The most exciting race I’ve seen
Spoilers ahead from the Argentina MotoGP 2015
This story is the recap of how I watched the 3rd round of the Moto GP World Championship. If you follow MotoGP and haven’t seen the race find it online and/or enjoy this story!
5 Laps to g0
I’m out to lunch with some of my friends at a restaurant in Novato, CA. I look up at the TV while waiting inline to order and I see that MotoGP is on. This is a rarity here in the US as most international sports aren’t usually aired in public places especially international motorsports. In the US, NASCAR is king; I’m a Formula 1 and MotoGP fan. I was excited to say the least to see it on TV. The running order is Mark Marquez running 1.2 seconds ahead of second place Valentino Rossi.
In motor racing, this is close. The rider should have plenty of chances to make multiple passes for the lead. I order my food and find the best place at the table to see the TV.
2 Laps to go
After continuing to close down the gap Rossi makes an amazing pass on Marquez. Rossi is a 9 times World Champion and Marquez is the reigning 2 time World Champion but they touch and Marquez loses out big time. On board videos prove it was a racing accident so no penalties are issued. Rossi cruises home with a 5 second margin and celebrates in style:
Lap 1 (25 Laps to g0)
Back at home I decided to check out the start of the race on my DVR. Knowing the outcome, I figured I would would be able to zip through the race because most of the time, people at the front of the race at the end, started at the front too. This was not the case here.
Marquez is sitting on Pole with a time of 1'37.802 around the 2.986 miles track. Rossi is starting 8th and his qualifying time is more than a full second slower than the pole sitters time. By the end of the first lap, Marquez is .8 seconds in the lead and over 1.7 seconds ahead of now 7th place Rossi.
Inches from your rivals the start of a MotoGP race is an opportunity to make huge gains or loose everything.
Marquez is number 93 and Rossi is number 46.
Lap 5 (20 laps to go)
Rossi has made up another spot (now 6th) but is over 4 seconds behind Marquez who is racing away at the front. In MotoGP riders tend to be in packs where you could see 4 or more riders vying for the position. At this point, it seems like Marquez was going to cruise to victory. But as we already know, a different story was about to unfold.
Lap 6 through Lap 11
Once clear of his teammate (Jorge Lorenzo also a multi time world champion) Rossi is setting the fastest laps on track and works his way from 6th to 2nd. At this point Marquez is still 4.1 seconds ahead of Rossi with 14 laps to go. 4 seconds is a huge gap to make up for anyone, but Valentino Rossi is not just anyone.
Lap 12 through 23
Rossi now running in clean air, he starts chipping away at Marquez lead sometimes more than half a second per lap. By Lap 23 Rossi makes a pass for the lead, but Marquez counters. But is only able to hold off the hard charging Rossi for another turn or two before Rossi makes another pass. And this time Marquez makes an error and hits Rossi’s rear tire and crashes.
Starting 8th and winning a race in circuit racing is amazing at almost any level. Let alone in the highest category where riders make millions of dollars a year.
Congrats to Rossi on his 84th premier class victory. It was truely magical!