Valentino Rossi: "MotoGP Is Very Boring, We Need Less Electronics"

After Sunday's MotoGP race at Indianapolis, in which he finished 4th, Valentino Rossi spoke to reporters for his usual post-race press debrief. During the conversation, Rossi talked about how his biggest problem is a lack of fitness, as he is still unable to run on his broken leg. He also told the press he still wasn't sure about what his legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess was going to be doing next year. And he went on to attack the role electronics plays in the sport, speaking of his hope that measures would be taken to reduce the importance of electronics when MotoGP returns to 1000cc in 2012. Here's what Rossi told reporters:

Question: How was the day? It was hot out there.

Valentino Rossi: Yes, is very difficult. I expected to be in trouble, because also during the practice after 8 or 9 laps, I started to lose strength. And in fact is very, very difficult. So for me, it was a positive race because for one part of the race, I could make the same lap time as Lorenzo and Spies, and I made also a little bit faster time than Lorenzo and same as Ben.

So it is a good weekend, because we work well on the bike, we come back to our style of bike, about balance, but also about electronics. We started to follow our way again, and for this I'm so happy, because especially in Brno, but also in Laguna Seca I never was as fast as the other Yamaha guys.

But now I need more strength, I need more preparation because I don't have the fitness for 28 laps. I suffer a lot in the heat, I don't expect to be like this in trouble, but is quite normal because I cannot work a lot on the breath [aerobic fitness], you know? So, I need time. I need to stay quiet, I need time to come back at the maximum, because when I was around 1.2 - 1.4 seconds behind Jorge, I was not so far, I have one moment where I push a lot, but from that moment, my strength is finished, become very difficult to change direction, so I had to give up.

Q: Are the conditions as bad as Malaysia today?

VR: I think so. But usually in Malaysia I don't have problems, so is not like this, but is my condition. But we are close to Malaysia I think today.

Q: What can you do to improve your condition? Is it just time now?

VR: Yes, unfortunately, I cannot run, still. I think I need another month before I can run, so I need to start with the bicycle I think. [Sarcastically - Rossi hates the exercise bicycle] I'm very happy, very happy yeah. But, yeah, you know my physical condition improve a lot, because I don't have pain now compared to before, so this is a big step. But I don't have power, so... In the last 8, 9 lap, when I see on the board lap 8, I say, f*** … I hope lap 1!

Q: Misano can be very hot as well. Do you think if it's as hot at Misano, you're going to struggle? Or is the home town track advantage maybe going to overcome the difficulties?

VR: For me Misano is worse about my physical condition compared to here, but is better about bike, because at this track Yamaha is struggling a bit. In Misano, the last two years, we were very fast. Unfortunately I don't have time to improve my physical condition, so I just have to hope that we have some shadow. And we will see. In Misano also, there is another atmosphere, like a lot of track. And I'm very happy because we work on the bike in our way, and at the end, also thinking that I crashed three times in the practice so it mean that for sure it is not very good for the feeling in the race, you know?

Q: Don't you think it was maybe a little bit early to turn the bike back to where it was before, and not leave it just for this one race to save your physical condition?

VR: No, no, it's too late, not too early. We should have tried this from the beginning. But anyway you know when you're not at 100%, you have to try and fix the problem in some way. We work well, also Jeremy work very well with the bike this weekend, and yes, the problem is me, I'm not at the maximum.

Q: Valentino, apart from the physical problems that you've obviously got, the three crashes this weekend, we're not used to seeing that from you at all, but how much did that affect you in the race?

VR: So, except the crash in the qualifying - that was another mistake - is because I was tired. So, I arrive after seven, eight lap, and in that moment, I started to lose power. Usually it never happen, I always push to the end, but from that crash, I understand in the race that I have to give up. So when I arrive at the same condition, I tried to ride smooth, but when you ride like this, you go more slow. But this is the problem, is my problem, is my mistake.

Q: About three years ago when we spoke at the Le Mans test you said that Jerry would stay with you until you retire, it's true?

VR: Yeah, but now the question mark is if he retires before me! So I speak with Jerry, and I give him time, but basically, because he doesn't know if he will continue.

Q: Is it true that Yamaha asked Jeremy to finalize the situation?

VR: I don't know very well, but I don't think that Jerry continue with another rider. Or stay another rider, or stay with me.

Q: The top 10 in Brno was split by 40 seconds, and today the top 10 was covered by 51 seconds …

VR: 51! F***!

Q: Not so much entertainment for the crowds, what's your feeling about this?

VR: So I think this is a big problem for MotoGP, because the races are very boring. We lose our best card, especially compared to Formula 1. Because until 2006, with Michelin and Bridgestone but with 1000 engine, less electronics, f***, the races was unbelievable. A lot of people stay glued to the television, because you know that for sure MotoGP will be a great excitement. When Bridgestone arrived, 800 arrived, and this amount of electronics arrived, make this race very very boring, so is like sleeping like with Formula 1.

So I hope that they have in mind this. Not for next year, because for next year is the same, but for 2012, when they have to make new rules for the 1000, take out some electronics, take out some anti-wheelie, take out some anti-spin. The people want to see the bikes make wheelies, make slide. This is like the remote control, you know? So, the rider cannot make any more difference.

In the last lap, if you have 1.5 or 2 seconds, you remain with 1.5 or 2 seconds, maybe you gain 0.5, before you gain 0.5 in two laps, when you are in a good shape with a good setting. Now is like everybody the same, because all the acceleration, all the anti-wheelie is controlled from the bike. So I hope that to fix this problem that the 1000 bike, so is not enough just 1000. The problem is the electronics, so I hope they try to make less electronics with the 1000cc bikes.

After Sunday's MotoGP race at Indianapolis, in which he finished 4th, Valentino Rossi spoke to reporters for his usual post-race press debrief. During the conversation, Rossi talked about how his biggest problem is a lack of fitness, as he is still unable to run on his broken leg. He also told the press he still wasn't sure about what his legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess was going to be doing next year. And he went on to attack the role electronics plays in the sport, speaking of his hope that measures would be taken to reduce the importance of electronics when MotoGP returns to 1000cc in 2012. Here's what Rossi told reporters:Question: How was the day? It was hot out there.Valentino Rossi: Yes, is very difficult. I expected to be in trouble, because also during the practice after 8 or 9 laps, I started to lose strength. And in fact is very, very difficult. So for me, it was a positive race because for one part of the race, I could make the same lap time as Lorenzo and Spies, and I made also a little bit faster time than Lorenzo and same as Ben.

Comments

Fuel..

A 25% increase in capacity in 2012 and the same 21 litres for prototype motors, will mean even more reliance on mapping so bikes make it to the end.. Ducati have taked about a 900/930cc engine to find the ideal compromise between power and economy..I'll say that again, ECONOMY in the worlds No.1 racing series? BAN race specific GPS mapping..it has zero trickle down safety benefit as it is impracticable for the road, not what the MSMA would have you believe.. NO fuel limits would cut the need for sophisticated eletcronics....and between them start to put the rider back in charge..crew chiefs too would go looking for mechanical grip, a good balance and set-up rather than handing the whole shooting match over to the laptop boffins.. If Manufacturers want to base R&D on electronics..saving fuel beamed from a sattelite..why don't they go TT Zero racing with battery powered bikes and stop f***ing it up for the serious petrolheads..?

Total votes: 90

Ban GPS - won't work

If you remove GPS, than the teams will use gyroscopes and way length measurements from the wheel spin to identify the exact location on the track.

I recommend you read Davids articles "The most Important Race In The World", there is a lot of insight why reglimentation is so difficult.

Total votes: 82

Coordinated PR effort?

Noyes writes an article about Luddites. Mamola and KRJR start giving interviews out of nowhere (condemning electronics is part of both interviews). Rossi condemns electronics (par for the course I suppose).

Maybe it's just me, but there has been a high concentration of articles lately about the ills of electronics. I hope it continues, but it makes me wonder if this is a concerted effort by people within the sport.

Total votes: 87

A Cycle

This happens every time we have a string of broing races.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 102

Hitting his own wall ?

Hope he doesn't suffer the same chronic fatigue syndrome issue Stoner had last year after pushing too hard to regain fitness following the re-broken scaphoid repair issue which messed up his fitness for 2009.
Electronics.I can't see the manufacturer's going back to the cartwheel and doing a U-turn after all that's been invested in advanced technology.The R&D is costly,but the end result gets cheaper and cheaper and more efficient.Anyone out there remember adjusting points ? Well done electronic ignition.

Total votes: 99

Points ;-)

There is nothing wrong with electronics making the bike more efficient. However, I hate the electronics that make the rider more efficient.

Ban wheelie control
Ban launch control
Ban traction control
Ban fuel limits

I want to watch the best riders, not the best software authors.

Total votes: 105

Wont work


Ban wheelie control
Ban launch control
Ban traction control

Wont make a difference. If (and the emphasis is on IF) these electronic rider assistances can be regulated away, manufacturers will work on the perfect, predictable, consistent power delivery on their engines. And guess who'll benefit most of it? Could it be that the usual 4/5 riders will make the most out of it? And why should it change the progression of a race when Dani can lap consistently 2/10 sec faster than Jorge to finish with a 4 - 5 sec lead?

Because that's where we are today - a few tenth of second difference in lap times are enough to create exactly the procession we had in this particular race.
And if it's not possible to get more inconsistency into the race pace of all riders, this procession type of race will be the rule for the future.

Total votes: 100

WILL make a difference

And a big one.

The races will have a different "look", a LOT different. And different cream will rise to the top. Put uncontrolled wheel spin back into the equation and a few things will happen. We'd see different riders winning races because currently the bikes can be (computer) tuned to each track surface. Take that away and a rider who can adapt will shine. We'd see lots more overtaking because there would be a variety of riding styles that would work. Right now there is basically just one.

A useable powerband puts the focus back on rider skill. Those who are most able to extract the most from the BIKE (not the computer) will run at the front. There are too many chefs in the kitchen right now and it takes ALL of them to make a winning package. I'd like to see that imbalance lean back towards the rider and have him be a bigger percentage of the mix.

Total votes: 100

Then why...

... are so many of the Moto2 races "processional"?

Total votes: 111

No wheel spin

Casey already uses little TC, if you put away this little bit it wont change anything for us race fans. He'll work hard to make sure that his right hand comes as close to TC as possible because he knows a smoking rear tire wont win him races, so he'll avoid it as hard as he can. And IMO he can.

Total votes: 90

Who is trying to change the results?

Has anyone ever said that the rulebook needs to be changed b/c they don't like Lorenzo? Maybe in passing as an angry rant, but it's mainly a joke. Attempting to control who wins by altering the rulebook is the biggest fool's errand in sport. Just ask Honda how the 21L 800cc era is working out for them.

