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Argentina MotoGP Results

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I was reminded of the phrase “old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance.” Over halfway through the race today, Marc Marquez (Honda) seemed to have checked out … cruising with more than 4 seconds gap to 2nd place. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi dug deep, however, and chipped away at the Marquez lead until reaching him with two laps to go. At a corner exit, the two touched and Marquez went down.

Rossi takes his second win of the year, padding his points lead in the championship. Second today was the consistent Ducati under Andrea Dovizioso, while Cal Crutchlow (Honda) edged out Andrea Iannone (Ducati) for third.

This was an epic ride by Rossi, and certainly calls into question whether Marquez can dominate again this year.  Stay tuned.

Here is the order of the finishing riders. For additional details, results and points, visit the official MotoGP site.

 

Pos. Points Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 41’35.644
2 20 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +5.685
3 16 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda +8.298
4 13 Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati +8.352
5 11 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +10.192
6 10 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +19.876
7 9 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +24.333
8 8 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +27.670
9 7 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +34.397
10 6 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +34.808
11 5 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati +40.206
12 4 Jack MILLER AUS CWM LCR Honda Honda +42.654
13 3 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati +42.729
14 2 Loris BAZ FRA Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward +42.853
15 1 Stefan BRADL GER Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward +43.037
16 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda +43.252
17 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda +43.400
18 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati +43.808
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +44.878
20 Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +56.236
21 Karel ABRAHAM CZE AB Motoracing Honda +1’03.371
22 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Octo IodaRacing Team ART +1’08.444

 

 

86 Comments

  1. Breva750 says:

    Quite impressed with Kent winning 2 on the trot. I’m quite a fan of Moto3 apart from my one big beef – there should be no upper age limit on the riders. I liked the old days when the classes stood alone, and there were specialists like Neito who were the kings of the small bikes….

  2. Provologna says:

    Am I the only one who read the article and comments twice?

    If I could, I would love one year to follow the circuit to every race venue. I only saw Rossi race a few times. But just being in the presence of this guy is magic. Standing 75 feet from the start at Austin last was an epic event.

    At the end of last season my feelings thawed toward MM and I started the inevitable man crush on this Champion. But the way I feel now, I’d do anything to see VR stomp this upstart MM.

    He’s really still a very young man. But you see him now, compared to most of the MotoGP racers, and he looks, well, mature I guess is the right word.

    Win one for the “geezers,” Dr!

    On a different note: do you think Honda’s crew chief gave MM a tongue lashing for his senseless act of charity to VR and Yamaha? “Pride goeth before the fall.”

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I like Marquez a lot. I enjoy watching him ride, sliding around the turns riding at 101% of the limits. He also seems to be a very enthusiastic guy with a genuinely affable personality.

      Above all, though,he is a warrior, and while many here cry foul on his moves during the race which eventually put him on the ground, I see it more like two boxers who happened to land a punch at the same time. It’s just unapologetic combat. Guys like Rossi and Marquez don’t yield.

      I don’t consider myself a fan of any one rider: I like many of them for various reasons. What I most want to see is a handful of riders fight it out for the championship until the very end of the season. It doesn’t matter to me who comes out on top.

      • Trpldog says:

        Yeah, the last thing MM or Rossi wanted to do was fall down. No mean intent – its called racing. It did put him in quite a pickle though. Oy!

        • Provologna says:

          OK. Let’s do the math. The last several laps, when MM passed his pit crew, they alerted him that nine-time WC VR closes the gap each lap. Suddenly VR is in your (MMs) peripheral vision, possibly you hear the Yamaha’s motor (not sure on this one, I’m a sound technician, they wear ear plugs and the helmets are obviously state of the art for sound dampening considering speeds approaching 200mph). Now VR parallels with you, now he passes and you trail him.

          Without exception, one or both of the following is true:
          1. You had reserve speed even knowing VR closed, and you waited till now to employ that reserve and pass VR now that you trail him.
          2. VR has speed and lap times you can not match no matter your intention, no matter how angry, no matter how violent and strong is your will…the mathematical physics are such that your lap time is now longer than VRs and the only result of attempting to over come this mathematical reality is to select one of the following:
          a) Accept the math, finish behind VR and garner needed points
          b) Attempt to coerce one of the world’s best all time motorcycle racers to slow down to allow you to pass (best wishes)
          c) Directly cause yourself and/or your protagonist VR to crash

          I’m thinking #2 is correct, and MM chose C, the worst possible choice among a sum total of three choices.

