Recent comments

  • Portimao WSBK Test - Sykes Tops Abbreviated Field After Two Days Of Testing   3 hours 22 min ago

    Given that these are times of economic recession and that the higher capacity motorcycles are not selling too well, I do not see the point of World Superbikes not sticking to the production motorcycle rule, which was how they came into being. I think factories should be banned in WSBK and only those motorcycles which have been bought from an authorised dealer should be allowed. Let each team have a tuner but both the teams and the tuners should have no attachment to any manufacturer. Also the tuner should be able to increase performance by buying parts from the market. That is when WSBK will bring some excitement and it will be a huge incentive for privateers to return to racing. Even the peripheral involvement of factories usually scares privateers away because of the fact that factories have resources that privateers cannot dream of. If WSBK becomes privateers only series, the effect of this will be felt on MotoGP as well, where it can make a MotoGP class where manufacturers will be involved. It could bring back Kawasaki to racing with the big boys rather than sitting in a category where it becomes the big bully in a little children's group. The same can be said of Aprilia and Ducati as well. Let them make powerful road going bikes that will be attractive to amateur racers. That way both WSBK and MotoGP will have no conflict of interest.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   3 hours 53 min ago

    I think Ducati have mostly thrown David's predictions out of kilter, rather than the factories' plans.

  • Post-Sachsenring Surgery Update - Arm Pump Operation For Crutchlow, More Wrist Surgery For Hayden   4 hours 42 min ago

    Nicky Hayden

    "I was having some issues with the wrist and the Doc went in and found a significant build up of stubbornness, bad ideas, Rossi memorabilia and marinara sauce. He'd seen similar damage in Stoner's wrist, but nothing this bad. Doc said it was lucky I got in now or I'd probably have to ride in World Superbikes, so I definitely dodged a bullet there".

    Pass the KY

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  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   6 hours 50 min ago

    The new Ducati boss has pulled a sly move, as with the regulations move earlier in the year, and put the Japanese factories' noses out of joint. Again. Excellent.

    I also wonder to what degree Aprilia's involvement is to do with trying to prove a point to the wizard-bearded one? I can't imagine that split was painless...

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   8 hours 55 min ago

    Hayden might be over the hill, but if you don't think he can score 50pts through 9 rounds on a satellite Honda, you should have your head examined.

  • Ducati Line Up To Remain Unchanged For 2015: Crutchlow Dovizioso And Iannone To Ride Radically Revised Desmosedici GP15   9 hours 10 min ago

    Suzuki are not in the picture because they have not built a fast bike in living memory and won't pay the money for a top level rider. They look set to continue that exact trend going by the current bike and likely hirings. Vinales may well do ok but with no reference point for what a good MotoGP bike feels like he and Suzuki are flying blind. Espargaro will be in only a slightly improved situation.

    Whereas Ducati have always built fast bikes in MotoGP, even before Stoner came along. It was almost immediately successful straight out of the box in 2003, with both Capirossi and Bayliss ahead of all the Yamaha's, Suzuki's, Kawasaki's, Aprilia's etc and behind only the all conquering Honda's. Best Suzuki by the way was down in 17th on a measely 29 points.

    Capirossi was leading the championship in 2006 before that tangle with Gibernau, and Bayliss stepped in for that legendary win at the last round, so the bike was a rocket long before Stoner got aboard.

    As for Fogarty, Bayliss is at least his equal and a lot more relevant to current success, riding many more iterations of the brand and succeeding under much tougher circumstances against the 1000cc IL4's.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   10 hours 5 min ago

    randy "dnf" depuniet is what me & my friends call him. he crashes way too much. somewhere there is a video of his crew chief saying that they quit counting how many times he's crashed.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   12 hours 27 sec ago
    Baz

    I'd like to see Baz on any competitive MotoGP ride for sure! He's only 21 and seems to be getting better overall with his race craft. Definitely has the fire in his belly! :)

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   15 hours 34 min ago

    ... was relatively quick on a satellite Honda in 2008.

    Before Moto 2 existed, and before the current crop of new riders were honed in that championship.

    He isn't what suzuki need, and giving Randy a full time ride on their bike means they'd be passing up someone like Tito, Jack, Maverick, Alex Marquez or a number of other extremely fast up and coming riders with a good decade or two of career left in them.

    It's not that Randy is a crap rider, though he has been off the pace last he raced. But there's just so much very fast new talent, giving the ride to him would mean that someone else will take the quick guys from Moto2/Moto3. And suzuki are going to need every bit of help they can get.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   15 hours 42 min ago
    yup

    As sad as it is - if Nicky is aiming to win a world title, it's time to take a leaf from Ben Spies' book and admit that he's not in his mid 20s any more, and is carrying injury.

    Marc is going to be hard enough to beat for a kit with no sense of self preservation and no busted body parts.

    However, if Nicky is riding in MotoGP because it is fucking awesome fun for him and he couldn't imagine doing anything else, then fair play and good on him.

    Just don't expect a top of the line ride with the same resources Marc is getting thrown at him, because he's just simply not at that level.

    I mean, neither is Rossi right now, and Rossi has been extremely lucky with the (relative, yes he had the shoulder and leg) lack of injury in his career.

    With someone as consistent as Marc has proven to be, you can't afford to be a little off the pace or a little inconsistent. I don't believe anyone currently on the grid has what it takes, save for maybe one of the Espargaro brothers or Scott Redding, but Marc beat them before, and is on the best bike on the grid.

    It's going to take a new Marc v2.0 (a la Marc being a Rossi 2.0 as Rossi himself has stated) to beat him. Suzuki signing Maverick as soon as they could was a wise move. Ditto for someone maybe taking a punt on Jack Miller. Or Tito Rabat. Or Marc's little brother Alex.

    If teams want to be beating Marc, Moto2 and Moto3 is where they need to be looking - and there's a healthy supply of new talent.

    Nicky's experience is more useful as a development rider at this point.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   15 hours 51 min ago

    ... he's on Showa suspension right?

    No, seriously. Ohlins have every(?) other bike on the grid to develop their kit with, and Showa have Alvaro. And it isn't just development - set up data on the day is a massive win for ohlins.

    I believe (no proof) that Bautista is given a bit of a free pass by HRC in exchange for being crippled with Showa kit, as a "plan b" for Honda. Showa are owned by Honda I believe?

    I suspect Honda are relatively happy to pay him to ride around on that bike collecting data in case the day comes where ohlins don't work on Honda's bike. Or there's a major change like the tyres, for example - which shakes things up and maybe makes ohlins less competitive?

    Bradl has far less of an excuse in my opinion as he's on Ohlins.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   16 hours 20 min ago

    Always going to be a stretch for Randy, regardless of how many test miles he's racked up to get the race seat at Suzuki. Interesting conundrum. If the bike was pushing Satelite Lap times (unlikely yes but bear with me) would Suzuki consider him ? The answer's probably NO.

    They'd use the argument that Pol and Maverick could be even faster so why the heck would we sign the test rider ? As some kind of reward ? Please.....He's destined for SBK and truth be told, might even struggle to land a competitive ride there. The talent pool ain't that bad to begin with.

    I dont get Maverick's 3 year Suzuki deal. Buyout clauses obviously exist for a reason but you wont get noticed, battling Satellite Ducati's. Perhaps (and a big one at that) in year 3, they'll move onto the Tech 3, LCR & Gresini fight but by this time, Pol, Alex Marquez and Jack would've tied up the Coveted factory Honda and Yamaha rides. 2 Years at most Maverick.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   17 hours 20 min ago

    He says that a contract is ready for him, 'as a test rider, OR something else'.

    So sounds like he's been offered a contract to carry on being a test rider, but he's hoping for more?

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   18 hours 1 min ago

    I think it's easy to under-estimate the disadvantage Bautista is at due to the Showa/Nissan kit. One, smaller resource base, so getting the necessary changes made is more difficult (ala Honda vs Ducati). Two, feedback from a single rider... no way can they commit the resources necessary to really develop the hardware, because what if Bautista moves on? The next guy will want a totally different set-up.

    When there's many riders using the same stuff, the feedback to the manufacturer is such that they can make changes based on a bell curve and with that the chances of hitting the sweet spot are vastly increased, and on top of that the development costs are parlayed out between the various users (teams).

    You need to take a holistic view for riders like Bautista and Bradl. They are in a very unique position.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   18 hours 5 min ago

    Doesn't RDP have an option to ride for Suzuki in 2015? Why is this not discussed in this piece? Here he is today talking about it:

    http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2014/De+Puniet+on+Suzuki+MotoGP+progress+a...

    Seems like he's got the option to take a Suzuki ride or turn them down. Given how far off the mark the confident punditry about Dovi and Cal turned out to be, I'm not sure we should be ruling out Randy just yet.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   18 hours 10 min ago

    If he loses his day job, he's still got his night job.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   18 hours 17 min ago

    I want to see Loris Baz on a Tech3 Yamaha, now !

    And I don't want Maverick to be stuck for three years with Suzuki !

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   19 hours 2 min ago

    What did it end up costing Lorenzo to stay?

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   19 hours 2 min ago

    Each factory is allowed 4 Factory Option entries, 2 entries in a factory team, and 2 satellite entries. They can enter as many bikes as they like in the Open class.

    Iannone's team will officially be a satellite team, but it will be one run by Ducati Corse with full factory backing. Nothing in the rules to prevent that. I do not know whether Pramac will run a satellite bike or an Open bike, as they have done this year. I suspect an Open bike, it's a lot cheaper.

    Avintia will run GP14s in the Open class in 2015, as Hernandez has done this year (running last year's bike under the Open rules).

