Seventy thousand fortunate fans got the opportunity of a lifetime at Silverstone on Sunday. At a track which has seen numerous historic events in motorsports, a rapidly maturing MotoGP defending World Champion, delivered a stellar performance.
Marquez admitted that he was somewhat burdened by issues relating to his impressive win-streak, but like a blessing in disguise, that picture changed for the better with his defeat at Brno recently. Who would have thought that being defeated would be a blessing! But, truth be told, it possibly allowed the young champion to distance himself from the additional drama and focus on the main prize – the championship! And at Silverstone he delivered possibly his best performance thus far.
Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi continues to leave an indelible footprint on the MotoGP landscape. At Silverstone he entered the history book, yet again, with his 246th start. But, Marquez was chasing another Rossi milestone. In 2005, Rossi, when he was in his ATL – Unbeatable mode, grabbed 11 wins in the season. It has not been repeated since! At Silverstone, Marquez was in search of that honor and he made his intentions known by claiming the pole position. His rivals were not blinded by his blazing-trail though – Ducati’s, Dovizioso and Yamaha’s, Lorenzo kept him close on the grid.
Marquez is no lightning rod at the start – Lorenzo got the ‘hole-shot’. It was not long before Marquez settled behind Lorenzo. It was evident by the end of lap 2 that the podium gang would emerge from the disappearing five at the front of the pack – Lorenzo, Marquez, Dovizioso, Rossi and Pedrosa.
Dani Pedrosa showed none of his brilliance seen at Brno and was always locked in battles relating to P3-P5. He had a GP he will want to forget in a hurry – he finished off the podium. Rossi’s 246th start did not give him the champagne shower he would have wanted, but he rode a veteran’s race, fought with the young guns and kept them honest. He was rewarded with P3!
But, the spotlight was always present at the front, illuminating the War of the Worlds! From the onset, Lorenzo led and Marquez followed, copying his lines. It appeared as if Marquez decided to ride in Lorenzo’s exhaust and strike at a critical moment as the race drew to a close. He did that, took the lead with 7 laps remaining and then he visited ‘blitz-mode’. He knew he had to break Lorenzo’s will, so he rode to the ‘ragged edge’. But, the human element intervened and he made an unforced error. Lorenzo welcomed the opportunity and blew by, but Marquez recalculated and returned the favor courtesy of a forceful move with 2 laps to go. Lorenzo, like a one-hit wonder, faded and did not return.
At Silverstone, Marc Marquez showed maturity. He rode a patient race. He allowed Lorenzo to control the pace, he chose his moment and then annihilated the cowering pair (Lorenzo and his Yamaha). The phenom went to work and claimed win number 11!
Incidentally, during the post-race celebration, to indicate eleven, using their hands, the team chose a clever trick – they raised the index finger from each hand!
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer