Historically Accurate | Valentino Rossi Blog

Monday, August 24, 2015

Historically Accurate

A championship tied at the top with seven rounds remaining, all to play for, but who does history predict as the winner?
The MotoGP™ World Championship enters its final stages; just seven races remain to decide the 2015 MotoGP™ World Champion. Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have horns locked at the top, tied on points. Meanwhile Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sits in third, eagerly waiting to pick up the pieces should one falter.
History once again provides us with a preview of what's to come, the last two years have seen all three championship protagonists race on the same bikes at the same tracks, producing a relatively even level to compare them on. The 2013 season saw both Marquez and Lorenzo head into the end stages with a chance at taking the title, while 2014 had Marquez enter having already won ten races in a row and using the latter half of the year to see how far he could push his limits.
Both seasons have seen Rossi finish well but out of championship contention. 2014, the stronger of the two seasons overall, saw Rossi take two third places, two wins and two seconds as well as a DNF in the last seven races. 2013 saw Rossi amass only 94 points, as he continued to re-learn the Yamaha after his venture to Ducati. These are strong results but minor inconsistencies could prove to have huge ramifications.
Of the remaining seven circuits both Misano and Phillip Island have seen Rossi do well historically, but he’ll need more than two wins to fight back against Lorenzo and hold off a Marc Marquez who has nothing to lose. In 2014 Marquez entered the final seven races also with nothing to lose having already put a hand on the title. These seven races saw Marquez crash three times: in Misano chasing Rossi, in Aragon while pushing dry tyres too far in the wet and in Phillip Island with a comfortable lead.
Aside from these three races Marquez finished no lower than second. During the 2013 season Marquez was still fighting for the title, no comfortable ten-race-win-cushion to rest on. Here he finished off the podium only once, again in Phillip Island. Since moving to the MotoGP™ class Marquez has never finished an Australian Grand Prix, disqualified in 2013 due to not making the mandatory pit stop in time. Aside from this blight 2013 was filled with second place finishes, a win and a third,
Strong results, but Marquez also has to contend with a 52 point deficit in 2015 and his historical form may not be enough to close the gap, especially if both Rossi and Lorenzo can repeat their own history.
If Rossi and Marquez’s form in the last seven races appears strong, then Lorenzo’s historical performances are herculean. In the last two years Lorenzo has only once finished off the podium in the final seven races, and only twice off the top two steps. Of the tracks left Sepang is Lorenzo’s worst, with two thirds.
His lone DNF came at Valencia in 2014, retiring with six laps to go after coming in for wet tyres and struggling down in 20th as the rain never settled. Even with the DNF Lorenzo scored 126 points in those final seven races, the season before he scored 161. In 2014, Rossi’s better end to the season, he scored 122 points and in 2013 when Marquez was still fighting for the title and not pushing his limits scored 121. Numbers and history weigh heavily in Lorenzo’s favour, but anything can still happen.
No doubt with Lorenzo and Rossi having been so close this year sparks will fly as the two look for an edge over the other. That's before adding the lighter fluid that is Marc Marquez into the mix, no doubt he'll be looking to end his season with as many wins as he can muster no matter the cost. The end of the season looks set to be a fiery one.

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