Racing, much like real life, is all about transitions. This is true at so many levels.
Consider the progress of a MotoGP bike through a chicane. Its ability to make the transition from one angle of lean to the other without losing the line or becoming unstable is key to a fast lap time.
Or the transition from a slow corner exit through the gearbox to sixth. Honda’s seamless-shift gearbox smooths the transitions. Less interruption to the power flow pays out in acceleration and yet more chassis stability.
Transition also among the riders, always. Heroes arrive, grow older and slower, new ones take their place. Often before they are ready to give way; these transitions are seldom smooth and comfortable at a personal level for the outgoing ones. It can be hard to accept the inevitable.
The 2013 season has been rich in transition. The most prominent being personal: the wresting of the mantle of Greatest of All Time from Valentino Rossi by Marc Marquez. Of course, this is still very much a work in progress. But it is happening faster and more smoothly than anyone could have imagined.
Including both riders.
Rossi has made many epic overtakes in his long and glorious career, but three in particular stand out: bombing Sete Gibernau on the last corner at Jerez in 2005; bamboozling Casey Stoner at the Corkscrew in 2008; and carving up Jorge Lorenzo at the last corner at Catalunya in 2009.
So far in his first season, Marquez has repeated two of these moves, the first on defending champ Lorenzo, the second on Rossi himself. Talk about giving the Doctor a taste of his own medicine… Perhaps he’ll do Catalunya next year, though he has little trouble inventing new moves of his own. It’s the legacy of Moto2. And vast reserves of talent.