Nov 9, 2015

Posted by in Bikes

So That Happened – Looking Back the 2015 MotoGP Season

So That Happened – Looking Back the 2015 MotoGP Season

Before we get to the final instalment of my Valentino Rossi series of articles, first I’d like to take a look back at the season that was because, quite clearly, a lot of that will feed into my final discussion of Rossi and the future of MotoGP.  If you’d like to catch up on Parts 1 and 2, please do so, or on my review of the events of Sepang, that’s here also.  Or there rather as the link was in the previous sentence.

But rather than just go through round by round, I want to look back at an article I wrote during pre-season that appeared on this blog and elsewhere.  It was a tongue-on-cheek season preview entitled, ‘Almost Certainly All of This Will Happen’.  It was a sort of piss take at the notion of trying to predict the season based on testing alone and all of my predictions were deliberately a selection of impossible, highly unlikely or purely ridiculous.  Many readers sadly missed this point… Anyway, let’s take a look back at them, as a way of looking back at the season because, bizarrely, they weren’t as bizarre as they were at the time of writing.

1). Valentino Rossi Will Not Win a Race in 2015

I’d put this as number one because it was clearly highly unlikely and also bound to weed out the people who would just read the bullet points and get enraged without reading anything else.  I said at the time Rossi benefited from injuries and various other crises to get some wins in 2014 and if that didn’t happen in 2015, he couldn’t win on his own.  Rossi would win four times in 2015 and while some of those wins could be deemed to be fortunate, take for example the weather in Silverstone coupled with Jorge Lorenzo’s visor issues, others like Assen, were the Rossi of old.  But, truth be told, in head to head battles, on a dry day, with everything being equal, Rossi still struggled to match the pace of Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa this year.  That he went into the final round, at 36 years of age, leading the points table is a remarkable testament to his consistency rather than his outright speed which was how Nicky Hayden put together his 2006 title.  Up until Sepang, Rossi’s season was set to be an histroic one in many ways.  But in the final two races he undid so much of that good, tarnished his legacy, arguably forever, and almost certainly let slip his final chance at a title.  But more on that later.  You can skip ahead if you like, that’s why you’re here isn’t it?

2.) Suzuki Will Pull Out By the End of the Year

It was not beyond the realm of thought that Suzuki’s first year back would be a disaster on every level.  Their mechanical inconsistency at the end of 2014 was enough reason for concern.  But instead they put together a mighty fine comeback season, a damn fine motorcycle and in the process confirmed the rising star that is Maverick Viñales.  If they can find some more top end speed, without sacrificing the bike’s current smooth handling (which, to be fair, is what every manufacturer is trying to do every single day.  Just make a really fast bike with great handling, come on Suzuki, how hard is that…) they should be regular Top 6 contenders next year as both their riders are clearly up to it.  The 1-2 qualifyuing at Catalunya was a sensational high point for the boys in blue.  Oh, and that throwback livery they ran for a little while was just dynamite.  More of that please.

3.) Ducati will win a Grand Prix

1727850-36555374-640-360Well, they didn’t.  But by golly they went close.  The Bologna boys faded towards the end of the year a smidge as Honda and Yamaha improved, but right out of the gate they were on fire, especially Andrea Dovizioso with a string of second places.  He and team-mate Andrea Iannone racked up an impressive amount of podiums this year and it was easily the team’s best season overall since a certain Australian was on board the red bikes.  The key for Ducati is that, at long last, they are truly headed in the right direction.  Their riders aren’t losing the front every second corner.  The bike is still super quick in a straight line and now its handling infinitely better too.  And with each round its looking more and more like the Batmobile or at the very least a discarded concept vehicle from a George Miller movie.

4.) Casey Stoner will do a Wild Card at Phillip Island

This was one of my delibertatly ludicrious suggestions.  There was no way Stoner would ever be back, you could bet your house on that.  The day after Sepang, when everyone was going fourteen types of insane, he casually tweeted a picture of him with his beautiful family feeding a giraffe at a zoo.  The question must then be asked, is Casey Stoner the internet’s best troll, because that was exceptional work especially since he’d weighed in on the whole Rossi-Marquez incident the day before.  Anyway, he very nearly did make a brief comeback in what would’ve been the biggest shock to hit MotoGP since, I dunno, Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s podium maybe.

Who knows what would’ve happened had he subbed for Pedrosa in Texas.  Perhaps it’s best he didn’t?  We’ll never know.  All we do know is that he really, really wanted to for a variety of reasons but that Nakamoto-san said no for a variety of reasons. But as the Suzuka 8 Hour showed, he might’ve been away for a while but he’s lost none of his raw speed.  Bloody hell it would’ve been good wouldn’t it…?

5.) Jack Miller will score more points in 2015 than Scott Redding did in 2014

He didn’t even come close.  Now, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Miller this season but it turned out that that hill was almost a vertical incline.  Miller impressed at times, being top open bike on two occassions, but there were a number of things that made him topping Redding’s points tally of 2014 an impossible task.  In 2014 Redding stood the odd chance of toppling a Ducati or two, but that wasn’t going to happen this year.  Also the Suzukis weren’t in play last year.  And when you’re fighting down the field, that can make a massive difference between scoring a few points or none at all.

