2011 Valencia MotoGP Sunday Round Up - The Very Many Goodbyes Of 2011, And Hello To 2012

The last race of the year is always one for farewells, but we had an awful lot of goodbyes on Sunday at Valencia. The last ever race for the 800cc MotoGP bikes, the last ever race of Loris Capirossi's very long and highly colorful career (some paddock wags suggesting that the first win of his career came against a rider called Maximus Decimus Meridius), the end of the two-stroke Grand Prix era, with the 125cc bikes making way for the Moto3 machines. The departure of some of the finest journalists and broadcasters from the paddock, as the Spanish state TV company TVE ended its tenure in the paddock. Riders heading off to the World Superbike paddock, some returning to their old stomping ground, as is the case with Kenan Sofuoglu, others to try pastures new, Hiroshi Aoyama joining the Ten Kate Honda squad.

But we started with the biggest and the best of goodbyes, and certainly the most moving. After morning warm up, some 100 bikes took to the track, the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125 machines doing a lap of honor in tribute to Marco Simoncelli, the Italian who had died at Sepang on the previous GP weekend. Out front, Kevin Schwantz rode Simoncelli's #58 San Carlo Gresini Honda, calling halt in front of the assembled paddock, fronted by Simoncelli's Gresini team, his parents and his family. A few riders revved their engines, but the sound was soon rendered inaudible by the deafening thunder of Valencian fireworks, loud enough to set off most of the car alarms in nearby Cheste.

It was a fitting tribute, truly a celebration of a man's life, as large and as loud as Marco Simoncelli was, rather than the quiet grieving over a man's death. In a society which seems so afraid of dying that it lacks the courage to sample life to the full, it was a poignant and powerful reminder of the fact that nothing can be achieved without risk, and that a passion as large as Marco Simoncelli's, or any other motorcycle racer's, will very occasionally demand the ultimate sacrifice. If the contestants are willing to pay the price - the fact that 16 men lined up on the MotoGP grid, and Marc Marquez only finally gave up on the Moto2 title on Saturday afternoon, his double vision stubbornly preventing him from racing, was testament to the fact that so many believe the goal is worth the risk they know they run - then who are we to stop them? The fullness of Marco Simoncelli's life is his triumph; his death was a tragedy, but it pales in comparison to the life he led, and the passion he leaves those who watched him over the years.

The final 125cc race was not a classic, but it set the tone. The script sent out by Dorna for the awards ceremony this evening already assumed that Nico Terol would take the title, and the Spaniard did not disappoint. Johann Zarco's determination was admirable, but it led him to push too hard, crashing out in the early laps as he chased the leading group. With Zarco taken out of the equation, Terol finally seemed to relax and start racing as he can. A victory was not on the cards - Maverick Vinales was too strong for that - but Terol got close, and a podium meant wrapping the last ever 125cc title in style.

Vinales on the podium meant more exposure for the media celebrity (whatever that means) Paris Hilton, leading to a predictable wave of criticism from the motorcycle racing snobs. After the race, Hilton tweeted that she was pleased here rider Maverick Vinales had won at the "MotoGP grand finals", unleashing the usual comments that she had no idea what she was talking about. That is as maybe, but she did tweet that to over five million followers, and though the vast majority of those people have no interest in motorcycle racing, nor any interest in finding out about it, even a tiny percentage of five million is a massive number. MotoGP's biggest Twitter name is Jorge Lorenzo, but his 300,000 followers are just a pale shadow in comparison with Paris Hilton's five million. Laugh at her all you want, but she has probably brought MotoGP to the attention of more people with a casual comment than the massed ranks of the MotoGP media have managed in years of coverage.

The Moto2 race turned into an emotional rollercoaster, with the Gresini team taking center stage once again. Yuki Takahashi ran away with the race early, before crashing massively on lap 6, landing on his head after a huge highside, then tumbling horrifically through the gravel clearly unconscious. Though it looked awful, Takahashi came away relatively unhurt, being sent to a Valencian hospital for checkups after being given the all clear by the Medical Center.

The Japanese rider's crash handed the lead to Michele Pirro, who went on to take a very comfortable win over Mika Kallio, but the win proved almost too much for Fausto Gresini to bear. Gresini wept openly as Pirro crossed the line, the Italian's victory all too reminiscent of Sete Gibernau's win at Welkom in South Africa, at the race after Daijiro Kato - another Gresini MotoGP rider, and another personal friend of Fausto Gresini's - died from the injuries he suffered at Suzuka. Gresini almost retired after Kato's death, and was said to be considering the same after the death of Marco Simoncelli, but the Italian took the victories as a sign that it was not yet the time to shut up shop.

The final race of the 800cc era started off looking a lot like a classic 800 MotoGP race, with Casey Stoner taking off at the start and leaving the rest of the field for dead. Things got a lot more interesting after that, though, the race eventually being decided by the smallest ever margin in the 800cc era.

Despite Stoner's obscene lead in the first 25 laps of the race, there was plenty of interest further down the field, with battles raging over the secondary honors. Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso slugged it out over 3rd in the championship, Pedrosa only giving up once the rain began to fall in earnest. Behind the fight for the podium, Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham had a no-holds-barred scrap for Rookie of the Year, that battle only settled when Abraham ran into the back of Crutchlow, after Crutchlow had put a backyard move on the Czech rider to take over the chase for Pedrosa.

The rain that dropped Pedrosa down to 5th also spiced things up at the front. Stoner's lead dropped from 10 seconds to under 2 in the space of just three laps, Ben Spies taking over the lead once he had caught the Australian napping. The acceleration of the Honda saved Stoner's bacon on the very last lap, the Australian getting "perfect" drive onto the front straight to sneak ahead of Spies to take victory. Stoner looked happier than he had since winning the championship (pleased to have won on the last lap for the first time, rather than being on the receiving end which had happened so often in the past).

Andrea Dovizioso took 3rd, and 3rd in the championship, finishing ahead of Dani Pedrosa both in the race and in the standings. The Italian was delighted with both, his best result in the championship since entering MotoGP. He leaves Honda with his head held high, and with the added pleasure of rubbing in his position to Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda's former golden boy.

There was plenty more drama in the MotoGP race, starting off with a first-corner pile up caused when Alvaro Bautista clipped the rear wheel of Andrea Dovizioso and went down, taking out the Marlboro Ducatis of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, and the Pramac Ducati of Randy de Puniet. Rossi afterward was livid, the Italian canceling his usual press debrief and staying in his motorhome instead. Rossi had had high hopes of a decent result, and had been aiming for a podium to honor his dead friend Marco Simoncelli. It was not to be, and Rossi capped his worst ever Grand Prix season - his first ever to go winless, and just a single podium at Le Mans to his name in 2011 - with a dismal result. The marketing marriage made in heaven remains one of convenience, rather than true love.

Barely had the flag fallen on the race than the speculation started about 2012. Suzuki will be testing their 800 on Tuesday and Wednesday, though serious doubts remain over whether they will be in the championship next year. Team members have been given permission to look for jobs elsewhere, veteran crew chief Tom O'Kane heading to the Monster Tech 3 garage to work with Andrea Dovizioso. So though Alvaro Bautista will be riding the bike on Tuesday and Wednesday, his future at Suzuki is far from ensured, as is the continuing participation for the Hamamatsu manufacturer.

Stefan Bradl looked to be happy staying in Moto2 for another year, but some last-minute bargaining may shake up his 2012 MotoGP season. The German was seen locked in serious negotiations with Livio Suppo of Honda, giving rise to speculation that Bradl could join the San Carlo Gresini or LCR Honda squads, though Bradl has repeatedly said he cannot find more than the 2.5 million euros his sponsors bring to the sport. With LCR chronically short of cash, an injection of liquidity may be just what Lucio Cecchinello's team needs.

There are plenty more pieces of the puzzle to slot into place, but the MotoGP silly season seems to have slotted into high gear. With Iannone likely to test the Gresini Honda on Tuesday alongside Bradl, those are two names looking good for MotoGP. Then there's the CRT teams, but beyond Yonny Hernandez looking set to test the BQR Kawasaki, even there everything is still up in the air. It promises to be an incredibly hectic few days, with everyone keen to secure their deals before testing is done on Wednesday. We may be waving goodbye to the 2011 season, but we are only doing so to welcome the 2012 season.

