2012 Misano MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Pedrosa's Foul Up, And Ducati's Improving Performance

That was a chaotic weekend. Two-and-a-half days lost to rain, then a bizarre series of hold ups and incidents on the start of the MotoGP grid that ended up eventually going a long way to deciding the championship. Fortunately for the series, the MotoGP race was preceded by two scintillating support races, and then the MotoGP race itself saw two very popular podiums.

To start with the biggest issue, the start and then the restart of the MotoGP race. There was a lot of confusion and head-scratching over what was going on - the riders had never seen the flashing amber lights on the starting panels, for one - but when the dust settled, it looked like everything had been run almost by the numbers, despite the protests from Dani Pedrosa's camp.

The sequence events seems to have been this: After the first warm up lap, the riders lined up on the grid ready to go, but after the starting lights had been shown, Karel Abraham had a clutch problem and put his hand up to indicate that his bike was not working. Once that had happened, Race Direction had no option to call off the start. They ran this by the book: flashing yellow lights were displayed next to the red lights, and yellow flags were waved. There was as short an interval as possible, before the bikes set off for the second warm up lap, and race distance was reduced by a single lap.

The book that this is being run by is the FIM's Grand Prix Road Racing regulations, but it is a book that very few riders ever consult much. Hence their confusion over the flashing yellow lights: having a start delayed after the red lights have been lit is a vanishingly rare occurrence, delays are usually called well in advance, and riders put their hands up once they find their bike won't start after the lights have gone out. But some familiarity with the rules would have helped greatly on Sunday.

What happened after that looked chaotic, but really wasn't. The three minute procedure was announced, the IRTA staff whose job it is to apprise everyone on the grid of the situation rushing around ensuring the teams and riders knew what was going on. Then the one minute procedure started, and teams started to remove their tire warmers. That was what caused the problem for Dani Pedrosa, his front wheel locking up and his tire warmer getting jammed under the front wheel. Pedrosa's bike was wheeled off the grid, where the problem sorted itself out - Pedrosa said that the wheel unlocked itself once the bike was taken down off the paddock stands. Pedrosa's team were then informed by Race Direction that Pedrosa was to start the warm up lap from pit lane, and he was to start the race from the back of the grid.

But Pedrosa's team were confused, and pushed the Spaniard back out onto the grid. Race Direction faced a choice: send someone out to argue with Pedrosa and the team, probably causing even more delay, or let Pedrosa start the warm up lap from the grid, before ensuring that he started from the back of the grid. They chose the latter course of action; the infraction was slight, the important thing being where Pedrosa started the race from, not where he started the warm up lap from. As he returned to the grid, Pedrosa was sent to the rear of the grid, and started the race from the correct position.

Afterwards, Pedrosa launched a scathing attack on Race Direction, claiming that nobody knew what was going on or what procedure was being followed. Yet the evidence does not seem to be on Pedrosa's side. Pedrosa said that nobody knew whether they were in the three minute procedure or the one minute procedure, and that they didn't know how many laps were to be raced. Yet Cal Crutchlow was adamant that he and his team had been told by the many IRTA staff who patrol the grid exactly what was going on with the three minute and then one minute procedures, and that the number of laps to be raced was being displayed on the board over the start.

The confusion seems to have been in Pedrosa's team. Pedrosa said that different TVs were giving a different number of laps to be raced. But it is not the TVs, official or otherwise, which displays the number of laps, it is the board at the starting line. Pedrosa also discovered as he was halfway round the warm up lap that his pit lane speed limiter had been engaged by a mechanic. He referred to this as a 'mistake', but it seems to indicate that the mechanics actually knew their job, engaging the pit lane limiter because they knew Pedrosa was supposed to start the warm up lap from pit lane. Pushing Pedrosa back onto the grid was the real mistake, or perhaps it was allowing the front wheel to lock up somehow in the first place.

After the start, Pedrosa's luck took a turn for the worse, if that is even possible, Hector Barbera missing his braking point and wiping out Pedrosa's rear wheel. Even the chance of salvaging a few points was denied the Spaniard, and Pedrosa heads to Aragon 38 points behind Jorge Lorenzo. That Lorenzo should win in the same race that he was taken out was typical, Pedrosa said. "This has happened to me all my career."

Lorenzo's victory was flawless, or nearly so, as the Factory Yamaha man was forced to save a huge moment with his elbow on lap 4. Lorenzo lost nearly a second, but was soon back up to pace. This was rather to the annoyance of his crew, who had been trying to indicate to Lorenzo that he should take it easy, as Pedrosa was out. Lorenzo did not see, and the team could barely dare to look as he lapped in the low 1'34s for the first few laps.

The remaining podium spots were taken by two big favorites with the crowd. Alvaro Bautista getting third was more popular because he was riding a Gresini Honda, the bike he had inherited from Marco Simoncelli after the popular Italian's death. Seeing the white San Carlo livery on the podium at what would have been Simoncelli's home GP lifted the hearts of many.

But the second place man was the most popular of all. For once, Valentino Rossi had a very strong race on the Ducati. The revised swingarm and chassis allowed them to move the front end around more, giving more freedom in set up. But the question is whether the improvement is all down to the new bike, or rather down to the two days of testing Rossi had at Misano on this bike two weeks ago, aided by the fact that everyone else lost nearly all their set up time because of the rain that plagued all three free practice sessions, forcing them to enter the race with little track time at the Misano Circuit. No doubt the bike is better, but his rivals lack of set up time also had to be a factor.

The really good news for Ducati came with tire wear, however. So far during his career at Ducati, Rossi has suffered with a major tire drop off from about one-third distance. At Misano, Rossi could post consistent race times all the way to the end. When the tire started to slide, Rossi could still find grip, something that he has not had previously. The Italian will face a real test at Aragon, when they arrive at a tract where both Honda and Yamaha have already spent two days testing earlier in the month.

Misano also had two outstanding support races. But that will have to wait for another day...

That was a chaotic weekend. Two-and-a-half days lost to rain, then a bizarre series of hold ups and incidents on the start of the MotoGP grid that ended up eventually going a long way to deciding the championship. Fortunately for the series, the MotoGP race was preceded by two scintillating support races, and then the MotoGP race itself saw two very popular podiums.To start with the biggest issue, the start and then the restart of the MotoGP race. There was a lot of confusion and head-scratching over what was going on - the riders had never seen the flashing amber lights on the starting panels, for one - but when the dust settled, it looked like everything had been run almost by the numbers, despite the protests from Dani Pedrosa's camp.The sequence events seems to have been this: After the first warm up lap, the riders lined up on the grid ready to go, but after the starting lights had been shown, Karel Abraham had a clutch problem and put his hand up to indicate that his bike was not working. Once that had happened, Race Direction had no option to call off the start. They ran this by the book: flashing yellow lights were displayed next to the red lights, and yellow flags were waved. There was as short an interval as possible, before the bikes set off for the second warm up lap, and race distance was reduced by a single lap.

Comments

Bitter Pill

So tough for Dani. Really heartbroken for him. So many factors involved but hard to cast blame on anyone for this from the comfort of my lounge on a Sunday night, I'd just feel foolish. But really just saddened to see this happen to Dani who has grown so much this year as a rider and person.

Total votes: 127

Cletus Purcell

HRC’s MISANO MISERY...
Many years ago I read some heavy tome on military history. One scene described has always stayed in what’s left of my mind: An aide was having an intense discussion with Napoleon - lauding & extolling the talents & ability of a young, thrusting Officer being considered for serious promotion to command. An impatient Napoleon interrupted with, “Yes, yes – but is he lucky?”

This scene & it’s seldom acknowledged truth immediately came to mind after Lap 1 @ Misano. Dani Pedrosa simply has to be the unluckiest bloke this side of the fabled Black Stump!
One has to wonder if he is destined to be like Stirling Moss & Chris Amon - two of the very best drivers in F1. Moss never won a World Championship – while Amon, the Kiwi Ferrari driver, couldn’t even win a F1 GP to save his life. Amon’s luck was such that fellow driver & legendary F1 Champ, Mario Andretti once joked that "If Chris Amon became an undertaker, people would stop dying". Excrement happens! And to some far more than others ...

2012 was Pedrosa’s BIG chance at a MotoGP Title. Anything could still happen – but most pundits would agree that his chance seems to have now evaporated forever.

Pedrosa, Alberto Puig and HRC’s Suppo & Nakamoto must have literally been splitting blood & farting sparks after Misano. HRC has gone from being in the box seat at the start of the season with their rider’s testing fastest & dominating – especially Casey Stoner - whom seemed set for a ‘three peat with another Championship Title - to grasping at a handful of sand.

Since then, Dorna’s meddling with 4 KG of ballast, which unsettled the RC213V’s chassis & then Bridgestone’s abrupt introduction of new tyres & fast removal of the only casing & compound that worked for Stoner, put a major crimp in all that. Just when Stoner found his mojo again – he got seriously injured. And now this...? At least young Mr. Rea stayed-on & professionally did the business as expected. Good on him too!

Casey Stoner’s absence has (and will) leave a giant hole in MotoGP. Did anyone notice that Pedrosa’s qualifying time on the 1,000cc RC213V for Misano was almost a second (7/10ths to be precise) slower than Stoner set last year there on the 800? I appreciate conditions were difficult with so much down-time but there is still a lesson here in this. Cheers

Total votes: 132

three-peat?

Unless I miss my guess, it would've been a RE-peat. Three total, but only two in a row.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong...but I seem to recall Jorge being WC two years ago...

p.s. you made some pretty good points in your post, and the Napoleon story was tip top.

Total votes: 104

hmmmm

There is a certain degree of bad luck but being champion isn't just about having good luck its about how you bounce back from the bad luck. Lorenzo was whiped out by Batista earlier this year but it hasn't slowed him down. So perhaps Lorenzo is more deserving of the title. Pedrosa's comment "these things happened to me all my career" is not really the comment of someone who can bounce back from bad luck. Its a very negative comment, he feels like a victim. Lorenzo was angry after his crash, anger he turned into determination. Pedrosa is dejected.

Also on a couple of your comments I have to disagree with slightly. The new bridge stone tyres were not introduced abruptly. All the teams had used them in preseason testing and knew they were coming.

Also what is the lesson about Stoner's time? the tyres are very different this year and the QP was their first useful track time. Not to mention that a tight twisty stop start track negates the advantage of larger capacity to an extent. So its very muddy territory you are in.

Total votes: 119

Not that unlucky this season

Based on just this season, Pedrosa isn't doing too bad. This DNF just puts him and Lorenzo even, at 1 DNF each.

Total votes: 116

Bridgestones introduction of

Bridgestones introduction of the new rear tire was known well ahead of time. I believe it had been planned out and announced before the season even started so it wasn't exactly abrupt.

Total votes: 100

"Lorenzo's victory was

"Lorenzo's victory was flawless, or nearly so, as the Factory Yamaha man was forced to save a huge moment with his elbow on lap 4. Lorenzo lost nearly a minute, but was soon back up to pace."

Minute=second I think?

Thank you for the detailed explanation of events regarding Pedrosa. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw an HRC mechanic struggling to... remove a tire warmer. It looked like he just needed to turn the wheel backwards and then give it another go but instead he just kept tugging until it was terminally jammed into the fender. Bizarre.

Total votes: 81

This article is so

This article is so professional an unbiased that it almost shut down my euphoria on Vales result!

Total votes: 116

Confusion

"The confusion seems to have been in Pedrosa's team."

The team looked completely frantic and desperate when the tire warmer wouldn't come off. I don't know how the front wheel became locked up, but you could see the poor mechanic yanking and jerking on the tire warmer, almost in a state of panic.

We were all looking forward to a championship battle that would go down to the wire. Darn.

Total votes: 86

Justice

Poor Dani. Now he knows how Nicky must have felt.

Besides, they're even now after Bautista took out Lorenzo earlier in the season.

Total votes: 122

A couple of things...

...first off, in paragraph 10, you say Lorenzo had a big moment on lap 4, where he lost nearly a minute. He didn't quite lose a whole minute, did he?

Second, I'm supremely unsurprised by who took out Dani. Barbera is, in my estimation, a loose cannon much of the time, plain and simple. I watch WSBK, and with almost clockwork regularity, Johnny Rea often does the same thing there. He took out Spies in his WSBK season, then at a more crucial moment, he took out Haga, greatly aiding Ben's championship hopes, and earlier this season, he went for a gap that WAS NOT THERE on the last corner of a race, erasing BMW's first 1-2 on the podium by taking out Haslam and Melandri. Anyway, I was crushed for poor Dani, and considered it par for the course Barbera. MotoGP is a safer place without him around.

Finally, I simply could not believe the performance of the Ducati! That was amazing!

Total votes: 113

Johnny Rea

When did Rea "take out" Ben Spies? I seem to remember Fabrizio taking Spies out at Brno. Was this some other race?

