Recent comments

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    As many would point out, racking in lap after lap with Lorenzo efficiency is typical of Lorenzo. Now if he tried to do anything to eyeblind his opponents it would be obvious. Likewise,should Stoner drop down and remain consistently .5 off the pace and end any test in fifth, it would be obvious that he was playing games. (Presuming of course that injury or clear mechanical/tire issues were culprit). The team mate comparison by and large prevents any 'sandbagging', unless its a deliberate team order. I've never seen it.
    So,what we got in the summary is pretty much as it is is right now.
    The usual suspects, as usual setting the usual pace.
    On the Ducati front, Rossi suffers another blow. It is all well and good to lay blame at Ducati's doorstep, but there has been a rider ability,call it what you may,shift in his case.
    Whenever Rossi's name is mentioned the stats go with it. He was always a second a lap better than any team mate (barring Lorenzo).
    The status quo has remained intact within Lorenzo/Spies and Stoner/Pedrosa.
    I don't believe Hayden has found a turn of speed. Rather, Rossi has lost a yard by comparison.
    In my opinion Ducati are stuck between a rock and a hard place. No matter what they bring to the party, their riders can't get to the level required.
    Its like trying to get your kid to hit a coke bottle with a .45 from 10 meters and he keeps missing. Give him a 12 bore and it sits him on his backside. Give him a .556 and he can't aim it because it doesn't feel comfortable.
    In my opinion things changed for Rossi forever after Mugello 2010, in spite of some great results.
    That was Sepang 1 & 2 2012. A circuit Rossi pretty much owned in the past and Ducati were always competitive there nevermind which format.
    Jerez is going to prove even tougher for them. You know when you have old Iron Frank (Ducati test rider) not far off Hayden and Rossi's pace at a circuit as vast as Sepang,you know you're in trouble,rider wise.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    First, if pneumatic valves are an efficiency advantage, there is no rule that says Aprilia couldn't build and sell some pneumatic-valve versions of the RSV4 heads.

    Second, it's amusing to consider the theatre Ducati made of building a new frame over winter. This was apparently such an effort that they could only build them for the factory bikes, leaving Barbera and Abraham on the dead-end GP-zero (although those plans may be coming back off the server as I type). Meanwhile, both Yamaha and Suter calmly built new frames between the two Sepang tests to deal with the chatter issue. Can Ducati not even match Suter's level of commitment?

    Third, it seems a worry that Honda didn't test for more than 4 laps at a time if the new tyres degrade significantly over race difference. 7 lots of 4 laps isn't necessarily the same as 28 laps in one burst.

    Fourth, we know nothing until the flag drops in Qatar anyway.

  • 2012 Philip Island WSBK Race 1 - Tight Podium Battle Behind Dominant Winner   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Biaggi set a new race lap record from like 5 years ago. He was riding great.

  • 2012 Philip Island WSBK Race 2 - Easy Win, But Epic Fightback Rewarded With Podium   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Yes I live here in the US also, But I don't come to this site untill after Tuesday when Speed TV gets around to showing World Supersport.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    How many weeks left til Qatar??? The question(s) I would like the answer(s) to... among the factory-riders, who is really sandbagging their true performance level? Does Stoner, Jorge, and Spies have more in the locker? Will Hayden outpace Rossi on the same bike? If he does, will Ducati ask him to dial it down so Rossi can be upfront and not lose face? At the moment, Stoner will need some help battling all those Yamahas on the grid.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Lets not get caried away by the Barbera result. The reality at the moment most probably is:
    1. Stoner's race pace at Sepang is 1sec faster than Rossi's. It won't that much at Jerez as it is shorter track, plus not one of the Stoner's favourite - I am not sure whether he has podium there yet.
    2. Stoner's race pace at Sepang is 0.3-0.4 sec faster than that of Dany and Jorge.
    3. Rossi's race pace is better that that of Barbera, probably close to that of the satelite Yamaha bikes.
    4. Edward's race pace on the CRT at Sepang is about 5sec of Stoner's.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    My money's on Guareshi.

