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.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier Bridgestone after the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races on Sunday at Phillip Island:
2012 Phillip Island MotoGP Saturday Round Up - Unstoppable Stoner, Honda's Magic Gearbox, And A Dark Horse
Two championships could be settled at Phillip Island on Sunday. Marc Marquez looks certain to wrap up the 2012 Moto2 title in Australia, as the Catalunya Caixa rider needs just 2 points to put the title out of reach of Pol Espargaro. Marquez' chances of wrapping up the Moto2 title with a win look slim, though. Pol Espargaro has been in a class of his own at Phillip Island, his love for the circuit showing through in the way he has been riding. The only man to get near to Espargaro all weekend has been Scott Redding, Phillip Island one place where Redding's size is less of a handicap. With few places where hard acceleration from low speed is required, Redding can rely on his natural speed to get around the track. Despite still being the youngest rider ever to win a Grand Prix - a title he is likely to hold in perpetuity, since the minimum age went up to 16 - Redding is still winless in Moto2. If he can follow the pace of Espargaro, Phillip Island could well provide him with a real shot at his first win.
The MotoGP title may not be settled in Australia, though. Jorge Lorenzo leads Dani Pedrosa by 23 points, and just needs to finish ahead of the Honda man to wrap up the championship at Phillip Island. The odds of that happening looked much better on Saturday, Lorenzo taking 2nd spot in both the morning's free practice and qualifying in the afternoon, finishing ahead of Pedrosa in both sessions. But Lorenzo's may yet have to leave the box of championship t-shirts in the flight cases, as a closer look at the race pace between Lorenzo and Pedrosa gives the advantage to the Honda man. Lorenzo is lapping consistently in the high 1'30s and low 1'31s, but Pedrosa has been reeling off strings of high 1'30s in race trim.