Dre’s Five Thoughts on…MotoGP’s 2014 Grand Prix of Catalunya

Read time: 7 mins

“Please MotoGP, don’t stop being THIS awesome.”

Unreal. With Le Mans coming and going, an amazing Canadian Grand Prix in Formula 1, and now the second amazing MotoGP race in two weeks, we may very well be looking at one of the greatest months in Motorsport HISTORY as it stands right now. All we need is a decent Austrian revamp this weekend and we’re set!

Anyway, this was another classic, as this race track as a tendency of producing amazing races time and time again, and 2014 was no exception. The threat of rain, Marc Marquez once again not quite having it all his own way, all four members of the Elite Four in MotoGP going head to head, a resurgent return to form for Dani Pedrosa and more! Let’s break it all down right here!


 

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]GP07_Marq_6866[/fusion_imageframe]No seriously, is Marc Marquez actually human at this point?

If there was one thing this weekend did show, it was that Marc Marquez may actually be just a little bit human. Like, 2, maybe 3%. He lost his streak of six consecutive poles after a rare drop in qualifying after Dani Pedrosa’s scintillating 1:40.9 stunned the field.

Then during the race, it was Valentino Rossi that was in control for the majority after a cracking start from the second row, Marquez pushing so hard from behind, he even tagged Rossi’s rear wheel while breaking from 215mph towards Turn 1, causing Marc to use the chicane to get back on the road, and had to give up 2nd to Pedrosa to avoid a penalty, before promptly re-passing him 3 corners later.

It seems BT Sport’s Julian Ryder may have been onto something when he said “The best way to beat Marquez might be to throw him off his rhythm”, and this was back at Mugello, and it actually makes some sense. Let him lead early and he’s borderline invincible, if you play rough with him and throw him off his rhythm by fighting him, [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Well, as vulnerable as a guy with a 50%+ win rate is anyway…”]he’s probably at his most vulnerable[/fusion_tooltip].

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_counters_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”25″ unit=”” unit_pos=”prefix”]Races[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”13″ unit=”” unit_pos=”prefix”]Wins[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”23″ unit=”” unit_pos=”prefix”]Podiums[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”15 ” unit=”” unit_pos=”prefix”]Poles[/fusion_counter_box]
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Mind you, despite this, his race craft in fights has improved to the point now where even if you play it right, you’re still getting beaten more than 70% of the time. Last year, Lorenzo was matching/beating him in the 2nd half of the season, whereas now Marquez is winning every matchup, and the reason why for me, is that his final laps have been perfect every time. In the clutch, he is perfect. In Qatar, his fastest lap came at the end when Rossi was desperate to win. Mugello, didn’t give Lorenzo an inch, same again here.

As much as he’s been dominant, below the surface he’s earning a lot of these wins too, and deserves all the credit he’s been getting. This was FAR from an ideal weekend for Mr 93, but he still ground out a win, the sign of a true Champion. The Streak, lives…

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Pedrosa[/fusion_imageframe]
The Curious Case of…Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa went into this weekend with his back against the wall. 50+ points back, losing to a superior team-mate yet again, and failing to impressing, coming off Mugello where he finished 15 seconds off the win. Pedrosa needed to step up, not only for the season, but possibly for his job as well, where Honda have been extremely patient with him, but now are demand results – Remember, he was nearly fired going into the 2013 season.

However, Pedrosa rode this weekend with a fire underneath him, I haven’t seen for a good while yet. Like last year, he set a brilliant [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Just 0.1 shy of his own Lap Record…”]qualifying lap of 1:40.9 to take pole[/fusion_tooltip], and challenged Marquez right to the line from the get go, something that simply hasn’t happened this season to date. He needs more performances like that, if nothing else, to make this season more interesting. His future is still a curious one, is Repsol Honda just going to keep him around as an adequate #2, or will they roll the dice and try someone new, like Alexis Espargaro or Stefan Bradl?

Also, did he cost himself a true shot at the win when he raised his hand with about 7 to go? Hmmm…

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Lorenzo[/fusion_imageframe]
Will the real Jorge Lorenzo, please stand up?

I do not understand you sometimes Jorge. He came off his best weekend of the season, to looking painfully mediocre again in what was arguably his best track, having won here the last two years. I even predicted that he would win this one and end the streak, in true Brock Lesnar fashion. He looked decent at the start, but quickly fell to the back of the pack, then dropped out of contention altogether until the “yellow flag fiasco”, before dropping off again by the end.

Jorge says he just wasn’t fast enough out of the final corner to stay with the leaders, but I think that’s nonsense. You don’t lose that kind of time in just 15 seconds of race track. This was a lot more like the Lorenzo we’ve seen for most of the season, rather than Jorge at his best, which is what we saw at Mugello. Whatever it is, considering he’s now 97 points back from Marquez, his season might already be done.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]scott redding R06 MotoGP 30-05-14 0558[/fusion_imageframe]Who’s ready to take that next level?

I love the midfield in MotoGP right now. Every race weekend, it seems that it’s changing. There’s no standout “best of the midfield” runner in the sport right now, and while Catalunya wasn’t the best example, the field really fluctuates from race to race.

Right now, in this second tier, I have:

Aleix Espargaro – Constantly punching above his weight in machinery that isn’t good, and with a team that can’t develop as much as their others due to lack of budget. Excellent qualifier

Pol Espargaro – Bit of a rough start, but already replicating results similar to Tech 3’s best when they had Crutchlow and Dovi.

Stefan Bradl – To be honest, he really should have more than 1 podium, given that he has factory support (And according to Julian Ryder, Honda are a little disappointed too), but he’s probably the most consistent of the midfield runners right now.

Andrea Dovizioso – The best of the rest so far this season. Dragging that awful Ducati as far as he can take it.

Bradley Smith – Started his 2nd season with real promise, but has slipped lately, was really unhappy post-Spain, as his tweet suggests:

Cal Crutchlow – Okay, this one is frustrating the shit out of me. Crutchlow has the talent, that’s established from his half a dozen podiums, But that Ducati is an AWFUL bike that Cal’s never been able to replicate his 2013 form in, and the mechanical issues its had would make Sebastian Vettel wet the bed. He deserves to be in the Top 8, but the team is clearly holding him back.

Andrea Iannone – Without a doubt, the most improved rider of 2014. Mentioned him before during my Italy blog, but his qualifying is getting better, his race pace is only hindered by his sub-standard Satellite Ducati, and his starts are superb. Other guys are close, like Yonny Hernandez, and Scott Redding would be up there if it wasn’t for his customer Honda, but for me, that pack is as good as any bit of Motorsport most weekends!

And Finally… –

https://t.co/5k2WaHEZ8b

This Vine is hilarious. That is all. Thanks for reading![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Bookies Manager, writer, podcaster and video maker for all things Motorsport. Loves sneakers, card games and sports, but refuses to stick to them.

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