One of the highlights of the official MotoGP.com YouTube channel in 2018 is its newest series titled “After the Flag.”During these episodes, MotoGP Commentators Steve Day, Matt Birt and Simon Crafar provide some deeper insights into each round of 2018 MotoGP.
The latest “After the Flag” video discusses the Argentina MotoGP,” which was one of the most confusing – and exciting – rounds in years. Topping the headlines at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit was the delayed start that caused panic in the paddock, and the aggressive riding penalties against reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.The four-time MotoGP Champion first stalled his bike on the start, and pushed it backwards down pit lane – an action that’s penalized in MotoGP. He suffered a ride-through penalty for that, and soon afterwards he lost a position due to aggressive riding after colliding with Aprilia Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro.But that wasn’t all – the biggest problem came when he ran nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi off the track on lap 19 of 24 (shortened from 25 due to rain delay). Rossi would later say he feels unsafe on the track with Marquez, and that race officials need to do something about his actions.As for Marquez, many agree he should have been black flagged and disqualified, but he was able to finish the round two of 19 in 18th with zero points.While all this was going on, the true story of the race unfolded when LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow ran a smart race and claimed his third premier-class win, and the 750th World Championship victory for Honda. The Brit finished 0.251 of a second ahead of Monster Energy Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco, and 2.501 seconds ahead of Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.The series no heads directly to America for the only stateside round of 2018 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. COTA is Marquez territory; the Spaniard has won the past five consecutive races in Austin from pole.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!