          If Honda’s crew chief did not verbally discipline MM, and order him directly to choose to finish the race behind who ever passed him, said Crew Chief increased his chances of being fired. In fact, I would not be surprised, no matter how humiliating, if Honda’s crew chief did not require MMs signature to agree to finish a race rather than choose DNF facing similar situation (a clearly, unequivocally faster competitor), or face huge financial penalty.

          This may just be “racing” to readers here. To Honda this is a ginormous investment of many tens of millions of dollars in marketing and business strategy (thirdly huge company pride). DNF is exact same outcome as DNA (did not appear). And as anyone familiar with Woody Allen knows, 90% of life (and racing) is showing up. In this case, that means showing up across the finish line.

          MM won it twice consecutively. Persons familiar with Bill Walsh’s book (and Seattle Seachicken fans) know that it’s more difficult to continue with success after achieving it. Young MM becomes more familiar with this with each passing race this year.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Marquez said he knew the tires were fading and was saving some grip so that he could fight it out in the end if he needed to. So Marquez believed #1 was the correct situation. I don’t know if that was realistic or not, but that is what he believed, or claimed to at least.

            I think that if his own math said he couldn’t win, he would have settled for second. Nobody wants a DNF, and making contact with another bike is a good way to achieve that. No way a racer with a material chance of winning the championship would roll the dice, initiate ramming speed and hope it is the opponent that goes down and not him. In other words, I don’t think “option c” was ever part of the picture.

            “Option b” should read “attempt to coerce one of the the world’s best all time motorcycle racers to make an ERROR in order to pass.” Marquez has outraced Rossi and everyone else on the grid before, so I don’t see why it is unreasonable for him to assume that he could do it again.

          • mickey says:

            Rossi explained in an interview one time, that there is only 1 fastest line thru a corner, as he explained apexes and such, but he added it’s not the ONLY line thru a corner and he will use multiple lines going thru a corner depending on what his opponent is doing. If he is ahead, he will take a line inside to slow down the opponent and prevent an inside pass, if he is the one behind he knows that is the line the opponent will probably take so he will take a wider line hoping to come out with a faster exit speed and gain the advantage going into the next turn. It appeared to me after passing MM he used the blocking technique and MM had nowhere to go, then going into the next turn he used the tight corner technique and MM was being forced to the outside where they collided. Rossi is a crafty racer. He knows a few tricks MM doesn’t or as MM said in an interview after this race..” I learn something every time I race against Rossi”

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “the mathematical physics”

            re: “mathematical reality”

            re: “I’m thinking #2 is correct”

            you sir ponder my Law of NATCORK, carry on.

        • mickey says:

          I don’t think anybody wants to fall or cause another rider to fall, it just happens. Like I said before 25 Type A personalities on 250 hp machines trying to squeeze through the same small spaces and sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

  3. VLJ says:

    Considering how strong Rossi always seems to be come race day, why can’t he ever qualify worth a watery crap? Rarely does #46 even qualify on the front row, never mind on pole. (How long has it been since Rossi started from pole position, anyway? 2010, maybe? I can’t recall.) Most weekends, he’s starting from the middle of the second row, if not the third. In fact, hasn’t he started all three races this year from the eighth position?

    Who does that? What other consistent frontrunner during the race has ever been such a habitually poor qualifier? Certainly no one else on the grid, at present. All the other Usual Suspects at the front also routinely occupy the top spots during qualifying.

    This might make more sense if his teammate was also a consistently poor qualifier, at which point one might surmise that the M1 is simply not a strong single-lap bike on qualifying tires, but Lorenzo routinely starts each race from a more favorable position than does Rossi. Whatever the reason, Rossi needs to get it sorted. He’s in with a real chance now to win the championship, but those poor starting positions are eventually going to catch up to him. Sooner or later, he’s going to get jammed up in traffic and taken out in a mid-corner melee. Bare minimum, he’s going to get forced wide and shuffled far down the order. Meanwhile, his main rivals are enjoying smooth sailing up at the front, pulling away on a clear track.