We tune in to watch the method of racing a motorcycle at obscene speeds. The method is under assault by electronic devices.

Total votes: 94

Not about 1 particular racer

It's about 1 particular riding style, the style of riding the Fab4/5 are showing today.
When today 2 riders aren't laping within 1/10sec or there is a gap of a couple of seconds at the start of the race, we see no battle. Consistency kills the fun.

Total votes: 86

You

You are making my point for me. The consistency and single riding style you speak of are caused by the electronics.

Total votes: 68

Yes and no

Yes, the consistency is caused to an extent by the electronics, as they reward that style of riding. However, put the MotoGP riders on Moto2 bikes, or 250s, or Vespa scooters, and the outcome would be exactly the same: the top 4 (or 5) would win, week in and week out. With 4 riders being this good, they have pushed each other to the most extraordinary heights to have a hope of beating the others. 

Total votes: 85

Hopefully with some dog fights

Yes, of course the top 3/4 will win most of them, but maybe fighting not with those boring races. There is no question about their abilities.
I believe the idea is to reward riders ability to ride rather than bike setup. And of course Vale here is a bit interested since setting up the bike is not his strongest skill and on hammering down consistent fast laps Dani doesn't come second.
With less electronics he and probably Casey would be better off. Possibly Ben as well. Top of that even the riders would have more fun I suppose

Total votes: 86

Outcome

David, I dont really care about the outcome. :-) The outcome would likely be similar, yes, but the racing would be a lot different. And thats what counts.

I strongly believe that there would be a lot more overtaking attempts throughout the race AND throughout the entire pack. There would be a lot more fights and battles within the top guys, and the rest of the field as well. And thats what we like watching, right? The battles. I dont really care who wins, I just want to watch them duke it out.

The riders wouldnt be forced to ride a single line for fear of losing momentum. They could "make something up(VR)" or pull something out of the bag. In its current form, watching MotoGP is similar to Slot Cars. Here is the groove, deviate from that and you will lose precious meters. With 1,000s and no TC riders could deviate from the "perfect" line and the consequences would be minimal to nill, and easier to recover. They could deviate from the "perfect" line to make a pass and still be able to MAKE IT STICK....and thats whats missing now.

With torque, making a mistake isnt the end of the world, with the 800s and (sadly needed) TC, making a mistake is a race killer.

1,000s and no rider aids would make the RACING better. The outcome? If all I cared about was the outcome, I'd just watch the last minute of the race or just read the results. It's the battles I want returned to the sport.

Total votes: 88

WOW.

What an INCREDIBLY good way of putting it:

"The outcome? If all I cared about was the outcome, I'd just watch the last minute of the race or just read the results. It's the battles I want returned to the sport."

YES!

The manufacturers have lost sight of the MEANS to the end. They just want the end by ANY means. There are other AWFUL examples...

Let's put this in another perspective: What's the ultimate driver's car? In a money-no-object world, what would many of us have?

I say that in many people's opinions (and for the purposes of my example), it's probably a Ferrari. It's gonna have to be in order for me to illustrate my point. :)

My point? The newest, latest, greatest Ferrari, the 458 Italia DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THE OPTION of a manual gearbox, and for that matter, neither does the California. FERRARI'S NEWEST ROAD CARS HAVE NO OPTION FOR A MANUAL. Soon, it won't be offered on ANY of their models. Yes, Ferrari say that it's for lack of demand, but seriously...WHAT? They've figured out how to have an essentially instant shift (they have the ability to make it truly seamless, but have "slowed it down" to the rough vicinity of a tenth of a second, for purposes of smoothness and longevity), but where's the fun in THAT? Yeah, it's faster, but how much of that is you, and how much is the computer? (and that's without even starting on the e-diff...)

The world of motorsport has gone utterly MAD for the ultimate lap time, and they've flushed the human element as much as possible. It's anathema to the true fan, but the manufacturers want window-dressing performance NUMBERS over the act of driving, of truly piloting a fast machine.

We want a Lotus Elise or a Caterham/Lotus Super 7, while what we're getting is The Nissan GT-R. All are great cars, but the driver has a different role in each of them. One let's the DRIVER find the limits of the laws of physics, and one lets the SOFTWARE find those limits. There's a whole lot more wiggle room for letting TALENT take you to those limits with the analog (Elise/7) device.

Moto GP is becoming a Nissan GT-R: blisteringly fast, but run by massive computing power; stunningly quick, but soulless. Don't get me wrong--I really, REALLY like the GT-R, but even its biggest fans admit that the computers are doing the real heroics. Give us back a more analog bike, damn it all!

Total votes: 89

Yes and maybe?

Let's say all electronics are banished to some far away boring race world. You don't think a guy like Nicky (coming from his background) gets at least 2 two spots better? I think he slides a bike better than most out there.

Total votes: 95

Hay Pit Bull,those things

Hay Pit Bull,those things are only the tip of the "electronic iceburg". Of course we've got to have electronic ignition/fuel injection, etc., but do we really need traction control, anti-wheelie, launch control, gps mapping, fly by wire, computor controled forks/dampers, anti-dive/squat, clutches, brakes, etc. F1 cars use a controled ECU made by one company, and it could be worth thinking about for MotoGP. Certainly to keep costs down also to prevent trickery.
PK.

