Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pit Stop – Sebastian Vettel – by Lewis Brearley

After a supremely impressive victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, it was disheartening to hear Sebastian Vettel receiving a round of boos from some of the watching fans.

If this had been the first occasion of booing, it would be easy to dismiss the matter as a freak group of local fans making their feelings felt. Mark Webber fans flying from nearby Australia perhaps.

But this wasn’t the first time that Vettel has been jeered while standing on the podium. It started back at the Canadian Grand Prix after Vettel had taken his third win of the season and has continued through the European rounds.

The Monza crowd was especially vociferous in their dislike of Vettel and this is the biggest reason why this issue isn’t as simple as it may first seem.

The popular opinion on the booing is that the majority of fans simply don’t like to see the same winner, week after week. They like competition and they like a close championship and the same person winning repeatedly takes away both.

If this was why the fans at Monza felt this way about Vettel, then they expressed a deep hypocrisy. These are the same fans which cheered Michael Schumacher as he stormed to five consecutive championships, using the best car and a contractual assistant team mate to pick up extra points.

In fact Schumacher, the man who dominated the sport unlike no one else in the modern era was rarely booed. Only when Ferrari’s team orders were so blatant and unsporting, such as the last corner pass by Schumacher at Austria in 2002, did the fans boo; and on those occasions such feelings were actually understandable.

So both Germans had the best car and use it to win often, yet only one is booed. What makes it even more confusing is that Vettel is arguably more likeable than Schumacher, who often came across as arrogant and serious and was actually caught seriously cheating on track several times, something Vettel never has.

Yet every time Schumacher turned up at Hockenheim or the Nurburgring, the audience was a sea of red caps and shirts and the crowd’s support was audible above the roar of his V10 at times. Vettel never gets such support, even from his home fans.

Vettel seems to be seen by many as a guy who got gifted the best car and is given whatever he wants by his management. But this is blatantly wrong. Vettel earned a Red Bull seat by performing well enough in junior racing to get a Toro Rosso seat, showed his worth by starring in his debut season which included a victory from pole at a soaking wet Monza, and hence was deservedly picked to replace David Coulthard for 2009.

From being fast but crash prone in his first two seasons, the following two and a half have been consistent and fast, and he seems to be showing constant improvement. A result of hard work and hours spent in simulators honing the car with his engineering team, not a gift.

He asks what he wants from his technical team, they give him it and he goes out and delivers. That isn’t wrong, that is what a successful driver does.

Vettel can do no more to get the respect he deserves. In time it will surely come as more and more people come to respect that his talent is one of the most brilliant ever.

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It’snowheaven – Know Your Lingo – By Jess Softley

With the popularity of snowboarding growing every season, more and more people are hitting the slopes with the latest gear for the very first time.

Whilst many will hit the pistes, not as many would be found riding the park and the terminology and technicalities of the latest tricks still remain a mystery to a number of snowboarders.

However, with the emergence of slopestyle and half pipe events in the Winter Olympics, let me fill you in with some of the basics.

Those wanting to learn even the most basics of tricks will first start with an Ollie. This originates (like many) from skateboarding, and was founded by an American skateboarder called Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfard.

The aim of the Ollie is to get maximum elevation off the ground and often on the ‘take off’ for a jump. It is effectively shifting your weight onto your back foot whilst pulling your front foot in air, then using the flex of the board to pop your back foot into the air, gaining as much height or “Air” as possible. After successfully landing this trick, you can then move on to rotations.

The easiest rotation is a 180, this is effectively half a turn whilst in the air. A 360 is turning your board all the way around, landing in exactly the same direction as you set off (1 complete rotation). A 720 is two turns, 1080 is three turns and 1440 is four turns.

The first one to try is called a Frontside 180. This trick is basically combining what you’ve learnt so far, starting off by popping yourself into an Ollie, and whilst in the air, rotating your body so you are facing the landing as you rotate before completing half of a turn.

A Backside 180 is exactly the same except you rotate your body so you are facing away from the landing as you turn.

Whilst these may seem basic, they can score highly when performed with style.

Next step is to throw a grab in. Some of the basic grabs to master are Nose, Tail, Stalefish, Melon, Mute and Indy.

A nose grab is basically just grabbing the front of your board with your leading hand. A tail grab is the opposite, grabbing the tail of your board with your trailing hand.