    He can’t keep handicapping himself this way. No matter how talented he is, how crafty, not even Valentino Rossi can get away with tempting fate every weekend. If he’s to have a serious shot at winning this thing, he has to start making a habit of qualifying on the front row.

    • Brian says:

      He took his 50th premiere class pole at Valencia last year. The second row starts don’t seem like such a big deal most of the time, but I agree that 3rd row seems to increase the risk considerably.

      Not that he was happy with his qualifying last weekend: “I am very upset for the qualifying because I feel I could do better.”

      I’m sure none of this is lost on him or his team…

  4. Messy Marquez – battling is expected, but there’s a difference in how it can be done and Marquez’s approach.

  5. Hot Dog says:

    I bought the streaming package from Moto GP and it’s fantastic being able to watch all of the practice sessions of all 3 classes.

    Rossi is back to his old ways of stalking and pouncing. As I watched MM during practice sessions, his riding style seemed “edgy” and he was sliding around more than the others. JLo is smooth as butter, so I’m sort of bummed out that he wasn’t up in the mix of things.

    • Curly says:

      You’re right. The practices and qualifying are almost as exciting as the races and sometimes more so like at COTA. I just don’t understand why folks punish themselves by watching it on cable with commercials and none of the extras when the price of a whole race weekend worth of content is less than the cost of a 6-pack of craft beer.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think the streaming package is great as well. Plus you have access to the archives. I really enjoy watching some of the older races. I can watch what I want, when I want and where I want: on my phone, tablet, computer or plumb it to the big screen. Well worth the ~$100. That is half the price of what I paid for my COTA ticket.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Trying to explain how those MotoGP bikes sound to someone who hasn’t heard them first hand….its not a pithy proposition.

  6. stinkywheels says:

    I’m amazed that the Doctor still has the drive to play with these kids and come out on top occasionally. Best GP race I’ve seen in a few years. I know there have been a few more, but not with the Doc stalking and pouncing.

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      You’d think he was a fossil at 36. Luckily the bike is what generates the HP not his muscles. He just needs to work it. I’m 46 and still racing after 20 years. I’m no slower than I was 15 years ago when I found my groove. Now, if I were in a foot race with a 25 year old, yeah, they’re gonna smoke me.

      • Dave says:

        In motorcycle racing years, he is a fossil. The things we lose as we age change who we are both physically and mentally. The harshest examples of this can be seen in boxing. An older, dominant fighter comes out of training camp in what he and his team believe to be the beat shape of his life. On fight night he can’t seem to react fast enough to avoid punches and the resolve he displayed throughout his career has left without a goodbye. 20 minutes before, he had no idea it would happen. The slope down for an athlete is always steeper than the slope up.

        It is likely you never reached a level where this decline would be as apparent. Most of us don’t.

        Makes what Rossi is doing all the more amazing.

  7. Vrooom says:

    Marquez can blame that crash on one person, MM. Tried to pass and ran out of room, no fault on Rossi’s part. Surprising race for sure. Suzuki is looking good, they just need a few ponies.

  8. mickey says:

    the worst part of this for Marquez and the rest of the field is now after 2 wins Rossi’s confidence has to be through the roof and he has to think he can win every time now. Remember when he signed on with Yamaha this time, he said he wasn’t sure he still had it and wanted to see if he could be competitive. The mental damage done by 2 years on the ill handling Ducati is behind him now, and he is going to be tough this year.

    Hmm wonder if at the end of this contract if Ducati will take another run at the DR now that they have a competitive bike…. and if he would be interested.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Hmm wonder if at the end of this contract if Ducati will take another run at the DR”

      Both of the Ducati riders look strong. I suspect they won’t rock that boat. Now, you don’t suppose Honda and Repsol would start waving the checkbooks in 46’s direction if Pedrosa has a difficult time returning to form? Personally, I hope he stays with Yamaha.

      • mickey says:

        Wow hadn’t thought of that Jeremy. Interesting. Don’t think Honda would, but stranger things have happened. I too think Val should finish on a Yamaha, and I’d love to see him get another Championship, just because. The guy is simply an amazing motorcycle racer, and has been thru a lot of eras in the GP class…500 two stroke, 1000 4 stroke, 800 4 stroke and now back to liter 4 stroke bikes. Amazing.

