sucker punch or fight of the century?
F1 has had its Senna/Prost and
prize fights, and now MotoGP has its
Rossi/Marquez mayhem, paving the way
for Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Jorge
Lorenzo to claim a controversial third title.
Multi-titled Valentino Rossi and
outgoing champ Marc Marquez had been
engaging in a war of words for much of
the year, but their dispute took a bitter
turn following Rossi’s claim that Honda’s
Marquez was trying to help countryman
Lorenzo. Rossi and Marquez then clashed
The simmering issue of Honda’s IndyCar
aero-kit performance gap was resolved, at
least in the short term, with confirmation
that it would be permitted to significantly
revise its package. IndyCar rules allow such
development if any manufacturer’s aero
deficit is deemed detrimental to the series.
Mark Miles, president and CEO of IndyCar,
said full-scale wind tunnel tests conducted
at Windshear in Charlotte clearly showed a
discrepancy in performance between the
two makes – but only in road course/short
oval configuration, meaning speedway aero
kits for the 100th Indianapolis 500 will be
unchanged from ’ 15, bar tweaks in a limited
number of pre-agreed development areas.
“Next step is that Honda has to present
to us the parts they’d like us to consider
and then we’ll take those parts back to the
wind tunnel,” Miles said. “We’ll examine the
data and determine what changes we
might approve. This gives Honda a
chance to close the gap before we go into
the next year of aero kit competition.”
Lorenzo was largely
a spectator to the
but even his faultless
ride to victory in the
Valencia finale stirred
Chevrolet, naturally, bristled at the
news. “All manufacturers received the
same set of aero regulations and
subsequent updates,” noted Jim
Campbell, Chevy’s U.S. vice president of
Performance Vehicles & Motorsports.
Honda-aligned team owner A.J. Foyt had
mixed feelings. “I want to be competitive
and I do feel like we had our hands tied,
but you hate to see everything equal
because racing’s always been about trying
to get an advantage,” mused Super Tex.
in Malaysia, and the Italian started the
season finale at Valencia from the back of
the grid after he was determined to be at
fault. Lorenzo took a relatively easy win
there over Marquez – too easy, said Rossi,
who claimed the Spaniards had colluded.
The whole affair pitted teams, fans and
even media against one another, souring
what had been one of the most
entertaining championship battles in
MotoGP for years. How it all effects the
relationship of teammates Lorenzo and
Rossi may be of more lasting significance.
IndyCar returns to more traditional open-wheel strongholds for 2016 with renewed
races at Phoenix (LEFT) and Road America. A
street race in downtown Boston in September
will lift the unpopular Labor Day curfew.
nip and tuck
propensity for cars
to get airborne at
Indy (ABOVE, Ed
Carpenter) and the
danger from flying
debris with new rules
specifying a domed
to improve yaw and
rear-wing flaps that
deploy if a car spins
and travels backward,
and Zylon tethers to
in an impact.
Honda gets a do-over for its problematic IndyCar aero kits
boost phase for aeronauts
Honda-kitted entries like
Ryan Hunter Reay’s will
get a breath of fresh air
for IndyCar 2016.
Marquez ( 93) was out of title
contention, but his war with
Rossi ( 46) still held center stage.