Marc Marquez testing in Jerez, nov.2O18.
Marc Marquez testing in Jerez, nov.2O18.
RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 19 – VALENCIA
AD04 – 9: I swear i saw Andrea do a rain dance in the middle of the race… 😉
MM93 – 5: Patience is a vertue Marc, and at Valencia, you definitely needed more of it.
JL99 – 5: Years are starting to show on Jorge. And by show i mean i would have never thought a wrist injury could slow down this much the guy who finished 5th a few hours after a collarbone surgery.
DP26 – 8: Oh Dani, i can tell you there was not one dry eye in your fanclub grandstand on Sunday. They almost got me out of tissue papers!
VR46 – 7: Vale tried to win. Again. But failed. Again. When luck runs out, it’s really out!
SR45 – 5: If the bike racing stuff does not work, Scott has a career of underwear model waiting for him judging by his way of celebrating his last race in MotoGP!
AR42 – 9: After a 2 part race like this, i bet Suzuki are fine letting Andrea go. Alex’s ready for that number 1 rider spot.
PE44 – 7: And just like this, out of nowhere, Pol gives KTM their first podium in MotoGP! Good job Polyccio!
MV25 – 6: I do not know if switching from 25 to 12 will make Maverick go faster but it can definitely not make him, or rather his M1, go slower.
Marc Marquez – Valencia 2018
Celebrating the World Champion @ Cervera ! 🎊
RATING THE RIDERS: ROUND 18 – MALAYSIA
MM93 – 9: Marc Marquez aka the man who wins even when he fails. #machine
AD04 – 6: Sometimes even with the best bike on the grid you cannot win.
JZ5 – 8: … And suddenly, Johann is back !
DP9 – 4: “Can we swap them, get Danilo in WSBK and keep Alvaro ?” – Every Ducati fans out there…
VR46 – 9: Fate must have something against you when you crash out of the most perfect ride you’ve been able to do all season. We don’t know about you, but we were sad.
AR42 – 8: Rise and Shine, we’re pretty certain Alex was the revelation of this Asian trip !
DP26 – 8: Hold on your tears everyone, Valencia is coming…
AB19 – 8: Can you stay Alvaro ? Please. We’re begging you.
MV25 – 7: YOUR RACE STARTS MAVERICK FFS ! #angryface
HS55 – 7: Local hero providing heroic ride for his home fans.
Last round of the Asian tour for the MotoGP paddock took
place at Sepang. The Malaysian track always provides it’s lot of drama due to
the weather conditions and the fair wars betweens riders going into the last
part of the championship. This year Malaysian GP was no exception.
1) Fate favors the Brave …
the start from 7th on the grid due to a “dangerous behavior being too slow
on the racing line” penalty, Marc Marquez knew from the very start that
the race would be a hard one and that he would have to push for the win: “It
was a very, very hard race. First because we started from seventh place, so
that was an extra motivation because I’d never won from the third row. The
first lap was not the best of my career and I had to overtake some riders, but
then I saw that Valentino was pushing really hard from the beginning. So I
pushed too, but I was riding like qualifying and I overheated my tires.”
Pushing is one thing, but in Marquez’
case, pushing also means saving a handfull of crashes, which once again he did
all weekend long: “I was just riding by instinct, not by using my head,
and pushing on the limit. I was fighting against myself and the bike to be
as close to Valentino to attack in the end. I nearly crashed 3-4 times during
Lady luck though already had her plan moving
and while Marc Marquez almost made a mistake at each lap it’s Rossi who went
down while he was leading at the front from Marquez and Zarco: “The plan
was just to try to be there at the end! I mean, I didn’t have anything more. We
were both riding on the limit. A really fast pace. But he was on the limit too
and I saw he was starting to struggle, but there were only 4-5 laps left so it
would be very close, because our level was very equal. (…) When I was only
six tenths behind he did a mistake because he was a little bit wide and when
you are fighting like this you don’t want to lose any time, so he tried to come
back on the line too quickly and crashed. When I saw that Valentino fell,
my body just relaxed and I was riding in another way, because both of us were
pushing a lot.”
