From the Blog

Worth winning

Dovi, Jorge and Marc. Photo courtesy of

Sunday night’s MotoGp race from Brno can hardly be described as the most exciting, certainly not if judged by the last few events in the championship. The riders rode around for much of the race at nowhere near the pace that they had showed in FP4 and the pace only really hotted up in the last 5 or so laps. There was much feinting and pretend passing but very few passes were made and even fewer actually stuck. In the end it was a Ducati 1-2 much to the delight of the red team fans with reigning world champion, Marc Marquez coming in 3rd.

The only real lesson that could be drawn from the race was that the Ducati has a huge horsepower advantage and is also more stable under braking. Add to this that Brno is a horsepower circuit and the result was pretty predictable. What the race DID highlight is that Marquez is riding much more with his head these days than he is with his heart, as has always been his wont. Indeed, his comments at the post-race Press Conference show this quite clearly.

The race in the beginning was slow, and everybody was trying to save tyres,” affirms Marquez. “The track grip was not perfect at the beginning but, step by step, I got better and better and I got the confidence. I was following Dovi with good pace, I was comfortable. But when Jorge arrived, we started to fight and in that fight it was quite difficult for me for this reason: Ducati riders have very strong acceleration.

“I was ready to fight but, honestly, fighting against Ducati is so difficult. They have incredible acceleration, incredible braking stability, so it’s so difficult to overtake them. In end, we finished 3rd. We finished really close. We tried. But I’m really happy because we did a great job. We increased the lead in the championship.”

His performance and his comments indicate that he at last seems to be learning that you have to pick the battles that you can be sure of safely winning. He added that he could have pushed for the win but settled for 3rd rather than ending up in the kitty litter. How refreshing. In the end result he still increased his championship lead and now has nearly a two full race advantage, a position for which any rider would give their eye teeth.

In the wider perspective, his performance illustrates a principle that is applicable in almost every area of life and it’s worth underlining it. You can’t win every battle, regardless of how much you would like to. When adversities and struggles come across your path you have to sit back and ask yourself if it’s worth expending that last bit of effort to win that battle or is it of a lesser importance and can you afford to just let it go.

As males, we are very competitive. The majority of sports across the whole spectrum, are dominated by males, it’s plain to see why. We want to win EVERY battle and we will go to ridiculous lengths to do so, but, in doing so, we often find that the taste of the victory is not as sweet as we imagined it was going to be. As a young teacher a more experienced colleague said to me, “Phil, you can’t win every battle in the classroom, but you do need to choose the ones that HAVE to be won and let the others go.” It was, and still is, good advice.

The time is not yet right for Marquez to cruise and collect. There are plenty of battles yet but, by choosing which times it is appropriate to stick his neck out for that little bit extra or to pull his head in and collect valuable points instead, as he did so in Brno, he is looking increasingly formidable. And, by choosing to fight hard for the points that are worth winning and letting go of the ones that aren’t, we make our lives much more stress-free. End of sermon.

Tonight I am going to the theatre in town to watch the Wollongong premiere of the documentary, “Wayne” the story of Wayne Gardner, “The Wollongong Whizz”. It premiered in Sydney last night to rapturous reviews and I can’t wait to be there tonight, to mix with the local biking community and, hopefully, touch base with Wayne, whose career I have closely followed since it first began. I am sure you are all heartily sick of me posting this picture but here is Wayne at his first ever road race meeting at Sydney’s Oran Park in November 1976.

Several of my photographs are actually used in the documentary and that will be a thrill to see my work up on the big screen. Make sure you go and see it when it opens for commercial release.

I’ll give you my review of the movie and the night tomorrow.