Trevitt's Blog: Rossi vs. Lorenzo For The Title

With just a handful of rounds remaining in this year's MotoGP World Championship, it's almost certain that the championship will go to either Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo. The two Movistar Yamaha riders are atop the standings, both with more than a race worth of points in hand over Marc Marquez in third place. It's an enviable position for Yamaha to be in, but at the same time I'm sure it's causing plenty of angst in the team and at company headquarters.

Update after the Aragon round on September 27: It is even more certain the championship will go to Rossi or Lorenzo, as Marquez crashed at Aragon and dropped even further behind in the points but remains in third.

Obviously, sitting 1-2 in the standings with such a lead is good for Yamaha and the team because, almost no matter what happens, a Yamaha rider will win the title. All eyes are on the title chase, there's plenty of drama, and the company and team sponsors get plenty of TV time and exposure out of it. From now to the end of the season, more people will be concerned with where Rossi and Lorenzo finish in each race, rather than who wins or is on the podium.

On the downside, because it's a two-horse race now, it's a safe bet that the two riders are not working together as you would expect from teammates - no sharing of setup notes, data, thoughts on tire selection or the track surface, and so on. This makes it very difficult for Yamaha and the team to move forward with development or testing, as the workload cannot be shared between the two riders: each will be trying to find the best solutions, and keeping the results to himself. At Misano, for example, Lorenzo tested small winglets on the side of his M1 during the first day's practice, whereas Rossi tested them at a private test earlier.

In the last few rounds, it's clear that the focus in the Movistar Yamaha garage has been the riders' personal battle. At Misano, both riders were so concerned with what the other was doing in the tricky dry/wet/dry conditions that both suffered as a result, mistiming their bike changes to match the changing track. At the end of the day, Rossi finished fifth while Lorenzo crashed out. Rossi even confessed after that he was more concerned with beating Lorenzo than anything else: "It’s true that the championship is a lot more important that winning this race, it’s the main target." Yamaha cannot be happy that a potential race win for the brand was forfeit.

None of this is atypical for a race team. It's all wine and roses when there is an obvious No. 1 and No. 2 rider: plenty of information is shared between the riders, the development work carries on at a steady pace, and there is no secrecy. But when the two riders end up battling for the championship title (or position), the walls go up fast. A similar situation came to a head last year in World Superbike, with team orders being issued in both the Kawasaki and Aprilia camps and riders on both teams unhappy.

Hopefully Rossi and Lorenzo will not have any more miscues as they did in Misano, and that the title fight continues on to the finale in Valencia to close out a fantastic season. While their points lead over Marquez is comfortable, it is not unassailable by any means, and they cannot afford many more similar errors as a team.

 

Saturday, 26 September 2015 17:22


TELUS Ride For Dad: Back Your Brother is Back!

(September 25, 2015)-September is Men’s Health Awareness Month. A time when we try to focus the country on the number one diagnosed men’s cancer in Canada—prostate cancer.

Friday, 25 September 2015 11:43


Motorcycles at Cobble Beach - Gunga Din Accomplishes the Unthinkable‏

September 24, 2015…. "Gunga Din," the 1947 Vincent Motorcycle factory test bike and racer, has captured one of the most esteemed of the big automobile awards at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 13:11


Canadian champ Kenny Riedmann makes strong Bold D’Or Debut

@cdnsuperbike v @KennyRiedmann42 •  Canadian Kenny Riedmann did more than just survive the79th running of the Bol D’Or 24 hour classic endurance event, held at Circuit Paul Richard in the South of France last weekend, September 19 and 20.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:57


Race-ready Yamaha YZF-R1 Returns to World Superbike Challenge‏

@yamaharacingcom • @WorldSBK • Yamaha Motor Europe has the media buzzing with the announcement of the company's next step towards success in its comprehensive road racing challenge.

Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:53


Runner-up for Victory Racing’s Matt Smith at Charlotte

MEDINA, Minn. (Sept. 21, 2015) – Matt Smith of Victory Racing made four straight outstanding runs on his Pro Stock Victory Gunner in the Sept. 20 elimination rounds and finished second at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. With that great performance, Matt moved up to fourth in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle points after the opening round of the six-round NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 15:46


CMDRA Championships Decided and Records Set at Season Finals

@CMDRA2015 • (September 21, 2015)- The Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association wrapped up its 2015 campaign at the MHDRA Drag Strip in Medicine Hat Alberta on September 19th and 20th, leaving race fans electrified as they witnessed hard fought battles for the remaining championship points as well as multiple record setting runs.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 17:40


Jonathan Finn Italian MiniGP Championship Wildcard Entry‏

@finnmotorsports • Bushell Park, SK (September 21, 2015)- Canadian Mini Roadracing Champion, Jonathan Finn will be participating as a wildcard entry in the Italian MiniGP European Championship to be held at the Adria International Raceway, Adria Italy September 25-27. Jonathan will compete for Team JACO piloting a specially prepared GRC MiniGP 50.

Monday, 21 September 2015 14:51


Championships Up For Grabs at RACE finals

Shannonville, ON (September 21, 2015)- Several new champions will be crowned next weekend at the RACE SuperSeries final round of motorcycle racing action for 2015. Shannonville Motorsport Park will be abuzz with excitement as racers promise to be in top form for the season-ending races.

Monday, 21 September 2015 14:48


Jonathan Rea: 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Champion

@WorldSBK • The Pirelli Spanish Round has gone down in history as the WorldSBK race meeting at which Jonathan Rea was crowned World Champion of 2015. The British rider, standard bearer of the Kawasaki Racing Team, clinched the ultimate goal in Race 1 courtesy of his fourth position. He has been pursuing the title since his first full campaign in 2009.

Sunday, 20 September 2015 11:37


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