        • carl says:

          Would be nice to VR win and pack it on top. Wouldn’t want him to get hurt at this point in his career.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Hmm wonder if at the end of this contract if Ducati will take another run at the DR”

      nope.

      re: “and if he would be interested.”

      nope.

      though I’m sure they respect their countryman, the rank and file at Borgo Panigale never wanted VR46 in house.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “the rank and file at Borgo Panigale never wanted VR46 in house.”

        That is interesting. Why wouldn’t the most prestigious Italian brand want the most prestigious Italian rider in house?

        • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

          I’m sure they absolutely wanted Vale in the house. They just didn’t want Burgess in the house telling Ducati engineers what to do.

          Ducati engineering is stubborn. They have the classic 90 L configuration with the front head pushing the mass too far back in the chassis they didn’t want to mess with and therefore not enough weight on the front to keep from understeering.

          Now, the engineering team is under new rule and they’ve rotated the L so they can pull in the front tire closer and reduce the wheelbase. There’s more weight on the front, the bike is more compact and it obviously works. It’s what Burgess wanted to do. But it wasn’t gonna happen until an Italian made them do it.

          Ducati engineering was the problem when Valentino was there. They didn’t want to listen nor admit they were wrong in what they were doing, fighting Burgess tooth and nail all the way.

          • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

            All that said, Vale’s decision to end his relationship with Burgess was still necessary. While great at what he did, things were changing rapidly and I don’t think he was able to either keep up or was willing to evolve with those changes.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Ducati engineering is stubborn. They have the classic 90 L configuration with the front head pushing the mass too far back in the chassis they didn’t want to mess with and therefore not enough weight on the front to keep from understeering.”

            me thinks thou “parrot-eth” too much.

            re: “There’s more weight on the front, the bike is more compact and it obviously works.”

            no, it didn’t work. they had already done that with the GP14 iteration remember, and it was not the “panacea” you and everybody else had hoped.

            what they needed was what I said, a proper built chassis (ally twin spar was not something they had ever done in-house). to that end they “acquired” the knowledge from Aprilia indirectly by hiring GiGi.

            and I say Aprilia ’cause Louie has always been an ENGINE guy not a chassis guy. NOALE are the twin spar specialists and this was understanding he naturally picked up cutting his teeth all those years with who are best described as the “Italian HRC”.

        • Norm G. says:

          Q: “Why wouldn’t the most prestigious Italian brand want the most prestigious Italian rider in house?”

          A: ’cause his presence would overshadow the operations and cause financial strain (which it did).

          if you recall, some of the biggest names at Ducati got out of dodge just BEFORE his arrival. Locke, Terblanche, Tardozzi, Suppo, etc. I think even Ciabatti left around that time for WSBK…? Ross is gone and now both Tardozzi and Ciabatti are back. hey, what are the odds…? lol

          for those who weren’t paying attention, Livio was the most vocal and was the first to jump ship for Honda, and they shuttered the iconic Xerox WSBK team on top of all that. now whether they were pushed out the door, or left on their own recognizance doesn’t matter, all of this “upheaval” occurred BEFORE the arrival of VR46.

          Russian’s don’t take a dump without a plan, and Italian’s (or investment companies cashing out) don’t recruit the big money Super Team of Ross and Jerry without having thought the matter through.

          • Hot Dog says:

            Now didn’t that feel good? You got a good point across without talking in tongue or some foreign verse.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “You got a good point across without talking in tongue or some foreign verse.”

            it’s a gift.

          • Hot Dog says:

            Sorta like sending yourself a letter bomb and waiting with baited breath for the mailman to deliver it, eh?

  9. gerry says:

    Looks as if MM, realizing VR was by, decided that if he wasn’t going to win then neither was VR. It’s time for the powers that be to punish this sort of behavior. It was certainly not the first time Marquez has pulled this sort of stunt.

    • Dave says:

      It was clearly accidental. No rider with any sense of self-preservation would’ve tried that on purpose and nobody is “good enough” to bet that contact at that speed would come out in their favor, especially from behind.

      Is MM a little hot-headed? Sure, many winners are, but as fast as Rossi closed the gap, a cool headed racer would’ve known there was no chance of getting a win. He should’ve let Rossi through and followed as best as he could to preserve the points. Instead he made a mess of it.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I agree with you: three was no malintent. When a race is close like that and nearing the end, an aggressive racer will “see” passes that can’t really be made. And it isn’t easy for even a mature and experienced racer to back out of that mental state in the heat of the moment, much less a combative young cannibal like Marquez. Each of those guys on the grid has tried to make that same pass more than a few times in their careers.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Spaniards – Hot headed? To say nothing of the Italians

        Motorcycle racers in general

      • Jason says:

        If you watch it, MM had stood his bike up and VR accelerated to the right slightly coming accross MMs front. MM was not to blame. VR was not to blame.

    • No punishment needed. MM knows who was at fault and will suffer for it for at least, oh, the next half-dozen races, which is what it will take for him to surpass the good Doctor if they both finish 1-2. Time served. Lesson learned?

  10. Lenz says:

    Rossi raced well – MM’s passing attempts were rubbish with an appropriate outcome

  11. Dave Pkw says:

    I don’t know why the fim reviewed the crash. What they should have reviewed
    was mm hitting VR mid corner 150 yds before he crashed.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “What they should have reviewed was mm hitting VR mid corner 150 yds before he crashed.”

      you sure about that…? the view from my porch was Ross tagging the kid. though i said in his debut year Marcus could stand at little “pantsing” from the OG’s. just didn’t think it would take this long.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        The views from my screen left little doubt that Marquez tried to punch through Rossi. Rossi had the line.

      • “just didn’t think it would take this long.”

        Right?!? Always kinda figured MM’s riding would sort itself out. What we really needed, it turns out, was a tangle with the Doctor. With Rossi on competitive form, historically he has always come out ahead in these sorts of games.

  12. TZ250 says:

    Rossi!!! Rossi!!! Rossi!!!!!!

    What a great race! Too bad Marquez went down….look like he was a little over anxious and wanted to get inside on the next turn but didn’t wait long enough for his front tire to clear Rossi’s rear tire. What a shame because I believe that Rossi had enough rear tire remaining to have finished about a second ahead of Marquez….maybe more. With Marquez, it seems like it’s do or die.

  13. Tim says:

    That was old school Rossi. Trail most of the race, then stalking and overtaking the leader with a couple of laps to go. Remember when guys routinely melted under the pressure from a stalking Rossi? He’s back. If Yamaha can just find him a few more horsepower he could actually pully his thing off.

  14. Hugh says:

    A Master Class from the Master.

  15. This season is completely exceeding expectations. Thrilling! It’s been great from the start, and the stage is set for a season long battle.

  16. Marcio says:

    Simple as that: MM could have hurt VR if that stupid move had torn the electronics from VR’s bike! He needs a punishment just for behaving that the Championship is his from the first race! MM, go racing and do it cleanly!

    • Al says:

      Killer race. MM finally got what he deserved this time, and it was long due. Also agree that they additionally should give him a penalty/points deduction for these moves. It’s just been too many times now in similar situations.

      • TexinOhio says:

        Totally correct. This has been Marquez’s MO forever. He need’s a couple penalty points to remind him he doesn’t automatically deserve to win every race.

        • Dave says:

          “He need’s a couple penalty points to remind him he doesn’t automatically deserve to win every race.”

          He penalized himself an entire races’ worth of points. I agree that when reckless riding costs others there should be a penalty but nobody got hurt, nobody else lost points. Karma has taken care of this one.

          • TexinOhio says:

            Unfortunately this is the second time this season he’s done something like this. First race in Qutar pushing from the back of the pack he severed Bautista’s rear brake system and Bautista retired.

            Now he had his run in with VR in Argentina and it’s only the third race of the season.

            If he keeps getting locked into battles in a pack rather than running clear up front he gets too aggressive. He did it many times in Moto2. Yes hes Honda’s boy and Repsols boy and the current champ. It doesn’t give him the right to knock other riders and their bikes around.

    • Mark Pearson says:

      Rossi pinched Marquez hard on the inside right then was positioning himself to push him outside on the next left. Marquez refused to give ground. It was hard, unapologetic racing.

  17. Jeremy in TX says:

    That was pretty epic. Marquez got too desperate and botched it. It didn’t look like he had the grip anymore to have held the lead spot against Rossi, but you never know. He could have at least had a place on the podium, but I know those guys aren’t programmed to think that way: there is only one spot on the podium.

