Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
After helping motorcycle racing fans plan their year with the MotoMatters.com racing calendar, we are now adding an extra dimension to our race addict support program in providing something suitable to wear at races. For MotoMatters.com is proud to present the MotoMatters.com t-shirt:
If you've ever wondered what to wear at the races, MotoMatters.com have just solved your problem for you. We're producing a limited run of t-shirts featuring artwork designed especially for race fans, and the MotoMatters.com logo on the front. The perfect way to show off your allegiance to the website featuring the best analysis and in-depth coverage of MotoGP and World Superbikes on the internet. T-shirts are based on the Henry Ford school of color selection (any color you like, as long as it's black), and are produced on 6.1oz black cotton, using a silkscreen printing process.
The MotoMatters.com logo is printed on the front of the t-shirt, with special vectorized artwork on the back, together with our notorious Kropotkin thinks ... tagline and slogan. The quality of printing and t-shirt is absolutely impeccable, and should bring you pleasure for many years to come. The price is outstanding: the t-shirt costs just $22.95 (that's US dollars), plus shipping. Shipping is $6 to the USA, $12 to Canada and Mexico, and $14 to the rest of the world. If you'd like to order more than one t-shirt, drop us an e-mail and we'll send you a reduced price for shipping.
The 2010 season opener at Qatar also witnessed the birth of a brand new class. The Moto2 bikes - a prototype chassis housing a standardized Honda engine - had generated a lot of interest during the off season, not least because the class threw up a number of new and unknown names in the tests. One of the favorites to emerge from the preseason was American rider Kenny Noyes, riding a PromoHarris Moto2 bike for the Jack&Jones Banderas Racing team.
After finishing consistently in the top three during testing, Noyes had a difficult qualifying session, ending up just 30th on the grid. A tactical error, and being caught off guard by the adrenaline-fueled chaos of the last 10 minutes of qualifying saw Noyes 1.8 seconds off polesitter Toni Elias, at a track he had only seen before testing road bikes for a Spanish magazine. We caught up with Noyes a couple of hours before the Moto2 race was due to start at Qatar.
MotoMatters.com: Nervous yet?
Kenny Noyes: Not now! [Laughs] I was real nervous before the first session, especially the first free session, going out there the first time in the World Championship, and learning the track. It's a lot to take in at once. But I kinda settled down as the weekend has gone on, and now I'm starting pretty far back, but we can only really go forward from here.
We have made no secret of our scepticism about MotoGP's season opening night race at Qatar. It delays the start of the season and is more about the spectacle of the lighting than the actual racing. But even we have to admit it produces some great side-effects. Here's our current favorite: Valentino Rossi during qualifying, trail-braking into a turn, his carbon-fiber disks lit up cherry red, as captured by MotoMatters.com's star photographer Scott Jones
The third day of Ducati's traditional MotoGP team launch saw several events of real note. The most prominent but probably least significant was the official unveiling of Ducati's 2010 Desmosedici GP10, the machine that Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner will be campaigning in the upcoming season. The bike had been unofficially "unveiled" some three weeks ago, when Nicky Hayden put some photos he'd taken with his iPhone on his personal website without first obtaining permission from Ducati. "It probably got me in the doghouse a bit," Hayden admitted, but as the bike had already made its debut at the Valencia post-race tests, no real harm was done.
Though the gift-giving season may be past, the motorcycle racing season is still a long way off. To help ease the wait, and to aid you in planning your life around the MotoGP and World Superbike racing series, as befits a true race fan, you can still get your hands on one of our beautiful 2010 Motorcycle Racing Calendars. With January one quarter gone, you will have missed eight days of looking at Scott Jones' beautiful action shot of Colin Edwards, but February's stunning shot of Valentino Rossi, brakes lit up at Qatar, should more than compensate you for that, along with 10 other fantastic photos and a double-page spread of the 2009 World Champion Rossi.