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   19 hours 25 min ago

    Looks like the Japanese flag is at half mast for Randy DePuniet's chances at Suzuki. I guess he'll just have to console himself in the bosom of Lauren. Yep sure does suck to be Randy.

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  • Ducati Line Up To Remain Unchanged For 2015: Crutchlow Dovizioso And Iannone To Ride Radically Revised Desmosedici GP15   19 hours 28 min ago

    Agree, they should be worried about Phillip Morris. Why does PM throw money down the hole on a mid-pack bike that can no longer say Marlborough.

    I never took the "1 billion dollars" a year comment seriously. VW/Audi/Porsche/Ducati are in Business to make money, no one is going throw 1 billion at a single race. That's just silly.

    I honestly cannot understand why Suzuki would bother coming back, why not focus on WSBK? I can't see how Moto GP will not collapse in on itself in the next 5 years or so. The racing is terrible (same 4/5 people/bikes winning for almost the last 10 years) Outrageously expensive, thanks to all the brilliant "cost cutting measures" and it's no longer a prototype series, it's a spec series like F1.

    Ducati dominated WSBK because they had great riders AND because they had the rules tilted in their favor for so long. Everyone seems to forget that.

  • Ducati Line Up To Remain Unchanged For 2015: Crutchlow Dovizioso And Iannone To Ride Radically Revised Desmosedici GP15   19 hours 32 min ago

    Great news for Ducati. Retaining 2 top riders is good for the continuity of the team. I'm glad to see a complete redesign of the GPXX is coming. I'd like to see them rebrand the bike to send an even stronger signal that the team is moving forward. It was a great legacy in the hands of Stoner but I feel the Desmosedici GPXX moniker sends a message that is all but mediocre. Throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what shapes they make, presto brand new name. Im pretty sure thats what Honda did with noodles when naming the RC213VNSRGOLDWING.

    Lorenzo is going to Yamaha. he has no negotiating power at the moment and they know it. If only Rossi had stayed 2011-13 Rossi, Lorenzo would be getting whatever he wanted. Yamaha are offering him the one thing all Spaniards desperately want, employment so that deal should be sewn up soon.

    Ducati also launched a new range at WDW

    GeorgeBourke.com | DCA 14 Range

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  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   21 hours 15 min ago

    That former world champion is sadly over the hill. Redding is outperforming him quite consistently on the same bike.

    As for Bautista; how often do riders pin their poor performances on the tyres, when everyone is using the same tyre? Bautista has different suspension and brakes - and he sometimes performs well. Other times he over rides the bike and crashes. Maybe he shouldn't have a semi-factory bike, but I think he's more competitive than many in the field.

  • Silly Season Update - Ducati Confirmed, Suzuki Announcement Imminent, And Will Aprilia Be Back Sooner?   22 hours 25 min ago

    I think it's quite easy to understand. He's a lovely guy and a great ambassador for the sport (although he hardly gets on TV nowadays). However, Redding has beaten him nearly all year, and it's difficult to say his career isn't on an upward trajectory.
    Nicky is not performing so well on the same bike, and he's older, is injured, etc.
    Plus Redding seems to have support to keep his ride paid for, whereas Nicky seemed to struggle to get the necessary support after leaving Ducati.
    If you ignore the distant past and think about this year and next it's not too difficult to decide.
    It is a shame, but when there are only 24 seats, or whatever it will be, some very good riders are going to be left out.
    I hope his wrist turns out to be OK, that he can then swop to WSB on a good factory package, and take another title. No-one has done it the other way around, so perhaps....Biaggi has shown it's possible.
    He must be one of the most marketable people, and his career after riding bikes has to be pretty good. He's not in such a bad place.

  • Ducati Line Up To Remain Unchanged For 2015: Crutchlow Dovizioso And Iannone To Ride Radically Revised Desmosedici GP15   22 hours 40 min ago

    The billion dollar argument sounds, well, like a sound bite. So I did a little research. Both the Wall Street Journal [1] and the BBC [2] estimate the cost at around $200 m per year, which makes 0.4 billion in total. Much less than a whole billion.

    The misperception that the Le Mans cars are only used for the Le Mans 24 hours is probably widely spread. Actually, there's a whole World Endurance Championship (WEC) [3] consisting of 8 races.

    Porsche has the most Le Mans victories with 16 wins, followed by Audi with 13. That's a huge marketing boost. Endurance racing is about fuel efficiency, the current WEC ruleset demands hybrid cars. So the research effort is not just for a single race, but it does also apply to their "consumer products". Much more so than the MotoGP prototypes, IMHO.

    The different Volkswagen marques have to finance their racing effort on their own. And I would call neither Porsche nor Audi financially irresponsible. Quite the opposite.

    [1] http://on.wsj.com/1ivmPTa
    [2] http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20140402-can-porsche-win-at-le-mans
    [3] http://enwp.org/2014_24_Hours_of_Le_Mans

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