A melon is grabbing the middle of your board behind you with your leading hand, and as you can imagine, a stalefish is the same except you use your trailing hand to grab your board.

A mute and indy grab is the opposite to a melon and stalefish. For this grab you grab the front of your board instead of the back. If you use your leading hand, it is a mute grab, use your trailing hand and it becomes an indy.

These grabs can become even more stylish by combining them with a rotation. The bigger the rotation, the more points they are worth! Combining grabs and “tweaking” the board will also improve the scores.

And there you have it! You’ve now learnt the basic tricks of snowboarding. There are more complex combinations involving front, back flips, corks etc and these will be explored further on the approach to the Olympics.

Pit Stop – Mclaren to decide on drivers – By Lewis Brearley

The news that McLaren hasn’t yet confirmed Jenson Button as one of its drivers for next season surprised most fans. After all, here is a man who was performed consistently very well for the team for the past three seasons, taking eight victories and finishing second in the 2011 championship. Here is a very experienced and technically strong driver, vital qualities for the big rule changes next season. And here is a public relations and advertising dream; good looking, gregarious and cheery.

So the question stands, why have McLaren not offered him a contract extension? As the public are not privy to inside McLaren management discussions, it’s impossible to know for sure; but it is possible to have a few informed guesses.

The first reason is, or more accurately was, Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Team Principal, Martin Whitmarsh is known to be a huge fan of the Finn and talks were rumoured to have taken place between the two parties. However, now that Raikkonen has signed for Ferrari instead, and Button has still not been signed up, it’s clear there must be a different answer to the question.

A second possible answer, which appears outlandish upon first thought, involves McLaren’s junior drivers. Rivals Red Bull have promoted one of their juniors, Daniel Ricciardo into their team for next season and McLaren have made a few noises in the press recently about their juniors, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne – currently first and second in the Renault World Series.

The two young drivers are highly rated by McLaren and the team has been making determined efforts to get one of them, namely the more experienced Magnussen, a seat in Formula One.

Talks took place with Force India, who have benefited of late from a large technical partnership and windtunnel usage agreement with McLaren, and Magnussen was booked to be Force India’s driver at the Silverstone Young Driver Test.

However, for unpublicised reasons Force India ditched Magnussen in favour of James Calado. Since this announcement, McLaren have made further media comments about finding a seat for Magnussen and are known to be working on a strong sponsorship package for the Dane.

The issue is complicated by the current state of Formula One finances. Small teams are picking drivers on the money they bring to the team, such as Pastor Maldonado and his huge PDVSA sponsorship money. It is indeed a sad reflection on the sport, that it is not enough now for a driver to get a seat on his talent alone.

Yet it is not the teams’ fault that this is the situation. Teams need to survive and to survive they need the money. It is a short term view, but it is the only one the teams can choose.

It would surely be easier for McLaren, if Magnussen’s talent is as brilliant as the team claim, which now can be roughly judged on the team simulator, to give him a seat at the big team itself.

Sure, it sounds absurd. Why would a hugely respected team switch world champion Button for a rookie when its other driver is the inexperienced and often criticised Sergio Perez.

But McLaren are in a state of change. A technical partnership with Honda starts in 2015 by which time Button will be 35 years old and new title sponsors are being signed up.

A gamble on Magnussen wouldn’t be the safe thing to do. But think of the last time McLaren signed a rookie and the theory isn’t as absurd as it may first appear.

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It’snowheaven – High Fives in New Zealand – By Jess Softley

Returning for the second annual event, the Burton High Fives competition dominated Kiwi territory on and off the slope, as 60 insanely talented snowboarders took on more than just a sweet powder run.

However, rallying in a MINI 4×4 and trying your hand at herding sheep won’t get you 1st place in slopestyle or halfpipe.

Despite having a blast in the off-slope team challenges, these specially invited ‘60’ knew how to raise the bar when it came to the showing their tricks on the piste.

Up first were the women, who more than nailed the halfpipe, pushing each other’s limits from the very first run. Unfortunately, the conditions were a little overcast, but this did not detract from the talent on show, especially from 13 year old USA rider, Chloe Kim, who proved age is just a number, scoring 85.80 points from her very first run.

It was a close fought final, and with the bar already set by Chloe Kim, some serious tricks were pulled out the bag in order to secure 1st place. However, it was fellow USA rider Kelly Clark who nailed her second run, earning 89.60 points with a frontside air with huge amplitude, followed by a backside 540, frontside 1080, Cab 720, and a frontside inverted 720 to collect 1st place and the $10,000 prize money.

After her impressive first run, Chloe Kim was able to secure 2nd place, taking home $5,000, followed by Gretchen Bleiler in 3rd, who left with $2,500.

With such incredible talent showcased, the men’s halfpipe was sure to bring as much competition, as Greg Bretz took an early lead with his first run, scoring 89.40.

However, Japanese rider Taku Hiraoka blew the other riders out of the water after nailing a near perfect second run with a backside 540, frontside 1260, backside 900, 1080 double cork and Cab 1080, taking first place with a whopping 94.80.

Slopestyle competitors were met by high winds during the day of the final, challenging even the most comfortable of riders. However, many quickly found their feet after their first run, with USA’s Jamie Anderson edging ahead of the others with her winning run, consisting off a backside taillslide, 50/50 on the closeout rail, 50/50 on the rainbow, backside 180 mute, Cab 540 melon, and backside 540 indy.

Enni Rukajärvi from Finland slid into 2nd place with 79.20 points after just missing out on 1st as Jamie pulled out a storming run to beat her to the 1st place podium position. Norway’s Silje Norendal scored 69.20 to follow in behind Enni, with 3rd.

Stale Sandbech, a rider whose reputation is rapidly preceding him, was back to beat last year’s placement with some inspiring tricks, scoring 94.60 with his second run, coming out on top to take 1st place.

With such amazing riders, USA dominated this year’s Burton High Fives, as Kyle Mack secured 2nd place with his final run, scoring him 92.40. Following Kyle was Yuki Kadono in 3rd with 91.20.

The way these events are going, by the time we reach Sochi the level of technical ability will be beyond what any of us could have expected.

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Bowled Over – England pull level – By Luqman Liaqat

Jos Buttler added to his late hitting reputation by scoring 65 off 48 balls as England levelled the NatWest series 1-1 against Australia with one game remaining after a three-wicket win in the fourth one-day international at Cardiff’s SWALEC stadium.

George Bailey earlier scored a fighting 87 as Australia posted 227 which seemed a modest total before Clint McKay claimed a hat-trick to put England on the back foot until Eoin Morgan and Michael Carberry saved the chase which Buttler sealed with victory in the end.

Morgan put the tourists into bat first and reaped the rewards straight away as Steven Finn trapped Aaron Finch (0) leg before. Shane Watson (6) nicked Boyd Rankin behind in the fourth over and as Australia struggled to 31-2 in the first powerplay.

Shaun Marsh and Michael Clarke found it difficult to find any impetus into the innings by putting on a steady 40 run partnership before Ben Stokes bounced him out which wicket-keeper Buttler held with ease.

Marsh’s dismissal for 25 lead the way for Clarke’s downfall as Finn (2-43) bowled a full delivery nipping back which hit the Aussies skipper flush on the pads, a decision the on-field umpire gave out despite a review Clarke was on his way leaving the score 57-4.

But Bailey and Adam Voges steading the ship, Bailey hammered James Tredwell for a maximum over long-on and a four to reach his 57-ball half century.

Voges (30) was eventually bowled out by Ravi Bopara in the 30th over, leaving Bailey and Mathew Wade to get the tourists a respectable total, the pair picked up quick singles which was the feature of their batting.

At the end of the batting powerplay (40 overs) Australia reached 195-5, the wickets was always a worry for them and it only got worse. The sixth-wicket stand worth 85 was over when Wade (36) edged Tredwell behind, James Faulkner was run out after Tredwell (3-53) deceived Johnson.
Rankin (2-31) dismissed Bailey for 87 in the 46th over and Australia could only muster six more runs to reach 227-all out in 48.2 overs.

In reply, despite a low score a brilliant spell from McKay turned the game around as he claimed a sensational hat-trick. Kevin Pietersen (5) was lbw playing across the line, the short of runs Jonathan Trott pushed at a full and wide delivery and Joe Root edged behind to Wade leaving England in huge trouble at 8-3.

Morgan and Carberry put in a solid fourth wicket stand to repair the damage and take England closer to victory. The century-stand included correct shots at the right time as Morgan scored 53 and Carberry 63.

