Hello and welocme to another blog by me TARDIS2010. Sorry for the lateness of this blog been a bit busy this week but it's better late than never. This week I am covering the recent 2013 Motorcycle Grand Prix of Australia. Within this blog I'm going to go over the main points of the races and my opinions on certain aspects of what happened today. As usual if you've not seen the race then stop reading here as there are Spoilers ahead.
OverviewWell this race had everything, tyre safety isues, bike swaps during the race, a shortened race and the championship leader being disquilified, in a word: WOW. The race was won by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo after an action packed weekend. Being one of my favourite riders I was very pleased to see him win this one, and another bonus being he is back in the title hunt. He started from pole and led throughout, and now trails his fellow Spaniard by 18 points going into this week's penultimate race in Japan. Dani Pedrosa was second while Valentino Rossi held off the challenge of Britain's Cal Crutchlow for third.
After setting the fastest time in qualifying, Lorenzo started well from pole and held off Marquez and Pedrosa in the opening lap before looking very comfortable.
Tyre supplier Bridgestone said before the race that they were unable to guarantee the safety of their rear slick tyres beyond 10 laps because of the newly-resurfaced track at Phillip Island. As a result, it was decided to shorten the race to 19 laps from 27, with a mid-race pit stop. Pedrosa was the first of the top three to pit on lap nine, while Lorenzo made his change on the following lap.
However, Marquez stayed out on the track until lap 11 and when he rejoined the race he had a minor clash with Lorenzo for top spot but the race leader retained his advantage. Marquez's hopes of securing the title in his rookie season then suffered a blow when he was shown the black flag for exceeding the maximum number of laps permitted before having to pit.
Marc MarquezRepsol Honda's Marquez was set, until his black flag, to take the championship at this race. Now with his non-finish it has left the gap wide open for Lorenzo. There have been many theroies as to why Marc kept going for one too many laps some syaing Honda were trying to be clever with the rules, others saying there was confusion and a mis-understanding over said rules. Honda have put their hand up and admitted their mistake and I feel sorry for whoever is responsible.
However I don't see how a major bike racing team could mistake a simple rule. That either means it was planned or Marquez himself made a mistake. Marquez would not have seen Dani Pedrosa - who was in third place behind him - going into the pit lane on lap 9. He would have seen Lorenzo going in on the following lap 10 and probably assumed it was the first lap of the open window (Lap 9) and he would be going in on the next lap 11 - but by then it was too late. In fairnes to Marquez reading a pit board at over 200mph is hard to say the least, and what with MotoGP riders not used to set bike chnages and having no radio contact with the pits so they have to rely on looking at pit boards and signals it is easy to understand how he made a mistake. The confusion could have been alleviated if race organisers had a system like waving white flags when the two-lap pit window opened. That would have made it easier for someone who did not see the pit board.
ChampionshipMarquez came into this weekend with what looked like an unassailable lead over Lorenzo, so to have that lead cut to 18 points with 50 points still available in the last two races of the season means it is all up for grabs - and it is not mathematically impossible for Pedrosa to win the title either. One of Marquez's qualities is he is a young man with a smile on his face. He will believe he can win in Japan next week, and if he does it will just about sort the title out.
However Jorge will be giving it everything, and it's win or crash time for him now. He has everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose, while it's the complete opposite for Marquez, who will take the title in Japan if he scores eight points more than Lorenzo. Marc will have to be careful because another non-finish for him would put Lorenzo in the driving seat. Lorenzo has had a huge lift. There is a light at the end of the tunnel now and he must be starting to believe that he can retain his championship. In his own words, he had a 3% chance before Australia and now it's 30%.
I'm really looking forward to the next race in Japan, it's going to be an epic battle between the Yamaha and Honda for the top spot in the championship and I have a feeling that the racing will be amazing.
I hope you've enjoyed this Blog. Please leave suggestions on how to improve and comments on what you enjoyed. I shall be back next week with reviews on the Indian F1 GP (if it happens) and the Japanese Motorcycle GP.
Thanks for reading,