The Passing of the Torch

Rossi vs. Marquez stalking Bradl

Rossi vs. Marquez as they stalk Bradl, Lap 4, looking into Turn 8

Two beautiful images of what will become a historic moment for MotoGP, the moment Marc Marquez announced he didn’t need no steenkin’ rules, he was just going for the win.  (Borrowed shamelessly from Tom White, who has posted these and a number of others at Motomatters.com.)

Rossi vs. Marquez Lap 4, Turn 8, 2013 Laguna Seca

We don’t need no steenkin’ rules, we’re going for the win. See you later.

While we’re at it, and before we forget, let’s mention how maddening it is to have to wait to hear about Crutchlow.  It is far more interesting, though, to learn that MotoGP has learned something from the NBA and the NFL, namely that a 2 year contract can now become a one year contract with the team (i.e., team owner) holding the option for year two.  Which, in turn, means riders like Bradl, Bautista,, and Smith may be soon looking for work.  Add to this the new rules allowing up to four riders per team, the availability of both Honda and Yamaha satellite bikes, as well as Yamaha engines on other frames.  Plus, chassis manufacturers have now joined the ranks of engine manufacturers as being viewed as owners, subject to the complex rules of one class versus the other.

The only thing we know for sure at this time is that they will be referred to only as “works” teams and “non-works” teams.  Period.  The continental divide in all of this is, of course, how do teams configure their bikes in order to maximize power, i.e., with a Honda or Yamaha engine, while still being allowed 24 liters of fuel and 12 engines per season.  that question sits in front of Suzuki as they plot their re-entry into the fray in 2015.  BMW drops out of WSB.  Aprilia must be considering fielding a works team of them own at some point, as world economics appear to be gaining strength, freeing up sponsorship money for teams willing to go all in on the leased engines and ambiguous rules.

There may likely be riders suddenly available with some real whiskers, including Bradl, Bautista, Smith and Hayden.  Espargaro and Redding moving up from Moto2.  Lots of wildcards in the US rounds.  Ducati needing to do something big to remain relevant in the premier class, as they have no presence in the lower  classes.  Surely they are trying to convince Crutchlow that being competitive is over-rated, while traveling in luxury never goes out of style.  Nicky Hayden had a pretty pleasant last six years of his career with Ducati,, only won three races in his career, nice guy.  I hope he can find a way to dominate WSB like in the old days of dirt tracks and state fairs.

Crutchlow will begin a domino effect that should be fun to watch.  With, it appears, all but the Aliens suffering with one year deals, the so-called silly season in MotoGP will be somewhat sillier this year than in those previous.

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