The last race of the year is always one for farewells, but we had an awful lot of goodbyes on Sunday at Valencia. The last ever race for the 800cc MotoGP bikes, the last ever race of Loris Capirossi's very long and highly colorful career (some paddock wags suggesting that the first win of his career came against a rider called Maximus Decimus Meridius), the end of the two-stroke Grand Prix era, with the 125cc bikes making way for the Moto3 machines. The departure of some of the finest journalists and broadcasters from the paddock, as the Spanish state TV company TVE ended its tenure in the paddock. Riders heading off to the World Superbike paddock, some returning to their old stomping ground, as is the case with Kenan Sofuoglu, others to try pastures new, Hiroshi Aoyama joining the Ten Kate Honda squad.

Comments

2013?

I think you meant to write '2012' in the last sentence. That said, paragraph 3 more than makes up for it. I'll bet that one took you a while to wordsmith. Well done.

Total votes: 176

+1

+1 with regards to paragraph three. I was thinking the same thing while reading this article. Very well done David.

Total votes: 170

a step too far?

I hope I am wrong but everytime I visualise Iannone on a MotoGp bike I see big, big crashes and even more unpredictability than he showed in Moto2. It could be heaven and hell with nothing inbetween.
Hernandez might be similar.
Bradl reminds me more of Aoyama and he is leaving for SBK after two competent but uninspiring years on a satellite Honda. Can Bradl offer more?
MotoGP on Bridgestones seems a huge step up from any other class of racing - for many a step too far.

Total votes: 186

True but...

I agree that you're likely to see big crashes from Iononne, but you saw them also from Lorenzo, and from Stoner......and from Rossi when they all came up to the big class.

As Dave Aldana famously said, you never know how fast you can go until you fall down.

Total votes: 173

Iannone #29.

A weird thought just struck me....Andrea Iannone is #29. 29 + 29 = 58! We may not seen his full potential because he is still growing as a racer! Yes, I agree there used to be a crashing joke when a certain racer joined Ducati back in 07 :) We never know.

The standing ovation at the end of the Marco tribute at the awards ceremony is touching...very touching. The late Shoya looks so much like his mum, that also brings back sad memories.

May 2012 be a season of exciting and safe racing!

Cheers!

Total votes: 175

Farewell 125 and 800 and another things

the 800 of the leader class not was like some of us expected since his introduction in 2007, some awesome races, some boring and sleeping races, Racers than dont matter the machine learn to adapt and win with them (Stoner), Racers than didnt expect how to treat the red beast and requieres more time. and also the 800c show to us than the reduction of capacity didn't not make the bikes more safer the accidents are an unfortunate circumstance.

For Honda this is the end of a year with two differences, first one honda brought Stoner to put an end to a Drought of many years without getting the high place of victory, for the rider, manufacturer and team, and the other the sad and tragic loss of a star than will not bright in earth, it now will bright in the heaven and SuperSic was an Star that now will follow his path in the skies.

And also the farewell to that oil odor and smell of a two stroke machine, than much of us was pleased to see the 125 running along the circuits, but now they must make room for the advance of the new four stroke Moto3, Am sure than Honda, KTM and Mahindra will show a good surprise for the upcoming new class.

Farewell 125, 800.
Greetings Moto3, 1000cc and CRT's.

Total votes: 157

Er...Saturday Round-up?

...Or Sunday? :-)

The sheer fatigue of it all...

Total votes: 154

Suzuki

I hope Alvaro finds a good home he deserves it after this year

Total votes: 185

Who hit whom?

It sure looked to me like Divioso drifted into Bautista's front wheel and took out 4 bikes. But then I was of the opinion Pedrosa caused his wreck with sic, so what do I know?

Total votes: 182

Dovi

It looked to me like Dovizioso drifted in to Bautista's line as he (Dovi) set up for the first corner. He just left Alvaro nowhere to go. If you watch closely you can see Bautista go up on his front wheel as he mashes on the brakes trying to make room for entering the corner. He could see what was coming.

Watching the live feed from Dovizioso's on board you could see it coming as well. He made a great start and just tried to put too many riders in to one patch of tarmac. Frankly I'm surprised that he made it through ok.

Glad to see on Hayden's twitter feed that nothing was broken.

Total votes: 191

Bautista was drifting left though

All the riders were moving right to prepare for turn 1. Bautista braked too late and had, contrary to all those around him, sharply move left in order to avoid crashing into Rossi. Instead he ran into Dovi and skittled Rossi et al anyway. Just look at the speed difference Bautista had relative to other riders, was it really all the others who were wrong?

Total votes: 172

agree, not that it matters

per Lorenzo's color commentary, Bautista braked late. and indeed looking at it again that speed difference did seem noticeable. Still, just a racing incident

farewell to jLo's distal-phalanges also.

Total votes: 188

I also do think that Dovi hit

I also do think that Dovi hit the front wheel of Bautista. If you watch the race on motogp.com they show at 24:32 how Alvaro explains what happens to Nicky Hayden, and also show replays of the incident. If you look close, you can see Dovi's leg wobble for a short moment, as if his bike had been upset by something. And the way in which Alvaro explains the incident looks to me like he was saying that his front wheel was clipped (and didn't fold under braking).
But that's just what I think, whatever happened it was clearly a racing incident.

Total votes: 175

Getting old, it sucks.

If Josh Hayes was ten years younger, he'd still be too old to get drafted into MotoGP.

And that is a shame.

Total votes: 178

goodbye to a dreadful

goodbye to a dreadful season......

Total votes: 185

Valentino? Is that you?

Valentino? Is that you?

Total votes: 199

Pedrosa

Am a little disappointed with Dani's performance. Somehow it feels to me as if he's lost that raw hunger. Given his injury-prone nature, I'd like to believe he hasn't - and that yesterday, he was just saving himself up for the testing and 2012. But when it got really tough, it appeared as if he was throwing in the towel. Not terribly alien-esque. Hope I am wrong though.

Total votes: 188

Pedrosa seems dispirited

He may well have been hit hard by the demise of Simoncelli, especially in the light of his (understandable) anger towards him earlier in the year, but I've had the feeling that he's been less of his fighting spirit vis-a-vis Stoner since L.S, this year. It has been commented that he seemed almost mesmerised by Stoner's practice and QP times at Sepang, as if not willing to take the fight there - not typical of him.

Hopefully, the 1000s will make him feel washed clean of any stigma he may feel about not having handed HRC a WC in the 800s and he'll be full of grit to turn that record around in the new class.

Total votes: 177

Does ANYONE understand the nature of Ducati's woes?

So much conflicting information bandied around. This weekend Hayden has stated that one of the strong points of the Ducati is getting heat into the tyres. Yet for the last couple of years we've been lead to believe that the bike needs to be ridden on the ragged edge at all times to maintain heat in the tyre. Whilst these two points are not entirely mutually exclusive, nor do they tally completely either. Suzuki's problem in the past has been generating tyre temperature.

I accept that the front end feedback from the D16 is not the measure of the M1 or RCV, but if they can get heat into the Bridgestones (which the tyre itself needs and thrives on) then surely the issue must to a large degree be one of confidence.

With such fickle conditions yesterday was going to tell us little should both factory riders have finished anyway. Skill still obviously to the fore Sunday, but with an extra dose of bravery for those willing to stick their necks out more than usual.

Total votes: 178

Conflicting? Strong Point?

"one of the strong points of the Duc is getting heat into the tyres" NH.

Conflicting info? Hasn't been for as long as I can remember without research.

I had to read that quote twice and pinch myself! Good comment Nostro.

Total votes: 170

Temp sensors

Pity the rules prohibit IR tyre temp sensors... then at least someone might know if they run hot, cold or both in rapid succession...

Total votes: 167

It is clear from a recent

It is clear from a recent interview with Preziosi that Ducati themselves still don't know what the problem is:

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/MotoGP/2011/Novembe...

Preziosi says that basically 2011 has been a gigantic test session. Now they are about to test a twin spar frame. The point of running the various different configurations is to gather data so that Ducati can determine the future direction of their design. So at the moment Ducati themselves don't know what configuration of bike they will be running when the season starts again at Qatar in 2012.

Total votes: 176

Nicky was talking

Nicky was talking specifically about in the wet from what I can gather and has freely admitted along with Vale and ducati that they don't understand why and I'd be slightly astonished if any of us knew either ... For me that's as plain English as is needed.
Two things have been wrong at ducati the frameless bike and those who okayd it.. Some have gone and others have had a change of heart. New frame tomoz for Ducati and I doubt they will look back, only disconcerting thing is Presiozi is citing the things we've all been complaining about all year as the reason, why has it taken him so long??... New era for Ducati they have a top rider as with Casey but they now have someone who can lead the entire company forward. Exciting times at Ducati no question..

Total votes: 182

Casey`s "stolen" win

I still can`t believe casey`s acceleration past Ben to the line, how can he come from at least 2 full length`s back to enough in front on that greasy slippery track? Was he testing the 1000? A great race for the final 800 outing. Now for next year, will the carefully learned lesson`s regarding frame ridgidty/flex translate with the higher torque smoother power curve of the bigger engine`s. Will someone learn to make power at much leaner fuel setting`s therefore having that smooth curve, or will electronic`s have even more infulence than before? All these thing`s will be shown up one way or the other in the coming test`s but not proven untill 'racing' starts again, and that`s not for month`s. What will we do to pass the time till then?? Congratulations to all the champion`s From Moto GP to local series winners. I can`t wait till it all start`s again.

Total votes: 171

To say that Ben very nearly stole it from Casey

would be more accurate to my mind. A ten second lead with five to go until conditions became even more dicey.

That on the line past was the difference between a perfect hook up and a not so good one. Not the difference between RCV and M1.

Total votes: 177

Fuel short?

Is it possible that Spies' bike was running short on fuel? Given all the bikes have enough power to loop over backward in the first 4 gears, the difference in acceleration seemed unreasonable...

Total votes: 219

Stoner got the last corner

Stoner got the last corner perfect, Spies didn't. Stoner made up four tenths on Spies on the last lap, and it looks like it was all through the last corner and leading up to the finish line. Stoner is clearly faster through the corner than Spies, and is closing on him. He then sits the bike up earlier than Spies, and on a different part of the track, about a meter inside the edge of the track. Spies runs out over the rumble strip. In these greasy conditions on slick tires certain parts of the track will give a lot more grip than others.

Fuel should not be a problem in wet conditions when they can't use full power. Spies didn't mention having any problem. In my opinion, it was mostly brilliant riding by Stoner, plus of course the great traction of the Honda out of corners, which has been the Honda's strength for the past season and a half.

Total votes: 183

Spies missed his apex a little I think

Something went wrong with Spies exit, and it looks like it started mid-corner as he went for the apex. From the overhead, Stoner was much tighter onto the apex, over the paint earlier, than Spies was. This let Stoner exit the corner on a tighter line, and you can see he's on the gas much cleaner, in a tighter line. Spies bike seemed to just get a little upset just as he got on the gas, somehow forcing him out a bit, and costing him his drive. Whether that was related to his slightly slacker apex, I don't know.

Total votes: 175

Agreed

I knew Spies was in trouble as soon as he came out of the last corner. His exit was really wide and put him on the paint and curb, partially in the pit entry even...he just couldn't get on the gas when he wanted to.

Great race nonetheless, good riddance to the 800s.

Total votes: 192

Paragraph 3.

I can't find the words to describe how good this is. Sir, you deserve an award.

Total votes: 189

Watch it again...

All race (year) long the Hondas were accelerating out of the corners faster than the Yamaha, not just the last corner of the last lap.

Casey is a fantastic rider and sure, he got a good drive out of that corner, but that was most assuredly not why he beat Spies to the line.

I can't wait for next year.

Total votes: 205

Stoner has confirmed in an

Stoner has confirmed in an interview that he found a line out of the last corner that was giving him a lot more grip than Spies, and he also used first gear. It was a premeditated move. Spies also confirmed in another interview that he was a bit tentative through the last corner because of the crashes he has had in recent weeks. Spies admitted that he had decided that he would be happy with either first or second. He just didn't want to crash. So Spies was being careful, but Stoner decided it was the last lap of the year so he took a risk and went for it. Stoner wanted the win more than Spies. That's why he beat Spies to the line. Let's give credit where credit is due, and not pretend that it was just Honda power that got Stoner over the line.

Total votes: 181

Straight from the horses mouth...

Spies said in one of the interviews that he had it pinned out of the corner and that he just got "motored" to the line.

I tend to believe him, since he was there.

If you can't see in the videos that the Hondas were pulling Spies out of the corners all race (and all year) then I don't think my point of view will convince you. Oh well.