And the open Honda is still, surprisingly, a bit of a mess.  What’s more surprising is that Honda don’t seem to give a toss that it is.

miller.middleMiller’s debut season probably gets a passing grade, just, with only six points scoring rides and too many crashes, but the the real interest in the Redding comparison now shifts to 2016.  Redding started out, like Miller, on an open class Honda and then shifted to a factory satellite bike for the following year.  Although Redding was only able to score 3 more points this year on factory machinery than he did on the open class bike last year.  The Brit’s struggles this year were one of the seasons big surprises to many.  Personally, I have always thought Redding a solid rider but a cut below the other brits in Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow.

Now, sure, the same factors were in play for Redding as Miller in terms of Ducati and Suzuki, but this season was a failure for Redding whichever way you look at it.  He still had a factory Honda under him.  He just couldn’t get to grips with it.  His confidence vanished.  His Misano podium was a welcome boost but even he will admit, a complete stroke of luck and circumstance.

It will be interesting to see how he goes on the Ducati next year and whether Miller can make the step up on the Honda that Redding could not.  If both riders are not consistently in the Top 10 next year questions will be asked.  And not pleasant ones.

Miller has a good head on his shoulder, and bags of talent to go with it, but next year he’ll also have the pressure of a factory that expects results and a potentially very quick rookie team mate across the garage in Tito Rabat.

6.) The championship will come down to Valencia

Given Marquez’s utter dominance in 2013 and 2014, this was a fairly bold prediction at the time.  By which I mean, I’m not sure anyone really believed it.  But, you might remember, it did come down to Valencia.  And how.  So let’s just spit out what Number 7 was before I get into Valencia.

7.) And then, at Valencia, Lorenzo will win his third premier class title.

motorrad_valencia_motogp_rennen_body_afp.2330570Most of us imagined, if this were to happen, it would be decided between Lorenzo and Marquez, not Lorenzo and Rossi, but you know, I was still technically right…

Anyway, I imagine most people are hear to read another take on what happened at Valencia.  Some of you will read what follows and nod along in agreement.  Some of you will not read it and just hurl vitriolic abuse.  Some will read it and do the same.  Some might even read it, have a think, and then make an informed comment either in agreeance, disagreeance or neither.  Because there is a great deal of opinion, bias and fanaticism about at the moment.  The amount of abuse and such that, and others, have been sent on social media since Sepang has been mind boggling at best, but in reality, is truly concerning.  To say they have come almost exclusively from obsessive fans on one particular rider in yellow would be putting it mildly.  It would also seem many of them are deeply homophobic.  Still, to what actually happened at Valencia.  Some simple facts first of all

  • Lorenzo’s pole lap on Saturday was astonishing.  Simply astonishing.
  • Rossi’s ride from the back of the grid to fourth position by around about a third of race distance was also incredibly impressive.  He did all that he could and more.
  • Even if Rossi had started on the front row, a look at the times over the weekend, and the race itself, show that it would have been highly unlikely he could’ve finished higher than fourth under any circumstance so everything else is largely academic anyways.
  • Had Marquez passed Lorenzo, won the race, and Lorenzo had finished in second, he still would’ve been world champion.
  • Lorenzo’s race pace was his usual metronomic, fast, brilliance.
  • Marquez’s lap times fluctuated much more than Lorenzo’s, though were still consistently very fast, and faster than Rossi.
  • The overall race was much quicker than last year.
  • In 2015, Jorge Lorenzo had more wins, more fastest laps and more pole positions than Rossi.  So too did Marc Marquez.

I have already made clear some of the facts of Sepang in a previous article and at the end of the day, Rossi’s penalty almost proved irrelevant.  So how one interprets the events of Sunday in Valencia hinge on a number of things, but mostly on your agenda.  Who you are a fan of.  As stated over and over again, despite many’s objection to the contrary, I have no allegiance to any one rider, (beyond Remy Garnder who I am delighted to see as a good seat in Moto2 next year as an aside) merely to the sport itself.  I try, as best as is possible, to take an objective view of things.  And that is what follows.  This upsets many readers as sometimes this disagrees with their pre-existing and unwaverable opinion that Valentino Rossi has never done anything wrong in his life ever and never ever will do.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some hardcore Lorenzo and Marquez fans out there too but I’ve not seen very many of them wishing severe injury, even death, on other riders.

So, there are a few things that jump to the head of the queue regarding Valencia but mostly it is the claim made by Rossi, his fans, and a handful of others, that Marquez acted as a ‘bodyguard’ for Lorenzo.  Rossi went so far as to call the whole day an embarrassment and that Marquez had gotten what he wanted, which was for Rossi to lose.  He stopped short of using the word ‘cheat’ but he might as well have.  He said that Honda, both Repsol riders, had deliberated slowed to allow a Yamaha to win.  Just not his Yamaha.  If you took just one quick glance at the race, I can see where you might get this opinion too.  But for me, this does not hold any logical water. And if water is anything, it is logical.  It’s why homeopathy makes no sense.  But I digress.

Consider the following.

lorenzo-marquez-20151108If Marquez truly wanted Rossi to lose the title surely he would not have beaten Lorenzo in Phillip Island. This took 5 points off of Lorenzo.  That is the opposite of helping.  If he truly wanted to protect Lorenzo in Valencia would he have rode around so close to him, all race long?  Riding that close to the rear of another rider increases the pressure on the leader and increases the likelihood that he makes a mistake and crashes.  We’ve seen this time and time again.   Common sense suggest if he wishes to play rear gunner her drops back a second or two and fights with those behind, slowing them up.  Rather than boost the claim Marquez was ‘cheating’ I think instead it underlines what a great ride Lorenzo put in.  And then there is the extreme likelihood that Marquez is on a bonus structure with HRC.  Almost all the top riders are. Is he going to leave, what some insiders have suggested could be upwards of €200 000 on the table just to annoy Rossi?  It seems unlikely, nigh on impossible.

There is also little love lost in the past between Marquez and Lorenzo.  They have had many coming-togethers on and off track in the past.  They are not enemies, but nor are they friends.  It seems improbable they would have a sudden pact to topple Rossi.  Talk of a secret meeting between the two in Andorra was proven false almost as soon as the Italian press had made it up.

But even with all of this, people, including a lot of former riders who should know better but fell foul of the yellow mist, have suggested Marquez wasn’t really trying.  Firstly, this is a deeply offensive thing to suggest about any sports person without hard evidence as you are basically accusing them of cheating.  Marquez himself said he found the accusation deeply insulting as well he should.  There is a perception about Marquez’s actions, one I don’t agree with, but there is certainly no hard evidence.  The lap times do not prove it.  And nor does histroy.

History is what some people are clinging to here.  That Marquez is known for hard racing and yet he never made one passing attempt on Lorenzo in the race.  This is something else that, on closer examination, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny either.

Marquez said he was applying the strategy here that he had applied in Indy.  Sit on Jorge’s rear for the whole race, piling on the pressure, and then make his move right at the end.  Unfortunately for Marquez that plan didn’t work this time round as Pedrosa had been closing, and closing fast.  Something else that is not proof of anything other than the fact that Pedrosa has often been much quicker at the end of races this year.  When Pedrosa passed him, he fought straight back in the hope he still had time to catch and pass Jorge on the final lap as he had done in Phillip Island.  If, again, he was so desperate to protect Lorenzo, how does the claim he pushed back past Pedrosa to do so make any sense.  If Pedrosa beats Lorenzo, Lorenzo finishes second and Marquez third, and Lorenzo is still champion.  How does the claim he passed Pedrosa so he could’ve easily passed Lorenzo make any difference, let alone any sense?  If Rossi had never said anything in Sepang, I dare say no-one would’ve batted an eyelid to the events on Sunday but Rossi’s statements carry weight, regardless of how much truth is in them, and so the fix was in.

Let us also add to the mix that Race Direction had told everyone they were under a very watchful eye after Sepang.  If Marquez had made a hard, long, 50/50 lunge at Lorenzo and made a meal of it there was the very really possiblity he would be starting Qatar from the back of the grid.  Why would he risk that?

Post race both Marquez and Pedrosa poured cold water over Rossi’s claims that there had been a Spanish plan to topple him and one got the sense that Pedrosa particualrly was irked he had been dragged into the whole thing.  Both spoke of issues under acceleration and with the tyres, something all the Honda riders had spoke of during the weekend.  Nakamoto-san released a statement saying he was disappointed in Rossi’s statements.  If you know even the first thing about MotoGP you would know that there is no way Nakamoto would tolerate his riders not giving 100%.

Yet, in the same way Rossi fans had latched onto the non-event that was the yellow flag in Valencia, this time they latched onto a statement Lorenzo gave directly after the race to Italian TV.  He said that the title had to stay in Spain so he knew that Dani and Marc would not launch a crazy attack on him.  That if Rossi was leading and Italians were following him, the same would be true.  This was apparently the smoking gun that there was a plan, a pact, an agreement.  Of course, it was none of those things.  It was a poor choice of words by Lorenzo in the heat of the moment, for certain, but not proof of anything.

jorge-lorenzo-valencia-2015-motogp-yamaha-1He would later clarify his comments in another press interview where he stated he was referring more to the fact that given everyone knew what was at stake, and what RD had said on Thursday, he was confident there wouldn’t be a banazi move from behind.  When the question was posed, yet again, to Lin Jarvis, director of Yamaha, even he said he was sick of the whole thing and it was time to focus on the fact that Lorenzo had just won the world title fair and square.

For this is not evidence of a conspiracy, rather evidence that he had imagined his fellow competitors would not try anything silly.  He went on to talk about how proud he was to be Spanish, to win the championship in Spain was incredibly emotional for him.  He shed many a tear and that is more than understandable.  To keep the championship in Spain after an intense battle with an Italian rider was very important to him.  Again, comments that can be twisted one way or the other and given double meaning but are hardly concreete evidence of a pre-exisiting deal.  Because I, and every non Rossi obsessive, would be stunned if there was.

