Marc VDS World Champion
By having its two riders take third and fourth place in the Australian Grand Prix, the Marc VDS Racing Team is now certain to win the Moto2 World Championship title.
The Phillip Island circuit is not only one of the finest and fastest tracks on the MotoGP calendar. It is also a circuit where the weather always plays tricks on riders and the tires are subjected to severe stress and strain because of the last long left turn that raises gum temperature. “And because there are very few right-hand bends, it’s easy to make a mistake when braking and entering the corner,” says Bradl, who fell with only eight laps to go. There were numerous crashes in Moto2 as well. Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio managed to stay on their wheels to finish in third and fourth place behind Viñales and Lüthi. Both riders fought to the finish in the leading group, but avoiding taking too many risks with the world championship title at stake. In Moto3, Miguel Oliveira and Jorge Navarro finished seventh and twelfth while Andrea Migno failed to score any points by finishing seventeenth.
He could have won the Moto2 World Championship title at Phillip Island, but it meant scoring twelve points more than his teammate. Tito Rabat didn’t manage to do so, with Mika Kallio refusing to accept defeat. However, the Finn is now the last rider to be able to block Rabat’s road to the title, having lead the overall standings since the start of the championship in Qatar. But the task will be difficult, with 41 points now separating the two riders in the Marc VDS team. One thing is certain: Michael Bartholemy’s team is already certain of winning the title with one of its two riders. In MotoGP Bradl slipped back to tenth place overall while in Moto3, Oliveira now ties on equal points with Brad Binder, tenth in the overall classification. Navarro has moved up to be placed twenty-fifth, and he is now just one point away from Andrea Migno.
Is the MotoGP championship following in the footsteps of F1? Twenty years ago, data acquisition was limited to a few sensors – bike speed, engine speed, throttle and suspensions – and the rider was responsible for leading and orienting the team of technicians based on his comments alone. “Of course, the rider today remains a cornerstone of the team’s performance, but multiple data acquisition channels, simulation programs for the chassis, gearbox, torque distribution, traction control, fuel consumption and anti-wheelie systems facilitate the options for technicians by clearly showing the way forward,” says Christophe Bourguignon, technical director of the LCR Honda team. “Engine mapping can be defined even before the rider has put on his leathers. We can explain how to optimizes the operation of his bike. We can show him precisely to within one hundredth of a second, where he’s losing time, when his angle is not acute enough, when it’s too acute, if he’s braking in the right place or accelerating at the right time, etc. Everything is fine-tuned even before the wheel first spins.” In short, it is easier today to learn how to become a good rider thanks to the support provided by the team of technicians. Which is good news for Jack Miller, who will be taking the leap from Moto3 to MotoGP next year.