Honda

Aspar Press Release: Eugene Laverty On His Return To The MotoGP Paddock

After the interview with Nicky Hayden the Aspar team released a couple of days ago, it is now the turn of Eugene Laverty. Today, the Drive M7 Aspar team issued a press release interview with the Irishman, in which Laverty speaks about the opportunity he has been given with Aspar, and his return to the MotoGP paddock after an absence of six seasons. The press release appears below:


“DRIVE M7 Aspar Team have given me the opportunity I have been waiting a long time for”

Eugene Laverty returns to the Grand Prix paddock in 2015 with a lot of water under the bridge since his last spell here during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. His career as a 250cc rider was short-lived but the Irishman reinvented himself in the World Superbike paddock and he returns to the MotoGP World Championship through the front door, ready to cause a surprise or two in the premier class. Behind those shy, Irish eyes lies the steely determination of a rider who accepts nothing less than success, a relentlessly hard worker who has established a reputation as one of the most adaptable riders around. After twice finishing as runner-up in World Supersport and once in World Superbikes, new DRIVE M7 Aspar Team signing Eugene Laverty is finally ready to make his mark in MotoGP.

First things first, what is the main difference between riding a Superbike and a MotoGP?

Mainly the tyres. Pirelli and Bridgestone are completely different. There are other things, such as the Honda is smaller and lighter, it's easy to move around on. Dragging your elbow on the ground is not a common thing in Superbikes.

What led you to sign for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team?

Year: 
2015

Aspar Press Release: Nicky Hayden On His Wrist, And The Honda RC213V-RS

To help fill the long void during the winter break, the Aspar team has been occasionally issuing press release interviews with its riders. Today's press release contains an interview with Nicky Hayden, now back at home working on building strength in his wrist and preparing for the 2015 MotoGP season. In the press release, Hayden briefly runs through subjects as diverse as his wrist recovery, the changes to his crew in 2015, and the potential of the Honda RC213V-RS, the replacement for the RCV1000R Hayden rode in 2014.

The interview appears below:


“My main objective for 2015 is to enjoy riding again”

Nicky Hayden is currently enjoying a hard-earned rest at home following a long and difficult season. The DRIVE M7 Aspar rider is one of the most experienced men in MotoGP and a throwback to the old-school hard men that inspired him. After what he has been through over the past twelve months, the 'Kentucky Kid' could be forgiven for turning his back on the sport for good but racing is in the Hayden family's blood and nothing can stop Nicky from enjoying his one true passion, which also happens to be his job. As he spends the Christmas period relaxing with his family and allowing his wrist more crucial time to recover, Nicky Hayden's mind remains very much on the job at hand in 2015.

Year: 
2015

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Márquez vs Hailwood – the percentages

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Márquez vs Hailwood – the percentages

After Marc Márquez’s 13th win of the year at Valencia last month I tweeted that el fenómeno had broken Mick Doohan’s 12-wins-in-a-year record.

Not long after, Casey Stoner came right back, with a good-natured tweet reminding me that Doohan had won his 12 victories in a 15-race season, while Márquez had won 13 out of 18.

“Sorry Mat,” he wrote. “But I think we both know Mick’s record still stands ;) He had about three to four fewer races when he was around.” (NB: Stoner haters – this wasn’t a moan, that was a smiley face and a wink there.)

Marquez' Oval vs Rossi's Ranch: Which Dirt Track Layout Is Best For MotoGP?

Many years ago, when American riders first burst onto the roadracing scene, and immediately dominated Grand Prix racing, dirt track racing was seen as a key part of their success. Training on the hardpacked dirt, where pushrod twins have far more power than they can ever transfer directly into drive, translated very well into racing 500cc two strokes, which had the same excess of power over grip. As tire technology advanced, and as the number of racers coming out of the US to race on the world stage declined, dirt track fell out of favor. Styles changed back towards keeping the wheels in line and carrying as much corner speed as possible, a skill learned in 125s and 250s, and taken up to 500s and MotoGP. The advent of the 800cc bikes, which caused a quantum leap forward in electronic control, emphasized this even further.

Analyzing MotoGP Engine Usage In 2014 - No More Drama For The Factories

When the rules limiting the number of engines each MotoGP rider is allowed to use were first introduced, their usage was followed hawkishly. After pressure from veteran US journalist Dennis Noyes and myself, and with the assistance of Dorna's incredibly efficient media officer, IRTA and Dorna were persuaded to publish the engine usage charts. These were pored over constantly, searching for clues as to who might be in trouble, who may have to start from pit lane, and who would manage until the end of the season.

How the world has changed since then. Since 2010, the first full year of its application, engine allocations have been cut from six engines a season to just five, but despite that, the manufacturers are getting better and better at building incredible reliability into high horsepower engines. All eight Factory Option Honda and Yamaha riders completed around 9,000 km in 2014, using just 5 engines in the process. In the case of Bradley Smith, he raced for 9416 kilometers using just four engines, an average of 2354 km per engine.

The introduction of the engine reliability rules may have pushed the costs up at first, as factories rushed to modify their engines to suit the new regulations, it has worked well since then to help cut costs. No longer are engines crated up after every race to be flown back to Japan, there to be stripped, measured, tested and rebuilt, then flown back to Europe again ready for the next MotoGP round. Perhaps more importantly, the factories have made real technological progress in the field, Shuhei Nakamoto, Kouichi Tsuji and ex-Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi frequently praising the rule for the advances they have made. It is exactly the kind of technology which will find its way into road going motorcycles, allowing more power to be extracted while retaining reliability. There is good reason to believe that the latest generation of big horsepower road bikes have been made possible thanks to advances in materials and lubrication technology which have made it possible to produce that power without sacrificing reliability.

LCR Honda Surgery Update: Miller Has Plate Removed From Shoulder

With testing now over, Jack Miller has joined the ranks of riders undergoing surgery in the off season. Flying back from Sepang to Barcelona, Miller had an operation to remove four loose screws from his right collarbone, the aftermath of an old injury sustained at Indianapolis in 2013. That injury was fixed with a plate, but preseason crashes on the KTM Moto3 bike caused a number of complications for the Australian. With testing completely, Miller now has time to have the remaining screws removed from his shoulder, and allow it to heal. Miller will be unable to train for five days while the scar heals, but will be able to resume his training program after that.

Miller's surgery means that both LCR Honda riders have now gone under the knife. Cal Crutchlow had an operation on 14th November to remove a plate from his left collarbone, which has been inserted in 2011. The Englishman also had some arthritis cleaned up from the same shoulder, the accumulated damage from several falls over the years. Crutchlow's recovery is complete, and he has since flown to California, where he will be training over the winter in preparation for the Sepang tests.

Below are the two press releases about the surgery, the first issued today covering Miller's surgery, the second issued in mid-November, discussing Crutchlow's operation:

LCR Honda Press Release: Jack Miller Rounds Off Full Program Of Testing At Sepang

The LCR Honda team issued the following press release, after Jack Miller completed his three-day test at Sepang:


POSITIVE TEST CONCLUDES FOR MILLER IN MALAYSIA

Today in Malaysia saw the last of the on-track action in 2014 for the CWM LCR Honda Team and their rookie rider Jack Miller, as they concluded a three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit.

The 19 year-old Aussie has made significant progress over the past three days as he prepares the huge step up from the Moto3 World Championship to the elite of MotoGP in 2015. With help from HRC the team are gradually revealing more complex aspects of the Open electronics package on the Honda RC213V-RS, and with more time spent on the bike Miller admitted he felt increasingly comfortable, despite a small lowside spill in the morning.

After having completed a long run out on track in the afternoon the testing session was once again halted, as it had been the previous two days, when rain fell just after 4pm. However the Queenslander had already improved on his best lap of the test, with a quickest time of 2’02.9.

Year: 
2014

LCR Honda Press Release: Jack Miller Ups Pace By Two Seconds On Second Day At Sepang

The LCR Honda team issued the following press release after the second day of testing for Jack Miller at Sepang:


MILLER KNOCKS TWO SECONDS OFF BEST LAP

On his second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Jack Miller upped his pace by nearly two seconds as he continued his apprenticeship on board the CWM LCR Honda RC213V-RS.

Track conditions were much improved from the first day of testing, and the Australian was able to consistently make progress as he and his team work to adapt the new bike to his requirements.

Dark clouds hung over the circuit for the majority of the day, but before they dropped their payload at 4pm in the afternoon as per usual, Miller was able to complete a best lap of 2’03.1, compared to a 2’04.9 on day one.

CWM LCR Honda’s final test of the year concludes tomorrow at Sepang, with the 19 year-old hoping to get in a couple of long runs to test out his fitness over a race distance.

Jack Miller #43 (2’03.1, 48 laps)

Year: 
2014

Wednesday Testing Press Releases From Almeria, Cartagena and Jerez

Press releases from the Gresini Moto2 team, the Aspar Moto3 team, and the Crescent Suzuki WSBK team after testing:

Year: 
2014

LCR Honda Press Release: Jack Miller Completes First Day Of Testing At Sepang

The LCR Honda team issued the following press release after the first day of extra testing laid on for MotoGP rookie Jack Miller:


ROOKIE MILLER BACK ON TRACK AT SEPANG

One half of the CWM LCR Honda Team began the first of three test days at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today, as preparations for the 2015 season continued before the testing ban comes into force during December and January.

As a rookie to MotoGP next season, the team’s new recruit Jack Miller is entitled to extra test days in order to smooth the transition to the premier class, and was joined out on the 5.543 km (3.444 mile) circuit by various test riders. Temperatures were cooler than during the scorching October race at the track, peaking at around 32°C, but with only four riders testing the surface took a while to clean.

The Australian, who joins the motorcycling elite after finishing as the championship runner-up in Moto3, was able to put in 39 laps of the track on his new Honda RC213V-RS until light rain at 4pm brought a halt to any further progress.

Testing continues at Sepang for Miller and the CWM LCR Honda Team on Thursday and Friday, where the 19 year-old will hope for better conditions to carry on with his adaptation to the new bike.

Jack Miller #43 (2’04.92, 39 laps)

Year: 
2014

Post-Season Testing In Full Swing: Moto2 & Moto3 At Valencia, World Superbikes At Aragon, Day 1

Though testing for the MotoGP class has finished, motorcycle racers in other series still have plenty of work ahead of them. Both the World Superbike series and the Grand Prix support classes have been hard at work, ahead of a busy schedule of testing. The Ducati and Kawasaki World Superbike teams have been testing at the Motorland Aragon circuit, while Moto2 and Moto3 are back at Valencia.

At Aragon, Jonathan Rea made his long-awaited debut on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, alongside 2013 World Champion and fierce rival Tom Sykes. With the World Superbike teams adapting to the new regulations, the two Kawasakis were a little slower than the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies. The day started off soaking, with journalists and test riders doing media laps on the 2014 bikes of Tom Sykes and David Salom. Once the track dried out in the afternoon, Kawasaki also joined the action. At the end of the day, both Ducati riders clocked up unofficial times of 1'51.3, while Sykes posted a 1'52.2 and Rea a 1'52.7. As an interesting note, they are running the track in its MotoGP configuration, using the long, sweeping double left hander as the final corner, rather than the longer version used by WSBK when the series races there, featuring the hairpin and then right and left combination leading back on to the front straight. Giugliano's best time is three seconds slower than the best time set by Andrea Dovizioso on the first day of practice for the MotoGP race at the circuit. 

Scott Jones' Valencian Adventure - A View Of Race Day


Champions finish the season in the style they started it


The story of the Moto3 title race in a single frame: Jack Miller did all he could to win it, but he had only Isaac Viñales between himself and Alex Marquez


In the end, there were a lot of riders behind Valentino Rossi, and only one ahead

Out Of Focus And Badly Lit: David Emmett's Photos From The Valencia MotoGP Test


Compare and contrast: Suzuki's chassis provides outstanding handling and turning


Honda's super stiff 2015 RC213V. Incredible braking and turning


Michele Pirro's Ducati GP14: Stiff, excellent stability in braking, but turning, not so much...

2014 Valencia MotoGP Post-Test Final Press Releases

The final round up of press releases from the teams and Bridgestone after the final day of testing at Valencia:

Year: 
2014

2014 Valencia MotoGP Wednesday Round Up: Hard Hondas, Slick Suzukis, And Bridgestone Mythology

"This year's machine is not easy to ride," HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto said of the 2014 Honda RC213V. "More difficult than last year." Given the utter dominance of Marc Marquez in the first half of 2014, that seems hard to believe. It certainly left the journalists gathered for the special press conference convened by Honda to review the season befuddled. "But Honda bikes are always easy to ride!" declared one surprised reporter. "Our bike is very easy, I can ride it, but I don't get under two minutes," Nakamoto said. "But to find the last one tenth, two tenths is very difficult," he remarked.

A look at the timesheets from the test, or a chat with Marc Marquez or Dani Pedrosa about the 2015 Honda, and you understand the problem. On the last day of testing at Valencia, Marquez and Pedrosa finished first and second, but the satellite Hondas of Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding were a little way off the pace. Crutchlow was eight tenths slower than Marquez, while Redding was struggling 1.6 seconds behind Marquez. In the last race of the 2014 season, Stefan Bradl's fastest lap was just under a second off the fastest race lap, and Alvaro Bautista a fraction slower. The Honda is obviously fast, but it is not easy to go fast on. Too aggressive, too hard to master, a bike with a lot of potential, but extracting that potential takes insight, experience, and the willingness to push an aggressive bike to its limits. It really demands the kind of dirt track background of Casey Stoner or, well, Marc Marquez.

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