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GP Week : Issue 206
25 GPWEEK.com // 25 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: The more things change, the more they stay the same? It’s true enough in MotoGP at the moment, definitely in the short term, and the medium as well. In the former, Marquez demonstrated in Germany that whatever happens, the end result is the same. He won his ninth race out of nine. The Sachsenring event was not only the last race before the summer break, but also the exact halfway house. This clear-cut stay-the-same victory came in as completely different a set of circumstances as random fate can manage – in this case, once every nine years. So far. Marc had already won with a recovering broken leg; in dry and wet, from pole position and not, and in a swap-bikes flag-to-flagger. At the Sachsenring car-park he won again, from an unprecedented motocross-style mass pit-lane start, taking just six laps to go from 10th to emphatic first. The longer term? The German race was preceded by a pair of important new contracts. With Marquez already on board for 2015 and 2016, his Repsol Honda team- mate Dani Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi had both inked in deals for the same time period. In Rossi’s case, the reason was curiosity, he divulged – with different electronics and Michelin tyres in 2016, MotoGP would go through massive changes. It would be like ‘Year Zero’, he said. Wouldn’t want to miss that, even though he’ll be 37. For Pedrosa? Well, who better? Best bridesmaid in the world ... so far to champions Hayden, Stoner and Marquez. It only leaves Lorenzo. Yamaha want him also for two years, he (eccentric, as always) cited his poor results this season as a reason it might be better for both sides to renew for just one year, just in case it got even worse. A more trenchant reason may be that he is confident the big-money offer from Ducati will wait 12 months, giving him the chance to see if new tech chief Dall’Igna can revitalise the red bikes. Two seconds is a very long time in racing. Two years almost beyond contemplation ... especially if you’re a young gun. Any hopes of continuing the climb for the likes of the Espargaro brothers, Scott Redding, and even Bradley Smith and Yonny Hernandez ... they have to go on hold for another two years. The way is blocked. In a somewhat sterile prospect also for the fans, although enticing enough for Marquez, the glass ceiling is firmly in place. The only comfort for the Espargaro gang is that glass can always shatter. Half-term for the smaller classes shows Moto3 in the more favourable light. While Moto2 blares along with its unpleasing song – good riders condemned to fight it out on mediocre machines, the tiddlers have become the titans in the third year of the four-strokes. All the more so with crowd- pleasing Aussie Jack Miller (right) in the lead. Miller has been breaking the Spanish stranglehold and has rapidly become so sought-after that he’s already in a controversial contract battle as teams to fight over his future ser vices. ‘Jackass’ (as he calls himself on his pit board) is an old-school racer; and wins a lot of lap records, pole positions and races with feats of unbeatably late braking. In between bouts of over-enthusiasm that make him the equal highest scorer in terms of penalty points: two up and two to go before he’s hauled before the beak. The more things change? Not saying Spain is on the wane, but at least one of Miller’s chief rivals is Italian, and there are more bright sparks from there as well as other countries in the lively bottom class. Just goes to show that things don’t always stay the same. haLf TERm: ThE mORE ThEy STay ThE SamE OPINION OPINION MotoGP MICHAEL SCOTT