2011 Catalunya MotoGP Sunday Round-Up: Half-And-Half Races, And Tough Guys And Collarbones

Race day came in Barcelona, and we had one-and-a-half exciting races, and one-and-a-half snoozers. The 125cc and part of the Moto2 race was pretty good, while the lead in Moto2 and the entire race in MotoGP - with the exception of a highly entertaining between three satellite Ducatis for 9th place - was a complete procession.

The 125 race was the best one of the day, with Nico Terol facing an attack from a different quarter than in Le Mans, this time the Frenchman Johann Zarco. Zarco pushed Terol all the way to the wire, passing the Bankia Aspar man on the exit of the final corner, then giving him a little elbow for good measure and forcing him off the track. From the initial footage it just looked like a racing incident, but the front angle showed the move to have had some intent, with Zarco leaning on Terol to push him aside. The move earned Zarco a 20-second penalty, taking his hard-earned victory from him and bumping him back down to 6th. The Frenchman protested his innocence, though one senior journalist in the paddock said the team told him that Zarco had admitted his mistake behind closed doors. Rossi said of the incident that it reminded him of Max Biaggi's move on him at Suzuka, and so it was the right decision to penalize the Frenchman.

The 20-second penalty would not be the only time that Race Direction decided to act on Sunday. In the Moto2 race - which Stefan Bradl won with stultifying ease - Kenan Sofuoglu hammered into the back of Julian Simon, both men going down and Simon breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg. Sofuoglu immediately apologized - indeed, afterwards, his manager was trying to obtain Simon's mobile number so that Sofuoglu could send Simon a personal message of regret - but Race Direction decided to call both men in to speak to them at Silverstone next weekend. With Simon unlikely to be able to attend, that means only Sofuoglu will appear, where no doubt he will receive a dressing down and be told to behave himself.

Though inexcusable, Sofuoglu's overeagerness was also understandable. The reigning World Supersport Champion - and a man who had never finished behind Michele Pirro in his life in WSS, even when they were on identical bikes - suddenly finds himself qualifying outside the top 20 regularly, and struggling to score points. When he finally got back near the front of the race, he was unable to contain his enthusiasm, with dire consequences for innocent bystanders such as Simon.

The battle for 2nd provided a good deal of entertainment, with Aleix Espargaro (who lives just a stone's throw away in Granollers) battling hard first with Simon, later with Marc Marquez. Marquez eventually got by, and his 2nd finish in Moto2 was another podium, this time a 2nd place. Espargaro, elated, ended up on the final spot on the podium, his first in his Grand Prix career.

The MotoGP race was dull, with the exception of the battles at the back. When asked why he thought it was, Ben Spies explained that the riders entered Turn 2 in more or less the same order they'd been in during practice all weekend. So everybody got a little bit of clear track to run the kind of lap times they were capable of. Casey Stoner's lap times were best - as they had been all weekend - but Jorge Lorenzo put up a much stiffer fight than expected. When the rain came (very briefly, but it came nonetheless) it looked like Lorenzo might catch Stoner, but once the weather lifted again, Stoner was gone.

Ben Spies bagged his first podium of the year, finally putting it all together to score a result. The team switched to the 2011 Ohlins forks, and that worked out nicely for the Texan, promising more podiums to come this year. Andrea Dovizioso finished 4th, which seems to be the natural order of things, while Valentino Rossi took 5th ahead of Simoncelli. Simoncelli started from pole, but bogged his bike off the line and lost a lot of places. From that point on, he never really recovered his composure, and consequently never looked like threatening for 6th.

Valentino Rossi was pleased and frustrated with 5th, happiest most of all with the gap to the winner. Rossi said they had halved the gap to Stoner, but he was still 7 seconds slower than the Australian over the entire race. He felt that a podium had potentially been possible, had they not taken the setup gamble forced on them by the wet warm up session.

