Recent comments

  • The Pressure Of Contracts: Bradley Smith Explains How A New Tech 3 Deal Helped Him Ride Better   1 hour 40 min ago

    I'm pretty sure all MotoGP riders have high levels of mental toughness, including Bradley Smith. Apparently, it doesn't prevent them from being affected, positively or negatively, by their mental state at a given time. The cases are many: the enthusiasm and self-confidence of Marquez, Rossi's revival, Lorenzo's troubles, Crutchlow's debacle... Given the fact that they are not average guys, I'm surprised how much a rider's state of mind can impact performance.

  • The Pressure Of Contracts: Bradley Smith Explains How A New Tech 3 Deal Helped Him Ride Better   2 hours 20 min ago

    Mr Smith is a thinking rider. That has advantages, but also major disadvantages; it's easy to overthink things and get yourself in a mental mess before a wheel has turned. He's very fast on his day, but can end up in the gravel where, say, a Bautista or Hernandez might not have even had that distracting thought in the first place. I hope his new contract gets him into a positive and fruitful headspace where he can regularly aim for and hit the top of the non-factory positions.

    But frankly, while I wish him all the best in his riding career, I think he'll eventually turn into a legendary and successful team manager. If Hervé is looking for a successor a few years down the line...

  • The Pressure Of Contracts: Bradley Smith Explains How A New Tech 3 Deal Helped Him Ride Better   4 hours 27 min ago

    He has matured well in MGP, and I like the way he communicates too - level-headed and straightforward. You certainly get the sense that he doesn't play games.
    I wish him well for the rest of this season, and I hope he gets what he needs from Yamaha and Tech 3 to do the job he wants to do.
    As Marquez has shown, there can be 3 places in a bit of set-up and tyre performance. Bradley has shown there are the same margins in his head. The potential is there.

  • Tom Sykes Signs On For Two More Years In World Superbikes With Kawasaki   5 hours 1 min ago

    I personally prefer WSBK show rather than many brands/factory there -though I hate to see when Yamaha & BMW pulled off... gladly there are 3 exciting new entrants this year : Bimota, MV agusta and Buell... I also like 2 race format which provide 2nd chance for riders to improve their setting and re-shuffle point standing :) I saw many red-flagged race and quick restart that can put more drama -such as race in Laguna... I like hearing comments from Jhonny Green-Steve Martin which both have extensive knowledge over this sports show.. I bet it'll be much more interesting next year with new regulation.. EVO riders like Salom-Canepa will have chance to run with Sykes-Rea.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   5 hours 18 min ago

    And we shall see what the outcome of these decisions is in a few years.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   6 hours 15 min ago

    You have a valid point, but unfortunately the world that Dorna operates in is the same world where Target has a quarterly $30 million dollar profit but misses financial expectations by 2 cents and as a result drops in share price by 5%. Those types of volatile short term investor behaviour forces companies like Dorna to make these aggressive short term choices such as risk market share but secure short term growth (the TV deal), risk market share by increasing race sanctioning fees to the point race tracks are only able to secure funds last minute (Bruno). I don't think its right for Mr. Oxley to lay all the blame on Dorna's lap without also facing up to the fact they are under extreme pressure to perform fiscally. Carmelo isn't sitting on his high chair just scheming on way to get more money into his private coffers (or pay for his vacation to the Maldives).

    As for the feasibility of this short sightedness, it can't last. For some reasons people seem to forget the last disaster and think the Bull Market will last forever. It will not and there are always repercussions for short term planing.

    I think we are on the same page.....

  • Tom Sykes Signs On For Two More Years In World Superbikes With Kawasaki   6 hours 55 min ago

    ...but, I doubt it would be the Tell all we'd hope for. Edwards is a business man and I don't recall him being one to burn bridges. I've read a few racers books and have been a bit underwhelmed. As Whole you can just about figure what they are going to say.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   7 hours 56 min ago

    Totally agree that businesses need to be run for profit. I run a business myself and I ain't a charity or a workers co-operative.

    Matt's point concerns the tendency and evidence to short term-ism here. What possible long term benefit to the sport was it to reduce viewing in the UK from 1 - 2 million to 200,000? Except to secure the short - medium term fee. If and when the owners sell up, they won't give a monkeys that a sport which has been popular in the UK (with the viewing figures built up by the BBC over the years) is tanked in the process?

    And if we end up with no MotoGP round in the UK from next year, explain to me how that is done with view to a long term investment? Especially in the light of the good attendances at Silverstone?

    I'm all for the free market but sport should be nurtured for reasonable returns over the long term not treated like a disposable commodity.

    Didn't mean to rant...

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   8 hours 13 min ago

    Matt I'm cheering to the rafters, spot on about rule changes when it suits, dead right about Dorna selling up to BT Sport and torpedoing the viewing figures, and dead right about CoW and playing games with what is a world class Grand Prix circuit - Silverstone.

    We're off to Silverstone next meeting, and it saddens me that this may be the last time we can spend three great days at a great facility - clean and plentiful toilets, covered stands, great screens and views of multiple bends from those stands.

    Dorna are just constantly screwing it up in the UK and elsewhere with regard to this stuff, and it makes me wince.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   11 hours 34 min ago

    As evidenced by the arguments, I think it is difficult to say anyone is ‘the greatest’; probably the best you can do is identify the ‘greatest of their time’. MV was so dominant technically in their time that it was a significant factor in who could win.
    I think that mixing a sports persons age up with their education and relating that to another era is also a bit illogical. Many people in the 1950’s and 60’s had upbringings that just wouldn’t happen today. I don’t know who the MGP rider is that he is referring to, but I struggle to think that any of the current or recent crop, who have spent a lot of their time as teenagers attending race schools etc., have much trouble with the basics of modern life. Marquez had a very similar upbringing, and it is what is necessary if you want to reach the top in today’s world of sport, whether it’s golf or snooker.
    With a 17 year old going up to F1 we are probably approaching the practical age limits of skills development and other learning, but all records are there for breaking.
    Of course circuit of Wales is a risk. Of course others have tried and failed. The ‘build a factory and create jobs’ approach has been tried. It usually failed after technology etc moved on faster than the coal and steel industries had. Are factory jobs the aspiration of today? I don't think so. A learning and R&D facility makes a lot more sense in the present times, and it gives the option for other manufacturing–related facilities to grow from it. Similar to Silverstone, for example. Building a factory will not bring R&D and a circuit.
    Donington has all sorts of logistical/infrastructure problems, and is constrained by other things like an airport next door. It can survive, I hope, as a circuit and perhaps up to WSB level as it is today, but it doesn’t seem to have the ability to grow beyond that. It is a good circuit, but it’s the other facilities that cannot cope with big crowds, or diversify, it seems.
    South Africa has all sorts of other problems that have prevented motorsports growing. In the bad old days the government would have got behind it and built it, then waited for the races to come, and it would be great. Some lovely and accessible circuits like Kayalami have more value for housing nowadays though. It may be that Phakisa can be completed and accredited for WSB. I hope so. Perhaps Matt knows something I don’t, but I do hope it happens next year.

  • 2014 Brno MotoGP Test Round Up: Honda And Yamaha Test 2015 Bikes, Others Test Themselves   14 hours 32 min ago

    The curb is different in the third, non-cropped, picture to what it is in the video.

  • 2014 Brno MotoGP Test Round Up: Honda And Yamaha Test 2015 Bikes, Others Test Themselves   14 hours 38 min ago

    Unfortunately, it also reminds me of Simoncelli's fatal accident.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   14 hours 54 min ago

    Dorna is a business, its investors expect returns. Beating them down because they are operating like a business is ludicrous. We may not like their policies but its what the people who invest financially in the company want. Comments about where the portfolio managers take vacations? Exactly how is that even relevant reporting?

    BTW I whole heartedly agree with your initial point(s).


  • Leon Camier Explains The Difference Between Turning A WSBK Pirelli And A MotoGP Bridgestone   14 hours 58 min ago

    If you look back at Spies in WSBK, he had a number of mechanical issues, including something that was left on the bike by accident. There were signs of incompetence there. If you have things like that happening, how would you risk something like Bradl attempted with the shock change on the grid?

  • 2014 Brno MotoGP Test Round Up: Honda And Yamaha Test 2015 Bikes, Others Test Themselves   16 hours 52 min ago

    In formula 1, they used to use berylium for calipers, the swarth is so toxic, it has to be machined underwater. MotoGP is just catching up with the ban

    Superbike planet has the entire sequence of marquez save shots. Not faked...

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   18 hours 53 min ago

    "I can’t help but see the whole venture as some cynical ploy that Dorna can use to play games with Silverstone and Donington, rather as Bernie Ecclestone used to play games with the BRDC and Silverstone". I don't think Mat will be getting a 'Feliz Navidad' card from Dorna this year.

    There seems to be a lot of doubt surrounding the viability of this track. I hope COW will be a profitable venture long term (if/when its built). I wonder given the exorbitant sanctioning fees charged by Dorna what a weekend pass will cost in 2016? £140-£160? Is that reasonable to UK fans? If (when) COW loses MotoGP how does that affect its financial viability going forward?

    If it happens it will be cool to see another new facility, but Silverstone is such a great track (on TV anyway) and it actually exists, which is a bonus.