Ok, so let us assume there was no pact.  This does not mean Marquez wasn’t still trying to help Lorenzo of his own private accord as revenger on Rossi.  And the problem we run into here, if we are to attempt to find some truth, is that Marquez fought tooth and nail with Rossi in Sepang, so why did he not do so with Lorenzo in Spain?  Well, for all the reasons I’ve just mentioned for starters.  Also, I think many people have branded Marquez’s passes in Sepang as those akin to a kamikaze pilot rather than just hard passes.  The only pass in that race that could be deemed dangerous was the one Rossi put on him, causing his crash.  And yes, Marquez did have greater incentive to beat Rossi head to head than he perhaps did Lorenzo in Valencia.  Not because he wanted Lorenzo to win the title, nor Rossi to lose it, but days before Rossi had accused him of not trying, or sandbagging, of cheating.  Would that not piss you off?

Plus we need to take into account Valencia is a whole different kettle of fish.  Or oranges if we want to get region specific.  Firstly, Lorenzo was much quicker here than Rossi was in Sepang.  Marquez was visibly riding very hard to stick with him.  The lap times are evidence of this.  They were both running a blistering pace.  Secondly, Valencia is a very difficult track to pass on especially when the person you’re trying to past is basically on rails on the perfect line.  Turns 1 and 6 are the best opportunity.  Turn 1 was never really an option for Marquez as he was struggling with accelartion and grip onto the front straight so couldn’t quite get the tow he was after.  Lorenzo on the other hand was lightning through the long left hander onto the straight.  Turn 6 was where MM had a clear advantage.  He had a look a round the outside four laps from home and then tried to cut back in for a pass.  To say Marc went the entire race without trying to make a pass is simply untrue.  He sized Lorenzo up a number of times, this a clear example, but the problem he kept running into was Lorenzo was inch perfect the whole race.  To force a move would’ve been very risky and could’ve put them both on the floor.  The irony is when he engaged with a hard battle with Rossi is Sepang, Rossi and his fans bayed for Marquez’s blood for daring to get into a race with Rossi when there was a championship at stake.  Here, both parties demanded Marquez do the same to Lorenzo.  That Marquez was given a warning by Race Direction, and heeded that warning, is nce again, not a sign of a conspiracy.  What it is a sign of is that Lorenzo rode an incredible race and not even Marc Marquez, riding at a 100%, could find a way past.

And then the conspircacy theorists put a second tier on their tin foil hats and suggested Dorna and the FIM themselves had the rigged the series.  That they wanted a Spanish winner.  This is the biggest pile of nonsense yet.  If Dorna were going to rig the series, which they categorically HAVE NOT, would they not wish to rig it in such a way to create the greater increase in revenue, sales and popularity?  Would that not be to rig it to the advatage of Rossi, their own golden boy?

1078967-3007And so it was that the man that won the most races, and was the fastest man all year, won the title.  Rossi had a real shot at it but truth be told he was hanging on by his fingernails for the second half of the year and he did hold on, admirably, right until the end.  Marquez did not cost Rossi the title.  It was a combination of him costing himself to some degree but mostly Lorenzo swooping in and taking it.

Now if Rossi’s behaviour before and after Sepang was dubious, his behaviour after Valencia was deplorable and sad to see from a man many consider the greatest to ever ride a motorcycle.  I will get into this more in Pt 3 of my Rossi series later this week, but suffice to say I have spoken to a number of well respected people in the paddock on Sunday night and Rossi is fast losing respect.  It is truly unprecedented what is happening right now.  To my mind, he is in the middle of a very public breakdown.  His fanboys will never desert him, and that is part of the problem.  But as I say, more on that in Part 3.

So, to summarise Lorenzo’s win in Valencia then.  No, there was no conspriacy.  Like most conspiracies you can cherry pick quotes and things to argue your case and then say that is exactly what I’ve done here.  Except it is not.  For the thing with conspiracy theories, is you can take those little bits that on their own, appear convincing, but taken as a whole, as part of full picture they lack common sense, evidence and logic.  They ignore too much and inflate only small details.  Almost all can be debunked.  Whilst we can never know Marquez’s true intention, there is enough evidence to suggest that there is nothing greatly sinister at play.

We can watch the race a million times and say a million more that Marquez could’ve beat Lorenzo on Sunday.  But the fact is, we do not know for certain.  What we do know for certain is that he had’ve, he wouldn’t have made a difference to the championship winner.

But to me, what sticks in my craw the most, is the accusation that a rider the calibre of Marc Marquez would deliberately not win a race he was capable of winning.  I have been around enough racers for long enough to confidently declare that bollocks.  Regardless of how much contempt he may or may not have for his former idol.

And Phillip Island, for me and many others, is the Rosetta stone that unlocks this.  The truth of this situation, and something I will again delve into soon, is that Rossi is a bittered and twisted man right now and he has acted in a most undignified manner.  He is shouting at the wind and his fans are right there with him.  And it’s all desperately unfortunate.  This is not the Rossi we ‘know and love’.  And if it is, there’s a real problem.

So let us not take one single thing away from Jorge on the track this year.  He has rode beautifully and quickly all year.  To call Lorenzo a boring rider to watch is to call Leonardo’s work boring sketches.  It is true that Jorge made some very poor choices post race at Sepang, with his thumbs down gesture in particular but, to his credit, made a full, and seemingly sincere apology for those actions on Thursday in Valencia.  Rossi has yet to do anything of the sort, even when given the opportunity and invitation to do so offering simple ‘regret’ that he ran Marquez wide.  A sort of John Howard apology to the stolen generation.  That is to say, not an apology.

Lorenzo was done and dusted a number of times this year but kept getting off the canvas and fighting back.  By the chequered flag on Sunday he’d unleashed a 28 point turnaround in just 5 GPs.  Jorge Lorenzo is a deserving 2015 World Champion, and that is an iron clad fact.

8.) Bradley Smith will be top placed Brit at the end of the year

525935Well, there you go.  I was laughed at when I said this at the start of the year.  Bashing Bradley Smith is a favourite pastime of many but for me, Smith was one of the riders of the year.  In fact, I would have him second behind Lorenzo in terms of having a great year.  He finished in the top 10 in every single race this year, something very few people have ever done in the sport’s history.  And he got a podium too as a satellite rider, albeit under odd circumstances but you need as much when you’re not on one of top 6 factory bikes.   And he didn’t just finish top satellite rider in 2015, he obliterated his team-mate.  Pol Espargaro got a brand new shiny Yamaha contract mid season before Smith had sorted anything for himself for next year.  It pissed him off, but he didn’t get mad, he got results.  It’s been a new Bradley this season, as anyone who’s had anything to do with him will tell you, and it’s paid off in spades.  Herve Poncheral has run out of ways to sing the praises of 2015 Smith.  Ask anyone involved with motorcycle racing to rate Smith’s season and you’ll get nothing but praise and scores of nine and ten out of ten.  I had imagined he’d beat Crutchlow and Redding, I did not imagine he’d do so so convincingly.  I did not have him 6th at the end of the year, ahead of Dovi and oh so close to Iannone in 5th.  Honestly, there is not plaudits high enough for Smith’s season.

9.) Kawasaki will wildcard.

This one was clearly a joke.  That said, Johnny Rea might’ve scored points on a WSBK Kawasaki to be fair given the year he had.  He at least would’ve beaten Melandri.  That was not pleasant to watch now was it?

10.) Nicky Hayden will leave MotoGP

Dorna-Akhirnya-Melantik-Nicky-Hayden-Sebagai-Legenda-MotoGP-324x160I even said he’d go to WSBK with Honda although this was hardly proof of clairvoyance.  It’s been a tough few years for Nicky on the open-class Honda that promised so much and delivered so little.  He battled valiently, rarely complained and just got on with it nabbing a few decent results here and there.  But WSBK is a smart move for Hayden and, perhaps not next year but when the new Honda arrives in 2017, is an odds on chance to be the first person to win a WSBK and MotoGP world title.  It’d be just reward.

MotoGP will miss Hayden.  He was a nice guy, a true competitor and supremely talented.  Of all the Grand Prixes I’ve attended both in my youth as a fan, and in my adult life as a writer, 2006 Valencia sticks in the memory as something special.  And Hayden features in some of the great lasting images of MotoGP for all time.  That incredible fist shaking scream to the sky in Parc Ferme at Valencia.  The frustration in the gravel trap in Estoril.  His Dad on the back of the bike at Laguna.  So long, and good luck, Nicky, we’ll miss you.

11.) Freddie Spencer will make comeback number 12 345 675 121.

Well, obviously no, but I was chatting to him at Goodwood earlier this year and he’s doing well and thanks you for asking.

So there we go.  One of the most thrilling seasons in recent memory has come to a close.  But it will, unfortunately, always carry a bit of a black mark next to it.  Jorge Lorenzo may never get the credit he truly deserves for a fantastic year.  It was a year with some the greatest races of all time and some of the lowest depths the sport has ever sunk.  One man won, but a whole lot of us lost. Valentino Rossi has acted in the most bizarre, disrespectful and immature way imaginable and many of us still don’t know what to make of it.  I will at least attempt to make sense of all of that in Part 3 of Doctored later this week.

Right now, MotoGP is sick.  It, like me as I write this, has a bit of a flu.  It might take more than a day or two on the couch with some Day & Night pills while I catch up on Fargo but it’s not terminal, no matter how much I try to convince my wife otherwise.  Like Lorenzo did this year, MotoGP will pick itself up somehow, wash of the nasty stain of a bitter and deluded man, and move forward.

In the meantime, hearty congratulations to Jorge Lorenzo, Johan Zarco and Danny Kent, the three best riders in the world.

