The Clash

Well, what’s new in Moto GP? Hmmm…….

Pedrosa Wins SepangI, like the rest of you, watched the Malaysian Gran Prix last Sunday. Pedrosa won right??

It was truly a great performance for Dani and yet most people will never remember it. What went on with Rossi and Marquez will be etched into history and could be a game changer for how things are run from here on out. I have read so many comments on everything about what went on but let me give you a few perspectives.

For the past two seasons Marc Marquez has dominated Moto GP. He has been an absolute phenom and has proven to be a step ahead of his competition. Really, up until this year, there has been zero reason to not like Marquez. He always seems jovial, great in front of the camera and good to his fans. This year however, the competition has caught up, things aren’t going the way they have and with the increased pressure we have seen many mistakes.

I saw a different Marquez after Argentina. To this day the fact that he blames Rossi for his obvious screw up is baffling. When I saw his first interview after the race I thought he was joking. Remember, Rossi was catching him at almost 1 second per lap due to tire choices. There was zero chance Marquez was staying with Rossi after Rossi went past. Marquez played hardball and ran into the side of Vale and went down. Then his last gasp effort at Assen was just as strange. No idea what he expected Rossi to do. He again ran into the side of Rossi’s bike and again he lost. He initiated the contact both times and neither worked in his favor.

Rossi, on the other hand, has finished every race and more often than not, on the podium. Racking up points and being the story of the year, he has shown what it takes to win again. How a 36 year old, 9 Time World Champion can keep digging deep? Been fun to watch.

At the press conference in Malaysia, I was blindsided by Rossi’s comments after the Australian Gran Prix. We have all heard about the head games he has played in the past with Biaggi and Gibernau. Was this another way for him to get into Lorenzo’s head? It all didn’t make sense after what I considered to be the best Gran Prix I had witnessed. I didn’t want to believe it if I am being honest. I actually doubted The Doctor!!

Then Sunday came. I was just waking up in my hotel in Spain and put live coverage on the TV (love that). Pedrosa looked unstoppable for the first time in years but nobody was watching that. What was going to happen behind him?

Marquez Vs Rossi

Let me ask you a couple questions:

  1. When have you seen Marquez put up zero fight for 1st or 2nd?
  2. When have you seen Marquez lose .4-.8 seconds a lap at the start of any Gran Prix in the past 3 years?
  3. Marquez claims he was waiting for tires to come in, 7 laps into the race? They worked ok for Pedrosa?
  4. Marquez claimed set up issues and more than that, claimed turn four was a huge problem for him. Why then would you keep stuffing it up the inside of Rossi in that corner having to over slow the bike and allowing the two ahead to keep getting away?
  5. Did anyone else notice that when Rossi rode back up the inside of Marquez before the contact he was sitting up?? That’s how much Marquez was slowing up mid corner, go back and check it for your self.

 

I did have one problem with Rossi

Marquez Rossi ClashThe only problem I had with what Rossi did was that he didn’t do it sooner!!!!!! I was screaming at the TV to park Marquez. Racing Rossi to me was no problem but what Marquez was doing was disrupting a Championship that he no longer had any involvement in. In my opinion he got what he deserved. Rossi wasn’t trying to take Marc out and for those that think Rossi kicked him, STOP IT!!!!! Marquez could have kept going straight like Rossi did, he didn’t, he fell over. Then went whimpering back to his pits crying about something that HE started, again!!! Then before the race ended started claiming his innocence; he was just racing and enjoying the battle, I don’t think so. He was as innocent as a guy who walks into the bank and gets handed someone else’s $100,000 on accident, then leaves with it. He didn’t do anything wrong, he just didn’t come out and tell the truth. Does anyone honestly think for a minute that when the Marquez crew was having dinner at some point this year, little Marc hasn’t told them he wants to get back at Rossi? I’d bet my life on it.

A totally unwritten rule of racing is to never get involved with the guys running for the Championship. I know this opens up a can of worms but it’s a fact, especially in the last two races.  I’ve gone up to guys on the grid and said I will not get anywhere near you two. I’ve also had riders come up to me and say the same. Whether I have liked them or not, I was out of the Championship and I wasn’t going to take my grudges out and alter the outcome of the season. Do any of you think that Marquez, during those laps with Rossi on Sunday wasn’t smiling a bit under his helmet? Funny thing is, he crashed enough on his own this year to take himself out of the Championship.

And then there’s Lorenzo

Jorge LorenzoI’m over Lorenzo. What a whining tart he has turned into, constantly moaning. The best video clip of the year is him pulling into the top 3 parc ferme after qualifying in Malaysia only to see that Rossi pipped him for 3rd. He had already shut his bike off and had to push it down to his garage where he pouted away to the back and then complained about brake issues. If Marquez did to Lorenzo what was being done to Rossi can you imagine the press conference after? He would have bitched about Marquez to no end, especially if Rossi was checking out because of it. Lorenzo’s comments after the race in Sepang were despicable. Running off the podium then crying, if Rossi wins the Championship it won’t be a real Championship? Really? He is constantly reminding us that he is a World Champion, stop your crying and act like one.

I personally think Rossi would have finished 4th on Sunday, all things considered. I have said for the past two columns that he doesn’t quite have the pace of the other two. I have been a fan of all three of these guys but as you can probably tell, there is only one that I am rooting for these days. I give Rossi about a 20% chance of winning the Championship now but I would love to see him do it. Coming from the last row will be very, very, difficult but taking the crown on home soil of Lorenzo and Marquez would be priceless.

This was a hard column for me to write and it dominated my brain for days while in Spain. I just feel like the wrong thing was done on Sunday and it started not because of Rossi or what he said in a stupid press conference, those are just words. It started because someone got his ego checked this year and doesn’t want to look at why. As brilliant as Marquez’s riding is, its time to grow up. Rossi will always be endeared and when he goes, Moto GP is in big trouble. Especially if Marquez and Lorenzo are what we all have to deal with.

 

Cheers and ride safe,

JP

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