Too Fast to Win a MotoGP Title

So the 2013 MotoGP season is finally over, and what an ending! Even more than the title being decided in the very last race, the new champion broke so many records that I'm really asking myself whether it's worth trying to enumerate them.
However, the Valencia race showed in a much clearer light a thing that was kind of obvious one third into the championship: three riders are too fast. Marquez, Lorenzo, and Pedrosa have been consistently faster than the rest of the pack, with several exceptions.

While this might be only a redundant observation, it was down to the wire when the importance of this fact was fully proven. Jorge Lorenzo and his team tried a very cunning strategy, but it failed because of the same reason: these three fellows were way too fast compared to the rest.

In order to win the 2013 title, Lorenzo had to make up for the 13-point lead Marquez had. In case of winning the Valencia race (which he also did), Lorenzo had to find a way of pushing Marquez further behind, in position 5 or lower. The rookie ending the race in 4th would have also been in vain.

So Yamaha advised Lorenzo to ride at a slower pace, hoping that the rest of the pack would remain close and a dementing squirmish would ensue. Team Blue hoped that Marquez could be caught up in the fray and possibly be overtaken down to the lower positions, to Lorenzo's benefit.

Funny enough, as much as Lorenzo did slow down the race in the early stages, it did not pay off, as it looks like the three riders ahead were still way too fast for the rest.

It may sound a bit off, but the Valencia race was more of a "who can ride slower" event, at least in the beginning of the round. Some might have overlooked this, but if you watch the race again, the battle at the top of the pack was extremely fierce, fiercer than we've seen through the year.

And, each time Lorenzo lost the lead, he simply had to regain it to keep the two Honda riders behind him and hope for at least one rider catching up from behind. It could have been Rossi or Bautista, but this was not the day.

Despite the better and better riding we've seen from Alvaro Bautista in the final third of the season, he was not on par with the top three riders.

As for Rossi, he seemed to have been missing something all throughout year. Will he find the mysterious missing element after parting with Jeremy Burgess? Only time will tell.

All in all, the strategy Yamaha planned for Valencia was very smart, and it could have turned out better results had the riders in positions 3-6 been able to keep up with the leaders.

To Lorenzo's dismay, the pack was falling behind and he understood that even when slow, he and the other two Hondas were way too fast, so he went back to the normal riding strategy, putting down all the power of his machine, and entered his usual “getaway” mode.

And with almost 4 seconds ahead of Pedrosa as he flew under the last checkered flag of the season, it was obvious that Lorenzo was really fast. Marquez did not even bother to take any more risks, as he knew all he needed was to finish the race where he was, with the third position being even more than enough.

Rossi was 10 and a half seconds late for the fight, while Bautista dropped some more 5 seconds behind. The two who could have helped Lorenzo push Marquez back were simply too slow. Or should we say that Lorenzo was, on one occasion this year, too fast to win a championship?

So this is how a new page of motorcycles road racing history was written in Valencia, with the crowning of MotoGP's youngest champion ever, Marc Marquez. Now, if you want a full list of history-making deeds that will be recorded in MotoGP's books, please read this comprehensive analysis of Marc Marquez' racing career so far.

The king is young, long live the king!
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