Recent comments

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    ..I'm just another curious guy on the matter but, how can they change just one single parameter (for center of gravity or geometry, etc) without destroying a bunch of others?

    Ask anyone who has raced a Ducati and you get the same story : "change anything 1mm and everything has to change". How they managed to win all those WSBK titles on a bike where adjusting the chain changed the ride height, then changing the ride height changed the suspension geometry is a bit of a miracle. Partly explained by the fact they preferred changing the primary drive ratio rather than the sprockets!

    It's also revealing: with the 999 they used a far more rational swingarm design, but then returned to the SSSA on the 1098 for marketing reasons...

    On the other hand, I don't think the Honda has engine mount or swingarm pivot adjustment either...

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Close Qualifying Session Settled In Final Minutes   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Amazing lack of injury in spite of all 2011. Given the hype surrounding him for this event,I figured he would have qualified better.
    I hope Colin has a .50 calibre moment and does Ben a favour as Ben did for him back then.That time it was Ben/Dovi. This time its Colin/Simmo/Valentino.

  • Ben Spies Pulls Out Of Sepang With Rib Injuries, Grid Down To 16 Starters   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I'd simply look to 2012 as a year of new starts for everyone. New bikes, new engine configurations, new manufacturers (BMW motors), and new teams. Let's be done with 2011 already.

  • Ben Spies Pulls Out Of Sepang With Rib Injuries, Grid Down To 16 Starters   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I'd look to 2012 as the year for Ben to secure his position as an 'Alien.' The dry race he won was not of pure luck.

  • Ben Spies Pulls Out Of Sepang With Rib Injuries, Grid Down To 16 Starters   2 years 40 weeks ago

    for one fleeting weekend at Assen, but really 2011 has been the worst of years for the ascendancy of Mr. B Spies. The fickle fortunes of fate. Here's hoping for a fit and healthy 2012 to raise the bar once more. This man hasn't peaked in this class yet.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Close Qualifying Session Settled In Final Minutes   2 years 40 weeks ago

    As much as I'd love to see CEII up on the podium in this race, barring any unlikely mistakes by the Repsols, it would seem a big stretch...even for someone as great as Edwards. His best result would be right where he qualified: 4th. A great result to be sure as he's going to be holding off a sure-to-be-charging Simoncelli, who is likely to be looking past Edwards to get at his rival, Dovi. Edwards would need a good start (not his forte) to jump to third in order to stay clear of Simo to the first corner. Let Simo and Dovi duke it out while Edwards looks to gain a few tenths advantage. Something like that scenario could put him on the podium. The more likely outcome is that CEII plays it safe and eventually succumbs to Simoncelli's "youth and exuberance" and settles for his best result ever at Sepang, 5th.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    It depends if you can look at the story without being rider biased.
    This is also not "Smash.Net" or "Motorcycle-Olds" silly comments boards.

    Lots of you make huge efforts (ad nauseum) to point out that Rossi is a fraud, recently or since ever, that he should be stoned to death on public square. Or that Casey should have a religion procession in its wake as some sort of recognition for his "feats" on the Ducati. Or vice-versa.
    That's all unimportant, trully secondary to the matter, the brand, and the sport. The truth to be seen is that noone will ride that pig to the podium. The bike is simply not good, never was. Needs to be redesigned from scratch. Period.

    Then there's this "David vs Golias" underdog thing going on which might sound epic and appealing to the punter but is worth absolutely nothing come race day.
    The "doing different" is indeed very cool for a road bike. It can even make a nice romantic story for racing (Britten V1000 - another pig of a bike on the corners) but, at this moment, it's impossible to compete for victories in MotoGP without racing with a well thought, polished and trully effective engineering marvel. Like the ones the japanese have been showing in GPs through the years, and like Ducati hasn't delivered in almost a decade of participation.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Ducati should put a small tank and revised tailsection on for some practice sessions and see if that improves the situation. Real cheap test and easy to do. If it does make a positive change then concentrate on designing next year's bike with a more forward rider position. If not then find something else to test.

