Recent comments

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoGP shakes up the rules   12 min 5 sec ago

    Is it that the compulsion to produce story pieces on a periodic basis which makes writers and gifted ones at that like Matt Oxley take recourse to penning down banalities? The columns from Oxley are concentrating on smaller and smaller aspects of a subject with a promise to demonstrate how that small aspect impacts in a big way in racing and in the construction of motorcycles that are used for racing. But the promise is hardly lived upto, with an explanation about the small aspect being equally small, running into a couple of lines and the rest is all about what everyone has been saying. I am now beginning to wonder if the riders and the factories are suffering more due to rules or is it journalists and writers. Oxley's columns suggest the second but there are others like Michael Scott (I know some of the folks think he is total rubbish, but I politely seek to disagree) and our very own Sir Emmett who seem to suggest otherwise. Thank God for them.

  • Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018   27 min 9 sec ago

    As an interim measure to boost grid sizes and create an affordable category of racing, Moto 2 was quite a good idea. It was even better that instead of 2011 the introduction of the category was advanced to 2010. Initially as the category was seeing some technical advances there was excitement, there is no denying that. I still like the fact that it has minimal electronics and probably gives riders the best chance to prove their abilities. But I am sure the same thing can be done with the involvement of more manufacturers as well. I guess Dorna's logic is that if you let competition come, in the form of different engine manufacturers then costs will get pushed up. But I cannot understand how Moto 3 and MotoGP costs can go up while it is sacrosanct to keep the costs of Moto 2 as they are. I understand that the world has not come out of the economic recession totally and therefore teams would like to keep the costs down and so Dorna will support them, but why this in one category only?

    I still think running World Superbikes as Superstock and MotoGP as WSS will make sense. In the whole of WSBK there are far too many categories of racing. Some rationalising of categories between the two series is probably the solution, but then I guess there will be no takers for my argument.

  • LCR Honda Press Release: Jack Miller Ups Pace By Two Seconds On Second Day At Sepang   1 hour 16 min ago

    Fastest race time of the proddie honda's was also 2 min 3.1s this year. Having said that, the bike jack's riding might have a few more ponies than what those boys were using at Sepang. Marc did a 2 min 1.1s.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   3 hours 20 min ago

    Thanks for the clarification David. The wording of the rules really matters, as ever.

    Another interesting scenario would be a dry-wet-dry race. We've come close a couple of times to this but haven't had it yet. If a sudden shower hit 5 or 6 laps into the race, the riders swap bikes, then 8 laps later it stops and the track dries quickly, how would the lap times compare in the second dry spell, when they can use all the fuel they want? It'd certainly be an interesting race, albeit more than a bit chaotic. A lot would depend on whether the teams had time to play with the dry bike's settings while the rider is out on the wet bike.

    A wet-dry race would have some elements of the scenario above, but the times would not be so easily comparable; you'd have to be looking at FP, WUP or QP times instead of race times.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   5 hours 19 min ago

    Thank you David for the interesting, in depth answers and for everybody's excellent questions. The subscribers of this site are indeed a step beyond the average fan...Well Done!

  • Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018   6 hours 12 min ago

    Give it a year and it might as well be renamed the Kalex Honda cup.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   6 hours 24 min ago

    I do not have a question, I'm just here to express my pleasure at reading your answers David. Excellent reading as usual!

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   6 hours 54 min ago

    I never really thought of Gino Rea as a team manager, but I guess you're right, he is one. I absolutely cheer for him especially since I one day witnessed him getting insulted on Twitter by some idiots, it increased my sympathy towards the guy. It can't be easy to do what he does. The problem though is that we barely ever see him on screen. And that's unfortunately true for most riders and sadly those are the riders who are probably most in need of sponsor therefore in need of coverage. I understand that when the leaders are battling it out at the front we won't be shown the back of the field, but on many days the front is just a boring procession. Why can't we then see the many battles going on throughout the rest of the field ?

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   6 hours 56 min ago

    The more interesting story is who I despise. Right now, the list stands at just two names. I won't be divulging them, though.

    Just whisper it, David. We won't tell a soul........

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   7 hours 2 min ago

    The more interesting story is who I despise. Right now, the list stands at just two names. I won't be divulging them, though.

    Just whisper it, David. We won't tell a soul........

  • Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018   7 hours 49 min ago

    Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “Moto2™ has been a success from the start, and just continues to get better"

    Moto 2 did start well but its now totally stagnated and the future doesn't look bright to me as the Kalex becomes a control bike.

    I'd like to see;
    any 600cc engine In line, V4
    675cc triple, again in line or V3

    Must be a homologated engine that sells at least 1000 units per annum. Superstock tuning only, control ECU with max 17,000 rev limit will keep horse power in check.

    Chassis as per current rules but a maximum of 8 bikes by any chassis supplier.

    This is World Championship racing, 'cheap' shouldn't be the only driver behind the regulations. Moto 2 is in serious danger of becoming completely irrelevant long before 2018 :(

    GIVE US A SHOW!!!!!!!
    Lets see an FTR Yamaha take on a Kalex Honda with Zarco hounding the life out of both of them on a Suter Triumph whilst Ant West comes round the outside on the Tigcraft MZ Agusta.

  • Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018   10 hours 1 min ago

    Is the engine also going to be the same 600 it's always been? I'm rapidly losing interest in Moto2, it's just a spec class now and it shows. :/

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   11 hours 18 sec ago

    A lot of hard and long questions....

    1. Yamaha's following Honda

    The people I talk to in the paddock don't really understand it, except in the context of Japanese culture. There is a particular hierarchy which is to be respected, and even though the two companies are fierce rivals, they observe a particular form of respectful behavior towards each other. Honda is allowed to lead, but is expected to have some consideration for its rivals. For an example, see how Honda approached the Moto3 class originally, before deciding it needed to beat KTM. Another example: as the largest factory, Honda gets first choice of the graduates from Japanese engineering faculties. The relationship between Honda and the other Japanese factories requires a deeper understanding of Japanese culture than I have, so I cannot explain it.

    2. 2016 winners and losers

    Honestly, that question is almost impossible to answer. Under normal circumstances, you expect Honda to come out on top, as they have the resources to adapt to rule changes most quickly. They got it badly wrong in 2007, but had recovered by mid-season, the Honda was as quick as the Ducati by Barcelona, the Yamaha having caught up by Portugal.

    However, I have a sneaking feeling that Yamaha may benefit from the change to Michelins. The French tire maker is renowned for the feel from its tires, and that may play into the hands of Jorge Lorenzo and the Yamahas, as they can exploit the feedback from edge grip. It will be interesting to see how stiff the front is, as this may have a major impact as well, on braking. And also, I suspect that the change will favor younger riders, as they tend to find it easier to adapt.

    Of one thing I am sure: the rule changes will throw up at least one big surprise. We just don't know what it will be yet. But then again, that's why they call it a surprise.

    3. Open Yamaha horsepower

    The Forward Yamaha was down a little on horsepower, but the biggest difference was in acceleration. That is a function of the Open class software being slightly less sophisticated, and not providing quite as much drive out of corners. 

    The lack of horsepower was not so much down to a lack of engines, it was more down to the fact that the Yamaha engineer who managed the engine put in very conservative limits on performance. They may have been applied in the name of saving engines, but there is good reason to doubt that was the full and complete explanation.

    As for the factory Yamahas, I was incredibly impressed by the work the Yamaha engineers did. I had not expected them to be down on horsepower, but when Jorge Lorenzo complained at Sepang that the bike was too nervous, and the throttle response too rough, it confirmed what I feared the effect would be on Yamaha. How they responded to that, found the horsepower, and improved the throttle response is an incredible achievement. There was a lot in the electronics, but I believe the new exhaust helped a lot too.

    4. Promise that fizzled

    A tough one. Certainly, Ben Spies is a candidate for that. He was clearly talented, but I get the feeling that something caused him to lose confidence in the team, and from there, it all went downhill fast. If a rider doesn't trust the team, and the bike, he doesn't really stand a chance.

    I was a little disappointed with Hiroshi Aoyama in MotoGP, who I expected to do much better. His problem was that he wanted the bike to behave like a 250cc two-stroke, which it wouldn't. 

    Apart from that, there has been a very long list of riders who showed promise, but never quite broke through. Marco Melandri, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, John Hopkins, to name but a few.

    5. Paddock friends

    Making friends in the paddock is a risky business. There are clearly people I would call my friends, but they are only a few. It is not realistic to be friends with riders or team members, as at some point, our interests will clash, and that will place a strain on the relationship. To put it crudely, if a rider sucks, or a team makes a stupid decision, I have to feel able to write about it without fear of spoiling a friendship.

    There are riders I have a good relationship with, there are mechanics, crew chiefs, PR staff that I have a good relationshp with, and there are riders and mechanics I have a very bad relationship with. Whatever the relationship, I attempt to keep it as professional as possible.

    Even with other journalists, or with photographers, relationships can be tricky. After all, you can't afford to share everything you know with everyone, and so sometimes you have to be a little cagey. But it is still possible, there are a few people, perhaps five or six, that I would call real friends.

    The more interesting story is who I despise. Right now, the list stands at just two names. I won't be divulging them, though.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   11 hours 51 min ago

    I think Rossi is doing the best team managing the team, because he has almost no involvement with it. At the race track, he lets the team get on with it, and only turns up at Parc Fermé to celebrate. While you are still racing, you can't do both, which I fear will be Aleix Espargaro's problem.

    I am most impressed with Gino Rea, though. His organizational talent is prodigious, and he has proven successful at raising sponsorship, generating money, creating a budget and working within it, and then racing. I fear his racing suffers as a result, though. Although he would be sad to hear me say it, and it is unfair of me to suggest it, I wish he would retire from racing and just manage a team. He's going to be a great team manager when he does, a lot like Lucio Cecchinello. So if you want someone to cheer for in Moto2, cheer for Gino Rea, just for the hard work he puts in on a very tight budget.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   11 hours 55 min ago

    I still fear that Suzuki will not spend the money that they need to, but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised at the pace of the bike so far. It is a better bike than I expected, and is already pretty good. The question is whether Suzuki are willing to spend what it takes to close the gap completely.

    This is the biggest problem in all forms of racing. The cost of getting from 90-95% is tiny in comparison to the cost of getting from 99-100%. Finding the last few hundredths can cost more than getting to within a second of the fastest bikes.

    Honestly, though, I am optimistic. It looks more like Suzuki will get the bike to a point where the talent of a rider like Viñales or Aleix Espargaro can actually make the difference. But it will be tough to beat the current top four on a bike which isn't as good as the Honda or Yamaha.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   11 hours 59 min ago

    No, no, and yes. The Pata Honda team are stuck with an uncompetitive CBR1000RR for at least another year. With the coming of the SP, the bike isn't as handicapped as it was in the past, but it's still slow.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   12 hours 1 min ago

    I think you are badly underestimating the talent of Marc Marquez.

    I think if both Yamaha riders had the bike they believe they need to be competitive, they would still have difficulty beating Marquez. But then again, Marquez would have more difficulty beating them. In other words, it would be a fantastic contest.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   12 hours 7 min ago

    There is a common misconception about the fuel limits in wet races. Contrary to popular belief, there is no limit on the amount of fuel that may be used in the race. What is limited is the size of the fuel tank. The rules read:

    • For riders entered under the Factory Option (Art. 2.4.3.5.4) the fuel tank capacity limit is a maximum of 20 litres*

    In case of a wet race, or a flag-to-flag race, riders have a theoretical fuel allowance of 40 liters (2 bikes, each with a fuel tank of 20 liters). However, the extra fuel is not relevant, as the pace is dictated by conditions, rather than the amount of fuel available. The set up for a wet bike includes a much softer fuel map, which uses a lot less fuel. It is also much harder to use full acceleration in the wet, which is what uses the fuel.

    So the short answer is, it is not policed, because it does not apply. And it does not apply, because it is not really relevant.

    An interesting hypothetical question is what would happen if bike swaps were allowed in dry races. Would it be possible to build a fire-breathing bike which used far more fuel to go fast enough to benefit from a bike swap? Given that a pit stop and bike swap costs between 30 and 50 seconds, the bike would have to be well over a second a lap faster. I don't believe those kind of gains are possible just from having more fuel to burn.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   12 hours 17 min ago

    That's easy. The Philip Morris hospitality unit, where Ducati hold their press debriefs, has the best food. But the Marc VDS hospitality has the best coffee!

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   12 hours 18 min ago

    The most talented riders I've personally seen in MotoGP are the current top 4, plus Casey Stoner. All of them, Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, have earned their places in the history books. A truly talented generation.

    Good question about riding style. Clearly, riding style matters. Your style may happen to suit a particular bike, or configuration, or technology. One of the most remarkable things about Valentino Rossi is how he has adapted his style through many changes of technology, from 500cc two strokes, to 990cc four strokes, the reduction to 800cc and now the increase to 1000cc, as well as the switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tires.

    In the end, though, it comes down to finding a way to extract maximum performance out of a particular bike. Sometimes, that happens naturally, as a result of someone's riding style, but in the really special cases, a rider will find a non-obvious way to get the best out of a bike. That is always the most spectacular to watch.

  • Jerez Combined WSBK And MotoGP Test: Bradl Impresses, Rea Leads WSBK On Day 3   15 hours 35 min ago

    "One is the heaviest number you can put on a bike".

    Or, words to that effect.

  • LCR Honda Press Release: Jack Miller Completes First Day Of Testing At Sepang   15 hours 53 min ago

    it will sell some tv subs.

    The mad-lib extension is that we can do away with every other class.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   21 hours 46 min ago

    Measuring the fuel tank capacity is straightforward, but how do they tell how much fuel they have used in a wet race, when the rider can come in and change bikes any time after it's declared wet?

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   23 hours 16 min ago

    I have been a bit busy with some end of the semester work and the fact that there is a timing difference made me miss the Q and A. But Sir Emmett let me congratulate you on this great new initiative, reading the questions and the answers to those has been quite illuminating. You say you do not have business acumen, but let me tell you that your passion for motorcycle racing allows you to come up with some really good ideas (like the Q and A) and that is what will keep your endeavour going. Passion cannot make up for money but it does make it possible to find some money at least. Congratulations on this wonderful website that you run and my sincere prayer is that you should prosper and expand the gamut of coverage of different categories of motorcycle racing. All the best to you and thank you for what you bring to an old motorcycle and motorcycle racing fan like me.

  • Ask Me Anything: David Emmett Answers Your Questions - Final Update   1 day 8 min ago

    I think it's crazy that the development and maintenance costs for seamless transmissions has been allowed to continue this long. Aren't we now pushing for better parity and closer racing to increase the spectacle of the show? Smaller teams will never be capable of affording the technology and associated engineers to service them. Why is there no push for reversing the rule against a dual clutch transmission? Something that has already shown up in road-going motorcycles and is comparatively cheap.

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