Last Sunday’s British Grand Prix answered some questions but still left one unanswered. The enthralling race between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez that resulted in the narrowest of victories to the Yamaha rider showed that, while the war may already be lost, JL99 is still determined enough to win every battle that comes his way. As aggressive as I have ever seen him, Lorenzo did what he knew he had to do, get out in front and stay there and thus negate the Honda’s “point and shoot” advantage in the corners. And when Marquez passed him as we knew he would, he responded as he used to respond in his 250cc days, he passed straight back while MM93 was regrouping for the next corner (though, to his credit, Lorenzo passed in a much more sporting manner than some of his 250cc efforts used to be)
As a consequence, with six races to go, Marquez still leads his team mate, Dani Pedrosa (who appears to be a broken man already) by 30 points and Lorenzo by 39 points. Neither of these margins are insurmountable with 150 points still on offer, but, going into the final third of the season, Marquez’s lead is comfortable. And, given that he has had only one DNF so far this season (Mugello) and that he has finished on the podium at every other race, the expectation is that he will continue the vein of form that started at the very first race in Qatar so many months ago and that he will do an excellent job of defending his points lead.
PLUS, the fact that he was able to compete for the victory just over an hour after crashing, dislocating his shoulder and having it “popped” back in by the medical staff at the track is nothing short of miraculous. That said, he will have to still ride clever and be careful (relatively). One DNF can still make the difference so close and tight is the competition.
Next race is at Misano, another “Yamaha” track. Judging by last weekend’s results it will need to be if the Marquez steamroller is to be stopped (or even slowed)
Thank you to some lifers who have contacted me about the site being down for the last 36 hours. Small software glitch that has now been resolved. Catch you tomorrow.