In Too Deep

If you go in too deep, you can very easily take others out with you. You can be too single minded, too ambitious, selfish or maybe desperate.

Check out Jorge Lorenzo’s 2nd lap “in too deep” moment at the Catalunya MotoGP held 16th June last.

He took responsibility for it, which is important to do, but it put the kybosh on Desmo Dovi’s, The Doctor Rossi’s and Maverick Vinales’ (Maverick is not a nickname) not to mention his own chances in the Race. Fortunately no-one was injured, bloody annoyed but not injured.

Lorenzo, didn’t get his tyres up to temperature (usually takes about three full laps on the current composite tyres – three different compounds on one tyre) before getting down and getting on with the job, err, race.  He knew to plan ahead (get the heat up), he knows how to win (he’s five-time Grand Prix World Champion), he knows how to be competitive (13 of 17 seasons in top five), he can be very focussed (setting lap records when out in front with no-one except the clock and himself to challenge him) and using his pit-board – reporting KPIs and useful information to help manage a job, err, race.

In business, you need to be focussed on what you want to achieve, you need to apply your skills, you need to be conscious of and know your competitors and you need to get up to speed quickly, but you must plan.

If you get desperate, you need to be aware of your circumstances. Remember the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio’s mantra, “To finish first, first you must finish”. If you stay focussed, apply your skills, know your competitors, plan and use your pit-board, you will finish and you may well finish first.

One race a Championship doth not make. The late New Zealander Denny Hulme won the 1967 Formula 1 World Championship by winning just two races of the 11 race season. Of the 11 races, he finished on the podium eight times. If you want to finish first, first you must finish.

Desperation can cause you grief. You need to back-off, re-assess your position, make sure your machinery is in order and plan your attack and use your pit-board – your KPI reporting that helps you to make decisions. You may have to pit to get things checked over and then re-join the Race. If you go in too deep you can take your employees, your creditors and your debtors with you. That can be a lot – just look at the calamitous corporate failures of the past – they didn’t plan, they didn’t refine their machinery, they didn’t respect their competitors and they didn’t have an end-game. They tried to finish first, before first finishing.

You get desperate if you don’t know what is going on. You need accurate, timely and reliable reporting, much the same as Lorenzo needed – he was using inaccurate, untimely and unreliable information (his tyres weren’t up to temperature) – when he went in too deep. He made his move too soon. He wasn’t patient. He was too afraid of being left behind and that is exactly where he finished up.

If you want to see what a finish can look like, check out the last lap of the Mugello MotoGP (2nd June last) with Danilo Petrucci, Desmo Dovi and Marc Marquez – all on old tyres, cranked over three abreast thru a right hander, all three in supreme control. None had gone in too deep, each knew what their competitors were up to, each were focussed on the job applying their skills in a do-or-crash (die is quite an inappropriate word) effort to finish first. At the end of the day, a rider on a red bike won (no spoiler alert, all three bikes are red, it was too good a race to spoil the moment), but the other two were less than half a second behind him. They didn’t finish first, but they sure as hell finished and gave themselves a shot at it.

You can go in deep, but you have to time it right and use the right pit-board KPIs and make sure you have a well prepared machine.


Late Braker