Overall, the bike is better, Rossi said, but they still had a long way to go. The bike needs some improvements, but he, too, needs to change his style to ride it, and this is a process that is also taking time. They had come a long way in fixing the front, but they were still struggling for traction at the rear. One person with knowledge of the situation said that Ducati have a whole heap of new stuff in the pipeline, but it was taking time to produce. Rossi, too, said he was waiting for another new chassis, but the carbon fiber simply took a long time to produce.

Rossi emphasized that he did not think that Ducati needed to drop their current design, incorporating a small sub-frame at the front connected to the engine which serves as a stressed member. He believed that he and Burgess could make it work, but there was still a lot of changes to make. A podium was now a realistic possibility, but a win was another matter altogether. That would not come any time soon.

The combined award for bravery and hilarity must go to Colin Edwards. After having his collarbone plated yesterday, Edwards turned up at the circuit for a medical exam hoping to be passed fit to at least make a start, and keep his streak alive of 141 consecutive starts. He had hoped to be given the chance to start, put in a couple of laps, then pull in out of harm's way, but the circuit doctors wouldn't let him.

Fortunately - for Spanish TV viewers at least - this moment was captured by a canny TV producer. As Edwards exited the circuit medical center, he first demonstrated that he still had some strength in his arm by performing the classic international symbol for "up yours". When asked by the reporter what the doctors had said, he replied "they told me I had the wrong name. I wasn't called Valentino Rossi." Insinuating cruelly - and probably correctly - that if Rossi had been in a similar situation, the doctors may have arrived at a different decision.

Edwards' determination to race so shortly after breaking his collarbone raised questions about the fitness of Dani Pedrosa. The ugliest rumor about Pedrosa was doing the rounds of the Spanish press, suggesting that Pedrosa had injured his collarbone again (see separate story). That explained his complete absence from the circuit, the gossip insisted, as Pedrosa was thought to be back in Switzerland. The gossips also insisted that Pedrosa was seriously considering taking a long period off, sufficient to recover fully before coming back to ride. That may take until after the summer break at the earliest, but some were suggesting he would not be back until 2012.

If that were true - and there is plenty of reason to doubt it - it would be a huge blow to the championship. Pedrosa has been the only man capable of really pushing Stoner this year, though events have conspired to award Lorenzo the championship lead - rightly, as the Spaniard is once again a paragon of consistency. Without Pedrosa, Barcelona could well end up as a template for the year. And though Stoner may deserve it - he passed Kevin Schwantz in the all-time premier class win table at Barcelona - that wouldn't be very entertaining for the fans.

There was more - on engines, especially - but that can wait until tomorrow.

Total votes: 110
Total votes: 364

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Comments

Was good to see Capi fighting with the young guns.
Really enjoyed his last-ditch pass on Karel Abraham.
The bike looked like it wanted to buck him into the atmosphere, but he hung on for 9th position.

Total votes: 311

Do any of the riders or teams complain about the tires? Not that another rider has an advantage, but that maybe Bridgestone could make a tire that doesn't require soo much effort to get heat into?
Maybe a tire that can work better for all the bikes? I know that Suzuki really suffers from trying to get heat into the tires, and it seems like the Ducatis might do better with a more generic tire.
It seems like for the last two years the tires have really been a sore point and have caused some races to be won or lost.

I know that tires are and have always been super important. I thought that when they went to a single mfg. the tire would be made to work with all bikes, and then it was up to the rider and the setup to make the tire go the distance. Either Toby or Julian made the remark today during the race that Bridgestone make a tire first and foremost to go the distance of the race, and anything else is secondary.

Total votes: 342

All I saw was the first lap and then someone was nudging me awake for the podium ceremony. Seriously, was that not the most boring race ever raced in the history of racing? I've been recommending to my friends that haven't seen it yet to just skip it and read the results here instead.

I thought that Moto2 was a bit more exciting all around than David gives credit for. Yeah, the leader was a mile ahead, but it was pretty good behind him! And with riders rocketing through through the field only to plummet back down, there were plenty of storylines (even without passing, at least some riders were closing gaps to those in front of them). I wish so many of those storylines weren't extremely dangerous looking crashes (flashes of Tomizawa when Takahashi was down on the racing line), but when has Moto2 not been a meat grinder?

The 125 race was AWESOME! I'm really sad that I will end up having never seen a 2-stroke GP race in person. Can't make it to Indy this year, and that's my last chance.

Total votes: 350

Casey Stoner's excessive celebrations continued this Sunday with his post race, track side, sparring with a specially trained boxing kangaroo.

Total votes: 343

Even though the race was processional, it wasn't without it's tense moments, and whilst some would find it boring, I actually found it quite tense up until the last 4 laps.

With Super Sic bogging it off the line, all I could think about was if he would come charging through the pack in a reckless manner once his hard tyres came up to temp. When he passed Nicky with a pretty strong move I thought he might be out for a win-it-or-bin-it type race. Unfortunately he seemed to loose his bottle a bit once he got onto the back of Rossi.........or did he? I know Stoner said the tyres on his bike were pretty much done by the last 8 laps so maybe Sic suffered the same?

Then there was Casey out front. With the constant threat of rain, everytime his bike appeared on screen I was waiting to see if he would loose the front end and hand the win to Lorenzo.... Then when the rain did come, it was that crappy not quite raining rain but enough to loose the front end kinda stuff..... Lorenzo closed........but then it didn't happen and it got a bit boring after that.

There was the Dovi/Rossi fight. It was clear they were reeling in Spies and Rossi was riding hard. Either of those two could have thrown it down the road at anytime as well....

And Capirex/Bautista/Barbera/Abrahams going at hammer & tongs was pretty loose for a while as well with some adventurous passing.

I'll admit it wasn't the most exciting race for out-and-out battles or passing, but there are other ways to procure some enjoyment from what would be otherwise considered a dull race.

Total votes: 375

to everyone else...at least there was a race this weekend which is always better than nothing.

Total votes: 357

I agree with every point, except nobody was reeling in Spies the last few laps. Ben gained some space in the end and closed a second on Stoner. I enjoyed the tension between the top six trying to claw back track on the riders around them.

Total votes: 346

is that it's a good thing there is another race in a week so I don't have the boring taste of today's "action" in my mouth for longer than necessary.

Total votes: 334

The real interest in many of the races Doohan won, was in who was going to finish 2nd. Rossi's always been a showman. When he's had an edge, he backed off and played with people, which always looks more interesting. Doohan worked on the notion that he should disappear into the distance every time he got on the bike, and that's a principal Stoner has always tried to follow. Now I guess he has the bike and the opportunity.

Total votes: 328

sunday the 5 of june saw the end of racing as we know it what a shame!!! if you cant go for a winning move on the last lap whats the point? nico terol had teased poor zarco for the last two laps then suffered the humiliation of the young frenchman stuffing it up the inside of him at the last corner legally as terol left the room . its a racing incident no one crashed or got hurt exept terol aspar and the spanish ego .
well done zarco this decision should be reversed with all haste to deny him his maiden win just because he isnt spanish is a travesty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Total votes: 371

What I saw was a guy pull a hard but good pass down the inside, then when it was basically done and dusted, banked to the left to deliberately run the guy off the track.
Should have been disqualified altogether in my opinion. People thinking this sort of filthy riding equals "action" have been watching too much nascar.
It was a shame, because other than that he rode a superb race and it was *almost* a brilliant pass.

Total votes: 345

Perfectly said breganzane.

Total votes: 361

When I took a pro racing class that had a decent national rider as one of the instructors his take on hard passes was 'my hand is not on your throttle so as long as there is somewhere for you to go the pass is ok.' I initially didn't agree but realized it was more objectionable from my club racer/hobbyist perspective. These guys are pros. They are paid to make and take the hard pass, which that really was not one of.

