With an action packed start at Jerez on the weekend to welcome in the 2020 season for MotoGP (speedy recovery Marc Marquez!), I thought it’d be timely to have a look at some of the best battles in the sport.
A great place to start is last season where there were a number of great last lap battles:
· Petrucci vs Marquez vs Dovizioso at Mugello
· Dovizioso vs Marquez at Qatar
· Rins vs Marquez at Silverstone
· Marquez vs Quartararo at Buriram
· Dovizioso vs Marquez at Red Bull Ring.
The below video acts as a fantastic selling point to the excitement this sport generates and why I think it is the greatest show on wheels.
Valentino Rossi vs Casey Stoner at Laguna Seca, 2008.
Stoner had the better pace and everyone knew that if he got out in front it would be good night for the rest of them. Rossi, therefore, used all of the track (and some off it!) to keep in front of Stoner and thus produced one of the best mano-e-mano battles of the modern era.
Valentino Rossi vs Max Biaggi
The rivalry I grew up with, the country boy from Tavullia (Rossi) vs the Roman Emperor (Biaggi). These guys didn’t like one another much and it manifested at many times over their respective careers. Their personalities and backgrounds couldn’t have been further apart and this added to the intensity of their rivalry.
Valentino Rossi vs Marc Marquez at Assen, 2015.
The new kid on the block (Marquez) seeking to take the crown away from the King (Rossi) gave us this moment five years ago at the Dutch TT. This thrilling battle produced a final lap ending in a coming together of the two riders…which turned out to be not the last time in 2015 this would happen between Rossi and Marquez (nor going forward really).
Valentino Rossi vs Jorge Lorenzo at Catalunya, 2009.
If it is not obvious, I’m a bit of a Valentino fan, but this race at Catalunya just over a decade ago is arguably the greatest battle in the history of the sport. Lorenzo and Rossi were miles quicker than anyone and the final few laps of this race are as good as it gets. Watching it again for this week’s entry (I really had to twist my arm to do so), I still get the hairs standing on end and the blood pumping and the passion flowing like I’ve just finished watching it live! Rossi’s final move is still mind-blowing!
The first 6 minutes of the below video shows the final three laps of the race in their entirety with commentary.