Pit Stop – Number 1’s – By Lewis Brearley

Last weekend the structure of both the Formula One and MotoGP championships were cemented. Both championships now have a clear favourite, a number one who has momentum definitively on their side.

Marc Marquez and Sebastian Vettel both scored supreme victories, both looked to be in perfect harmony with their respective machines; and both extended their now impressive championship leads.

Marquez won the Czech Grand Prix ahead of his team mate Dani Pedrosa with Jorge Lorenzo third. Worryingly for Yamaha Lorenzo was a fair distance behind and now stands 44 points behind Marquez.

So much praise has been written and spoken about Marquez that it seems futile to add more. But the sheer looks of despair and hopelessness on Pedrosa’s and Lorenzo’s faces is perhaps the highest praise of all.

The two riders who have been dominantly fastest for the past few seasons are being consistently beaten by a twenty year old rookie and as hard as they try, they just can’t beat the guy.

Nobody has ever entered the premier class and took so little time to become at ease. Many predicted time to adapt from the 600cc Moto2 bikes to the demands of the 1000cc beasts. But he doesn’t seem to have adapted. He rides in a spectacular tail-happy fashion which not only apes the man he replaced, Casey Stoner, but seems to take the style to another level beyond.

As much as Lorenzo blames his bike and Pedrosa stays quiet, one thing is certain, that they need to find another level very soon to have any hope of winning the championship.

Over in Belgium, Sebastian Vettel was asserting a crushing dominance over his Formula One rivals. Winning by a huge 16 seconds with apparent pace to spare from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton to give himself a 46 point championship advantage.

Again, the beaten rivals looked truly beaten. Post-race Alonso took to staring at the race timing screen as is his wont as of late. It’s almost as if it’s his last resort, after all the failed developments with his Ferrari, to just hope the situation will magically change.

Yet there was some positives for Alonso. The Ferrari was much better than it had been in the past couple of races where it looked as though Alonso was going to slowly fade away from the championship battle.

Mercedes, on the other hand, were disappointed with third. Looked at objectively it’s a great sign of how far they have come from their troubles that their expectations are now so high. But they really couldn’t afford to drop more points to Vettel, now 58 points ahead.

While Alonso was staring away, Hamilton simply said to Vettel, “too fast.” Indeed he is.

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