Total votes: 83

F***

I could not agree more! There's nothing entertaining about watching first place win by 5-10 seconds and picking 1 outta 3 riders your certain will win the race or for that fact the entire podium. Yeah it was great to see Ben take 2nd but look at the top four excluding Spies. Same ole, same ole...absolutley bored to tears yesterday! Sorry but Vale is 100% correct. Bring on 1000cc.

Total votes: 87

What's the point?...

I have said and will say again. How does using restrictive electronics like traction control and power limiting gas saving computer programs enhance the MotoGP circus? GET RID OF IT ALL!

Lets get back to earth moving, gas guzzling, wheeling jerking, rear wheel sliding machines ridden by the bravest, smartest, most talented men in the world.

Let WSBK computer engineers and programmers worry about street bike development.

Total votes: 97

Let's get back to good old days -- HOW?

I see 2 basic problems you have to solve:

Budget:
The teams have amount XX to spend for MotoGP for the given season. They'll spend it anyway, if you restrict them here, then they will work around the rules or invest in another area to have the fastest bike. If 1 manufacture has the fastest bike, the racing will be boring.

Consistency:
Todays breed of racers (Dani, Jorge, Casey et al) are working consequently to iron out any inconsistency in their performance, they work for the best start, the fastest possible pace at the first laps, and a clockwork like completion of the requested laps. They'll do this with whatever machinery you put under them.

So to "fix" MotoGP you have to
1.) Create a reglimentation that makes pouring in $$$ useless, a team with 10 times the budget to another should only achieve a marginal performance gain.

2.) Make sure that the bikes are disrupting the consistency of people like Dani. Maybe aggressive, inconsistent engine characteristics and terrible, inconsistent tire performance will already do the trick.

Total votes: 94

Backward is easy

Backward is easy b/c a blueprint for the past already exists.

The difficulty is catching cheats, but that has ALWAYS been a problem. Doesn't matter how little or how much technology is present, if there are rules (all sports have them), catching cheaters will always be an uphill battle.

We've already seen what happens in a zero-sum contest when insufficient rules are in place. It's ugly. Death by revs (3.0L F1) or death by electronic complication (Group C Prototypes). The decline of racing as an industry and as a ubiquitous part of human culture (not to be confused with rising profitability due to business model changes) coincides almost directly with the incorporation of electronic driver aids during the late 1980s early 1990s. Nothing remains of racing in the modern era except humanity's desire to witness racing. The contest is just a marketing facade that is delivered in biweekly installments. The contestants are not in control. They are at the mercy of the machines and the people who design them.

Motorsports is very delicate b/c there is a balance between man and machine that must be maintained. Burgess says 80/20 was the mix in the 500cc era. Imo, this is the appropriate ratio of man/machine. If man is not in control of the application of the throttle, how can we pretend that MotoGP is anywhere near 80/20?

Total votes: 95

I don't think so

Just how can you put MotoGP back to the state where world class racers bought/built their own bikes and raced them on the weekend? And their families/friends where their mechanics?
These days are gone forever.

They are at the mercy of the machines and the people who design them.

Precisely. Further they are at the mercy of their data, tire, suspension and electronics specialists, not to forget their crew chiefs.

Going back to previous regulations wont help either b/c manufacturers/teams wont "unlearn" everything that happened since.

Other than a 1 bike design (=Cup) rule, I don't see how the current situation should change. But then people like Rossi (who already stated that something like Moto2 doesn't interest him) would look elsewhere.

Total votes: 93

Unlearn?

Back in the old days, Kandinsky painted things free hand. Modern artists use a computer. If you want to see things painted by hand, you simply take the computer out of the equation. No one is required to unlearn anything.

Imagine that Adobe Suite only allows artists to draw certain shapes b/c the software and the data engineers have used the Golden ratio to predetermine which shapes and colors were most palettable to mankind. Then imagine that the software only recognizes certain mouse inputs that are within the confines of the predetermined ideal. This analogy describes the current paradigm in MotoGP and it's precisely why the series must go more analog. The sim computers at the race shop have decided the ideal line and the fastest way around the track given the temperature, tire compound, etc etc etc. The riders job is simply to reproduce the computer model in real time. Predictably, the riders fail so the engineers restrict the riders ability to perform their craft by throwing out certain rider inputs while accepting others.

What the hell is that and who would advocate such a contest? Under what pretense? that someday consumers will be so lucky as to purchase a bike that can ride itself?

Manufacturers want electronic complication to be part of the motorcycle industry b/c it is very hard to develop. It is a fence they use to keep other people out and they spend hundreds of millions every year to convince us that we should pay for it. Wanna know what's funny about consumer rider aids? There is a little switch that allows you to turn them off! :-D What?! The Japanese knew that the rider might prefer not to have electronic interference. Blastphemy!! The lap times prove electronics are better therefore they should never be off.

The "off" position is a glaring reminder that electronics are not better for the rider. Electronics are better for the people who use lap times to sell bikes.

Total votes: 97

I see your point

So guess you're saying: if some manufacturer finds a way to automatically steer and decelerate the bike, the rider would only have to hang on to the bike and hope there is no bug in the software.

But I think you're missing 1 point: Dani, Casey, Jorge, Vale and probably also Ben are already so good that they're very close to a full automated racing robot. When Dani reproduces a lap time with less than 1/10 sec variation you can expect that his breaking points, racing line etc. is insanely consistent. And this is all "analog".

