Recent comments

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   22 min 31 sec ago

    I know WP is owned by KTM, but with all of the challenges Gresini face(d) being the sole Showa/Nissin team in an otherwise homogeneous Öhlins/Brembo field, this seems like a decision that will further handicap KTM's chances of actually getting one of their bikes on the grid. I know Pierer is touting the fact that the bike is wholly constructed by KTM without relying on outside suppliers as a point of pride, but it's asking a lot of prospective teams to gamble on another unknown when the overall performance of the bike is unproven as it is.

    After considering David's analysis, I'm fairly convinced that actually seeing a KTM fielded in the championship is a low priority and that mostly KTM is after the "Developed for MotoGP™" tagline for marketing their millionaire track toy.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   43 min 14 sec ago

    There has always been something special about GP racing. It is simply the show, the pinnacle of Moto sport, a spectacle that transcends the whole "race on Sunday, sell on Monday" mind set. It is the very best riders on some of the most exotic machines on the planet. It still captures the imagination. People are passionate about MotoGP. The manufacturers share this passion as well. If it was simply about money the sport would have gone by the wayside a long time ago.

    It will not be easy, but I think GP racing will survive. In what form is to be determined, of course, but GP racing will survive. Am I confident in the current leadership to make the best decisions? Meh. But I don't believe that DORNA nor the MSMA is the Devil either. They do at some point though have to put their own self interests aside and at east find some common ground so that they can do what is best for the sport. MotoGP will not die, but it can be killed. This what I fear.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   1 hour 14 min ago

    I don't think sportsbike sales have any effect on the interest in MotoGp, I think that is more than likely the problem which is killing WSBK. Grand Prix racing was always popular long before sportsbikes were ever spawned from F1 replicas, road bike engines in purpose built race chassis.

  • Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond   1 hour 38 min ago

    Right now, Moto2 is a good bracket filler on race day, but I am not sure it's actually groomed many to go fast in MotoGP. Marquez being the exception, but certainly not the rule.
    All the tea-leaf gazing, and examination of the gizzards of disembowelled birds, or whatever other voodoo people want to practice will not affect the result one whit - it will be how the kid adapts.

    He's the most consistently fast rider in Moto3, despite not being on the fastest bike (Honda), which is why he's leading the championship. Having seen the video of him at the Troy Bayliss Classic, he was very quick and held his own on the dirt track against the best international talent. He certainly showed he could slide both ends and stay upright.

    Let's wait and see, shall we.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   1 hour 53 min ago

    BSB is owned by MotorSport Vision, a privately held, for profit corporation. Who also own some of the tracks the series races on.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   2 hours 1 min ago

    I don't think the open bikes will cost 1M by 2017. Honda's production racer for 2015 is already more than that. And if by 2017 "open" bikes will be leased one year old factory bikes, then that's just what satellite bike have always been and satellite bikes have not been cheap for a very long time.
    Also, the CRTs proved that owning the bike is a good thing, you can always sell it to recuperate some of your investment. Something you can't do with the openYamahas and I'm still very doubtful you'll be able to do once the leasing period runs of in the open Hondas (which they are said to be sold but in reality for the first two years are leased).

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   2 hours 1 min ago

    I am skeptical about the long term participation of any new factories. I even have doubts about Ducati. The only reasons that racing can be financially justified to a board of directors is public relations, advertising and name recognition. Some will argue that it can be used for engineer training and that may be true, but it sure is an expensive why to do it. Any of those reasons can only be justified if you are winning or at least extremely competitive. If you are losing then racing it is a huge, expensive, negative factor. Most companies won’t continue expensive activities that make them look bad for very long.

    On top of that the sportbike market is shrinking rapidly, so the connection between racing and sales is much weaker than in the past. So, even winning doesn’t have a good return on investment.

    IMO the chances of Aprilia, Suzuki and KTM quickly winning or even being consistently competitive is extremely remote. I suspect the MotoGP programs will be shut-down after only a couple of years.

    Honda and Yamaha are special cases, they each seem to be in MotoGP because the other is. Due to their decades of GP racing they have a huge knowledge base to work from and their bikes are so highly evolved that nobody will be able to quickly challenge them. Ducati had a chance, but seems to have squandered it. It is only a matter of time before Marlboro tires of the zero visibility “advertising” and pulls the plug. Ducati’s MotoGP program will effectively end then, it might limp on ineffectively for a while, but it have to end before it bankrupts the company.

    In fact, I am pessimistic about the whole future of MotoGP. With the lack of sportbike sales to provide impetus it’s hard to see any manufacturer continuing for very long.

    Again IMO, if MotoGP is to continue beyond the next 10(?) years it will have to evolve into a MUCH less expensive endeavor. I don’t know what the solution would be. Probably simpler, less expensive bikes. Possibly much less travel, maybe several regional series with a short “World Cup” series every couple of years.

    I love MotoGP, but like I said I’m skeptical and pessimistic about the future.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   2 hours 15 min ago

    Revenue of euros 238 million in 2013 for Dorna.

    And there are a lot of different ways to run a championship other than as a for-profit, investor-driven enterprise (see British Superbike).

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - A new way of riding, a new way of crashing   3 hours 17 min ago

    You have to keep in mind that Whitham's career was interrupted by cancer which he overcome to return to racing. His achievements may not look much side by side compared to other riders, but he did not have the opportunity to fulfil his 'time' as a rider unfortunately.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   3 hours 27 min ago

    A lot of people scoff at the thought of Dorna making a profit, but it's good to highlight the importance of Dorna making a profit. Firstly they have to cover the costs otherwise a championship would not exist, secondly they need to make a profit to secure investment, loans, etc that all other companies require to function.

    It's not an overwhelming greed suffocating the sport that some wish to believe.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   4 hours 23 min ago

    "Persuading one of the private teams to choose a KTM over a year-old Honda could be very difficult indeed. KTM will need some way of proving that the bike is competitive. The normal way of doing so is to compete as a factory team, but KTM have said explicitly they are not interested in doing so."

    Okay, so KTM will not field a factory team. I agree that if they did so with world-class riders then they could lure private teams to buy their bike. But what about testing? I know that the riders and teams sometime sandbag, but if KTM demonstrates during testing that they have performance that meets (and hopefully beats) the best the factory teams, that could be a delicious carrot. (Get yourself some of the best WSBK riders to do the work). It would still be a risk because being fast during testing does not always equal to being fast during testing . . . . but look at the post-race test days we have seen this year; the riders are running not just at race pace but even qualifying pace.

    I think my idea would work, except for a big hole. Can KTM demonstrate this performance before the teams need to commit to Dorna that they will race that type of bike and before they can convince sponsors to sign up? To me that is a bigger risk than the not having a factory team.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   4 hours 25 min ago

    The problem is paying for it. Dorna's annual turnover is believed to be around €200 million. Payments to just MotoGP teams for 22 riders would total around €30 million. Then there's the Moto2 and Moto3 teams, who also get a freight allowance. There's staff costs, equipment costs, travel costs for all of Dorna's staff (I don't know how many people travel with them, but it must be a couple of hundred to every race). They chew threw money. Adding a couple of million a season for a couple more bikes is the difference between making a profit and reporting a loss. 

  • MotoGP Silly Season State Of Play Post Misano In A Nutshell - Updated   4 hours 29 min ago

    Motoshrink, McDonalds or the Michelin Man!

    Another bonus is even if they finish 3rd it looks like they came first in the photographs as their heads are higher than the other guys :-)

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   6 hours 13 min ago

    Look at leveling those electronics and quick this has come around. Suzuki, then Aprilia, now KTM. Only BMW and Kawasaki as big players left.

    they should have done this when they went back to the 1000's but I already know, MSMA.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   6 hours 21 min ago

    The scenario you pictured featuring factories providing used bikes for private teams brings us full circle to the original problem Dorna faced in MotoGP. Non-factory teams that couldn't afford ex-factory eqiupment. I am skeptical about factories selling bikes at affordable prices and imagine that by 2017 we will be facing dwindling grids as the factories price independent teams out of the market. At that time KTM could be a real angel(halo and all) to non-factory teams still trying to make a go of it. What has just happened to Gresini I feel is an outlier of this coming storm. The question is will KTM still be in MotoGP by then. The same question could be asked of Suzuki, Aprilla and a host of smaller teams competing today.

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   6 hours 46 min ago

    Will there be any customers to sell the bike to? They should target Cardion AB!
    And you're right, what's wrong with 24 bikes?

  • KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017   6 hours 52 min ago

    I agree that this is going to be a serious uphill battle for KTM to break into the grid in MotoGP. But I think there will be a lot of people looking on with great interest, and if the Honda Proddy machine continues to struggle teams may look at this machne as a viable alternative. Certainly Aprilia and Suzuki won't be lighting things up right away, either, so there will be some level ground in tha regard.

