Firstly, thank you for all the comments and opinions, even the ones that held a different view to us, we respect and appreciate your viewpoints 😊
There were 3 verdicts handed out by race direction on Thursday and Friday plus a change to the track. This is what they were, and these are our thoughts on them. We’ll leave the juicy one till last.
Pol ESPARGARO and Miguel OLIVEIRA
Verdict: Racing incident, no further action required
Pol has made a lot of silly mistakes recently and has been equally quick to pull out the excuse book.
The coming together itself, well it would have been nice to see Pol use the green strip on the outside of the ripple strip to avoid contact on re-joining but you also couldn’t expect him to use the grass.
The verdict was ok and we are happy enough with it. If it was up to us though he’d be starting from the back of the grid. The reasoning is he did the same thing 2 weeks in a row and this time he wrecked someone else’s race. Both incidents were re-joining the race line after running way off line all on his own. Tough luck Pol, we believe he deserve a whack.
Anyway Pol gets another chance to redeem himself this weekend, there will not many times you get 3 weekends in a row with a bike that can win to prove yourself young Pol. Get it done!
His pace on Friday was shit hot. Surely he can’t stuff it up again?
Danilo PETRUCCI and Aleix ESPARGARO
Verdict: Petrucci received a formal written warning for his ‘gestures’, Espargaro no further action.
Our view: You have to laugh a bit at this one. Firstly because it was kind of funny seeing Danilo giving Aleix the bird as he passed in pit lane, a little bit of theatre. Sure maybe not the most professional way to deal with it but nothing wrong with a bit of emotion.
However if Danilo received a warning, we felt so should have Aleix. Getting a tow in qualifying is part of the sport. It’s not the prettiest part of the sport but it is part of it. Regardless, if you’re on a slow lap it’s up to you not to impede riders on fast laps. Aleix would have made Danilo hesitate and thus impeded him. Even if it was Danilo’s fastest through that sector, it may have been even faster and put him into Q2.
Aleix deserved a warning and should have been told to pull his head in formally. Not from a safety perspective this time but for being such a shit guy and poor sport.
Maybe he didn’t receive a warning due to his nationality? Either way it was a dog move in our books.
Johann ZARCO and Franco MORBIDELLI
The big one! Before we start with this one, let me just state. As soon as Dovi announced he would not be continuing with Ducati in 2021, my very first thought was “put Zarco on the factory bike”. And I still hold that view, he just needs some strong mentoring and polish.
Verdict: Johann Zarco penalised for irresponsible and will start from pit lane on Sunday.
Our view: Agree.
While opinion is still divided and there has been further data released, our view remains the same. He wasn’t ever going to pull that move off and we will expand on why we think that in a bit.
On the penalty itself, fair enough. While emotions may have led us to want a stronger penalty. This is a good start and warning. It gives Zarco an opportunity to learn as well. If he continues to try moves that don’t have any real chance of sticking and only every chance of taking other riders out, the penalties will need to get tougher. Plus he won’t win races and championships like that.
In 2005 Jorge Lorenzo received a one race ban for irresponsible riding. From there he started to tidy up his race craft and won 5 world championships and 64 races. I know some people will think Lorenzo was a bit soft toward the end of his career but he wasn’t in his heyday.
Zarco has won 2 world championship and 16 races. He has the talent and hardness, he just needs a bit more polish. I hope he gets strong mentoring and opportunities he needs to allow him to fight for the MotoGP championship one day.
Why we think the move was never going to work.
Again the line and trajectory.
Data released by the team since says that Zarco actually braked later than any lap before. Yet in our article on Tuesday we suggested Zarco would need to roll off early in order to stay on the track.
Let me ask a question. If Zarco braked later than any lap before, was very wide, off line and not exactly pointed the right way. How was he going to get it stopped, back to left side of the track and around turn 3?
Was he braking really early with heaps in reserve for every lap of the weekend prior to that? I seriously doubt it.
So was he going to get it stopped and around turn 3?
I stand by what we suggested, I don’t believe he was staying on the track, he was more likely to run off at turn 3 or clean bowl others in turn 3 if Franky didn’t hit him from behind. But we will never know.
There has been a slight modification to the track for this weekend’s BMW M GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA being held at the same track as last weekend’s Grand Prix. As suggested in our earlier article, after a near miss like that we couldn’t see them doing nothing. What they have done looks pretty good, sure not perfect but given the time frame, at least they did something. 😊
Franky’s part. Yep maybe Franky could have rolled out of it, maybe with hindsight next time he will. But he looked to be blocked for a big part of the kink and pushed wide. He would have been caught out by that. Also he was on the right line, was forced wide while he was at full throttle and doing 310km/h
Franky called Zarco a part time assassin after the event. He later apologised for the choice of words. A good assassin is skilled, cunning and plans their kill. I’d say Zarco was more like a bull in a china shop than an assassin. Hopefully Zarco can learn to be a bit more cunning, planned and become a bonafide championship contender. He sure is talented and brave enough.
There have been some commentators suggesting you can’t expect a rider in Zarco’s position to have rolled out of the throttle a little and not go up the inside. Again why not? Especially if the move he is attempting isn’t going to stick. He should have swung right and tried to do it like Marquez and Lorenzo in 2018.
Another thing, it’s pretty hard to hit the brake hard while cranked over. You need to get it at least partially straight and upright before whacking on the anchors. Zarco and Franky were really wide, really late with a lot of lean angle.
Anyway feel free to share your views, even if you disagree with us.