If you want to know how the 2017 championship was won, you only have to look at a few seconds of moving pictures towards the end of today’s Grand Prix. Marc Marquez had just passed Johann Zarco for the lead and was a little nervous about an instant reprisal so he pushed like only he can, got into Turn 1 a bit hot and lost the front. On a used tire that is always a crash, no way it can be saved. You must now apply the disclaimer that should be attached to anything anyone writes about MotoGP: “Except Marc Marquez.” At around 110mph he saved it with his elbow and finished third.
Marc has crashed 27 times this year and I cannot think of another world champion who’s played so fast and lose with the prospect of injury. “Marquez style to the end,” he said.
The subplot was what could the Ducatis do? Dovi’ had to win and hope the fates intervened. So why didn’t Jorge Lorenzo move over and let him through for a chance? They were shadowing the Repsol Hondas and Zarco with Jorge in front despite lots of “SUGGEST MAPPING 8” on his dash and downward-pointing arrows on his pit board. Turns it it didn’t matter because the Ducatis were on or over the limit and both crashed out just as things were getting to the crucial part of the race.
So, as GP winner Simon Crafar put it, “Marc Marquez crashed every day of this GP (although he saved today’s crash) trying to win a race he didn’t have to win.” Beat that.