Just when the match looked easy for England, three wickets fell for 32 runs in eight overs, firstly Watson bowled out Morgan and debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile snuck one past Carberry behind his pads before Faulkner had Bopara (7) leg before leaving the game in the balance at 144-6.

Buttler and Stokes (25) expansive stand of 75 moved the hosts to the brink of victory until McKay (4-39) returned to bowl out Stokes, however, the brilliant Buttler in a 65-run innings smashed Johnson for a massive six and a four in the final over to take England across the finishing line.
This dramatic last over victory for England now gives us a winner-takes-all finale for the NatWest series fifth one-day international at the Ageas Bowl on Monday.

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Pit Stop – Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari – By Lewis Brearley

When Kimi Raikkonen was ignominiously dropped by Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season, the odds of a future return looked slim, to say the very least.

Yet, this week Ferrari announced that their 2014 driver pairing would be Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, in a blatant change of policy from recent times.

Ferrari have nearly always operated with a clear number one gunning for the driver’s championship with a reliable and co-operative number two in support. In fact, never has this technique been more obvious that in the past three years, with Massa supporting Alonso significantly. The tifosi claim that anything should be done in order to win the Holy Grail – the driver’s championship – but it makes a lot of people uneasy. From Massa being told to allow Alonso into the lead exactly a year since his almost fatal crash at the Hungaroring, to having his gearbox deliberately tampered with so that Alonso would have a better grid slot at Austin last year, it’s a controversial and largely unpopular tactic.

But the reason for the shift towards two equal drivers is not because of this. If Ferrari cared what the media said, they would have changed policy years ago. The announcement instead signifies an even more important change.

To understand why, you need to understand the history. Ferrari signed Kimi Raikkonen as an heir to the departing Michael Schumacher for the 2007 season. He was to be the new number one in the post Schumacher era and he duly delivered a world championship in his debut season in red.

However, things then quickly went astray. After being led by Schumacher for a decade, the team had got used to their driver spending hours in the factory and attending endless technical meetings. But Kimi didn’t.

As the relationship deteriorated so did Raikkonen’s performances until, in a reverse of the previous season, he was ordered to let Massa through as Massa was the team’s best hope of that year’s championship.

Ferrari weren’t impressed and decided to sign Alonso for 2010, actually paying Raikkonen to sit out his last year of his contract. Alonso seemed much better suited to be a Ferrari number one, he spoke positively to the media and he spent time back in Maranello.

The relationship was working seamlessly until last year’s Indian Grand Prix. A team strategy error had blown the 2010 title, and in 2011 Red Bull had a huge pace advantage over everybody, and in the third year of the partnership Alonso led the driver’s championship.

Going in to India however, Alonso had seen Sebastian Vettel win three races in a row and now the pressure was on.

After qualifying, technical director Pat Fry wondered aloud whether his drivers had performed to their best. Some might say he was right, especially after hearing Alonso criticise his car all year.

Yet Alonso was angry and while at the time it appeared to be just a disagreement, now it seems as through the relationship hasn’t recovered.
Alonso doesn’t like seeing Vettel win championship and championship and is aware that his career is nearer the end than the beginning. And the team are fed up of having their car criticised while their driver gets all the credit.

The result: a change away from a focus on Alonso’s championship towards a constructor’s championship. With arguably the finest pairing, Ferrari are probably early favourites. But drivers don’t drive for the constructor’s. They want the driver’s title. Whether Ferrari’s new approach works will be fascinating to watch.

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Bowled Over – Third ODI – By Luqman Liaqat

England will have to win both the remaining matches if they are to make it a triumphant NatWest series against Australia after rain ruined the third one-day international at Edgbaston.

Eoin Morgan’s men reached a troublesome position of 59-3 in the 15.1 overs possible after being put into bat first under the heavy Birmingham skies.

Michael Carberry’s comeback to the one-day side has been one to forget as he failed once again getting run-out for only a single after a serious mix-up with Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen was caught at slip off Mitchell Johnson before Joe Root was next to follow him back to the pavilion after providing Adam Voges with an easy caught and bowled.

When England reached 59-3, Jonathon Trott was on a steady 28 not out and skipper Morgan alongside side on five.