So my argument is: remove all electronic/software aids and build a 1000ccm bike with excellent power delivery + further improve current suspension/chassis technology + make the Bridgestone tires even more consistent and Dani will still reproduce lap times within a 1/10 sec. Just like the other 3 - 4 riders will do too. And boring racing will remain.

that someday consumers will be so lucky as to purchase a bike that can ride itself?

Fully agree, I completely don't see the point why I would want TC or ABS in my road racing bike. *I* want to ride and generate fun out of doing it, if I want someone else steering I sit myself in a train.

Total votes: 90

"if some manufacturer finds

"if some manufacturer finds a way to automatically steer and decelerate the bike, the rider would only have to hang on to the bike and hope there is no bug in the software."

True statement, but the manufacturers already developed those systems or they were in the process of developing them. The FIM and the MSMA resolved to ban electronic steering dampers and electronically controlled suspension (automatic steering) and ban ABS (almost fully automated braking). They've also outlawed automatic transmissions and clutches.

The MSMA have been happy to do all of this b/c the physics of riding a motorcycle is so complicated, it probably could be compared to a NASA mission from the 1960s.

The most important part of motorcycle racing is the throttle, imo. For reasons I cannot understand, the MSMA refuse to let the rider have the throttle, even though they have outlawed automatic steering, shifting, and braking.

Total votes: 87

Right on. Limiting the

Right on. Limiting the expenditure is the only directly proportional solution. 15 million E/per year per rider maximum would solve all the problems overnight in MotoGP.

Total votes: 85

!

***Let WSBK computer engineers and programmers worry about street bike development.***

Thank you!!!!!!!!

Total votes: 85

SV650, you hit the nail on

SV650, you hit the nail on the head, I totally agree, absolutely!!!!!!!!
PK.

Total votes: 100

"get rid of the electronic aids"...

I'm not entirely sure if I agree 100% or not, but if one wanted to "purify" things... a couple of simple rule changes might be in order... ala nascar?

- the only connections permitted to the fuel delivery system (ie, carburetors) would be:
a) single fuel line of 10mm inside diameter
b) single throttle cable connected directly to the twist grip being possible to be manipulated solely by rider's hand
c) a fixed-volume (ie non-changable) plenum for intake air

- the spark ignition source would be a breaker points with a mechanical advance system based on engine RPM. a minimum of 1 set of breaker points and a maximum of the number of engine cylinders.

- Optionally (?), further allow "minimalistic" fuel injection with the only inputs to the control unit allowed to be a mechanical indication of throttle position, engine RPM, ambient air temperature, and engine oil (or coolant) temperature.

Something along these lines could perhaps avoid the traction control advances and remove some percentage of the constructor's input to the performance of the machine and perhaps give more to the rider (for traction control and fuel management, etc) and the tuner (jetting, spark advance curves, etc).

Would it lead to better racing? And would it improve the sport? How could we know but try?

Total votes: 87

I don't know...

... but he was riding the bikes, so I can't believe he doesn't remember the data guys surrounding him in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Some of this is clever obfuscation, to be sure.  As already pointed out above - and as I have well bludgeoned my part of this dead horse in the past - the problem is fuel capacity (lack thereof). 

Unless and until the rules allow for more fuel than is typically used, the "ingenious" means of limiting its use will require instrusive electronics.  That's what he was riding in "the good old days".  

If the programmers and ECU's have their ability to measure fuel taken away, we will just have bikes running out before the race is over.  Is that more exciting?

Total votes: 83

2005 specs?

Can someone please tell me why it's so crazy to simply duplicate the specs from say 2005 and reimplement them?

Engine and fuel specs could match 2005 specs and manufacturers would have complete freedom to design within those rules--just like 2005. Take the best ECU that existed in 2005 and make it standard for everyone to use. Now tires have improved, but since it's a single tire make it's easily controllable and Bridgestone could limit edge grip closely to those available in 2005 and still maintain their title as the premier tire manufacturer in MotoGP.

Is this a wacky idea??

Total votes: 80

Whose Interest is Served?

But whose interests are served by that? The fans might enjoy it but the factories get nothing out of it and they are footing the bill.

Total votes: 98

Is Racing About Machines?

I watch racing to see the human drama. I love the technology as well, but I can simply read about that. Yesterday there were three American that had a lot to prove in their home race:

  • Ben - prove you deserved to be on a factory bike
  • Nicky - prove you deserved your 2 year extension
  • Colin - should you even be in MotoGP?
  • Leading up to the race, I read every one of them say they were going into the race with a "win it or bin it" attitude.

    I was expecting something along the lines of the last World Superbike race in Silverstone where the British contingent came out swinging.

    Ben delivers, but Nicky gets sidelined by a knee puck (I call BS on that) and Colin quits because it was apparently "pointless" for him to ride around on his chosen tire compound.

    If the best riders are no longer in a position to ride around their problems and even someone as technically saavy as Colin can screw up his choice of tires, then we should have the electronics engineers pit their race simulations against each other and show the results on YouTube.

    Total votes: 88

    Why is it so hard?

    Why is it so hard? The GP rule book should be very thin. It's a prototype series. Actually the elimination of 2 strokes was wrong. Grids are full in other 2 and 4 wheel series. The problem lies with MGP itself. Figure it out lads and lets get back to some real racing. Parade laps are for warming up tires.

    Total votes: 89

    why all the hate for software devs?

    They have made a lot of cool stuff possible. Just because they've done such a good job on the bikes they were requested to manage people blame their creation. We'll get a good idea of an answer to the question about whether we are seeing the best riders on the best bikes next year and the year after, with all the changes in team make-up and machines. The current electronic aids may have made it harder to make up 1.5 seconds on one desperate lap (How many times has Rossi made it exciting doing something like that!? Fantastic stuff.). Though are riders ready to give up consistent and reliable engine responses in relation to their tires? Take away electronic aids and you'll hear endless cries from riders. We'll be washed away in their river of tears. Fans will lament how their favorite riders are stuck on bikes that have a power band with a slope! I can see why people would rather see some things be a bit more exciting, but what everyone seems to be asking for is for it to be more of a random result. I don't see how that improves the likelihood of seeing a 'better' outcome in any way.

    Total votes: 87

    huh?...

    So what you are saying is that you are ok with (and would rather have) the "consistant" parades that are a result of computer engineers back at the home office.

    Please.

    I haven't heard any of the riders say they are happy with the current electronics "overrides". And there is only a very few non riders that are happy with it. The sponsors love it because they can always see their logos on the podium.

    Something (simple and enforceable) has to be done. The current racing is too sterile and predictable - and based on computer programmers instead of riders right wrists.

    Total votes: 77

    Enlighten me

    How are the results based on computer programmers? Just because you don't understand it doesn't make it wrong.

    Total votes: 102

    Understand?...

    FYI - I am retired now but I spent 35 years in the IT industry programming computers.

    Total votes: 95

    Then you should know

    That all the tech in the world is limited by the intelligence (or lack there of) at the controls. How many times during your career was the software (and your work) blamed when it was user error?

    Total votes: 84

    Yes but...

    You are correct that the computers are limited by the intelligence of the programmer - but the speed of the computers "thinking" is infinitely faster than a persons and this is why traction and wheelie control works.

    On your second point, if I did my design and programming correctly then the users could not make an error (that wasn't made obvious by the messages displayed). In other words, no "I D I O T" errors were allowed.

    Bottom line is - I personally don't want to see steril bikes that remove rider skill and danger control from the equation. I am also against electric motorcycle racing.

    You are entitled to your thoughts and preferences. Thats my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

    Total votes: 109

    Disagree 100%

    """Take away electronic aids and you'll hear endless cries from riders. We'll be washed away in their river of tears."""

    I cant disagree more. Give them 1,000cc and a useable powerband and they would be overjoyed. With 1,000cc the race for max HP output would end and the focus would be on useable power. The riders would have to find the fastest way around the track and it would allow for a greater variety overtaking manuevers. The way it is now (no grunt) it's smooth or lose. Nobody can back it in and square it off, or shove it in a hole because they cant afford to lose momentum.

    With useable exit grunt we'd see LOTS more overtaking attempts.

    Total votes: 83

    Ask a crew cheif

    Suggest riders will stop asking for more power and see what they think. It's never enough.

    Riders find the fastest way around the track in any situation. The one who comes in first found it the most number of times.

    Why is backing it in and losing momentum the fast way around and the makings of better racing? Just because it looks cool?

    Total votes: 86

    Too much is never enough?

    I think the point wasn't that they'll stop asking for more power, simply that the crew chiefs will be able to give it to them. Then the rider can decide at what point the bike becomes unmanageable.

    The best riders (whether they ride in a loose or tight style) will obviously be able to handle more power, meaning rider skill will directly determine the results. Surely everyone is happy with that?

    Total votes: 92

    Wrong

    """Suggest riders will stop asking for more power and see what they think. It's never enough."""

    Mick Doohan would strongly disagree.

    Total votes: 93

    And some beautifull black

    And some beautifull black lines on the track on the exits of the corners, plus some opposite lock! That's what I'd like nto see again!
    PK.

    Total votes: 85

    Of Course..He's Right

    Rossi is right about electronics...but as people have suggested above, there's more to it. The rule book is insanely bloated. This is supposed to be a prototype series, but you can't test? You can't change engines freely? You have to seal your engines? The amount of fuel that you use is limited?
    There is obviously a philosophical split between the folks that want to race to check out who is the best rider/machine combination, and the folks that want an exciting close "race" (or is it more of a demonstration) every weekend. The people that are looking for entertainment are writing the rule book in order to create equality and close racing...this may or may not be racing. It may be more entertainment, but I have to admit that I like this kind of entertainment. As I have mentioned before, racing and entertainment do not often go hand in hand...some guys ride better than others and some factories and crew chiefs build better bikes. It is very hard to legislate around those facts.

    Total votes: 90

    Prototype

    Courtesy of M-W

    Prototype
    1: an original model on which something is patterned : archetype
    2: an individual that exhibits the essential features of a later type
    3: a standard or typical example
    4: a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction (as an airplane)

    I don't see anything that says no limits on engines, materials, or testing. The idea that prototype racing should have no rules and unlimited technology is straight out of the marketer's handbook for attracting race fans. Let's not pretend that ancillary marketing rhetoric is actually a racing virtue. It's like confusing greed and self-interest. One of those powers market-based economies, the other destroys markets. Kind of important to know the difference. Prototype vs. technological/financial anarchy. One of those things powers MotoGP and the other destroys it.

    Right now, the ECU is technological anarchy and financial anarchy. The bloated rulebook is inevitable b/c the manufacturers only want to race 4-stroke engines at 21L of fuel. They have created a zero-sum game. Lots of rules are necessary to keep the sport alive.

    Total votes: 88

    It sounds simple: 1.The

    It sounds simple:
    1.The tires have a certain amount of grip before they let go completely.
    2.They all ride on the same tires.
    3.Right before the tires lose grip, the electronics kick in.

