Recent comments

  • 2012 MotoGP Season To Kick Off With Ducati's Annual 'Wrooom' Press Launch   2 years 40 weeks ago

    FTR built frame and AMG built engine=Ducati?!?!?!?! I don't think, that competitive MotoGP bike is just a sum of exellent components.

    I wonder, If Rossi and Burgess could buy the M1 engine, and they could order FTR frame, with exact specifications, Would that bike handle as wel as an original M1?

    Out-sourcing is OK. But Ducati is building a LEGO bike. That is not good.

  • World Superbikes In 2012: 22 Riders, 6 Makes, And A Gaggle Of Contenders   2 years 40 weeks ago

    SPEED did broadcast WSBK on HD in 2011. Looked way better than years past but still lacked the saturation and richness of colour the MotoGP broadcasts have for some reason. Maybe life is just that much more shiny at the top of the food chain

  • 2012 MotoGP Season To Kick Off With Ducati's Annual 'Wrooom' Press Launch   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Like i'm sure most of us are, i am looking forward to seeing what developments Ducati have made to the GP12. After such a disastrous 2011, i hope all the data collection and development work they done last year, has got them going in the right direction with the new bike.

  • 2012 MotoGP Season To Kick Off With Ducati's Annual 'Wrooom' Press Launch   2 years 40 weeks ago

    "a select group of the world's print and TV media"

    And the powers that be wonder why they can't expand their base.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I strongly agree with that (Though I would say they don't necessarily need to be last lap). This argument was about the predictability of race result which is one (and not the major one) factor that makes races less exiting and whether that was mostly because of rider talent or technical factors. Actually I think that was what it was about but I'm not sure.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Agree to disagree.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    The aliens are aliens because they are able to find the fastest way around a race track race meeting after race meeting with the equipment available under the present regulations. Only four guys have been able to that consistently in the 800 era.

    It's the same in every era: the guy or guys who adapt best to the machines and regulations of the time have the most success.

    Riders who have been unable to adapt simply demonstrate the limits of their talent.

    And actually in the present era there are more variables than is the past, not less. A MotoGP bike today is vastly more adjustable than a grand prix bike in the 1960s.

    I understand the argument put forward by some people that the 800s suited a particular style of rider, in particular guys from the European 250 cc style, like Pedrosa and Lorenzo. But Stoner is a very different style of rider altogether, having grown up with dirt bikes, and Rossi is somewhere in between. So it isn't just one style of riding that has worked on 800s. Some people thought that Hayden would do well on the Ducati because he has a similar racing background to Stoner. But he hasn't done well overall, and never looked like winning a race, because Stoner is simply faster and more talented than Hayden.

    If Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo had been in MotoGP in 2006 in their second year or later years, and all on works bikes, there is no way Hayden would have been world champion. The odds would have been stacked against him, just as they have been for the last five years. He barely scraped in as it was, with just two race wins for the season. One alien might have a bad year (Rossi in 2006) but it highly improbable that all four would have bad year.

    BTW Lorenzo wasn't an alien before 2009 because 2008 was his rookie year.

    So I do understand your argument Javi, and I flatly disagree. Best to leave it there, we are just going round in circles.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Perhaps the problem is that I'm not making my point clear, so I'll Try again:

    1st) What you are riding has become far more important than ever before.

    reading your comment I guess you both agree with me on that one, so let move on to the alien thing.

    Let say you have two riders: John and Paul. And that there are 10 options to go fast round a track A trough J. Now John can go fast with A and B and he can make C work for him. Paul can go fast H and J and he can make C work for him. So both riders have similar chances to go fast. If I make it so that A and B are now the only ways to go fast then John would appear to become much faster and Paul would now be much slower, not because of their talent or adaptability but because now there are less ways to go fast (not only one but less).

    2nd) The reason for the alien never before seen uber-dominance is not the unlimited present of MotoGP but rather the fact that technically MotoGP is more limited (regulated) than ever before making it harder to go really fast but more importantly leaving only a few ways to get there.

    I'm not saying that Nicky is at "alien" level. I'm saying that the rider is less important than before (once again; very very important but less than before) and that explains how come Nicky went from 2006 champion to mediocre results throughout 5 years, 2 factories and the fact that Jorge wasn't an alien until 2009 and that the other 3 have all had health problems keeping them out of the track. So:

    3rd) The aliens are 100 times better than every one else but the results suggest that their are a million times better, because we see less of the riders true potential.

  • Andrea Dovizioso Breaks Collarbone In MX Training Crash   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Tracy I think your right. Its just to much fun!

    I think there's some great seat time in riding MX or dirt, and the variation in traction both front and back really helps dial in those instincts for the track. Frankly MX as some have mentioned is bloody dicey due to jumps and such. Better to go flat track or enduro riding.

    But there is nothing that physically wrings me out faster than a MX track. But the risk is always there. I have taken myself out mid season with a dirt crash... Pissed the team manager off no end!

  • Scott Jones 2011 Retrospective Subscriber Desktops: Round 8, Mugello   2 years 40 weeks ago

    The final photo looks awesome on my parents' wall. Nice work once again.
    Mugello is a bucket list weekend, Saturday night is insane.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Javi, your mention of Hayden in 2005 fully supports exactly what I am saying about the four aliens. In 2005 Hayden was on a different bike to Rossi, and did not have an alien team mate. This is my point about 2007 - 2011. There were three, then four aliens, all of them on works bikes, not just the one in 2005. Colin Edwards has said something along similar lines.

    It's simple probability: four aliens, all on works bikes. The odds are that they will win most of the races. In 2005 Hayden had to beat just one alien. In 2007 - 2011 he had to beat four. Generally it needs an unusual race for all aliens to be out of contention for the win, like the wet races in Motegi, Le Mans and Donnington (Capirossi, Vermeulen, Dovizioso).

    The increasing level of professionalism is a factor, along with tires, electronics etc. Read the Stoner interview. The biggest factor is the talent of the four aliens.

    Stoner has two world championships on two totally different bikes. This does not support your contention that the 800 has a style that supports a certain kind of rider. The Ducati certainly doesn't suit Rossi. We also know that Stoner dislikes electronics and likes to minimize their use. Rossi also has a expressed a dislike of electronics. They both believe that electronics are a disadvantage for them because it takes away from their ability to use their skills to the fullest degree. Do you really think these guys would want to reduce electronics if it gives them the advantage you seem to think that it does?

    WSBK is generally a bunch of wannabees and has-beens. There is no-one anywhere near alien level in WSBK. Checa romped away with the championship last year, but he achieved very little in MotoGP. A good rider but not a great one. Remember Simoncelli making a one-off appearance for Aprilia in 2009 and beating Biaggi? Spies is the only WSBK rider who has made an impact in MotoGP for many years. Even Bayliss struggled on the 990, and he was a better than good rider.

  • Summer Sale: Get The 2012 Motorcycle Racing Calendar At A Hefty Discount   2 years 40 weeks ago

    That would be nice, it irks me that half the money I give you is effectively wasted. I want to support the site, not the postal service! Maybe an option to choose a slower delivery that costs less?

    The friend who received two calendars was very appreciative. I think we're both just using them as a source of shed pics rather than as calendars.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Javi, I'm a big Nicky fan and his is indeed a very good rider but you are completely oblivious to the point that motogpmd is trying to make. Nicky is a great talent but could not adapt his style to the 800cc bikes thus he is not adaptable and since that is one requirement of an alien then he is not an alien. The bottom line job of each rider is to win the race on Sunday with the machine they are given on Friday. 4 people were able to do that exceptionally better than all others.

    >>He didn't won a single race out of 89 during the 800cc and the podium was
    >>usually a blessing ¿How can you explain such massive difference merely on talent?

    For each of those years in the 800s he was consistently getting beaten by his teammate on the same machinery so yes a talent difference can completely explain his winless situation. Maybe the talent in question was riding an 800cc MotoGP bike on Bridgestone tires as fast as possible. Maybe he'll fare better in next year's talent test of riding initial year 900cc-ish GP bikes but whatever his results are I'm sure the 4 aliens will be up there, they are after all the aliens for a reason. The Ducati situation has not demoted Rossi from alien status, you can't take away his skill and titles and wins. What it demoted him from is that of the engineer that knows how to fix a bike and make it work. Like any rider he can only go fast with what he is given and if the factory can't supply something he can relate too then he cannot fully adapt. The situation really hasn't demoted Rossi as it has shown how good Stoner really is.

    >>Are they Rockstar wannabes riding with hangovers?

    Ask Crutchlow and he'll tell you that GP riders are a step above WSB riders. The reason that WSB has more winners is that the machinery's absolute limit is lower than a GP bike so more people can wring 100% out of a given machine. Its true for both the tires and the bikes. Its the reason Moto2 is close, the bike limit is lower and easier to achieve than a 250 bike so more people can run at the front. Well, that and the fact that all bikes are running the same internal gearing and have the same power output so unless you screw it up badly you are in the ballpark.

    To go off topic this is why it is so important to keep factory prototypes in GP. You'll never develop a rider the likes of Rossi or Stoner on a CRT.

    I'd also add that it is not the number of race winners that make exciting racing, its the number of last lap passes. After all, the 990cc era was almost a 50% win rate for Rossi but nobody was complaining. He was just able to make it a good show. Times have changed because he has acknowledged that he's not able to start from 11th and win any more. The talent has increased to such an extent that he can't afford to shadow riders all race long anymore and force an error. You really can't compare the likes of Biaggi and Gibernau with Stoner and Lorenzo. Rossi beat Biaggi and Sete mostly with his off track taunts and completely broke them. Stoner and Lorenzo are much harder riders who seem to ignore Rossi's mind games and let their riding to the talking, with much more success than Max or Sete ever had.


  • World Superbikes In 2012: 22 Riders, 6 Makes, And A Gaggle Of Contenders   2 years 40 weeks ago

    How long has it been where there is not one Australian in the superbike ranks, what a sad state of affairs this is.

  • Photographers Blog-Darkroom Decisions   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing the timeline of your thought process for this image. I truly enjoy your work. The closed season is dull for rabid fans but having the opportunity to follow your footsteps in your work heightens the anticipation of the new year.

    Keep up the excellent work. Cheers.


  • Andrea Dovizioso Breaks Collarbone In MX Training Crash   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Having ridden both as I am sure a lot of you have, I gotta say i feel they are two completely different riding techniques. Therefore, I don't really see the great value in training on MX other than cardio, as a rearlier post mentioned. Way too dangerous considering the potential consequences. Mini motos or bicycles aren't the same either but are both vastly safer and still keep the head looking through turns and eyes hitting lines. Think the MX "training" is an excuse to have fun..period. Figure out a way to show up in one piece to do your job, you're not replaceable!

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    On 2005 Rossi had a very good Yamaha and Nicky finished ahead of him 3 times (including 2 race wins). If matching Rossi level is what proves that the Aliens are among the very best of GP racers ever (or actually that they are the very best) than Nicky who defeated 2005 Rossi on 3 occasions and 2006 Rossi to the championship must be indeed a very good rider. He didn't won a single race out of 89 during the 800cc and the podium was usually a blessing ¿How can you explain such massive difference merely on talent?

    As for the professional level. Was MotoGP an amateur sport before 2007? In WSBK there where 18 different race winners between 2007 and 2011 (a new one every 7,44 races) Are they Rockstar wannabes riding with hangovers?

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    The point about Ducati is that it has a fundamental design flaw. This is not a simple matter of a bike that suits a particular rider. Even Stoner struggled with it. It is not about set up or electronics. Ducati spent all year tailoring the bike to Rossi's specific needs, without success. It is simply not valid for your argument to compare Stoner on the Ducati with Lorenzo on the Yamaha. A valid comparison is Yamaha versus Honda.

    How many races did Hayden win in 2006? Just two. Rossi won five. How many aliens in 2006? Both Stoner and Pedrosa were rookies in 2006, and Stoner wasn't on a works bike. Hayden is a good rider but he is not and never has been an alien. Circumstances worked heavily in his favor in 2006, because Yamaha had some unusual problems.

    Stoner has made the point that MotoGP, along with most sports, has become a lot more professional. Racing machines in general have become ultra reliable. Set up has become much more sophisticated, with computer modelling and the like. It is therefore much more difficult to "fluke" a win. Times have changed, so it is almost impossible to make valid comparisons with past eras. The fact is that the teams know that to win these days you need to hire an alien. Just ask the Yamaha or Honda team bosses.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    If I expected you to agree it wouldn't be much fun.

    "because it has such an obvious answer, and that is that in 2010 Lorenzo and Rossi were riding a Yamaha, the best bike in the field, while Stoner was riding the Ducati"


    My point was that the bikes are more important than ever before and the riders less important (very important but less than they used to be). in 2010 Casey didn't had a chance against Lorenzo ¿was Jorge the superior rider? (superior enough to explain Casey's little championship hopes). In 2011 we knew the championship result at the winter testing ¿did Casey suddenly became massively better at riding? ¿Did Jorge got worse?. Their amazing talent couldn't make up for the difference on the bikes.
    The Aliens are a lot better than every one else on the track but the results seem to suggest that they were not "a lot better" or even "very very very much better", but that they were light years away from everyone else who ever rode an 800cc.
    "lesser" riders use to be able to beat top rider every now and then, now it is absolutely impossible and I think that it is down to the engine the tires and the electronics forcing a very specific way to ride the bike. If not, then these four riders are better than every other GP champion in history.
    And lets not forget Nicky Hayden, he won the championship in 2006 against Rossi, Pedrosa and (rookie) Stoner. He didn't won a single 800cc race even when there wasn't any Jorge ¿did he won the 2006 championship and then suddenly forgot how to ride a bike at the beginning of 2007? No he did not.

  • Andrea Dovizioso Breaks Collarbone In MX Training Crash   2 years 40 weeks ago

    When Nicky leaves MotoGp think he'll skip the Superbike and Moto2 career dwindle down stages and go straight back to Mile and half Mile dirt track. He's itching for a mile win - the only type of dirt tack win to elude him so far. I'm sure that after a few less than stellar seasons fighting the Ducati, it probably just feels good to go fast on something familiar.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    Javi, you won't be surprised that I disagree with most of your last post. To keep it short, an alien's ability to adapt to all the elements of a MotoGP bike is what makes him exceptional. Whether it is tires, electronics, engine characteristics, the ability to work with his crew and engineers, the ability to quickly find the right set up, the ability to adapt to changing conditions and so on.

    It is hardly surprising that lesser riders give all sorts of excuses why they can't match the top guys. So they blame tires, electronics, actually the kind of things you mention. Rarely will they acknowledge that they just aren't good enough.

    Your comparison of Lorenzo, Stoner and Rossi is a very poor one because it has such an obvious answer, and that is that in 2010 Lorenzo and Rossi were riding a Yamaha, the best bike in the field, while Stoner was riding the Ducati, a bike now universally acknowledged as a difficult bike to ride, with a major design flaw. Rossi went to that same Ducati in 2011, and we know the result.

    I don't understand why you find it difficult to acknowledge that the aliens are exceptional talents. To suggest that nine times world champion Rossi is not one of the best riders ever is strange indeed. The measure of the ability of the other three is that they are able to match and beat Rossi regularly, and in Stoner's case, comprehensively so. And in any case, the discussion was not comparisons with other riders of the past, but about why the aliens have dominated in the 800 era. By far the four best riders, and all on works bikes: of course they will dominate.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I think to make a difference they need to change the engines, the tyres, the electronics and the fuel limit.
    Also I think there are bigger factors than the talent of those particular 4 riders affecting the statistics.
    This days there is a particular racing line that works much better than the rest and that line is narrow, rider have said that it didn't use to be like that, so there use to be more options to chose from to be fast around a track.
    Also there are only two tyre choices for the race and that again limits the ways a rider can go around the circuit to be fast (and usually one choice is a lot better than the other), and the tyres have to ridden a specific way to work or they don't work at all, again limiting the ways a rider has to go fast (MotoGP race winner Tony Elias couldn't work the Bridgestone and he was dead last).
    Then there are the electronics which limit rider input, I think they are also design to work best with a specific riding style, there for if you want get the best out of them you have to ride that way.
    All this factors also affect the bike setup that has to be very precise while I think that before there were more than one bike setup that worked for the same bike and, depending on the rider style, the conditions and the tyres selected, sometime some setups worked better than other.
    I believe (and have nothing but my opinion to support it) than it use to be possible for two different rider/mechanics teams to go very similarly fast on the same bike even if the riders did thing very differently on the race. Now a days the correct setup goes fast any other goes very slow, the rigth line goes very fast, the wrong one goes very slow, and so one for many other factors (that all have to coincide). Less and less option for the rider.
    So I think that while it use to be possible to adjust the bike to the ride and win, now a days you have to adjust your ride to the bike or else yo go slow.
    What this means (in my very unpopular opinion)? that riders are less important than ever before. You got the ones that work with a specific bike and the ones who don't. Which explain how come in 2010 Lorenzo dominated Casey and a year later Casey dominated Lorenzo. Or how come Rossi was a tittle contender one year and not even a podium contender the next.
    I don't think this particular 4 rider are that much better than every one else on the 800cc era or in GP racing history, they are just very good and compatible with their bikes (or maybe more adaptable), but now a days the compatibility is more important than the talent.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 40 weeks ago

    I didn't realize how boringly long my comment was when writing it. Sorry about that.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 41 weeks ago

    That may be so, although I'd like to some hard evidence showing just how much difference there really is. Also, the factory teams are saying that the factory bikes and satellite bikes will be virtually the same at the start of this year, so at the beginning of the year at least there will be some parity, allowing for comparison between works and satellite riders.

    However, the best riders end up on the best bikes, for good reason. And it isn't just about having a works bike. There were five non-alien riders who had works bikes, or works spec bikes, during the 800 era. They were Capirossi, Edwards, Melandri, Hayden, Dovizioso, Spies and Simoncelli. How many races did they win? A total of three in five years. None of them were ever contenders for a world championship in the 800 era. And name one other rider in MotoGP in that period who could have done better than those five. I don't believe there was anybody. No, the number one reason that the four aliens won most of the races was because they were head and shoulders above everyone else. And as there was four of them, and there was at least one alien in each of the top three factory teams, statistically they were always likely to win most of the races.

  • Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team   2 years 41 weeks ago

    the electronics and fuel management of the privateer bikes is just so bad that it's impossible.

    At least before, if you were a good driver and had a found a very good setup for a particular weekend, you'd be able to compete for the podiums and maybe give the top riders a scare.

    Now even that isn't enough because the bike is inherently much inferior.

    Unfortunately it will probably be even worse next year because the 1000s will be even thirstier and the fuel limit is still the same.