Dre’s MotoGP 2014 Grand Prix Of Aragon Review

Read time: 8 mins

“Lorenzo breaks his duck in an all-time classic 800th race.”

Actual words said by me during this race: “THIS IS AWESOME. THIS IS EPIC, I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK!”

This was an Estoril 2006. A Jerez 2005. One for the ages, and we’ve been spoilt enough this season for some incredible racing, but this takes the cake. The MotoGP race at the top was as good as anything you’ll see in Motorsport this year, and maybe even this decade. It was carnage and I have NO IDEA how I’m going to break it all down… But god help me, I will try!


[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″]Lorenzo-Checkers-Aragon-2014[/fusion_imageframe]Lorenzo finally triumphs in a tactical war

Props to Jorge Lorenzo. He’s been grafting the whole season and coming back from the surgeries and the bike that wasn’t suiting him and is once again, starting to turn up the wick in the second half of the season. He was fighting with the Repsol’s all race long, to the surprise of everyone given how strong a Honda track on paper, Aragon is supposed to be.

As the rain came down, Marquez let Lorenzo through to let him be the guinea pig for the damp conditions, but Lorenzo let Marquez back through before pitting first for the wet condition bikes, as rivals were dropping all around him, Dovizioso and Iannone wrecking their new Ducati GP 14.2’s in the process as they got caught out by the wet astroturf, Valentino Rossi following suit, taking a nasty concussion in the process.

Pedrosa and Marquez kept going, but Pedrosa hit the deck under braking for Turn 1, Marquez going at a Snail’s Pace with the faster wet running bikers going faster and faster, like Lorenzo, and Aleix Espargaro, the first one to change for a wet bike – A gamble that would pay off down the road.

Marquez still went on strong, but with 3 laps to go, he finally went down with his cold tyres, but amazingly, he got back up, changed bikes, and still finished in 13th place, ahead of Pedrosa, and thus, extending his Championship lead. Only Marquez huh?

But it was Jorge Lorenzo who outsmarted his rivals and took his 32nd top class victory, and his first win in 15 races, [/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=”Did you know Lorenzo’s won the 700th AND 800th GP’s?” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]going back to the season finale last year in Valencia[/fusion_tooltip]. After all the 2nd places, and the struggles, it was nice to see the Double World Champion back to his best. And after getting 25 points on direct rival Rossi and 23 on Pedrosa, all of a sudden, Jorge has a shot at the 2nd of the Championship, and a chance to continue that Top 2 title streak he’s had going since 2009.

Overall though, this was the best race I’ve seen in MotoGP since Estoril 2006. [/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=”FIND IT. Universally regarded as one of the best ever. ” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]Yes, THAT one[/fusion_tooltip]. Where Toni Elias goes “F*** IT!”. It’s a 10/10, all-time classic. The levels of crazy, are just off the charts. Rider skill supreme. Tactical battles galore, and overall, a brilliant ending too, which I’ll get to in a bit!

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]hi-res-4e6c2a9147a4dad5b0553277bf86501c_crop_north[/fusion_imageframe]So where did it all go wrong for Honda?

How many times recently can you say Honda got it COMPLETELY wrong? Oh yeah, [/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=”Wonder if Honda have learnt to count to 10 since then?” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]Philip Island last year[/fusion_tooltip]… But whatever, my point still stands!

To be fair, this wasn’t really a team error, these kinda flag-to-flag situations, its the rider who makes the call. Now as I said, I don’t know why Honda put the harder rubber on both bikes at the last minute, I don’t think that was a smart call, but when the rain came down, it came down to the riders, and Marquez and Pedrosa got it wrong, especially Pedrosa.

But to be fair, Pedrosa HAD to follow Marquez if he had any chance of winning, he was always going to be the biggest threat to win the race. The gamble of getting it wrong was too much and would effectively throw what little chance he had of winning the title away.

As for Marquez, well, his gamble made sense, you lose about 40 seconds in changing bikes, so if you can ride it out, you could still win. The problem was, the track was only getting wetter, and it was inevitable he was going to drop, or lose SO much time to Lorenzo he wouldn’t have won anyway. Still, he didn’t really lose anything here, if anything he gained, so he won’t be too disheartened, going to Motegi knowing a win seals him his 2nd Top Class Championship.