Bad weather had delayed play for about half an hour which left little doubt about the decision the toss winning captain would make but after 15 overs more heavy rain meant the match had to be abandoned by 6.30pm.

The only change in the line-ups was made by the Australian team, seamer Josh Hazlewood was selected ahead of leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.

The tourists lead the series 1-0 as the two rivals now move to Cardiff’s SWALEC stadium on Saturday before the series concludes with a day-night clash at the Ageas Bowl on Monday.

Bowled Over – 1st and 2nd ODI Reviews – By Luqman Liaqat

England Vs Australia 1st ODI International Match Review

The first NatWest one-day international between England and Australia was abandoned without a ball bowled due to heavy rain at Headingley.

The pitch was left covered before the scheduled start time of 10.15am with the rain forming a very wet outfield and at 1.35pm umpires Aleem Darr and Richard Illingworth called off play.

England Vs Australia 2nd ODI International Match Review

Michael Clarke scored a century as Australia beat England by 88 runs in the second one-day international to draw first blood in the five-match NatWest series.

Australia put on a mammoth 315-7 on the scoreboard before England were bowled out for 227 in 44.2 overs with only Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler giving the chase some respectability.

England skipper Morgan’s decision to ball first proved to be wrong but it all started well as Steven Finn (2-69) had Shaun Marsh (0) caught behind by wicket-keeper Buttler off only the fourth ball of the match.

There was plenty of controversy in the very next delivery which we haven’t lacked during this summer’s Ashes either. Shane Watson was judged out lbw by the on field umpire but after a review third umpire Aleem Darr revealed that the Aussies number three had edged it.

After an early life, Watson then put on 60 with opener Aaron Finch for the third wicket and just when Watson (38) was picking up pace in his scoring Ravi Bopara had him caught behind which the umpire gave not out but the third umpire ruled that there had been an edge off the bat.

Finch (45 off 45) added a further 56 with skipper Clarke before one big hit too many as he holed out to Joe Root in the deep off James Tredwell with the score 116-3 inside 22 overs.

Clarke and the Aussie T20 captain George Bailey batted superbly sharing a 155-run stand, the skipper smashed some beautiful shots to the leg-side boundary and more elegantly down the ground.

Bailey hit four sixes and helped take 43 runs from the batting powerplay as he rapidly reached 82 in 67 balls. He looked to be reaching his hundred with ease before hitting a leg-side delivery straight to Tredwell giving Bopara (2-57) his second wicket with Australia pushing towards 300 at 271-4 after 43.3 overs.

Once reaching his eighth ODI ton and his second versus England Clarke (105 off 102) was eventually caught behind off Boyd Rankin (2-49) who then bowled out Mathew Wade giving him two wickets in two balls.

A late flurry of boundaries from James Falkner (18 off 11) and Mitchell Johnson moved the tourists to 315-7.

In reply England would have to make history for victory because their previous best ODI chase is 305-5 against Pakistan in 2000.

Debutant opener Michael Carberry struggled before hitting Johnson (2-36) straight to backward point and in the next ball Jonathon Trott gloved a sharp bouncer straight to Wade behind the stumps for duck, as England were now in deep trouble at 9-2 (4 overs).

Skipper Morgan came to the crease at 38-3 when Faulkner managed to swing a ball back into Root which hit the top of off-stump.

Pietersen and Morgan scored 59 together for the fourth wicket, Pietersen smashed two sixes in his innings off Clint McKay and Fawad Ahmed.

But once opener Pietersen fell for 60 off 66 balls driving Watson to point it was game over and when Bopara was caught and bowled by Adam Voges for 1 leaving England stuttering on 103-5.

Morgan (54) put in a good fight with Buttler as the pair put on 51 before becoming McKay’s second victim in the batting powerplay caught in the deep by Clarke and Ben Stokes was dismissed by the same bowler for just 5.

However, Buttler still refused to give in hammering three sixes and five fours to register his highest score of 75 from 65 balls, until perishing to off-spinner Ahmed and McKay (3-47) came back to dismiss Finn as England were all out for 227 giving Australia an 88-run victory with still 34 balls to spare.

The Aussies lead the series 1-0 with still 3 games to go, the next meeting between the two sides now takes place at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

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It’snowheaven – The Big Move – By Jess Softley

It’s that time of the year again! And as the new season starts, Britain prepares itself for the biggest snowboarding event on the UK calendar.

