MotoGP 2014, Aragon: a tale of what-ifs
What an absolutely fascinating race the 2014 Aragon MotoGP presented. It had it all – lots of battles, drizzle slowly getting heavier and some clangers of decisions made in terms of a flag-to-flag race. Lorenzo scooped up after the Repsol Honda boys binned it trying to hang out too long on slicks. The race itself is covered extensively everywhere else, what I thought I’d do here is present a race history chart and then, below the jump, look at the what-if scenarios for Marquez had the weather been a touch more favourable. First up, the race history chart
This chart is fascinating for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the big thing is you can see the effect of getting the call right in terms of lap to pit. The rain steadily increased, making it a tougher call. Even the fastest guys on wets, e.g. Lorenzo, were only doing 2’02-2’04 laptimes, and until lap 18 Marquez and Dani were increasing their lead.
Nevertheless, slicks don’t keep their heat forever and the rain steadily increased, catching out those who stayed out a bit later… the biggest losers here were both of the Repsol Honda runners who really screwed the pooch in this race. That said, it was far from a clear-cut decision because the decision was being made only a couple of laps from the end. Looking at the lap times, the cost for pitting was about 28-30 seconds; with 4 laps to run you just have to be doing 7s/lap slower on slicks to still end up winning by not pitting. Below, let’s look at what would have happened had the weather gods smiled a bit more on Marquez.