Recent comments

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Race Result: Crashes Galore, Shock Results   6 days 8 hours ago

    I've never liked Bridgestone Tires. Of course the tires I use are different from the tires on a MotoGP bike, but I believe Michelin has expertise relative to rubber compounding that Bridgestone cannot match, based on my experience in cars and on bikes in racing and street use.

    It was a real shame to see Crutchlow crash. Also, it would have been nice to see Rossi try to close in on Marquez, and we were robbed of that when Marquez crashed. Clearly the tires betrayed many riders, and there is simply no excuse for such poor tires at this level of racing, where lives of the best in the world are at risk when poor quality equipment is used.

    It was nice to see Rossi smile on the podium. Though Rossi is a great actor,
    I am pretty sure his smile was 100% genuine today. And Bradley Smith choking up during an interview shows how much these guys care. Whatever any of them are paid, they deserve all of it and more.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Race Result: Crashes Galore, Shock Results   6 days 9 hours ago
    wow

    I was so impressed by Crutchlow. And so distraught on that last lap. But still, I think he was the story of the race, other than everyone on the asymmetric front eating shit. Let's see what the Bridgestone press release has to say about that this week.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 14 hours ago

    My "Grand Unifying Field Theory of How To Get Your Corporate Board To Sign Off On Your Racing Program" follows this line of thinking:

    You, as the race department, have to be able to make an argument (with a straight face) that racing is necessary to develop XXX technology or to push the limits of said technology. Whether it's electronic rider aids, fuel consumption, engine longevity or whatever, R&D has to be part of the sales pitch.

    This next bit is critical:

    It doesn't have to be the SOLE reason for going racing. It just has to be a CREDIBLE part of it.

    If the Board of Directors just feels like going racing, signs the checks, then gets called on the carpet by shareholders for spending money on racing, the board members need a fig leaf for their actions. R&D, combined with marketing, etc., serve that function. (Brief aside: How much publicity and positive PR has Suzuki gotten from a MotoGP bike that hasn't turned a lap in anger yet? Pretty cool, huh?)

    The tech argument works as a fig leaf in another way: If you get your ass kicked (which, let's face it, Aprilia and Suzuki are likely to experience) but get a little R&D done, then you can make the argument to the board that the racing expenditure was not wasted.

    So it's a balance between the two. And I suspect that what we're seeing is Honda and Yamaha's racers saying, OK, we've done really well in the fuel efficiency department over the past couple of years. Reliability - just wow. An entire MotoGP season on five engines? Did well there.

    What do we have that's new that can we sell to the board?

    And honestly, I don't know what they've got up their sleeves. But I'm fascinated to see what they come up with next.

    (If I'm betting, it's braking and ABS).

    My thoughts.

    p.s. My understanding about 2016 is the same as yours - same max fuel, electronics, etc., for everyone. If Honda and Yamaha really wanted to use the rulebook to screw the other manufacturers, they'd simply say, let's all stay at 20 liters. And the mischievous part of me is saying, if Honda and Yamaha can kick everyone else's butt with 20 liters, what are they going to be able to do with 22?

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 14 hours ago

    I'll stand corrected on the fuel (although it remains to be seen how much fuel the Suzuki and Aprilias actually will have on-board).

    But please, spare me the "MotoGP is for racers" hyper-romantic hyperbole. It's a business with tens of millions of dollars at stake, and no multinational conglomerate goes racing for funsies.

    The idea that anyone builds a MotoGP bike because "MotoGP is for racers" is an idea that is as detached from reality as Jared's belief that Eugene Laverty ceded a place to Max Biaggi at the Moscow WSBK race in 2012 because of team orders.

  • Dainese Press Release: How Valentino Rossi's AGV Helmet Protected Him During His Aragon Crash   6 days 14 hours ago

    Yes, sorry, should have pointed out that here in Oz cheapie helmets tend to be in the $150 and under bracket. We have compulsory helmet laws which mean there is significant price gouging by importers. Good safety rating helmets tend to be quite expensive. In other regions that price point may be higher or lower.
    The price points in UK quid that are much lower than Oz prices are well known, but we cannot legally import UK helmets.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 15 hours ago

    The above consideration of fuel limits is regarding the 2016 season - sincere question, am I missing something re rules in being under the impression that everyone falls under one set of rules there?

    Morbidelli, overemphasizing the relevance of manufacturer's interest/need in developing fuel efficiency for production bikes seems really similar to me as under considering it. Are you sure you want to swing it that far? There are LOTS of venues for them to address that focus. HOW pertinent it is in MotoGP seems a more valuable perspective to me than IF.

    And of course the E bikes are on a big development trajectory, and I am interested as well. It has been fun here locally to conect with Michael Czyz re his E bike challenge.

    Honda has goal oriented reasons to over represent their actual value received from fuel efficiency dev in GP when it benefits them in particular to lower the fuel allocation. So on and so forth, there is a ton going on here of course.

    Respectfully submitted,
    David

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 15 hours ago

    I agree - banning a technology like that would be a shame. It will be interesting to see hybrid and other powerplants on racebikes a decade from now. People laugh at electric bikes, but when Michael Barnes (IIRC) told me at the MotoGP event at Laguna a few years back that his electric bike was faster across the start-finish line than any of the 600s there, I went to check, and he was right - by like eight miles an hour. But there's always the balance between R&D and what you're selling.

    What the slight relaxation on fuel capacity proposed by the factories means (to me) is that Honda and Yamaha have learned what they wanted to learn by going that direction - for now. Same with reliability - they've gotten what they wanted along those lines, for the moment. You still have to sell the R&D thing to the board so they'll fund your race team, so now I am wondering - what is the next push toward? It will be interesting.

    You can always tell when the manus feel they've gone far enough down a path and they feel that they've learned what they wanted to learn for the moment. They'll agree to stop working in a particular direction.

    Case in point: the electronics package. I suggested a while back that the manus agreed to the "spec" package and software because the technology had matured to the point where the hardware is cheap and the knowledge base had expanded to the point where you can get the bike to do what you want it to do with a relatively cheap box.

    Check out Chris Ulrich's on-track review of the BMW racebikes in the latest Roadracing World. The BSB bike, with spec software and a spec box, was a kitten to ride. Chris said Kiyonari's bike was so docile that it felt like the TC was turned on and that the engine braking system felt like one that was banned in BSB. And the electronics on Sylvain Barrier's EVO-spec WSBK machine, based on a $2,500 kit ECU, were mind-bogglingly good. (Funny thing was that the most evil beast was the IOM machine, which was built almost like a land speed record bike.)

    Of course, you have to have the team and the factory behind you to make it work. Such is the nature of the beast ...

  • 2014 Phillip Island Moto3 QP Result: Pole Decided By The Narrowest Of Margins   6 days 16 hours ago

    Baring a better explination; Mr. Miller has shot himself in the foot. Shoulda put his head down...

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 18 hours ago

    Just a shame that when KTM brought their 'KERS' unit (a small generator taking power from engine braking and providing less than 1hp extra acceleration) to the 125cc class, it was banned, at the request of the manufacturers.

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Saturday Photos From Australia   6 days 19 hours ago

    +1! Great pics.
    I'm Canadian but was born and lived in Scotland as a wee lad. Still miss those 99's on the beach.

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Saturday Photos From Australia   6 days 19 hours ago

    Great photos (as usual). Love the caption to the Lorenzo shot! (I wonder how many people outside the UK will get the joke...)

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   6 days 20 hours ago

    To answer your question, because MotoGP is for *racers* and, sadly, it has been a good long while since F1 was for racers. And BTW, Suzuki and Aprilia will be on 24 liters next year, along with Ducati.

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Saturday Photos From Australia   6 days 23 hours ago

    Each year your pics of the Island get better. Very jealous.

  • 2014 Phillip Island Moto3 QP Result: Pole Decided By The Narrowest Of Margins   6 days 23 hours ago

    Can someone please explain Miller's childish antics? Alex was deep in a pack, with a few minutes remaining, and managed to keep his head down and go slightly faster. Does Miller expect everyone to move aside? He needs to grow up. Im sure his behavior will be well recieved in MGP.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   1 week 1 hour ago

    In a world of hybrid F1 cars and ever-increasing fuel economy for street vehicles of all types, why would racing vehicles with increasingly WORSE fuel efficiency be attractive to the boards of directors of those other manufacturers that you're trying to attract? Those directors are the folks who have to sign off on the multi-million-dollar race programs.

    There's a reason that Honda, Yamaha and Ducati are all within one liter of each other in what they want, and that Suzuki and Aprilia are entering next year under Factory rules, not Open. And that means 20 liters, not the 24 they could have chosen.

    Just my 0.02.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   1 week 1 hour ago

    "Some guys in Europe can't be arsed to get out of bed" is just about the most banal word sequence I have yet read in posts on this site.

    As a European and a fan of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 (especially Moto3 of recent years; actually that's not entirely true, I'm a fan of any racing where there is frequent overtaking at the front) I will get out of bed early, stay up late and sometimes even travel great distances for races. Like you, I'd much rather the racing timing suited my circadian rhythm for sure. Unlike you I adjust without saying daft things, and unlike you I prefer scrappy racers to time trial specialists.

    It is the time trial specialists who are more responsible than anything Dorna could do for any decreased spectator interest. Even my interest waned at the sport's bleakest moments, watching Stoner and Lorenzo trying so hard to get into situations so as to not require passing manoeuvres...

    The time trial specialists are hence the far greater real risk to the financial needs of our favourite sport, rather than the precise hour that the Europeans prefer to watch races.

  • Bridgestone And Dunlop Bringing New Tires To Phillip Island To Avoid A Repeat Of 2013   1 week 5 hours ago

    I think it will be correct. The point to remember that they are on 16.5 inch wheels precisely so the tyres can be larger in profile thus provide ultimate grip in corners.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   1 week 11 hours ago

    I agree with you, it's half 5 in the morning in the UK and Q2 is about to start, I've been up since half 4 when fp4 started. It makes no difference to me if I get up at 4,5 or 6, as I will tomorrow. They are crazy to think an hour later this early in the day is going to affect fans decision to get up.

    I personally love the flyaways, it's dark and completely quiet because everyone else is asleep, perfect! Ha ha

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   1 week 15 hours ago

    I am discouraged to hear that there is even CONSIDERATION of a fuel limit as low as 21. Please Dorna, err on the generous side re fuel and engines. Honda had its turn with the rulebook already. Please make it a 5 - 6 manufacturer discussion and take equal consideration of Suzuki and Aprillia.
    HRC = Have Ruined Competition
    :(

    Go Rossi!

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - Special Tires For A Special Circuit, And The Rules For 2016   1 week 15 hours ago

    I don't like this trend of pushing races into bad times of the day in flyaway races just because some guys in Europe can't be arsed getting out of bed. Events at Suzuka a few weeks ago should have highlighted the folly of such decisions, and with Phillip Island having some of the most fickle weather conditions imaginable, having racing at anything other than the optimal time of day seems like inviting disaster.

    Given what they've done to TV viewing numbers while chasing the short term dollars from pay tv stations, it seems unusual that Dorna even care how many are watching the race anyhow.

    Go Lorenzo!

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Friday Photos From Australia   1 week 16 hours ago

    The reason that there aren't many of those photos out there, is because the teams don't allow it. :-) Always a battle to try to get those photos.

  • 2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Preview - Racing For Pride, The Battle For Moto2, And Crew Chief Changes   1 week 19 hours ago

    For motorbikes, of course. :-)

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Friday Photos From Australia   1 week 20 hours ago

    Love the pictures, my favorite being of the equipment. Please please please take more of those, shocks, forks, brakes, beneath the fairing spy shots, not enough of those out there...
    Great work Scott!

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Friday Photos From Australia   1 week 21 hours ago

    Amazing! :)

  • Scott Jones On The Island: Friday Photos From Australia   1 week 22 hours ago

    My favorite pornographer.
    Thanks Scott!
    :)

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