Total votes: 100

I'm gonna hafta...

...give you a five-star rating. It WAS Fabrizio who did the famous take-out on Ben.

It's just everybody else who Rea routinely takes out. ;)

Total votes: 94

Agree about

Barbera- all, including himself, will be safer and QP will no longer be Hector's personal tutoring sessions as he searches for his tows.

Disagree about Rea- Melandri caused the problem that erased the 1 - 2 performance you mention for BMW by deparately lunging and creating that sequence of events.

Total votes: 75

Yeah Melandri had already

Yeah Melandri had already made several overly aggresive moves in that race. It was really a shame for Haslam.

Total votes: 95

I'm sorry...

...but you are mistaken on this one. I have a hard copy of Race 2 from Donington, so I went back and watched the end again, and Rea took out Melandri and Haslam. Nobody's arguing that Melandri races HARD-because he DOES-, but on the final turn of the final lap of Race 2 at Donington, Melandri ran wide, but was recovering, Rea went for a theoretical gap, and he took out Haslam, who then slid into Melandri and took him out. Now THAT is what I call hard racing. No...that's what I call a loose cannon.

There should have been some type of penalty for that bone-headed move. The announcers thought that there should have been further action taken regarding it, and I definitely agreed. Go back and watch it; Rea bashed Haslam right over, and Haslam slid into Melandri. Not much room for misinterpretation.

Submitted, for your approval, the video of the crash:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3g6XjdOm_A

Total votes: 113

Think again

Actually, there's plenty of room for alternative interpretation. Even Leon Haslam didn't blame Rea for that incident, he said it was all kickstarted by yet another rash move from Melandri, which he had 'been doing all day'. But maybe you know better than Leon ?

Total votes: 90

Hey no problem!

Thorough rebuttal on your part amd i will reserve (confirming!) my earlier judgement when i can watch it again tonight!

Kidding (kind of)!

Total votes: 107

Not the whole picture

Unfortunately, the video is missing the part where Melandri pushes Haslam wide, opening a tiny gap which Rea went for.
I think it's understandable that a racer will go for a gap in the last corner of the last lap.
Maybe the gap was too small, maybe it would have worked if Haslam hadn't pulled back onto the racing line sooner than Rea probably expected.
If you are interested in what Rea has to say about the incident, there is a Soupkast where he talks about it. He also talks about what Haslam had to say about it.
Very interesting me thinks, regardless of who you think is to blame for the incident.

Soupkast 147 - Rea of light

Total votes: 87

While the rules were followed

While the rules were followed to the letter, it seams rather punitive. It robbed fans of a potentially interesting race at the front (and an interesting championship), and it led to a potentially dangerous situation having a much faster rider forced to slice through the gauntlet of moving pylons.

The whole thing was unfortunate, and the rules exacerbated rather that mitigated the situation.

Total votes: 105

The rules are supposed to be followed to the letter.

Regardless of the rider in question. Yes, it made the championship that much less of a toss-up and strangely enough I found myself rooting for Dani, but they followed the rules in section 1.18.18 of the regulations to perfection and rightly so.

As I usually have a complaint, here it is: in terms of penalty consistency, didn't Bautista get a penalty for taking Lorenzo out at Assen? At the time Bautista's apology was:

"I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but lost grip on the front and lowsided. I am very disappointed, even more so because I took out Lorenzo in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that. I hope that nothing similar ever happens again. "

http://www.motomatters.com/press_release/2012/06/30/2012_assen_motogp_sa...

He was given a grid penalty for the next race for riding in an irresponsible manner.

This time Barbera's apology was:

"I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but I lost grip on the front. I’m very disappointed, even more so because I took out Dani in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that.

at: http://www.motomatters.com/press_release/2012/09/16/2012_misano_motogp_s...

I'm not kidding. Those are 2 quotes from 2 differnt racers at 2 different tracks. Maybe they both use the same PR firm. Either way, same action and same result but different penalty. And I would think that Barbara has more of a crazy rider reputation than Bautista.

And I don't think I've ever seen a rider, even in club races, fail to get off the grid properly 4 times in a single race! I wonder what a 'clutch pistol' is. Maybe its his team and maybe its the equipmemnt supplied by Ducati but I feel that Karel has gotten the short, dirty end of the stick this season.