All pictures copyright © motogp.com

  1. Well written sir. Rossi completely lost his mind, totally, the guy seems to not accept defeat well, but this is beyond that…

  2. Thank you for the article. I agree with everything. Rossi is out of control and has been since Sepang. I really don’t know what to make of it. Is he blatantly lying because he knew he was too slow to beat Lorenzo? Or does he actually believe everything he’s saying? Surely he can’t really believe Valencia was a honda conspiracy against him, or does he? I really don’t know what to think but because of his shocking actions on track in Sepang I tend to agree with you that maybe he is actually having a mental breakdown. The whole thing has been sad and disturbing.

  3. Again trunkman, UR in the will:) Brilliant! My yellow tinted daughter is having serious considerations. She has no history of Max or Sete, has seen the Casey things, but was still in the yellow haze. Dad is not just bagging her favourite now. Experts have the same concerns. Thank you for a wide open, two eyed, perspective!

  4. Dear Trunkman,

    as much as you try to seem objective , your dislike of Rossi is quite obvious!You thought it was necessary to write a series of articles to prove that Rossi is bad for MotoGp! And that was even before the Sepang incident which of course has made your life easier in expressing your despise always covered by your “objectivity” . You find very natural the fact that Marquez and Rossi passed each other numerous times in Sepang but in Valencia he did not even try a single pass move to Lorenzo !But he did pass immediately Pedrosa like he usually does!Like he has done this year in Argentina when he had tire issues or in Assen in the last turn!As far as your argument that if he wanted to help Lorenzo he would let him win in Philip Island i would like to say that Marquez’s ego is so big that he could not allowed being so much faster. Marquez did not want to help Lorenzo personally to win the championship: he just wanted to cause trouble to Rossi! It just happened for Lorenzo to be the title contender! In concuding because we can exchange posts for hours without agreeing,my humble opinion is the following: No one expexted for Rossi to be competitive again after Ducati! Yamaha didn’t really want him back. He was gonna be used as the forth rider(behind Lorenzo and the 2 Hondas) only for money generating issues since he is still the most popular rider unfortunately for you. That was the plan of Dorna. Unfortunately thing did not go as planned! He was competitive again (according to your opinion he was lucky) and he was going for the championship. i hope we agree to the fact that Rossi is a very intellectual person and he is been in this environment for the past 20 years. So if he chooses to express some of his opinions we should not reject them right away.The problem you all have is that Marquez was groomed by everyone to become the next Rossi but now i find it difficult to happen! All the journalists blame Rossi for poisoning this great sport while Marquez,Suppo, Biaggi, etc make it better!!What a joke! But all of you be patient: Rossi will retire propably after next season and you will all start again to enjoy this lovely sport that Rossi has polluted all these years with his championships,popularity and as you say “luck”!!!Just hang in there and everything will be allright!

  5. Yes i actually read your article! Why you claim i did not?

    • Because pretty much everything you’ve brought up I have either countered, with evidence as to why, in one of my articles. Other things you mention I never said in the first place. I never said all Rossi’s wins were lucky, in fact I believe I said his win in Assen was the Rossi was old.

      Your entire rebuttal is not a rebuttal, not actually offering anything beyond fandom, it is just a long winded version of every other Rossi obsessive on Twitter.

