2012 Valencia MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: On Marquez' Talent, Pedrosa's Gamble, Lorenzo's Crash, And A Debt Left Open
So the 2012 MotoGP season is over, and someone with a great deal of courage and a little bit of money to wager could have ended the year rich beyond their wildest dreams. If you could have found someone to take your bet seriously, you would have got a very, very good return on one race being won from the back of the grid, and the other from a rider starting from pit lane. Just one of those events is highly unusual, having both of the happen on the same day is unheard of.
The odds on Marc Marquez winning from the back of the grid were probably disappointingly short. By now, every bookmaker in the world will have seen the onboard clip of Marc Marquez after stalling his bike on the grid at Motegi, and the way he disposed of twenty Moto2 competitors in the space of half a lap. The first lap at Valencia is likely to create as much of a sensation - or at least it would, if Dorna would either resist the temptation to take down Youtube videos before they go viral to keep their TV rights holders happy, or make the videos available free of charge on the MotoGP.com website so that they can go viral while retaining control - as Marquez passed another twenty riders in the space of five corners.
Press releases from the teams, from the single tire supplier and from Honda after Sunday's dramatic MotoGP race at Valencia:
2012 Valencia MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Of Lap Records, Hunger For Success, And Giving Factories Enough Rope
The last of the 990 pole records finally went at Valencia, along with the last record held by Valentino Rossi at any of the tracks currently on the calendar. Dani Pedrosa's astonishing last lap was inch perfect, and put him 0.158 seconds faster than Rossi's time, set in 2006 at the infamous season finale in which Rossi got a dismal start, then fell off trying to catch Nicky Hayden, handing the American the world championship in the process. Pedrosa's lap really was something special, though the Spaniard was not as impressed as the onlookers. He had had a few good laps in his career, he told the press conference, and this was definitely one of them. Pedrosa has looked ominous all weekend - actually, since Indianapolis - and if it were going to stay dry, then you would be hard put to think of anyone who could beat the Repsol Honda man.
Jorge Lorenzo is keen to try, and is fast all the way round the circuit to the final sector, but is losing a couple of tenths just in the acceleration out of the final corner and towards the line. The Hondas dominate there, good round the long left before the final corner - both Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were hanging the rear out all round that turn, showing a hint of the old tire-smokin' 990 days - but absolute missiles on acceleration. That has been Lorenzo's complaint all year, not sufficient acceleration and not the wheelie control which the Hondas appear to have. If Lorenzo arrives at the final corner with a Honda behind him, he will fear for his position.
2012 Valencia MotoGP Friday Round Up: Dr Marquez And Mr Hyde, Bumpy Tracks, And Leasing Yamaha Engines
If there is one rider in the entire MotoGP paddock who recalls the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, it is Marc Marquez. Around the paddock, speaking to the press, at public appearances, the Spaniard is soft-spoken, polite, friendly. When he speaks, he speaks only in commonplaces, his media training having expunged any trace of opinion or controversy from his speech (in either English or Spanish). Put him on a bike, however, and the beast is unleashed. He is merciless, in his speed, in his ownership of the track, and in his disregard of anyone else on the track.
So it was unsurprising that the Spaniard should find himself in trouble once again. During the afternoon practice, Marquez slotted his bike underneath an unsuspecting Simone Corsi going into turn 10, sending the Italian tumbling through the gravel in the process. The move was reminiscent of the incident at Motegi, where Marquez barged past Mika Kallio with similar disregard for the consequences, but unlike Motegi, this time Marquez received a penalty from Race Direction, for contravening section 1.21.2, a section Marquez by now must know almost by heart. That part of the Sporting Regulations which governs 'riding in a responsible manner which does not cause danger to other competitors'. For his sins, Marquez is to start from the back of the grid on Sunday, regardless of where he qualifies.
The official FIM press release announcing Marc Marquez' penalty for his move on Simone Corsi:
2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana - Decision of the Race Direction
On Friday 09 November, the Race Direction decided to impose on rider Marc MARQUEZ (SPA) a grid penalty to start from the last position for the race in Valencia on 11 November. Marc MARQUEZ rode in an irresponsible manner during the Moto2 free practice causing danger to rider Simone Corsi (ITA) which is an infringement of the article 1.21.2 of the 2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
No appeal was lodged.