It’s hard to remember given his talent, that this is a guy who’s only had 32 races in MotoGP and still only 21. He’s only ever had 1 flag-to-flag race like this before in Assen, so tactically, he may not be on that same level as Lorenzo, who’s had over 100 races more experience. He’ll learn and bounce back, like he’s done so often before. But he really should have pit the lap Pedrosa went down, he could have changed his bike with nothing to lose.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]4[/fusion_imageframe]Aleix Espargaro and the Day Of The Underdog

And how about Aleix Espargaro narrowly beating out Cal Crutchlow for 2nd? Just 0.017 of a second in it, and a wonderful ride from Aleix. Tactically, he got it spot on being the first guy to pit, and this was his reward, his first top class podium finish and a career high in 2nd.

Also, a great weekend on the whole for Cal Crutchlow, because who REALLY needs a GP 14.2? Qualified in 5th, matching his best of the season, then brought the bike home in 3rd, his 5th MotoGP podium and 1st for Ducati. The talent’s always been there folks.

Further down, Stefan Bradl had his best finish of the season in 4th, Bradley Smith matched his career high in 5th, narrowly pipping team mate Pol Espargaro into 6th, Hiroshi Aoyama had his best ride on MotoGP since Assen 2011 in 8th, Nicky Hayden with a strong ride in 9th on his return from a 3 race wrist injury, Scott Redding got back in the Top 10 in 10th, and Danilo Petrucci had his best career ride in 11th, astonishing given his Ioda bike isn’t the best. At all.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]PA1596668.0008[/fusion_imageframe]Return Of The Mack, You’ll know that I’ll be back…

Sorry, whenever Maverick Vinales wins, you’re getting a [/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=”Google it. It’s a classic one-hit wonder.” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]Mark Morrison reference[/fusion_tooltip], whether you like it or not!

It was the perfect weekend for Maverick at home, pole and the win, and he did with some real style, looked in complete control from start to finish as the 2nd pack went to war between Rabat, Kallio, Morbidelli, Luthi and Aegerter.

Rabat finally broke free and his pace on used tyres is utterly insane, he was able to chase down Maverick at quite the rate of knots, but Mav did enough to take his 2nd Moto2 victory, guaranteeing his Rookie of the Year award for a truly phenomenal rookie season, which has earned him a factory seat with Suzuki next year.

To put it into context, he still has a decent shot of beating the all-time rookie record set by some guy called…Marc Marquez. You MAY have heard of him.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]589025-a68d2f90-4766-11e4-9bb4-d8c2ecaf4782[/fusion_imageframe]Miller’s Mistake, Marquez pipped again, Fenati wins?

Remember Romano Fenati? You know, the plucky Italian who looked like the best in the field early on? Yeah, turns out he managed to find some form as he came through from 13th on the grid to climb up the field and win after the slippery conditions opened the weekend.

It was a disaster for Jack Miller, in the leading group but a bold pass off the racing line through the final corner lead to contact with Alex Marquez and Miller hit the deck, his Championship lead going down with it. As much as they were called to race direction, everyone seemed to feel like it was just a racing incident and nothing was made of it.

The slippery conditions affected a TON of the front runners during the race. John McPhee was on for a career high podium until a Marquez mistake made him sit the bike up on the wet patches, causing him to drop. Alex Rins, Enea Bastianini and Jakub Kornfeil all made errors too, costing them positions, but Fenati just beat Alex Marquez over the line (Stop me if you’ve heard that one before), to win his 3rd race of the season.

Also, a great performance by Danny Kent in 3rd, a mature, disciplined ride by the Brit, his intelligence and race craft really shining through.

Again, Marquez won’t be too gutted, he now leads the Championship over Jack Miller by 11 points, wins Rins still close behind, only 18 points back. It’s a whole new championship now with 4 rounds to go. Can Jack Miller chase, or does Honda have the advantage?

Also one tenth of a second COMBINED in the last three races has cost Alex Marquez 15 points. That MAY come back to hurt him down the road.


And if you haven’t already…GO FIND THE MOTOGP RACE. DO IT. DO IT NOW. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS POST?! FIND IT![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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