Marquez vs Lorenzo: right at the edge if not beyond
In the aftermath of a controversial MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix, focus has stayed away from dominant winner Dani Pedrosa for HRC to fellow countrymen Lorenzo and Marquez. The young Honda rider performed a very cheeky overtaking manoeuvre over the 2012 MotoGP world champion at the last corner of the last lap of the race. To spice up things even more, the corner had been renamed during the week in honour to Lorenzo, as a recognition of his achievements in the MotoGP class as well as 250cc in his early years.
But it was not the fact that the rookie lectured the World Champion at the last lap which sparkled up controversy, but the way the overtaking was performed. Marquez had tried to make a move on the Yamaha bike half way through the race at Dry Sack corner, but had gone wide and fallen back over a second to Lorenzo. Nevertheless, tyre management issues for the reigning World Champion had seen the gap to young Marquez shaven to just over 0.3 seconds at the start of the last lap. Another failed attempt at Dry Sack made everybody think that was it, but Lorenzo left the door open at the entry of “his” corner and Marquez threw himself into the corner causing a collision which ended up with the Yamaha rider going off track and loosing the second step of the podium. During the podium ceremony Lorenzo denied greeting to the rookie even though he refused to comment to the cameras about the action. After that, the majorcan visited race direction to exchange words with the marshals, nevertheless no further action was taken.
While the overtaking was completed with nobody injured, there was a sense of Marquez taking advantage of Lorenzo’s position relative to him to complete the move. The last Jerez corner is a low speed hairpin which becomes even narrower at the apex. To carry the speed to the main straight you need to keep yourself to the outside of the corner all the way to the end of it, which leaves that door open for overtaking in bike races. Marquez took the chance but had Lorenzo not been there, or had he avoided the Honda´s trajectory, the young Spaniard would have ended up going off the track or maybe something worse.
Fellow riders like Valentino Rossi commented on the action with opinions falling to the side of race incident, however, many riders have complained in the past of adversaries being too aggressive, Marco Simoncelli being the latest of this lineage. Will Marc Marquez become the next sic or will he learn to tame his nerves?