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Is It "just Racing"?


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At the Superbike School at NJMP this week there still was some buzz over the end of SBK Race 2 at Donnington Park and comparisons made to the end of the opening round of MotoGP at Jerez back in 2005. In both races, the winner made an inside move that had big consequences for the race leader. At Donnington the bikes running 1 & 2 prior to the last turn were literally taken out and at Jerez, the rider who was passed was able to recover. Certainly there were further sidebar discussions going back to riders like Spencer and Roberts but it was interesting to hear that there was no consensus on this question - ergo the invitation to include the Forum in the dialogue. Also, I couldn't find any video on the Jerez incident so if any of you can post it along side the Donnington Park conclusion it might help frame the question. The heart of the matter was could the winning bike still have been able to make the last corner at the speed they entered with if there wasn't something there to help hold their line - namely the bike they bumped up against?

 

So for those of you who race or have raced (or just have a strong opinion) what do you think? Was it just racing? is it always just racing?

 

Rainman

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I didn't see this but from your description, I would say that goes beyond a racing incident into basically barging someone out of the way. From a purely sporting point of view, yes winning is important (the point, after all) but it should also be about being man enough to know that you've been beated squarely instead of trying to be underhand about it.

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At the Superbike School at NJMP this week there still was some buzz over the end of SBK Race 2 at Donnington Park and comparisons made to the end of the opening round of MotoGP at Jerez back in 2005.

 

(snip)

 

Also, I couldn't find any video on the Jerez incident so if any of you can post it along side the Donnington Park conclusion it might help frame the question.

Jerez 2005? Oh, the Rossi-Gibernau incident. A quick google found this last-lap video of the Jerez 2005 battle.

I think it was Ayrton Senna who was said to turn F1 into a full-contact sport. F1 is dangerous, but motorcycle racing even more so.

 

I don't know if it is "just racing", but I do know that this is part of why I am not looking to do races. At least not sprints. There is something wierd happening to many people when there is a prize to win - they throw all sensibility out of the door. I recall hearing about a spring training camp, when a local racer was bullying a number of other racers in a chikane by getting on the inside and standing his bike up into the other guys bike. That lasted a couple of sessions until an old fox did the same to him so hard that the bullying rider crashed.

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First I have to admit that I have not raced. That said when I saw it I thought Rea's move was a bit too agressive and was possibly over the line but I couldn't tell from the camera angle if he ran wide into Melandri or if Melandri held his line too long after Rea had the position. Interestingly enough, since they were racing at Miller this weekend, we had Scott Russell doing the broadcast and his take was that Marko's move was too agressive as in he should have been protecting Haslam's lead more and his move left the opening for Rea.

 

So my opinion is if Rea couldnt hold his line and took Melandri out it's on him, but if Melandri didn't give up his line after Rea was clearly in the hole, well that makes it a bit more cloudy. Just my opinion as a fan.

 

I would love to hear what everyone else thinks.

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When I see moves that some (including me) might call overly aggressive, I keep thinking there should be a rule for such situations. My vision for a rule would be: you can be as aggressive as you like, but if your move results in another rider going down, then you can finish no better than they. I think a similar rule should apply to car racing too: bump and trade paint with guys all you want, but if you cause them to crash then you're out of the race too, so choose carefully.

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There is one thing to consider in this discussion that has not been brought up....Melandri and Haslam were battling each other for 1st place. If either one of them had protected their line this would have been a mute point. Melandri and Haslam were fighting each other so hard for the lead they went in to the last turn with Melandri going a little wide and Haslam squaring it off for the drive to the finish line. The inside line was not protected. Johnny Rea saw the opening and took it. Unfortunately for the two battling BMW's, Johnny's #65 slid a bit at mid corner bumping Haslam. I've seen many races over the years from MotoGP, AMA, BSB, WSBK..and I've seen closer passing than that.

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I say good for Johnny Rae. Melandri was trying to pull that move on haslam (as melandri had done to like 5 other riders in the 2nd to last corner throughout the race) and just screwed it up. The line was wide open and Rae was able to get there first. Just all the better that he was able to pick up the 7-10 split doing it :D

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OK; another weekend of racing; another incident. Specifically, Moto2 race from Catalunya. FIM has rendered a decision after the Race Steward issued a penalty but curious if our racers agree with their determination. If you haven't watched the race yet consider this a spoiler alert.

 

Rainman

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I don't think Marquez saw Esparago...I think the decision was the correct one.

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I think Rea's move was a tad on the shady side, tho I totally agree with the thinking that Melandri should have been protecting his team and his teammate, taking a second and nailing a double BMW 1-2 would have been better for both his and BMW's points standings then going for glory and the double win.

 

This weekends incident I dont see any issue with and think the reversal of the penalty was the right call, I'm pretty sure Marquez wouldn't intentionally ram into a fellow rider with the force he did after pulling off such a brilliant save mere seconds prior, He was likely as suprised by the impact as Esparago was.

 

and the rule as Brad suggested sounds good until you end up with say Chris Clark trading paint with Josh Hayes to help Blake's shot at the title

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahhh... what a way to generate discussion on the internet - bring up the Espargaro V Marquez incident! But first, Donington WSBK. My first reaction was that it was really too much from Rea, he saw exactly where Haslam was, saw his line but I think this was another case of ambition outweighing talent. It's just unfortunate that the result was two riders down. Biaggi also got stood up fairly briskly in one corner, maybe Rea thought that Haslam would be able to move as well? Who knows. Rea was not deliberately trying to ride dangerously, he saw the gap inside the corner and went for it, maybe with just a little bit of last lap, last corner enthusiasm! It would be unfair to penalise him for that... I know it's unfair to Haslam and Melandri as well, but that's racing I guess? There can only be one winner.

 

But then the Espargaro & Marquez incident... I see this as completely different because Marquez had been officially warned that no suspect moves would be tolerated! In which other sport can a participant receive a yellow card, then a red card - then have the penalty completely overturned!!? I hope that Pol's team keeps pursuing their appeal, IMO Marquez should definitely cop that penalty. I just can't believe that Marquez didn't know someone was there, we hear riders all the time saying how they knew someone was behind because they could hear the bike. In any case - he had gone way off line and then decided to shoot back onto line (no doubt trying to close the door on Pol), but doing that without even looking? Surely common sense says that you expect someone to take advantage. I relate this to pulling out of pit lane without looking!

 

One thing is for sure Marquez is not making any friends so far this season... other racers tend to have a good memory for all these types of incidents. I am certain that his antics will not be tolerated in MotoGP.

 

Brad - there are rules that prevent dangerous riding. That was the basis for Marquez initial penalty.

 

Overall I do love to see close racing, but when riders are using others as a berm mid-corner and actually knocking other riders, I think that's going too far. But in fairness I don't think you can hand out penalties each time that happens. But when there is one rider routinely pulling those kind of moves, then definitely.

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