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GP Week : Issue 186
CLASH OF THE TITANS ANd A TITCHy NEW-BOy THE SEASON SO FAR – MICHAEL SCOTT RUMINATES >>> MOTOGP FEATUrE Just over one third over, the season so far has been a compelling revelation. several revelations, you might say. The best of them is that nothing last forever. Three riders have taken it in turn for short runs of ascendancy; now a fourth has stuck his nose in, while a fifth is knocking on the door. At the same time, the balance of machine superiority has swung back and forth: first Yamaha, then Honda, now Yamaha again. On the down side, Dovizioso’s run at proving himself better than Rossi on the Ducati has run into the same sort of problems that bamboozled the great champion for the past two years. The three best are the Spanish triumvirate (a national superiority demonstrated also in both smaller classes, with the lone exception of British Moto2 points leader Scott Redding): Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Marquez, in that order in the championship, and with a spread of 23 points (less than one race win) covering them. The first two have scored points in every race; Marquez dropped one result crashing out of second in the Italian GP. If he had finished, he would be second to Pedrosa by only three points. Only he of the trio has been on the rostrum every time he has finished. In his first MotoGP season, still only 20, the reigning Moto2 champion has been breaking youth records set in the early 1980s, by Freddie Spencer. One stunning rookie. The shift in the balance of power between them has been absorbing. Lorenzo won the first race, Marquez the second, then Pedrosa took two in a row. At the second of those, Le Mans in the wet, Lorenzo was seventh, his worst finish since 2008. The Yamaha was looking a touch down at heel compared with the Honda, emphasised by the lack of a speed-shift gearbox that hurts the riders just a little out of every corner, and canadduptoalotbytheendofalap. The next two race showed how small the margins are. At more rhythmical tracks of Mugello and Catalunya, Lorenzo swept to two wins in a row, Dani second. It seemed the Hondas suffered poor grip at higher temperatures. Then at the