Total votes: 183

I am more interested in what

I am more interested in what both the riders had to say, and that's what I quoted. Spies and Stoner had more than one interview, and you should read them to get a full rider perspective. I said in a previous post that traction has been a Honda strong point for the last season and a half, but the last corner was not just about Honda traction. It was about how Stoner used the traction when he found a gripier piece of track. It was also about mental strength: a guy who has just wrapped up an almost flawless championship and decided to take a risk to win the final race versus a guy who has recently had several crashes and injuries and was happy to settle for second rather than risk crashing again. Things are not always what they seem on TV.

Total votes: 188

Spies was straight to the point - "motored"

Haven't seen any enterviews other than the parc ferme ones (immediately after race) to TVE.

Spies was straight to the point (as usual) and said that his bike worked great from start until the end, especially when considering the track conditions, but he would loose in acceleration to the Repsol Hondas in corner exits to the straights ("motored" was the expression I remember), only to make up for the loss and recover in the corners, then loose again in the straights, so on, lap after lap.

I thought that matched what everybody could see the whole race.
He did seem to have a "sweeter" bike on the corners (than any of the Repsol Hondas), as you could see how well he would easily recover on corner entry up to midcorner (even being able to use different lines sometimes).

Can't recall any mention of "messed last corner" although it did seem to me he messed it a little.
Stoner clearly had the better line and even better bike behavior (setup?) on that particular corner exit all the time during the race (Spies was wheeling there every lap during the race).

Stoner was, again, the fastest guy out there and did a fantastic race (makes it look easy!), but a lot of credit must go to the RCV211 acceleration - it was pretty evident not just in that last corner exit but during all this race (and plenty others).

Total votes: 167

Five bike lengths in two corners.

Stoner made up some five bike lengths in two corners. If that was down to the bike, Spies would never have been able to stick with Pedrosa and Dovi. The Honda is definitely stronger, but that victory was taken by sheer will power.

Total votes: 192

Speed

The difference in acceleration was not evident until both riders were well out of the corner, straight up and down and already well beyond the rumble strips. This was not simply a different line or good drive scenario!

The partially wet race and tricky conditions led to longer lap times and therefore more fuel available at the end. I know that there are on the fly mapping switches on the bikes, maybe Casey hit the full power turbo win it or bin it setting, whilst Ben was busy trying to make it to the line? Who knows.

This speaks to something that I've suspected for a while now - that the Yamaha makes decent power, but Honda is way ahead in fuel management. Therefore Honda can make more use of the available fuel whilst Yamaha has to dial down power to maintain fuel consumption and finish races.

Total votes: 178

Sector times and top speed

On the last lap Ben pulled out a half a second on Casey over the 1st 2 sectors. Sector 3 was pretty even, but in the final sector Casey was 6 tenths faster than Ben.
Was that time all made down the straight?

Also Ben had his slowest max speed recorded on that final lap, 293.4ks, when he had been averaging over 300ks.

I say he might of muffed his exit coming onto the straight going by the fact his speed was down.

Total votes: 151

Paragraph three, indeed, it

Paragraph three, indeed, it doesn't get any better.

Total votes: 163

Ciao, ciao..

I just couldn't speak for a few moments after seeing Marco signing the camera lens, and saying "Ciao, ciao", at the end of the tribute/celebration. I just sat with damp eyes, saddened, but enthralled.

Total votes: 158

Spies final turn

In the final turn, even the last 4 or so turns, it appeared that Spies was the slightest bit tentative. Possibly at that point he thought the gap was sufficient and he just wanted to bring it home. Stoner in the last turn carried more speed in, through, and out, as well as having a better line than Spies, which allowed him to get on the throttle earlier and harder than Spies.
Although I would say the Honda is faster than the Yamaha, I think the above reasons contributed to Spies being taken at the line more than any difference in HP or acceleration ability of the bikes.

Total votes: 182

Are you sure?...

Look at this video closely a couple times to see if you still feel that was the case. I may be wrong (not unusual for me) but I can't see how Spies could have done anything different to beat the Honda to the line. In my view, Casey's line really wasn't that different than Ben's...

http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/video-motogp-valencia-gp

Total votes: 171

You can see it here too

You can see it here too (Speed's movies not available in most European countries):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_97IUDFmywg

Stoner got a slightly better line but it is almost strange how fast that RCV of Stoner went past the M1 of Spies.
...perhaps there was some miss-shift (error) from Spies?
Now that I can rewatch it, got to admit it does look even more evident than I recall from yesterday's live broadcast.

Total votes: 186

Yes

I think that the definitive answer to the question can be found in this video, not by Stoner's pass to the line, but by Dovi blowing by Spies in exactly the same fashion at the end of lap 1. Dovi powers straight past and just nips Spies to the line to begin lap 2, exactly the Same as Stoner does at the end. Methinks the Stoner brigade don't want to hear differently, but the video doesn't lie. (puts on flak jacket)

Total votes: 162

There is no dispute whatever

There is no dispute whatever that Honda traction is a big part of the move. But Stoner had to be in a position to execute the move, and then execute it flawlessly. Where were Dovi and Danny? Look at the video: Stoner closes in massively on Spies up to the apex of the last corner. That is what put him in the position to use the Honda's traction. Those who say it was all Stoner and those who say it was all Honda are both wrong, it was the combination of Stoner and Honda, exactly as it has been all year. That last corner at Valencia is really a summary of how Stoner and Honda have been the dominant force in MotoGP in 2011. A fitting climax.

PS: And wasn't this like a classic Rossi move from Rossi at his best? If it had been Rossi on that Honda and not Stoner the forums would have been full of posts waxing lyrical about Rossi's brilliance, nothing about his bike. But when it's anyone else, oh well, it must be the bike, not the rider.

Total votes: 183

No need for that sort of stuff

Your post was quite ok and, personally, that is too my opinion. It is the fastest rider on the best bike combo, not just one or the other.

Shame about that last paragraph (the post-scriptum) which was a bit unfortunate and, matter of fact, the opposite of what you can clearly see these days in any MotoGP discussion board anywhere across the web.

Can't recall so much hatred and effort to bring down another winning rider ever since the Biaggi fans "wars" towards Doohan, well over a decade ago.

We all love racing and not everybody is a Rossi or Stoner fanboy. We don't need to hear/read the same crap on and on (and on and on) about how Stoner is the second coming and Rossi is overrated (or a fraud).

Total votes: 167

Luc Marqs, please explain

Luc Marqs, please explain where I said Stoner was the second coming and Rossi a fraud. Please don't use your imagination to read things into someone's posts that don't exist. I compared Stoner favorably to Rossi at his best. That is a complement to Stoner, not a put down of Rossi. You really should read some of the other forums. We have people still suggesting that it was the bike and not the rider this year. We have people saying that the last corner pass was all Honda. I was simply trying to bring in some balance.

To suggest that I hate Rossi, as you imply, is highly personally offensive. You have no right. Rossi is clearly one of the greatest riders ever. But he is not above criticism, as you seem to think. The disaster that is 2011 is plain for all to see, and doesn't need any comment. It is a pity that some people are so sensitive to any criticism of Rossi, to the extent that they want accuse other posters of "hatred" without any justification whatever. Using emotive terms to attack others and stifle debate is a sign of immaturity.

Total votes: 210

I'll quote your post-scriptum

I'll quote your post-scriptum and leave that speaking for itself:

"wasn't this like a classic Rossi move from Rossi at his best? If it had been Rossi on that Honda and not Stoner the forums would have been full of posts waxing lyrical about Rossi's brilliance, nothing about his bike. But when it's anyone else, oh well, it must be the bike, not the rider."

Why in heavens was this brought into here, what's the relevance to the matter?
Bringing that, out of context, is a complement to Stoner, not a put down of Rossi? ...how?
And why are you now bringing Rossi's 2011 "disaster" into this? What's the point?

I commented on the overtaking of Stoner to Spies in the same manner as I would comment an overtake for the win if the positions were inverted, as I would for ANY other rider there. It makes no difference to me!

You now replied, and I'll quote: "To suggest that I hate Rossi, as you imply, is highly personally offensive. You have no right. Rossi is clearly one of the greatest riders ever. But he is not above criticism, as you seem to think."
...this is silly.
To say that I seem to think that Rossi is above criticism, heck, where did that come from? ...shall I now reply saying you're offending me and that you have no right (which you don't), for saying that?

...for pete's sake...

Plenty people have found a refuge in here for ages, to escape the ridiculous fanboy wars seen in -I suppose- the same forums you're probably pointing out. But I guess it's too much to expect for people to hold down their bias?
You probably have also seen the same people in here with the same spilled garbage, seen in those places, just in a more "polite" way in here. Part of the reason why I posted that comment.

Plenty of us are old enough to be parents and grandparents, and simply not interested in that sort of pubescent discussion.
Please accept my apologies if my response was over the top and crossed as "offensive", that was not my intention.

Total votes: 180

There was no criticism of

There was no criticism of Rossi at all in my original comments. There are several comments here and elsewhere implying that Stoner's last lap pass was all Honda power. Sorry folks, no it wasn't. My implied criticism was directed toward the one-eyed Rossi fans. But despite this you start talking about "so much hatred and effort to bring down another winning rider". Where did that come from? How was comparing Stoner's pass to Rossi at his best hatred of Rossi, or trying to bring Rossi down? Your interpretation is truly mystifying. You have repeatedly made comments about Rossi haters when anything remotely like criticism or what you perceive or imagine is criticism is directed toward to Rossi. That is simply juvenile.

Total votes: 175

heh

...motogpmd (whatever your name is), I don't know how old are you but you seem smarter than that.

First, and for what is worth, there's a thing called a "double entendre" (perhaps an "innuendo" in this case), which is what that post-scriptum was intended for... even you now admited it. It's a nice execution for an argument, as long as it contributes for the discussion. In that case it wouldn't, it would just "stir the pot", as so many times many others do. Which is why I wrote what I did in reply, it has no other interpretation.

Second, I already presented my apologies. That was honest and it seemed fair enough to me, to end an argument that will lead nowhere.
If you wish to keep on the "keyboard warrior" act, by all means, carry on...

Total votes: 168

OK then,

I'll have the final word so neither of you has to. Take a lude, guys.

Total votes: 176

Remember the perfect storm?

David wrote about the situation last year at... Jerez?? No dry track time, so everyone had to take a punt on fuel maps.

Well, it wasn't that bad this year at Valencia, but it was very changeable. It's just possible that given the politics, the riders are under instruction not to talk about fuel starvation. It's also just possible that Stoner didn't suddenly slow down because he's scared of water, but because his bike let him know it was going to be tight to get to the line at his current rate of progress. So he backed off and found himself with a full litre to use on that last lap.

Just wild speculation, of course.

Total votes: 157

You could be right, it is

You could be right, it is very strange how much Stoner slowed over just one lap, about 6 seconds on lap 25, without any obvious mistake, at least on camera, but then he was able to follow Spies and re-pass him. We know how good Stoner is in the wet, remember Silverstone. I can't recall Stoner ever having slowed like that before in a wet race. Normally they should use less fuel in slippery conditions, because they spend less time on full power, but who knows, maybe you're right, maybe they got the fuel mapping wrong.

Total votes: 152

Also

Stoner said that until Ben passed him he was running sort of blind as to the conditions. Maybe seeing Ben in front for a bit gave him a little more confidence in the end. I still say the speed of the Honda was a part of it as well.

Total votes: 170

using spies as a track tester

I have no doubt that Stoner had this in the bag from the beginning, but was concerned about the conditions so he slowed down and let spies lead--knowing the honda would just power away in the final drag to the line like they had all year long.

Spies had plenty of room to pass, and there is simply no way he was that much faster than stoner in the wet unless stoner dramatically slowed on purpose.

Total votes: 168

The perfect storm

I think they should turn the sprinklers on during the MotoGP races.........

Total votes: 163

What are we gonna do for 3 months???

Well, I dunno about you, but I hate the off season. Never enough bike racing on the TV.
Anyway, my brother and I leave Australia on January 4 for the Peru legs of the Dakar. That will be my (expensive) motorsport fix for the off season.
It's a good filler, but I can't wait for MotoGP 2012.

Total votes: 167

+1 Rabid...

For sure. I'm going to just watch reruns on MotoGP of the classic races over the years until the first test in January.

Wish I was on my way to the Dakar too. Yer livin the dream bro.

Total votes: 178

Only from watching the you tube clip

I see they both got the line right and the ingredients are:

Stoner is a lot lighter
Honda is a lot faster
Stoner was admitely risking
Spies came from injury

result is very predictable=Stoner pulled Spies to the line

Stoner is the best rider of 2011 no dobut, but this victory in particular owes to the Honda power my brothers.

Total votes: 181

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