MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Round, black and…
So, at the end of next season, MotoGP will switch from one brand of round black things to another brand of round black things. Big deal; tyrezzzzzzzzz.
Of course it’s not a big deal, it’s a huge deal. Swapping tyre brands can make or break a rider’s career. Likewise it can transform a winning motorcycle into an unrideable and vice-versa. In other words, saying goodbye to Bridgestone and hello to a different tyre manufacturer could upset the MotoGP status quo, which, depending on who you are will either be a good thing or a bad thing. A change of tyres could also have a major effect on the quality of the racing.
When Michelin ruled
Press releases from the teams after Monday's test at Jerez:
The first MotoGP test of the season at Jerez is a tough one for the factories, coming as it does after three flyaway races on three continents, followed by a one-week hop back to Europe. Teams and engineers are all a little bedazzled and befuddled from all the travel, and have not had time to analyze fully all the data from the first four races of the season. It is too early in the season to be drawing firm conclusions, and crew chiefs and engineers have not yet fully exhausted all of their set up ideas for fully exploiting the potential of the package they started the season with.
As a result, they do not have a vast supply of new parts waiting to be tested. The bikes that rolled out of pit lane on Monday were pretty much identical to the bikes raced on Sunday. The only real differences were either hard or impossible to see. Suspension components, rising rate linkages and brake calipers were about as exotic as it got. The one area where slightly bigger changes were being applied was in electronics strategies, with Yamaha and Honda working on engine braking, and Honda trying out a new launch control strategy. That new launch control system did not meet with the approval of Marc Marquez, however, and so will probably not be seen again.
Marc Marquez was the fastest man at the Jerez post-race test, setting a quick lap early in the day which would not be beaten. The Repsol Honda man had a big gap to Jorge Lorenzo for most of the day, but the Movistar Yamaha rider closed the gap to just over a quarter of a second by the end of the day.
Valentino Rossi ended the day in 3rd, after a late lap put him ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who, like Marquez, stopped testing earlier in the afternoon. Alvaro Bautista was the fastest of the satellite Hondas, leading Stefan Bradl by a fraction, the LCR Honda man being the last rider within a seconf of Marquez. Pol Espargaro was quickest of the Tech 3 riders, while brother Aleix was sandwiched between Pol and Bradley Smith.
Times at the end of the day:
The test continues at Jerez, but the names at the top of the timesheets remain unchanged. Marc Marquez is still fastest, his lead over Jorge Lorenzo unchanged.
Times at 3:30pm:
Testing is in full swing at Jerez, a day after the opening European round of MotoGP. Marc Marquez is fastest, picking up where he left off yesterday, the Spaniard stamping his authority during the test just as he did during the race. He leads Jorge Lorenzo by over six tenths of a second, with Marquez' Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa another tenth behind the Movistar Yamaha rider. Go&Fun Gresini's Alvaro Bautista is doing well in 4th, leading Valentino Rossi by a narrow margin. The session was briefly red-flagged following a big crash for Andrea Iannone, but the Italian walked away from that unhurt.
There are a number of prominent absentees, first and foremost of which is the Factory Ducati team of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. The Ducati pairing are scheduled to hold a private test at Mugello instead, a test at which some major upgrades are rumored. Colin Edwards is also absent, still waiting upon a new chassis from the consultants which Forward have brought in to design. In his place is Simone Corsi, one of NGM Forward's riders in Moto2.
There are a couple of absentees due to illness as well. Nicky Hayden has decided to skip this test, as he is still getting some swelling in his right wrist. Yonny Hernandez had been scheduled to test, but has been taken sick, and so will not ride today.
Times at 1pm:
2014 Jerez Sunday MotoGP, Moto2 And Moto3 Round Up: Spanish Passion, Non-Spanish Winners, And The Alien's Alien
There is always something very special about Jerez. There are few circuits on earth where fans gather to worship at the altar of motorcycle racing which quite such deafening intensity and passion as at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Fans of motorcycle racing are a passionate bunch wherever you are in the world, but the fans in Jerez add a spice and temperament which lifts the atmosphere to a higher plane. Despite Andalusia's continuing and severe economic recession, crowd numbers for the event were up again from last year, from over 111,000 to 117,001 paying customers on Sunday. Motorcycle racing lives on in Spanish hearts, no matter the state of their wallets.
Unlike last year, however, the Spanish fans were not treated to what is known in the country as a 'Triplete', or a clean sweep of Spanish wins in all three classes. Both Moto3 and Moto2 saw non-Spanish winners, and even the MotoGP podium was not all Spanish for a change. The two junior classes saw their championship chases thrown open once again, unlike in MotoGP. There, Marc Marquez tightened his stranglehold on the championship, extending his reign of terror from three to four races. At every round of MotoGP so far this year, Marc Marquez – Marc the Merciless, as veteran GP journalist Michael Scott refers to him, while some of the less appreciative fans prefer the moniker Murder Marc, after the young Spaniard's occasionally reckless antics in Moto2 – has taken both pole and victory in the first four races of the season.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Jerez:
Press releases from the teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Full Report and Results Below:
Full Report and Results Below:
Full Report and Results Below: