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Rossi: Jorge and I Must Be Very Careful With Marquez From This Point Forward

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With the MotoGP series reaching the midway point this weekend in Germany, Yamaha is already tightening its grip on the championship. Yamaha has completely dominated the series so far by winning seven of the first eight races (four for Lorenzo and three for Rossi), including six wins in a row – both firsts for Yamaha in the Premier class.

The man who dominated last year, Marc Marquez (Honda), is not mathematically eliminated from this year’s title, but he would have to dominate the remaining races and, at the same time, have the Yamaha duo experience bad luck. As it stands, Marquez is in fourth position in the championship, 74 points (nearly three full races) in arrears of Rossi and 64 points behind Lorenzo.

Rossi, who is looking for his 10th championship in 20 years of world championship racing, knows that he and Lorenzo must be “very careful” on track with the aggressive Marquez, whom Rossi expects to be with them at the front the remainder of the series. Most recently, Marquez and Rossi came together in the final chicane at Assen two weeks ago with both of them nearly crashing. Rossi went on to win that race with Marquez second, but the result could easily have been a DNF for one or both of the riders.

In other MotoGP news, Marco Melandri is leaving the Aprilia MotoGP team and will be replaced by test rider Michael Laverty this weekend in Germany. Since moving to MotoGP this year from WSB, Melandri has somewhat mysteriously languished at the bottom – qualifying last in every single race this year, except one.

26 Comments

  1. Doug says:

    I appreciated MM the last 2 years but couldn’t bring myself to be a fan. This year, I flat out don’t like him .

  2. Eric says:

    Here we go folks! MotoGP switches to NASCAR tactics to generate ratings (and appease Honda). 2nd tier teams instructed to take out the leading Yamaha riders so MM & DP can close the points gap. Back-markers throw up rolling road blocks. Multi-bike accidents. Zaniness ensues!

  3. Vrooom says:

    Melandri has been a mystery in GP. Hope he finds a ride in WSB where he was very competitive.

  4. mickey says:

    Mathematically Marquez still has a chance, but it’s a very slim one and would require extraordinary bad luck for both the Yamaha riders. Marquez as two time defending champ has to believe no matter how slim there is still a chance. His riding will be driven by that thought. Rossi was over 50 points back in 2006 and fought back to lead the championship going into the last race but fell on lap five of that race. Marquez is a little further back that that but there are a lot of points still up for grabs. Going to be interesting.

    • pigiron says:

      Broken legs, collarbones, etc. are endemic to all top MotoGP riders including the three under question.

  5. Ron H. says:

    MM is reckless for sure, but race officials won’t touch him. He’s to valuable to the business side of GP. He should have been penalized already a number of times, but hasn’t been. If he gets someone seriously hurt or killed with his kamikaze antics he needs to be banned.

  6. The Spaceman says:

    Its great to see Yamaha at the top of their game. Not to take anything away from Valli and Lorenzo, but if nothing else, Marquez’s experience of late makes it painfully obvious that you can’t win without the bike being right. They must be truly relishing this season after Honda’s seasons of dominance.

    Theres no doubt that Yamaha’s exceptional racing performance is echoed in their consumer product line. I picked up an FJ-09 a week ago, and I’m still amazed at what I got for my money. No, its not as trick as a BMW S1000RX or whatever they’re calling the beaked S1000R, but virtually 1/2 the price I got a full suite of electronics, more power than I can use 98% of the time, and sweet Yamaha brick-like reliability. Go Yamaha!

    • TimC says:

      There is that. I still find my FZ6, warts (susp, fueling) and all, to be an all-around highly competent bike. And yeah, it’s needed nothing beyond routine scheduled maintenance.

  7. Brinskee says:

    Sure, all the chatter about mind games from the undisputed mental master has merit, but I think in this situation our man VR46 is right – any little scenario he or Jorge find themselves in with MM93 around them is a potential powder keg as has been proven many times in recent memory. When Marc finds himself in a situation where he just doesn’t have the kit to take the stop step, it really seems to become a win-it-or-bin-it AND take-out-the-guy-I’m-racing situation.

    Which is a d@mn shame, when you think about it. Most other racers (excluding some obvious exceptions) are aggressive, sure, but remain somewhat sportsmanlike and elegant in their form and function. Not Marquez; he turns into a steaming, red-assed bull, with no tact or judgement, who expects and seems to feel entitled to being at the front, regardless of where he is or why.

    I don’t like it. I’m glad to see him almost three races behind Rossi and I hope the paddock can keep him at bay.

  8. Dave says:

    The guy he needs to be careful with is standing on the podium with him. That’s the guy that’s close to him in the series. If Lorenzo is going for more wins, then Rossi has to chase, and beat him. That’s the only scenario where MM becomes a real problem, by finishing between them and creating bigger point gaps.

    • VLJ says:

      Precisely. As long as the Yamaha duo remain upright, where Marquez finishes in these remaining races no longer matters. “Just beat your teammate!” has to be the guiding mantra for Rossi and Lorenzo now, and whichever one manages it most often will win the championship.

  9. Will Parker says:

    Well I hope that doesn’t mean Rossi plans on racing for second to secure the. Championship..If Marquez gets comfortable with the bike underneath him, he’s pretty much untouchable..

    • TF says:

      I don’t think it much matters what MM does if VR and JL are successful in spending the second half racing each other for the title.

  10. Jim says:

    Who said Rossi was washed up?

  11. TimC says:

    All this having been said (and agreed with in my case), I have to say I think there’s decent chance that too much is being read into this, possibly also with MD’s phrasing as well.

    Here’s the link on the MotoGP site (is this MD’s source? Links would be nice). To me it sounds more like he’s just aware that MM is a competitive threat, not so much engaging in a psychological game and/or calling attention to MM’s barging into others etc….

    http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2015/07/08/rossi-we-must-be-very-careful-with-marquez/179369

    • Notarollingroadblock says:

      I agree, but it is Rossi we’re talking about. The big question is how much faster is MM going to be in the second half of the season? It seems he’d need to win ’em all to challenge for the title. Will we see “Let Valle by” on Lorenzo’s pit board at the last race of the season?

  12. Hot Dog says:

    An ill wind blows off the Sea of Marquez.

  13. Bob L says:

    It just might be mind games by Rossi but it’s also the plain truth.

  14. Ricardo says:

    Good strategy by Rossi and playing the mind game, but also very true that Marquez is way too aggressive and will eventually bit him in the a*S or hurt himself or someone else.

  15. boscoe says:

    Rossi is a master baiter

  16. peter harris says:

    Of course this is clever because any contact will be assumed to be Marquez and Rossi will play that card for all it’s worth – just like at assen.

  17. Alex says:

    He’s right of course, they must be careful of the reckless Marquez. Calling him out is a good tactic—race officials will take extra notice and Marquez will feel himself being defined in a less than favorable way. Masterful mind games by the master.