A small MotoGP "silly season" (2016) review - part 1

When the 2015 MotoGP season was coming to an end, nobody believed that 2016 could be any more interesting. Boy were we wrong.

An all out "handbag war" ensued in late 2015. First it was Rossi versus Marquez. Supposedly Marquez was not running on full pace, just to mess up Rossi's chances for the championship. Of course after such accusations, Marquez took it upon himself to show that if that was really the case, things would be hellish for the Doctor. Everything snowballed from there with many dark incidents, including riders driving other riders out of the track intentionally, fans booing the Spanish athletes and eventually hating the 2015 MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo with a passion. It was all a bit too much like football.

So after the MotoGP break everyone settles down, fans are starting to forget the bad days, riders are focusing for the new season and want to bury the hatchet. 2016 season starts and proves to be one of the most interesting in the last decade. But why?

Let's take a look at the key points of the 2016 season in a deliberately mixed order 🙂 :

 

 

Tires

Bridgestone hands the keys over to Michelin. This is a really big one. Everyone that knows anything about circuit racing, knows that tires are massively important. All the teams had known the  Bridgestones inside and out. Everything was tested, thousands of sets ran in fast and slow tracks, stop and go tracks, hot, cold, in pouring rain, you name it. All suspension, geometry and Engine management settings are based on tire characteristics. In comes Michelin with a giant eraser and everyone goes to square 1. Factory and satellite teams are "equalized" and race team managers try to put as many hours as possible on the new tires so they can figure them out. This of course is not an easy task and by watching the 11th race of the season you might see why.

 

 

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge is really like a character taken from an action movie. He has incredible superpowers but an Achilles heel too. His superpowers are very well known. Just watch any race and you can't help but be amazed at the silky smooth riding style and it's cruel effectiveness.  When Lorenzo gets moving it really is very hard for anyone to keep up, even more so when he is nr.1 on the starting grid. But and it is a big but, he has to have a clear head and this proves to be not the case for the majority of the 2016 season.

Odds seem to favor as well. If you wonder on how to bet on motor racing competitions online and would happen to check motorsport betting websites through 2016 like William Hill, you would see wildly varying results, often in the small time frame of FP1 to FP4 in a specific race. That means that although Lorenzo has the skill to go faster than everyone, if anything gets in his head he is able to go slower than everyone and that anything can be a lot of things, including the weather, or mind games from say, a gentleman that is partial to bright yellow and the number 46.

The Czech GP was very indicative of this. Jorge was faster than everyone on FP4 and all smiles. The weather was magnificent and he was really flowing. Q2 finds Marquez at the top and the smiles are gone. Race day comes and the race is declared wet. Jorge Lorenzo falls to the very bottom of the racing pack. You can't really know with Lorenzo and this is one of the most interesting aspects of this season.

 

 

...to be continued

 

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