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[Spoiler] Moto3/2/gp From Catalunya

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Today had a very mixed bag of results for the brits: Win in Moto3, 4th place in Moto2, and 5th/DNF in MotoGP.

Danny Kent showed why he's the guy to beat in Moto3, by first testing if he could get away from the pack (he could only gain about 0.4sec on a lap, which wasn't enough to avoid the others slipstreaming him down the main straight), then checking that if he was indeed 1st coming out of the final corner, then he wouldn't get passed before the finish line, and then sitting back and waiting for the pen-ultimate lap to pounce from the rear of the lead group (6th place) to slipstream to 1st by Turn 1 on the final lap, and then keep the others from passing him before the chequered flag. Brilliantly done!

 

Sam Lowes had been struggling a bit during the weekend (he seems to been doing that for the last couple of races), but was in the lead trio of riders that got away in the front. Lowes lead the race for a couple of laps in the beginning, before falling back to 3rd place. There, Alex Rins chased him down and passed him. It seemed that Lowes was struggling to keep the pace of Rabat, Rins, and Zarco. Zarco made an audacious move on the final lap to pass Rabat, and Rabat blew it a couple of corners later to allow Rins to pass him.

 

For Cal Crutchlow, the race was quickly over when he got a slight bump on lap 3 by Aleix Espargaro. Out and down he went.

 

But the biggest news of the weekend was probably that the two Suzuki's qualified as one-two. Last time Suzuki qualified 1-2 was in 1983, with Schwantz and Barros. Unfortunately for Suzuki, they got out-dragged by "everyone" from the front line to Turn 1, so they had their work cut out for them.

Lorenzo quickly moved to the lead, and only Marquez could follow him. Unfortunately, Marquez completely blew a corner (Turn 10?) on lap 3, and narrowly avoided taking Lorenzo out from behind, before going off track and dropping the bike in the gravel trap. This was a race with a lot of falls - 8 riders would not finish the race.

By the time Marquez fell, the race was almost over. Rossi had moved past Dovizioso, but was 1.5s behind Lorenzo and while the gap moved up to just over 2 seconds, Rossi slowly reeled in Lorenzo at the end of the race, but he was only able to cut the lead to 0.88s at the finish line. This was the first time Lorenzo have won 4 consecutive races. Oh, and Rossi only leads the championship by a signle point now.

 

Questions to everyone:

- What's up with Marquez? He's had 3 DNFs in 7 races, and he's 69 points down on Rossi. That's a mighty big deficit.

- Why couldn't Lorenzo ride that way the first 3 races? What changed from Argentina?

- How can Rossi get back at Lorenzo? It seems that he's not qualifying well (OK, he's never been a suberb pole-setter) and his race-launch is not as good as the others, so he's creating work for himself here. I guess that previously he relied on his race-craft to pass the others, but he is now facing a couple of riders (JL and MM) who are able to ride quite as fast as him, and for the full distance. How can or should he compensate?

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Questions to everyone:

- What's up with Marquez? He's had 3 DNFs in 7 races, and he's 69 points down on Rossi. That's a mighty big deficit.

- Why couldn't Lorenzo ride that way the first 3 races? What changed from Argentina?

- How can Rossi get back at Lorenzo? It seems that he's not qualifying well (OK, he's never been a suburb pole-setter) and his race-launch is not as good as the others, so he's creating work for himself here. I guess that previously he relied on his race-craft to pass the others, but he is now facing a couple of riders (JL and MM) who are able to ride quite as fast as him, and for the full distance. How can or should he compensate?

  1. It was remarkable how Marquez stormed into the MotoGP level and dominated immediately in 2013 but was "other worldly" last year especially. I don't think the other top riders were less skilled than they were pre-MM, my bet was they were a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of his success. Eventually their competitive natures took over coupled with Yamaha's improvements against Honda so Marquez now has to take greater chances to keep pace with Lorenzo. It doesn't appear that the Honda is as compliant as the Yamaha at least so far so MM has to push beyond the limits of his bike right now.
  2. No clue.
  3. If Lorenzo can continue to take the lead before the end of the first lap, he will have a MM 2104 Season. The space Rossi gives up to JL in the first half of the race requires Lorenzo to start making mistakes but since Argentina, he forgot how to screw up. Rossi has been effectively blocked in the first part of most races by the speed of the two Ducati's and Iannone and Dovizioso are skilled enough to hold him up. At Mugello he had to concede the second spot because he couldn't reel in Iannone. Since Rossi historically hasn't been a strong qualifier it might be the only place he can do something different to close the gap. If he were still with Ducati maybe a new development could add his efforts but with Lorenzo a teammate, it isn't likely he will get an upgrade that Lorenzo won't.

That's my HO but KHP thanks for reviving the MotoGP thread - I am also ready to just give up watching SBK all together.

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That's my HO but KHP thanks for reviving the MotoGP thread - I am also ready to just give up watching SBK all together.

 

 

My initial reaction of giving up WSBK was of shock but then I thought, I am a Kawisaki fan and if someone isn't, this season probably is not as fun for them. Anyway, the SSP and ST6 races have been very fun to watch.

 

1. It looks like Marquez is back to the beginning of his first season, making quick decisions with bad results. If he gets back to being a bit more patient, he should be good to go. It may be too late for this season.

 

2. Usually setup. Similar to WSBK, Sykes didn't look strong in the beginning but once things got sorted out, he has been a bit stronger of late. They have talked a bit more about setup with the Honda's, with the new engine and mention that is why Marquez is having a harder time.

 

3. Most of the stuff I have read refers to his qualifying. If he can pick it up there, that will help a lot. As mentioned, there are a few stronger riders this year that will hold him up longer so racecraft alone may not cut it.

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Lack of torque. Suzuki said themselves that they feared to be "out-dragged" by the other bikes. The Suzukis needed a good slipstream down the straight to set the qual times (and the softer tyres).

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