Simonchelli didn't leave anywhere for Pedrosa to go and rolling off at max lean is not an option. Lorenzo's pass on Dovi was hard but Dovi had options. Hayden's 'backyard move' on Lorenzo last year made Lorenzo roll off but nobody complained about Hayden riding dirty. In this case Terol had the option for rolling off, there is no requirement for Zarco to leave room for a rider behind him to pass on the outside. Terol left the door wide open. Zarco was really rolling through the apex of the last turn and ran to the outside of the track as every rider does on nearly every lap. Why should he have to give way for the rider behind? The elbows up thing was more likely a reaction to prevent his handlebars and levers getting caught up in anther's bike. Last year Rossi started using extreme leg waving a few times to try to prevent riders from passing on the inside. No complaints then.

Compare this to any of Rossi's moves on Stoner at Laguna on 08 and you'll wonder why Zarco get a penalty. Getting in the way of a rider on a faster bike is one way of staying ahead of them. Zarco did this cleanly and I can't understand why he was penalized.

David, why the double standard for Simonchelli and Sofuoglu? You wrote an entire article on why Simonchelli was wrong because he was impatient but 'Sofuoglu's overeagerness was also understandable'? it was a much more clear cut accident, he ran into the rear of someone's bike because he was unable to contain his enthusiasm? That is understandable? He is a WC and also has a history of rubbing riders the wrong way so why does he get such an easy pass from you for such a stupid and damaging accident?

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 359

The huge difference is that Sofuoglu and everybody else know that his move was wrong, he immediately went to apologize to Simon, he knows he made a big mistake and felt sorry for it. So no need to dissect the accident.

Total votes: 328

Exactly right. Sofuoglu immediately acknowledged blame. Simoncelli didn't.

Total votes: 350

An apology does not make the move any less questionable. If Pedrosa didn't overbrake himself Simonchelli would have pulled the risky pass off. I don't know what Sofuoglu was even planning for that move and saying his overeagerness was understandable seems a bit like a free pass to me. Especially when it let to another rider's injury. He's not a rookie, he has a WC under his belt. If he does not get some sort of penalty I think race direction still has a long way to go towards consistent application of penalties, especially with the 20 sec penalty in the 125 race without even a crash. Simonchelli's penalty was for 'irresponsible riding.' OK, hard to disagree on that judgment call and it is race direction's call to make. I don't know what Zarco's official infraction was but if you then don't call riding into the back of another rider's bike causing him to break a leg 'irresponsible riding' then what is? I'm not saying it was intentional but it was definitely irresponsible.

On a side note, the trackside barriers that both Moto2 riders and bikes hit before coming to a stop seemed pretty rigid. Do they not use airfence in GP racing? Simon seemed to hit it pretty hard although it did not cause the broken leg.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 325

But that doesn't really do much when you are already tasting the gravel, right?
The guy took himself out in the whole event and apologized so I don't really see the one on one comparison with Simoncelli. On top of this I feel Sofu's move was more an accident than Simo's, because with a move like that you just KNOW you will go down yourself.

Total votes: 352

Simoncelli move was deliberate, he attempted (and suceeded to a certain extend) to overtake Pedrosa at this spot, this turn, this moment.
Sofuoglu move is a mistake, he did not try to overtake Simon at this spot and just came in too hot.
It's a big difference, this clearly is nothing more than a race incident, albeit one with serious consequences for Simon.
If you really want to compare it to a move we've seen recently, it's much more like Rossi's mistake in Jerez, did not intend to overtake going in the corner but missed his brake marker, almost passed and crashed collecting Stoner with him. Obviously lots of differences with Sofuoglu mistake but the cause of the accident is exactly the same.

Total votes: 343

on many points:

1/ "there is no requirement for Zarco to leave room for a rider behind him to pass on the outside"

Terol is not behind, hes on his left, the turn is over ... what Zarco did was unfair and above all dangerous ... and as french, I can tell you that frenchie victory is so rare that I was reaaally a Zarco supporter.

2/ "Last year Rossi started using extreme leg waving a few times to try to prevent riders from passing on the inside."

Don't know what you're talking about, this "leg thing" almost every riders do (and Rossi since 2 or 3 years) has nothing to do with prevent passing, it's a feeling attitude when they brake on the limit.

3/ "Compare this to any of Rossi's moves on Stoner at Laguna on 08 and you'll wonder why Zarco get a penalty"

Maybe Rossi did deserve a penalty for his move ... but there is a fact, he left a room for Stoner (on the outside) ... and Stoner took it

4/ Sofuoglu move was stupid of course, but the BIG difference is that he apologised for his mistake (which is a classic one) ... Simoncelli didn't

Total votes: 359

He was fantastic in 2008 when he won the 125cc world championship, 4 wins, 9 podiums, even giving us a french victory at Le Mans, something we had not seen in GP for more than 50 years!
Then he has been ok in 250 (8th in the championship) but very forgettable in Moto2 last year (20th in the championship, only 3 times in the top10, best result of 6th).

So maybe he needs more time than others because he would not be the first rider very talented on 2-strokes yet to find his feet in Moto2 (Pasini, De Rosa, Faubel?) but it's been more than one year and his bike is very competitive as proven by Bradley Smith (fastest lap of the race in Catalunya).

Total votes: 358

It does seem odd how Pasini dropped off. Reminiscent of Poggiali. Faubel must be frustrated seeing all those kiddies in front of him. I think it proves how the age limit in the smaller displacement classes isn't needed. Specialists could exist, but the youth will take care of themselves in terms of securing slots on the grid.

DiMeglio's championship season was very convincing. I have a feeling that besides the transition to Moto2, I'm not certain that non-Spanish riders can make the most out of a position in the Aspar teams. Clearly the team has what it takes to make champions, but the non-Spaniards seem to always be on the back foot, and when things go bad, they don't get better. It's almost a shame that there is a 'lost generation' of Grand Prix winners from this transition. Moto3 will likely turn up something similar. What if Vinales doesn't transition well?!

(And where are the 125 champions between Rossi and Pedrosa?!)

Total votes: 364

but if he did not really shine afterwards I don't think it's because of Aspar.
Au contraire, he was in Aspar box last sunday during the Catalunya GP and was wearing an Aspar shirt wich was quite intriguing...
Di Meglio is now on the french Tech3 Moto2 bike within a french team that likes to sign french riders (Olivier Jacques, Sylvain Guintoli) so it's only up to him.

Total votes: 314

I didn't mean to say that there was bias against the rider, or that a rider needs to be in a team of a similar nationality, but that I think it's easier to get the most out of the always top Aspar equipment and team structure if you are Spanish.

And I think once a rider has damaged confidence, it's very hard to regain the edge.

Total votes: 337

I've heard some riders can cope with 4-stroke engine braking, and some cannot.

Total votes: 326

Both bikes were vertical, there were no trackside barriers, they barely touched and there seemed to be no danger of either rider crashing. Yes, Zarco was not all the way in front of Terol but he did have the inside racing line and was able to control the track. Terol tried to use his bikes' power to come back but couldn't. The outside line is always the dangerous one to take because you can run out of track which is exactly what happened. The lesson is don't leave the door open. Also, he shouldn't have let Zarco by earlier if he didn't want a hard race to the finish line. It was very similar to the last corner for Rossi-Lorezo in 2009 at Catalynua but once Rossi had the inside line Lorenzo knew he was done and just rolled off.

>>Don't know what you're talking about, this "leg thing" almost every riders do (and Rossi since 2 or 3 years) has nothing to do with prevent passing, it's a feeling attitude when they brake on the limit.

I remember a couple of races last year when Rossi was being pushed hard by Lorenzo that the leg was coming out even more when Lorenzo was trying to go by on the inside on the brakes. I remember the commentators mention it too. It seemed more like a blocking move than the normal foot off braking move.

>>Maybe Rossi did deserve a penalty for his move ... but there is a fact, he left a room for Stoner (on the outside) ... and Stoner took it

Stoner took the escape route and Rossi didn't get the penalty. Terol didn't take the escape route and Zarco got the penalty. By that logic you are penalizing a rider doing the passing according to the actions of the rider being passed. that does not make sense to me. All I want is consistent rule application. Every racer, especially the young ones, are watching Rossi and sees the moves he does and gets off clean so they want to ride the same way. But they are not allowed to because they are not Rossi? Edwards' quip about having the wrong name to pass the medical check sums it up. While he was in the Yamaha camp he had to toe the Rossi line but now that Rossi is with Ducati he's letting a little of what he thinks out and it sure isn't fair application of the rules.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 343

Terol put everything on the line when he decided to let Zarco by and then tell his pit crew that he had it under control. So when Zarco came up the inside of the last corner Terol didn't know what hit him. Zarco was in front and had the inside line. The problem is that racing is a pissing contest and Terol thought he could out muscle Zarco with the superior speed of his Aspar Aprilia. Terol could have easily rolled off of the throttle and let Zarco cleanly win the race. Instead, he tried to hang on till the last moment. While valiant, it didn't work and Zarco stood strong and WON the race. As for the elbows and body shifting etc, I do club racing and often run up onto curbs or onto the edge of tracks and when you do that you are going to use every inch of your body to manipulate the balance of the motorcycle in order to keep the bike on track. This is the top level of motorcycle racing and these guys are racing for their careers and that was a last corner pass for the win. Had that been anyone named Rossi making that maneuver it would have been hailed as "Epic" or "legendary" and Rossi would have been given the win no question. It sucks when politics determine races. Had that happened at Le Mans, Zarco would have won. And yes, Kenan and Simoncelli are guilty as charged.

Total votes: 326

When you say "I do club racing and often run up onto curbs or onto the edge of tracks and when you do that you are going to use every inch of your body to manipulate the balance of the motorcycle in order to keep the bike on track" you are conveniently ignoring a couple of important facts. Zarco wasn't racing on his own, he was racing in very close proximity to another competitor. He wasn't using his body to stay on track, he was using his body to ride his rival off track. He could very easily have cut the turn tighter and stayed off the kerb, but he was deliberately riding Terol onto the dirt/astroturf.

When you deliberately ride someone else off the track, you can expect a penalty. And Zarco (justifiably) got one.

The really dumb thing about it was that he didn't need to do that. He had the race won, as he had better drive off the corner than Terol. Had he kept his head and given Terol another half a metre of space, no-one could have complained.

Total votes: 348

The only thing more shocking than the move Zarco put on Terol was that he genuinely thought that running Terol off the track and possibly killing him was perfectly normal. Even more ridiculous is that he likely would have won the race anyway, he was slightly ahead when they were both upright and headed towards the line.

Total votes: 357

Pedrosa has been the only man capable of really pushing Stoner this year

I think this is a little bit premature. Lorenzo and the M1 missed some 0.1 sec / lap in average in Barcelona (OK, when Stoner was pushing it was around 0.2 - 0.3 sec but would have the tires endured that till the end?) and Barcelona is a track that's apparently good for bikes with strong engines. Other tracks will come that work in favour of the strengths of the M1 so I wouldn't call the season over yet.

But I fully agree, having Pedrosa in the mix would make the season a lot more interesting.

Total votes: 369

I watched all of the practice sessions this weekend I heard Nick and Gavin, and also Tony and Jules talk about how this track is more suited to the Yamaha than Le Mans because it has flowing high speed corners instead of the stop/start of Le Mans. So this should have been a good track for the M1. This is probably why it was a Honda followed by two M1s instead of 3 Hondas at the front.

Total votes: 347

The Moto GP boys are having similar problems to those that affected F1 when Bridgestone had their tyre contract. Bridgestone seem to produce safe, durable, boring tyres as the marketing boys rule the roost. They don't want nasty tyre degradation spoiling their clean cut image.

However, when Pirelli got hold of the F1 contract and were told to produce tyres which actually wore out and were more "knife-edge", lo and behold, more exciting F1 racing with overtaking a possibility (although admittedly that is due to other factors as well). Perhaps this is an example of an Italian company more prepared to take risks.

If the Moto GP rubber options were a grippy tyre that lasted less than race distance before degrading or a safe tyre which offered less grip but would last then I suggest the racing would improve, but I don't for one moment think that Bridgestone would go down this route.