      • Couple of points:
        – when Pedrosa was a title contender in 2013 and Marquez hit the traction control sensor of Pedrosa, causing him to crash – Marc got 2 penalty points. It was high speed, and Pedrosa got seriously injured and lost the title, that Marquez won in the end by being the best, fastest rider.
        – in Australia – lap by lap, sector by sector Rossi was faster vs Lorenzo on all his clean laps. Marquez did mess with him a little. Rossi’s fastest race lap was over 0.3s faster vs Lorenzo. The only reason Iannone was there to take 3rd is due to Marc. Marc did race an amazing race in the end and won correctly by being fastest. But when Rossi said : i was faster than Jorge in Philip Island – this is a fact! He lost 3-4s fighting Marquez and arrived 1s behind Lorenzo (if you are too lazy to watch on motogp.com with a dual screen and jot down every sector and every lap)
        – in Malaysia it could have been a similar race, but 15 overtakes in the first 3 laps is unheard of and cost Rossi and Marc 8-10 seconds in 4 laps. It’s unrealistic to say that Pedrosa and Lorenzo were this much faster vs Marc or Rossi. So after Rossi’s ranting on Thursday (mistake in my opinion) Marc did show what it looks like if he fucks around, although his overtakes were strong – I think they were clean. Yet he slowed dramatically on apex speed and lap times while with Rossi. So he played a game, I think we can agree on this.
        – the crash incident. I think Rossi punched his knee wide immediately when Marc’s helmet / bike touched him. Kick or reflex or did it hit the brake leaver and if yes on purpose or bad luck (Rossi at the time of his aledged kick is surely looking ahead and can’t possibly see if he kicks the brakes) this may have caused the crash, this we never know… What I and everyone can see is that when Rossi goes wide and deliberately drives Marc wide – Marquez sits the bike up initially, there is a good amount of space further wide – but just before the incident Marc leans the bike back in, and changes the angle of his bike and they hit and the kick happens. It’s for me a shared responsibility, with Rossi a little more at fault. it was a 2 point incident and not 3, that’s the only problem.
        – after the incident Rossi was 0,2s-0,3s slower per lap riding alone, knowing full well he is penalized etc. – I can’t possibly know nor can you, but riding in a pack with a ‘marker’ plus some drag on the straights may well increase Rossi’s lap time with 0.2 and then you never know. – this is not so important in Malaysia as Rossi was maybe 3rd anyways.
        – Valencia race: Rossi comes back to 4th we all agree it was pretty impressive, everyone except Petrucci raced Rossi fairly and properly.
        – Rossi then settles on a pace 0.1s-0.4s slower vs Lorenzo and on par with Dani per lap – so on the surface he is too slow… Again looking at sectors: Rossi in sector 2 & 3 is consistently faster vs top 3; yes including Lorenzo. Loses out first and last sector 0.1s tenth each on avg. these are highly effected by being alone in the final straight. I can’t know what would have happened but Rossi starting 2nd row would have meant a real race in Valencia.
        – Lorenzo is a worthy champion, he was the fastest guy on track all year – given clear road and good weather. His race pace vs Rossi was far less dominant vs practice and qualifying. And frankly motogp is played for point and not practice times; much like having greater ball possession, or more corners in football means shit if you lost the game (against a lucky goal even).
        – Rossi not being able to fight with Lorenzo / Marc for the win in Australia was Marc’s decision and I tend to think this gave the opportunity for Ianonne which he was right to claim.
        – Malaysia was a shitstorm in any case – but it was not 100% Rossi’s fault and the 3 point penalty especially given the nature of the 2point incidents of past (especially the one of Marc v Pedrosa 2013) was in my view harsh – especially factoring in that it ruined the season finale..
        – Valencia – we will never know! I personally believe if there is no back of grid for Rossi he would have brought the fight to the top 3, given his rise from the back. given his sector times once he was there in 4th.
        So I don’t agree or disagree with everything, I just think it’s mot self evident from sector – by sector lap by lap data analysis that Rossi did not have the pace in the last 3 races to compete, was he no deliberately fucked around by Marc (who was not helping Lorenzo, but was making a point about being faster stronger better than Valentino. ‘Helping’ Lorenzo was not on Marc’s agenda in any way shape and form; it was a byproduct.

  6. Thank you for calling different opinions and arguments obsessive!! i am not a fan boy mr trunkman, i am 45 years old and i am watching motorcycle racing for over 25 years therefore i think i am entitled to my opinion even if you do not agree with it! I do not have a twitter or facebook account!! You mention that you have offered evidence in your articles that the things Rossi claims are fictional. The real problem is that his claims cannot be proven because there are no facts. So if he cannot prove it then you cannot prove the oposite also. I do not want to argue with you:Lets agree to disagree but please do not claim to be objective in your articles becuase you are not!

  7. Superb article. I have been a rossi fan but not fanatic since 2000 when I first tuned in to motogp. I have seen the genius and the less palatable side (all the mind games with Sete Dani Casey) but rossi has truly lost touch with reality now and he has embarrassed himself too much of late.
    Maybe the VR46 Fanboi brigade can explain to me the difference between their church of valentino and the church of scientology. I can see what they have in common – cult obedience to their leader and a pathetic intolerance of anyone who dares disagree with the bonkers ideas of their figurehead. But the differences are not so apparent…

  8. Phil Robinson says:

    The most overwhelming feeling I have towards the events of the last few weeks is genuine sadness. What a Championship finale we seemed to be heading towards, It looked like we were going to get what I was hoping for all along. That both Vale and Jorge would arrive at Valencia on almost equal points and then hopefully we would have had a good, clean, sporting fight to see which one would prevail. As you know we didn’t get that at all, although we DID in Moto 3!

    And yes, I DO blame Rossi ( with some help from Marquez perhaps ) for this. We ended up with the sport de-valued, slagging off going on uncontrollably, and a really True, Deserving Champion NOT getting the recognition or respect he deserves. It seems that this 10th Title became an obsession and when it started to look like it might not happen he lost all reason.

    Don’t get me wrong, Valentino is, without doubt, a truly great Motorcycle racer with a marvellous career. That he could mount a genuine Championship challenge at the age of 36 is a magnificent achievement, and he rode a great race the other day. BUT the way he has acted in the last 2 weeks is like that of a spoilt little brat. He has, to use a football expression, “bought the game into disrepute.” What a shame that he has put a stain on such a great career by these actions, and btw I take NO pleasure in saying these words.

  9. Phil Robinson says:

    Before I even saw or read your article Mr Truckman, hear is part of a post I made on another forum ( RGV250.co.uk ) on the subject of Marc Marquez “letting” Jorge Lorenzo win. Fairly similar to your views Sir.

    “But did he win or did MM let him? Only Marc can really answer that and I really can’t believe that he wouldn’t try to take another “home” victory. Maybe the talking to from Race-direction had curbed some of his willingness to make the normal dangerous “lunges” where he just “charges” in without thought of the other riders safety, like at Jerez 2013 or on Vale at Assen this year. Maybe not a bad thing if this is so. Maybe Dani DID interrupt his plans and give Jorge a buffer he was unable to counter? Either way what more can Jorge have done? He took Pole with one of the most sublime laps that ANYBODY has EVER produced on a motorcycle, and then led from flag to flag at a good pace. Maybe, just maybe Marquez COULDN’T quite get close enough to mount a real attack?”

