Marc Marquez, the reigning champion, seems to have all eyes set on becoming the greatest MotoGP rider in the recent years. His dominance of the Brno MotoGP over the weekend saw him stretch his lead in the MotoGP standings to an undisputed 14 points ahead of the rest of renowned names including Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa among others.
The Brno victory is a perfect example of Marc Marquez’s skills and tactical approach befitting a leading contender for the world championship title. It was a genius combination of perfect timing and tactical planning that Marquez is becoming well known for in the last few races.
One of the key challenges in Brno was the change in track conditions from wet to dry, which Marquez did capitalize on with the right pit timing. The young champ easily outfoxed familiar rivals with perfect pit stop timing on a drying track. However, it was not a walk in the park for the rising MotoGP star. The race began on a damp track but with the sun shining brightly it was only a matter of time before the track dried up. Shortly, every team was scrambling to switch to dry tires. In fact, all the 23 riders had opted for wet tires at the beginning of the race.
Starting with a soft wet tire, Marquez lost the lead on the opening lap at Turn 5 to Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo. By the end of the second lap, Marquez had dropped to the bottom of the top ten when he dived to the pits to switch his softer tires. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was pulling away in the lead with a good gap as the legend Valentino Rossi swooped past Marquez and Dovizioso to take the second spot. A dry line was finally appearing on the track as Rossi gunned down for Lorenzo up ahead. The drying track made it necessary for many of the riders in the front group to head into the pits. Meanwhile, Marquez was laying rampage on one red sector after another.
It began to look like the perfect pit stop timing was indeed a tactical masterstroke. That’s what you’d expect from a rider of Marquez’s cadre. The champ dominated the race to deliver his third victory in this year’s MotoGP season. So how do the rest of the champs compare to Marc M. after the Brno race? Honestly speaking, Jorge Lorenzo’s chances are as good as forgotten unless he does the unimaginable and scoops the remainder of the races.
Typical of Lorenzo’s brute force approach, which is often lacking in planning and tactics, he took an early lead only to waste precious time when it really mattered most at the pit lane. At this rate, the 5-time overall world champion will need more than an early lead in races to stand a chance against Marc Marquez in the quest for the world MotoGP championship. By the way, he could only manage the 15 spot after the pit delay. Talk of rushing in unprepared.
I am still waiting to see anything close to a ‘comeback’ from the nine-time world champion, the legendary Valentino Rossi. His performance at Brno was anything but a comeback. I’m sure his fans will disagree with me that the once great Vale has somewhat reached a plateau way below the top three spots in most races. At his current form, hopes of scooping his tenth title, much less the best rider in the world title, are fast diminishing with every race. He ended up 4th in Brno behind Yamaha teammate Maverick Viñales.
At the end the top 5 riders were:
- Marc Marquez on Repsol Honda RC213V and a finishing time of 44m 15.974s
- Dani Pedrosa on Repsol Honda RC213V with a time of 44m 28.412s
- Maverick Vinales on Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 with a finishing time of 44m 34.109s
- Valentino Rossi on Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 and a time of 44m 36.440s
- Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain on the LCR Honda RC213V with a time of 44m 36.866s
The world’s best rider title is still an open book though, with a few more races left to go, Marquez is still the man to beat for the world championship title in my opinion. However, he still expects to face more determined competition from Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi.
Either of the two could spring up a few last minute surprises, as unlikely as such a scenario might be. The legend Rossi may not be at his top form at the moment but anything can happen before the season ends. He could just make it his 10th title for all we know but as things stand at the moment, it looks like Marc M. is all set to become the best MotoGP rider of our time. I’m still rooting for Marc Marquez.