Total votes: 324

I say better TV production will give us better racing provided the rules will not be changed (FUEL LIMITS). There is good racing on the track but we don't see it because there is too much camera time watching the parade at the front. Rewarding good racing action with camera time will likely bring sponsorship money to those who need it, bringing them closer to the front. Add more super slow motion and on board shots! If dorna can't get the technical rules changed in favor of the show, change the show.

Total votes: 328

Having a choice of a hard but durable or soft but degrading tire would not do much for MotoGP except increase the gap at the end of the race to the riders using the soft tire. F1 has tire change pit stops and mandates the use of both tire compounds during the race, that's what is creating the 'passing'. MotoGP does not change tires so the averaging effect of drivers having to switch compounds would not be present.

Not to mention that BS does provide a hard tire that lasts and a soft one that does not. The soft option would not do race distance which is why almost none of the riders use it during the race.

I almost think it would be better to offer only one compound per weekend so teams don't waste time working on a setup for using the soft tire in qualifying.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 349

Each weekend BS bring two compounds which they think will work best at a particular circuit to account for the abrasiveness of the tarmac and the expected ambient temperatures at that particular time of year. They do not use the same two compounds all year long.

So ideally BS would see both compounds being useable during a race. A 'soft' coming in early and degrading earlier, and a hard being the opposite.

Small differences in ambient temperature can swing a team in their choice of one compound over the other.

Total votes: 327

Lorenzo, Spies and Rossi were on the soft compound tyres. 2nd, 3rd and 5th doesn't sound too shabby to me.

Total votes: 349

It is interesting how the Bridgestones have affected the racing, along with the standardization of all the bikes and the limited fuel capacity. What I find more disconcerting is that Dunlop is now the supplier for both the feeder classes into MotoGp. These are supposed to be where riders perfect their craft, and then graduate to the honours class. Unfortunately they might as well be driving around on quadracers given the huge difference in feel and style required between the Dunlops and the Bridgestones. Case in point, we have the Moto2 champion puttering around at the back of the pack in every race this year.

It seems obvious to me that the controls and regulations designed to make the racing "fairer" have not been all that successful.

And given how boring the races are now I'd suggest that Dorna feed a hell of a lot more slow-motion shots of the sliding and spinning bikes. Since there's no other action taking place, especially now that passing has effectively been banned, they might as well show us we want to see!

And did anyone else notice that all the pre-race images shown by Speed were of riders running into each other and giving each other the finger? Who says that's not what Dorna really wants to see happening? It's much like the NHL saying it doesn't support fighting in hockey yet that's what they show on the feature reels!

Total votes: 361

I wonder if the lack of speed of Simoncelli in the race also had to do with fuel consumption. In qualifying there is no such problem, but in the race it might be necessary to restrict revs and/or go lean with the mixture to make the distance. He did not mention it in the press release, but it's a fact that because of his weight and size his bike uses more fuel. Which has already been said to be a problem at some tracks.

Total votes: 335

The extra weight is a problem. But it was the weight on his shoulders placed upon him during the meeting on Thursday. The center of that additional mass is between the ears and affects racing more than qualifying.

Total votes: 346

Nah, I think there is another sub-routine that is written into his programming that only triggers when he is within 5 meters of one other rider, limiting his throttle twist to just 3/4 of its full range. Conspiracy theories aside, I tend to believe its due to tire and fuel.

Total votes: 307

I believe Simoncelli's lack of speed was due to the reality of the race pace he had shown during all practice sessions, about the same pace as Dovi; His QP lap was the anomaly. Throw in a bad start, having to pass Rossi, his mate - only cleanest of overtakes allowed, a bit of a sprinkle of rain and 6th place is achieved. There always seems to be an excuse for Simoncelli's lack of desired results. I am not saying he won't get results, he just hasn't yet and it's not because of his size; which surely would have been more of a factor in 250cc class -- seemed to do ok there if memory serves.