    Chris
    http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Release Round Up   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Maybe he should do like Gobert did to Doohan... stop with his bike in front of another rider's pitbox and blip the throtle as provocation. :-)

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Release Round Up   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Bautista:

    "On the last tyre I tried to follow some riders to try and get some tenths to make sure I got at least on the second row, but I didn't find anybody and also didn't concentrate enough to do a lap by myself."

    It's no wonder some of the other riders have been annoyed with him. I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but I'm surprised he publicly admitted this was his strategy for the QP.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Not sure how many of you seen MotoGP bikes stripped, then compared them. The Ducati really looks handicapped in comparison, regarding adjustments:

    - D16RR "trellis half frame": http://motoaus.com/images/stories/ducati2008/ducati-desmosedici-cad.jpg

    - D16RR CF "frameless": http://www.ducatiblog.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ducati-desmosedici...

    What strikes me in this recent genious "frameless" design (even more than with the old design) is, when the need comes, how can they effectively move the engine around for setup, during the race weekends, when the engine IS the frame.
    The swingarm is rigidly attached to the engine cases (as always in the Ducati D16, non-adjustable), which has been considered as a pretty silly decision to embrace in GPs.
    ...I'm just another curious guy on the matter but, how can they change just one single parameter (for center of gravity or geometry, etc) without destroying a bunch of others?
    I'm only guessing and I know very little, but I would say it's impossible.
    And how can they even adjust "feel" by separating forces/vibrations of the rear wheel/swingarm from the forks?
    ...did they honestly expected the engine cases to do that work?

    The engine is a big lump compared to all the other bikes in that grid (forever the big downside of 90º angle "V" or "L" shape engines on a bike). I can't see any space to move the tank (and other components) lower or further to the back (like all the other bikes there have now).
    The old trellis "half frame" had the problem of the airbox size restrictions, but at least it had a positive role on the behaviour of the bike. I honestly don't buy the "faults in the welds between two similar bike frames" thing when we're dealing with the best trellis experts like Verlicchi and Pieorobon, that's total BS thrown at the media.

    Come race weekend, the Ducatis are already beaten with the deficit of adjustment (not mentioning the rumoured problems for behaviour and rider feedback), which all the other bikes/riders have in advantage. Lack of "know-how" for such a different tech/design by the mechanics/crew can't be helping either.

    Anyone wondered why the "deltabox" type frame was invented -and succeeded- in the first place? Or why the narrow "V" or inline cilinder engines are so dominant today?
    ...for sure it wasn't tradition or marketing reasons! :-)
    The japs have vast experience in such tech, money and resources, and thought it all much better through the years afterall.

  • Hopkins Out Of Sepang MotoGP As Hand Injury Returns   2 years 40 weeks ago

    time will tell, such a shame for him this weekend.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    This has got to be a truly scary moment for Ducati, to realize (with little doubt) that they never truly had a championship-winning motorcycle during the 800 era. In 2007 The advantages of an excellent rider, massive top-speed edge and (most importantly) tires far superior to the Michelins covered up what is clearly a misguided development direction. Stoner rode incredibly in later years, but had little chance against more refined machines on the same tires with closer top speed potential. Then in 2010, Stoner's valiant attempt at conquering his rivals resulted in 5 DNF's (a TON at this level of competition) due to shoddy frontend feedback.

    Now that a guy like Rossi is on board, someone who has less of a gung-ho approach and more of a "we should fix this, no?" mentality, the red machine's glaring flaws are more public than ever. Where this leaves Ducati's engineers is a not enviable, not in the slightest. They're essentially starting from scratch (or they need to), the entirety of the frameless GP7-11 program has lead down a blackhole and having to go back to the drawing board whilst facing serious, refined efforts from Honda and Yamaha has got to be the worst seat in the paddock. Good luck to them, they're gonna need it!

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Thursday Round Up: On Marquez' Big Mistake, And MotoGP's Silly Season Winding Down   2 years 40 weeks ago

    So far as I'm aware, Marquez isn't running for political office.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Thursday Round Up: On Marquez' Big Mistake, And MotoGP's Silly Season Winding Down   2 years 40 weeks ago

    That is a fair comment. But as PaulJ points out, these pieces (labeled as Analysis, as the URL suggests) are the place I give myself room to express an opinion on what happened at the track, rather than just reporting the facts. I try to report the facts as well, but will add my opinion on some matters as well as an explanation of the background to the affair. As you point out, Rossi thought that Marquez should have stayed a year, but Stoner felt that Marquez could have moved up.

    The rule of thumb I try to follow in these matters is to present the facts, as well as the explanations given by the protagonists, and only then add my own understanding of the background to a decision, sometimes followed by my own opinion of the matter. I hope I make it clear enough where the lines are drawn.

    My reason for working this way is because I believe that readers come to this site not purely for the facts, those are available everywhere and usually faster than I can post them. I hope that readers come here because they want to understand the background behind a particular events. My mission is to provide the why, not the what. Of course, once the site has grown into a publishing megacorp, then we might be able to add more straight news reporting.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Wow, pity you can't read your own posts: "...the frameless approach was in direct response to his requests". No it wasn't, the frameless Ducati design had nothing to do with Stoner. It is a patented Ducati concept.

    You are on some campaign to blame Preziosi for everything that's wrong at Ducati. The Preziosi design was a strong contender for the 2006 championship until Capirossi was taken out in an unfortunate accident, won the 2007 championship, and came second in 2008. The results on the 2009/10 version where not so good, but it wasn't until the debacle with Rossi this year that certain people suddenly decided that the Ducati was a dog. But before Rossi arrived the same people blamed Stoner for any problems with the bike. So when Stoner was there it was the rider, but now that Rossi is there it's the bike. Funny thing that!

    And this also has nothing to do with what Rossi may have done in the past. This is about the situation at Ducati here and now. Burgess himself has just recently directly criticized Rossi's feedback. Rossi says that they have gone in the wrong direction. Are you really so naive as to think that it is all Preziosi's fault?

    And I have stated very clearly previously, as you well know, that the fault lies with the entire Ducati team, from top management down. Your claim that I am attempting to lay the entire blame at Rossi's feet is complete nonsense. What I object to is the attempt to resolve Rossi of any blame whatsoever. Even Rossi himself has accepted some responsibility, as indeed he should. In fact, Rossi has generally dealt with the situation rather decently, considering how big a humiliation it has been for him. The problem is with some of his fans and their attempts to blame anyone and anything except their hero.

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Thursday Round Up: On Marquez' Big Mistake, And MotoGP's Silly Season Winding Down   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Thanks.

    I feel, however, that Marquez made the right decision. He is very young and I'm sure he feels he has a lot to learn. If he does clinch at least one Moto2 title and goes on to be a top rider in MotoGP then he will have proven his worth more so than if he had jumped straight up into the top class.

  • 2011 Laguna Seca MotoGP Saturday Round Up - An Untouchable Lorenzo, And The Perils Of Electronics?   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I know. An electric vehicle may have only 1 "gear" (in the sense of primary motor output to driven wheel speed ratio) - and no "gearbox" to allow different ratios to be selected - however rest assured that there are still gear wheels in the motor, at least to transmit the power and likely to step down the speed of the primary output. If you find videos on Youtube of electric bike racers, you'll notice the main noise from them is gear "whine".

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Thursday Round Up: On Marquez' Big Mistake, And MotoGP's Silly Season Winding Down   2 years 40 weeks ago

    This article is clearly editorial in nature, and quite reasonably presenting an opinion on the matter. If you wanted quite factual reportage, you could just look at David's earlier article on the Marquez decision, which this editorial provides a convenient link to (under "For the full details, see this story here..").

    As for the equal-time argument, the article you link to seems to be rather specific to reportage of US politics, which has a somewhat equal-split between 2 factions, judging by the electoral record. However, in general, it is not sensible to require that reportage give strictly equal time to different sides of an argument. Not all sides in an argument are necessarily equal, some sides are just ultra-fringe and/or even obviously and objectively wrong. Some people may have more authority on some topic, e.g. because of their position or expertise. Reporters need to apply some sense and weight the time given to each side appropriately. Indeed, giving *equal* time is sometimes used unethically by reporters, to *engineer" controversy by giving undue attention to some unreasonable point-of-view. It's a complex topic though without perfect answers (AFAIK), but public education, journalistic responsibility and competition amongst news sources likely goes a long way. etc.. ;)

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Close Qualifying Session Settled In Final Minutes   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Assuming Lorenzo can't make the starting grid at Valencia, putting Edwards on his factory bike for the final race would be a fine going-away gift.

    Imagine if CE won the darn thing!

  • Hopkins Out Of Sepang MotoGP As Hand Injury Returns   2 years 40 weeks ago

    "...the priority now is to get it fixed and get myself ready for the 2012 season."

    Where though, John, where?

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Close Qualifying Session Settled In Final Minutes   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Does anyone have any insight as to what version GP11.1 is Hayden riding this weekend? After the last few races, Hayden has managed to keep his bike on 2 wheels to finish races where Rossi failed to do so. More development work should have been given to Hayden as well by Ducati. Hayden should seriously consider switching to Yamaha/Honda/CRT for 2013 if he has another season like this!

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    If Rossi had asked for a stiffer chassis as sole development rider then continued to ok it as the way to go despite results going south for 3 years running you'd pretty much lay the entire blame at his feet..You have for Ducati but offer him zero credit for his long years work at both Honda and yam putting it all down to the engineers I have read the odd post till I got the jist.. You penchant for contradiction and baseless accusation is not lost on me and therefore the value of your rather aggressive and often poorly informed replies also...
    Was never about blaming Casey for anything.. but it is no surprise either that you have completely missed the point, perhaps your should change your moniker to motogptitfortat.

    Please delete as an when necessary David, it has to be said sometimes..

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Close Qualifying Session Settled In Final Minutes   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Once upon a time, when people told me that Yamaha would effectively de-tune the satellite bikes to stop them getting in the way of the factory effort, I used to laugh. That would be such a dumb thing to do.

    But isn't it remarkable that CE11 bounds up the order as soon as rider #1 is not present?

    Not the first time, either...

  • 2011 Sepang MotoGP Friday Round Up: Pedrosa's Poetry In Motion, Honda Domination, Ducati's Problems   2 years 40 weeks ago

    The frameless design had nothing to do with Stoner or Stoner's requests and you know it. It is ludicrous to suggest that Stoner would request such a design, or that he would request carbon fiber construction. He is a rider, not an engineer, and of course the same is true of Rossi, as he keeps reminding us.

    And where did you get the idea that Preziosi is refusing to test a more conventional layout? It is widely reported that a conventional frame is being built.

    As for anyone knowing that the twin spar is the best layout, well until this year they didn't did they? It wasn't until Rossi was unable to get to grips with the bike this year that some people starting pointing the finger of blame at the frameless layout.

    Several years ago Ducati expressed the view that as a small company they couldn't beat the Japanese at their own game, they had to do something different. Hence the change to Bridgestones. It is Preziosi's job to be innovative. If the frameless concept and carbon fiber had worked we would all be calling Preziosi a genius. But with any new concept you don't know until you try. Sometimes when you try you fail. That's life. The trick is to pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and try again. Which is hopefully what Ducati is doing.

    It is understandable that some Rossi fans want to absolve their hero of any blame, but even Burgess has recently been critical of Rossi's feedback. And the fact is that if Rossi had been able to adapt to the bike like Stoner did we wouldn't be having this discussion. It was, after all, Burgess who said that MotoGP was 20% bike and 80% rider. Of course that was easy to say when Rossi was winning. Now apparently it is all the bike's fault. Which is quite frankly complete BS.

    And if the development of the Ducati has gone in the wrong direction this year, as Rossi is now suggesting, it is absurd to blame all that on Preziosi. Rossi is supposed to be the guy that provides such great feedback and direction to the team. The fact is that none of us know exactly was has gone on behind closed doors at Ducati. We can be sure there will be lots of finger pointing if this marriage ultimately fails. And we can be sure that a lot of people will want to pretend that Rossi is blameless. Which he most certainly isn't.

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