2012 Sachsenring MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Who Dares, Wins. Sometimes...

Bold and fearless or brash and ill-advised? There was a lot of that sort of thing at the Sachsenring on Sunday, in all three classes. The most obvious example begging that question was what would have been Casey Stoner's last-corner lunge past Dani Pedrosa, had it not gone horribly wrong as he lined the pass up the corner before. We'll come to that later, but with a Moto3 race run in drying conditions and a Moto2 race where one of the favorites had to start from well down on the grid, there were plenty more to choose from.

Moto3 turned into the usual war of attrition among the more psychotic contingent of the paddock - or more precisely, teenagers on fast motorbikes - with the coolest head of the front runners eventually prevailing. With Luis Salom and Alexis Masbou pushing Sandro Cortese down to the wire, it could have gone horribly wrong, but Cortese had saved his tire for the last few laps, pushing to break his two wild-eyed pursuers before he crossed the line, and preventing any late lunges which could have ended in tears. It was a race worthy of a champion, by Cortese, despite the massive pressure on him at his home round. In the press conference, he thanked his team manager Aki Ajo, for bringing some Finnish coolness to calm Cortese's Italian heritage.

In Moto2, Marc Marquez gave his usual masterclass, though he did not have it easy. Andrea Iannone pushed him hard in the first half of the race, before crashing in the style that has earned him the nickname Crazy Joe, pushing too hard and losing the front. Mika Kallio then stepped up the pressure, but the Finn (Sunday was in some small way a Scandinavian day in Germany) did not have the pace to seriously threaten Marquez. Further back, Pol Espargaro took it right to the limit in his pursuit of points, even sticking his toes over the edge at one point, having a massive moment round the fast right hander at the top of the Waterfall, running off and through the gravel, rejoining having lost some of the places he had lost. In the end, he crossed the line in 5th, an astounding result given that he had been forced to start from 17th on the grid in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class.

But MotoGP is where the most talked about incidents occurred. Casey Stoner's crash was a typical coin-toss affair: he felt he had the pace to beat Pedrosa, he had a plan to pass his teammate - lunging up the inside of Turn 12 and getting the drive across the line, the ideal pass at the Sachsenring, giving your opponent no time to respond - his only miscalculation, perhaps, was the fact that Dani Pedrosa was in the process of setting his fastest lap, and Stoner had already been forced to push hard to catch Pedrosa again after making a mistake earlier on the final lap. When he tipped in a little harder than in previous laps and let off the brakes, unweighting the front, down he went and into the gravel.

Why would you risk a move like that, when you are in a position to take the lead in the championship over a rival who has proven to be extremely formidable this season? Especially after having profited from Lorenzo's misfortune, when the factory Yamaha man was taken down by Alvaro Bautista in a bone-headed move at Assen? You and I may have hesitated, and chosen to settle for the points, but that is not Casey Stoner's philosophy. Win races, and the championships will come of their own accord, Stoner believes, and his two world titles would suggest he knows what he is talking about. More fundamentally, however, it is a question of attitude; Stoner loves to win races, and after his championship in 2011 told reporters that the rush from winning races was far better than that of winning a title. A title is a slow and complex process, and as motorcycle racing is primarily and adrenaline-driven sport, many riders choose to go for a win in the heat of the moment. At the heart of the matter, it remains that Casey Stoner is not like you and me; indeed, he's not that much like many other motorcycle racers, whose passion for the sport would have kept them racing, rather than retiring at the tender age of 26. To me, Stoner's crash trying to beat Dani Pedrosa to the line was a rash and foolish move. Casey Stoner doesn't agree. But then he's the one with the world championships, and another on the line, while I'm just an idiot with a keyboard.

While Stoner was happy to accept the blame for crashing out while challenging Pedrosa, he was less than happy with the conduct of the marshals. According to the Australian, the marshals would not help him try to bumpstart his RC213V, to allow him to rejoin the race and grab a few points. It should have been relatively easy, Stoner said, but they simply refused. "There was nothing wrong with the bike, but they said no," Stoner said. "This is disappointing, when at different tracks they'll help different people, and then won't others."

Usually there is a reason why the marshals won't help some riders. It really depends on where you crash. Race Direction keeps a watchful eye on all crashes around the circuit, and if a bike ends up in a hazardous place, then Race Direction can tell the marshals to clear the bike as quickly as possible, rather than trying to help restart it. The bottom of the hill at the Sachsenring, with the fastest approach to a corner anywhere on the track, could probably be considered as a hazardous location.

Of course, Stoner rightly pointed out, if we didn't have a limited engine allocation, then this would not even be an issue. The bikes cut out automatically, immediately during practice and after a few seconds during the race, to stop the engine from destroying itself if the bike runs while it is laying on its side. But Stoner laid the blame for introducing engine allocations firmly at the door of Dorna, despite it being public knowledge that the request for limited engines came from the factories themselves, in casu, Honda. With the Japanese factories flying engines back to Japan for complete revisions every race, mileage being between 300 and 500km an engine, the MSMA proposed introducing a maximum of six engines a season. Once the initial redesign was completed, required to give the engines the necessary durability, costs have been saved. Engines now stay in the race trucks, instead of being flown to Japan at great expense, where an expensive crew of engineers carefully stripped and rebuilt the motors. This is exactly the kind of regulation which Stoner refers to when he says that the rule changes are making him lose his passion for the sport. That is understandable; what is not understandable is why he refuses to lay the blame at the actual culprits, rather than the party he views as the villains of the piece.

Stoner's move was not the only act of bravery or hubris, depending on which view you take. Cal Crutchlow did something similar, though the Englishman was rather more colorful in his mea culpa. "In all honesty, it was a stupid race, where I should have done so many things differently," Crutchlow said. He had the pace to run with Lorenzo, Crutchlow believed, but he had sat behind his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, with a plan to pass him with five laps to go. Crutchlow's problem was that he had no speed on the straight, and so he had had to risk more going into Turn 1. So much more that he ended up running straight on, into the gravel, and losing six places. He did not understand why he was so much slower than his teammate, he said, but the answer perhaps lies in Dovizioso's history on the Honda. When talking about the switch between the two, Dovizioso has continually said that the Honda's biggest strength is drive out of the corners. The Italian spent four years trying to capitalize on that strength, using the drive to catapult himself out of the corners. Now that he is on the Yamaha, Dovizioso has retained that skill, driving the bike forward more quickly than the other Yamaha riders and making it hard for Crutchlow to catch him along the front straight.

For an act of cold, calculated cunning, look no further than Valentino Rossi. The Italian had got mixed up with Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera, and decided against spending all his time battling with the two Ducatis. The setup change his team had tried - a reversion to the settings used at Estoril and Barcelona, and away from the slightly more Ducati-driven settings of Silverstone and Assen - had worked out well, allowing Rossi to run a consistent pace, a little slower than otherwise, but at least keeping his tire in one piece. As the end of the race drew near, Rossi made his move, disposing of Hayden and Barbera with relative ease. He was even lining up Stefan Bradl for a pass at the bottom of the hill, but Casey Stoner thwarted his plans, the yellow flags from the Australian's crash making a pass at that point of the track illegal. Still, this was the best result in the dry for Rossi and Ducati this season, and signs of progress were good.

More is obviously needed, Rossi said, as the problems can't all be solved using setup. The Mugello test would be crucial, he repeated. Help could be coming his way from Audi; senior Audi management was at the track on Sunday, and met with Rossi to share their plans with him. They were extremely enthusiastic about Ducati's MotoGP project, Rossi said, and were keen to have the Italian involved. They had not discussed any details, but Audi had made clear to Rossi that they were willing to make resources available and make the changes necessary for the bike to be fixed. Valentino Rossi, it appears, took a step closer to renewing his contract with Ducati at the Sachsenring.

Rossi's decision to switch from Yamaha to Ducati is yet another of those decisions which are either brave or foolhardy, depending on your point of view. Unlike Stoner's overly optimistic move on Pedrosa, however, Rossi doesn't get another shot at it next week. That kind of hubris is much, much longer term, but if it pays off, it will be the stuff of legend. The trouble is, that's a very, very big if.

Bold and fearless or brash and ill-advised? There was a lot of that sort of thing at the Sachsenring on Sunday, in all three classes. The most obvious example begging that question was what would have been Casey Stoner's last-corner lunge past Dani Pedrosa, had it not gone horribly wrong as he lined the pass up the corner before. We'll come to that later, but with a Moto3 race run in drying conditions and a Moto2 race where one of the favorites had to start from well down on the grid, there were plenty more to choose from.Moto3 turned into the usual war of attrition among the more psychotic contingent of the paddock - or more precisely, teenagers on fast motorbikes - with the coolest head of the front runners eventually prevailing. With Luis Salom and Alexis Masbou pushing Sandro Cortese down to the wire, it could have gone horribly wrong, but Cortese had saved his tire for the last few laps, pushing to break his two wild-eyed pursuers before he crossed the line, and preventing any late lunges which could have ended in tears. It was a race worthy of a champion, by Cortese, despite the massive pressure on him at his home round. In the press conference, he thanked his team manager Aki Ajo, for bringing some Finnish coolness to calm Cortese's Italian heritage.

Comments

BTW

Pedrosa won and moved into second in the points standing.

Total votes: 113

"and signs of progress were

"and signs of progress were good", I see it a completely different way. At the exception of Silverstone, in the dry, the gap between the first Ducati and the lead has always been 30 seconds. To make matters worse in the last 2 races the first Ducati has had a very tough time getting away from Barbera (in Assen he was ahead of Nicky until he ran into tyre trouble). Barbera is still racing the 8 month old, data gathering exercise GPZero instead of the GP12.
The last step forward Ducati made was in November when they fixed the unexpected crashing. I still hope Preziosi knows what he is doing and the updates he has planed finally work... a man can dream I guess.

Total votes: 91

Ambition outweighed his talent?

Kidding...

Good on Stoner for having a go! I wasn't expecting that at all. It was Marco Simoncelli-esque. Shame he couldn't pull it off but I appreciated the battle, real racer.

Rossi had me fooled, as a die hard fan the expletives came thick and fast initially. I guess I'm just a keyboard muppet as well because the way he just jumped everyone at the end was all class. Barbera looked quite the fool. As did I.

Total votes: 111

Rossi's Finish

Yeah he passed Barbera and Nicky, so what. The fact that Barbera is mixing it up with them on an "old" design means one of two things. Either the feedback given to Ducati from Burgess/Rossi is shit, or Preziosi needs to be fired! Pray for Audi to right the ship with their engineers and the ability to spit out variations in quick order!

Total votes: 109

What were you expecting?

What were you expecting? Rossi to be mixing at the front of the field or something?

They are where they've been all year, on a shit bike, mixing it with Barbera. I was just glad to see Rossi had a plan in place and wasn't going to just settle for 8th or 9th. He knows how the tyres been reacting with the bike and managed it well.

I think the fact that the factory can't or don't translate rider feedback is stating the obvious. Even Stoner had the same issues with the Bologna factory.

Total votes: 97

Rossi has asked, since

Rossi has asked, since November 2010, for Preziosi to fix the front end so he can ride his style on the bike. To this day that request hasn't been met. He hasn't looked like himself on the track since he was on a M1.

HRC, Furusawa and YEC, Burgess, nobody he has ever worked with has said Rossi's feedback is shit, in fact just the opposite. Burgess said to Ducati as this project began, "ignore him at your peril". Furusawa said out of everyone involved that Rossi was the most important factor and his feedback, instruction, and development work was crucial and key to their success.

Just as they did with Stoner, they ignored or should I say Preziosi, they ignored Rossi's request and pushed things forward the way they saw fit. At least to me nothing has changed at the factory. Ducati is making the bike the way they see fit and not listening to their riders. How many riders have complained about the front end? It's not just Rossi.

As far as the race I guess Stoner's "supernatural ability" wasn't there. That mistake cost him a crucial 20 points. A Ducati-esque mistake. He was going for it, everyone understands so why slag the engine rule or the marshals? The slagging is why he doesn't have more fans and respect. You made a mistake, accept it. You were going for it and did not want to accept defeat. That's commendable. Slagging the engine rule is commendable as well as I'm not a fan of it either and think it should be 12 engines. But for goodness sake it's your boss, HRC, that wanted that implemented. Casey quit bashing Dorna for rules the MSMA created and Honda spearheaded. It only makes you look like an ill-informed rookie for doing so.

Total votes: 131

Bricktop

Give it a rest. Stoner's ability was there for all to see for 99.9% of the race, and it looked to me like he was the fastest rider that day iff he could have found a way past Pedrosa. But he made a mistake, his first one for a very long time and lo and behold people like you are on his case about it. The same people that cry about how the races are boring because nobody attemps a pass anymore.

As for the marshalls, I's have been annoyed as well if they didn't let me rejoin with a functioning bike! Even if they had good reason. And even with the bent clutch lever Stoner probably could have made it to the finish line from where he was.

Total votes: 107

The place where he went down

The place where he went down was the issue so don't blame the marshals for that.

I'll state it again, because maybe you didn't read what I wrote. It's commendable that Stoner was going for it, did not want to accept defeat. The moaning over the engine rule and slagging of the marshals is what I was talking about. DE said more or less the same thing. What he should have done is stated that he made a mistake and moved on.

Total votes: 105

Different ways to see this

optimistic: Rossi was relatively at ease to put late moves on the other Ducatis, 8 seconds down on the podium

objective: Rossi 6th place is his best dry result this season

pessimistic: Rossi is still 30 seconds down on the winner (which is 1 second per lap) and barely 1 second from being dead last prototype rider (Battaini notwithstanding).

And I would agree that it is worrying that Barbera on the old "November 2011 version of the GP0" is consistently as fast as the factory riders with the "90% new" bike with constant development.

Total votes: 94

Yamaha and Tech3

Let's put a bit of a spin on the Ducati satellite team, are we just not giving Barbera credit for being able to ride the older satellite Ducati? I see his speed as similar to how the Tech3 boys are able to run with Ben, and sometimes with Lorenzo at the start. lets be objective about it, I think Barbera would be even faster on a Honda or Yamaha, but im not looking up numbers to support any of this.

Total votes: 96

Rain a factor ?

If Stoner was already pushing to the limit, perhaps the rain which started falling at that exact moment, may have been the deciding factor ?

Total votes: 100

What really had me in awe was

What really had me in awe was Pedrosa and Stoner on the last lap, they both looked like they were on the absolute razor's edge and giving it everything they had. Pedrosa wanted this win, Bad.

In my humble opinion, Stoner just lost the front, pure & simple. He had too far to go due to Pedrosa's frantic and amazing efforts. Really impressed by both of them this race.

What I'm really waiting for is to hear about Nicky's plans for next year. Things aren't looking so great.

Total votes: 120

yes, razor's edge and awe

I was sitting there really worried that one or both of them was going to bin it, and it happened.

I wish Stoner hadn't made his comment about the marshalls but I do think he's got a point - that they do appear to pick and choose who they help. I have a sneaking feeling that Rossi would have received the assistance he needed. I doubt race direction had time to instruct the marshalls not to help Stoner - the race was about to finish.

Total votes: 111

You're selling your self short, David...

"...To me, Stoner's crash trying to beat Dani Pedrosa to the line was a rash and foolish move. Casey Stoner doesn't agree. But then he's the one with the world championships, and another on the line, while I'm just an idiot with a keyboard...".

You're definitely selling yourself short David. You may have a keyboard in your possession, but rather than being an idiot, your writings are amongst the most insightful, lucid and articulate produced in motorsports journalism.

Total votes: 115

I think he's right

In the mind of some riders (and most definitely Casey) journalists can't be that far off from "idiots with a keyboard".
And don't even ask Preziosi, Rossi's crew and the entire Ducati staff what they think about every idiot with a keyboard, journalist or not, that knows how to fix their bike ;-)

Total votes: 88

Pride is Superman's Kryptonite...

Racer or not... sometimes it's better to take 2nd place especially on a track that DP26 seems to own every time he's out front! I'm a Stoner fan... but that was just dumb! Jorge is not going to roll-over due to his injuries. Jorge and the M1 is a HUGE problem for Casey retiring with the No.1 plate. Casey would have settled for 2nd place in 2011... but now that he's retiring??? For 2012 CS27 is 'venting' about everything that pops into his mind! You would think that having his wife back on the grid would calm him down!? Somebody should sit him down (on a couch) and let him get all his 'issues' off his chest so he can get back to riding like the champion of last year!

Total votes: 105

Stoner says there was nothing

Stoner says there was nothing wrong with his bike and that it was perfect. Maybe someone needs to show him his clutch lever you can clearly see in this pic and tell him to go on about his business and stop his usual pointing of fingers when he doesn't come first. http://i.imgur.com/JX4cO.png

Total votes: 103

That could be a lever with a break away hinge

But I agree in every other respect.

Total votes: 76

No serious damage to #1

Yep, folding lever, folded up. The bike was good to go.

Total votes: 93

It was folded up in the

It was folded up in the gravel but while still on the track it was folded under and what looked like towards the bar. That's also not taking into account if his rear sets or anything else on the left side was broken and that it had just started to rain. I'd like to see clearer pictures of the bike after the crash but no way would you expect marshalls to push start someone in the penultimate corner on the final lap while is just started to rain. Either way it's classic Stoner, he'll take blame for the crash or whatever position he finishes but not all of it. He always has to shift blame somewhere else. I guess that helps him sleep at night, I don't know but that's the one thing which he's always done that's rubbed fans the wrong way.

Total votes: 95

I am waiting for Rossi to

I am waiting for Rossi to take some of the blame for the state of the Ducati. But no he is just shifting the blame everywhere else as are his fans.

What if Bradl (German) had of fallen right there where Stoner did whilst challenging for the race win. One corner to go. Would the German marshall's have tried to get him going again?

Help everyone or help no-one. Take the emotion out of it.

Total votes: 104

Don't hold your breath..

What if..?

Total votes: 78

May i suggest

May i suggest that somebody needs to take you to a race track and show you what happens to a bike that lowsides and doesnt flip in the gravel.

Total votes: 91

Crutchlow and his excuses.

First of all a great weekend with some brilliant sporting actions all round.

A thrilling moto2 followed by equally nail biting motogp with fights throughout the order and a brilliant F1 race. Finishing with a sweet slam for Federer.

Moto2 - Couldnt have been any better. Ianone fighting and losing the front. Pol fighting through the field and had he not had that huge moment he might have been on the podium. Surprisingly Mika and AlexDeAngelis on podium. Congrats to Marquez on a brilliant victory.

Motogp - Again a brilliant brilliant race, what more could you ask when you see Lorenzo not leading, Dani and Stoner fighting it out at the max at front.

Would have been a perfect race had stoner not crashed and collected 20 valuable championship points. But he went for glory and went down.

Crutchlow when you see all that talk about about needing a factory ride - While he maybe fast but am not sure about his mental ability to read through the circumstances and act accordingly. He should have waited for a right opportunity to pass Dovi and he probably would have had a podium to celebrate. There have been number of instances where he was behind Dovi and went into the gravel trap.

Overall a nice weekend with all round action.

Total votes: 95

Dovi's probably the best of the 'humans' at the minute,

so finding the right opportunity to overtake him, particularly as he has always been a very good late-breaker, is a lot easier said than done. He was making sure his lines lowered the chance of being overtaken, and rode a canny race.
Dunno that Cal could have passed him based on what I saw - never seemed to quite have enough to get the job done.

Total votes: 87

There's a very, very simple way to fix the marshal "problem".

Don't let them help a rider get back into the race at all, except for getting the bike off of him and upright, as appropriate. They're not your crew.

Total votes: 90

Take it further. If a

Take it further. If a marshall has to touch the bike at all then it must be taken off the circuit. They can not touch it unless the rider gives permission first. Unless of cause the rider is injured and unable to give that permission.

Total votes: 95

There's a very, very simple way to fix the marshal "problem".

Don't let them help a rider get back into the race at all, except for getting the bike off of him and upright, as appropriate. They're not your crew.

Total votes: 95

Yes!

+ 1

Total votes: 88

BSB

Or take it further and copy BSB. Drop the bike and you're out of the race. No restarts.

Total votes: 85

"win or bin it" that's true racer...

I would say im not happy the race went for stoner because of the crash but in the positive side i saw the true racer in him a win or bin attitude. Just like in his ducati days he always said "if you are afraid to take the risk then you are afraid to win" I just went to crashnet and i had a big laugh because a lot of stoner haters were jumping for joy. haha. If the pace of hondas will be the same in the upcoming races then i see a different stoner. David could you pls tell us if honda eliminate the chatter and tyre problems? cheers mate!

Total votes: 82

yea i second that David. Did

yea i second that David. Did Honda roll out a new chassis at Sachsenring to fix the chatter? or was the pace due to low grip/ overcast conditions..?

Total votes: 86

Sachsenring is mostly left-handers

David mentioned that the chattering on the Hondas was way worse on right-handers, so that would explain why it has not been such an issue here.
Also the Repsol boys got a new chassis from the Catalunya test, they reported little to no improvement but I think Dani used it in Assen and Sachsenring, not sure about Casey.
They'll probably have a new one to test at Mugello, help is on its way from Tokyo.

Total votes: 88

Torque twist? Is that the problem?

Seems hard to fathom that a modern race bike would suffer from such a thing? I remember TZ 750s suffering this exact problem, they'd hit the powerband and you would see the frame/swing arm flexing trying to contain the drive... The rear wheel would be skewed off the vertical to the right (from behind), and the moment the rider dropped the gas for gear change, all hell would break loose... it would flick the back of the bike hard to the left! If the riders bum was still on the seat, then there was good chance he'd high side it to the right... I can't believe this would be the problem, Honda couldn't get the frame design so wrong...

Total votes: 83

win it or bin it

I'm a big fan of Stoner's yet I think he was wrong to push so hard for the win in this case. 'Win it or bin it' is just another way of saying you're not thinking beyond the next twenty minutes, and well... sometimes it is the right attitude. But in this case, it wasn't. Thrill of winning a race being more important than the championship? Again, OK most of the time if that's how you want to see it... but this is his last season. He will be remembered and defined by how he finishes this season, not by the result of any single race!
As it was, he was gifted 25 points by Lorenzo and now he threw that gift away. Shame, real shame.

Total votes: 84

I've heard they put some sort

I've heard they put some sort of suspension at the place were the chain connects to the wheel (I don't know the word in English, in Spanish is "Corona"), actually between the "corona" and the wheel, that damps the rear chatter a little.

Total votes: 84

Casey, the Hondas and Lorenzo

Seems like the chatter issue, although not completely resolved, was certainly better than at any stage so far this year. It was also clear that Danni's pace was excellent. Admittedly the track is a favourite of his, so we may not see such pace elsewhere.

Lorenzo once again showed that consistency is key. Another superb ride!

As fan of Casey's since he first went to Europe, I was a little shocked by the lack of appreciation by him of the situation he was in, he'd been gifted equal first on points by Bautista and then proceded to extinguish his good luck.

1. Some see Casey as a 'racer', however its also a championship, requiring the best a rider can give day in day out. See Lorenzo for details on how this is achieved.

2. The move on Danni was building and was not very smart, a brain explosion of the highest magnitude, he now has the two fastest competitors in front of him.. hmm tactically the move was immature. Two laps earlier I told the long suffering Mrs he'd bin it or win it...unfortunately!

3. His reaction afterwards shows how young he is, sure we all get heated, but the officials are not your 'road service crew', stay out the gravel if you want to win championships. Its this sort of outburst which makes me think he will regret the retirement decision, too young in attitude sometimes. In 2014 will he be back? I hope so.

Anyway, if he doesn't fall again, and the chatter is truly resolved, he is still the fastest... and my money is on him to take number 3.

Great to see young Jack Miller find his feet, a terrific ride....

Total votes: 111

Great race

David, if I'm not mistaken Espargaro finished 4th and Luthi 5th. Now back to main topics;
Rossi finished 6th, good on him. But, had Stoner not crashed and Bautista didn't start from pit lane he'll finish 8th, his favorite place so far. I guess its another luck for him, at least he beats Hayden.
As much as a Stoner fan I am, I swear he needs to calm down a bit. He looks like a machine gun, keeps firing until he runs out of ammos. Its annoying and hilarious at the same time.
Quoted from @MotoGP » Stoner: "I'm pretty disappointed, I had planned to go for my 'win or bin' effort in the last corner, not that one!" I know he meant it seriously, I also think he tried to joke somewhat. I LOLed.
Credit to Pedrosa, he shows his detractors what he's capable of and why he deserves another contract from HRC.
Credit to Stoner, in this time of 'settle-for-points', he still got the 'win-or-bin' attitude in him. Although he bins it eventually.

I'm gutted.

Total votes: 90

No word on Lorenzo's remark about Bridgestone?

He was definitely not happy to have been "strongly advised" to stick to the harder tire, his run on the softie in warm-up indicates he wanted to race this tire (not saying he could have raced with the Repsols even with this tire).
But BS allegedly told him to run the hard spec because chunks could fall off from the soft, did they really say that?
If so, that's another failure in my book, when they bring soft tires they cannot warrant for competitive race pace for 30 laps but it's reasonable to expect from them to bring tires that they are confident will stay in one piece.

Total votes: 91

Lorenzo Saving his Engine?

Gutted for Stoner, but he tried his best, as always.

One thing I was wondering, did Lorenzo just accept early on that he did not have the pace to challenge the Hondas this time, and just back off on his Yamaha a little to save the engine? He seemed to be keeping Dovi et al at 6 or so seconds but was dropping off the Honda guys like a stone. If so, that was cunning and it worked out well for him.

Total votes: 76

Delete me

Double Post

Total votes: 81

I was shaking...

First: Brilliant article.

About the race. I was one of the biggest fan of Doohan. And ended watching MotoGP when he was gone. Few years back I have found somebody who have pull me in again. It was Dani Pedrosa. So much crashes, so much bad luck...

But this race... OMG! Old times. Flashback on Doohan vs Criville! Epic in my eyes.

I know Stoner is angry. But Dani was hitting fastest lap in last lap of the race. Casey can say "we have a pace to go past", but I doubt that. Dani was pushing like insane. There was no way anybody was going past him. Casey have realized that wen he hit dirt. Brave move, I respect that. But if you risk it on a razor edge, you can get hurt, even riders of Casey level can push too far.

My view. But I am biased of course.

LP

Total votes: 94

At the end of the day..

MotoGP was the winner. Or some purile cliche.
Win it or Bin it mightn't work for all, but at least shows he retains an Australian sense of humour.
"Watch This" works for me, (or sometimes doesn't), as my riding mates will attest, holding back laughs.

There's always old KR Junior 6th place videos for those that prefer that sort of Championship.

Total votes: 95

Stoner's Crash, Pedrosa's win, Hayden

First off, in my view, Pedrosa rode a beautiful race and looked smoother and to have better lines than Stoner all day. I don't blame Stoner for going for it at all, you win some you loose some, the championship is not out of reach, it may even be more of a challenge to come from behind for him. I am a racer and I applaud his heart just as I do Crazy Joe's. That is what makes the sport exciting and what keeps me coming back to watch every week.
The complaints about the marshals and Dorna are to be expected by Stoner at this point, he is a whiner, which is the only aspect of him that I will not miss come next year.
I was very disappointed with Hayden's performance. He is not doing himself any favors. It seems like he followed Crutchlow in everything this weekend.

PS: I am not a Pedrosa fan at all, but he deserves credit for the win and it was good to see some emotion on the podium.

Total votes: 89

whiner what?

Yeah you're not pedrosa fan but i think you're just one of stoner hater. Stoner i think the honest and straight forward rider in terms of media or pr thing. Many people mis interpret him because the way he elaborate or complaint everything. I don't know why people so angry to him. We complain but it doesn't mean we are whiner. Bike racing is not personality contest. I agree with you with hayden. I hope hayden join wsbk next season. I would love to see casey stoner in ducati after valencia as a test rider just like what rdp did in suzuki.

Total votes: 89

Mr. Vandgal...

please, don´t feel so sad, sometimes these things happen...
Oh, and by the way, you forgot to account Cal on your comment on Rossi's good fortune.

And to think that that "lucky bastard" is standing in 6th in the championship ( in front of Bradl, Bautista and Spies)... pure luck, i mean...

Great race for Dani, as expected; and a good one for De Angelis, he's always been strong there ( and the change for FTR was great news!)

I think it's time for Rossi to stop being "so lucky" and change bike too!! last race was just pure horror!

Total votes: 95

Pure luck??

I am not Rossi fan but that is just load of ****. That second place in wet was pure luck for you?

Total votes: 87

Win it or bin it!

I can understand the win it or bin it philosofy, but then I cannot understand "pick it up and score a few points". If you go for all or nothing, you can't say "give me just a little" afterwards.
I do like Stoner, but if he wanted just a few points he should've settled for 20.

Total votes: 94

Of course it's not all about weight.....but do the sums

Helps explain why......

Ben struggles against the other Yams, especially Dovi....
Ben - 71 Kg
Cal - 66 Kg
Jorge - 65 Kg
Dovi - 54 Kg

....and Cal slower than Dovi

Hector is consistently up with the other Ducati's
Hector - 53 Kg
Valentino - 67 Kg
Nicky - 69 Kg
Karel - 72 Kg

Lightest rider Dani - 50 Kg

Total votes: 90

Hm

Cal is not really slower then Dovi. He just make more mistakes. Jorge is a lot faster then Dovi. Simoncelli was fighting with Dani, similar bike. Of course, weight play the part, but with this much power .... I would say hight is more of a problem then weight.

Total votes: 77

BAUTISTA

While the battle for the lead was epic all race, with both Pedrosa and Stoner on the limit, we saw too little on TV of Bautista's rocket-like run through the field using the soft rear Bridgestone. That tyre appeared to have worked well to the end. To this observer, it seemed his arrival in the Hayden-Barbera-Rossi-Crutchlow freight train was what resulted in some last minute changes of position, ultimately leading to Valentino grabbing seventh, then inheriting sixth with Stoner's crash. Up to then, Hayden had been leading that bunch, in pursuit of the man everyone keeps overlooking, Stefan Bradl. Excellent result from a MotoGP rookie, especially with the pressure building behind him. He made no mistakes. A VERY mature ride. One that Crutchlow, for one, could do well to emulate. One wonders whether Spanish wunder kinder Marquez will be as good. As for Stoner, he appears to have been infected with Doohan Disease, a win-at-all-costs mind-set. He needs to be careful about this, or he could end up like Wayne Gardner in 1989... Pedrosa won me 20 bucks though, so I'm happy...

Total votes: 82

Rossi Development

I never said I expected to see Rossi near the front, but relatively speaking, after numerous chassis variations, Barbera should be nowhere close on the GP 0. Hayden says the latest version is the best he has ridden since being with Ducati. Maybe Barbera would be spanking them both if he had a factory bike? Are we underestimating Barbera's talent? I know this, in my opinion, and that of many journalists, development is going backwards. Ducati needs to clean house in the race department. Oh, and don't forget, Rossi/Burgess said they would have the bike fixed in three races. 2 years later he is using Hayden's set up and says after a test that the bike is better, then 3 weeks later says I don't know what happened to the feeling. It's not all Ducati.

Total votes: 76

¿"numerous chassis

¿"numerous chassis variations"? Well, I guess one is a number.

Total votes: 81

You can't be serious? 2011

You can't be serious?

2011 they had to start form pit lane because they ran out of variations that would work with the mounts on the engine. Then remember how they tested the GP12 which surprisingly became an 800 and was then raced. This was all before they introduced an aluminium frame still in 2011. They then started the testing at the end of the season with a GP12.Zero before arriving at the current full aluminium twin spar chassis.

Ducati have done more chassis in the last 18mths then they probably have since being in GP's. But acknowledging this makes it hard to lay all the blame on Ducati so I understand.

Yeah it is only 1 chassis!!!!!!!!!!

Total votes: 84

Re-use, reduce, re-cycle...

Yep the reason it takes so long to produce an updated chassis is because they need to wait till there's no race or testing scheduled, so they can melt it down and re-cast it :)

Total votes: 72

"after numerous chassis

"after numerous chassis variations, Barbera should be nowhere close on the GP 0"
Chassis variations between GPZero and current GP12: 1
Aluminum Chassis variations in Ducati's history: 2

Total votes: 73

Chassis numbers

What rock have you been under? You need to read a bit more. As mentioned by the other post, they have been making modifications non stop to this chassis since the middle of last year with the 800 motor when they started from the pits. Rossi has been complaining how every modification brought to the bike makes no difference. I forgive you though. ;-)

Total votes: 70

Mmm... I think maybe I need

Mmm... I think maybe I need to do some research but all the work they did last year up until the pits incident was on carbon fibre chassis not aluminium. They gave Rossi 1 Aluminium chassis to race in 2011 then they debut the GPZero one and then the GP12. So 3 aluminium chassis, 2 iteration total since 2011, no chassis development what so ever on the actual 2012 bike (for now hopefully).

Total votes: 74

Technically they tested/used

Technically they tested/used an aluminum version of the "frameless" chassis, but so what? That design was a dead end (lowside crashes anyone?), so I'm not sure how it's even relevant to the discussion of "numerous chassis variations". It's absolutely true that there has been 1 chassis upgrade since the GP0 that Barbera is on, and as the factory team still has chassis problems, there's no guarantee it was much of an improvement.

It also begs the question, if they are on the 9th, 10th and 11th best bikes on the grid, exactly how far ahead of the 11th place bike should the 9th and 10th place bikes be? The factory Ducs are not at the level of any Honda/Yamaha bikes, so naturally they are finishing just in front of the satellite Ducs.

Total votes: 71

Stoner - a flash of reality

I was struck with the dreads when Marco was fooling about before the race at Sepang - a happy young man, surrounded by what he loved most. I remember thinking then, with a sinking stomach, how dreadful it would be if it all ended right now.....

I had the same horrible feeling when I saw that shot during one of the FPs, of Stoner, sitting in his garage watching Adrianna play with the baby? It clarified for me just why the man is where he is at the moment.

He's one of the real greats, probably the fastest rider I've seen in 50-odd years of watching bike sport, and that means he isn't like the rest of us. He's different - in all sorts of ways.

But on Friday, and again post-race, I saw that he's a young man, a bit scared by life and thoughts of loss and mortality.

I'm irritated by him and his grumbling but that's just me, a bloke who sits and watches from the sidelines.

I'm glad for him that realism about his priorities has tapped him on the shoulder.

Total votes: 82

I dont know who you are?

Teeaitch but your comment is superb, just brilliant! You should write often, I for one will be watching for your input.

Do you think he would've bettered fast Freddie (sober) same bike same place?

The fact he is so young and his attitude has been restricted by his precious talent, do you think in a year, that he will miss the adrenaline, and know he has left unfinished business?

Rossi, Stoner and Audi fixing ducati? I'd like to see that...

Total votes: 81

Sober Fast Freddie?

Sober? I don't think Freddie had a drink problem did he? I wasnt around back then but I thought he was a super religious type. So much so that God himself used to change the direction of the wind so it was always at Freddies back as he went around the track, or so one of his rivals claimed.

The little bit of Freddie I've seen makes me think he was similar in talent to Stoner. I saw a Trans-atlantic series dvd a couple of years ago. The race was Freddies 1st trans-atlantic. He turned up to Donnington (or was it Brands?) for practice, took the bike out of the van and beat the lap record by 1 second on his 1st run on a World Championship track that he hadn't seen before, or so Barry Sheene claimed in the dvd. Sheene said he hadn't ever seen anything like him.

I would love to see Stoner go back to Ducati though, even for 1 day. Maybe attend the Monday test after Valencia and ride the GP12 around for the day (i.e. do 5-6 laps), would love to see what he could do with it..

Total votes: 70

Unfortunately he has fallen on hard times

I dont think he ever raced under the influence, but in later years after his divorce he lost his way. Google 'Freddie Spencer riding school' and you'll get the gist of what happened to this amazing rider.

You're right though, as a youngster he was the cleanest living of the lot...

Total votes: 73

Stoner

It is with real interest that I read all the comments on Stoner. He is another person who has obvious talent but also probably had a very different upbringing from most. He was schooled at home by his Mum and never really spent a lot of time with others as I understand it. In my opinion he deals with life pretty well considering his upbringing and his way of dealing with life is, well, just his way and different. Add to that the Ozzie traits, Aussie mannerisms and Oz humour and Australian way of doing things down under and you should really expect something different.
As for his racing manner there is another BIG difference in his upbringing. His father was only concerned with pouring his SPECIAL fuel mixes into Casey's dirt track bike totally ignoring the pogo stick he was riding much to the amazement and concern from fellow Dads who pleaded often for something to be done about the suspension. It all fell on deaf ears and more strange smelling fuel went in if Casey wasn't winning. Power was all that mattered and the handling, or lack of it, was Casey's problem from very early on. But it does give you some idea of WHY Casey is Stoner!
He is different, cause his life experiences have been different and I respect it. Don't always agree with it, its different but hey how boring would it be without different personalities out there. Take Rossi for example.
Cheers
Pilbara

Total votes: 64

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