    The Suzuki impressed and was very entertaining to watch through the first few laps. I hope they come back with some competitive power next year. Aleix is the real deal.

    Lorenzo was the surprise for me. I fully expected him to be dicing up with the front of the pack. If he keeps this up, he may find himself as Nicky Hayden’s teammate next year.

    And lastly, a very strong showing by Crutch.

    Great race!

    • carl says:

      Told you it was good lol

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Yeh, you just told me too soon! What kind of man puts a race result spoiler on the qualifying article forum? That’s just wrong! It was still awesome to watch.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I hope they come back with some competitive power next year.”

      don’t think you’ll have to wait that long. they already have more power, they’ve just been turning the engine down out of reliability concerns. rumour had it what you DID see this weekend was them turning it back up. up yes, just not “all ahead full” or “ramming speed”. I commend them for showing restraint and once again bringing 2 bikes home. keep playing around and they might just end up with a SPONSOR on the sides of those bikes…? cheeky buggers.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Both Suzukis had top 10 finishes…

        I’d say this is an excellent start!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “they might just end up with a SPONSOR on the sides of those bikes…?”

        Whaaaat? And ruin that sweet paint scheme they have now?

        “they already have more power”

        Unfortunately, it’s grenade power right now. When they do turn it up, it is a gamble as to whether they can fight it out with the competition or spray them with shrapnel. Like you, I also commend them for showing restraint because you know with a great rider like that and a chassis that is clearly up to the task, it has to be really, really hard for them not to amp it up and make a go at it. It would be fantastic if they are clawing at the podium later this year. So hopefully you are right and I won’t have to wait until the 2016 season.

  18. rapier says:

    It’s great we can finally see Moto GP. It’s better that there is actually racing now. The lack of real close racing in Moto GP has been a problem for attracting an audience but then again who would have known until FOX started their coverage. Moto GP will never be a big thing but on the radar would be good.

    Marquez made a mistake. The moment he got out of shape and Rossi passed he should have accepted 2nd was possible, and good enough. He could have retaken later too.

  19. VLJ says:

    I say again…Valentino freaking Rossi!

    Wow. Now that was impressive. And, for the record, MM’s crash was only relevant in terms of his own loss of second-place points, as well as the additional points Dovi, Crutchlow, Iannone, Lorenzo, etc., added by moving up one spot. Otherwise, forget about it, MM was done. Once Rossi caught him and passed him, it was over. There was no way Marquez and his toasted hard-compound tire was going to hang with Rossi and his fresher extra-hard tire those last two laps. Rossi was recording his fastest laps of the race, and #93 was steadily going backwards. Rossi was about to gap him, big time.

    This win was one hundred-percent legit.

    This was also one of those situations wherein MM paid the price for his youthful exuberance. He had nothing for Rossi there, but rather than play it smart and take the twenty points he fell victim to the red mist, and now he has a serious fight on his hands for the championship.

    Btw, if I’m not mistaken, hasn’t Rossi started each of these first three races from the eighth position? If so, has anyone else with those starting positions ever won two races and finished on the podium in the other?

    The guy is simply relentless.

  20. ballistic billy says:

    MM had an VR tire on the bike when he went to the grid an had them change the tire to the next softer on the grid. Rossi had the same tire on the front as MM but went with the hardest on the rear. Rossi bumped MM when he went by but the Honda rider hit the rear wheel of the Yamaha and fell. I guess Marquez thought he could intimidate Rossi. WRONG! He was trying to get to the other side of Rossi but caught his wheel on rear of the Yamaha. Great race and Suzuki was a surprise for a few laps and the Ducati team looks strong. Gonna be a great season. !

  21. Big Al says:

    Rossi continues to show he is the PhD. by schooling the other riders.

  22. Curly says:

    All of Italy must have shouted fantastico at the same time. Great to see Rossi use his skill and speed to the pass the anointed one but also sad to see MM make such a novice mistake.For now we must all hail Rossi.

  23. Brinskee says:

    What a race!! To see Rossi reel in Marquez was just incredible. The drive he still has at 36 is absolutely inspiring, and to see him remain at the top of the standings is making me hold my breath in nervous anticipation of what I think a lot of people hope to be a masterful season by such an incredible talent. After three races of a long, long season, is there hope that Rossi can claim another championship? I am personally so, so hopeful!