The decision of the Race Direction is final.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier ahead of this weekend's season finale at Valencia:
After the kerfuffle surrounding Marc Marquez and the accusations of cheating leveled against him and his team, the Repsol Media Service issued a press release in which Marquez' crew chief Santi Hernandez explains how they go about setting up the bike each weekend. The release makes for interesting enough reading, though it shies away from too much detail of the changes they make. It still offers a basic grounding on what the work of a crew chief encompasses. The press release is reproduced below"
Fine-tuning a title winning bike
Marc Márquez’ mechanics unite with the two-time World Champion at each race to find a perfect symphony between man and machine.
During the five practice sessions of each Grand Prix, Marc Márquez and his mechanics work side-by-side in the development of the bike. But what exactly is the setup? This is a joint job carried out by Marc and the technicians in order to prepare the bike for maximum performance, based on the characteristics of the various circuits and the possible weather conditions.
The Moto2 paddock in Phillip Island was awash with rumors of cheating, and not for the first time. There have been accusations of cheating by Marc Marquez' Monlau Competicion team running around the paddock for most of the two years the young Spaniard has been racing in Moto2, accusations which MotoMatters.com has been reporting on since early this year.
The rumors in Australia centered round illegal manipulation of the spec HRC ECU fitted to all Moto2 machines. The German magazine Speedweek suggested that Marquez' team had been able to load an illegal map on to the ECU, capable of overriding the quickshifter function and preventing fuel from being cut when the quickshifter was used. This, Speedweek claimed citing an unnamed technician, is what the Monlau team had been doing, and this explained his superior acceleration. The advantage offered was that by not cutting the fuel injection, the air/fuel mixture was much better directly after a gear change, improving throttle pickup and helping to explain some of Marquez' advantage in acceleration. The fuel map, Speedweek alleged, would be loaded onto the ECU before the start of a race, and would then automatically erase itself when the engine was switched off.
Two freshly anointed champions, three impressive winners, and a large crowd of ecstatic and yet wistful fans, come to say goodbye to a departing hero and hope to spot a new one arriving. Even the weather cooperated. That's how good the Australian Grand Prix was at Phillip Island this year. All three races were a lot less intense than the previous two weekends, but even that didn't matter, because of the manner in which the winners secured their victories, and because the Australian crowd had something to cheer about in all three categories.
It started in the Moto3 race, where Sandro Cortese rode one of his best races of the year, the title he clinched last weekend at Sepang clearly a weight off his mind, allowing the young German to ride freely. He had Miguel Oliveira to contend with for most of the race, but in the end, he would not be denied. The home crowd still had much to cheer about, as local boy Arthur Sissis, the 17-year-old former Red Bull Rookie, won an intense battle for third, putting an Australian on the podium for the first time on Sunday.
The Repsol Media Service today issued the following press release containing an interview with Marc Marquez, in which he talks about what it took to win the 2012 Moto2 championship. He discusses the many tough races he had to win, the risks he had to take in the last laps, and his first lap at Motegi. The text is shown below:
Moto2 - Interview with Marc Márquez, Moto2 World Champion
"I won the title by taking last lap risks"
New Moto2 World Champion looks at the keys to his title winning season, one hour after his latest honour.
Repsol Media Service - Monday 29/10/2012
Battles with Pol Espargaró, the epic comeback in Japan, the fight to recovery from injury in the winter and the pressure of being a favourite have all been key to crowning the 2012 Moto2 Champion. "Sometimes I have to channel my inner anger to win a race,” says Márquez.
Moto2 World Champion. For two years the title seemed to be calling, but it has not been easy. Do you feel liberated now?
A press release from Dorna and and an infographic from Repsol on Marc Marquez' 2012 Moto2 World Championship:
Marc Márquez - 2012 Moto2™ World Champion
At this weekend’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez became the fifth Spanish rider ever to win a world title in the intermediate-class, and being the first ever to do so on a Suter chassis.
Marc Márquez’s debut World Championship campaign in 2008 immediately served notice of his talent, and he took a podium at Donington in his first season despite a shortened campaign due to injury. In 2009 he scored a single podium on his way to eighth overall, before his full talent truly blossomed in 2010 as he scored an incredible 10 victories from 12 poles on his way to the 125cc World Championship title. One of his most notable rides was the fight-back from last on the grid in Estoril to storm to victory.