2013 Phillip Island MotoGP Sunday Round Up: The Omnishambles - Adding Excitement And Confusion To MotoGP

There is only one word which everyone would agree accurately describes the 2013 Tissot Australian Grand Prix, and that word is 'eventful'. There are an awful lot of other words being used to describe it, some fit for publication, some less so, but nobody would argue with the fact that the entire weekend at Phillip Island was packed with action, controversy, surprises, and even the odd spot of excitement. The tire issues suffered by both Dunlop and Bridgestone caused the Moto2 and MotoGP races to be shortened, and the MotoGP riders forced to make a compulsory pit stop. The pit stops certainly added an element of suspense, and even surprise, but they split opinion among fans, riders and paddock followers straight down the middle: half viewed the whole thing as a farce, the other half thought it made for a thrilling spectacle. The arguments between the two sides are likely to go on for a long time.

If splitting the race in two added plenty of suspense, it also added a great deal of confusion. That confusion was not aided by the fact that Bridgestone changed their advice to Race Direction after cutting open the tires used during the warm up on Sunday morning and finding further evidence of blistering. With ambient temperatures some 10°C warmer than Bridgestone had been expecting when they selected the tires for Phillip Island, the rear tire was simply not coping with the stress of the newly resurfaced circuit. The new surface was generating more grip, which was producing more heat, and having hotter ambient temperatures pushed the tires well over the edge. The race was shortened again, from 26 laps to 19, with riders only allowed to do 10 laps on each tire.

And here's where a momentous mistake was made. More than one, in fact. It being so late in the day - the decision was only made during the Moto3 race, a couple of hours before the MotoGP race was due to start - there was little time to communicate the decision properly, and so an official communique was drawn up and issued to the teams. Instructions were put on paper, and then handed out by IRTA officials to everyone in MotoGP. This was the first mistake of the day, and triggered a chain of events that would end up shaking up the championship. If a rider meeting had been called, where all of the riders and their key team members had been briefed, the exact rules and their consequences could have been laid out. This, of course, is difficult, as getting all of the riders to be in one place is like herding cats, and Dorna is not in the habit of issuing the riders with stiff fines if they don't turn up on time for official events as is usual in other motorsports series. As it was, a piece of paper was handed out - one among many in a garage at any time, with time schedules, tire selection sheets, gearing charts, timing charts, official notices and a million other sheets of A4 floating around - on which was written the rules, and the penalty for disobeying the rules.

The next mistake was made on one side of the Repsol Honda garage. A small group of people - four men, according to Marc Marquez, including Emilio Alzamora and Santi Hernandez - gathered around to ponder the implications of the rules issued. They immediately seized on the following line in the newly arranged rules:

3. No rider is permitted to make more than 10 laps on any one slick or wet rear tyre. This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 9 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race.

That, according to their calculations, meant that they could do 10 full laps, and then pit on lap 11, as the Repsol Honda pit was situated before the finish line, and Marquez would therefore have only done 10 complete laps, coming in on the 11th lap, but swapping bikes before the 11th lap commenced.

They were wrong. In their haste to exploit the rules to the utmost without actually breaking them, they had overlooked the line before that, which contained an explicit definition of what was expected. It reads:

2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race. In normal circumstances this means that the rider must change machine only at the end of lap 9 or lap 10. (My emphasis).

That is perfectly clear. There is no misconstruing its intent. 'At the end of lap 10' is, quite simply, before you cross the line to complete lap 10. If you do not enter the pits, then you start on your 11th lap, your 10th lap having been completed.

Marquez did not enter the pits at the end of lap 10, despite Jorge Lorenzo doing so, the Yamaha man leading Marquez and directly ahead of him at the time. Instead, he pushed on for another lap, as instructed by his team, and pitted at the end of the next lap.

It would prove to be a very costly choice by his team. The rules set out by Race Direction - however convoluted and painful, a situation not really of their making - had been broken, and after a brief conference, the decision was made to exclude Marquez. He was shown the black flag, and forced to pull in and retire.

The reaction of his team and of HRC was telling. In a video on the MotoGP.com website - thankfully free - the entire situation is shown, including the reaction of HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, who expressed his disapproval of Race Direction's decision in rather strong language. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo took his complaint directly to Race Direction, issuing a fiery rebuttal and making their case. It was to no avail. Honda had tried to game the wording of the rules, but Race Direction would have no truck with their attempt. Before he was made Race Director, Mike Webb spent many years as the MotoGP Technical Director, and was all too aware of how the teams would attempt to twist the wording of the rules to their advantage. That was the reason why Race Direction's interpretation of the rules had been set out so explicitly.

It was also a totally unnecessary gamble. Marc Marquez went into the race at Phillip Island with a lead of 43 points. Wrapping up the title in Australia would have been very difficult, especially given just how competitive Jorge Lorenzo was at the track. Even if Marquez had been able to beat Lorenzo - very far from certain, given Lorenzo's blistering speed - he would have needed help from his teammate Dani Pedrosa. Getting one Honda ahead of an unchained Lorenzo was difficult, getting two of them in front was likely to be nigh on impossible.

And wrapping up the title at Phillip Island would have been nice, but for the real fairy tale, he should have clinched the title next weekend in Japan, at Motegi, the track owned by Honda, and in front of all of Honda's senior management. The nature of the track at Motegi massively favors the Honda, the Yamahas struggling with fuel consumption, and with the many heavy braking zones at the circuit. If Marquez and his crew had played it conservatively, and stayed within the strict letter of the law, taking the title at Motegi would have been a racing certainty. Instead, they gambled and lost.

That gamble has made Honda look bad, coming on top of other mistakes in recent years. On Saturday, an engine mounting bolt almost fell out of Dani Pedrosa's RC213V during practice. Last year at Misano, Dani Pedrosa's team committed a catalog of errors on the grid at Misano, which ended up costing Pedrosa his shot at the title. HRC spend somewhere between 50 and 70 million euros a year to race in MotoGP, at least 20% more than Yamaha, and probably twice what Ducati spend. They have two of the three best riders in the world, and clearly the best racing motorcycle. Yet they are being let down by schoolboy errors and unnecessary risk-taking.

It could have been much worse. Marquez' tire had already given him a couple of warnings, nearly highsiding him off at Lukey Heights, and sliding horribly on his final lap before pitting. Once he got off, the left-hand side of the tire was shredded, great chunks of rubber missing from the carcass. Bridgestone had not been kidding when they said they couldn't guarantee their tires lasting beyond 10 laps. Marquez' tire looked positively dangerous.

Speaking of risk, the other mistake, if you can call it that, was extending pit exit further along the straight. This was done to slow traffic along the terribly narrow pit exit, only allowing them to accelerate once they had cleared the narrow path and were on the outside of the area leading on towards the first corner, the incredibly fast Doohan Corner. The extended line caught Dani Pedrosa out - more on that a little later - but it also caused a horrendously dangerous situation when Marquez left the pits and rejoined. He looked back as he exited pit lane, but could not see anyone coming. Once he passed the white line, he gave it full throttle, accelerating as hard as possible before passing the line and entering the track.

This is where it got dangerous. Marquez hit the corner just as Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa arrived at the turn. He may not have seen them when he looked back, but as they were traveling at over 330 km/h, they were approaching fast. Jorge Lorenzo ran a little wider into Turn 1 than he had done on previous laps, and found Marquez in his way. The two collided, but both were lucky to come away unhurt, apart from a heavy knock to Marquez' arm.

Should Marquez be penalized for this? Both Lorenzo and Marquez admitted some blame for the incident. It is hard to award points, as once Marquez passes the white line demarcating the pit lane exit, he is on a hot track and racing. At that point, he is in the lead, and it becomes the responsibility of the rider behind - in this case Lorenzo - to only attempt to pass safely. The fact that Marquez is not traveling at the same speed which Lorenzo is moving at becomes irrelevant; this is not the same as if Marquez had been a lap behind. In that case, he would have been shown the blue flag and been forced to move over. In this case, he was back in the race, and in the lead.

The real problem here is that the exit of pit lane feeds onto the fastest part of the circuit, normally less of a problem, but because of the extended exit, it put a rider onto the track going slower than he otherwise would have been. But it was a no-win situation for Race Direction: if they had left the pit lane exit as it was, it would have caused chaos as riders started battling on the exit road, in too little space. Both situations were dangerous, and everyone was lucky to come away uninjured.

Then there was Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider had exited pit lane and crossed the extended white line too early when he exited the pits. He was issued a penalty by Race Direction, and ordered to drop a place. Pedrosa was shown the penalty board the lap after Marquez rejoined, Pedrosa passing Marquez in the collision with Lorenzo. Riders are given five laps to drop the position, and within three laps, Pedrosa had been passed by Marquez. The wording of section 1.21.3 containing the rules on dropping a position is not explicit about whether the position was ceded voluntarily or not, and Pedrosa's loss of a position looked anything but voluntary. The letter of the law was satisfied, however, and Pedrosa had paid his penalty.

There were some questions over whether ceding the position to Marquez was enough, and whether he should have dropped behind Rossi back in 4th. The argument goes that Marquez had already infringed the safety rules by putting in an extra lap, and so was due to be excluded. But when Pedrosa dropped behind Marquez, Marquez was still in the race and had not yet been shown the black flag. Race Direction's decision on Marquez only came after Pedrosa dropped behind him, and so the conditions of Pedrosa's penalty were fulfilled.

Of course, none of this would have happened if Bridgestone had brought tires which could actually last the race. Which could have happened if they had come to the track to test, something which almost every rider was at pains to point out. Valentino Rossi had harsh words for the Japanese tire company, pointing not only to a lack of testing, but also to the trouble with the tires this season. So far throughout the year, all of the riders have only really been able to use the softer of the two rear tires which Bridgestone has brought to all of the races so far. The riders are supposed to have a choice of two tires, but so far, only the soft has worked, Rossi describing the harder of the two options as 'unusable'. Bridgestone has to work harder, Rossi said, and in the future, a fast rider needs to be sent to test a newly resurfaced track.

Despite the farcical nature of the shortened race with compulsory pit stops, there was plenty to enjoy and admire as well. Though I am no fan of pit stops - as Dani Pedrosa said in the press conference, motorcycle races are one stint, flat out - the grace and agility of the riders was a sight to behold. Jorge Lorenzo had practiced a bike swap in morning warm up, but it had not gone well. So after warm up, he had sat in pit lane with his crew, being pushed in front of his pit box, then leaping off that bike and onto the other several times. It paid off, the bike swap in the race being done in no time at all.

