May 10

2>4: MotoGP, Jerez Race Recap

Lorenzo MotoGP 2013 Jerez

Lorenzo May 5, 2013

MotoGP is a series in disarray.  Limited factory involvement from the big companies, and a handful of riders whose skills put them on another level, has made MotoGP a bit stale.   That is quite an accomplishment when you consider MotoGP is a series that has tiny European men in leather suits riding million dollar motorcycles at over 200mph.  Hit the jump to find out our take on the Lorenzo/Marquez “incident” and our hopes for the future of MotoGP.

Marquez MotoGP 2013 Jerez

© Repsol Honda Team

Let’s just get this out of the way.  Spanish sensation, and Repsol Honda rookie, Marc Marquez is fast, really fast.  The MotoGP rookie has had a contentious career, earning more than his fair share of controversy in the Moto2 support series.  Talk of cheating, favoritism both from Honda and Dorna (the Madrid based company that manages MotoGP) and being overly aggressive has shadowed Marquez for the last couple of years.

Much of the talk is just sour grapes but here’s the thing; he is legitimately fast.  Just take a look at how he rides.  He drags his elbows on the ground!  It’s not just an occasional thing. He drags elbow enough that he needs special sliders on his leathers.

Marquez and Rossi MotoGP 2013 Jerez

© Repsol Honda Team

Riders like Lorenzo, Pedrosa and the now retired Casey Stoner have dominated MotoGP for the last couple of years.  They are all amazingly fast and robot precise, ripping off exactly the lap time they need lap after lap.  As a result MotoGP has become more akin to a test session than an actual race.  Lead changes are relatively rare and usually the race is decided at around the halfway point as all the contenders are neatly spaced to cross the line in an orderly manner.

Jerez MotoGP 2013

© Repsol Honda Team

It was only a few short years ago that we would see the likes of Elias, DePuniet, Simoncelli (RIP), Biaggio and Rossi literally battling for position.  We saw some of that spark at Jerez last weekend as Marquez hounded Lorenzo and then traded paint with him on the last lap.

Marquez was obviously pushing very hard and he nearly clipped Lorenzo’s rear wheel at the beginning of the last lap.  While Pedrosa or Lorenzo might have been content to sit comfortably in third and lock up some solid championship points, Marquez obviously was not. Marquez saw that he had only two corners left, gambled, then out braked himself and bounced off Lorenzo, effectively performing a Supercross style block pass on the defending champion.

Was Marquez’s pass ill advised? Perhaps, but neither rider crashed and it’s his first offence in MotoGP so chalk it up to a racing incident and be done with it.

Truthfully, I think it put the current status quo on notice.  Marquez is there to race.  He has the speed and he isn’t afraid to take some risks.  I hope some of that aggression rubs off on Lorenzo and Pedrosa.  Let’s not forget that both of those riders came into MotoGP and showed some serious fire in their first season.

Rossi and Lorenzo MotoGP 2013 Jerez

Rossi and Lorenzo May 5, 2013

Lest we forget, Rossi has never been one to shy away from an overtaking opportunity and while he may have lost a little bit of pace he is still a podium contender. With Marquez pushing the aliens at the front and Rossi, or even Crutchlow, as spoilers we could be in for some very heated racing as the season progresses.

The official results from the MotoGP Gran Premio bwin de Espana can be found here at the fancy MotoGP official website.