However this year the Freeze festival moves from its famous home of the Battersea Power station to Clapham Common, after 5 years of snowboarding history.

This coveted event has been known for many years for its iconic backdrop and insane talent.

And this was no better shown than by Billy Morgan’s technically inspiring run last year, securing 1st place in the international event, whilst at the same time, making history as the first British rider to win the international side of the Freeze festival.

The Freeze festival has been somewhat seen as a rite of passage for up and coming UK riders to demonstrate their talent, especially in the Battle of Britain event which sees Brits go head to head to claim the all-important first place.

Unfortunately for Freeze organisers, Battersea power station was sold, leaving the well-known UK event without a home and its reputation at stake.

So the pressure was on to find a suitable venue to hold this prestigious UK event. And it wasn’t long before they announced their new resting place along with a few other changes.

This year, taking centre stage will be a whole new event, the international rail jam, hoping to bring the competition from far and wide to compete against the best British Jibbers.

However, this great event has not come without a cost, as Freeze organisers decided to scrap the popular Big Air event, and whilst some may be disappointed, I’m sure the talent on the rails will more than make up for it.

So if you’re around on the 27th November- 1st December, get yourself to London to watch some of the best Riders around, as well as live bands and you could bag yourself some of the hottest snow sports gear this season has to offer.

 

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Pit Stop – That Famous Move – By Lewis Brearley

Back in 2009, at the last corner on the last lap at a sunny Circuit de Catalunya, Valentino Rossi swept down the inside of his team mate, the young prodigy Jorge Lorenzo, to snatch victory after a race-long duel.

It wasn’t just a risky overtake to win another race and improve his championship position. It was purposeful psychological hammer blow.
Lorenzo was starting to match Rossi and beat him, and in Spain Rossi sensed his opportunity to put the young charger down a peg or two and remain number one.

It was either a rapid trip into the gravel trap or a win and a crushed Lorenzo, and Rossi knew that 100%. It wasn’t a calculated risk though, it was pure racing instinct.

It worked. Rossi retained his mantle as “the man” and went on to win his seventh title while Lorenzo’s form dropped. Arguably, this one move was responsible for delaying Jorge’s rise to the top by a year.

Just over four years later, Lorenzo did the same thing. At the last corner of the race, against the most promising young charger in the sport – this time, Marc Marquez – he layed down everything to show he was still “the man”.

No one expected it. Everyone watching was still holding their breaths after a penultimate corner pass from Marquez – spectacularly sideways as always. For a moment, it looked as if Marquez had put a hammer blow into Lorenzo. It was going to be five wins in a row, something only the great Rossi has done in the past ten years.

Lorenzo himself said he nearly gave up. Before the weekend he had been growing despondent at how hard he was trying and failing to beat Marquez.

Then in qualifying, after a lap he proclaimed to have been his finest, he was crushed as Marquez still managed to beat him. But he still didn’t give in. He realised he needed to do something, so he dived into the single bike’s width of room Marquez had left open, thanks to his deep approach into the previous corner, standing up Marquez.

It was all or nothing, and just like back in Spain in 2009, the young charger was kicked to the ground. In this race the championship didn’t matter to these two; it was pure pride they were racing for. They both needed the right to call themselves the best in the world; “the man”.

On the podium, Lorenzo looked ecstatic, Marquez was hiding his anger at being beaten with his trademark joker’s grin, and Dani Pedrosa looked more despondent than ever. From being the championship favourite, Dani is now seemingly invisible and his frustration at being a number two is clearly eating away at him.

There is a big caveat to this of course. Marquez was racing injured. Three hours before the lights went out he was in the gravel trap with his left shoulder dislocated. But it turns out he’s tough too this lad. It was popped back in and a pain injection later he was sat back on his works Honda. He must have been performing below 100% then.

Lorenzo won this battle, but Marquez will return. This intense war to be “the man” looks set to continue for some time yet.

This weekend didn’t have just one memorable race. No fans wave their flags with as much gusto and passion as the British and as Cal Crutchlow disappointed expectations and himself with seventh in MotoGP, Scott Redding took a stunning victory in Moto2. A gripping battle between two shining prospects, Scott and Takaaki Nakagami got the Brits cheering.

Redding leads the Moto2 championship, and looks fully ready for his MotoGP graduation next year.

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