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Motegi MotoGP Results

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A fascinating race at Motegi today — again one where weather played an important role in the battle for the championship.

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took off like a rocket on a wet track and built a lead that approached 4 seconds at one point. As portions of the track began to dry, however, front tire wear became a significant problem for both Lorenzo and teammate Valentino Rossi, who ran in second.

In the last third of the race, Honda’s Dani Pedrosa began to post much quicker lap times than the Yamaha duo, and he eventually reeled in both riders to take the win.

In the all-important battle between Lorenzo and Rossi, Rossi overtook Lorenzo to finish second, with Lorenzo third. Rossi therefore leads the championship by 18 points over Lorenzo with three races remaining.

Here is the order of finish, excluding DNFs. For additional details, results and points, visit the official MotoGP site.

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 147.5 46’50.767
2 20 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 147.1 +8.573
3 16 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 146.9 +12.127
4 13 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 146.1 +27.841
5 11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 145.7 +35.085
6 10 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 145.6 +37.263
7 9 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 145.6 +37.667
8 8 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha 145.2 +44.654
9 7 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 145.0 +48.572
10 6 45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 144.9 +50.121
11 5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 144.4 +1’00.535
12 4 72 Takumi TAKAHASHI JPN Team HRC with Nissin Honda 144.4 +1’01.211
13 3 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 143.9 +1’11.261
14 2 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 143.7 +1’13.896
15 1 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 143.7 +1’15.421
16 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 143.4 +1’20.507
17 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 142.9 +1’31.224
18 6 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 142.1 +1’46.833
19 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI JPN AB Motoracing Honda 141.5 +2’00.072
20 24 Toni ELIAS SPA Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 139.1 1 Lap

66 Comments

  1. mickey says:

    BTW anyone remember the contest from February of this year?

    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2015/02/how-many-races-will-marc-marquez-win-this-year-a-contest-for-our-readers/comment-page-1/#comments

    anyone that said less than 3 or more than 7 is out.

    Looks like it will be 4 (which he has now),5,6, or 7 depending on outcome of next 3 races

  2. Cage Free says:

    46>99

  3. hh says:

    Bad Luck! There are plenty of examples, Rossi taking down Stoner, Pedrosa taking down Hayden, Marquez taking down Pedrosa, Elias knocking Rossi…someone makes a mistake and to be on the result for just minding your own business is bad luck. Unless you were riding too close to Randy De Puniet or Frankie Chili in which case there was a good chance something bad going to happen, i.e. “crash”. Nothing has happened to Lorenzo that was “bad luck”, managing your equipment is you and your team’s responsibility and the weather etc is everyone’s luck which is just racing. Riders who crow over their victories and walk away from their losses with excuses like bad luck when their was no luck involved need to learn that sportsmanship does not stop you from being a bigger winner, but without it you are bigger loser.

  4. EZMark says:

    Pedrosa has been riding great lately. Must be time to renew his contract.
    I guess he’s hoping Honda will notice his recent resurgence and forget that he hasn’t won a single title in 10 years with the team.

    • mickey says:

      He is just recovering from surgery where they removed the casing around the muscle in his forearm, and got a second and a first in his last two outings beating both of this years title contenders and the current world champion.

      It’s true that he has not won a title since moving up to the premier class but he does have 3 World Championships, one of the best on podium percentages in the history of the sport, lies 8th all time in MotoGP wins (with 50.. 27 of those in the premier class) ahead of some very famous MotoGP racers, and has in fact contributed to other Honda riders winning several premier class Championships (incl Hayden, Stoner and Marquez) by keeping over 400 points out of the hands of the competition’s riders. All in all not a bad resume’.

      Who would you put in his seat that could do better?

      • mickey says:

        and tied for 3rd (with Angel Nieto) among all MotoGP riders in history on podium finishes behind Rossi and Agostini

      • VLJ says:

        Hmmm…

        An unusually lengthy career on a great team?

        Check.

        As a result of this longevity, pile up impressive-seeming career numbers while never being remotely dominant?