Differences in style were also interesting to note. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa favored the vault, jumping off the number one bike and landing on both feet, before leaping onto the second bike. Marquez went with the spin, swinging his left leg over the bike and then pivoting on his right foot, turning 360° until he was facing the right way to leap onto his second bike. It was elegant, efficient and imaginative. Cal Crutchlow lost out in the bike swap, entering pit lane ahead of Valentino Rossi, but exiting behind. But Nicky Hayden emerged as king of the pit stops, swapping bikes over a second faster than any other rider, according to one estimate. He picked up three positions in the process, passing the two Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

If Honda come out of the Phillip Island race weekend with egg on their faces, Jorge Lorenzo and his team have demonstrated once again why they have two world championships under their belt. Lorenzo didn't put a foot wrong all weekend, his only minor misdemeanor being collecting a seagull during qualifying, and even then, he managed to catch it cleanly behind the neck, killing it instantly. His team crafted the perfect strategy, and got the bike swap down pat. They did everything right, and came away with the 25 points they hoped for going into Phillip Island, as well as the bonus of narrowing the gap from 43 to 18 points in the championship. Lorenzo's goal has always been to take the title chase to Valencia, and he took a step closer to doing that at Phillip Island.

Also worthy of praise was Bradley Smith. Smith has faced a lot of criticism throughout the season for his results, mostly as a consequence of being compared with Marc Marquez. But Smith has made solid progress every race, and at Phillip Island things started to come together. The gap to the front is still large, but Smith is slowly moving up the field. He had his best weekend since the Sachsenring, and is having less and less trouble with the Ducatis. His next target is the other satellite riders, but he still has to find half a second a lap or so before he catches them.

Words of praise are also due for Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro wrapped up the CRT 'Championship', though no such title formally exists. Espargaro has been the class of the CRT field this year, and has worried the Ducatis all season. Race in, race out he has been far further up the front than anyone expected, and pushing the riders on the prototypes. He got everything possible out of the ART, and even a little bit more. He didn't get the recognition he deserves this year, including from this website, mainly due to a lack of time to fully acknowledge his achievements. I made a note almost every race that Espargaro's performance should really be mentioned, but time always caught up with me. He clearly deserves to be on a more competitive bike, and his hope will be that the FTR Yamaha he will race next season will be a stronger package. There could well be a fair amount of fireworks between the two Espargaro brothers next season.

Was the race a success or a farce? A little bit of both. The best description I saw of the Phillip Island MotoGP race was the fine English word 'omnishambles', describing a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged. Fortunately, it all worked out well in the end, with everyone finishing safely in what could have been a monumental disaster.

The hastily improvised solution actually ended up providing a lot of excitement, though it was perhaps a little too manufactured to my taste. I noted a couple of weeks ago that motorcycle racing, like all professional sports, is an entertainment product. But the purity of the sporting contest needs to be guarded closely, to ensure the credibility of the sport, and add to its value as an entertainment product. If the fans feel they are watching an artificial spectacle, they will stop watching. By all means make the current racing more exciting - dropping the fuel limits would be a massive improvement, and imposing spec electronics would be another - but do not create spectacle where there is no need for any.

Pit stops - along with ship-to-shore radios - are manufactured spectacle, and pose a real threat to the riders, as the collision between Lorenzo and Marquez showed. Motorcycle racers are vulnerable and exposed, unlike cars, and the dangers they face should be kept to a minimum.

Most of all, though, after a thoroughly confusing weekend, I am left with a feeling of disappointment. MotoGP is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, its premier class. If this is the best MotoGP can do, what kind of a sorry state is the sport in?

There is only one word which everyone would agree accurately describes the 2013 Tissot Australian Grand Prix, and that word is 'eventful'. There are an awful lot of other words being used to describe it, some fit for publication, some less so, but nobody would argue with the fact that the entire weekend at Phillip Island was packed with action, controversy, surprises, and even the odd spot of excitement. The tire issues suffered by both Dunlop and Bridgestone caused the Moto2 and MotoGP races to be shortened, and the MotoGP riders forced to make a compulsory pit stop. The pit stops certainly added an element of suspense, and even surprise, but they split opinion among fans, riders and paddock followers straight down the middle: half viewed the whole thing as a farce, the other half thought it made for a thrilling spectacle. The arguments between the two sides are likely to go on for a long time.If splitting the race in two added plenty of suspense, it also added a great deal of confusion. That confusion was not aided by the fact that Bridgestone changed their advice to Race Direction after cutting open the tires used during the warm up on Sunday morning and finding further evidence of blistering. With ambient temperatures some 10°C warmer than Bridgestone had been expecting when they selected the tires for Phillip Island, the rear tire was simply not coping with the stress of the newly resurfaced circuit. The new surface was generating more grip, which was producing more heat, and having hotter ambient temperatures pushed the tires well over the edge. The race was shortened again, from 26 laps to 19, with riders only allowed to do 10 laps on each tire.And here's where a momentous mistake was made. More than one, in fact. It being so late in the day - the decision was only made during the Moto3 race, a couple of hours before the MotoGP race was due to start - there was little time to communicate the decision properly, and so an official communique was drawn up and issued to the teams. Instructions were put on paper, and then handed out by IRTA officials to everyone in MotoGP. This was the first mistake of the day, and triggered a chain of events that would end up shaking up the championship. If a rider meeting had been called, where all of the riders and their key team members had been briefed, the exact rules and their consequences could have been laid out. This, of course, is difficult, as getting all of the riders to be in one place is like herding cats, and Dorna is not in the habit of issuing the riders with stiff fines if they don't turn up on time for official events as is usual in other motorsports series. As it was, a piece of paper was handed out - one among many in a garage at any time, with time schedules, tire selection sheets, gearing charts, timing charts, official notices and a million other sheets of A4 floating around - on which was written the rules, and the penalty for disobeying the rules.

Comments

Omnishambles

Yes, "omnishambles" is about right. A club race meeting would be embarrassed by what happened in Australia today.

Total votes: 79

Though you would hope

that if the sport weren't beholden to TV scheduling, and Dorna were allowed to sort it out in a little more orderly fashion, it might have turned out better.
But didn't it start to rain right at the end of the shortened MotoGP race? That could have thrown another monkey wrench in the plans if they had run on a different schedule. If their dry tires were so bad, I doubt that Bridgestone brought rain tires that suited wet conditions at the repaved PI circuit either.
Also, I think Marquez did see Lorenzo coming and mistakenly thought in his own head that he gave him enough room through Doohan Corner. Otherwise the consequences might have been even more severe than a hard bump and a ripped off lever protector.
I'd love to see the Hayden bike swap that gave him an advantage. I thought the ones I saw on MotoGP.com (Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Marquez) were spectacular!

Total votes: 77

please don't blame the circuit

from everything I've heard and read over the weekend is fairly consistent about it being Bridgestones and Dunlops fault what scares this Aussie fan is that since we don't have a current competitive rider in the main class and admittedly we are a long way from everyone that they will cancel Australias race, which would not be fair for anyone. It is a unique circuit and that is what makes PI such a challenging circuit, the changeable weather, the fast flowing layout, always it is exciting. I was really P'eed off about the Moto 2 race only half distance from a usually very competitive race to when things just start to get exciting the race finished. I hope Dorna really punish the tyre manufacturers and get them to get their act together so us fans that sustain the series get to see three good highly competitive fast and exciting races

Total votes: 80

one lesson learned from this race

is that they should really do something about the pit exit because it's too narrow for current safety standards.
Otherwise this track is a perfect old-style smooth flowing and fast circuit that should stay on the calendar until something better turns up - and that won't happen in the next 20-odd decennia ;)

Total votes: 71

Dorna punish the tyre mfgs?

I thought that Dorna needed to approve any testing with the teams and riders, because of the restrictions they place on testing.

Without access to the teams and riders, any testing is of questionable value - Rossi suggested it was pointless.

Dorna should have scheduled an official tyre test of the new surface.

Total votes: 71

Cudos David

For your comments surrounding Aleix Espargaro. Is Forward racing a done deal? Or could he stay with Aspar now the customer Honda deal is done?

Total votes: 60

A singular mistake casting doubt on the whole series?

"I am left with a feeling of disappointment. MotoGP is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, its premier class. If this is the best MotoGP can do, what kind of a sorry state is the sport in?"

My perception is this statement is not merely linked to the series of incidents that occurred this weekend, but to a deeper dissatisfaction with how the series is being handled? Is that correct? If not, then read no further and delete this comment.

It seems to me, the real question is, what can we, as fans of the sport, do to help fix what we see as being broken or mismanaged? You possess an admirable ability with words, an understanding of the rules and pressures which the organizers deal with, and a following. Why not draft a letter from the fans, to the organizers, with ideas how to improve the series? If the ideas are sound, they will get support, and through Twitter, Facebook, this site and various other methods, you could get the endorsement of a huge number of fans to at least let the people in charge know that the fan base is unhappy with, and it could give them ideas on how to improve the series.

It's unlikely to work, but not impossible, is the effort involved worth the potential reward? I would surely be glad to give whatever support I can to a sport I enjoy so much, and I believe you could communicate the message perfectly.

Total votes: 76

At best he'd be given a hard

At best he'd be given a hard time every weekend by Dorna if they just didn't pull his media credentials outright.

Total votes: 72

At best he'd be given a hard

At best he'd be given a hard time every weekend by Dorna if they just didn't pull his media credentials outright.

Total votes: 55

He's a clever man with

He's a clever man with friends in the press. I'm sure he could write under a pseudonym and have someone else pass it on, or use some other method if he feared such repercussions.

Total votes: 67

Marquez' tyre

http://i.imgur.com/bsZhEhU.jpg

Staying out on that seems black-flag worthy

Total votes: 77

Sending riders out on that

Sending riders out on that tire is the only thing that was black-flag worthy.

Total votes: 72

I suspect...

Marc has a better idea of how the bike was to ride than you do.

Total votes: 68

damaged tyres

I've seen Rossi, Redding and others that have finished a full / complete race on a tyre like that...
Black flag ? Ridiculous nonsense.

Total votes: 71

Penalty

David, was it clear, that failure to come in, at lap 10, would result in a DQ? The penalty doesnt fit the crime! At least from mt standpoint. A ride through or time penalty would seem more apporpiate. Can you clarify this.

Total votes: 82

I, too, would like to see any

I, too, would like to see any written notification or reference to a black flag. I strongly suspect that Race Direction didn't specify a penalty, because they didn't expect to have to deal with the possibility of someone pitting early or late. Faced with that decision, they made the worst possible call they could make.

In my opinion:

"In normal circumstances this means that the rider must change machine only at the end of lap 9 or lap 10 ..."

... is as clear as mud. What the hell does 'In normal circumstances' mean?

If anyone has a copy of that written statement, or can post it in its entirety, I would love to see it. If these two excerpts are truly indicative of the best wording Mr. Webb can come up with after years of experience, he should be fired immediately and replaced with damned near any first-year law student.

I also think that any front-line crew would have tried to figure out a way to keep their rider out of the rugby scrum that the pits promised to be, which seemed to be Honda's plan. I hardly think that is "gaming the system."

p.s. It appears that both notices from Race Direction have been posted in their entirety on this site. Neither of them mentions anything about a penalty for missing the lap target. Was there another document circulated?

Total votes: 88

yup

how hard would it have been to write

"You must make your pit stop after commencing lap 9 and prior to commencing lap 11".

