Recent comments

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Race Two: The Fat Lady Sings   3 weeks 18 hours ago

    Raymonde Roche... it's been a while.

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Race Two: The Fat Lady Sings   3 weeks 18 hours ago

    Aprillia manage to grunt themselves onto the top step and take the title in a poetic manner, - with a motor in a state of tune quite antithetical to the 2015 EVO motor spec rules. With a nice Baz-Melandri balance of points not handed over for either Sykes or Guinters.

    Interesting!

    Looking fwd to the lovely homologolation specials we all get to enjoy now, and a next generation of liter bikes with better track suited kit and development leanings. Have you seen the leaked MV Augusta (now hooked up w Mercedes) homologation special? Niiice! When Honda announces their V4 prepare your keyboards with drool safe precautions, it may be quite a bit like this yr's production MotoGP bike, and STUNNING.

    Guinters, congrats! Good guy. And stuck on shoddy stuff in his GP tenure (incl Dunlop backmarker rubber). Hoping (Honda?) comes up with a strong package next yr for him and Pata if he is indeed going there - and a nice liter bike to get me off of my CBR600RR and drooling over something besides the Panigale. Methinks the next 1000cc Honda might need a spot in the garage ;)

    Great time to be a fan and rider in my book.

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Race Two: The Fat Lady Sings   3 weeks 18 hours ago

    Can't belive this! Congrats to Guintoli, his rare runs in Tech3 showed his potential and finally he's got what he deserves. Fair. Pity that Sykes leaved it like this and hadn't done more. Second time just very little points decided against him (I feel for the people around him now...harsh moments are just coming). For me it's just sad to not to see Kawasaki again on podium as I like Green but...isn't Sylvain Guintoli the first Frenchman to clinch WSBK title? Hmm...Aprilia ends in style their factory effort in WSBK series.
    btw - next season will be with or without MV Agusta, Bimota or Buell??? Anybody knows?

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Saturday Roundup: Nocturnal Qualifying Done   3 weeks 19 hours ago
    Yup

    I wrote a long comment about Thai names in an earlier post, but here's the Wikipedia article on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_name

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Race Two: The Fat Lady Sings   3 weeks 19 hours ago

    So glad for Guinters!
    What a couple of races he had, complete domination! Amazing job.

  • 2014 Qatar World Supersport Race: Settling Second   3 weeks 21 hours ago

    Amazing season, good luck in WSB next year!

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Saturday Roundup: Nocturnal Qualifying Done   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Film Wilairot?

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Saturday Roundup: Nocturnal Qualifying Done   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Not confirmed; merely reported. Yes, I would normally wait for full confirmation before quoting information like that, but there's only one day of roundups left.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    a team sport not a team mate sport.

    Melandri was right. If I was capable of riding in a World Championship at the highest level there is no way I'd just let my team mate by, if he "wants it" he needs to win it for himself by riding better / faster.

    This sport is becoming too sanitised and nice at the moment - e.g. people moaning that Miller shouldn't ride hard against Marquez last week.

    "this is a motorcycle race not a picnic"

  • 2014 Qatar World Superbike Saturday Roundup: Nocturnal Qualifying Done   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Has this been confirmed? Perhaps I missed it, but have seen no announcement.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I think what we need to understand about motorcycle racing being a team sport has been pointed out by David in his article. Team can be a rider, his crew chief, his mechanics etc. He can't do too much without that team working for him. The difficulty is if both the riders and their teams can be considered as a meta team or a bigger overarching team and this where difficulties start of present themselves. Michael Schumacher's tenure at Ferrari was most interesting as a case. Schumacher introduced the constant usage of the word "we" while referring to what "he" did in a race. He reinforced this by sharing the champagne battle with this "team" of mechanics etc. The meta team was taken care of by either Jean Todt or Luca de Montezemolo or Ross Brawn where Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barichello were told at the time of the signing of the contract itself that they were number 2 and not expected to win races even if they could. Kimi Raikonnen was the true individualist. He didn't bother to speak much and the few utterances that were forced out of him turned out to be difficult to comprehend mutterings. No spraying of champagne, no giving it to the mechanics, it was just him.

    In motorcycle racing too you find that some riders talk we while others do not. Valentino Rossi falls in the latter category. I have never seen in MotoGP, riders explicitly being told by the meta team that one had to give way to the other in a very obvious manner. But it is something that happened in WSBK. I still remember Scot Russell being waved ahead by a very, very displeased Aaron Slight. Apparently the Muzzy Kawasaki team was particular that Russell be allowed to win the race since that was the one time when Kawasaki was in a position to win the world championship. And the next year both Honda and Yamaha were to come in as factory teams. Rob Muzzy was apparently told that the world championship should be won by Russell even if it displeased Slight. I think it made sense at that time for Kawasaki to do what it was doing because that was their maiden chance for becoming World champions. However, what happened with Marco Melandri and Loris Baz is different. Aprilia have been world champions several times. Kawasaki became world champions last year only for the rider and not as constructors. So they want that this year I think and so they played that game.

    I guess team orders has a place if you look at this as a rider being backed by the factory so that it (the factory) can win the championship and late in the championship when one rider is in no position to win and the other is, it is not illogical for the factory teams to exercise team orders. After all they are pouring rivers of money into racing and have to have something to show to the share holders and management of the factories. However, to go back to Michael Schumacher, the Ferrari team had said that even if Schumacher was ahead by a few hundred points still nobody could win other than him in a Ferrari. Now that is nonsense.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Grandpa, how did you win your championship?

    I was going as fast as I could but it just wasn't working, my team-mate pulled over and let me by to win it all. I'm so proud.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    There are more than two teams contesting each match. So first they would need to individually place themselves in a position to be helpful against an entire field of competitors.

    The only way to ensure as a rider to be in that helpful position is to take the approach that it means beating everyone else first, including your teammate.

    Not that it matters but the mention in article of other ways a teammate can help.... there are some differences in a teammate fighting with competition and crashing into them taking them out of the race altogether.

    If your going to include both, then in context of WSBK, don't forget Bruno 2009 when Fabrizio took out Ben Spies which was part of the set up for it going down to final round and race for the championship.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Yes - that's the way I see it too - extremely short-sighted of him. Those strangers in his garage are responsible for prepping his ride, and with a lot of hard work this season, they managed to fashion the RSV4 into a weapon that suited his style. Presumably they have some loyalty to the marque, and would take pride in a Guintoli victory. I can understand why we saw the angry face on his pit-board.
    I enjoy watching MM33 race, but this kind of behavior makes him look like a narcissistic little prick on the podium.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I'm suprised someone of Melandri's experience couldn't see or didn't care about the bigger picture. He's well out of the championship battle, but he's still considered one of the elite in WSB so 1 win less is neither here nor there, he would still have been at the top of every team's shopping list....if they could afford him.

    Another theatrical wave through wouldn't have diminished his standing in the slightest, and he could legitimately claim to be a part of the winning TEAM.

    Instead he has conciously chosen to make it that much harder for the strange group of people who seem to stalk him in the garage every race meeting and by some weird twist of fate wear matching clothes every single time....what are the odds of such a thing? As he has no connection to these strangers/stalkers it obviously hasn't clicked that he may have cost them the ultimate prize.

    Hmmmmm, I don't know how you say "Plonker!" in Italian....but I bet that strange group of people in the funny matchy matchy outfits do.....

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I can see both sides of the coin. Team bosses want to secure a championship. Riders want to secure good results.
    Everyone is a CEO of Themselves Inc. IN the end you have to do whats best for you and ONLY YOU can make that decision. I've never seen a rider credited with being on a championship winning team when they weren't the ones winning the championship. You would be hard pressed to walk into your negotions with Bell or Shoei or Alpinestars and say "Yeah I helped such and such secure the 2014 title. I'm a real team player." They want to see how many wins/podiums you'll produce to pimp their product.
    Conversely negotiating a contract with a team that already has a #1 rider, your willingness to acquiesce might come under question.
    I partook in both team and individual sport growing up, and flourished in an individual sport (swimming). The mentalities are different, and knowing how you need to be wired racing motorcycles, the fact that anyone pulls over for their teammate to come by baffles me. That is unless there is a bag of money the team owner is handing you to do so...

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I'm guessing the stage has been set for " Hey, I wanted to help but I couldnt, you've seen my times...".

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I look at any form of motor racing as an individual sport for the first, say, 3/4ths of the season; slowly evolving into a team sport in the final quarter as the team attempts to come up with the best standing possible by the end.

    As most motorsports have both an individual championship and a team (or constructor's) championship, its up to team management to decide what is possible towards the end of the season, how they're going to go for it, and what the riders have to do to accomplish said aims. At which point, marching order are given and should be followed.

    Yeah, I'll hear the whine of "but that hurts the racing for the spectators". The teams are out there to win championships first, please the spectators second. Besides, this controlled form of racing only rears its head for the final couple of races. Up until that point, everybody is pulling out all the stops to get in as good as position as possible for the end.

    I've especially got problems with a racer who doesn't have a hope of the championship (mathematically out of the running) sandbagging his teammate who's one of the finalists for the top step. Yes, the individual is important, but the team signs the paycheck.

    And yeah, I've had this very strong attitude for eight years now . . . . . . . .

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    I had just this debate with a riding buddy. I can see botht sides, BUT.....if I'm writing the checks/paying the bills, I have the final say. Its a business & $$$$ makes it works, especially at this time of the season. I totally understand how the riders feel, being told to 'move over & let your teamate by', but put the ego aside.....

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    In no way is "The rider's job is to make the team better, first." The rider's job is to beat everyone he can, including (and most especially!!) his "teammate".
    As David alludes to, a motorcycle team is nothing at all like a basketball or soccer team, where everyone is pulling for a common goal. Racing "teammates" are nothing like that, they are competitors who happen to share some support resources.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    It's a team sport until the lights go out and may it forever stay that way.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    I personally believe there should be orders, but before the race behind closed doors.

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    There is a 'me' in team!

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Riders have contracts with personal sponsors and with their teams, and sometimes their income depends a lot more on their sponsors than their teams. Sponsors like victories. Sponsors give bonuses for victories.

    So, which boss do you listen to most? 

  • Team Orders: Is Motorcycle Racing A Team Sport?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Personally I have no quarrel with motorcycle racing turning into a team sport at this stage of the season. Egomania is never an attractive quality, and a rider sabotaging the efforts of his team for personal glory isn't a pretty sight. The employers pay the bills, and they have a right to expect their employees not to hinder their chances of success after an expensive campaign.
    If it plays out that the spectator loses the opportunity to see another chapter of the Cadalora-Bradl narrative on the final bend, I won't feel cheated. These guys have already put in a hard season's racing.
    Good luck to both Guintoli and Sykes. Both have a lot of skill and seem like decent fellows.

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