        Check.

        Never won anything important?

        Check.

        Yep, Don Sutton was the Dani Pedrosa of Major League baseball.

        🙂

        • mickey says:

          There’s my little Pedrosa hater!

          Hey VLJ, the question still stands. The one you have refused to answer for the last couple of years.

          If you were in charge of HRC racing, who would you have given Pedrosa’s ride to, that would have done a better job?

          • VLJ says:

            I never refused to answer anything. Your question was posed to EZMark, not to me. You’ve never posed that question to me.

            Otherwise, to answer your question in full, it would depend on the season. Dani’s been there for an unprecedented ten freaking years now. Many talented riders have come and gone during that time, buried beneath the crush of the factory Yamahas and Hondas.

            For starters, however, in 2007 I wouldn’t have handed Nicky Hayden’s #1 seat to Dani. Nicky had just won Honda the title, breaking Yamaha’s stranglehold on the world championship. Along the way, he’d smoked his Repsol Honda teammate, one Dani Pedrosa. Nicky had climbed to the top of the mountain in every championship he’d raced, he’d always bled Honda red, he was driven by an unsurpassed will to win, and he was still young. There was no reason to think he wouldn’t only continue to grow as a championship rider.

            Moreover, no reigning champion pre- or post-2007 was ever rewarded with anything less than the full factory development support and primary focus of his sponsored team. Nicky had clearly earned that same factory support.

            Your argument has always been that the advent of the smaller 800cc machines in 2007 forced Honda’s development focus to shift to the Spanish Smurf.

            Well, how’d that work out for them?

            See, last I checked, Valentino Rossi is even taller than Nicky Hayden, and that lanky bastard managed just fine on the 800. Casey Stoner isn’t exactly Shaquille O’Neil, but he’s still taller and heavier than Dani Pedrosa. So is Jorge Lorenzo.

            Point being, the size thing was always a nonstarter. The same riders continued to win, and win championships. Even when handed the #1 ride in the world, Dani remained Dani. Whereas all the other factory Honda and Yamaha riders won championships, Dani’s lack of competitive fire prevented him from ever taking that plum ride and using it to hand Honda another world title.

            And we all know why he’s been given that privilege, lo these past ten years. Great rider, to be sure. World-class talent. Classy kid. Change his surname from ‘Pedroza’ to ‘Finkelstein,’ however, and his career arc doubtless would have followed those of other second-tier riders such as Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, or Alex Barros, none of whom proved worthy of a lifetime ride on a factory Honda. Perhaps a Dani Finkelstein might have even been a Randy Mamola, but that’s being awfully generous, and Mamola was still forced to bounce around from team to team.

            Right time, right place, is all. In today’s MotoGP world, it’s good to be Spanish.

            It is what it is.

          • mickey says:

            I never refused to answer anything. Your question was posed to EZMark, not to me. You’ve never posed that question to me. VLJ

            What is this? Is this not a direct question?

            “There’s my little Pedrosa hater!

            Hey VLJ, the question still stands. The one you have refused to answer for the last couple of years.

            If you were in charge of HRC racing, who would you have given Pedrosa’s ride to, that would have done a better job?” mickey

            and you answer ” Many talented riders have come and gone during that time”

            sounds like a dodge to me. STILL didn’t answer the question.

            If size doesn’t matter” as you just said above, why couldn’t Hayden win in 2007 or 2008 as in 34 races, with no wins, even though Hayden got Honda’s only pneumatic lifter engine in 2008 while Pedrosa raced on the old spring valve engine..(so much for Hayden not getting full factory support and development)..oh yea, it’s because you said Honda designed the 800 around “that smurf Pedrosa” that was how you put it right? Guess size didn’t matter to Rossi or Stoner, it only mattered to Hayden.

            Also Hayden chose to leave Honda and go to Ducati of his own volition, Honda didn’t fire Hayden even though he hadn’t won a race in 2 years, and had only won 3 races prior to that.

