I drew you all in with that opening huh?
I have to marvel sometimes at the keyboard junkies that pollute the internet. Just 6 short races ago, current and 2 time Moto GP Marc Marquez was all the talk, some even had already given him the 2015 Moto GP World Championship. Now, because of a few circumstances I read how he is done for the year and 2015 has turned into a test season for 2016. He is 50+ points behind and his early season struggles seem to just keep getting worse. But lets look at the real reasons.
I have said since watching Marquez on 125’s that he is the most fearless and naturally gifted riders in a long time. He has the ability to walk a tight rope over and over again and get away with it. Until this year, his finish percentage in Moto GP is amazing. Most of his accidents come in free practice sessions that most people don’t see. The way he rides on the edge has helped him win so many races because he can take big risks early in a race when the tires are good. From mid race on he is used to maintaining his advantage and running consistent laps. This year is different because Yamaha and Ducati have closed the gap to where the Honda doesn’t have as big of an advantage as it has in the past. His biggest disadvantage is he can’t run off and disappear like he has been able to do the past 2 years. Yamaha has improved its corner entry so much that when you watch Jorge or Vale get into corners behind the Honda it looks easier. When you watch from the camera mounted on the back of the bike looking back at Marquez he looks desperate on entry, his advantage is gone. The Ducati has also improved its front end feel and it gets off corners well also. Plus, its very very fast. The Honda used to be the fastest thing in a straight line, not anymore.
Lets keep in mind also, Marquez is 22yrs old, an absolute phenom. This is really his first hurdle since getting into Moto GP. He has a real fight on his hands and it won’t be easy. He is still maturing as a rider and will learn that you can only get away with things so much. I think his accident at Mugello will humble him a bit and make him better than he already is. He essentially threw away a possible 20 points, lesson learned. He is not done and will be back to win his share of races as the year goes on.
The next 2 Gran Prix will be interesting to watch play out. Can Honda regain the form and give Marc the feel he needs to push? We are only 1/3rd of the way thru the season with a ton of points up for grabs, it is still very possible he could go on and win his 3rd Championship and you know his rivals know that. To do so though, he needs to start making sure that every race will get him solid points. He needs to start planning to be in a position to win the Championship with 5 rounds remaining. No more mistakes.
The biggest piece to this puzzle for me is the fact that the Yamaha’s are ripping. This could come back at them though. Lorenzo is on form and riding with so much confidence, love how he rides. But, Rossi knows that he has to bring the fight to his teammate and we know there won’t be a quarter given based on past history between the two. They have a big gap over 3rd place in the Championship at the moment but that could change if the Yamaha boys start getting into some dust ups.
Lastly, looking at the Ducati’s, I am going to make a prediction. I feel that if a Ducati wins it won’t be Dovi who does it. Andrea Iannone has shown he has so much heart and he has the same fighting spirit as Marquez, Rossi and Lorenzo. If he is close at the end of a race he will stick his nose in the mess and won’t be scared to do so. His battle with Marquez at Le Mans had me screaming at the screen. All this while injured no less. His confidence is increasing every round and when he is 100% healthy I think he will cause a problem for the front guys.
Hope you all enjoy the next few rounds.
Ride Safe, Jason Pridmore