Total votes: 331

"...Simon breaking the fibia and tibula in his right leg"--I guess that would be tibia and fibula, then.

Total votes: 349

Sorry to have to point this out David, especially after DrEvol's post...

"Marquez eventually got by, and his 2nd finish in Moto2 was another 2nd place." ...It was his 2nd podium, but the 1st podium was a 1st place.

Total votes: 336

I usually finish these up at around 1:30am, after getting up a 7 to get to the track on time. It's usually late, and I've been up a long time and working hard by the time I write the roundups, and so spelling mistakes, spoonerism and confusing phrases can creep in. By the time I'm done, I don't catch everything when proofreading. I try to get my big facts right, but the details may slip a little. I hope you guys will cut me some slack on these articles!

Total votes: 329

I played Cricket under the captaincy of one Neil Spooner - quite true. A big man, many a blushing crow he did strike when batting.

Total votes: 348

that the amount of work (and even the amount of writing) that you provide is insane.
I usually don't go on the website (nor your twitter account) until I've seen the 3 races and then it takes me forever to read it all.
My girlfriend is asking "when does this guy even sleeps?" and honestly I was wondering the same.
You just answered the question so there is a telepathic link between us I guess.
As much as I enjoy your articles, don't kill yourself to the job, it won't make a difference to me if I read your analyses on the monday or tuesday instead of sunday, your writing quantity (and quality!) on MotoGP is second to none out there.
If you're getting tired you can take a little inspiration from Sir Noyes, really thoughtful analyses but not that many articles (at least in english language).

Total votes: 328

Dennis may not provide much in the English language, but you don't get to see him leaving the media center at midnight on Sunday after finishing up writing for Motociclismo, the Spanish magazine who employ him.

Total votes: 334

I read and enjoy all his articles for speedtv and read some of those on motociclismo, plus I know he has been TVE commentator for years, I was not criticizing his work, merely pointing that you do write more articles during the weekend than most others GP journalists.
And I do look forward to the site growing enough to attract him to write here too as you mentioned once or twice.

Total votes: 340

That was actually Marquez's third finish in Moto2. In Portugal when he took out Redding, he remounted to finish 16th.

Total votes: 359

Thanks,
But Simo didn't really bog off the line, he got a decent start and just braked really early going into turn one, allowing others to pass him by. Thats what I saw anyway.

Total votes: 332

+1, in the past Simo would charge the pack at the start and bang fairings. He looked very reserved and cautious in his riding. I wonder if the orders were stay out of trouble and finish the damn race? Interesting he did not challenge VR.

Total votes: 316

I used to drive two Honda S2000 one after another;I had an NC30 as my very first bike.When I was racing actively on Honda bikes, Vale was winning a title after another on Honda´s.
So I kind a like Honda no doubt, but because I like to see Vale winning even more, I cant really say that I like Honda to be so superiour again especially after the way they treated Vale at the end.
The double clutch gearbox is surely a key ingredient to the advantage of Casey and even more to Andrea, but thats ok.
Everybody is free to develope a superiour bike within the rules, so nobody can spill their drink....the champain is well deserved, even though the surely talented riders have the aid of technology on their side.

But on the other side, this is what I like the most:
The day they will be beaten by Vale again is in sight-no doubt!
And then he finally puts an end to the very last claim that he is anything less than a god on wheels!

Total votes: 355

The day Vale swung a leg over the Ducati for the first time he lost his diety status. Certainly there is no aura there anymore to the young guns he races against. He is also fast on his way to losing his Alien status, and that has very little do do with the steed he's riding. The man is mortal and right now can't bring anything to the table. That situation looks increasingly unlikely to change.

Total votes: 323

The Honda does not have a double-clutch gearbox; the VFR1200F has that. Double-clutch is illegal in MotoGP.

I have no doubt that Rossi will win on the Ducati at some point but my guess is that we won't ever see him as dominant as in the past - he no longer has the best tyres, best chassis, biggest budget etc. which is a good thing as it is now down to the team and the rider to make it all come together.

Total votes: 325