ROUND 7: CATALUNYA 2019
James Toseland’s Insider Insights: 20th May 2019
Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya
I’m writing this blog from a beautiful rustic apartment in Napoli! Me and Mrs T (Mrs M) have come out to Italy for a road trip holiday and our choice of transport is a Triumph Speed Twin! I’m sat on the balcony eagerly awaiting its delivery and we are both really excited to get on the road! For the next 10 days we’re going be exploring as much of the Amalfi coast as possible! I’ll let you know what happens in my next blog!
It was a long awaited return to the top step for the Leopard team and it was courtesy of a brilliant maiden victory ride for the young Spanish rider, Marcos Ramirez.
With twelve riders not finishing the race it meant nearly half the field crashed out in what was an action-packed race. It should have been 13 with John McPhee’s moment but he miraculously stayed on the bike! He definitely gets the award for best save of year so far!
With many of the top runners in the championship crashing out, the consistency of Aron Canet so far this season has meant his championship lead has steadily increased to 23 points.With 12 different winners in the last 12 races in Moto 3, reliability will be the key to taking this year’s championship. Unfortunately for the teams and sponsors, consistency isn’t in most sub-20 year olds’ vocabulary. This is where the slightly more experienced riders like Aron Canet could really benefit.
The next round is at one of my favourite tracks, Assen! It never disappoints on giving us some of the best races in history! There could be over 10 riders in the leading pack so being consistent is going to take maximum focus!
What a hat-trick from Alex Marquez! I don’t know what he’s eating for breakfast this year but it’s certainly working!
It’s obvious that he loves his new Triumph 765 this season. The extra torque of the Triumph has meant that the riders have had to find a slightly different way of riding this bike compared to the old Honda and Alex has obviously found a sweet spot. Different bikes, different levels of horse power, different weights and different chassis are all factors that require a different way of how to get a motorcycle around the track in the fastest way. A rider’s height and weight play a huge part in this also. The heavier you are, the slower you will accelerate and therefore you will have to accelerate earlier and harder than your lighter opponents. This increases the risk of a highside and also wears out the tyres quicker, which makes being consistent over a race distance much harder. If you are a taller rider then you have to be very flexible to keep low on the bike. The higher your body is, the more difficult it is to change direction quickly.
The physics behind racing motorcycles is fascinating. The position of the weight (bike and rider), moving at high speed whilst battling against G forces such as centrifugal force is why racing motorcycles is so physical.
Alex Marquez on a Honda Moto2 bike didn’t quite have all of those ingredients to be consistently at the front, but the Triumph 765 has given him what was missing and looks like a perfect match between bike and rider.
He’s going to be difficult to beat in Assen with the confidence levels he’ll have now but I’m sure the others won’t make it easy for him!
Don’t worry if my Moto2 and MotoGP sections of my blog feel like deja vu! Blame the Marquez brothers for that! Ha! It’s an incredible period for the Marquez family and deservedly so.
Marc was given a little helping hand in the Catalan race from his team mate, but that’s still not to say he wouldn’t have won regardless. I was so excited to see Jorge Lorenzo at the sharp end, even if it was for only a couple of laps. I really do hope Jorge clicks with his Honda because a Marc and Lorenzo battle at the front of a MotoGP race will be an amazing spectacle. You could see Jorge wasn’t going to settle for anything less than a podium at his home race and his body language on the bike said it all.
Marc Marquez overtook Andrea Dovizioso into turn 9 and Jorge was right behind him and used Marc as a breaking marker. Unfortunately, when using another rider as a breaking marker whilst that rider is trying to overtake himself makes it a very high risk manoeuvre because of how late they are having to break to complete their pass.The last thing Jorge would want to do is take Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi out by a mistake but unfortunately that’s what happened and it inevitably had a negative effect on the race.
I really hope that this is a turning point for Jorge and he can be back at the sharp end. There aren’t too many people that can challenge Marc Marquez over race distance on the Moto GP grid and Jorge is one of them.
It was a brilliant pole position and maiden podium finish though from the exciting rookie, Fabio Quartararo! Marc doesn’t tip his cap for nothing and that’s exactly the gesture he gave to the young French rider as they crossed the line.This young man could be one of the rare people to challenge Marc over race distance and to do it on a Yamaha that’s still not looking like a complete package yet is very impressive indeed. He’s exciting to watch and a great addition to the MotoGP championship.
With most of the top contenders in the championship on the floor, the lead Marc has in the championship has increased massively to 37 points.
Assen is always close though and the guys will have to work even harder to put as many riders between themselves and Marc to claw the gap back.
Can’t wait to see the action next time out!!
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