    Rossi "It’s also nice that the new electronics work well, but it hurts being down on the timesheets compared to all the others. Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth."

    Racers are racers and always want to go fast. Of course he tried for a time and of course not getting one hurt Valentino. He's in a real mental downward spiral and must be struggling with what many of us realise. He's been outpaced by the young guns.

    Given what Barbera in particular has done on the Zero, there is potential in the GP12. Rossi's just not the right man to extract it.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    I was thinking a similar metaphor the other day. Except using the Greek gods Zeus and Kronos.

    You can guess who is who...

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    I would love to see Rossi in WSBK. It seems to be the series where once great Moto GP riders find one last chance for glory before retirement. It's a series where rider skill can still make a difference, how much fun would it be to see Biaggi and Rossi battling once again!

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Take a look at this link. It's a HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript from Brno test 2011. At Brno, Honda tested race configuration (for the fuel consumption), while Yamaha chased lap times.

    http://motomatters.com/interview/2011/08/21/hrc_boss_shuhei_nakamoto_deb...

    Q: You are already testing here in race configuration for the fuel consumption? For the 21 liters fuel consumption?

    Yes. We are testing in the race configuration.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Lets see what Aprilia's plans are before writing off all of his MotoGP options.

    I can't see it making much difference though. There are class riders out there now. Top shelf. Rossi has had competition before, but absolutely nothing like the aliens sitting at the top of todays GP paddock.

    Even on a good bike, WC's are far from a given - especially now that his real competition are on the same kinds of bikes (and budgets) that he himself has enjoyed throughout his career.

    I think this humble pie munching is a good thing for the sport. Rossi sees how hard it is to compete when he doesn't have everything he wants thrown at his feet instantaneously. When crying foul when beaten, and a bottomless bag of excuses gets him nowhere. A young gun beats him on the same bike consistently.. and his arch rival sits head and shoulders above everyone else, whilst Rossi himself had to throw his leg over the shit box he had been competing on (and regularly beating him on) and realising just how different it is on the other side.

    To top it off, Marlboro came to the same plate with their hat in hand asking for a piece of that very same humble pie.

    Let's just hope the accompanying drink isn't milk. They might just choke on it.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Hard to say if Rossi regrets the decision or not...I would not assume he does just because he's having trouble competing for podiums.

    After all, Rossi has been the premier MotoGP class racer for a long time, and his accomplishments speak for themselves (to say the least). I remember when I first started to follow MotoGP back around 2004 or so, and would marvel at his ability to overtake and win from almost anywhere on the grid. Just amazing.

    But there comes a time in life when you just accept that things are different...no matter how good you have been, and how eager to compete you still are. And let's face it: even on exactly the same machinery, IMO Rossi would have his hands full beating guys like Stoner and Lorenzo to the title. So maybe Rossi is at this point in his life/career. And he has always said the challenge was to attempt to win a championship with a 3rd manufacturer. Given the problems experienced by e.g. Melandri and Hayden, I think he was smart enough to know it would not be easy (also confident/arrogant enough to want to try), and therefore he was more or less ready to fail at that.

    In any case, from everything I know his contract at Ducati is quite lucrative compared to what he would have earned at Yamaha. So he's 'crying all the way to the bank', as they say.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    For my money, Stoner established himself as 'the man to beat' when he was at Ducati -- his wins (most during the 800cc era) and pole positions show that. If he had not been ill and crashed so often he'd have at least a couple of more world titles than he has now. Not that it would have been easy with competition like Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, et al.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    I'm sure Vale has regretted the decision since the very moment he swung his leg over the GP11. It must be very humbling to know that he would have been better off taking the pay cut at Yamaha and riding alongside Jorge. Vale on an M1 last year would have taken an equal number of wins as Lorenzo, Stoner would still be the WC, I have no doubt of that, but Vale would have been competitive. However Vale's ego and self confidence blurred his judgement. He let himself get gently shoved out of Yamaha and the only other Factory to go to was Ducati or Suzuki, and surely with the apparent competitiveness of the GP10 in the hands of CS, it was the logical decision at that time.

    I truly believe Vale will regret leaving Yamaha for a long time. He will never admit it publicly because he is too smart politically. Now this is not to discredit Ducatis efforts of recent in any way. For the size of their capital they really are attempting to take on a powerhouse in Honda Racing.

    What is very apparent is that Vale is starting to show signs of frustration in relation to the amount of time that he has left to prepare for the 2012 season. Sepang 2 was rained out for 2/3's of the test, basically forcing the Ducati team to run through test programs rapidly.

    Hector doing his usual thing on a bike, getting a tow, when he is strictly chasing setup and confidence while setting a time faster than Vale has probably gotten underneath Vale's skin. Everyone inside the paddock knows VR46 is the fastest man on a Ducati, however when HB does something like this it feeds the crash.net-esque frenzy and all of a sudden the stories are all saying VR is washed up and the satellite riders are faster when in reality, like Guerreschi has said, Vale was doing more data gathering than anyone else, and especially with the limited time on the track, was really unable to chase for the fastest lap.

    I really hope Jerez brings at least a glimmer of hope for Ducati this season.

    I would venture that, if by the end of 2012 Vale is challenging for podiums on the regular, he would probably sign another contract with Ducati in hopes of a 2013 WC contention. Because in reality, there really is no where else for him to go in GP. Honda/Yamaha would probably never give him a factory bike out of spite even if it was his own team. That leaves Ducati, WSBK, retirement, or WRC. I really don't see Vale as a person to give up on the sport out of frustration.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Man, I`m truly a hardcore fan of Rossi since the beginning. If he pulls it off this year, I will never ever doubt his abillities, but I have to admit that even I am losing my faith in his decision to go to Ducati and that he will get competitive there.
    Ok in the past he was never the Pole position King and it was not important for him where he started from at the race, but it became more important due to the competition I believe.
    So can he allways find the extra strength during each race to go faster than the others? It would be a super human effort. I've seen him doing just that, but even he cannot do that on a daily basis I must admit.
    The hope that he can rise again though will not die in me until his retirement....but at the moment its hard to keep the faith alive.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    You brought up a very interesting point regarding fuel consumption. I remember reading something during the CRT tests a week or so back where Randy de Puniet was claiming that his bike still didn't have quite the horsepower as the prototypes, even while they had a extra 3 liters of fuel to use.

    I'm no engineer but could it be that the prototypes, because they are running pneumatic valves, are that much more fuel efficient than the CRT engines which use regular spring valves? Or is it just that the Prototype manufacturers have so much experience in using the electronics to conserve fuel that they've been able to get around the 3 liter deficiency and yet still make more power? Or maybe a combination of both?

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Delete

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Guareschi's claim that Rossi could have gone faster is meaningless. Stoner also set his fastest time in the hottest part of the day, and there is no doubt Stoner and Lorenzo could have gone faster if they had wanted to.

    Rossi's public negativity is a rather surprising and disappointing development after the earlier optimism. So Ducati's form remains one of the big question marks this season, along with tire degradation, the effects of fuel consumption, and the performance of that Aprilia CRT.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    If Ducati are condemned to an enternity of rolling a stone uphill only to watch it roll to the bottom again, then that condemnation will most likely be delivered to them by Randy Depuniet on the Aprilia. The clash of the Italian glamour brands has Ducati in a position with little to gain and everything to loose.

    Biaggi's breathtaking speed at PI during the Superbikes demonstrates the capability of the Aprilia engine, and with that extra 3 litres of fuel, they are shaping up as real threat to the slower prototypes.

    I think Lorenzo and Yamaha were very smart for doing race testing yesterday, and its obvious the prototypes will be faster, but what happens when the ECU starts to restrict fuel usage and Depuniet is a 100 yards back with 4 laps to go? Yamaha knows!

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Times: Hondas Top Timesheets As Dovizioso Leads Yamaha Charge   2 years 41 weeks ago

    The harsh reality is..nobody has got any money.

    Stalwart sponsors such as the above mentioned are looking to save and without CRT would surely question backing a 12 bike series that has very little to do with 'racing' and a bona-fide premier world championship but is more a showcase for just three manufacturers and the technology they state is so important. Which they seek to ram down the throats of the bike buying public, at significantly increased cost.

    What is the relevance to me?..of 21 litres and all the gadgetry needed to make that fuel last race distance?

    I don't ride a bike to be told what to do by a computer that takes it cue from a battery of sensors. If I cared so much about safety, I'd take the bus. When I tap the throttle open and hit reserve 40 miles earlier than a sensible economy ride out, it doesn't bother me because I go and fill up.

    The manufactures had their chance to take care of the sport but chose to look after themselves. They put their precious engineering principles before everything else and have effectively told racing fans to take a hike. Carmelo needed to reign them in and if they decide MotoGP is no longer the R&D test-bed they spuriously claim is so important, then fine..Sayonara, there'll be no tears from this corner.

    The machine is more important than the man and to me that's arse about face. You may be happy to see a faster lap indiscernible to the naked eye and be satisfied with processional big gap parades but it doesn't make for riveting entertainment and it won't bring home the bacon.
    Engineers have been in charge of this game for too long.

    http://www.grandprix.com/columns/maurice-hamilton/a-busted-hush.html

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Only 36 more sleeps to go :-)

  • 2012 MotoGP Testing Time Comparison: Dovizioso Most Improved, CRT Bikes Making Most Progress   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Great to see improvements for the CRTs. We know that currently they will easily be distanced at the longer, faster tracks but here's hoping they can improve enough to be up close on the tighter, more technical circuits. If they can even get their noses in front of some of the satellite bikes by a little it will be great to see the skills come into play because I think they may prove tough to pass given the riding standard of the likes of CE. Fingers crossed .

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Round Up: Of Mercury And Sisyphus, Or Speed And Hard Labor   2 years 41 weeks ago

    Lorenzo's times are truly unbelievable. I have a transponder on my bike to record lap times... and my times are usually all over the place. Absolutely amazing. A good example of why these guys are called "aliens" (although an overused term).

    I try explaining this to people who don't follow racing as: try and do a few laps around the office a few times and see if you can be within a few 100ths of a second each time. Not very likely.

  • 2012 MotoGP Testing Time Comparison: Dovizioso Most Improved, CRT Bikes Making Most Progress   2 years 41 weeks ago

    The factory riders who made the least improvement are the aliens. They are aliens because they are able to get to the limit quicker than the others so it shouldn't be surprising that they improve their times the least. They are always looking for 1000ths and 100ths of seconds of improvement rather than 10ths or even seconds.

    What surprised me about Dovi was his initial "slow" pace but he now seems to be where he should be, up the front with the factory riders. He was hard done by at HRC and I hope he rubs it in their face this year by taking some good results away from them.

  • 2012 Sepang 2 MotoGP Test Day 3 Times: Hondas Top Timesheets As Dovizioso Leads Yamaha Charge   2 years 41 weeks ago

    The whole point of the CRT concept if it intends to be the entire grid as is to remove the manufacturers from the sport. To me it is a bit shortsighted as it is the manufacturers who bring the most money and resources to the table. You may get slower, closer racing, just like the AMA accomplished with its manufacturer purge, but now it is barely distinguishable from club racing.

    Will Repsol or Marlboro pay the same sponsorship fees to a non-manufacturer associated team? Who will pay JL and BS salaries if Yamaha factory does not directly participate? Will they still help Tech3?

    I hope Ezpeleta is just rattling his saber with talk of an all CRT grid as it would be a huge step in making GP completely irrelevant.

    Chris
    moto2-usa.blogspot.com

GTranslate