Posted: 06 Dec 2013
After a full season of Grand Prix racing it’s sometimes nice to sit back and remember the good bits, the races which had you glued to the TV while sat on the edge of your seat. We’d planned for this article to originally discuss MotoGP races alone but when there are moments in the Moto3 and Moto3 classes that out-do GP, you know you’ve got to put them in.
At number five we have a race that must have been quite boring for the majority of MotoGP’s global community, unless you’re British. Despite a strong challenge from Japan’s TakaakiNakagami, Scott Redding absolutely dominated the Moto2 race at Silverstone this year. While it may not have been the multi-rider scraps we’d usually label a good race, Redding’s display was nothing short of incredible. It was incredible because it’s all so often when so much pressure is piled upon a rider they simply fail to perform – especially at home races. There was almost the expectation from British fans and Redding himself that he had to win that race. Perhaps the stand out point was that it was during this race it became quite clear that Scott Redding had a damn good chance of becoming the first British World Champion since Barry Sheene. If you’ve not seen it… get that review DVD!
For number four, we’re with the premier class and all the way back in Qatar. So many questions hung over this race: How would Marc Marquez fare on a MotoGP bike? Would Lorenzo dominate? Oh and, can Valentino Rossi be competitive on the Yamaha? The second of those questions was answered almost instantly as Jorge Lorenzo pinned it and rode into the distance. The first question was answered early on too, as Marc Marquez began to stick it to his Repsol Honda team mate in a battle for second place. The third question was answered (at least for Qatar) towards the end of the race, as Valentino Rossi found some late pace to barge past Pedrosa and scrap with Marquez for second. It was exciting, young pup versus old dog and Marquez was giving as good as he got. Rossi came out on top, but little did we know that’d only happen once more throughout the whole season. Perhaps part of the excitement of this race was it being the first race of the year but if you watch it again now it’s just as exciting.
In at three is the final Moto3 race of 2013. Three riders, five points between them, only one could be champion. Anything could happen… and it did. Moto3 is never short of incredible races but as everything was at stake in Valencia, it made it so interesting to watch. You could sense the “ooohs” of the crowd when Luis Salom threw his championship lead into the gravel and became a battle between two. A battle that didn’t stop until the very last corner, leaving us so far on the edge of our seats we were almost standing. You could not have predicted it; to watch it was purely something else.
A Scott Redding race features again at number two, this time his battle with Pol Espargaro in Assen. This pair had a number of battles throughout the 2013 season but this one stands out in particular. It was fierce, they both wanted it and neither was going to let the other have it easily. Two riders riding on the limit for the last two laps of a race, whoever was behind at a particular point was glued to the back tyre of the rider in front. Redding missed out on the win but we rate it as one of his best rides of the year. You’ve got to watch it.
Deciding which race comes in at the top has been quite difficult as there have been some incredible races in 2013. We’ve already discussed Redding’s incredible performance at the British Grand Prix, but he wasn’t the only showpiece that September afternoon. The best races are those that are decided on the last lap and it’s even better if the deciding move comes in the last few corners, just like in the Moto3 season finale. However it’s even more special when it happens in MotoGP because it isn’t something that happens frequently. The race we’re talking about of course is Lorenzo beating Marc Marquez in the last few corners at Silverstone. The thing about this race is it wasn’t just a victory for Lorenzo; it was a statement. This was his return after his little dip in results following the collarbone injury; this was him putting the proverbial middle finger up in Marc Marquez’s face, putting a stop to his run of race victories and laying down the challenge for the championship.
So there you have it, our top five MotoGP races of 2013. Overall this season has been incredible; it’s been full of big stories which have been backed up by on-track action. Bring on 2014!