2) … Or maybe it doesn’t.
a very disappointing race at Phillip Island where teammate Maverick Vinales
won, Valentino Rossi was desperate to finally find the miraculous recipe to get
back on the top step of the podium, and for a while, he did, thanks to the many
changes his team made on the bike: “We modify a lot the bike, the setting to
try and make everything help the rear tyre. At the end it worked. Already from
Friday morning I felt good. We worked well with the team. We just made a small
adjustment. We can be competitive for all the race. Also Maverick was not so
bad, and also Zarco. Because Maverick started from very behind, no? This time
the three Yamahas were quite competitive. It was more mechanical [than
electronics changes]. In the last races we improved the electronics, like three
or four races ago that helped a bit. But now it’s more mechanical. For me the
problems are not fixed and we have to improve. Like I said, we worked well on
the software but we have to make something more in the hardware from Japan. I
think we need some details, especially in the electronics and also in the
engine. We speak a lot with the Japanese and it looks like it will work.”
fate, karma or whatever you would like to call it had other plans for Rossi and
so, even though he made a pitch perfect race start and went on to do a
fantastic job at leading the race, the only mistake made by the italian proved
to be lethal for his hopes of a win: “It’s a mixed feeling. From one side I’m
very happy for the race because it’s the best race of the season for me and
also it was coming in difficult conditions at a difficult track for us. This is
very important. On the other side it’s a great, great shame. I’m very
disappointed for the mistake. To make a race like this and go home with zero
points is frustrating, yes. We have to say it’s my
first mistake of the season because I arrived always at the end except in
Argentina. But maybe it’s the worst moment. But like you said, I’m devastated
for the crash. But I’m also happy because anyway we lived the dream for 15
laps. After the victory of my brother also, it can be a great, great day. But
it’s like this.”
crash cost Valentino Rossi a lot as this zero point taken makes him lose the
runner up position in the championship standings to Dovizioso and he will now
have to fight against Vinales for 3rd at Valencia, a track he doesn’t keep
close to his heart: “Also today the result can be very important also for the
championship because if I don’t win and I arrive second I close the third place
with Maverick and I can be five points from Dovi [Andrea
Dovizioso] for second in Valencia. Now Dovi has gone and we have to
fight with Maverick for the third place. But I think Valencia is an important
weekend because it’s one of the most difficult tracks. If we are able to be
strong also there it’s positive.“
might have lost the 2nd place in the standings but he did won back the
admiration of many fans who were desperate to see him do well again. He also
impressed his former teammate Jorge Lorenzo who congratulated and praised him
"Apart from the crash, I’ve never seen Valentino Rossi so consistent. More
than 10 laps in just 1 tenth at the hottest and longest track impressed me. And
some said he started to feel his age after last race”
praise coming from the number 99 could only soften Rossi who answered:
couln’t be happier to see them finally having a respectfull releationship !
3) Behind Marquez
Behind the race winner, Alex Rins took another podium
leading him to a fantastic 2nd half of the season: “Our Suzuki is going
very good. The factory deserves it. They have done a really good job during all
the season, because since Qatar I felt we had a very competitive bike. But it
looks like since the middle of the season we did a very big step. At Assen,
Suzuki brought me a new engine, with a little bit more top-end power, and since
this point we improved a lot. We were able to hold the slipstream and fight
with Yamaha and Honda on the straight. And then also I think the experience of
trying to control more the tyres and electronics. Suzuki are now working for
next year, taking a lot of information, and already Guintoli is trying a new
engine that looks very good. We will see what happens next year. For sure I
will give my best to try to beat these guys and be more constant at the
been a while since Johann Zarco was able to fight for pole positions and race
podiums but in Malaysia, like his yamaha teammates, the frenchman was back to
his old self and fought for the 2nd place most of the race, only giving it away
to Rins at the very end: “The strong beginning of the race was key for
the podium. I had a great start from pole and it helped me to go well in the
first two corners. Valentino was pushing a lot and going so fast. I was
not able to overtake him, but following him was good enough to go away
and save the podium. Later I did a mistake in corner 14 and Marc overtook me
very cleanly and then I tried to stay behind him. I expected Marc could catch
Vale quickly but instead he was closing step-by-step. I lost a little bit to
him, but I was able to keep a good pace and have a bigger gap to the guys
behind me. After Valentino crashed I was second, again with a good gap, I thought I could control it but five laps from the end I saw
on the pit board that Alex was coming maybe five-tenths per lap faster than me!
I tried to push but I was not fast enough and in the last lap when he overtook
me in turn four I wanted to overtake him again and fight a little bit. But
there wasn’t the possibility and I almost crashed in turn 11. I got the podium
last year here in tricky conditions, but this year was like a real constant
race and the strong beginning helped me finish on the podium. Third is just a
fantastic present because I’m now the first Independent rider. I’ll try to keep
it in Valencia and being on the same points as Rins means whoever finishes in
front can be in the top five of the championship.”
Now the paddock is heading back to Europe and back to Spain for Valencia and it’s legendary end of the season race. Jorge Lorenzo should make a full comeback after a failed attempt at Sepang. Rossi and Vinales will fight against each other for the 3rd place in the standings while the Team, Best independent and Rookie of the year titles are still to be given away.
Buckle up, Valencia is coming. And we will be there. #CannotWait