Archive

March 23rd, 2014

2014 Qatar Moto3 Warm Up Result: Rins Quick Early

Results:

2014 MotoGP Rule Cheat Sheet: The Open, Factory And Ducati Regulations At A Glance

One of the main complaints aimed at the last-minute rule changes in MotoGP is that they made it impossible to explain to the casual viewer exactly who is riding what, and why. How many categories are there exactly in MotoGP? Who has more fuel and who doesn't? And who loses what privileges if they win or podium? To clear up some of the confusion, here is our simple guide to the categories in MotoGP.

There are two categories of bike entered into MotoGP:

  • Open 
  • Factory Option

All MotoGP bikes, Open or Factory Option, are 1000cc four strokes with a maximum capacity of 1000cc, a maximum bore of 81mm, and a minimum weight of 160kg. They all use the standard Magneti Marelli ECU* and datalogger. They all have a choice of 2 different compounds of tires at each race. Each team has to decided whether to enter as Open or Factory Option team before the start of the season (28th February). Once the season is underway, they cannot switch until the following season.

The differences between the two classes are as follows:

Open

2014 Qatar MotoGP Saturday Round Up - Marquez' Miracle, Espargaro Under Pressure, And Honda Back In Moto3 Business

On Thursday night, it looked like a revolution had been unleashed in MotoGP. After qualifying on Saturday, that revolution has been postponed. Three Spaniards on pole, two Spaniards on the front row for both MotoGP and Moto3. No prizes for guessing the names of any of the polesitters, all three were hotly tipped favorites at the beginning of the year.

So what has changed to restore order to the proceedings? In a word, track time. When the riders took to the track on Thursday, the factory riders had a lot of catching up to do. They had been down at Phillip Island, a track which has lots of grip and puts plenty of load into the tires. The heat resistant layer added to the 2013 tires really comes into its own, the track imbuing the riders with confidence. Qatar is a low grip track, thanks in part to the cooler temperatures at night, but the sand which continuously blows onto the track also makes it extremely abrasive, posing a double challenge to tire makers. Use rubber which is too soft, and the tire is gone in a couple of laps. Make it hard enough to withstand the abrasion, and it's hard to get the tire up to temperature.

Coming to Qatar is always tricky, riders needing time to build confidence and learn to trust the tires. Coming to Qatar from Phillip Island is a culture shock, and takes a while to get your head around. Riders need to throw away everything they have just learned, and start again. That, Bradley Smith explained, was one of the reasons he was on the front row – his first in MotoGP, a significant achievement for the young Briton – and the factory Movistar Yamaha riders weren't. 'Australia wasn't great for the factory guys, because they got to ride a tire which isn't this one,' he told the press conference. Smith and the other satellite riders had come from Sepang, another low-grip track, and spent three more days on the same tire and in similar grip conditions. 'Testing here ten days ago has helped a lot,' Smith concluded.

March 22nd

2014 Qatar MotoGP Saturday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Saturday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

Scott Jones In Qatar: Friday Night In The Desert


Night becomes day for Cal Crutchlow


Meet the new boss. Aleix Espargaro has blown everyone away at Qatar


Valentino Rossi's led-lit helmet looks great under the floodlights

2014 Qatar MotoGP FP4 Result: Smith Sets The Pace

Bradley Smith set the fastest time (1'55.427) of the final free practice Saturday as riders attempted to make final adjustments and tire choices for Sunday's race.  Marc Marquez managed second fastest only five-thousandths behind the Briton. Aleix Espargaro, who has led every practice session and portions of FP4, came in third.

None of the times matched the fastest times from Friday. The riders have qualifying practice coming up.

Results:

2014 Qatar Moto3 QP Result: Don't Call It A Comeback -- Yet

Results Below:

2014 Qatar MotoGP Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the second day of practice at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice at Qatar on Friday :

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar MotoGP Friday Round Up - The Myth Of Fairness, And Aleix Espargaro's One-Man Revolution

When was the last time a non-factory rider won a MotoGP race? Any MotoGP fan worth their salt will be able to give you year, track and rider: 2006, Estoril, Toni Elias. Ask them why he won and they will give you all sorts of answers – Dani Pedrosa taking out Nicky Hayden in the early laps, Colin Edwards not being able to maintain his pace to the end of the race, Kenny Roberts Jr misjudging the number of laps left in the race, or, as Valentino Rossi put it, because 'Toni ride like the devil' – but none they can be sure of.

There is a less well-known explanation for Elias' performance, though. Ahead of the Estoril race, Elias was given a set of the overnight special tires shipped in especially for Michelin factory riders. In this case, Elias was handed a set of 'Saturday night specials' destined for Dani Pedrosa, but which Pedrosa had elected not to use, and so were going spare. Elias liked the same kind of soft carcass tire which Pedrosa was being offered, and went on to exploit the advantage it offered.

What does that have to do with Friday at Qatar? Two things. Firstly, it highlights exactly how important tires are in motorcycle racing. Tires dictate a huge amount of the performance of a motorcycle. They are the connection between the bike and the track, but that is a very full and complex function. Tires determine how far a bike can be leaned, how much drive the bikes can get out of a corner, how well the power delivery of an engine transfers to the tarmac, how hard the bike can brake, they provide a certain amount of suspension, and they pass information about track surface, grip conditions and where the limits of braking and turning are for a motorcycle. And that's just the beginning. Tires are (quite literally) a black art. Their complexity cannot be underestimated.

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