtakes entering the pits, no one is blaming the bike (including him) but worst of all, he isn’t beating himself up in front of the press for the crashes. Why, he’s taken them on the chin like an adult and resolved to do better next time out. What kind of behaviour is this, how dare he, it’s just not good enough. Never mind what happens in private, behind closed doors, within his team, behaviour in public lacking emotion won’t be tolerated, he’s a loser. No doubt about it. End of...Note - the characters and incidents referred to are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events or persons or Paddock Pass Podcasts is entirely coincidental. And the author is a huge fan and  supporter of the podcast. 

When you put it that way - pushing unnecessarily hard etc and it all going pear shaped - haven't we been here before?

As for Bins, rule number one - thou shalt castigate thyself, the tyres, the suspension, even the spectators if necessary, but you must look utterly despondent when it does go pear shaped.

Duc brass just said they are in talks w both bonesaw VR46 AND Gresini right now. Also that they could put eight bikes on the grid. Dorna ok'd adding two bikes to next year's grid for Gresini. 

1) 8 Red bikes is underwhelming when there are several others that would be more interesting and make sense. Suzuki and Aprilia. Then even adding two more Yamahas to make 6. 

2) Odds have been that Gresini were going Aprilia, a bit surprised that at this late stage it is still in talks with multiple Manus.

3) Did Miller just ink a contract extension? 

4) Whaddya think?