Lorenzo's ire a sign of Honda headaches to come
The incident between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix foreshadows the kind of tense atmosphere that could exist at the Honda MotoGP team in 2019.
Lorenzo's anger with Marquez after he suffered a high-side on Sunday at the Motorland circuit has created a lot of noise, but it had always been obvious that, sooner or later, conflict would erupt between these two world champions.
If Honda's thinking was that these two top dogs would share the same garage without any tension or fire, this weekend was proof that its powers that be don't know Lorenzo and Marquez at all.
But Honda and its director Alberto Puig's mission is to create the best team possible - even if that means many headaches when it comes time to handling specific situations.
Luckily for Honda, Lorenzo is still a Ducati rider; so it doesn't fall to Honda to try to mitigate the anger Lorenzo felt after Sunday's incident.
Throughout Lorenzo's press conference after the race, he threatened Race Direction (and indirectly the rest of his rivals) that if no one takes action to avoid that kind of incident in the future, he will have to act the same. Marquez's move earned no infraction - so we can only guess at what Lorenzo will plan.
The way Marquez entered the first corner was aggressive; but not against the rules. In fact, between his Honda and the Ducati there was never any contact; the footage reveals the margin between them is more than half a metre.
Another thing to consider is whether the reigning champion's pass - one that pushes his rival to the dirty part of the track - is deemed appropriate racing, and whether it infringes on the "gentlemen's agreement" Lorenzo referenced.
In any case, Lorenzo is aware that if he wants to compete with Marquez next year on the same bike, he will have to get into the manner of racing with which his future teammate feels completely comfortable.
"The rest of the riders already know that he will make them rise to that level; so if they want to win, they will have to get that far," Marquez's track engineer Santi Hernandez told Motorsport.com.
"When you get into that field, everyone knows there is also the risk of losing."
After what happened at Aragon, it remains to be seen whether Lorenzo will raise his game to match Marquez's strong (but completely legal) level of determination.
Either way, we advise grabbing some popcorn and settling in to enjoy the show the 2019 MotoGP season is bound to offer.
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team crash at the start
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
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