Well, we have a new world champion, and I must say, it’s not a popular champion. On 8th November 2015, Jorge Lorenzo was crowned the 2015 MotoGP World Champion, but already there are people questioning this.
In the Malaysia Pre-race Press Conference, then championship leader Valentino Rossi accused Marquez of assisting Lorenzo in Australia, the week before. I, for one, see no evidence that Marquez did help Lorenzo. He actually did him a disservice in overtaking him on the final lap of the race.
But first, let’s go back all the way to Argentina. Rossi, running in 2nd place, had closed down a 3 second gap to Marquez at the front, and with 3 laps to go overtook Marquez. In an attempt to retake the lead of the race, Marquez fell.
Fast forward a few months, and we had the Assen TT, a race long battle between Rossi and Marquez. On the final lap of the race, Marquez put a move on Rossi into the final chicane, Rossi then cut the chicane after he was forced out of room, and went on to take victory.
Coming back to the press conference now, the accusation seemed like a bit of a joke, until Valentino made it serious and it rolled on all weekend, Marquez let Jorge through in the early laps of the race, and then went on to fight Vale. Marquez was then forced of his bike at the penultimate turn on the track, and Rossi went onto finish in P3. After the race Rossi was awarded three penalty points which would mean he would start from the back of the grid in Valencia. I believe that a penalty should’ve been awarded to both after this race, a time penalty for Rossi of something around 20-25 seconds, and a row back for Marquez in Valencia. But I’m not a steward, am I?
But why did Marquez let Jorge through and fight Vale, when Vale was Marc’s idol ever since a young age? I think that the 3 points above take a massive part in it. Argentina, Assen, and the Press Conference. The press conference is the one that activated the willing to help Jorge though, in my opinion. And then everything happened.
In terms of yesterday’s race, Jorge was starting on pole position, and thankfully for Rossi, Crutchlow had a problem which meant he started from behind Vale. Vale was able to climb his way all the way up to P4, so if Jorge finished P3, he would be the champion. That’s not what happened, in the end, Marc couldn’t find a way past and so Lorenzo would become champion.
Well, that’s what we thought at first. I have to give credit to 2003 World Superbike champion turned MotoGP reporter for BT Sport, Neil Hodgson. I think he may’ve got this correct here.
He said “The most aggressive rider if ever seen is Marc Marquez, and how many manoeuvres did he make on Lorenzo? Zilch. The only aggressive manoeuvre he made was on his teammate. I feel Marquez rode totally like he was protecting Lorenzo.” And, I’ve got to say, if I hadn’t seen this from Neil, I would’ve never written this.
I completely agree with Neil, and I fell he has it the nail on the head. He said had Pedrosa been in front of Marquez it would definitely be a different story. We have seen Marquez make moves from miles back and make them stick, so why would he help Lorenzo? To prove a point? Because Jorge is his compatriot?
The reality is we will probably never know, both riders have both different sides to the story.
But the fans have been the worst about this. I watched the FIM Awards last night, and there were multiple comments saying “f**k Lorenzo, Marquez and Dorna”, comments saying that Marc and Jorge were having homosexual relations, and some even going as far as wishing death on both Marc and Jorge.
In overall, Rossi and Marquez have both shown poor sportsmanship towards each other, and Rossi didn’t even bother to turn up to the awards last night, which I feel was very cowardly of him. Both riders need to man up, and show some respect, and racers like racers should.
But Rossi was right about one thing, this whole situation is “very embarrassing”. I hope that this does not go on into 2016 as this is really damaging for the entire MotoGP world, everyone involved, and all the fans of it.