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

Total votes: 130

You do have a point but I

You do have a point but I think in the case of Bautista's crash he was much later on the brakes than Barbera. I think it was the the speed at which he flew up the inside and cannoned into JLo that was considered reckless and dangerous enough to warrant a penalty. Barbera was late but it was the bike sliding out rather than forward momentum that tagged Dani. It might seem like splitting hairs but it was far less dramatic to watch.

Total votes: 113

I have to agree. Bautista's

I have to agree. Bautista's charge was an amazing "what the hell were you thinking?" moment while Barbera's was much more routine.

Total votes: 97

The identical apologies are

The identical apologies are hilarious - and speak volumes about professional sports in 2012.

Total votes: 107

1.18.18 refers to PROBLEMS

1.18.18 refers to PROBLEMS that compromises safety. It says they MAY be hit with a fine, ride though, DQ, or points deduction. And all Dani should have done to get around that was raise his hand, the same as Abraham did.

1.18.7 refers to riders making ADJUSTMENTS after the three minute mark. In that case they are to do the adjustments in pit lane and start from the back of the grid.

I happen to think of Dani's issues as safety PROBLEMS and not ADJUSTMENTS

They could have let Dani back on pole and no one would have been worse for it...and they would have been following the rules.

If you want to argue that Dani had to start from the back of the grid because he didn't raise his hand, fair enough. ;)

Total votes: 97

Dani Could Not Put His Hand Up

1.18.13 says:
Any rider who stalls his engine on the grid
or who has other difficulties must remain
on the motorcycle and raise an arm. It is
not permitted to attempt to delay the start
by any other means.

But this is AFTER the warm up lap.

Dani's trouble with the tire warmer happened BEFORE the warm up lap.

BEFORE the warm up lap, 1.18.12 applies:
Any rider who is unable to start his machine must
remove it to the pit lane, under the control of the
grid marshals, where he may make further attempts
to start it or change machine in MotoGP. Such riders
may start the warm up lap from the pit lane and
will start the race from the back of the grid.

So Dani had to remove his bike to pit lane, and
he had to start from the back of the grid.

http://www.fim-live.com/fileadmin/alfresco/GP_en.pdf

Total votes: 91

Ahh, I see now, thanks.

Ahh, I see now, thanks.

Total votes: 84

you are confusing me

>>If you want to argue that Dani had to start from the back of the grid because he didn't raise his hand, fair enough. ;)

I and race direction are saying Dani should start from the back of the grid because his bike was rolled off the grid after the 1 min board. I'm not sure what Dani raising his hand has to so with anything.

1.18.18 Should there be a problem that might prejudice safety, then the Starter
will display a flashing yellow light and the board “Start Delayed” and a
marshal will wave a yellow flag at each row of the starting grid from the
signalling platform. The start procedure will be re-commenced at the
1 minute board stage, the riders will complete an additional warm up lap
and the race distance will be reduced by one lap.
Any person who, due to his behaviour on the grid is responsible for a
“start delayed”, may be penalised with one of the following penalties:
fine – ride through - disqualification - withdrawal of Championship points.

1.18.18 refers to a starter's actions if he feels there is a safety problem. On the original start the starter thought Karel with his hand up was a safety issue. He then started to impliment section 1.18.18 as it was written.

1.18.7 is not applicable to Dani's situation as per section 1.18.18 on the restart there was no display of the 3 min board. The restart starts from the 1 min board.

While watching I was wondering why they didn't go to the 5 min board for the restart and thought Pedrosa was screwed by race direction not following procedure. After reviewing the rulebook I realized they ran the restart by the book but did do one mistake that led to a lot of activity/confusion/unallowed activities on the grid: they let people onto the grid other than only the mechanics needed to start the bikes. Honda's (and the majority of the teams on the grid) mistake, besides not knowing the rulebook, was putting warmers back on Pedrosa's bike at all, at the 1 min board they should be off and only personel needed to start the bike are allowed on the grid.

I watched the MotoGP feed and the commentators were saying how Crutchlow's bike was the only one not being fully attended to. I guess Crutchlow's team were the only ones that read the rulebook. Too bad it didn't help him.

>>They could have let Dani back on pole and no one would have been worse for it...and they would have been following the rules.

Not at all. His bike was rolled off the grid after the 1 min board was shown. As David said Dani should not have started the warm up lap from pole but who cares who starts where on the warmup lap. For the race he started from the back as he should have. Considering that he meekly pulled in at the back means that he was expecting it and had no arguments. He knew his bike was rolled off the grid and then back on after the 1 min board. That's not allowed by the rules.

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

Total votes: 95

Great observation

Regarding comments post race. Very interesting? Possible Barbers was mocking the situation knowing he may be on the way out?

Total votes: 102

7 paragraphs...

That's a lot of devotion to pointing out how a guy who felt miserable after a bad day shouldn't really have been complaining.

Total votes: 95

You neglected to mention...

...that both Abraham and Pedrosa had to be pushed off the line for each of the warm-up laps after stalling their bikes on the grid. I suspect that while their problems weren't identical, they were endemic to each team this Sunday morning.

-jim

Total votes: 87

Lorenzo deserves to be where he is

as he has been the MOST consistent all season, however its not over until he has an unsailable points lead, and as yet, he does not. Given that the back markers are starting to make a habit of missing their braking marks, things could still get interesting.

Total votes: 104

I've totally been rooting for

I've totally been rooting for Dani, simply because I like him better, but Lorenzo has earned his place by being a phenomenal rider who has put together one hell of a season. I wouldn't want to take anything away from him.

Total votes: 99

Don't HRC have previous with brake problems on Dani's bike?

Badly broke a collarbone a couple of seasons or so ago when the front locked up in practice. Wasn't it the nerve damage arising from this injury, not the later one suffered in the Simoncelli incident, that threatened to end his career? Not surprising, then, if Dani's mind wasn't as clear at it might have been once his front wheel locked on the starting grid. But very surprising that his team, the most experienced and best resourced in the paddock, was so easily thrown into panic and confusion. That seems to me to be where the blame should rest - and with Hector's frantic desire to find a ride for next season.

Total votes: 94

No, that was an electronics

No, that was an electronics problem that highsided him as soon as he got on the brakes. His brakes were fine at Misano as well.

Total votes: 84

I believe the throttle

I believe the throttle basically jammes open, hence he was spat off as soon as he hit the brakes.

Total votes: 98

A real shame for Dani as

A real shame for Dani as others have expressed. I was impressed by him from the start. He made up a bunch of positions when the lights finally went out. I said "shit!" as he had it between the teeth and I was anxiously looking forward to him picking people off one by one to get to the front (a la VR) and mix it up with Lorenzo. A damn shame, and Barbera should be penalized.

This reminds me of 2010 when Dani was catching JL in the points towards the end of the season. Dani seemed to have the momentum towards the end of the season only to have the throttle stick and spit him off. The guy can't catch a break. The fault lays with his team though. If they hadn't mucked up several things I don't think he would have been in the rear with Barbera to begin with.

This race will decide the season unless JL bins it or gets taken out by someone. My money was on DP for this race and Valencia was looking to be a barn stormer. Oh well. :(

Total votes: 113

Spot on

Absolutely spot on BrickTop. I know it makes no difference now but I reckon Dani could still have challenged for the win even from the back of the grid. His determination seems to have gone up in force since Sachsenring and I really hope this weekend hasn't knocked it all back out of him.

It certainly seems as if that is the Championship decided - barring any other disaster weekends of course!
Again I will admit I am completely biased towards Dani and would love to see him finally win the title. However, I am also disappointed at the loss of 5 more potentially thrilling races in the GP class whilst the title was battled out. Brno was the first race in a long time I was actually up out of my seat shouting at the tv at home and I'm gutted at the chance of more of those gone this year. :-(

Not sure what went on in the Honda team. Pure panic seems the best guess.

Total votes: 101

What a farce.

Pedro might have been hitting out at all points afterwards, but I can undertsand his frustration. He really had a chance of finally grabbing a title. The team did seem to panic, and if David's report is correct they need to look to themselves for their reaction under pressure. As for the Barbera incident, nuff said, it just wasn't going to be Dani's day.

And strangely enough, the cause of all this was Abraham...

Not popular to say it here, but a remarkable performance from Rossi (and Bautista), where did that come from? I'd be surprised if it will be repeated but if Ducati have reached a turning point (or the start of a very long curve as JB said on the BBC afterwards) Dovi must be jumping for joy.

Wasn't the 'view' that Rossi was just going to coast round and take the money for the rest of the year?

Very pleased for Rea, lets see how he does next time, he's going to be a busy chap.

Total votes: 99

Say...

...anything you want to say about a good performance from Rossi, because it was. The people who might "boo" you will be eerily silent next year, so hell with 'em. We've suffered through and endured their mindless prattle for nearly two years, but that'll soon be drawing to a close, thanks be to God.

I'm incredibly interested in the next dry race. One unqualified victory for Ducati this weekend was the longevity of the rear tire. As for the outright speed, was it that the rest of the field didn't have a good enough setup with so little dry time?

We'll know at Aragon...

p.s. For those who understand such things, if the rest of the races become a collective snoozefest, at least things are better than perfect with my Crimson Tide... :)

Total votes: 95

make it simple

So, Karel had a problem. Ok. yellow lights. Everybody regroup (the riders!!) in the grid, each team member restart each bike if necessary, leaves the grid, another warm up lap, and let's go.
Instead, 3 minute rule, bring all the staff, umbrellas, sponsors drinks, media, interviews, tire heaters...
nice.

Total votes: 105

Yet the evidence does not seem to be on Pedrosa's side

It's water under the bridge in more way than one, but I am interested in the 'evidence'

Total votes: 95

Great article

The clearest and most complete summary of what happened I've seen anywhere.

Total votes: 82

This race brought big mixed

This race brought big mixed emotions from me. As a Pedrosa fan, I started swearing when he had to go into pit lane. Watching him get collected by Barbera had me shouting. But the battle for 3rd was good. I was really hoping for Bradl's first podium but Bautista getting his first is pretty cool too. And it's great to see Rossi get 2nd place in a dry race. Hope that's not a fluke. Next year Ducati will have four riders I really like and I hope they can turn that machine around.

Total votes: 92

New Parts- New Result

Rossi has said the new frame and swingarm have more goemetric combinations to aid setup. So although testing surely helped, it sounds as tho he’s finally got the changes he wanted and the bike itself is now competitive. Now we will have to wonder if he would have stayed at Ducati if they had arrived a month ago.

Dani came unravelled and tried to win on the first lap. The scoring is now representative of how good JLo really is as he was also taken out a few races back.

Total votes: 91

It's Dani's fault that Hector

It's Dani's fault that Hector took him out? How's that?

Total votes: 106

the engine

Dont forget Lorenzo has one less engine...that might come into play later on...unless they give him one of Spies fresh engines...and Spies gets the beat up ones...but of course that cant happen right?

Total votes: 100

What's left for the fans???

Dani's ability to challenge Jorge was the last bit of drama left in MotoGP this year. Casey is out, Ben is cursed and nobody else is really competitive.

Dani's start at the back of the grid gave fans a bit of new drama as we looked forward to the spectacle of him knifing through the pack though with no real hope of catching Jorge. Still it would have been something and the championship would still be up for grabs.

After Dani got skewered, I found myself fast forwarding to the last lap.

For the first time since I started following MotoGP about 10 years ago I really don't know why I should bother tuning in next week.

Hopefully Rossi on a Yamaha and Ben off the schneid will get some excitement back in the premier class.

See you next year boys.....

Total votes: 105

Nailed it.

Speedypete, thats it.

See ya next year.

After dani was punted i turned pff the tv and went to bed.

But for PI and the last few of casey's races my year is over to.

J

Total votes: 79

JAMMED TYRE WARMER

Hi there AFM780, your observation: "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw an HRC mechanic struggling to... remove a tire warmer. It looked like he just needed to turn the wheel backwards and then give it another go but instead he just kept tugging until it was terminally jammed into the fender."

That is what it looked like to me too. But the TV commentators were oblivious to this until Pedrosa's Honda was pushed off the grid into pit lane.

Just as Ben Spies is demonstrating, racing is by no means all about the rider. In this case, Pedrosa's Repsol Honda pit crew (or one member) got rattled and there was a cascading series of events that followed, which may end up costing Pedrosa a clear shot at the MotoGP championship.

Spies' cascading series of events started at Qatar with the only ill-handling Yamaha out there. That is not bad luck, it is bad management. Same as sending him out to race after he had been concussed last year. Or sending him out on a bike with a cracked sub-frame, or sending him out on a bike with a chassis misalignment that results in a rear suspension collapse.

Clearly Lorenzo's pit crew are top notch professionals, and that doubtless gives Jorge that extra bit of confidence. It is very rare to see anything go wrong in his camp.

Good luck, or superior management?

Total votes: 108

JAMMED TYRE WARMER

Hi there AFM780, your observation: "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw an HRC mechanic struggling to... remove a tire warmer. It looked like he just needed to turn the wheel backwards and then give it another go but instead he just kept tugging until it was terminally jammed into the fender."

That is what it looked like to me too. But the TV commentators were oblivious to this until Pedrosa's Honda was pushed off the grid into pit lane.

Just as Ben Spies is demonstrating, racing is by no means all about the rider. In this case, Pedrosa's Repsol Honda pit crew (or one member) got rattled and there was a cascading series of events that followed, which may end up costing Pedrosa a clear shot at the MotoGP championship.

Spies' cascading series of events started at Qatar with the only ill-handling Yamaha out there. That is not bad luck, it is bad management. Same as sending him out to race after he had been concussed last year. Or sending him out on a bike with a cracked sub-frame, or sending him out on a bike with a chassis misalignment that results in a rear suspension collapse.

Clearly Lorenzo's pit crew are top notch professionals, and that doubtless gives Jorge that extra bit of confidence. It is very rare to see anything go wrong in his camp.

Good luck, or superior management?

Total votes: 86

There's no 'I' in Team

which means riders (especially Casey) seem to invoke the royal 'we' a lot.
Pedrosa is under huge pressure and letting off like that probably helped him avoid a burst something or other.
I was just thinking that being taken out by your teammate took on a less frequent meaning when Barbera wiped him out. He doesn't have that Spies 2012 aura yet and he was actually lucky that nothing broke inside his leathers.
The observation that this puts him and JLo on an equal share of racing's unpredictability is one I agree with, and there is a long way to go yet.
On Jonathan Rea - the Haslam/Melandri relationship went down the tubes after Donnington and it wasn't jealousy at Melandri getting the first win IMO.
The fact that Rea ended up skittling Haslam and Melandri was poetic justice - othewrwise Melandri's move on the way in (he WAS out of control) could have lost Haslam the race and gifted himself a win. The Haslam collision looked worse because Haslam was pulling back to the apex, it wasn't so much Rea torpedoing him.
Rea is a racer, not a wild man IMO. His calm and methodical approach to the MGP bike shows that. How many could get within striking distance of the fastest in such a short time without an 'off'? His ride in the race was pure common sense - he knew Hayden was hurt and could have pushed for another point, but he was sensible, not wild.
I havn't seen any of his fellow racers criticising him and that speaks volumes.
I also think that Sic would approve.

Total votes: 88

Agree with that

I don't think Rea is wild, and I totally agree about Donny, it was Melandri that started that by going for an overtake that wasn't on, the proof was to see how wide he ran off the apex when he went past Haslam on the inside whom he forced to stand up in the process. All Rea did was go for the gap Melandri created, any quick witted rider would have done the same. Shame was he took Haslam out who hit Melandri, but the cause was Melandris' 'lunge'. Nice thing to do to your team-mate on his home turf! Haslam is a grown-up though and didn't make a fuss.

Rea's approach is the right one. When he gets the hang of it, he'll start to race, and in WSBK he is hindered by a mediocre bike, look how poor Ayoama is on it. He could be a good MotoGP competitor given the chance, but is he a better bet than say Redding?

Hmm...

Total votes: 91

Warmer or brakes

Was it that Pedrosa's front brakes had locked on hence the inability to remove the tyre warmer? Looked locked totally, more than a jammed tyre warmer would achieve.

Total votes: 91

Totally agree. Maybe it's

Totally agree. Maybe it's because a stuck warmer is no fault of any component supplier / sponsor and can be wholly dumped on the pit crew, whereas if they admit the brakes locked up it reflects poorly on Brembo- an official supplier (more or less a spec brake supplier)?

The crew member was lifting the bike off the stand trying to move the front wheel and it wasn't moving a millimetre- had to be stuck brakes. They had an unusual temperature cycle there - hard warmup lap including hard brake testing right up to the point he pulled into his grid slot, then sitting around for 10 mins with tyre warmers on. For some reason the hydraulic system did not vent and the temp made the fluid pressure build up and make the brakes grab.

Total votes: 86

I wonder what would have

I wonder what would have happened to Pedrosa had he started the race from the front row only to discover that his front wheel was locked up. That could have had disastrous consequences for the entire field behind him not to mention poor Dani who might have had a Scott Russell moment.

Total votes: 89

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