Less words, less bullshit, easier to understand and a lot less likely to mis-translate.

Plug the word "complete" into google translate and see what it comes up with when translated to Japanese or Spanish, and you'll be able to see exactly what happened.

Total votes: 63

Good point

Race direction had 1 full lap to decide or to impose whatever rule they wanted. Plus, that's a safety rule and not a racing rule by FIM.

Anyway, Lap 11 is not the same as 11 laps.

Total votes: 62

Let's say the penalty does fit the crime

And that all riders have been made clear about the consequences of not pitting within 10 laps. Why wasn't MM stopped when he came in at the end of the 11th lap then? Why did they have to discuss before black flagging him? Surely it was clear that he disobeyed the rules the moment JL came in and he did not. That is if the rules and consequences have been made clear enough.
Not trying to defend him or his team but because of RD's delay in their decision, the punishment does not seem convincing to me.
Hopefully David can get more insights if possible.

Total votes: 60

Cudlin and Staring

were blackflagged for the same reason as Marquez. I haven't seen any explanation from their teams or elsewhere as to why they messed up. Did they interpret the rules the same way Honda did, or was it some other mistake?

Total votes: 79

Aussie contenders

One of my mates speculated that it was the only chance either of them might get to lead a MotoGP race ; )

Total votes: 61

Actually, Cudlin was

Actually, Cudlin was mistakenly shown the black flag. He has been reinstated in the results.

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/197310/1/cudlin_explains_phantom_philip...

Total votes: 60

Didn't or couldn't

Is it a case that the tyre manufacturer's couldn't build tyres to withstand PI and higher temperatures or that they didn't try because they were not aware enough of the need.
Given that two manufacturers in different classes had similar problems is it fair to blame control tyres for the mess. Would Michelin or Pirrelli have been able to do better or have the excessive demands outstripped the technology?

Total votes: 54

A 2-heat race would have been much simpler.

The process is well understood and widely used.

They could have had 2 x 10-lap heats with 10-min gap to change tyres and re-grid in finishing order of heat-1.

Total votes: 81

I'm confused about the confusion

Australia held a GP. The premier class race was flag-to-flag, with a pitstop, like races before it. The tires fell apart, like many races in the past. At least one hard pass was made in Turn 1, like many other MotoGP races. The aliens pulled away, like many races. A couple people didn't score, like every other race.

It's actually quite remarkable how similar this race was to other races, consider the extenuating circumstances. A track was resurfaced. The spec tire compounds failed. They had a pit stop in a dry race. Overall, the outcome was quite normal, and it's amazing how well people adapted. All of the "farce" chatter is just a thunderstorm in a teacup.

The blight on the weekend was HRC's mental mistake. Marquez crew forgot they are supposed to race first and game the system second. Oops. HRC at fault......like every other DQ they've suffered.

With the exception of Marquez crew, the entire GPC deserves a lot of credit for making the premier class race go off without a major mishap. Think about the number of competing vested interests and the number of people who were brought together under a make-shift set of sporting regs to make the Australian GP go off 0_o

Total votes: 128

Exactly

I thought exactly the same. They indeed looked surprised and Gabarrini's body language seemed, to me, that he knew Marquez was going to be disqualified.

Total votes: 59

Consequences

Two thoughts:

1) With regard to the team knowing the rule and the implications: Dorna sent out a letter to all the teams outlining what the rules were. No bike was to complete more than 10 laps on a single tire. It was also stated in the letter that any rider running more than 10 laps would be DQ'd. Watching the race and looking at the timing and scoring from MotoGP's website, it is clear that Marc ran more than 10 laps on his first run.

2) If the timeline of the video "How Marquez took it too far in Australia" on the MotoGP website is to be trusted, it looks to be clear that the team were surprised that Marc stayed out an extra lap - look at the team reaction at 0.00:26 (especially the guy holding the "93" sign marking the pit box) as Marc screams past the team box on the front straight. The team clearly were expecting him in the pits that lap - regardless of what Marc or the team said afterword - that this was the plan and that they understood the number 10 in a different way.

Total votes: 83

where did you see that?

>>It was also stated in the letter that any rider running more than 10 laps would be DQ'd.

All the Dorna communications I've seen on this site did not mention DQ at all. Can you post a link to your source?

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 69

A few points

The rules might have been perfectly clear to those whose first language is English but surely a rider / team briefing would have made more sense. If they do not turn up there should be a sufficient penalty to make it worth their while.

Marc did not mean to do the 360 pirouette - he had practiced twice in the warm-up and neither times did that. He stopped harder in the race and landed on the ground fast and only option was to spin. Looked impressive.

If you look at the last and first sector times of the pit lap then Nicky was quick - faster than anyone. Marc was second.

Hard to see that Jorge did not make any mistakes when he nearly crashed coming out of MG about lap 7 and hit Marc in turn 1. Amazing how in a whole weekend he only ran wide on turn 1 once - the lap that he saw Marc coming out of pit lane and knew he had to get in front of him...

The pit lane exit speed should have stayed the same with the addition of no passing till after the white line ended would have solved any danger issues.

"omnishambles" is a great word for the weekend - "clustef..." is another.

Total votes: 85

Hubris and Just Deserts

If it is true that HRC intended to try and stretch the rules and let MM race past the end of the 10th lap, someone aught to fall on their sword. To me, it comes off as an egotistical attitude, akin to: 'We are HRC, and we are more cunning and can game the system better than anyone.' Newsflash-- no, you aren't, and no, you cannot.

The pic linked above shows why MM was rightfully black flagged. His error (or rather HRC's error), endangered both MM and the other riders. The penalty is just.

Lastly, when I was a lowly and slow club racer, I was ALWAYS told to stay off the racing line until I was up to speed when exiting the pits. Do the pro's not follow this same rule? I'm a fan of MM, and while I would like to see Lorenzo win the championship again, based on his performance on the second best bike on the grid, I'm a little surprised that MM hasn't been handed a penalty point for dropping down onto the racing line before he was up to speed. (I admit I could be way off base on this last part, as club racing and MotoGP are not the same).

Either way, while I still fully expect MM to take the crown this year, I'm really pleased that it won't happen at Motegi, Honda's home track, with all the Honda corporate brass in attendance. After this stunt, they don't deserve it. They can watch it happen in Valencia.

Total votes: 88

HRC not involved

As Marc said it was 3 or 4 of his team including him that decided. HRC had the bike setup ready for him to come in. Why would HRC knowingly get him black flagged and even if it was not that penalty it was always going to be enough to lose the race.

Total votes: 60

When I typed HRC, I meant the Repsol Honda team

HRC. Repsol Honda team--it doesn't really matter. And if MM had a hand in the decision to race 11 laps, in fairly clear violation of the rules, his older, more experienced team management should have forced him to a more reasonable decision--like pitting 1 lap prior.

Repsol team mgmt deserves this disgrace, and they don't deserve to win the title on home soil.

I will say I was impressed by what little reaction I saw from MM on the Eurosport broadcast. I half expected a tantrum, but he appeared to react in a rather mature fashion.

Total votes: 73

What about the race?

So what about the race man? What about the battle between Rossi Cal and Alvaro? What about Lorenzo pushing in every single lap to make Marc work for the championship? What about the close racing in the first 10 laps?

Oh wait, the kid got black flagged for not following rules so let's crib about it and blame Dorna for it.

Total votes: 85

This guy's opinion

Total clown show. This is the kind of garbage that invalidates the interest of the fans. The rule changes were stupid - once they'd made it clear that the tires couldn't be trusted and that there would be no penalty for a slick-to-slick bike change, it shoud have been up to the teams to decide when to pit.

I feel like the time I spent watching all the races this year was a total waste.

Total votes: 84

A simple screw up.

I don't think Honda deliberately tried to cheat or push the rules. Upon watching a replay of the 'main' video feed during Lorenzo's pit, there is a very brief view of a Honda mechanic doing something to MM's front tire blanket. At first glance it's unclear if he is removing it or re-fitting it, but when you consider that MM wouldn't be due to arrive for another ~1.5 minutes, it seems too early to be pulling the warmer. The mechanic must be putting the warmer back on. This, in conjunction with the obvious HRC pit confusion, makes me believe that MM simply screwed up and missed the PIT IN signal. (Either that or Evil Alberto managed to sneak some BS numbers onto MM's pit board. :) )

Total votes: 65

The thing is

you can't pit "at the end of lap 9 or 10" because there's no pit entrance on the finish line. So, at the end of lap 10, MM pitted as soon as possible afterwards. What the race director wanted them to do was pit "on lap 9 or 10", or "after the beginning of lap 9 and before the end of lap 10". This may sound like hair-splitting, but I am inclined to believe that they really were confused about the intent of the rule, and a minute or two more thought in writing the rules could have avoided it.

Remove this bolt....under no circumstances.

Total votes: 74

Al Gore would be proud...

Unfortunately noONE was really to blame for this weekend's circus.

I just saw the interview with Bridgestone's Thomas Scholz on motogp.com. He said it was a combination of the new surface and much higher than expected ambient temperatures.

So you see, my dear Watson, it was global warming all along.

We're all to blame... case closed.

Total votes: 66

Was it really the team's mistake?

On lap 8 the TV showed Marquez's pit board showing "Pit in 2 laps", on lap 10 just after Lorenzo entered the pit lane the TV showed the pit crew standing with the 93 bike. The team (and TV director) acted as if they were expecting Marquez in on lap 10. Is it possible that Marc, with a rush of blood to the head that doesn't seem out of character, just kept going when he should have stopped. Why not? he pushes the rules all the time and doesn't get any real penalty.

It was very clear that there was a two lap window (I knew, every TV commentator knew, even my wife knew), and equally clear that HRC knew that started on lap 9 when Dani pitted. It's laughable to claim that a few people on Marquez's crew came up with strategy but never cleared that with anyone else in the team.

What I think is most likely is that immediately before Lorenzo came in Marquez had a moment, got the bike back and attacked again just as Lorenzo changed his line and speed to come in. Marquez saw what he thought was a mistake by Lorenzo and pushed. By the time Marquez realises Lorenzo is pitting he's going too fast and on the wrong line to make it into the pits, and just keeps going. The team have tried to argue for some ambiguity in the rules - after all they want the championship - but the fault is solely Marquez's and the team are covering for him.

Additionally, when Marquez came into the pits after being DQ'd he just gets off the bike and walks into the garage. If he didn't know what he'd done wrong surely the first thing he'd do would be to ask someone, not walk dejectedly to a seat.

Total votes: 97

Good points

While I also think that Marquez made a mistake and the team are covering for him to not impair his confidence, it's also imaginable that the team screwed up. Maybe they really thought pitting were to take place _after_ laps 9 and 10. When Dani came in, it was already too late to do anything. Marquez would have passed the pit wall at that point, and the next time he would pass his pit board was already lap 10, the lap where he was supposed to pit.
It would be interesting to know if Marquez was signalled to come into the pits _before_ Pedrosa came in and before Marquez passed his pit board on lap 9, because that would have been the last occasion.