    MM93 finally showing the world that he’s human? I think so, and his old aggressive ways and that “win at all costs” attitude are coming back and showing it’s ugly face again. When he’s not comfortably in the lead, he’s dangerous. Diving for the inside line and the first contact with Rossi and then not yielding to the race line – he got what he deserved and is lucky he didn’t take them both out. Never good to see a racer go down, but it’s a reminder that the guy is possibly overly aggressive, especially when he’s not in control.

    Just wondering out loud here, but if this isn’t Rossi’s year, could it be due to Dovi finally having a capable machine in that incredible Ducati platform that gives him the edge? If all things were equal with tires, and on many.of the upcoming tracks where the tire selection limitations Ducati has won’t come into play, he and Ianonne may just start to dominate, especially with the extra soft to qualify on. Interesting stuff.

    As I was watching with my girlfriend, she and I both bad for Jorge – same equipment, same tire choices and to have your teammate qualify behind you and finish that far ahead has got to be bitterly disappointing. Hopefully he’ll start to figure it out.

    What a season so far!! The only way it could possibly get any better is if Fox Sports One got rid of Bob Varsha. Should we start a petition?

    • TimC says:

      This. The claims that Rossi made contact first are not correct – see the video I posted that is awaiting moderation. Rossi passes completely clean and then MM tries to repass with an um “slightly optimistic” (ahem, that’s putting it about as charitably as possible) couple of moves (hits).

  24. carl says:

    I will say it again, Wow what a race!!!

  25. Provologna says:

    My understanding is MM started with hard rear tire, VR very hard. Could MM have picked the same tire as VR, and if no, why?

    Is anyone not rooting for VR?

    • Gutterslob says:

      The extra hard was made available to all Yamaha and Honda factory teams. Marquez could have used it, but opted not to. His reasons might be the same as Crutchlow’s.

      Quote Crutchlow: “The Honda doesn’t have the grip of the Yamaha,” Crutchlow opined. “It’s as simple as that. And it doesn’t have the grip of the Ducati. So once we lose the grip, it’s really difficult to ride for the rest of the race. The [extra hard] tire is dropping after five laps. I know the [hard] is as well, but what you gain in those five laps, you may be able to maintain.”

    • “Is anyone not rooting for VR?”

      Absolutely not. To see VR46 at the front this year, after the last several, is a spectacle. Fantastic!

      • Neil says:

        Too bad Nicky is just out for a Sunday ride, selling Hondas presumably. Would love to see him on a full factory bike. But even when he had one, he never pulled a Rossi and came up through the field. Rossi is the Doctor. Such a feel for the bike and tires. Give him a good front end and he is good to go. Good for racing. MM93 just does not use his head sometimes. All he had to do is let Rossi by, KNOWING he was losing half a second a lap.

        • Marc said he’d saved up the tire while VR caught up, and would have been able to fight to the end. I think both he and Rossi would have preferred that. We’ll never know anything other than the fact that VR is STILL very much the man.

          Nicky had made up good ground and apparently lost about four spots on the last turn. Bummer.

        • Brian says:

          For those who subscribe to the MotoGP video package, it’d be great if they could put together an “open class cut” of the race. I understand the natural focus on the front, and I don’t care if it’s after the fact…but it’d be nice to actually have a chance to see some of the racing that goes on past 6th place or so. I’d definitely watch. And the footage must exist, right?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Could MM have picked the same tire as VR”

      well like you said, he started with it, but then swapped last minute.

      re: “if no, why?”

      well we saw why, he gapped the field by 4 seconds with the hope that everybody in the back would be tripping over each other (and they did) therein he’d coast to the flag on toasted tyres (which he almost did).

      unfortunately, nobody said it wasn’t a gamble.

  26. TimC says:

    “Diving under Marquez at a corner exit, the two touched and Marquez went down.”

    Not quite – MM clearly gets out of sorts and is the one to dive under after Rossi has passed him cleanly – contact at 1:20:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgIWJeJbNHw

  27. mickey says:

    wow what a finish and what a charge by VR. Will be interesting to see Marquez’s take on it since his little pin balling incident with Bautista last week.

    Heck of a race. Ducati’s did well, Suzukis did well. What’s up with Lorenzo? Helmet liner problem again?