June 29, 2015

You be the steward: Track Limits

Valentino Rossi had led from the start of the Dutch TT at Assen this past  but lost the lead to Marc Marquez with with eight laps to go.

The Doctor go it back with three laps remaining but everyone knew Marquez would have a go at him:   it happened in the last quarter mile of the race.

Marquez made a lunge on the inside of the chicane,  Valentino turned in on him but then bailed  cutting across the gravel, possibly avoiding a collision and winning the race.

Moto GP, has regulations regarding track limits but like many other series, the enforcement of that regulation is open to subjective interpretation.

Moto GP decided to let the results stand,  Honda, no surprise, protested.

After the race, Rossi said he was bumped,  video shows there was no contact.  Marquez said he would have won had Valentino not cut the corner, video and logic would seem to be against him.

The only thing that's certain is Valentino cut across the gravel,  a riding feat one might argue worthy of the win in and  of itself but certainly, beyond track limits.

How would you have called it?


  1. I see contact. Look at Marquez's bike buckle at the :07, :21 and :29 marks in the video.

    Marquez is at fault in this case. He bumped Rossi off the race line for that right-left complex. Notice how Rossi went wide before the right turn because you cannot take the following left if you early apex the right. Marquez took the early apex, bumped Rossi and rode over the curb of the final left turn himself because he didn't have the angle.

    Marquez simply went for broke at the end. He was never parallel or ahead of Rossi entering that final complex. He just tried to muscle his way in and it backfired.

  2. We need The Doctor in F1!!! This kinda reminds me the old Zanardi move on Brian Herta at Leguna Seca in the mid nineties. Heading into the cork-screw a faster Zanardi came down the inside a little too hot and over shot the turn, but he saved it on the dirt, narrowly missing the barrier and drove by Herta. The move was stunning. It was the ultimate "screw you at the cork screw" move of all time. I say its legal. If you're a driver and you're under threat and not smart enough to protect the inside then you're vulnerable. By taking the more improper inside line to protect yourself you may sacrifice exit speed, but still you've gotta do what you've gotta do to protect your position. Granted in The Doctor's case displayed above, it's The Doctor that forgot the protect the inside and let Marquez come along side. The Doctor would have had the inside for the following left-hander anyway.

    The only thing that matters is that The Doctor won!!! And he'd didn't even have to put on his rubber glove!!!!

  3. Big balls FTW. Nuff said.

  4. From the video it's obvious there was contact.

  5. There are many other videos showing clear contact. Marquez dived too late and slowed down against Rossi. Valentino had no choice than to straighten the bike and cut across,moto avoid falling.

  6. There are others angles, especially one from the inside, that clearly shows the contact. When I saw it I was surprised because it's quite harsh, and as you say it's not evident at all from the video you posted.
    Considering the contact, and the fact that Marquez finished his braking well over the astroturf of the exit kerb, I'm inclined to consider his manoeuvre as a "desperate try" more than a successful pass.
    He's quite used to that, but in the end I'm glad MotoGP officials did nothing, it's good to have riders who try until the very end.

  7. These are the better camera angles I saw. Definitely contact. Marquez took a lunge and Rossi took evasive action. All fair and square.


    8.16 - Cam from Rossi's bike. Strong hint of contact, from the reaction of his bike.
    9.38 - Much better view, and contact clear as water.
    The definition ain't great and music is... well, judge for yourselves.

  8. First off let me say I agree with the decision. This is more of an academic discussion. I'm still not convinced there was a touch, that head on angle is deceptive because if you look at the overhead, Marquez was behind. He definitively wobbled and I would say if Rossi had not bailed, they would have both been down so on that alone the decision had to go to him. You all noticed how Vale lifted his front wheel as he hit the gravel, that was just brilliant.

  9. after all, at least one of Rossi's most famous victories came as a result of a pretty robust bump.

  10. Marquez front tire hit Vale's leg.
    Please look for the onboard from Marquez... they definitely bump into each other.

    Thanks to that Marquez was able to turn, if not he will be not be able to stop... and Velentino had the line..

  11. Oh that? That's called 'racing'. You'd see a similar amount of action in F1 if the cameras ever decided to show battles lower than P6 these days. I'd hoped one of the other teams would've made better progress against the Mercs this far into the season but even lacking that it seems the director(s) can't be bothered to look midfield. Everyone knows that if you want to see action, just keep the cameras on the Lotii - between Maldanado and Grosjean at least one them does something like this every race.

    Seems like whenever I tune into MotoGP it's Marquez walking away with the win while everyone else squabbles over second. It's good to see Rossi back in the action at the top, too. That guys gotta be, what, 80 by now? Anyways, been some great racing on two wheels this season. Marquez clearly pushed too hard - even had Rossi not been there it's debatable the Honda would have made the left transition cleanly, he was so early turning in it wouldn't have been pretty or fast. This move could have only worked if Rossi made a mistake at the same time - the Doc was slower turning in but only because he wanted to actually make the first apex. Some people have said he left the door open but not really, since he knew Marq wouldn't be able to make a move stick with an early apex in the right kink. This was desperation, and the resulting contact would have probably been ruled as such if Rossi had gone down in the sand. As it is, it was the right call to let the finish stand. I'm sure the two riders hashed it out in the pits afterwards...they're both pretty decent dudes.

  12. >Seems like whenever I tune into MotoGP it's Marquez walking away with the win while everyone else squabbles over second.

    That was last year. Marquez has been struggling a lot in 2015. He crashed out on his own in the two previous races. For Assen, he went back to the 2014 chassis and at least was competitive. Yamaha are ruling this year. Just when it looks like on team is beyond reach, the other comes back strong. The rules are much more flexible than F1, probably because the cost of running a MotoGP team is much more reasonable. That's one of the things that I've really enjoyed about MotoGP over last several years.

  13. So that's why they practice motocross between races...

  14. Well , i say Marquez should take the win... No contact, clearly out braked Rossi, and had the line.... No way Rossi makes the turn if he doesnt bail.....

    And dont make Rossi sound like a hero for racing through that hard pack, because there are about 10 other lines through that sand already, so clearly the paddock knows that "sand trap" is closer to pavement.....

    No way thats a win in F1.... I think of Hamilton and Raikonen at Spa a bunch of years ago....where Ham even let KR pass him .... But was penalized because still gained vs had he tried to make the chicane

    Or Prost and Senna ..... Missed the chicane in Japan ....DQ'd

  15. For debates sake, imagine that Rossi is Hamilton, and Marques is say, Ricciardo, and it's an F1 race...... is it still OK?

  16. Exactly, and I feel there's nothing wrong when it happens from time to time, it's just motor racing.
    It's a bit different if it becomes an habit, and if you look at how many time Marquez tangled with some other rider... well I think we are on the limit. His amazing talent mustn't be an excuse for a free "get out of jail" card each time.
    At the time poor Marco Simoncelli was tagged as "dangerous" for much less...

  17. Vale made no effort to stay on track, he just gunned it and could've gotten a penalty based on that (but I'm glad he didn't). But for the sake of argument, reverse the drivers positions. Had Marc been on the outside and cut across, would he have been given a penalty? Pretty sure he would... Vale can get away with everything while Marc is still viewed as the bad boy he was in the lower categories and that's pretty far in the past now. There's really not much difference between both drivers in terms of commitment and aggressive moves at the moment, they do it when they need to and keep it borderline legal. Which I like, makes for pretty awesome racing!


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