Recent comments

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    >>If you believe this, you should stop reading this website, as I would have no credibility. I deeply, deeply resent this charge.

    You posted on FB at the beginning of the season something about your choices being between jumping through all the hoops Dorna requires of you to get a press pass or stay at home and write articles critical of them. To me that seems like play nice to get paddock access or stay at home and be a contrary voice. Nothing new or special about that choice. And not no credibility, just less. Your writing is enjoyable, that's why I read and support it, not because I believe what you say is gospel. Maybe just being in the paddock gives you Dorna-vision.

    >>So why do I support a spec ECU and a rev limit? Because it is the only achievable way of limiting costs in MotoGP at the moment.

    Yet you keep saying how it will not limit what the factories spend, just reduce their winning gap. Which is it? Saying that the factories are being enticed to rejoin by the new regulations when they have had plans long before the new regulations to rejoin the series? Maybe its the rose colored glasses I have on when I'm looking back at your older work which to me seemed to have more critical thinking and examples but maybe it was just more in line with what I thought. The tires are the primary and cheapest way to limit performance yet it is those exact parts that are emphasizing the single design path to victory that is making the sport visually bland. Dorna can't make BS deliver tires for the benefit of the sport but they'll be able to manage a customer software development portal with an outside manufacturer and 12 different teams yelling for 12 different directions and keep the guys with the biggest purse from gaining a big advantage. And that's the best way forward?

    >>Then there's the matter of top speeds.

    When was the last time we had a crash on the straight?

    >>Too many tracks are already only marginally safe.

    Funny, rider injuries are at an all time low. The only recent fatalities have been directly on-track when riders were hit by oncoming bikes. I'm not saying purposely make things unsafe but this is motorcycle racing, it is an inherently dangerous undertaking, yet safety is improving all the time. Ask any old rider and they'll tell you racing today is much safer, even with the speeds, than what they had to put up with. If safety is really was the issue they would make tires with less overall grip which would reduce cornering speed, which is where all the crashing happens, and would reduce top speed as well. The only reason they can lean to 60+ degrees is because of the tires. Although I am not a fan of spec tires the fact that they are not being used to limit performance in any way is telling.

    >>then what happens in an unregulated formula

    Who said anything about unregulated? A short and concise rule book is more effective then trying to be granular any day of the week. Spec equipment is primarily what I don't like but that does not mean completely unregulated. A fuel limit easily provides a performance cap and if anything is extremely relevant to modern society.

    >>You may not agree with what I believe, but I would ask that you believe that I came to my assessment honestly.

    There's nothing dishonest about it. You're openly advocating for Dorna's vision of grid tightly controlled by them. Whether that vision is right or wrong is an opinion call.

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

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 2   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I really hope Ducati does indeed prove to be a genuine player in MotoGP this year, but I'm a little more cautious than David seems to be. It might be difficult to know, as we observe the coming races, whether we are seeing Open Class benefits (more fuel, softer tires at least for qualifying) or true underlying competitiveness. By 2016, Open Class benefits will be gone. After so many years of disappointment, I think we are eager to see a quick improvement, but maybe Gigi Dall'Igna is merely a really good human rather than a managerial/technical alien. Anyway, I hope he is an alien and Ducati returns to being fully competitive.

    Regardless of all that, Lorenzo's contract is the main lynchpin. That needs to get resolved before much else happens, IMO.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    If we can get more competitive bikes then more riders will be moving around. By competitive I mean bikes that can win races, not something capable of a top 5 at best. If there are bikes that will let a rider ride to his own skill and compete for wins, then we'll see more movement of top riders. Look what A Espargaro has been able to do on a bike that allows him more control, something to showcase his skill. Hopefully he does get podiums this year. Hopefully he does harass the factory boys. I want more competitive rides. I want to see what P Espargaro can do on a good bike. I want to see what Iannone can do on a good bike. Ditto Redding, Bautista, Bradl, Smith. But that isn't going to happen until more bikes are able to compete for a win. And that only happens if A) more manufacturers are able to match Honda/Yamaha's design prowess (not likely) or Dorna is able to provide an alternative avenue for a bike to be fast. I was hoping that Ducati going open was a route to that, but Dorna balked at the last minute and instead of enforcing their desired rule set, made up a last-minute exception to keep the status quo. Which isn't what they say they've wanted. So I'm confused.

    I'd just like to see some of the young fast guys get a chance. But that isn't going to happen as long as the veterans are sitting on all the good rides.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I live in Sydney and have ADSL 2 with iinet. I've had the MotoGP.com video pass for several years. It IS awesome and for $200 AU it could be considered good value for money. Usually my internet connection is up to the task of streaming at the 2nd highest quality setting.

    The only problem is that Sunday nights, when the races are on, seems to be peak time for internet use in our neighbourhood. That can result in insufficient download speed and consistent interruption in the stream. Worse case scenario is watching motoGP on terrible ten (hardly worth dragging Daryl Beattie in for the pointless, uneducated host's dribble) and then the other races in an off-preak time.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I see that for the immediate term too Ghostdog. Do you also get a sense that this dynamic which became more solid and accentuated the last handful of yrs is now bring thatched out a bit to let something else come in? Nearly everything is always changing (even if it is solidifying) so I am super curious how. There has always been a pointy end of bikes and riders, just not THIS pointy with such a big monochromatic blob so far back behind it.
    One take is that the specific rules that were a part of making this so are being undone and then some now. Little teensy Forward Racing is going to podium soon and I am going to go beserk. LOOK AT THEIR BUDGET! Not one but TWO factories are entering MotoGP now and not w bikes that will be grid filler at the back nor vanish fast as they came (think Harris or Illmore).
    TRANFORMATION IS AFOOT methinks and I dig it.
    p.s. I just don't think even Honda can/will afford to pay both Marquez and Jorge, and if I am wrong I will love it.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    >> Funny how the last time non-factory bikes were competitive (and even won a race) there were far fewer restrictive rules.

    1. There were satellite bikes on the podium last year. Cal Crutchlow looked like he had a great chance of a win last year. I'd call that competitive.

    2. The last time a satellite bike won a race was because Toni Elias was given the special 'factory' Michelin tires which Pedrosa didn't win. That had nothing to do with restrictions, that had to do with tires. If anything, it shows how rigged the series was with just a few players having access to special equipment.

    >>Last time a non-Honda/Yamaha title was won there were much fewer restrictions.

    Last tme a non-Honda/Yamaha title was won was after a rule change, when the Japanese factories badly misjudged the rules. It was won by one of the most remarkable motorcycling talents in history. Restrictions or otherwise in the rules had little to do with it. 

    >> They have been planning on coming back before spec electronics were mandated and if anything the new rules have complicated the process for them.

    Both Suzuki and Aprilia have known that spec electronics were on the cards for 2017, the date just got moved up a year. The process has slightly complicated Suzuki's return (though they have different and much bigger problems than electronics), but it has not really impacted Aprilia's return. They are using the Open class as a way to develop a bike for a full factory return. Electronics has no impact on their return.

    Factories race because factories want to race. Electronics is one reason they tell themselves they go racing. It is only a small part in a whole range of reasons to go racing. 

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    So all the silliness of silly season might result in Lorenzo and Pedrosa swapping bikes. Let's face it, as long as there are more quality riders than quality rides, not much will change. There are really 4 bikes currently able to compete for wins and the championship. Pedrosa has had one of those bikes for 8 years. 8. Years. Rossi has been on one of those seats at Yamaha 6 of the past 8 same years. Lorenzo since what, 2008? The only seat that changes hands frequently is the championship seat at Honda. Marquez isn't going anywhere for 2 years at least. Suzuki and Aprilia won't add any winning seats to GP for a few years.

    The result of silly season is usually more "as you were boys" than anything else.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    >>  Q: How can you not come to the conclusion that restrictive rules drive up the cost and spreads out the field? A: have a business relationship with Dorna.

    If you believe this, you should stop reading this website, as I would have no credibility. I deeply, deeply resent this charge. I am prepared to sacrifice my position in the paddock and my credentials for the sake of my integrity. I have, behind the scenes, had heated discussions over things I have written, along with veiled remarks about my position in the paddock. I will not toe the company line because I am required to.

    So why do I support a spec ECU and a rev limit? Because it is the only achievable way of limiting costs in MotoGP at the moment. A completely free rulebook would be much better, perhaps, but factories would be much more likely to leave if you took away the fuel and engine capacity limitation than if you limited electronics. Factories have no desire to compete in a truly unregulated rulebook.

    Then there's the matter of top speeds. As lap times drop, and speeds get higher, the series is outgrowing circuits. Too many tracks are already only marginally safe. Assen is an example, the Hoge Heide / Ramshoek section is one of the best sections of racetrack on the planet, but there are serious concerns over safety there, as the bikes are going through there quicker and quicker, and sliding for longer when they crash. The increased weight doesn't help either. But there are many circuits which face the same problem: the bikes are getting too quick for the track. You can't keep moving back walls, because you simply run out of space, or into unmovable obstacles. And if you move the fans back too far, they stop coming because they are too far away from the action. Safety is one reason MotoGP doesn't go to Laguna Seca any more. It's a reason why even an iconic track like Mugello is coming under scrutiny. 

    If tracks are already becoming unsafe under a set of rules like this, then what happens in an unregulated formula? You would have to build special tracks with vast amount of runoff, or else put chicanes in everywhere, butchering some of the great tracks of the world. Or else spend millions on finding alternatives to gravel traps to slow crashed bikes down. 

    Why do I support the new rules (or rather, some of them)? Because they are the only realistic chance of ensuring MotoGP has a future. I have changed my mind to a certain extent, after talking to many, many people many, many times in the paddock. My relationship or otherwise with the event promoter has nothing to do with it, and frankly, I find it deeply insulting that anyone would even suggest such a thing. I support these rules because I believe in them. I have listened to information on all sides of the argument, and made up my own mind. You may not agree with what I believe, but I would ask that you believe that I came to my assessment honestly. You believe your own set of facts, I believe you are mistaken, I see a different set of facts. If you don't believe in my integrity, you really shouldn't be reading this website. 

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    And that doesn't even include all the "friends" you'll have to help you lighten the load in your pocket.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    ... at least they know how to get the tire warmers off over at Yamaha.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    >>So whether you agree with the direction the rules are going in or not, they appear not to be deterring new factories from entering. 3 years ago, nobody was even considering entering.

    3 years ago were were in the midst of a global financial crisis and that factories cut back on racing is nothing to be surprised about. To tie their return to the changing rules when all of the factories have been fighting against those rules is completely wrong. They are returning because they want to race, not because of the rules. Correlation does not imply causation yet again.

    >>but the aim is that those other areas don't offer the same performance advantage, and other factories can be competitive without needing to spend themselves into bankruptcy.

    Funny how the last time non-factory bikes were competitive (and even won a race) there were far fewer restrictive rules. Last time a non-Honda/Yamaha title was won there were much fewer restrictions. Q: How can you not come to the conclusion that restrictive rules drive up the cost and spreads out the field? A: have a business relationship with Dorna.

    >>Will it cost more for Suzuki and Aprilia to come back to the grid? Given that they have not been in MotoGP, and are now seriously attempting to come back, it appears that those costs are not large enough to deter them.

    That's pretty disingenuous. They have been planning on coming back before spec electronics were mandated and if anything the new rules have complicated the process for them.

    Its nothing about cost and everything about control. All of the changes they made to 'level the playing field' has done anything but. Dorna wants to control the entire series, from the entries to the tires to the equipment on the bikes and soon enough the bikes too. That's not GP racing.

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

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    The only way to control spending is by controlling the budgets. But policing budget caps is impossible, especially with factories involved. They have the ability to hide and disguise costs in a million places, and would never agree to the kind of full-scale audit which would be necessary to police a budget cap.

    So it's fair to say that Honda and Yamaha will continue to spend whatever budget they can extract from their boards. However, the goal of spec electronics (and a rev limit) is to limit the advantage offered by unlimited spending on electronics. No doubt Honda will find other areas which offer gains, but the aim is that those other areas don't offer the same performance advantage, and other factories can be competitive without needing to spend themselves into bankruptcy. 

    Will it cost more for Suzuki and Aprilia to come back to the grid? Given that they have not been in MotoGP, and are now seriously attempting to come back, it appears that those costs are not large enough to deter them. For the first time in 8 years, manufacturers are coming back to MotoGP, rather than leaving. So whether you agree with the direction the rules are going in or not, they appear not to be deterring new factories from entering. 3 years ago, nobody was even considering entering.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    First off, F1 does not have spec software, only spec hardware.

    >>that after an initial cost increase to adapt to the software

    So it will cost Aprilia and Suzuki more to get back to the grid. Great way to attract 'new' manufacturers.

    >>But that's impossible to control.

    So why implement these rules if the overall budget is not affected?

    And we have no idea what the electronics cost in F1 is. Aero testing and simulation are the huge costs. Then the engines. Then the drivers. I suspect they cut 50% of the costs of an area that was not one of the major spending zones. And the racing did not improve from the spec box.

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

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I for one would have no problem burning through 20M given the chance!

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

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Former Benetton engineer Pat Symonds told Mat Oxley that after an initial cost increase to adapt to the software, the spec ECU in F1 cut electronics costs by 50%. That will happen in MotoGP too.

    Of course, what happened was that the teams then went and spent the money saved on electronics on aerodynamics. But that's impossible to control.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    ...but why would Yamaha allow Jorge to ride and potentially injure himself on a Honda.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Are getting to the level of stick and ball sports. I am not saying that the riders are not worth it, I guess I'm wondering who really wins? I believe Mr. Emmitt broke down the subsidies that DORNA pays the teams, but to what extent is that covering the riders/travel/development/expenses ect?

    I am excited for the new ECU rules as much as I am opposed to it. The factories will still have the advantage just for the budget alone however, thinking of the potential shaking up of the finishing order every now and again excites me.

    Mr. Emmitt - with the spec ECU coming into play has there been any talks about allowing the factories to provide more than four machines on the grid? It would be nice to see a 2005 type scenario with six (relatively) competitive Hondas on the grid again.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I am guessing the the two Aprilia slots wil be right next to the vaunted Norton slots that seem to pop up every year.

    I can't see why Aprilia would waste money in MotoGp. They dominated WSBK for the last several years and still can't sell bikes in the US. I don't know what their sales stats are in other countries (or if WSBK gave them a bump) but I can't imagine finishing 15th in every race will help.

    As a Eurosport subscriber I was disappointed the DORNA went with BT. I would imagine they are losing viewers as folks who already pay for Eurosport are supposed to pony up even more money for a 3rd rate sports channel to watch the same 3 guys win race, after race. Of the folks I know who watched on Eurosport non have subscribed to BT and all refuse to pay the excessive fee for the MotoGP video pass.

    Filling the grid with lousy bikes (CRT, and whatever it's called this week) is like filling a salad bowl with celery. It looks nice, fills up the sapce but does nothing for the end product.

    MotoGP has been horribly mis-manged and "ruled" into the ground. Every single "cost cutting" dictate has resulted in the exact opposite effect, the price to be competative is so high now that there are only 4 bikes capable of winning.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    So much for trying to drive down costs in motogp, eh?

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    The video streams offered go as low as 400kbps (low quality). It's pretty rubbish, but I doubt anyone's connection is THAT bad. Then there is normal quality (i think it's about 1Mbps), which is tolerable, and still well below pretty much anyone's internet speed. Then there's High quality, then 720p (4mbs). Even 4Mbps is pretty low when it comes to internet speeds, but if yours is lower the HQ stream is perfectly watchable. I think it's somewhere around 2Mbps.

    The MotoGP videopass is an absolute must for me. Haven't gone without it for I dont know how many years. Not just for the practice sessions (i have foxtel so get all the races), but the live timing. I can't stand the basic free timing. That's just me though, I love my racing timing.

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I look forward to seeing Lorenzo at Repsol

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 2 days ago

    What do you do with more than 20 million € over a lifetime? That's about 30k€/month until age 90. So does the money really have any influence other than reinforcing vanity?

    It would be ironic if in an alternative universe where Lorenzo and Rossi had salaries capped to 2 million (they will still have their endorsement income), the extra money could have been used to develop a bike able to beat the Honda...

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Ping doesn't matter with satellite feeds if you are talking streaming. Sattelite is best at constant data rate ie, downloading large files or streaming From a single source. Where satellite fails (and the ping problem) is many repeated server requests quickly, ie, loading lots of small files quickly, like you would find on most any website. So if thinking streaming/remote areas then sattelite is one of the best options.

  • Looking Ahead: MotoGP Grids Filling Up With Aprilia Working On 2016 Return   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Its cost both factories listed more money to adapt to the new spec hard and software. They said it outright. But don't worry, as people keep repeating wrong information it will magically transform from fiction to fact.

    Not to mention that both factories also had well-established plans to return to the series well before the 2016 rules were released. As has been said here before, correlation does not imply causation but maybe that's no longer true either.

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

  • The Courtship Ritual Begins: Prelude To MotoGP's Silly Season, Part 1   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Keeping Marquez will be a priority for Honda and Lorenzo for Yamaha.

    Lots of distractions and curve balls will be forthcoming to screen the real intent of the factory and second tier teams. If Aleix Espargaro is up for grabs it would also be money very well spent by whoever wins his contract. The money ball theory comes in here. Forget about reputation, look at performance as an indicator of the worth of the rider. AE can't command the same massive fees as the top 4 riders (yet) so would be a very, very good investment. Same with his little brother (if available).

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