Two predictions by former MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo at the start of this season seem bang on target
A‘big year’ for Valentino Rossi and a definitive advantage for Honda due to Bridgestone’s tyre compounds for the 2014 MotoGP season. To that you can also add Marc Marquez being the rider to beat for the season.
Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo seemed pretty confident of these two developments for the current motorcycle Grand Prix season at the pre-season test session in Sepang at the end of February.
And that definitely seems to be the way things have played out this year. Marc Marquez has won every one of the nine races held prior to MotoGP’s summer break (seven of them from pole position) and Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa lies second in the standings. Pedrosa has finished on the podium in all but two races and on three occasions has finished second behind Marquez to give the factory team of the Japanese manufacturer a 1-2 finish.
Lorenzo (as well as Rossi) both believed that the stiffer sidewall construction of this year’s Bridgestones reduce the edge grip for riders on Yamaha machines that traditionally count more on handling than outright power as compared to Honda.
Edge grip comes into play for motorcycle riders who lean into corners at angles that seem downright impossible to many. Not least when one sees someone like Marquez not just drag his knee around a corner but also his elbow!
The simulations conducted by Yamaha at Sepang where lap times got progressively worse did not bode well for them this year and true to early testing form, they have been utterly dominated by their more illustrious Japanese rivals.
And the big year for Rossi? He is currently on course to better his points haul of 237 from last season and has comfortably outscored an inconsistent Lorenzo by a margin of 141 to 97 points.
‘The Doctor’ did not fare particularly well against Lorenzo on his return to the Yamaha factory squad last year after he suffered an uncompetitive Ducati for two years prior to that.
Lorenzo outscored him by nearly 100 points (330 to 237) and came within four points of preventing Marquez from winning the MotoGP title in his first year in the category.
The former two-time champion had also won two more races than Marquez last year, which seems impossible to those who didn’t know that stat and are watching the championship battle play out this year.
He has looked unable to counter Rossi so far as the former dominant force in MotoGP has taken steps as drastic as parting ways with long time crew chief Jeremy Burgess in an effort to regain his position as top dog.
So far, however, things just look set for win number ten (out of ten!) for the magical Marquez.