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Almost every single race this season has been dubbed the most thrilling one yet, well that is until the next GP rolls around. The Catalan Grand Prix was no exception and brought some of the fiercest riding yet. After 24 laps on the hottest circuit of the season thus far, Repsol Honda rider, Marc Marquez has landed on the top of the podium yet again. Leaving his home circuit with a 37 point lead over Ducati rider, Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez has increased his momentum in the race for the World Champion title.
Seeing Marquez on the podium has become a regular occurance. We’re not too surprised anymore but our excitement for him never dies. His riding ability and technique has and will continue to push the sport and drive compeitition. What’s not so common? Seeing Danilo Petrucci on the podium three times in a row AND seeing the French rookie, Fabio Quartararo earn his first podium in the premier class.
Not only did Fabio land on the podium, but he was also the only Yamaha rider to finish the race… Way to go kid! Yes, the two factory riders got taken out but we’ll get back to that. Quartararo now has a 29 point lead over the next highest ranked rookie, Joan Mir. What we saw from the Petronas Yamaha rider was fast, I mean FAST, sector 2 and 4 times. This allowed him to stay ahead of his most competitive opponents regardless of his weaker consistency index across all sectors. He was able to utilize his strengths where Petrucci and Rins faced more challenges.
Congratulations to these three riders as they managed to lead the pack in one of the most drama – filled races yet.
Onward to TT Assen!
Written by Julia Robinson
There’s never a dull moment with these riders! After an unexpected turn of events, we saw three different manufacturers on the podium with Yamaha rider, Fabio Quartararo earning his first podium finish in the premier class.
With almost half of the riders crashing out of the race, the dream team results were as unpredictable as ever. Results are listed below! How did your team do?
1st Place: Team 2 with 42 points
2nd Place: Team 4 with 34 points
3rd Place: Team 3 with 29 points
4th Place: Team 1 with 25 points
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Free practice has starting and the dream team betting for the Catalan GP has ended!
1st Place: Team 2 with 55% of the votes
2nd Place: Team 1 with 27% of the votes
3rd Place: Team 3 with 9% of the votes
4th Place: Team 4 with 9% of the votes
With all the hype centered around the individual World Championship rankings, it can be easy to overlook the team rankings throughout the season. Today we are going to dive into the top three ranked teams which by no surprise are:
The Catalan Grand Prix is a home race for three out of the six riders that are included in the top ranked teams. While some may believe in a home court advantage, the 2019 season has been filled with unpredictable twists and turns making each GP more exciting than the last.
Let’s start with tracking each team’s cumulative combined index for the first six races. The graph’s below display the rate of improvement for each team (not individual rider) as they progress through the 2019 season. If one or both teammates received a DNF, that race is an automatic 0.
*Spoiler alert: The Ducati team is the only one whose riders have finished all six races.*
As you can see, the Factory Ducati team is on a fairly steep rate of improvement with the exception of Qatar to Argentina. This graph suggests that BOTH Dovizioso and Petrucci are improving their performances each race and not relying on one to carry the other.
An almost horizontal line AKA little to no improvement from one race to another… All I have to say is, Marquez, you must be tired of carrying the team on your back! Lorenzo and Marquez are ultimately cancelling out each other’s points due to their almost opposite performances. With five podiums out of the first six races, Marquez is not only saving the Honda team, but also leading the World Championship. Could a home race change Lorenzo’s trajectory?
Inconsistency has engulfed the Factory Yamaha team this season. We’ve seen crashes, jump starts and poor qualifying from Rossi and Vinales and are desperately waiting for a change in pace. The team’s performance shows a positive trend line which reflects a weakening team performance as the season progresses. While both Ducati riders are improving in parallel, #46 and #12 are out of sync with each other and themselves.
We expect each rider to be heading into race weekend with a fire under their seats. Why?
Free practice tomorrow, qualifying Saturday and race day on Sunday. It’s time for the Catalan Grand Prix!
Written by Julia Robinson
The Catalunya Circuit experiences dry, warm conditions during June as the region transitions into the summer months. Rain is very unlikely on race weekend. In fact, there hasn’t been a wet race in 15+ years at Catalunya. With stable, warmer temperatures, the air is able to hold any present moisture as humidity and retain it without condensing. While cloud coverage can trap heat and help maintain comfortable air temperatures, it plays a significant role in ground temperature.
The forecast for the GP weekend calls for cloudier conditions Friday and Saturday, with clear skies on race day. The air temperature is said to remain around 75 degrees F throughout the weekend. Many people assume that warm air temperature = hot circuit temperature. It’s a bit more complicated than that… Cloud coverage dictates how much energy transfers to and from the Earth, so when clouds form, the incoming radiation traveling from the sun is faced with an obstacle. The circuit temperature is directly affected by the amount of radiation being aborbed and released – not by the air temperature.
As if tire choice isn’t already complicated enough, we can expect the circuit temperature to fluctuate throughout the weekend, putting even more stress on the optimal tire choice.
Below we have provided the average values for the climate variables our team studies, compared to the cumulative average of all 19 circuits. The goal of this chart is not to define each value numerically but to provide a side by side comparison to put each variable into context.
Unfamiliar with the climate variables that we take into consideration? Click here to learn more about what and why we study in regard to weather and racing.
With the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya just around the corner, it’s time for some friendly gentleman’s betting! We create the teams, you study up (or not) and place a bet on which team you think will bring home the most cumulative championship points in Barcelona.
The teams are listed below with their team index which is derived from each individual combined index.
Click here to place your bet.
The 2019 season has had a rollercoaster of races thus far, and it’s only round seven… Four riders have claimed the first six 1st place podiums and two of those riders are sitting pretty with their first MotoGP win of their careers. Suzuki rider, Alex Rins and Ducati rider, Danilo Petrucci have each made quite the impression as they fly through the start of the season. Currently sitting in 3rd and 4th place in the World Championship rankings, these two riders sit among 2018 World Champion Marc Marquez and 2018 runner up, Andrea Dovizioso.
Now people may call this luck, given that that some of the more seasoned riders have had their ups and downs (let’s recall COTA “king” Marc Marquez and Italian “superstar” Valentino Rossi). Everyone is allowed a crappy race weekend once in a while, right? I’m going to go with no… Every single championship point collected in a season matters. If you want to land in the top 5, you can’t afford an “off” weekend. So where did Petrucci and Rins come from?
Let’s start with Petrucci… Since joining MotoGP back in 2012, Danilo has yet to earn a pole grid position. He has landed a P2 or P3 on the grid 9 times. Over the course of his career, he has landed on the podium 8 times, three 3rd places, four 2nd places and after last weekend, one 1st place. The Ducati rider ranks 5th out of the group for speed trajectory and 6th for consistency trajectory. To put this is simple terms, he has a strong improvement rate year to year and unlike many of the riders that have been riding since 2012, he is far from plateauing. Could the 1st place that he snagged in Mugello be the kick he’s needed to keep up with the big dogs? Time will tell.
Suzuki rider, Alex Rins, has a bit of a different story. Having only been in the series since 2017, we still consider him a greener rider. Does this mean we downplay his skill and technique? Quite the opposite. Although Rins has yet to earn a front row grid position, the Spanish rider always seems to find a way to utilize his predator skills and sneak his way to the front of the pack. Rins has two 3rd places, four 2nd places and after COTA this year, one 1st place under his belt. Not bad for a rider going into his 3rd year on a newer manufacturer. Alex Rins is young, he’s newer to the series and he holds the strongest trajectory rate for both speed and consistency out of all the riders. His path is promising as he begins to refine his skills and prioritize his game plans going into each race week.
We believe that Ducati and Suzuki have strong, unique riders representing them on the circuit. Both Danilo, a more seasoned rider, and Alex, a greener rider, show great potential as they race into the 2019 season. Utilizing their already developed skills, we hope to see both riders study and learn from their opponents to maintain this momentum.
With six podiums out of the first seven races of the 2019 season, Marc Marquez has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, he’s just getting started! The unstoppable Spaniard has landed on the front row of the grid each race and has maintained a strong prey index, preventing his opponents from from overtaking at opportune times.
In addition to earning a top grid position each race, Marquez has perfected his start off the grid. The Repsol Honda rider has lead the entire pack for at least four laps without letting anyone challenge him for P1 each race, with the exception of Qatar. His ability to ride in a defensive mindset reflects his maturity as a rider as well as his knowledge and awareness of his opponents. Studying each of his competitors and their riding styles/techniques has allowed Marquez to refine his race lines and blocks. He acknowledges the fact that he only has to be better than the few riders tailing him and knowing their common strategies for overtaking, he can defend his position and the championship points.
Let’s revisit Marquez’s performance in Austin this year… Talk about a learning experience. Bottom line, he did too much. Had he reigned in it a bit, the COTA king could have kept a safe distance between himself and the pack without jeopardizing his position. A personal best is great in all, but at the end of the day you’re not trying to beat yourself, you’re trying to beat your opponents.
Study. Be aware. Protect your position.
Never forget those who helped shape the sport we all love so much. Happy wheelie Wednesday with Marco Simoncelli!