    Pretty obvious that this doesn't produce great racing.

    But let's look at Moto2 for a minute.... how come there is plenty of racing going on there? Is the spec Ecu programmed so it doesn't prevent sliding and wheelspin so much?

    I want Moto2's spec ECU on firebreathing 1000cc monsters with conventional steel brakes and slightly crap tires. That's what I want.

    Total votes: 89

    firebreathing 1000cc monsters

    Crap tires on 1000cc monsters as you put it will hurt or kill a lot of talent! I'm all for limiting or doing away with traction control and other electronics but please give them good tires.I think we need more tire company's involved .

    Total votes: 105

    The tires are crap now

    The tires are crap now b/c Bridgestone have made an extremely grippy tire that cannot slide predictably. This is preferable as long as you have lots of electronic aids, and fuel rules that require cornerspeed and prohibit wheelspin.

    When does that situation exist in the real world? When has Bridgestone ever supplied you with a MotoGP tire for a store-run on a perfectly manicured asphalt pool table?

    If they want to change the tires so they have more predictable sliding properties, I doubt any of the riders would object.

    Total votes: 88

    What about a water hazaard?

    Or maybe something to jump. And less run-off room?

    I understand the desire to see some more heroics. But turning it in to something artificially difficult to ride for the sake of spectacle seems like an even bigger farce.

    500s were great for their character. The 990s were wild through the early development phase. But the inevitable march of progress shouldn't be set to an overly contrived pace. Elimination of traction control is an approach. Though I still think the question of 'WHY' should be asked by the FIM in terms of WSBK and GPs before they go setting new rules or they'll likely be changed in a few years. And it's the change that costs, rather than any specific formula.

    Total votes: 87

    Please

    Getting rid of the super peaky 800s and going to a torquey 1,000 would be safer. No traction control needed. Add a tire with "limit feel" and its better for the fans and its better and safer for the riders.

    Ask any of the riders. They are being forced to allow the computer to sense the limit, not their ass, feet and wrist. Do you know how scary (and dangerous) that would be? They have desensitized what the guys are able to feel. NOTHING could be worse.

    Total votes: 84

    MotoGP is very boring

    The fewer the rules the better. Two wheels, x amount of maximum cc, less electronics, and a minimum weight limit. I only add the minimum weight because of the costs of the light stuff. Let the laws of physics find the best combinations. Let them run all the fuel they want, they just have to put up with the extra weight of the fuel.
    The current situation is not far from letting the computer do all the throttle inputs. Just add braking inputs and a monkey could ride the bike. All it would have to do is learn balance control and stay on the racing line.

    Total votes: 99

    Easy way to help level the playing field.

    Make a minimum weight rule.

    Oh I forgot. MotoGP cannot do anything that would be easy and that would not cost millions of dollars.

    Oh well I can dream these guys could figure this one out. I certainly am not going to hold my breath.

    Total votes: 96

    I agree that he electronics

    I agree that he electronics are too dominant but it is easy to control. Only allow a limited bandwidth and frequency. Simple. Every bit of data has to flow through a Dorna issued control module. Monitor it wirelessly. Done.

    Rossi is losing straight-up to Lorenzo on the same machine and I recall a very telling statement by him this weekend that they were following Lorenzo's setup direction but he couldn't make it work for him so he had to return to his direction. Didn't work so well so he's doubly pissed.

    Total votes: 98

    I find it troubling...

    ...that everyone thinks Rossi has fallen off and can't hack it anymore. A lot of people seem to dismiss that he doesn't have an injured shoulder or leg that's still healing!?

    I'm absolutely no racer but I've done my fair share of track days in Nevada heat. I'm no lard ass, pot belly, smoking reject, not in the worse shape either and I wonder if a lot posters know what it's like to run 28 laps? Screw that, I've never gone 28 laps myself, how about a 20 minute track session on a freshly broken leg? RdP will be able to tell you how he felt after Brno...

    -Vinny
    twitter @deftjester

    Total votes: 95

    Results will not change regardless

    of the type of machinery these guys are racing. If the current generation of 800cc machines are fairly homogeneous in their character and we get drawn out races then a more laissez-faire rulebook is only going to exacerbate that. The top guys have always been the top guys and so they always shall. It dunnae matter what's beneath them.

    As much as anything I think we have simply been a little unlucky that two or more of our Aliens haven't got it together simultaneously this year and slogged it out up front. The edge has simply become so damn well defined due to tyres and electronics that every small mistake gets that much more magnified.

    The most pertinent point I've read from the above is Phoenix's assertion that the Bridgestones are to blame. Get them on sliddly Dunlops or Pirelli's from a couple of years ago and we'll get a bit more drama on the way to the same result.

    As an aside does anybody really believe electronic aids make an inherently unstable vehicle such as a motorcycle safer? Road riders crash when they panic, or tin top's driven by inattentive morons cocooned by their airbags tee bone us. No button is going to help that.

    Total votes: 84

    Bring back the SHOW...

    Bring back powerslides, weelies, overtakes, burnouts, black tire lines on the track, "sideways" racing!!!

    The drivers want to have fun, and we want to have fun watching it!
    We want to see them do things we can´t!

    Motogp is taking all the fun away, but what they authorize on chanels like youtube to get more "clients" is k.Swantz slyding it on heavy braking, Melandri one hand powersliding it on the last corner in Australia, Stoner holding the shaking Ducati like nobody else can at max lean angle, Rossi and Sete powersliding side by side and so on....

    They know that is what we want to see....they use it to get our atention & our $

    So just give it back to us viewers / fans !...if it continues like this all the show will be in our memories and we´ll stop watching or going to the track......

    Hell i´m in my 30´s speaking like my 87 year old grandmother!!!!!- "all the fun was in the old days"

    Total votes: 98

    BANG!

    That's the sound of a nail being hit on the head!

    Electronics are great for making the races shorter ("Great"), but it makes them rubbish to watch, compared to the 'old days'.

    Sure, backing it in, squaring it off and blasting out may not be the fastest route, but it sure is one of the most spectacular, and that's what we all wanna see!

    Different bikes with different strengths and weaknesses require different styles to ride them, and that's what makes the show worth watching - 4 or 5 people trying to stuff their respective bikes with their respective different strengths into the same corner.

    2weels is right - Dorna know what we want to see, but they now seem too gutless to stand up to the manufacturers to tell them to put away the electronic trickery and other rider "aides". Bitches!

    Total votes: 99

    Sympathy

    I have sympathy with the people demanding no electronic aids. But until somebody comes up with a workable plan to contain the development of electronics, it's all just wishful thinking.

    It seems like there's only two routes here:-
    1) Start removing rules. Like, no fuel limits, no limited numbers of engines,
    2) Add more rules and then try and cope with the inevitable cheating. Add more constraints like 1 bike per rider. Go to a spec ECU with spec software and just enough fat controls to cope with the differences in engine layouts, firing orders and rev limits.

    If you try and ban GPS, or wheel speed sensors, or "traction control", or front suspension sensors, teams will find a way of getting nearly as much benefit without them. And they'll spend the money to develop the cheat. You'll have bikes that definitely have no TC but still seem to pop, bang and misfire just where the rider cracks the throttle on the exit of corners.

    The trouble is neither of those approaches really work. Either we get a money war, or we get a whole bunch of unintended consequences.

    The one backwards step I would like to see is getting rid of carbon brakes. That appears to be a path that is never going to end up on road bikes. But I would be happy to watch them develop other alternatives to plain steel if that results in better road brakes.

    Total votes: 92

    Just like F1, MotoGP does not need MSMA.

    Does the Motogp need the manufactures? They are there to invest in R&D. To them, the bike developments in all areas including electronics are important. But, the Motogp is sports, more emphasis should be on riders not bikes. Get rid of the manufactures and bring in Moto1, and you will get much more exciting race with top riders.

    Total votes: 83

    The obvious solution.

    The factory's need to start selling MotoGP motorcycles to teams.

    Total votes: 96

    The comment about the 'off'

    The comment about the 'off' button is pretty accurate about the human condition. We meatsacks don't like the pooters doing the thinking for us, and the personal challenge is in making things happen yourself, not some chip following an engineer's predetermined path.

    Carbon brakes aren't for the street (no way you can get the heat they need into them), so the MSMA argument about dev for street use is makes them useless.

    Road bikes have ABS. They have electronically adjustable suspension. This has all been pointed out as items that have been ruled away from MGP.

    So when you look at the current situation, me the consumer, the one who ultimately pays for all this, I gotta ask: why? The GPS directed traction control? Where am I getting anything from that? They gonna map every corner on the planet?

    Sorry, but the OEM's have lost the plot, listening to their engineers too much (very Honda, btw). The fuel restrictions are a pain in the racing, but there's some real world consumer benefits to doing so, they should stay. But the brakes they currently use, the TC type they use, and the single tire type, these are not of benefit to me, the guy who pays the bills.

    I'm the one they have to please in the end, because they need my money to race. On that, they have lost the plot, I think.

    Total votes: 91

    Reduce setup criticality and increase bike flexibility

    I think the big problem is that the setup margin is so narrow that there's no room to ride around the problem if you don't get it spot on. (Remember the Bayliss/Edwards WSBK final race? Can you picture that happening in MGP now?) Tyres developed with TC in mind would be a factor because they have massive grip right up until they let go, relying on the TC to catch the slide before the gravel traps.

    Computers are always going to be a factor, and they do actually have a benefit on a road bike. Instead of trying to limit it with more rules, just limit the onboard CPU power and let the teams use it the way they feel is best. Carbon brakes aren't usable on road bikes, so rule that the same brake disks are to be used in the dry and wet. Either they're dumped, or we get better road brakes.

    Changes I'd like to see:
    - no fuel limit
    - set min weight about 10kg higher than current
    - max 1000cc, any engine configuration except 2-stroke (for the greenies)
    - max 5 gears
    - same brake disks to be used for all races
    - tyres to be more gradual letting go
    - fixed engine management CPU chip

    This reduces the electronics needed for engine management; reduces the benefit of ultra-light materials so helps contain costs; makes power relatively easy to find, reducing cost; makes engine flexibility important; increases braking distances, so brake markers and lines are less critical; gives more chance of catching a slide so slides are more common; limits CPU power so less capable TC, launch control, etc.

    Total votes: 86

    :thumbsup:

    Sounds good to me. The only thing I would do differently is the electronics. I'd take a page out of the FIA rulebooks by homologating electronic sensors and ECUs. It similar to what you've said, but homologating sensors and ECUs more accurately controls the hardware, imo. Software would still be free, and the programs would still be advanced, but the sensor restrictions would substantially reduce electronic setup complexity, imo.

    Total votes: 96

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