    A COW for Crows

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   20 hours 48 min ago

    I don't think I've heard anyone actually unhappy with Donington park circuit itself, only the access and facilities. Some road widening and a few dunnies, not beyond the realms of possibility is it?
    Instead they want to build a complete facility from scratch on wet and windswept land they don't own, with money they don't have, no doubt have to overcome an army of local noise wingers and enviro nazis, design and create an exciting and safe circuit, AND BUILD SOME DUNNIES AND ACCESS ROADS TOO!

    I so don't get it.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   21 hours 44 min ago

    Mr Oxley, why not open up and let us know what you REALLY think?
    I am personally ok w this rule change now. Opening up previous restrictions like this are consistent w policy I endorse. Not such a contentious rule area. Process-wise I agree with you, and particularly about the history of one or two manufacturers railroading MotoGP via self interest, and short term poorly considered cash grabs outpacing mid to long term development by MotoGP execs.
    Matters, at risk of paying attn to your comment and encouraging you, are you under the impression that you are aware of something that the author, me, Minininja just above you, at al are not? Might want to skip an 'economics lesson' if you are wondering about doing so next time.

    Thanks for the frank article.
    And let's also hold in consideration the political tide shift that this wee rules change occurred upon...throwing Honda/Repsol et al a bone right now MIGHT also be considered in a context of potential wisdom on Espleta's part IF it keeps their jaws busy rather than risk snapping when the rev limit and electronics rollout takes place.

  • Tom Sykes Signs On For Two More Years In World Superbikes With Kawasaki   22 hours 7 min ago

    For me it makes total sense that Tom Sykes chooses to stay in a series where he can compete for the big prize, win a smile from his lovely wife when he crosses the line, and then spray fizz onto the adoring masses. Eating the dust of aliens can't be much fun compared to that.
    IMO there's far more entertainment in the multi-national Superbike show than the closed-shop MotoGP circus - and it'll be sad if it can't flourish.

    Let's not kid ourselves about MotoGP's glamor. It's no star-studded Oscar night - two leads, two fading stars and a bunch of extras. The talent of 93, 99, 46 and 26 is mind-blowingly awesome and all that - but I'm bored watching the same four butts bobbing up and down in the saddle week after week. Ever since 2009 - except for some rare exceptions - it's been a four-bike race with a rag-tag posse trailing hopelessly in their wake on a bunch of nags. The relevance of the support cast to the main story is demonstrated by the TV cameras only giving them any attention when their bikes take a spectacular tumble into the gravel.

    PS - maybe DE or MO could do an in-depth interview with an outspoken retired rider like Colin Edwards to get the lowdown on the five circles of bike-racing purgatory - AMA, WorldSBK, MotoGP factory prototype, satellite and gun-fodder. It could cover The Importance Of Being A Contender, comparative salaries, prestige, endorsements, pit lane spats . . . . and the first aid skills of umbrella girls - a real narrative arc.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   22 hours 20 min ago

    Such a great article! I am even more dismayed with Dorna and all the other clowns that run the sport. Get rid off Ezpeleta and all the Spanish powers running the sport. People wonder why stoner left? Things like this put it into perspective

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   23 hours 18 min ago

    "Britain has lost its bike racing shop window but the BT fee has fattened Dorna’s balance sheet to raise the company’s apparent value for the day when private-equity owners Bridgepoint sell the company and have a nice time in the Maldives with the profits."

    Exactly who has heavily invested in MotoGP? Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Like it or not at the end of the day when these retirees come calling for their pension cheques they are going to want a healthy return on their investment. Mat Oxley that is how these things work businesses are not here to operate in the Black or Red. They want to have healthy fat portfolio's that people are willing to invest with.

    And as for having a nice time in the Maldives I wonder if Mr. Oxley questions the vacation locals and habits of the private owners of Motor Sport Magazine, because I'm sure they don't own the business purely for the 'fun' of owning a publication.

  • Tom Sykes Signs On For Two More Years In World Superbikes With Kawasaki   1 day 1 hour ago

    I don't know what the attendance was at Laguna Seca WSB but by my estimate (I was there) likely about 25-30% of the last MotoGP. I suspect that the terrible TV coverage in North America is partly to blame - Speed Channel would put most viewers off the sport and now that we can get WSB on Be In Sports, which is excellent, but very expensive, so not many viewing, hence lack of interest.
    Dorna are definitely not looking after the sport here in Canada or the USA.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   1 day 2 hours ago

    Great article BUT Marquez was ALSO the only benefactor from another rule change that involved, guess who, repsol!

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   1 day 3 hours ago

    Or the Marquez rule which reversed it ;)

    Repsol and Honda. I feel like, some times, it's their sport and they are just letting others play in it.

    He who has the most money, wins!

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Failed records and new rules   1 day 3 hours ago

    Great article, makes rather harrowing reading!

    The deal with BT Sport did reak of putting short term profits ahead of long term growth. It's not doing the sport any favours here in the UK - the coverage is fantastic, but what good if viewing figures are less than a fifth of what they were?