Archive - Oct 2007
Ben Spies has not had a lot of luck when it comes to testing the Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike. Twice he has had tests of the bike scheduled, and twice those tests have been rained out, in Japan and in Sepang. After the washout at Sepang, it looked like that would be the AMA Superbike Champion's last chance of testing the bike this year, as the Rizla Suzuki team felt they would be too busy in Valencia helping new signing Loris Capirossi's find a base setting on his first time on the bike, and putting Chris Vermeulen to work on the 2008 GSV-R, making handling a test for Spies too difficult.
As most of you know by now, we occasionally feature MotoGP photography from sources off the beaten path here at MotoGPMatters.com. A couple of months ago, someone who posts as RLCanon over on the Adventure Rider website posted up a couple of pictures from his visit to the Misano MotoGP round. We liked them a lot, and we hope you like them too.
Pramac d'Antin have just confirmed what we had reported earlier, that Toni Elias will ride for the Pramac d'Antin Ducati squad next year. This leaves the teams rider line-up for 2008 looking very different from their 2007 riders, two long-time MotoGP veterans.
Elias' signing brings the MotoGP silly season almost to a close, leaving only the Team KR seat open, although their plans are not yet finalized.
It had been rumored for a while, and now it's official. Gresini Racing today announced that they have signed Shinya Nakano to ride for them in 2008. The Japanese rider has had a nightmare year at Konica Minolta Honda, regularly finishing around 14th place, and must bitterly regret his decision to leave Kawasaki, now that Team Green has performed so well in 2007. The move means that Nakano will once again switch to Bridgestone tires.
In the midst of the controversy about Dorna's proposed single tire rule, The Duke, who many of you may already know as host of the outstanding, informative and entertaining motorcycle racing podcast Rumblestrip Radio sent us an excellent opinion piece on why he feels the single tire rule should not be imposed. Although it looks like Dorna has withdrawn the proposal, it could yet be pulled out of a drawer again if tires dominate another season of racing.
After weeks of speculation and controversy, Autosport's Toby Moody is reporting that Dorna has withdrawn the proposal to use a control tire in MotoGP. Presumably this means that Carmelo Ezpeleta got what he wanted with the rule, but just what that is, is yet to be seen. Whether that means that Valentino Rossi will be on Bridgestones next year or on Michelins is likely be made clear within the next couple of days. Stay tuned.
~~~ UPDATE ~~~
Is the MotoGP series sport or entertainment?
The weather at Sepang, which had held off for Sunday's MotoGP race, has scuppered Ben Spies plans to test the Suzuki GSV-R 800 MotoGP bike. Spies, who won the AMA Superbike title aboard a GSX-R 1000, had flown to Malaysia for his first outing on the Suzuki, to acquaint himself with the bike, with a view to taking a couple of wildcard rides in 2008 before possibly making the switch to MotoGP in 2009. The weather had different ideas, however.
|Tech 3 Yamaha|
The final pieces of the MotoGP puzzle are falling into place. Confirmation is starting to emerge from several places that Toni Elias has signed for the Pramac d'Antin Ducati team for 2008, with team owner Luis d'Antin telling Spanish TV as much earlier today, and the signing being confirmed from other sources inside the team as well.
When Chaz Davies was drafted in at very short notice to replace Alex Hofmann at Laguna Seca, after the German had injured his hand after being T-boned by Laguna rookie Sylvain Guintoli, he impressed a lot of people in the MotoGP paddock, getting up to speed very quickly on a type of machine he'd never ridden before, at a track he'd never ridden at before, using tires and brakes he'd never used before. After a test session at Mugello in September, he was drafted in to replace Hofmann for the rest of the season, the German having been sacked after the Portuguese GP at Estoril.