Total votes: 55

Pedrosa should only be third

he was suppose to drop 1 position only after the race.

Total votes: 73

Hayden Pit Stop

David

Simple explanation of Nicky's pit stop prowess is Daytona 200 practice and race with the RC51 before it was castrated into 600cc formula.

Total votes: 70

Mr. Emmett, Mr. Emmett

"Marquez passes the white line demarcating the pit lane exit, he is on a hot track and racing. At that point, he is in the lead, and it becomes the responsibility of the rider behind - in this case Lorenzo - to only attempt to pass safely. The fact that Marquez is not traveling at the same speed which Lorenzo is moving at becomes irrelevant"

It seems to me that relative speeds does make a difference when someone is rejoining the racing line, and the merging rider has to be aware of this and the position of other riders on the track before moving to the racing line.

It's the same traveling down a highway... I don't think I'm the only one that get's pissed off when a car merges into my lane going 20 mph slower than I am.

Watching the post-race press conference, Dani and Jorge seem to agree... not that their bias against him has anything to do with it :)

Care to comment?

Anyway, I'm too lazy to read the rules... what do they actually say in this instance? Hopefully they're not scrawled on a single sheet of paper.

Total votes: 82

"It seems to me that relative speeds does make a difference"

Of course it does. Until he's up to the rhythm (just the next corner) A rider exiting the pits shouldn't be even close to the racing line. On sunday afternoon or any other day of the week. Especially with such a speed difference here at Philip Island.

Could you imagine what would have happened if Marc rushed at the apex to hold the lead with a Jorge "I give it all to keep the championship alive" Lorenzo coming at full speed ?

Frightening thought.

We all can light a candle, it's a miracle we escaped from this mess without a drama.

Total votes: 69

Racing line

Part of the problem is what is the racing line. Unlike the highway there is no clear definition. If Marc had of moved fully to the inside of the corner than 100% his fault. If Jorge had not gone in too hot and run wide he would have been on the normal racing line and missed Marc. Marc should have given him even more room so as Jorge said “So I don't know really who was at fault. I think 50-50.”

Total votes: 62

50/50

Marquez was about 3m off the racing line. Unfortununtly, for just that single lap, so was Jorge.

Marquez could have given more room in case someone blew the apex, and Jorge could have not gone in so hot. They were both less than perfectly safe and they each had competitive motivations for doing so. 50/50

I'm not sure why so many people disagree with Lorenzo on this subject. ;)

Total votes: 80

capirossi

I had a great laugh when they announced Loris as the new "safety" guy - I imagine Harada did too. He was interviewed on Australian TV and seemed perfectly happy with the farcical situation that he helped create by not doing his job. Most of these clowns are loving the sinecure they find themselves in, but it is to the detriment of the sport and the safety of the riders (not to mention us poor fans)

Total votes: 72

meh...

Ah, Emmett fanning the flames of dissatisfaction, calling motogp a sorry state of affairs, only mere weeks before calling it breathtaking, and also, pouring praise onto races where there was perhaps a couple of passes made...it's interesting, no ? No.

The only farce here is how many so called fans, and so called media, have responded to what was a highly unusual, highly unlikely scenario... calling for heads of hrc...race direction...bridge stone....phillip island.... what saddens me greatly as someone who goes to the island every year, and loves racing no matter what happens, is looking at all the noise online, so much of it uninformed hogwash, and I come here for the so called tag line of intelligent debate yet the author simply ends his round up with a slap to the face of the sport I love.

Well, as a fan who loves racing, and pays the big $ For a three day pass and loves every minute of it and thanks his lucky stars that he is able to live in such a privileged life, can ride the 2000k round trip and watch frikkin amazing machines and even more amazing riders doing stuff that makes my legs shake with excitement - well, let's put it in perspective for a moment. Most of you, Inc mr Emmett would have watched the race for free on TV, from the comfort of wherever....yet oh! The disgrace of it all...

MM was penalised fairly for what was either a rookie mistake, or an Honda ploy gone bad. Jorge rode beautifully and the right man won. The championship is now a lot more interesting for what transpired at Phillip island. But go on, let's hammer the sport and everyone else involved ad nauseum... there's your farce.

Total votes: 119

Indeed. Now of course I enjoy

Indeed.

Now of course I enjoy David's journalism otherwise I wouldn't be a subscriber, I think this site is a gem.

But the best thing pooch is don't read the comments, most are balls and oh so predictable. Oh, I just did... but that's the exception!

My view is, it was part omnishambles and part brilliant entertainment, I loved the bike swaps, but wouldn't want to see it introduced.

I was most concerned about the MM / Lorenzo collision, could have been very nasty and ended with a totally different line of 'chatter' today. For that, race direction do need to learn a lesson in emergency planning methinks.

Looking forward to next week!

Total votes: 63

Watching for free

First of all, if you want to talk about paying the big bucks, for the first four years that I started attending the races I covered, I paid Dorna 2000 euros a year for a media pass. This year was the first year I have not had to pay, but I have had to run advertising on the website, for which I am not paid. This is not unique, this is the same for all websites which want to cover MotoGP.

I covered the Phillip Island race from home, using my MotoGP.com pass. Which I paid for, out of my own pocket.

I get to attend races, and indeed prize myself lucky I do so. In return, I get to work 18 hour days to bring you the coverage which I do. I make a living, just.

The reason I spoke out so strongly against the situation, and paid little attention to the race, is because the race had become almost irrelevant due to Bridgestone's failure to supply a tire which was safe at the circuit. There are only so many hours in the day, and so I have to select what I decide to cover.

The real disgrace is that the fans - all of them around the world - were robbed of the race they deserved at what I consider to be the best race track in the world. They were not robbed by matters beyond the control of the organizers, they were robbed by pure incompetence. That, to me, is shameful.

If you do not like my coverage, or if you think I do a bad job, other websites also cover MotoGP. You are quite free to restrict your reading habits to those websites (which, like me, provide it to you for free, I should add).

Total votes: 120

as a fan...

... i just find it utterly ridiculous that they would even consider black flagging Marc for this during the race (several laps AFTER he had pitted) when it could have such a drastic effect on the championship.

It was no longer a safety issue, as by the time they got around to flagging him, Marc was on newer tyres than anyone else on circuit. So they could easily have let the race run to conclusion, we would have had some decent TV and seen an actual race for the win - and they could make any adjustment to the result post race.

No room for rule clarification or adjustment post-race, no way of potentially reversing the decision, no way of applying a lesser penalty. Even Jeremy Burgess made comments to the effect of the ruling being over the top, and this exact ruling more or less gifted Rossi his podium.

But then, the whole idea of flag to flag with that pit exit was just dangerous anyhow. As mentioned by Lorenzo post-qualifying. 2 heats would have been far safer. As jorge mentioned in the Post qualifying conference, seems the safety commission do not listen to him.

And while I'm having a cry about idiotic decisions - this is what, 3 races in a row where Lorenzo has collided with Marquez. Where are the penalty points? Where are the points for Nicky and Dovi?

You can't just selectively enforce rules when you feel like it.

This all leads me to believe that the black flag was brought out not because it was appropriate, but just to close the championship up.

And I'm not paying to watch racing by bureaucracy.

Total votes: 75

Really?

The moment I saw Marquez miss the pit, I thought, "He's going to be black flagged."

Total votes: 69

Can't please everyone!

I find the content of mottomatters first class, and have done since the first day I was lucky enough to stumble accross it. Please do not change anything, keep your pithy opinion, say what needs to be said and encourage those that cannot handle a viewpoint different to their own, to either 'politely disagree' or find somewhere else to pontificate.

My only fear is you'll get sic of your financial lament, sell and we'll be left with an owner that knows more about balance sheets than bikes..

Dorna should subsidising you! Paying your airfares, ensuring you have access to superior content, why? Because you're generating a passionate informed fan base for them, usually of slightly older demographic, that actually attends races, buys cable, and purchases the products of the event sponsors. Arrogance! Pure and simple.

Total votes: 51

well

Well put, yours is just one of a few sites I read. No more and no less than others. However, yours has a more reasonable forum involved. I often agree with what you say, in fact, a lot of the time. But in this case, you got it wrong. Your very negative treatment of what Dorna decided, on the fly, so that we could actually *have* a race, was wrong. Would you have preferred no race at all ? Worse still, two races with split points ? Come on. Most other sites gave way more respect to the sport than you did - that's all I was saying. Keep in mind yours is a fan site, with opinion based pieces - so thereby, those that disagree with your opinion should also be given the right to voie their opinion without being told to stay away, sulkily.

Total votes: 53

State of MotoGP

The sorry state of MotoGP is the one constant in the global sports marketplace. You can basically count on the MSMA to get bored with their own rules, and wander off on some irrelevant engineering tangent.

The only farce, imo, was that this race was called a "farce" when it seemed relatively normal. The sport is in shambles.

Total votes: 52

The motogp.com vid tells a different story.

Perhaps judiciously edited but the footage referenced above suggests that the 'mistake' was made by Marquez. There is obvious concern from his pit crew when he failed to pit on at the end of lap 10. What else exactly does one suppose they are discussing so heatedly, if not this? His tyre was obviously *at least* a lap too old and he was all over the place on that last lap - a perfect illustration of why the rule was imposed in the first place.
The re-join was classic Marquez - whether he spotted Jorge and Dani or not - where precisely was he expecting them to be? Did he think they'd stop for picnic while he changed bikes? He looked over his shoulder twice - first time there was no-one there but the second time Jorge was over the crest of the hill and in full view. IMO he made a conscious decision to put himself on the line, expecting Jorge to deal with it. He's got plenty of form for this sort of thing. Does anyone seriously consider that Jorge should have slowed to let him in?
Surely Dani should have been put back a place - how he can concede a place (not that it looked that way) to someone who has been DQ'd?? - not black-flagged yet but the offence was committed two laps previously.

Total votes: 76

Can't agree that Dani

Can't agree that Dani conceding the place to Marquez should not count because MM was due to be DQ'd. It is the responsibility of the track officials to make their decision known in good time. Dani acted as was was required with information current at that time.

The question of when Marquez was no longer in the race, however, is a very good point. Surely the moment MM went over the line to begin lap 11 he was no longer in the race and should have been black flagged at that point. Instead the race continued with, as it turned out, three riders who were no longer in the race continuing for some laps, one of whom (Marquez) could have taken out the race leader - and very significantly his main championship rival.

Total votes: 64

Damien Cudlin

was blackflagged, but shouldn't have been

http://stephenenglish.ie/2013/10/21/cudlin-explains-phantom-philip-islan...

He is in the standings, what a mess
http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics

Total votes: 63

Fastest Lap

Very minor point but MM scored the fastest race on lap 13 - does this stand as a new record?