  10. I live in Italy and am amazed at the blinkered, knee-jerk opinions posted on FB by people I previously considered to be intelligent. I very much like your comparison with Scientology, although I personally would compare them more with the Chemtrails bunch: completely unable to see reason or logic. Your assessment of the situation completely agrees with mine. If 93 really was holding up 46 in Australia, how come he went on to win and 46 came in 3rd? The great irony is that, if it were 99 complaining about other riders interfering, the whole Rossi Brigade would be saying he is a moaner who can’t cut it on the track – they’ve done exactly this in the past. The truth is, as you say, that it was 46 who, despite great performances, could not keep up in the end with 99. I’m not happy about 99’s behaviour; he really should have just kept quiet after Sepang, but apart from that a worthy champion. You mention Assen: I have a question you could perhaps clear up: isn’t 46’s overtaking of 93 on the last curve actually illegal under GP rules? I see all the other riders who overtake outside the track limits moving back to the position they were in before the corner, or taking a drive-through. Why was Rossi not penalised here? All in all, a great article; thank you.

    • Phil Robinson says:

      As you can see from my posts above I’m not a blinkered Valentino “fanboy,” but I’ll explain why I believe that Vale’s Assen victory was fair and within the rules. Senor Marquez does seem to have acquired a habit of very late “lunges” where he dives in later on the brakes than he should, relying on the other rider to lift up and allow him through. It’s what he tried on the last lap at Assen. however Valentino played the situation very cleverly. If you get the chance to see the incident again ( on Youtube for example,) you’ll notice that Marc NEVER actually gets in front of Vale, and actually makes contact with him. THAT is the point, and NOT until, that Vale goes off Track limits. OK so lets assume Honda and Marquez protest, what’s Vale going to say? He’s going to argue that Marquez FORCED him off, or he went off to avoid a collision. As there WAS actual contact how could you argue against that, and it gives Vale the justification for doing so. As Marquez was never in front at all during the incident Vale never actually overtook Marc, the whole incident was a failed ATTEMPT at overtaking BY Marquez. So how could you penalise Vale for this?

  11. Marquez’ ego is big enough to “play” with Rossi at Phillip Island and then go for the win himself, believing that he will cause Rossi to lose out quite a lot of points in the championship battle.
    I don’t think that happened, but his ego is big enough.

    Regarding Malaysia, and “cherry-picking” quotes.
    When Rossi got his penalty, it was also said that Marquez was interfering with Rossi, so it is backed up by other than just fans.

    Any late moves, causing the other, or both to fall should be a back of the grid thing as well, so he should drive like he always do. Now he was intentionally messing around with Rossi at Sepang, and even trying to make a tiny move on Lorenzo at Valencia, it just went on with the messing with driver B but not driver A.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see any more facts from you, than from any other. It is all opinions.

    And my opinion is that Rossi wouldn’t have won the championship regardless of the three last races, but I also believe that Marquez did whatever he could to ruin it for Rossi, but not Lorenzo. And that makes me a sad man.

  12. I enjoyed the article but don’t agree with your opinions. MM blatantly caused issues for Rossi in early races before Rossi made his comments that sparked the incident. This is a fact and universally accepted. Rossi was absolutely right to call this behavior out. Sepang was a disgrace and MM should have been disqualified for attempting to bring Rossi down. Every MotoGP fan knows MM should have either gone round or pulled in when Rossi ran him wide. He purposely made contact, causing the incident. Rossi’s punishment ruined a whole Championship and every non Spanish MotoGP supporter knew exactly what was coming after the first 6 laps in Valencia.

    MM had one objective and it worked perfectly, even when he had his heart in mouth moment and realized Pedrosa had obviously lost his mind and tried to actually race, but no problem. MM quickly put that attempt to bed even though it appeared he had lost the ability to try and pass….

    It was embarrassing to witness to be honest. MM made one pass attempt all race, his lowest by a long way all season. I’m not a fan of Rossi by the way, but I’m also not a fan of racers that collude and cheat.

    • Phil Robinson says:

      May I ask you one thing, Sir? do you believe ( as I most certainly do, ) that Jorge Lorenzo is a true and worthy World Champion in 2015?

    • pity rossi isn’t off to wsb too, he could take his yellow legion with him and good riddance, been following bikes since king kennys heroics at a snowy Mallory in 75 and vales behaviour this year is the worste iv ever seen
      [ps; Kenny Roberts and fast Freddie, take your pick for the “real” GOAT!Q]

  13. Horst Muleman says:

    Well, here we are in February 2016, so what ever happened to “Doctored” Part 3?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. "I like them all"... Truer words never spoken... - Page 8 - MotoGP Forum - […] Also an interesting article here, going over what the author predicted at the start of the season but also…

Leave a Reply to Liam Bass Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *