More videos from OnTheThrottle.tv, the OTT crew taking full advantage of being on-site at Miller Motorsports Park. This time, David Williams, Jonathan Green and Steve Martin sit down for a long chat with reigning World Supersport champion Cal Crutchlow. The Sterilgarda Yamaha rider talks about a huge range of subjects: How he got started, why he switched from soccer to motorcycle racing, the phenomenon that is Max Biaggi, traveling to Monza under the shadow of a volcanic ash cloud, and ambitions in MotoGP.
Results and summary of Superpole, as it happens:
Ducati took maximum advantage of a 3 kg (6.6lb) weight reduction to dominate free practice and the first qualifying session under a partly cloudy Utah sky at Miller Motorsports Park today. Prior to the beginning of practice, rain showers were spotted over the Stansbury Mountains, which form the western edge of the Tooele Valley, and raindrops were felt on pit lane. The threatening skies never turned into anything serious, however, and the session quickly turned into the battle of the twins with with Jakob Smrz, Carlos Checa, Shakey Byrne, Luca Scassa, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio all near the top at various stages. Xerox Ducati's Fabrizio pulled out a last-gasp 1'49.756 after the checkered flag flew to end the session to top Athea teammates Checa and Byrne. Series runner-up Max Biaggi took advantage of the prodigious power of the Aprilia RSV4 to claw his way into 4th position.
As ever, the guys at OnTheThrottle.tv have released another pre-race show for this weekend's upcoming World Superbike round. Making the logistics of the show much easier is the fact that the race is in the US, and so David Williams, Jonathan Green and Steve Martin can talk directly, instead of via a more cumbersome Skype link. That's the theory, anyway, but Steve Martin had flight problems, and so Green and Williams receive a succession of guests at their table in a bar in Salt Lake City, including Roger Lee Hayden; John Larsen, GM of Miller Motorsports Park; Simon Buckmaster, manager of the Parkalgar Honda World Supersport team, and Alan Bell, one of Eugene Laverty's engineers. Once again, another great way to kick off the World Superbike Weekend.
The Le Mans MotoGP race turned into a bit of a mystery for a couple of riders. Casey Stoner lost the front for no apparent reason, and Dani Pedrosa, who had looked strong all race, lost two places on the last lap of the race. Afterwards, Pedrosa spoke to the press, explaining that his problems at the end of the race had been caused by a rear brake which had failed. The Repsol Honda rider also expressed his frustration at the continuing problems with the RC212V. Here's what Pedrosa had to say.
Q: What happened at the end? Was your front tire gone?
Dani Pedrosa: No, I couldn't stop the bike. I was all the time off line and I was making mistakes.
Q: Because you were riding defensively?
DP: Not really, I wasn't closing with two laps to go, but my rear brake was finished, and I don't know. I didn't know I had no rear brake, I could push and it felt OK, I just felt I was not stopping for the last 10 laps or so. But I had Dovizioso behind, so I couldn't say "I'll brake a little bit earlier and make no mistakes," because he would get past easily. So I still had to brake very hard, but you could see that in the middle of the corner I was off line. So finally in the last lap, I lost two positions, just because of mistakes. It's disappointing.
Behind the glamorous facade of MotoGP lies a hard-nosed world of contracts, money and taxes the fuels the show. It is not a side that is revealed very often, but two recent news stories have revealed MotoGP's darker side.
The first story was turned up by Roadracing World magazine. Papers filed with the courts in the US revealed that Ben Spies and his management company Speez Racing LLC have been ordered to pay $1.9 million in damages and costs against Spies' former manager Doug Gonda and his company, Protac Inc., Roadracing World's research has turned up. The dispute arose as a result of a conflict between Speez Racing and Protac about, among other things, Spies not obtaining a ride in MotoGP for the Texan for 2009. Speez Racing also alleged that Protac had not been involved in the contract that Spies signed with Yamaha for 2009, and that there had been problems with logistics for three international races caused by Protac, as well as alleging a string of other breaches of contract.