Total votes: 45

MotoGP web site

shows the race record belonging to Marc. Everyone gushed over the Pole time by Jorge but doing a 28.1 on a hard rear tyre was at least as impressive. He backed it up with a 28.2 to prove it was not a fluke. Another amazing stat was the 2nd lap by the first three - all within 5/100ths doing 28.3s.

Total votes: 52

Dani giving up a place

I was watching just out of MG (turn 10) and we saw Dani sit up and let Marc past,i would think that would constitute giving up a place. Just what i saw.
Beamer12

Total votes: 65

A shambles across the

A shambles across the board

Dorkna only handed bits of paper around on the made up rules / no rider meeting

the DQ Penalty for not coming in on lap 10 yes there was confusion Colin Edwards
tweeted he WASN'T Told a DQ Was the penalty for going further than 10 laps

For safety surely they should have had a pits open window say lap 9/10/11
to stop all riders coming in at once it was dangerous and chaos

there was pit crew Confusion the riders coming into "11 laps to go on TV screen"
got these pit boards #99 1 lap / #93 2 lap

let the riders race from the end of pit lane to get up to speed for re-entering the track
not roll for 100's of yards at 60-kmh. then gun it yards from the track entrance. crazy

Total votes: 63

Controversy..why?

A lot of these comments were posted in the 'heat of the moment' during or just after the race.
The rules are quite simple. Most people (especially those who matter in the championship lead) got it right. There's a clue...
MM suffered red mist/hyper-activity syndrome; he missed his pit stop.
The RD ruling was clear - they were following the tyre advice "Don't do more than 10 laps on these". To reinforce it they said "Change on lap 10 or 11, or you get black-flagged". The reason for the lap options was clear - most teams have 2 riders fairly close together and the pits/crews cannot easily/safely accommodate that much change at one time.
Anyone who didn't know what lap 10 or 11 meant could have asked. The fact that your pit box is one side or other of the finish line didn't confuse those who were the other side to HRC. Nor HRC I think. MM was 'enjoying himself so much' he missed the stop. It will go down with those incidents where people stopped on the last lap/forgot to turn their launch control on/change up after leaving the pits to engage TC etc.
Bridgestone? Don't get me started. However, Dunlop suffered too and I don't recall seeing anyone saying /insisting on testing at the track with a suitable bike/rider before this incident of the tyres. The grip was mentioned but no-one jumped up and down demanding 'action'.
RD made a pretty good call IMO and the pit lane speed limit extension was obviously designed to stop running at race speed along a 'garden path'. Did you see the long distance low level shots along the exit road ? It's like a roller coaster. Had anyone 'pushed it' along there and come off the shouts would have been warranted.
Bridgestone need to try harder as Rossi said. PI might need to bring some plant back to widen and level those garden paths....a rain-hit race at PI is not beyond likely and the same issues could arise into turn 1.

Total votes: 71

I thought about the premise

I thought about the premise here, and carefully. In the heat of the moment, things are said that may or may not be the best reflection of reality.

But in the 20/20 vision that is hindsight, the actions of Bridgestone and Race Direction look even worse, step by step, in my opinion.

- The race did not HAVE to go on. Bridgestone showed up with a tire it thought would go 28 laps. It went maybe 10, and some riders were chunking tires before that. When Bridgestone admitted that its tires couldn't go more than 10 laps, they were actually admitting that they really had no idea of what the tire would do. Think of how far off of their expectations for tire longevity they actually were. Bridgestone could have stepped up and said, we screwed up, but we are not racing on these tires.

- Race Direction made the whole pit stop decision based on trying to meet a television schedule, and was determined to have some kind of "show" for the (rather pathetic) crowd. How many racers are dead because a promoter was trying to meet an economic demand? Race Direction could have said, we are not racing on these tires, or it could have insisted on heat races. Instead, it chose to put people's lives at significantly greater risk just to make the "show" happen.

- Just because no one died in Turn One doesn't mean it was OK to make the riders do that. When Jorge hit Marquez, that was a piece of Marc's glove (or elbow protector) that went flying. Jorge is two more inches to the left, and Marquez loses a hand - or worse.

- And finally, during the race, the penalty calls bordered on the absurd. That's twice in two weeks that Honda has gotten heavily penalized, once for something that wasn't prohibited in the rulebook, and once with a penalty that never was laid out in the rules. (Talk about manufacturing false competition!)

Just because everyone walked away from that doesn't mean that officials made the right calls. Sometimes the racing gods smile upon us and let even the stupid decisions go unpunished. But that doesn't mean they weren't stupid decisions. Looking at what happened, it is very, very clear that Race Direction put people's lives at risk unnecessarily.

Had that collision ended badly, or had someone been badly injured because a tire came apart on Lap 8, would we still be saying that the chaos "added excitement" to the weekend?

The decision-making process, and the decision-makers, need to be held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, as another poster noted, they report to Dorna, whose only concern is creating a return on investment for that Canadian pension fund that owns a big chunk of MotoGP.

-

Total votes: 69

Fully agree

100% with you.
And what makes it worse is that better options were lapalisse!

1) 2 heats rather than pit-stops (even Lorenzo suggested it)
2) Make clear that if you cross lap X on track (and not in pit) you are DQ

And of course as Rossi said Bridgestone should have sent a rider before..... and so on.

Total votes: 52

The entire abortion of a race

The entire abortion of a race should be forgotten about and everyone awarded zero points. Can't see how anyone should have been awarded anything for such a shambles.

Total votes: 65

Turn 1

'Running a bit wide' at that turn after a 200mph straight is entirely predictable and both riders are going to be trying hard to be first into turn 2. A white line on the track is one thing.
If your grey matter doesn't tell you that your speed differential is going to be a problem you need re-educating. Anyone who ignores it is too dangerous to be on track.
F1 has it right - you are not allowed to block anyone on a flying lap. The reasons are obvious - anyone who is hyper-competitive is going to be trying hard and they need to know it will not benefit them to do so. Assuming they have a brain that can work that out.
If RD were thinking of bowing to HRC pressure on the 'innocent error/understanding' that move and recent history would have clinched it.

Total votes: 62

Complete Disgrace

Basically the points have all been discussed. This entire weekend was a disgrace.

I can't help but wonder if tire manufacturers have not "affected seriously" 2/3 class championships.

To me that is not acceptable. I am strongly considering moving my money elsewhere.

Total votes: 79

Entertainment

The show must go on.
If I had tuned in and found a message telling me that due to unforeseen tyre problems the entire show had been cancelled.....my reaction would not be printable.
MM can still easily win the championship and this just adds a bit more interest/hope for JLo/DP fans. I want riders fighting, not cruising.
BSB can teach Dorna something. Fate/weather etc intervened but a race 2 disaster/championship-deciding fall for contender A (a race-interest-decimating event for me) turned around when the then-champion fell off and a brilliant ride from the back on a risky tyre choice by rider C made it spell-binding.
Race 3 wasn't much worse and it would have been an anti-climax without the various factors.
It is entertaining - whilst a white-wash by a rider/team is impressive it doesn't attract the crowds like a last-round/last race fight for the win.
MGP needs the money. Exclude entertainment for the purity of racing and you will see it die. Like any other series that might take its place.
As a one-off, this was fun and in themselves the pit stops did not influence the results to any great degree (unless you lost count/got excited). It happens.

Total votes: 65

It's not a show

It's a race. It's not 'entertainment' though it can be entertaining. It's a contest which is meant to have rules approved in advance and clearly by the FIM, not Dorna.

Letting a company with only a profit motive to answer to take control is exactly where these problems stem from.

You as a fan are every bit as much of the problem if you think this is acceptable. If you think people taking obvious and unreasonable risks to their lives is acceptable solely for your entertainment then I suggest you seek treatment for your sociopathic tendencies.

Total votes: 58

Without entertainment...

...there is no professional racing. The very reason why you pay any attention at all is because racing entertains you. This is not to excuse Bridgestone, Dorna, Race Direction or any other party who contributed to the problems this past weekend. There are some risks not worth taking and it's reasonable to argue that some or all of the decisions made crossed the line.

But to argue that racing is not inherently entertainment is patently ridiculous. It also smacks of self loathing, as if you feel guilty for being entertained. (Maybe accusing someone of being a sociopath for holding a different opinion makes you feel better.) Competition, particularly at the highest levels, is compelling or no one would watch. And racing by its very nature involves a signifcant element of danger. Whether you want to admit it or not, danger is one of the things that makes it compelling.

No one wants to see any rider hurt. But let's not forget that they've chosen this profession and all the reward and risks that come with it. All that reward comes from millions of people, like you and me, who praise their skill and bravery and are willing to pay good money for the privilege of watchng them do things we can only dream of.

And without companies like Dorna and race promoters, who have to make money to continue to entertain us, we're not here right now discussing racing. The same goes for companies like Bridgestone and sponsors and manufacturers and the circuits.

You rightly argue that there should be a limit to the risk we're willing to accept. I'm also left to wonder about the wisdom of many of the decisions and how they were made. But some of the outrage is over the top and bordering on sanctimony. It's as if some of us have forgotten that the sport involves people hurtling around on motorcycles at 200+mph.

Total votes: 67

You've drunk the marketing kool aid I see

I find your argument far more ridiculous and simplistic.
Just because something can entertain, as racing can, doesn't make that it's primary reason for being.
And the suggestion of sociopathy actually stands: the consequences were strongly tilted to catastrophic outcomes for selfish and small reasons.

You can make your excuses but you're actually just wrong in your logic. The races existed before Dorna and though they may have been smaller they were probably far more honest. Big is not better except at extracting money from others and removing responsibility to abstract levels.

Dorna have been a negative for motorcycle racing - they have hoovered up the money and returned nothing. Now most national series are a shadow of their former selves and the sport generally is in trouble.

Praise, hail the wonders of 'entertainment'.

Total votes: 44

On that basis

We should exclude Redding from MGP for a year for screwing up the Moto2 championship.
Moto 3 wasn't affected.
MGP probably hasn't been either - MM could have fallen off on lap 11 judging from his shapes and that tyre and the result would have been no different.
Had MM been amongst back-markers etc. on lap 11 and his tyre gave out he could have taken himself and other(s) out - his accident record isn't good for involved third party's. Someone on a pit exit, just as he turned into T1 perhaps.
The permutations are endless. RD had to make some rules on the fly, with safety the (correct) clear priority. Cancel the race? It would make these threads look short!
Please don't take your money away - we need it.

Total votes: 62

Redding didn't screw up Moto 2

Lin Jarvis decided in February that Pol Espargaro was the 2013 Moto 2 Champion, therefore it shall be so.

No idea why Lin chose Marquez to be MGP Champ over JLo though! ;p

Total votes: 61

Anteater

Do you mean Carmelo Ezpeleta ?

Total votes: 48

No, sorry

it was a joke, referring to Yamaha signing Pol back in February as they had already decided Moto 2 was his Championship and nobody would remotely take the fight to him.

After 2 days of everybody being up in arms and all emotional I sought to inject a little humour...... :)

Total votes: 51

It is a pleasure reading your

It is a pleasure reading your articles.

Total votes: 55

What's Done Is Done...

There's no time to be pointing fingers now! PI race is over... move on and get ready for the next race! HRC-Repsol Team and Marquez has a very important task ahead of them this weekend in Japan. A Repsol-Honda 1,2 race result with Marquez winning the race and the Championship! You can bet any amount of money that this is the mind-set for Marquez and the crew. Be extremely prepared from free practice to race day... Extreme Domination! I wouldn't be surprised to see Alvaro take P3 on the podium. He's been doing a fantastic job with his crew.

Total votes: 60

Rejoin(der)

David--I agree with most of the points in your article. However, on the issue of Marc rejoining the race after his pit stop, I take issue with two points.

1. MM clearly saw JL coming (on his second shoulder check while on the exit lane) then cut over to the racing line with ~80MPH speed deficit. This is point is clear in the attached still:

2. Although the rider in front has the right-of-way on hot track (i.e., during the normal course of events during a race), a rider rejoining the track is responsible for doing so safely, and that means checking to see if there are riders approaching at speed and giving the right-of-way to those on track. Lorenzo and Pedrosa confirmed Lorenzo's priority in the post-race press conference. Although there are no rules governing the ad hoc pit-stop procedure, those pertaining to a rider running off track apply.

Total votes: 77

Rejoining

The point is, he had already rejoined. Once you pass the white lines, you are back on track, and racing. That is where I think the confusion lies. But this was a dangerous situation. Marquez cut across, and Lorenzo ran wide. If Lorenzo doesn't run wide, nothing happens, and if Marquez stays out a little more, nothing happens. But he was already on track and racing when Lorenzo arrived.

Total votes: 80

Bombing down onto the racing

Bombing down onto the racing line while you struggle to accelerate to race pace does NOT constitute successfully rejoining the race.

MM was certainly free to race for the lead, but only if he took proper care (He really needed to look again!) to be sure he was not impeding/blocking/endangering those already on hot laps.

Total votes: 65

Disagree...

If you watched the video, he looked twice and there was no one in sight. Once he passed the line, he went full throttle as expected. However, JL had a better view forward and should have taken the precautions when a rider is ahead.

Total votes: 77

If anything

that still suggests MM did not see JL coming. There is a limit to how far you can turn your head back whilst wearing a helmet on a moving motorcycle on a narrow strip of tarmac, never mind restricted peripheral vision through the visor whilst at a different elevation.

+ the context of the still is unknown; is he turning his head back to the front of turning rearwards or is the still at the point of maximum head turn?

More that one way to interpret the image.

PS, thats two days in a row my posts could be construed as pro Marquez, its not my intention at all. I just don't believe this is a cut and dried Marquez-at-fault-again issue. (for once)

Total votes: 71

Marc last looked about 6

Marc last looked about 6 seconds before impact, as he was trundling down the extended pit lane. He had every opportunity for a quick head turn later, as he cleared the speed line and accelerated.

If he has a neck or spine problem and can't turn his head properly to assess the track conditions, he shouldn't be racing. I, a somewhat creaky 50 year old, have no trouble looking behind me when I ride. I have a hard time believing that a healthy 20 year old somehow has trouble doing the same.

Dude should have looked again and should have stayed safely out of the way of hot lap riders until it was safe to merge.

Total votes: 73

delete

double whammy...

Total votes: 59

Perspective

Also consider the rider's perspective.
We can see Lorenzo because the camera's perspective is much higher than Marquez's.
From Marquez's angle, we might see only Lorenzo's helmet, and that would be easy to miss while accelerating a Moto GP bike.

Total votes: 67

How is this relevant? If MM

How is this relevant? If MM didn't see them because of the hill, then he should have looked again a few seconds later; he knew they were coming.
It's his responsibility to re-join the track in a a safe manner. Period.

Total votes: 86

...and

...if JL believed MM was in the wrong, there is no way he would have said the incident was 50/50. I suspect it displays a tacit acknowledgement of the incident being his own (JL's) fault.

Total votes: 55

Spirit v. letter...

David--Glad we can agree that Marc (in all probability) saw Lorenzo, and was aware of his rapid approach (my point 1). It's nice when reasonable people can be reasonable.

Wrt to the second point, I think it may be down to how you interpret the rules. Yes, it's true that Marc (having passed the white line extending the exit lane into the track) was back on track and racing. It's also true that he was in front of Lorenzo at the point where he was back "on track". So, one reading of the rules might be that he was entitled to take the racing line, and therefore had the right-of-way, so the responsibility to avoid smashing into him was up to following riders.

However, the spirit of the rules regarding rejoining the track is that it should be done safely. Consider an imaginary example: Rider A has built up a substantial lead, but goes off track. Rider A is about to re-enter the track at the apex of a corner that has an average speed of 80MPH, and judges that he can re-assume the racing line just before the following rider (rider B) reaches that point. That is, rider A is contemplating a move into the racing line at the apex of an 80MPH corner just as the following rider arrives. This, in my opinion, would clearly seem to be an extremely dangerous maneuver.

And yet, this is effectively what happened. Marc, with an ~80MPH speed deficit, veered dangerously into the racing line at the apex of a corner just as the following riders arrived. True, Lorenzo was slightly wide on that corner--about 10-12 inches wide of the line he took on previous and subsequent laps (it's amazing how consistently these guys can hit the same line within a few inches lap after lap). Likely, JL missed his breaking mark owing to the ~0.01 second lapse (enough to run 12" deep at 250KMH) while thinking "holy fuck, someone is entering the track!!!". In any event, Jorge was more or less on the racing line, as Marc was swerving into it. At that speed, Jorge had no room or time to react.

I'm a huge fan of his talent, but it was--in my opinion--an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible move by Marc.

Total votes: 87

pic

All i can say is from personal experience that MM93 "WOULD NOT" have seen Lorenzo as is suggested by the photo. Even if you turn your head long enough to see who is coming the only riders you will see are the ones that have passed the "crest", personally i do not think MM saw JL. The pic does not represent "the look" over the shoulder when entering the racing line.
This has been happening at PI since 89 or whenever it was. All the riders know to stay on the outside line. MM93 simply had a burst of "lets go" and this is racing, maybe????

Lorenzo went wide which he's entitled to, MM came straight into the "fast" inside line with not enough speed. After they touched you will notice MM "SIT UP" and is genuinely put off by the touch.

I do not think MM saw JL coming, however he ought to have had some idea of the whereabouts of his peers.

Total votes: 62

Moto2 points tally..

I've read somewhere that any race less than 2/3rds distance should be given only half points..? (written in the rules)
Can anyone verify this please ?
For Scott Redding this means either being 16 points behind Espargaro now or if the points should be half, then only 3.5 points behind....a BIG difference of 12.5 points.
Scott Redding has enough troubles to worry about but I think if he believes he has the slimmest chance to race in the next 1 or 2 races, then this points situation needs to be dealt with, sooner rather than later.
David ? Anyone ?

Total votes: 62

Moto2 points

Normally, you are right. If a race has to be abandoned after less than 2/3rds distance is done, then it's half points. But because the race was shortened before it started, and because Race Direction decided that full points would be awarded, it's full points for Phillip Island.

Total votes: 68

a matter of definition

the PI race does not fall foul to 2/3 distance rule because the race was run to the full stated distance, even though that was less than originally intended, when the race started it was to stated length and this length was reached. I hope helpful.

Total votes: 51

Not according to the rules

The rules state 'original race distance' in all their discussion about shortened races. The original race distance was 25 laps. It was then revised downward after the equipment problems became obvious. According to the rulebook it should have been a 1/2 points race.

The full points ruling is valid only because the emergency meeting of the GPC allowed race direction to make any changes they want to the race weekend (!?!) under the guise of safety then race direction shortened the race distance and allowed full points.

I hate to be a conspiracy guy but why did they change it when the rules clearly state what the procedure should be? There's absolutely no safety issue with how many points are awarded but it would make a huge difference in the title chase if 12.5 vs. 25 points were awarded to the winner.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 55

According to the rules

The rules do not define 'original race distance'. The finish of the race is defined as being once 'the designated number of laps' has been completed. Furthermore, section 1.17.2 reads: 'The length of a race may only be varied by the Race Direction.'

The way I read the rules, the 'original race distance' means the number of laps designated by Race Direction at the start of the race, not ahead of the weekend. So for the MotoGP race, original race distance was 19 laps, not 27, and original race distance for the Moto2 race was 13 laps, and not 25. If race distance had been 25 laps when the race had been started, and it had then be shortened to 13 laps, then half points would have been awarded.

Total votes: 55

Maybe you should work for the NSA word redefinition team

>>The rules do not define 'original race distance'

1.17.1 The length of races must be according to the following parameters:
Minimum 95 km Maximum 130 km and will be determined by the Permanent Bureau after publication of the calendar.

The race distance defined by the PB going into the weekend was 25 laps. If nothing had happened it would have been 25 laps. It was not 25 laps. If someone asked how long the actual race was they would have been told '13 laps'. If they asked how long the race was originally supposed to be the answer would be '25 laps'.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 62

1.17.1

... is superseded by 1.17.2, Race Direction may vary the length of the race. Going into the weekend, race distance was 25 laps. Going into the race, race distance was 13 laps. Original race distance is the number of laps shown on the board before the start of the race.

If there was any traction to your interpretation - which I sympathise with - the Marc VDS Racing team would be appealing to the CDI.

And yes, 1984 is one of my favorite books, because of its use of language.

Total votes: 56

Poor rule writing

>>Race Direction may vary the length of the race.

At which point it will no longer be the original distance specified by the PB! I'm not saying that RD cannot change the length of the race but when something is changed it is no longer the original value.

>>Original race distance is the number of laps shown on the board before the start of the race.

Where is that stated? If 'original race distance' were defined as clearly as you did it would not be an issue but it is not.

Marc VDS has no appeal because it was a change made by race direction, who were given permission to do do anything they wanted.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 57

Original race distance

1.17.3 A visible countdown board will be shown at the finish line to indicate the number of remaining laps in the race.

No argument from me on poor rule writing. I know that the rulebook is currently undergoing a revamp, and so perhaps they will clean up this section while they are at it.

Total votes: 64

There was a good race in

There was a good race in there somewhere. Unfortunately events and events resulting from events piled up and racing not the show. This though is what can happen and I commend all those involved; race direction, Bridgestone, Dunlop and the teams for bringing everyone home safe if not altogether happy. Everyone is harping on how it should have been instead of what was done with little time and little options. As someone else said above the race wasn't that much different than a flag to flag wet race except the dangerous circumstances were the effect the extra grip of the new surface had on the tires. The confusion is that coming in for a change was mandated by race direction at a specific time rather than at the riders' discretion as in a wet race. Unusual for sure and I can see where someone could get it wrong.
The only part that seemed sketchy to me was how riders' were to rejoin the race. Before MM93's incident I saw how the pit exit extension would leave a slower moving rider at the end of the straight before one of the most difficult corners of the track. A corner that even experienced riders have overcooked and ran on straight. Potential problems there and it played out that way. I couldn't see any "good" way for a rider to enter there. They would be coming in on at the end of the straight, outside the turn. If they joined before the turn they would do what Marquez did and potentially balk faster riders hauling down from the straight. If they continued on and crossed from the outside to the inside of the turn they would still have to cross the racing line also getting in front of other riders committed to their lines. I didn't see a good way to do that other than treat it like a highway on ramp where a vehicle sits and waits to enter which as Mr. Emmet pointed out, isn't racing.

Total votes: 62

Lying is racing

Somebody is lying about the whole pitting blunder but I don't see how or why this is a mystery to anybody who watches racing and reads their press releases which are full of lies, veiled threats, and other misc duplicity. Of course Honda is going to pretend that it was due to a misunderstanding. If they admitted the team prepared it that way on purpose and with a correct understand of the rules they would not have the chance to appeal for some kind of correction. Same with Marquez. Of course he won't admit he just made a simple mistake because that would justify the black flag immediately. I'm more inclined to think he made a terrible mistake (his body language tensed up after Jorge went in). Either way, it doesn't matter because any other team would have reacted (lied) the same way and we will never have the real story.

Business as usual.

Total votes: 67

Hmmm...

It seems to me there is no advantage to shifting the blame around on one or another within Repsol Honda. The outcome is the same. If Marc made a rookie mistake and was caught racing when he should have been thinking of the pit then so be it. Riders make mistakes, usually it costs them a crash or run off. If it was a single crew member bodging the pit board then there would probably be a vacancy in that crew right quick. If it was the whole crew & rider misinterpreting things then the result is still the same. There is no crime (or cover up) without motive. There is no saving face or changing results by changing the story. They screwed up. Simple fact. Omnishambles within omnishambles.

Total votes: 63

Shifting blame around shields

Shifting blame around shields Marc Marquez from some of the stress and allows him to better focus on the race in Motegi. HRC would rather he doesn't have to face 1000 questions in the press conference about how he feels making such a huge mistake that was entirely his fault. Now he only has to face 100 about what the mood is in the team after they misread the rules. There is a big difference there for a young rider, even one as iron-willed as Marquez.

Total votes: 70

As I understand the events,

As I understand the events, Nakamoto lying his ass off when arguing with the officials. That struck be as a real shame. For some reason (I suppose largely because he's an older, distinguished looking Japanese fellow), naive little-old-me has always somehow assumed he was a bit more honorable than the Puigs and other assorted vermin you find in the sport.

:(

Total votes: 67

I thought it was great

It didn't seem like manufactured excitement to me. I feel like David is being a bit too hard on the situation. We had a large group together in Chicago to watch it live and everyone thought it was fantastic. Half the crowd watching the race were motorcycle racers themselves and thought it was a riot to watch all the teams change bikes listen to Nick Harris exclaim "Oh boy they are all going to come in at the same time" like an over excited child.

Obviously people made mistakes, Dorna, tire manufacturers, Marquez's team, but honestly isn't that what we love about racing? It's the mistakes that make it thrilling. Running too deep in a corner or attempting a pass but not being able to make it stick. We all got a steady dose of sterile perfection based racing in the Stoner-Pedrosa-Lorenzo days and complained about how boring it was. Now I'm not saying pit-stops should be mandatory in the future but shaking things up sure amped up the entertainment factor much as a shake up in the qualifying format amped up the excitement factor there.

Lighten up David. I've found your coverage to be exceedingly negative of this event which a lot of us have found to be one of the most entertaining of the year.

P.S. The riders at the Isle of Man may have a thing or two to say about "Real Motorcycle Racing" not including pit stops. Try telling those boys they aren't actually involved in real motorcycle racing.

Total votes: 85

the tires

yes they should have tested for tires at the island
but is it also possible that we are nearing the end of the line with tires ?
is it going to be possible to continue to build safe tires as the performance increases? or will the traction control be wooki singing all the way around the track?
it seems to me that the electronics have created the tire issue to a point as the machine can hold the tire at the maxedge for so long

Total votes: 56

Dissapointing

That sums it up for me. Marc and his side of the garage blew it tactically and thank goodness he and George came through it all safely. My only gripe is the black flag. A less harsh penalty for the sake of the spectacle may have been in order. In other words,leave the transgressor in the race and award punishment after the event. Really,there are only 3 riders and 2 bikes capable of fighting for the win on any Sunday,like last year. Robbing the viewers of one on a piece of paper sucks. We were already robbed of 8 laps before the lights even went out.
They should have let Marquez continue and dumped him to the back of the grid for Motegi. Anyway Mike Webb and co. did what they felt was within the ambit of the law and in so doing screwed up the spectacle. Bridgestone's dismal effort is however the prime culprit. Anyway,the Moto3 race was spectacular.
Hey. Look forward to Motegi and Ricardo Tormo. This GP title has a lot of life in it yet. Smells like 2006.

Total votes: 66

Someone found the bright side. Thank you.

That Moto3 race was good wasn't it? I may have to watch it again to remember PI2013 for good racing instead of bad policy.

The results of the MotoGP race didn't flip the championship but eliminated forgone conclusions. Not bad having two races left. It could get good. I agree that a different penalty could have been meted out and preserved the race. Marc was not a danger (well not any more than usual) to the proceedings after he was back racing. DQ seemed heavy but if it was stated beforehand rather than as an ad hoc sentence then fair enough.

Moto2 was the read tragedy resulting from the tires and extreme grip. Redding's accident was all down to that extra grip turning a minor slide into a highside & tank slapping wobble ruining what could have been a tight championship in the remaining races.

Total votes: 63

Funny

Marq couldn't see them!! its so easy because with a helmet you can't see s#it. oh that should explain why he's always involved with so many riders. but, not marq fault.
Then we have jorge!! already lean over at high speed he could easy slam hard on the brake not to hit marq.
uts all jorge's fault!! oh and from the photo you cant judge. its fotoshop so you people think he seen them quit clear but its not!!!

p.s. this is not how i think but from alot of marq fans it seems this is the true. and suddenly they don't like jorge riding hard and doing the same stuff to mm as he did to jorge

Total votes: 69

On a lighter note yogi

Is this not the same Marquez whose vision became impaired after an accident at this same circuit before twisting the throttle of a GP behemoth? Maybe his eyesight ain't too good,but his sense of smell for a kill in any race is exemplary.
Believe me George has scented blood and a 3rd World title. Probably adopt a Rossi..Under the Bridge approach in Motegi. He's going to 'Go for It' and rightly so. Who knows? Dani waiting in the wings. I don't think he's going to get too involved from hereon in. Probably do what he does best. Pole,launch and vanish.
Exciting times actually over the next 3 weeks.

Total votes: 56

Like the end of Rush...

I suspect that the mistake was 100% Marc Marquez's miscalculation. They spread the blame over the rest of the crew to protect him from the media, especially since they want him to focus on locking down the championship.

Every week it is more and more obvious that Marquez is a genius on controlling and the motorcycle and riding it fast under any conditions.

And every week it is increasingly obvious that he is a bit slow in other areas of mental aptitude, i.e. common sense, following rules, personal safety, and the ability to process cause and effect.

Even if the plan was to pit in lap 11 -which I doubt- the near crashes and poor performance in lap 10 caused by the destroyed rear tyre would have led many other riders to conclude that they should pit immediately. Unfortunately, at this moment in his life, Marc Marquez just isn't that smart.

Total votes: 68

The impromptu appeal...

...became the absurd story. I agree. My reading of events is that Marc was focussed on chasing down Lorenzo and simply missed the pit lane. The same thing happened to Rossi: Vale admitted that he missed his scheduled pit stop while chasing Bautista.

Of course, we'll never know for certain what really happened. But all of the pieces fit the scenario that Marc blew it, Honda knew it, then all continued to spew it:
1) During the early laps of the race, Marc's pit board was counting down the same as Lorenzo's, and on the penultimate lap read "L1".

2) Right after Lorenzo dove into the pit lane (and it's amazing that he entered it with virtually no decrease in speed), Marc perceptibly sat up for a fraction of a second. Which is body language for "faaaaaaack".

3) What did Marc's pit board read on the 11 lap? Nothing, because his pit board was not out!! His crew were expecting him to be arriving in pit lane, not passing down the front strait.

4) In the video of Lorenzo's pit stop, in the background you can see Marc's pit crew putting the tire warmer back on the front tire of Marc's second bike.

5) In the free video from MotoGP.com documenting the fiasco, you see Marc's pit crew react to him flying past the front strait in the background. They are clearly freaking out.

6) Jarvis then runs (literally) to RD, Michael Webb, on the pit wall to register the complaint. Again, this is captured in the video.

7) RD then approaches Suppo and Nakagami to give then the bad news. ( Again, this is captured in the video.) I'm ashamed to admit that I fully enjoyed seeing Nakagami have a full-blown tantrum. Clearly, this man is used to getting his way with RD and Dorna.

8) This is when they start "thinking" on their feet, trying to stave off a black flag. "But, the rules are so vague and admit our interpretation that a rider can come in on his 11th lap." Errm. No.

This was a desperate, seat-of-the-pants appeal to RD that HRC/Repsol were forced to invent because Marc missed his scheduled pit stop. It was not a pre-meditated attempt to game the rules. No matter how Repsol/HRC may have (mis)interpreted the hastily drafted rules from RD, there was clearly a 2-lap window for pitting. So--according to their interpretation of the rules--either Pedrosa should be penalized for pitting one lap too early (on his 9th lap) or Marc should have been penalized for pitting one lap too late (on his 11th lap). Both cannot have avoided penalty according to their own reading of the rules.

Moreover, when Marc arrives in the pit after being black flagged, he just casually gets off the bike and strolls to his seat at the back of the garage without talking to anyone. He knew he blew it. Otherwise--if he did not realize what he had done--why wouldn't he flip up his visor while still on the idling bike and frantically ask his crew wtf is going on.

So, in the end, HRC/Repsol stuck with the (ludicrous) story that was their spontaneous (and completely lame) attempt to appeal the black flag. The post-race interview with Suppo is priceless: the look on his face screams "I can't believe I have to stand here with a straight face while spewing this ridiculous bullshit".

Total votes: 96

Point #7.

That is quite a promotion for Nakagami from Moto2 hopeful to HRC boss! Is Mr Nakamoto now going to ride that Italtrans bike next year?

Sorry just having fun in a much too serious comments thread.

Total votes: 67

Couple of minor points

Just a couple of minor points, especially about #6 and #7.

#6 - that isn't Mike Webb, that's Mike Trimby, the head of IRTA. The guys in the light blue shirts are IRTA, the guys in the white shirts are Dorna or MotoGP personnel, the guys in the dark blue shirts are Dorna TV and logistics crew. Mike Webb is a tall, thin guy who wears a white shirt to work.

#7 - again, that isn't someone from Race Direction, that is someone from IRTA. IRTA run the pit lane, and organize communication between Race Direction and the teams. Race Direction consists of four people who sit in the control center surrounded by TVs.

And it's Nakamoto, not Nakagami (but that's exactly the sort of mistake I am wont to make...).

Total votes: 65

Marquez' Pit Board

If you look at the 25 second mark of that video, on the far right, you will see that his pit board man is holding his pit board out, on lap 10, as the rest of his crew panic. His pit board man, crew chief Santi Hernandez and manager Emilio Alzamora are all acting as if that was exactly what they expected Marquez to do. The rest start panicking, except for the two guys holding the bike.  

Total votes: 70

Ahh...

...Thanks, David. I missed the pit board at the far right in this video. I only saw the small pit board (near the center of this still), indicating to Marc where to stop in the pit lane. The question remains, why were Marc's crew (in the garage) freaking out??

Total votes: 53

The guys in the garage

As far as I know, the plan was concocted by Emilio Alzamora, Santi Hernandez, and one or two others. The guys holding the bike may or may not have been in on the plan. They are Stoner's former crew, not Marquez' (and Alzamora's) crew. My guess is that Alzamora did not get Puig's side of the garage getting wind of the very 'clever' plan that they had thought of, and so told as few people as possible. Gabarrini (doing the 'game over' sign) would definitely not know about it, he is an HRC employee, the two guys with beards are Bridgestone staff. The other Japanese guy was HRC (white shirt, not blue Repsol Honda sweater), and so wouldn't have been told.

Of course, some of this is just conjecture on my part. Marquez said that Alzamora, Hernandez and one or two others drew up the plan. I am certain they limited the number of people they told. Who they would have told is open to conjecture, of course.

Total votes: 67

Fantastic read

Thank you, Mr Emmett for great article and the some feedback from others are equally fantastic... Dorna and Bridgestone are really caught off-guard on the matter of repaved track... But it does create great excitement for Motogp but it also quite dangerous as there is a lot of uncertain or unknown variable involved...

Marquez is a great guy and a good rider but he like to take risks, extreme risks... I believe he wants to go for 10+ laps and have a fresh tyre for 8 laps to battle Lorenzo and Pedrosa, also allowed him to push his bike to the limit... I don't know whether he saw or known whether the other two rider already arriving at Doohan corner... But it is quite reckless of him to maneuver his bike into the racing line without confirming whether there are riders behind him... It could be fatal for either all three rider if Marquez and Lorenzo fell from their collision... At Aragon, when Pedrosa fell from the clash between marquez and him, i cringed because Pedrosa fell on the tarmac, with his bike spinning away to the side of gravel /road... Pedrosa and his bike could be hit by rossi, crutchlow and bautista... Marquez need to buck up and learn to play with others...

Total votes: 64

Not smart.

If he were 'not that smart', he would never have gotten as far as he already has.

Not a very smart post.

Total votes: 66

The poly sided monster

From where I was sitting (in front of the TV) this race was allot of things depending on your prospective. On the side of racing purity (as David I think is) then it's an outrage. What happened can have its roots traced to the tires and the fact that they couldn't last the length of the race. Kind of makes me think of that fiasco with Pirelli in F1 not too long ago witch was I thought ridiculous. That said from an entertaining perspective I thought it was immensely entertaining. Always being the one looking for a really good match up I am rather excited that the championship all of the sudden has become much more exciting. The idea of Marc Marquez after being put in such a situation being determined to win in Japan. Wile Jorge will now see this as the chance he's been needing and will be more motivated then ever.

Now i've never gone through the rule book so I'm not 100% on this stuff but when Marc came out of the pit he was of corse going much slower and the resulting actions of both riders contributed to the outcome we all saw. I've tried to write out the circumstances a number of times drafting this message but I think it's almost impossible. So simply Jorge wants to win and, Marc wants to win and in that moment both parties were determined to the point of making contact. As a wise man once told me "when you're a racer all that really matters is winning" and for me personally I think that both men more or less wasn't considering weather it was right or wrong. Jorge wasn't about to slow down to let his biggest rival get in front of him and Marc wanted to beat Jorge so badly he could taste that world championship. Then for that little icing on the cake this action took place in a legal gray area witch I'm sure contributed to the riders taking extra ordinary risks. I'm vary thankful that both riders made it out of that situation safely but I will say this... I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

Finally on the black flag I still have no idea what actually happened. It could have been hot headedness causing him to completely loose his head. Marc had nearly come off his bike on tern 9 and perhaps in his fury with him self and determination to beat Jorge he ran too wide on 11 and missed any opportunity to pit. Regardless I have no idea.

Looking forward I'm hoping for an amazing race in Japan and now that the points being what they are I really do think it will be.

Total votes: 66

On the other hand Yellow

Marc is doing exactly what Stoner did on the Ducati... Push it often over the edge and see what happens. Push another lap and get sanctioned and actually so what? A wee gap sits between him Spencer and Stoner current. Lest ye forget....Rookie. Indiscretions acceptable. George and Casey and Dani and Valentino also had their respective first year failures and indiscretions.
Hey. That tyre issue! Clearly its a cast in stone Honda/Yamaha/Bridgestone series of 2 wheel motorsport.
Well. Lets cut costs and apply some consistency. A one tyre,absolute HARD front and rear for any circuit,symetrical both sides. Give something back to the twistgrip and brake lever in hand.
At the end of the day,nevermind electronics and traction control, the only thing that keeps you planted is the rubberside down. If Bridgestgone cannot achieve that on any basic piece of tarmac whether resurfaced or not for 45 minutes hot and dry or wet and cold is a disgrace. They were really a credit to the sport when they got hand in fist with minnows Ducati/Suz/Kawa back in 990 back then,but have cow towed to the extent of absolute failure as a basis for 'rubberside down' within the ambit of the sport of MGP.

Total votes: 52

Parking in turn 1

Submitted by David Emmett on Mon, 2013-10-21 15:12.
The point is, he had already rejoined. Once you pass the white lines, you are back on track, and racing. That is where I think the confusion lies. But this was a dangerous situation. Marquez cut across, and Lorenzo ran wide. If Lorenzo doesn't run wide, nothing happens, and if Marquez stays out a little more, nothing happens. But he was already on track and racing when Lorenzo arrived.

Judging from this statement I conclude with a 100% certainty that you have never come down into Doohan corner at breakneck speed yourself or otherwise you would see the error of your thinking.

Total votes: 73

We were very lucky...

...I think it's tempting to look at this extremely dangerous move as "no big deal" because the riders were extraordinarily fortunate to escape with minor contact. I had mixed feelings about the Marquez/Pedrosa incident in Aragon--in isolation, it was nothing. But in a broader context, it provided another example of a disturbing pattern: Marc disregarding the safety of other riders.

By contrast, I feel that this incident was far more serious given the potential risk involved. According to the data, Lorenzo was traveling just under 250KMH at the point of contact, Marc was moving at just under 110KPH--that's a speed differential of ~140KPH (~87MPH). Lorenzo was fully committed to the corner, heeled over at the limit, running slightly wide of his regular line (by ~10-12 inches) when Marc swerved into the racing line.

Can you imagine the potential trauma of riding down the street on your bike and plowing directly into a parked bike/rider at 140KPH? It's a miracle that one or both riders (and possibly Pedrosa, who was closely following) were not seriously injured. I took issue with the Aragon decision because it seemed to be based on the (indirect) consequence of Marc's mistake--that his gingerly contact (by freak accident) with Dani's bike disabled its TC, which in turn (by virtue of some poor software implementation) caused Pedrosa to be spat off. That is, if Pedrosa had not crashed, then it seems the penalty would not have been contemplated.

In PI, Marc's poor judgement did not cause a crash, so it was apparently not deemed to be dangerous. But the outcome here was very improbable: countless other outcomes, all with very serious consequences, were much more likely. That is what I find so frustrating about the penalty system--it seems to be based on whether people are upset by actions, rather than being based on whether the actions themselves are inherently reckless and dangerous. The situation at PI, at that speed, Marc and or Lorenzo and or Dani were very nearly involved in a serious (possibly life ending) accident caused by Marc's reckless behavior. And yet, this incident apparently does not meet the threshold that justified the penalty at Aragon. Amazing.

Total votes: 80

Where did those numbers come from?

Watching the video it does not look like a 140kph side swipe. The 12" also looked more like 2 meters to me and Jorge said he ran wide. I know they work on small margins but even Jorge would not call 12" running wide.

If Jorge thought it was all Marc's fault he would have been screaming to get him a penalty point or more and have Marc start from the back of the grid in Japan.

If you are belting into turn one and can see someone coming down pit lane you should be taking caution in case he does something silly and not be braking later and running wide. And yes I have raced and always erred on the side of thinking the guy going slow is going to be able to change direction quicker and make allowances for it so 1/3rd fault to Jorge.

1/3rd fault to Marc who should have stayed wider.
The last third for the change to the speed limit in pit lane that helped cause the speed difference.

Total votes: 67

Nice made up figures.

Where do you claim they came from? Citation needed as they say because I don't believe you had access to both teams telemetry recovered after the race.
A MotoGP bike will be doing more than 200kmh in the distance between the pit end and the corner, the real difference in speed came from MM needing to slow more for cold tyres rather than JL's terminal speed. And 110kmh would be crazy slow for even the apex of turn one on a street bike, let alone a MotoGP bike.
When you're ahead it's up to the guy behind to pass safely as long as you're not changing lines and MM didn't.

Culpability here is about 2% MM 3% JL and 95% Dorna for creating the situation in the first place.

Total votes: 73

2 sprint races

I think 2 sprint races would have been a better option. 2-9 lap races. 1 before moto2, 1 after.

show the 1st taped for tv viewrs, 2nd live.

MM will take care of bussiness in Japan! if Dani can pull his end and finish 2nd!

Total votes: 65

So can Lorenzo, if Rossi

So can Lorenzo, if Rossi pulls his...
(End that is...)

Two Yam 1-2 finished would tie on points and give Jorenzo the title on number of wins.

I'll admit your scenario is MUCH more likely!

Total votes: 56

Our man in Japan states a

Our man in Japan states a nasty typhoon headed for the entire coast of Japan which could wash the race out completely this weekend. There may be just one race left on the calendar.

Total votes: 66

MM

seems a combination of Chauncey Gardner (Being There) and Raymond Babbitt(Rain Man).Not just for his simple minded genius and obliviousness ,but equally for the reactions of those around them who are driven by ,and in turn blinded by,their own needs,desires and demons .

Total votes: 49

Go back and look at the

Go back and look at the replay of the MotoGP race on motogp.com. At 22:20 (16 laps to go), both Lorenzo and Marquez are shown pit boards telling them 6 laps to pit.

I too believe that Marquez decided on his own to stay out, and that any indication otherwise is an attempt by the team to protect their rider.

Total votes: 62

Adding excitment?

What happened at Phillip Island was the same as watching an obese, complacent and negligent corporate entity vomiting all over it's shoes. More disqusting than anything else.

Total votes: 63

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