The weather forecast for the upcoming weekend at Valencia, Spain is for warm temps until Sunday, when it is predicted that temps will cool for the day. Maybe in atmospheric measurements it will be cool on Sunday, but it's doubtful that the drama in MotoGP will drop below "broil" anytime before the checkered flag waves on the final lap of the race.
Heading to the final race of the 2013 MotoGP season Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez leads the championship points standings and needs only a fourth place finish to win the title. That said, Valencia is a track known for its flair for both the dramatic and lack of predictability.
Marquez has played the role of the 'screw the establishment' rookie very well in 2013. While his racing license has more penalty points on it than anyone else in MotoGP he's also done what very few predicted that he could: he's won races and led the championship over his elder and much more experienced rivals. Has he crashed? Yes, he has crashed at least fifteen times in 2013 but thus far he has escaped serious injury. That may be the most amazing stat about Marc Marquez.
|Momentum is a key element in racing and if anyone has the "big mo" now, it is Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.|
Momentum is a key element in racing and if anyone has the "big mo" now, it is Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo has won four of the last six MotoGP races and in recent days has done so in a commanding fashion: he nails a great start and leaves, leading from lap one. The psychological aspect of these wins means that Lorenzo--the reigning world champ--rolls into Valencia brimming with self-confidence. While Lorenzo's temamate, Valentino Rossi says that Lorenzo will need a miracle to win the title at the final round, is it really that clear? Phillip Island showed that Marquez is human and fallible and can be drawn into a major mistake. Lorenzo's strategy will probably be to stay true to what has gotten him here--nail the start and leave. Lap as fast as possible and hope that pulls Marquez into making a mistake.
For Marquez, even if he loses the title at Valencia his prowess shown in '13 will do nothing but cause his rivals to lose sleep mulling over the future. 2013 was supposed to be Marquez's learning year, when he was supposed to take it easy and learn the ropes of MotoGP. If this was his learning season, what does 2014 have in store?