            BTW your dream might come true. Just read an article in Motorcyclist Magazine explaining why the podiums are filled with Spaniards and Italians (same reasons I have stated for a long time)….anyhow it seems there’s a chance that may be coming to an end as the economies in Spain and Italy are so decimated that aspiring road racers from those countries may not be able to afford to pursue careers in motorcycle road racing.

          • VLJ says:

            You posed the question to EZMark, not to me, Once you posed it to me, I answered you.

            As for your mention of Stoner and Rossi, you only prove my point. Honda thought the size of the rider mattered so much that they relegated their reigning world champion to second-rider status. They developed the 800 strictly around the much tinier Dani Pedrosa. It didn’t fit Nicky at all. He was never comfortable on it.

            This decision didn’t turn out so well, did it, especially considering the fact that larger riders went on to win every championship, and they won them on bikes that weren’t designed solely for smurfs.

          • mickey says:

            No I posed it to you, but it doesn’t matter.

            You said you answered it, however I don’t see any names, so I have to assume you don’t have anyone in mind that would have done a better job and I understand that because it’s unlikely there is anyone out there that would be more productive than the smurf.

          • VLJ says:

            No, you initially posed it to EZMark. A post or two later, I posted my Don Sutton analogy. You responded by posing your question to me, which was the first time you had ever posed it to me. I immediately answered. I said it would depend on the season—which you never stated—but for starters I would have given Dani’s ride in 2007 to Nicky.

            Now, if you want to use other seasons, name them. Just keep in mind that we can’t make any apples to apples comparisons, not when we’re forced to compare Dani’s Repsol Honda results vs those of guys riding satellite bikes for teams that lack anything close to the financial and technical support Dani receives as a factory Honda rider.

            Of course Dani’s results will always be better. It’s not a fair fight.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “Never won anything important?”

          A single MotoGP win is hugely important. Consider how few people have achieved that in the last decade.

          • VLJ says:

            He’s been on the official factory Repsol Honda for the past decade. How could he not win races?

          • mickey says:

            Re: Never won anything important”

            Sure, if you are willing to dismiss 3 World Championships

          • VLJ says:

            I am. Those were in the minor leagues.

          • Dave says:

            When he wins, he beats the other beat riders in the world, heads up. If he wasn’t good enough to be on the factory Honda team, he wouldn’t be.

            Calling the lower gp classes unimportant is a step too far. It is much more difficult to win in those classes than it is to win in MotoGP on a Repsol Honda. In those classes there are more than 3 other riders who can challenge you.

          • VLJ says:

            “It is much more difficult to win in those classes than it is to win in MotoGP on a Repsol Honda. In those classes there are more than 3 other riders who can challenge you.”

            Agreed, which is why I’m not all that impressed by Dani’s career stats in the Premier class. More telling is the fact that in ten seasons (and counting) on a Repsol Honda Dani never managed to bring home a title. Riders came and went, people changed teams, three different Repsol Honda teammates of his became world champions, and all the while #26 retained his ride while never winning the top prize.

            Regarding his 250cc titles, all most people really care about is who wins the World Series. No one cares who wins the Triple AAA championship.

  5. Trpldog says:

    As great a rider a JL is, I’m finding it more and more difficult watching his over the top “in your face” victory celebrations. Winning is one thing, what you do afterwards speaks volumes. I was kinda glad to see what happened in Japan – a little crow for dinner can help us all out at times.

  6. Crim says:

    Failing to manage tire wear could be excusable to a newbie. J-Lo should know better. If he wins the championship, it would be a shame to reward such stupidity. He insists on humiliating the rest of the pack but then who winds up red faced? He who laughs last…

  7. mickey says:

    Lorenzo: ” I’m the fastest, bad luck is costing me ”

    Poor Val, if he wins a 10th it won’t be because of his skill, it will be because Lorenzo is having some bad luck.

    boo hoo Jorge

    • Fitbar says:

      Only for rossi’s “bad luck” (inability) to qualify better in past races this season Jorge wouldn’t even be contending for the championship at this stage…. I think he’s been very lucky. Overall rossi’s performance this season makes him the best rider. Whatever happens.

