Editor's Blog

Photographer's Blog: A Story About an Ending

For years Phillip Island has been a track I'd planned to go to, but for one reason or another, it was a trip I'd not been able to make happen. I was ticking off other top locations such as Catalunya, Mugello, Assen, places that were Bucket List items for me both as a race fan and a photographer. But PI wouldn't cooperate.

As soon as Casey issued his surprise announcement that he was retiring, I knew I had to make it to Phillip Island. This time there could be no excuse: I had to see Casey ride at his home track, and this was my last chance. Fortunately for me, there was still some money in the bank from the Elbow Down edition to pay for airfare and expenses. And my wife, whose patience and kindness seem to know no bounds, agreed to manage the childcare without my help yet again this season. I booked the trip and held my breath.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Ben Spies: when voodoo strikes

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


This is the time of year I usually indulge myself with a list of awards, handing out praise and criticism, perhaps bearing a grudge or two and exacting a little revenge here and there.

But this year I’m only going to hand out one award because I don’t think there’s ever been a more deserving winner of any award than this. It’s for the unluckiest rider of the year, and the winner is former factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies whose 2012 season was such a tale of unmitigated disaster that it was (ironically) round 13 before he even had an incident-free race. I’ve been working the GP trail for a quarter of a century and I’ve never known a rider suffer so badly, week in, week out.

Photographer's Blog: Interview with Milena Koerner, Tech 3 Communication and Media Officer

 

At the 2012 Misano round, Scott caught up with Milena Koerner, Communication and Press Officer at Tech 3 Yamaha. We spoke over lunch in the team's hospitality, and as if to illustrate exactly how vital Milena is to this team's efforts, members of the Tech 3 staff stopped by to ask her questions every few minutes. They promptly received answers, or Milena got up to solve the problem quickly herself before returning to our interview. Milena does the work of several people, as you'll see when reading about her past experience and her current role at Tech 3.

Scott Jones: Please describe you role at Tech 3. Obviously you do more than get one rider to his media debriefs.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Marquez impresses at MotoGP winter test

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


MotoGP winter testing began on Tuesday in very wintry conditions, which isn’t the idea of winter testing.

The weather was so grim at Valencia that Yamaha packed up and headed 150 miles north to Aragon, pursued by rent-a-cars full of journalists and photographers anxious for their first glimpse of Valentino Rossi and his new Yamaha getting down to it on slicks.

They needn’t have bothered – the weather wasn’t much better at Aragon – so Rossi and new/old team-mate Jorge Lorenzo learned nothing. In fact Lorenzo did learn something – that it’s very easy to crash in the wet, but then he knew that already. Yamaha should’ve gone south, to Jerez, or even north, to Brands Hatch, where the autumn sun shone beautifully.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Jorge Lorenzo – as cool as it gets

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


You’ve got to hand it to Jorge Lorenzo.

During 2012 he was the rock in a rough sea. This has been a stormy year of dizzying change in MotoGP: the arrival of CRT bikes, Casey Stoner retiring, Valentino Rossi changing jobs once again and finally the Bridgepoint bombshell. All year, only one thing stayed truly consistent: Lorenzo.

His results at the 16 races he finished on his way to the title were stunning – never outside the top two. First at Qatar, then second, second, first, first, first, second, first, second, second, second, first, second, second, second, second.

That kind of regularity is unique in the modern era and Lorenzo is certainly a unique racer. He has a very individual approach to the sport and he rides in a very special way.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Time For Casey Stoner To Say Goodbye

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


There’s barely going to be standing room on Phillip Island this weekend.

Advance ticket sales suggest that the crowd will be at least double last year’s and possibly even bigger than the event record, achieved at the very first Australian GP in 1989 when the nation was in the grip of Wayne Gardner fever.

Aussie fans will be turning out in force to say goodbye to Casey Stoner, their first premier-class champ to whom they’ve had the chance to say a proper farewell. Both Gardner and Mick Doohan made hurried exits from bike racing, due to injury. Gardner announced his retirement a few months after missing the 1992 Australian GP due to a broken leg suffered at Suzuka. Doohan announced his retirement not long after missing Phillip Island in 1999 due to injuries sustained at Jerez.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: If I Was King of MotoGP and WSB…

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


Bridgepoint’s announcement that MotoGP and World Superbike are to be run by the same company is the most significant happening in motorcycle racing since WSB’s launch a quarter of a century ago.

Dorna will now run both championships, which will allow them to arrange technical rules, race calendars and so on to the benefit of both. In theory, at least.

It is a huge deal from a commercial perspective that is likely to have a major impact on fans, for better or worse. I am hopeful, even though monopolies are not a good thing and even though I’m not keen on many changes that Dorna have made over the years.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Rules The Hot Topic In MotoGP

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


It’s ten days since a potentially thrilling climax to the MotoGP championship disintegrated to the sound of shattered carbon-fibre and a chorus of Spanish expletives. Time for a cool, calm reappraisal of the events.

Casey Stoner: Elbow Down

One of the great things about working with David at MotoMatters is that doing so gets me to some amazing places, now and then in position to grab an image that really means a lot to me. From time to time, one of those images resonates with others as well.

Last year at Catalunya I happened to get Casey Stoner dragging his elbow around Turn 5, and as soon as that shot appeared on this website it began an amazing journey. It's the only work of mine that has approached something that might be called 'viral' in how it spread around the world. 

Before long I was hearing from new Twitter, Facebook and other fans, but also from Alpinestars, HRC and Repsol Honda, Bridgestone, and even from Casey himself, who asked for a copy of the image. His mechanics put the photo on their laptops as desktop wallpaper, and some of them are still using it. When I spoke to Adrianna Stoner and used the image to introduce myself at Silverstone, she said, "Oh, that's your picture. We still get it emailed to us about every five minutes." 

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Who’s it going to be: Jorge or Dani?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


In MotoGP, no race is any more important than another. They all carry 25 points for the win. But from here on in, every race of the 2012 championship is going to feel especially crucial.

With 12 rounds done and six to go, just 13 points separate Jorge Lorenzo from Dani Pedrosa, so at every race the advantage will swing one way or the other.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Honda: Goodbye MotoGP, Hello WSB?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


These are strange days in MotoGP. World Champion Casey Stoner is quitting and Ben Spies may follow him, both of them complaining that they don’t like MotoGP’s current direction away from pure prototypes.

That’s bad, but much worse is the fact that HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) are also talking about withdrawing their factory squad. Even worse than that, HRC are talking about defecting to World Superbike, MotoGP’s arch-rival.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Rossi's Tactical Retreat

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


As a world-class cynic who fled his hometown for the duration of the London Olympics, I have to admit that even I enjoyed the Games.

Team GB’s performance proved that if you invest the correct amount of time, money and brains, anything is possible. Even in Britain. Hopefully the country will learn something from the past two weeks, so that the Olympics will be remembered as something more than the icing on a rather mouldy cake.

Photographer's Blog: A Story of Racing Portraits

I've been thinking a lot lately about what advice and help I can give other photographers, largely because I'm leading a photography seminar two weeks before the MotoGP round at Laguna Seca. In addition to technique, camera settings, and workflow secrets, I'll also be talking about the 'mental game' of photography, and one of the ideas of this aspect of getting interesting pictures is overcoming shyness and having the courage to take risks.

The above portrait of Romano Fenati and his father, Claudio, is one of my favorites from 2012, and I'd like to share its tale, both for those who are interested in a behind the scenes MotoGP story, and also for my fellow shooters who enjoy occasionally finding photography-related comments in this space.

Photographer's Blog: This is No Sport for Old Men

Sometimes the guy in 6th place gets there with such style that his story is more compelling, more inspiring, and more enjoyable than the victor's. For me, the biggest story of Silverstone 2012 starts at least as early as Donington in 2008. James Toseland showed up to his home race in his rookie G.P. year to find the expected amount of media attention. It seemed in the days leading up the race that Toseland was on every front page in the country, and it also seemed impossible for any literate person in the U.K. not to know he was the local boy in the coming race at Donington Park. Not shy on courage, Toseland wore the English flag on his shoulders, literally, by appearing on Sunday in custom white leathers adorned with the red cross of St. George. 

What unfolded as the race began was painful to watch, even as a foreigner. Toseland charged into the first turn at Redgate and crashed. He gathered himself and his bike up and continued on, far behind the race for the victory, but was cheered as he made his lonely way from grandstand to grandstand. At least local hopes for a good result had not been made to suffer for long. 

Editor's Blog: On Being Wrong

After Casey Stoner announced his retirement on Thursday at Le Mans, it was obvious that I would choose that subject to write about for that day's round up of events. Stoner's retirement had befuddled me - I was not alone in my befuddlement, it was shared by almost everyone involved in MotoGP - and I discussed the source of the story published by the Spanish magazine Solo Moto in the week between the Jerez and Estoril rounds of MotoGP, which splashed news of Stoner's retirement on its front page, citing an anonymous source.

In my story on Stoner's retirement, I reported on the rumors I had heard at Estoril identifying Livio Suppo as the source of Solo Moto's story. On the Friday, I received two emails, one from Livio Suppo himself, and the other from Borja Gonzales, an editor at Solo Moto, the magazine that broke the story of Stoner's retirement. Neither was pleased, and rightly so. 

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