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Marquez like Doohan: when a champion makes a mistake

The incident triggered off by Marquez and which saw Oliveira as a victim will certainly unleash a social media wave of hatred that did not exist in the past. At least we should remember that Doohan's 1993 Donington strike involving Schwantz and Barros earned him the label of 'crazy'

Marquez like Doohan: when a champion makes a mistake
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The new Grand Prix format, Sprint Race + regular race, which doubles the number of starts to 42, has already had the first visible effects: the number of accidents has also doubled.

It is statistics, not rocket science. Make two starts and two races, with the current bikes to which the downforce created by the wings, combined with the efficiency of the carbon brakes, have given braking stability unthinkable in the past - so much so that the front wheel locks - and you will have very little room for braking within which to attempt overtaking manoeuvres.

Furthermore, the points available to be won have increased: from 25 to 37, albeit the first 12 are included only for the first 9 qualifiers. Another good reason for riders to do a cutthroat race.

If we add to this that Dorna's policy, up to now, has been to standardize the performance of the bikes of the various manufacturers, to create a balance of performance, it will be inevitable that in order to overtake it is necessary to raise the risk level.

If you reduce the space needed to overtake an opponent during a 100-metre braking stop to 30 - random numbers - you will also reduce the time needed to start and finish it. With all that goes with it. But we’re not saying anything new here: F1 has fought and has been fighting this battle for years, since for years, thanks to the greater grip due to the high downforce, cars have had very little ‘window’ for overtaking.

But that's the way races are and the only way to rebalance the situation is to adjust the regulations, which however are frozen up to and including 2026.

Having said that, motor sport accidents do happen and have always happened, with their baggage of accusations and recriminations.

We've seen several this weekend, but certainly the most spectacular and controversial one was Marquez's rear-end collision with Martin and Oliveira which caused a dangerous pile-up that unleashed - obviously - the social media haters.

This time Marc took all the blame: a riding error led to the front locking up which is a far from infrequent phenomenon in today's MotoGP. He made a mistake, OK, but the Portimao turn 3 incident, at a  particularly tricky point that comes after two half-turns, reminded me of the one between Doohan, Schwantz and Barros in 1993 at Donington; then Mick sparked off a dangerous pile-up at the end of the straight before the chicane that goes into the loop created to lengthen the circuit.

The five-time world champion made a bad racing mistake. At the time, we do not remember the culprit crucified. This weekend alone we had clashes between Marini and Bastianini and between Mir and Quartararo in the sprint race and then between Alex Marquez and Vinales and Binder and Aleix Espargaro today. There will always be accidents. If we want to have fewer of them, then maybe the best solution is not to double the number of races on the weekend.

 

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