    • TexinOhio says:

      If Vale picks up the title this season. He or one of his crew needs to walk over to Lorenzos box and pop that shark balloon they showed hanging over JL’s pit door.

  8. TunaPete says:

    Did anyone notice, as they were catching Lorenzo, that Rossi and Pedrosa were hunting for wet track on the straights, while Lorenzo was staying on the dry line the entire time? Watch the video again, and you’ll see spray coming off of their tires down the straights, while none was coming off of Jorge’s tires. That might be nothing… but it might be something.

    • Dino says:

      I noticed that during one of the later laps… Some corners had all three of them taking different lines.

      Another thing the announcers touched on was that Lorenzo had a couple small winglets on the front of his fairing (like the Ducatis) to generate some front downforce. I think they said this was the first race he was using it, and there were concerns over accelerated tire wear from the extra downforce.

      The extra downforce could explain all of it, the extreme speed during the early parts of the race, and more wear on the fronts than Rossi (due to Rossi hunting for wet track as it dried, or also because he did not have the winglets?).

    • Balraj says:

      I am not clear why Honda’s wet weather tires does not shred like the Yamaha’s, this is the second incidence for Yamaha

      • Ricky Crue says:

        Seriously you must be new to the motorcycle game? There are a myriad of factors that will cause differences of tire wear, or lack thereof between riders.

    • ze says:

      Pedrosa: “I tried to stay calm and do my thing and used some different lines on the track to get a little more wet side of the track,”

    • ze says:

      Vale: “It was difficult to control the bike as the trajectory was drying. But Dani helped me, not only for his wake but also because I could see his lines. I do not know if I could catch Jorge without him, I knew that using Pedrosa would be my only chance”

    • Gary says:

      I think it is more a case of a faster pace=higher tire wear. Lorenzo was blazing fast early and he paid the price.

  9. xLaYN says:

    I wonder about the logistics and decision taking process on situations like this with changing weather, tire selection and the question “should the rider go to pits to change tire/bike”?
    What are the odds that VR take on JL due to the latter breaking under pressure of the former?
    If DP does that amazing race on what Honda gives him why can’t MM does it?
    Now the Math of Rossi finishing right behind JL doesn’t work any more, JL needs more than that I would risk to say he would break under pressure, a DNQ on JL could make VR champion.
    This is my totally uninformed, non die hard fan, not a result of a scientific experiment with repeatable results, I want to be troll perception:

    “JL can’t win with less that perfect conditions” is flawed, a get most of most of situations would pay better.

    On our next chapter of I’m a dreaming fan: “DP does a 12 1st place 2016 championship and wins crushing all the other factory and riders; Rossi wins le mans on a cinquecentre”

  10. Thud says:

    This has been touched on before, but it statistically does not seem probable that MM can go from winning non-stop to this. I read Honda went so far as reverting to the old bike in so many ways. It appears consistent that bike setup has alot to do with it, but is it possible the bike’s set up has deviated so much since his winning days. Doesn’t someone write those settings down? It just baffles me.

    • VLJ says:

      Honda’s problem this season isn’t the chassis, it’s the new motor. The power delivery is too explosive.

      Under the existing rules Honda is allowed to tinker with the chassis, up to and including reverting to last year’s frame. They are forbidden, however, from, altering the motor. MM has made oblique references to this issue all season long, dating back to the earliest rounds of offseason testing. Casey Stoner went ahead and confirmed the problem.

      • Mick says:

        Honda IMO has occasional bouts of hubris. I think that this is one of them. They pulled out too many stops to have dominant power and relied too much on the electronic package to smooth the power delivery for them.

    • Texinohio says:

      Maybe the other brands have caught up or passed Honda.

    • xLaYN says:

      “but it statistically does not seem probable that MM can go from winning non-stop to this (bad performance across the gp)”
      statistically it’s probable, proof is that is happening, I would even dare to say it’s well documented:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_Illustrated_Cover_Jinx
      or in a more general way
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean

      which takes me to another interesting scenario: what are the odds of jumping to 10+ winning streak on your first gp year? what if this is just getting back to the mean?
      Imagine MM the youngest and therefore the one with the highest levels of testosterone and adrenaline running the top on the top of the sports… confidence building up, the money, prestige, until… you burnt up…

      http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/adrenal_burnout.htm

      those caffeine junkies among us who abused it could recognize it.

    • Tim says:

      This just goes to show how dominant Marquez’s bike was last year. The best riders get the best bikes, then the best of the best bikes usually win. Last year’s Honda was so much faster than the other bikes it was ridiculous. The only other bike I can recall being so dominant was the year Stoner won the championship on the Ducati. Rossi won a championship or two on a bike that was significantly down on power, but one that handled much better than the faster Hondas, but that sort of season is a real rarity.

    • MGNorge says:

      Nothing stays static for long. All the manufacturers tweak their bikes in all ways seeking that little extra margin they hope the others won’t have. I think Yamaha found some extra mo-jo but it’s not all in the bikes. The riders are quite a large variable and they, combined with their bikes, are what we see. Could be that Honda’s engine settings, if you will, still needed some extra time in the oven or then too that reverting to a frame more liked by MM would help with the engine characteristics? Don’t know but that’s what makes racin’!

  11. Scarecrow800 says:

    As a fan of both Honda and MM, I simply must say … ROSSI, ROSSI, ROSSI, ROSSI, ROSSI !!! … The Doctor is IN !!! And, whether it was luck or ” I meant to do that”, my gosh, what a well run round for Pedrosa.

  12. rapier says:

    There must be a technical, tires that is, explanation for why Pedrosa was so much faster at the end. Different grades of rain tires? Or he somehow saved them in the first 2/3ds of he race?

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      Lighter weight, different suspension settings, stayed on the wet part of the track?

    • Texinohio says:

      Probably the fact that he weighs as much as a teenage little girl. All puns aside, that has to put less stress on the tires in the long run. More so if the tires were starting to burn as the track dried.

      • Scarecrow800 says:

        And, I think you have to take into account that Lorenzo was setting a BLISTERING pace ( as in blistering his tires and using them up early ) in the first half of the race, Rossi, less so and Pedrosa just kind of chilling out for a while. Net result, Pedrosa had plenty of tire left, Rossi had enough left and Lorenzo was flirting with a little off-roading at the end.

    • mugwump says:

      Rider weight is part of the reason, it’s also the reason his tires take longer to warm up. I also noticed that he also took “wet” lines when the occasion allowed.

  13. hh says:

    Dani has a better record than many champions. Jorge has yet to learn that when he says he is fastest in wet or dry that it takes more than his notion of speed to succeed. He talks about “bad luck”. I have not seen anything happening to him that wasn’t there for everyone else; so luck has nothing to do with it. A great race, hang in there Vale..Go 46!!!!!

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      Yes, Jorge didn’t do himself any favors with his bad luck comments. Yesterday, I sad Jorge IS faster. I guess I meant on the World Indoor MotoGP circuit.

      • VLJ says:

        Yes, sometimes Jorge is faster. Other times, Valentino is faster. Blistering single-lap times are great, and certainly key to qualifying well, but a MotoGP race isn’t a short sprint. Twenty-some laps combined with changing track conditions makes for a veritable marathon of tire management, and this seems to be where #46 often has the measure of #99.

  14. Texinohio says:

    Proof again that if conditions aren’t just so, JL nor MM can handle it. Go Vale!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Lorenzo pushed too hard through the beginning, so definitely a mistake on his part. Overall, I say he handled it pretty darn well, though.

  15. mickey says:

    Perfect results for me. Dani is back winning (while coming from behind), and Rossi finished ahead of Lorenzo. Yes,Yes and YES!

  16. Jim says:

    What a great season!

  17. Gng says:

    Gods of rain are with Rossi. Should not mess with gods, I say.

  18. Big Al says:

    Good for Dani!