    They are certaily taking the right development path in my opinion by not pushing to get the bike ready for 2016. Let the new regs and new tires happen and base the project around those things as baked in features of the machine. In other words, it won't be a machine that is modified or altered to conform to new regs, the new bike is built specifically to those regs. It could end up being a big selling point. Really the only one they will have since they will not run a factory effort. I think they can do though it and I wish them well.

    And for the record, I honestly don't see why they could not put 24 bikes on the grid. Just my opinion, of course...

  • MotoGP Silly Season State Of Play Post Misano In A Nutshell - Updated   7 hours 29 min ago

    Hah! Funny Dan! Wouldn't a wide rider be even better? If I remember right there was one rider almost 10 yrs ago, Cardoso I think, that nearing the end of his Motogp career got chunkier and chunkier. Anyone else remember that?

    Not only could you get long sponsor names on that width, but they could be...McDonalds?

  • MotoGP Silly Season State Of Play Post Misano In A Nutshell - Updated   8 hours 55 min ago

    He'll need to bring a certain amount of personal sponsorship money for the ride to be viable for the team.

  • MotoGP Silly Season State Of Play Post Misano In A Nutshell - Updated   8 hours 58 min ago

    I doubt if he's been turned down purely based on the fact that he's tall. There are a number of successful tall riders, including Rossi.
    I suspect it was more to do with the team looking at the easiest way to progress. As I understand it they had agreements pending with several riders including Baz. They may have all been similar in term of ability, prospects, sponsorship etc. Baz may simply have been the one who'd have been the most work and expense to get the bike ready for him in terms of weight distribution, seating position etc. so they ruled him out of the equation.
    I might be totally wrong but it seems likely.

  • Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond   9 hours 23 min ago

    McCoy was a real joy to watch. I miss the days of little to no traction control. McCoy would fling that 500 all around the track and it was absolutely superb. Maybe one day we'll get to see someone do that again.

  • Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond   10 hours 14 min ago

    Good Luck Jack ! geez, there's some mean-spirited 'followers' of racing here (use that term loosely) imagine, wishing someone 'isn't successful' That's just poor form.

    A while back a motogp paddock insider's response to the question 'how do you beat marc marquez' was 'put jack miller and maverick vinales on factory bikes' well, here's hoping. Honda may well want to lock down threats to their Golden Boy MM as well outlined in posts above, but what if this golden boy also kills the spectacle of racing, by being so utterly dominant that people start turning off ther main race...a very real possibility, and a slightly dark possible future. I think Jack is a bit of an each way bet for Dorna here, in a post-jorge/dani future. He's also a lad, a personality who isn't afraid to speak his mind - and like Casey before him, has drawn flack from the couchracers more in tune with the standard 'i am 'appy, thank you team for bike, we will work hard and prepare' i mean, did everyone see the wet willy he gave Rins on the podium at Misano :) People do love that stuff, and I do believe, will warm to Jack.

    Jack, do well ! I for one, do think you have the potential to be a champion in MotoGP.

  • Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond   10 hours 48 min ago

    HRC have given a 3 year contract to try and take some pressure of his first year, but there's no avoiding the fact that there is going to be some pressure on him to justify HRCs faith.. I hope Jack is level headed enough to learn steadily under those circumstances but it's a tough ask. It is a little different to Stoners situation though if you read his book.

    When Stoner stepped up to 250 the first time he didn't have a competitive package and crashed a lot trying too hard. He had to demonstrate every time he went out that he was quick or his family's finances might have dried up, they only got as far as they did in those early days by the good grace of Alberto Puig. After he had proved himself in 125 and got the semi factory RS 250 he was immediately up front. If he had the opportunity on the factory RS 250 the first time He went to 250 I think he'd have done a lot better. Stoner certainly didn't have a 3 year HRC contract to fall back on in those days.

  • Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond   11 hours 20 min ago

    from memory Garry McCoy did quite well going from 125's to 500's. Dirt and speedway background.

  • MotoGP Silly Season State Of Play Post Misano In A Nutshell - Updated   12 hours 25 min ago

    I believe Gresini were obliged to use Showa and Nissin kit to help develop them for Honda, as they are both owned by Honda, so doubt they will be used on the Aprilia.