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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

10 issues we discovered from the 2023 MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix

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MotoGP’s return to the Mandalika Worldwide Avenue Circuit for the second version of the revived Indonesian Grand Prix went off largely with out controversy, with the monitor floor re-laid after final yr’s issues with asphalt breakup.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin took the championship lead for the primary time together with his fourth-successive dash win, as Francesco Bagnaia struggled to eighth from thirteenth on the grid. Victory within the grand prix seemed assured for Martin earlier than he crashed whereas main by three seconds, opening the door for Bagnaia to complete a sensational charge through from 13th to snatch the win.

The manufacturing unit Ducati rider now leads the standings once more by 18 factors, with Indonesia maybe marking a momentum shift for Bagnaia after a troublesome current run.

Elsewhere, the way forward for Marc Marquez’s MotoGP profession was the most important speaking level of the weekend, whereas the VR46 Racing pair put in a heroic effort after current accidents.

With a lot to unpack, listed below are the ten issues we discovered from the 2023 MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix:

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1. Marquez’s Gresini swap is placing rivals on edge

Together with his Honda chapter coming to a detailed, riders are anticipating massive issues from Marc Marquez on a Ducati in 2024

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

It was the story that dominated the headlines on the run-up to the Indonesian GP. Formally confirmed on the Thursday prior to the event, Marc Marquez’s transfer to Gresini Ducati for the 2024 season is full.

He defined that it was the “hardest choice of my life” to depart behind his Honda crew, however expressed the significance of rediscovering his pleasure for racing once more. This motivation (not that it wanted it) was fairly properly justified throughout his dismal Indonesian GP by which he suffered a double DNF.

Whereas months of hypothesis will now observe as all of us ponder simply what Marquez will in a position to do on a year-old Ducati subsequent season, the information already had some of his rivals worried.

“He’s going to make our life actually troublesome, for everybody,” Fabio Quartararo stated. “Marc is the reference of the final 10 years and he will probably be on a extremely aggressive bike. So, yeah, I believe he’ll make our lives tremendous troublesome subsequent yr.”

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales added: “I see another Ducati who is robust. Yet another!

“It’s at all times troublesome, nothing is straightforward on this world. We’ll see. I believe inside Ducati, it will likely be troublesome. However I see each rider who goes there may be super-fast.”

Some, together with championship chief and future stablemate Francesco Bagnaia, have been way more pragmatic about Marquez’s transfer.

“I believe it’s good for us, good for the game,” Bagnaia acknowledged. “For certain Marc will discover a good base – the perfect base – for certain on our bike. He’ll really feel comfy and he is not going to take an excessive amount of time to be higher and sooner than the state of affairs he’s in proper now.

“I believe it will likely be good to share that with him, it will likely be attention-grabbing to see what he can do. I believe it should even be competitors for him. We’re eight riders, very aggressive riders. It will likely be attention-grabbing.”

Alex Marquez advised TNT Sport on the weekend that Marc will retire in 2024 if he cannot rediscover his enjoyment for racing again. Nevertheless, having gone by means of the identical factor, he believes Marc will banish all these doubts upon his first check of the Ducati in Valencia in November.

2. Bagnaia reveals his mettle in Indonesia fightback

Bagnaia's lowly grid position didn't appear likely to yield a big result, but his Sunday recovery demonstrated his title-winning steel

Bagnaia’s lowly grid place did not seem prone to yield a giant consequence, however his Sunday restoration demonstrated his title-winning metal

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia misplaced the lead of the world championship for the primary time since earlier than April’s Spanish GP on Saturday in Indonesia. A normal battle to get tempo out of the gentle Michelin rear tyre meant he did not exit Q1 and will solely handle eighth from thirteenth on the grid within the dash.

With Jorge Martin dominating the sprint, it appeared unlikely Bagnaia can be leaving Lombok heading the standings once more.

However a supreme fightback and capitalising on Martin’s crash within the grand prix has allowed Bagnaia to confide in his championship result in 18 factors – the most important it’s been Saturday on the Indian GP. He additionally grew to become the primary rider to win a dry grand prix from exterior the primary 4 rows since Marco Melandri in Turkey in 2006.

Since profitable the Barcelona dash, Bagnaia’s season has come of the rails a bit. His Catalan GP crash and ensuing harm misplaced him heaps of factors in Barcelona and Misano, whereas his error within the Indian GP proved a present to Martin. In Japan, he merely didn’t have the tempo of his Pramac counterpart regardless of fixing braking points that had been hindering him.

However the Bagnaia anticipated emerged within the Indonesian GP. Beginning thirteenth, Bagnaia was sixth on the finish of lap one. On the finish of lap two he was fourth and within the podium locations on lap three.

And whereas there’s nonetheless loads to play for, this victory – and the best way it was achieved, with him preventing again and Martin making an important error whereas untroubled within the lead – looks like a momentum shift within the title race.

“From my aspect, this victory means many issues,” Bagnaia stated. “We have been so aggressive once more, and I used to be lacking it a bit as a result of many occasions I’ve been struggling. So, to have this efficiency once more was very, crucial. To win is at all times crucial and in a second when Jorge was out, the primary factor was to take essentially the most factors as doable.

“And we did that. However from my aspect, after the crash in Barcelona it was not a simple interval. And truthfully profitable at the moment is giving us numerous motivation – not just for me, but in addition for my crew. They’re making an attempt at all times to provide the utmost doable. And in addition this weekend we managed to enhance our state of affairs loads. This morning we improved a bit and within the race much more.”

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3. Martin’s error creates expensive factors swing

Martin will find himself under more pressure to recover the ground lost to Bagnaia in the points race after his Indonesia crash

Martin will discover himself underneath extra strain to get well the bottom misplaced to Bagnaia within the factors race after his Indonesia crash

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Jorge Martin solely had two non-finishes to his credit score in 2023 previous to final Sunday. Since tangling with Alex Marquez in America, profitable three GPs (all of them on weekends the place he additionally gained the dash) and constantly banking factors.

His dash win in Indonesia, which gave him a championship lead for the primary time in MotoGP and in addition sealed a fourth consecutive constructors’ championship for Ducati, continued his unbroken rostrum run relationship again to the Catalan GP.

When he leapt from sixth to first into Flip 1 at first of the Indonesian GP, it seemed like his grand prix to lose. Certainly, come the beginning of lap 13 he was three seconds within the lead when he crashed.

Martin defined that he received filth on his tyres from operating barely huge at Flip 10 on that lap, which led to him tucking the entrance on the best way into Flip 11.

“I had three seconds [advantage], I had already performed the onerous work. It was simply making laps to complete,” he stated. “It’s what it’s. It’s not straightforward if you end up entrance with these seconds to maintain the focus for certain.

“However I used to be operating in a protected mode, let’s say. So, I’m completely happy my pace is there, and I’ve been quick in all of the tracks. It’s been 14 races with out a mistake. It’s simply statistics. It was coming ultimately and eventually it was right here. So, the races nonetheless remaining I really feel assured to battle for victory.”

Whereas, as he put it, “shit occurs”, it was a mistake that got here in a second he may have inflicted massive injury to chief title rival Bagnaia, opening up his benefit to at the very least 13 factors assuming the latter completed second.

Martin stated after his dash win that main the championship wouldn’t change his strategy, and maintained that the strain is on Bagnaia. However he could properly simply be beginning to really feel the warmth as the fact of his error units in.

4. VR46 “superhero” heroics deserve reward

Battling performances from Marini and Bezzecchi to finish on the sprint podium earned praise from Marquez

Battling performances from Marini and Bezzecchi to complete on the dash podium earned reward from Marquez

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

There was an actual danger just some days earlier than the Indonesian GP that neither VR46 rider would have the ability to take part. Luca Marini wanted to get the all-clear to race after lacking two rounds with a collarbone fracture he suffered after a collision with team-mate Marco Bezzecchi in India. Then Bezzecchi fractured his in a coaching crash at Valentino Rossi’s ranch final Saturday.

Having had surgery on his fracture on the Sunday earlier than flying to Indonesia on Wednesday and arriving on Friday morning for his medical examine forward of FP1, Bezzecchi may seldom think about he’d be a podium end within the dash simply 24 hours later.

Group-mate Marini scored a maiden pole and was second within the dash. His grand prix was ended on lap one by a collision with KTM’s Brad Binder, for which the South African was penalised, however Bezzecchi upheld VR46 honour with a fantastic trip to fifth.

Rightly, their efficiency throughout the weekend garnered reward from all the paddock. Marc Marquez branded the pair “superheroes” after the sprint, noting how they treaded “that line between superhero and silly” brilliantly. Rossi raises them powerful in that Academy.

5. Oliveira confirms Honda strategy because it seems for Marquez substitute

Oliveira has emerged at the top of Honda's list to replace Marquez, but it's not a certainty to happen

Oliveira has emerged on the high of Honda’s listing to switch Marquez, however it’s not a certainty to occur

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Previous to the Indonesian GP, Autosport reported that present RNF Aprilia rider and five-time MotoGP race winner Miguel Oliveira was top of Honda’s list to replace Marc Marquez next year.

The Portuguese rider is assumed to have a clause in his contract with Aprilia that enables him to depart ought to a manufacturing unit crew provide him a deal. Oliveira confirmed that there had been an approach by Honda, however says “nothing concrete” was placed on the desk. Aprilia spent a lot of final week batting away strategies that its riders are free to depart.

RNF boss Razlan Razali advised MotoGP’s world feed protection in the course of the Indonesia weekend that no such clause in Oliveira’s contract existed, although the Portuguese rider would later refute his crew boss’s declare.

6. Quartararo strengthens his indispensability with Indonesia podium

Quartararo's storming ride underlined why Yamaha needs to keep him on beyond his current deal

Quartararo’s storming trip underlined why Yamaha must preserve him on past his present deal

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

In every week by which one MotoGP champion determined his future, Indonesia got here as a well timed reminder for Yamaha as to why it should do all in its energy to maintain Fabio Quartararo past 2024.

The 2021 world champion anticipated a stronger weekend in Indonesia, with the monitor structure and the stiffer building rear tyre doing much less to hamper the underperforming M1. A strong fifth within the dash gave solution to a supreme efficiency within the grand prix, by which he hunted down race leaders Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales to get to the chequered flag in third.

Quartararo set the third-fastest lap of the GP with a 1m31.116s versus a 1m31.314s for Vinales and 1m31.324s for Bagnaia. Extra impressively, that point got here on lap 18 of 27 for Quartararo, whereas Vinales’ and Bagnaia’s have been on laps 13 and 7.

The Frenchman branded it his finest podium of the yr attributable to its preventing nature, however predictably the M1’s lack of grunt to have the ability to overtake stunted a cost that arguably ought to have gained him the race on a greater bike.

“I actually pushed like hell, and after we trip alone we will actually make our driving type and that is good,” he stated. “However after we are behind, we trip completely completely different to Ducati, Aprilia, principally all bikes. The one bike I overtook was Aleix [Espargaro] as a result of he had the gentle tyre and he was actually, actually struggling.”

7. Gresini confirms Marquez’s new crew chief, and he’s ’un

Carchedi will be Marquez's crew chief when the Honda rider makes his Gresini switch for 2024

Carchedi will probably be Marquez’s crew chief when the Honda rider makes his Gresini swap for 2024

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Throughout the Indonesia weekend Marc Marquez confirmed that Javi Ortiz, his tyre technician, can be the one member of his present Honda crew coming with him to Gresini. As was already identified, long-time crew chief Santi Hernandez can be staying behind.

Marquez conceded this will be “strange” for him given the lengthy, profitable partnership – in addition to their deep friendship – the pair have shared. However the eight-time world champion will probably be getting a powerful substitute. Gresini crew director Michele Masini confirmed Frankie Carchedi will become Marquez’s crew chief.

Carchedi at present works with Fabio Di Giannantonio at Gresini, and beforehand was Joan Mir’s crew chief at Suzuki between 2019 and 2022 – profitable the title with the Spaniard in 2020. Due to this, Marquez says he isn’t going to Gresini “with my eyes closed” as he is aware of the calibre of crew chief Carchedi is.

8. MotoGP riders nearing GPDA-style union

Guintoli has been put forward as the front man of the new MotoGP riders union

Guintoli has been put ahead because the entrance man of the brand new MotoGP riders union

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Over the Indoneisa weekend, Autosport broke the story that MotoGP is nearing the creation of a riders’ association akin to that of Formula 1’s GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Affiliation).

Speak of a riders’ union has floated round for some time however has largely come to nothing. However in current weeks the riders have united extra on core points comparable to security. This was obvious in India once they stood collectively to examine the monitor and approve it from a security perspective.

The affiliation ought to give the riders a voice on issues of most significance to them, with one-time World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli set to helm it. He’s at present studying the entire authorized and judicial processes concerned to form his proposal to the riders, which he’ll do in Thailand.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro says Guintoli is the appropriate particular person to steer this affiliation as a result of “Sylvain is an effective man with good expertise, speaks good English, is aware of the championship, remains to be working for Michelin [as a test rider].”

9. Espargaro pragmatic over Tech3 seat loss

Pol Espargaro will vacate his Tech3 seat for hot shot Acosta in 2024, but has vowed to accept the decision in a mature fashion

Pol Espargaro will vacate his Tech3 seat for decent shot Acosta in 2024, however has vowed to simply accept the choice in a mature vogue

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The opposite main rider market information previous to the Indonesian GP was that of KTM resolving its logjam and placing Moto2 championship leader Pedro Acosta at Tech3 in place of Pol Espargaro.

It’s a choice he accepted mutually with KTM and bears no grudges, whereas in Indonesia he stated he’ll have possibilities to return to full-time competitors in 2025. For subsequent yr, he’ll act as a KTM check rider and contest in some wildcards.

Espargaro getting the chop does are available in a yr by which he missed the primary half of the championship attributable to severe harm and actually hasn’t been given a lot time to get himself again up to the mark. However the eight-time MotoGP podium finisher was pragmatic over the state of affairs when he spoke about it final Thursday.

Interview: What compels a MotoGP rider to return to something that almost killed them?

“Nicely, it’s not truly a disappointment,” he started. “It’s what occurred. For certain I need to be a racer subsequent yr, I really feel I’m quick. I’m not as quick as I wish to be however I’ve been away for fairly a very long time.

“The bike has modified loads and I haven’t been in a position to be as quick as I need. However even like that I’ve been quick sufficient. However issues go like that and I have to take it in a mature means, don’t be a toddler screaming and crying. Simply taking a brand new chapter in my life in essentially the most mature, finest means doable. It’s the one means it’s going to work for each components.”

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10. Michelin’s milestone second

Bagnaia became the 500th rider to win a GP on Michelin tyres since 1973

Bagnaia grew to become the five hundredth rider to win a GP on Michelin tyres since 1973

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Indonesian GP marked a major milestone for Michelin, as Francesco Bagnaia grew to become its 5 hundredth grand prix winner.

The French tyre producer registered its first GP success on the 1973 Isle of Man TT with Jack Findley. The century mark was hit in 1987 on the Brazilian GP courtesy of Wayne Gardner, who would go on to win the 500cc title for Honda that yr.

Mick Doohan scored victory quantity 200 in 1996 in Brazil on his solution to that yr’s title, whereas Sete Gibernau gained the three hundredth GP for Michelin in 2003 on the Dutch TT. Marc Marquez claimed its four-hundredth win in 2018 on the Spanish GP on his solution to his fifth premier class championship.

After all, since 2016 Michelin has been sole tyre provider for the MotoGP class. But it surely has needed to climate a number of storms on this time, together with a number of excessive profile failures at first of 2016.

The French firm has been MotoGP's exclusive supplier since 2016, after taking over from Bridgestone

The French agency has been MotoGP’s unique provider since 2016, after taking on from Bridgestone

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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