Press releases from some of the MotoGP teams after the test at Barcelona:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams ahead of Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Barcelona:
This is going to be a big weekend in MotoGP, perhaps one of the most significant in a long while. The outcome of Sunday's race is unlikely to be earth-shattering - the chance of the top three being entirely Spanish, and composed of two Repsol Hondas and a Factory Yamaha is pretty large - and the championship will look much the same on Sunday night as it does now. Yet this weekend will be key.
Much of the interest - and intrigue - revolves around the test on Monday. The most visible piece of the MotoGP puzzle will be in the Suzuki garage, where their brand new MotoGP machine is due to make its first real public debut. The bike has had a number of private tests, some more secretive than others, the latest being last week at Motegi with Randy de Puniet. The times that were leaked from that test were respectable, though with only test riders for competition, it is hard to put them into context.
At Barcelona, a public test, with official timing, and up against the full MotoGP field, there will be nowhere to hide. Will the Suzuki be able to match the times of the Hondas and Yamahas? Unlikely, the bike is still at an early stage of development. But it should be faster than the CRT machines, and close to the Ducati satellite bikes. De Puniet's first target will be himself, and the time he sets during practice and the race on the Aprilia CRT he rides for Aspar.
Even more intriguing at the test is what Yamaha will be bringing. Rumors abound that the seamless transmission which the factory is working on is due to be tested soon, with many believing it could get its first official run out in the hands of the factory riders at Barcelona on Monday. Raising further suspicions that something major is afoot in the Yamaha camp is the fact that they also have a test scheduled for Aragon later in the week. If the gearbox is not quite ready to be raced, then Yamaha could wait to try it at Aragon; if it is ready, trying it at two different circuits would be a good way of giving it a thorough workout. The difference between a seamless and a conventional gearbox is audible, so we should know soon enough.
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this week's Catalonian GP at Barcelona:
While normally, MotoGP fans never get enough of seeing Valentino Rossi on TV, there is one shot they would (for the most part) gladly be spared. Every time the Italian leaves the pits for practice or qualifying, the TV director seems determined to show the same shot, from the camera on the back of Rossi's bike. As he leaves the pits, Rossi stands on the footpegs, and pulls his leathers from between his buttocks, before sitting back down again and leaving.
Why does he do this? Are his Dainese leathers so badly cut that they are continually creeping up between his buttocks whenever he's not on the bike? The answer to that is obviously no, his leathers are custom made to fit perfectly, yet still Rossi does this every time, whether he needs to or not. It is part of the long series of rituals he performs before he hits the track, rituals which include bend over and touching his toes, crouching down and holding the right footpeg, and only getting on from the right side of the bike. These rituals - part useful limbering up, part invocation of Lady Luck - are something many riders perform, in their attempt to exert control over themselves, and over their environment.
In a fascinating press release - by far the most interesting we have received in many months - the Aspar team today provided a discussion and explanation of what riders are trying to achieve through the use of these rituals. The press release - entitled 'Controlling the Uncontrollable' - walks the reader through the many factors which go in to making a champion, and emphasizes the enormous importance of the mental side of the sport. It is a fascinating insight, and a highly recommended read:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after an exhilarating French Grand Prix in Le Mans:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for tomorrow's French Grand Prix at Le Mans: