Our seventh race of Marbula One season two is in the dense jungle of the Raceforest. A straightforward course with no unique features, this track is rather idiosyncratic in its location and the effect it has on the marbles; thanks to the uncertain ground, each turn and straightaway sees the marbles wobble inconsistently across the track. The race requires agile steering and a sharp mind rather than speed alone.
Right out of the gate, the chaos begins. Rima (Team Primary) starts in pole position, but by the end of the first sector they have already fallen to sixth. The major beneficiaries are Red Eye (Crazy Cat’s Eyes), Speedy (Savage Speeders), and Minty Fresh (Minty Maniacs), the latter of whom is making their first GP appearance of the season.
By the time we begin the fourth lap, the race has become a two-marble affair. Red Eye and Speedy volley the lead back and forth, with Red Eye earning Fastest Lap along the way. However, that does not mean any other marbles could not make their effect felt…
Perhaps the most consequential moment of the race comes near the beginning of sector two on lap five: Razzy (Raspberry Racers) gets stuck as the result of a couple unfortunate bumps, and as a result is only a running a few meters ahead of Red Eye and Speedy by the time they reach sector two in their sixth lap. Over the next several laps, the two leaders close the gap. Red Eye gets their opportunity to lap Razzy on the tenth lap, only for Razzy to maneuver to block what should be a friendly pass.
The controversial move from Razzy would likely go down as an afterthought in another race, but thanks to Red Eye’s line being hindered, it takes less than a lap for Speedy to overtake the leader (and eventually Razzy as well). This is how blood feuds start; Red Eye must be seeing red when they find themselves looking up at both Razzy and Speedy during lap twelve.
But Razzy does not stop there — perhaps annoyed by their misfortune that dropped them to last place, they seem determined to make this a three marble competition between the first-, second-, and sixteenth-place racers. Razzy bangs with our two pacesetters, forcing them to work to keep their leads. Talent eventually wins out, and we lose the chance of a controversial ruling thanks to Red Eye pulling away over the final lap and Speedy finishing in second by a decisive margin.
- Amazingly enough, Razzy’s fight to stay ahead of Red Eye and Speedy winds up consequential … thanks to another stall from Limelime (Limers), Razzy finishes in fifteenth. It makes no difference in terms of points earned, but it must feel like a mental victory for the Raspberry Racers.
- Red Eye earns their second gold medal and Crazy Cat’s Eyes’ third gold medal overall in only seven races. As a result, their lead on first place seems nigh insurmountable at this point. The Thunderbolts, in second place, would need to make up the equivalent of two first place finishes to take the lead overall.
- Bolt (Thunderbolts) finishes on the podium as well. It’s a testament to how intense the jockeying between Red Eye and Speedy (and Razzy) was in this race that this bronze medalist has gone unmentioned until the third bulletpoint of the footnotes.
- I can’t fault Razzy for their actions in this one. As it showed in the end, their push to stay ahead of the leaders was absolutely worthwhile, since you never know what could happen in a race. Had the pileup that stalled Limelime been worse, Razzy could have earned a point or two in the end.
- Presentation notes: The camerawork here was lackluster a lot near the end. The intensity of Red Eye versus Speedy was diminished because it seemed like the camera operator forgot that Razzy was not actually the race leader — too much focus on #16, not enough on #1 and #2.
Again, had to reference the Youtube comments. When JMR says Roldo is hard to spot, they mean it! Our little hiding marble is visible at 11:01 for only a split second before the Marbula One logo covers them up, in the top left corner.