by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 183
MOTOGP >>> NEWS at BRIEFLY » Lewis Hamilton was in France for his first MotoGP, and sounding a note of empathy with boy-wonder Marc Marquez. Hamilton made a similar instant impact as he burst into F1, and told MotoGP.com: “It’s a huge roller- coaster ride and that’s probably the same for him. He has come in, is up there with the big boys straight away andthatishowitwasforme.Todo that is very surreal. All you have to do is just take it in your stride and enjoy every single moment of it.” » Magneti Marelli provided the first round of upgrades for the control ECU system being race- developed by some CRT teams for Jerez tests, and they were welcomed for improvements to wheelie control and throttle response. But the test-dummies found in the wet at Le Mans that there was still a long way to go, with at least three riders including Colin Edwards suffering traction-control or other problems in the race. The next upgrade will come at post- Catalunya tests: next year the ECU will be compulsory, with factory teams allowed to write their own software. » The ice between Lorenzo and Marquez after the Jerez clash was finally broken when the pair found themselves sitting almost side by side on the flight back to Barcelona after Monday’s tests. “In an aircraft with 200 seats, we were together,” said Lorenzo, who had several times declined to accept any gestures of reconciliation from the younger rider. This time he accepted the proffered handshake, and repeated the gesture on request for the assembled press at Le Mans. At the age of 20, Marc Marquez has been breaking records set almost 30 years ago by the last fresh-faced child prodigy Freddie Spencer – youngest pole setter, youngest race winner, youngest to lead the world championship. He’s done it in gang-busting style: fast even while mastering the power, electronics and tyres; devastatingly so once he’d started to become accustomed. Winning only his second race, twice on pole and with a full house of rostrums, Marquez has shattered the complacency of the prevailing leaders, and electrified the fans with the promise of a maiden world title, and the start of a new era potentially as great as Rossi’s. But is everyone getting too excited? GPWEEK turned to the history books, to compare the first four races of past legends, back to the last person to take the top title at the first attempt, Kenny Roberts in 1978. But you don’t need to go back far to find a similar debut: in 2008 Jorge Lorenzo started the first three races from pole, and won the third. Fourth next time out was his worst so far, before accidents took their toll. Rossi in 2000 crashed out of his first two 500 races, but stood on the rostrum only at the fourth attempt. Wayne Rainey also had to wait until race four for his first top three; Doohan had an even slower start, race six for a first top three, and until the following year for his first win. But look what happened next ... Max Biaggi won his first ever race in 1998, from pole, and had a worst of fourth in the next three races ... very similar to Marquez; Kevin Schwantz also won the first of his maiden season – but he’d had a couple of wild-cards earlier, so it was not his first 500cc race. Kenny Roberts would score the best of all, but for a break-down in race one. He was second next time, then won the next two, the only candidate with two wins out of the first four races. Totting their race points, using the current scoring system, Marquez doesn’t just comparve well, he shares the lead with Max Biaggi, on 77 point. Next best, Lorenzo – 74; then Roberts (65, in spite of one non-finish),Dani Pedrosa (57) and Wayne Rainey (53). BOY GENIUS – OR JUST ANOTHER RACER? Putting Marquez in Perspective 16 GPWEEK.com // 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: