Philip Island last year
… 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.
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.
Return Of The Mack, You’ll know that I’ll be back…
Sorry, whenever Maverick Vinales wins, you’re getting a