2011 Silverstone MotoGP Sunday Round Up: On Colorful Language, And Beating Stoner

There's an old racing cliché that says that rain is a great leveler. It turned out to be so in more ways than one at Silverstone, with several key players finding themselves on the floor in the utterly miserable conditions on race day. The most important faller was Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard crashing out for the first time since Phillip Island 2009 and gifting the lead in the MotoGP championship to the winner, Casey Stoner. Lorenzo's DNF put an end to an astonishing streak of 25 races in which the reigning World Champion finished in the top 4, most of which have been on the podium, and 10 times on the top step. Consistency won Lorenzo the 2010 title, yet it was his consistency that failed him on Sunday.

So why did Lorenzo take a risk and crash out? Speaking to the press after the race, he explained that he knew he was faster than Dovizioso at that point in the race, and believed he had the pace to run with Casey Stoner. So he pushed hard to get past Dovi, and he paid the price, going down in the first corner.

Dovizioso earned his pay from Repsol on Sunday. Not only did he tempt Lorenzo into making a mistake and crashing, he managed to do the same to Marco Simoncelli as well. Simoncelli had once again shown that he was fast during qualifying, getting perilously close to taking his second pole on the trot at Silverstone, only denied by Stoner's terrifying pace through the final sector. But as the San Carlo Gresini rider dueled with Dovizioso for 2nd, Simoncelli hit a puddle of standing water on the track and went down, despite being particularly careful at that point.

This is the third time in six races that Simoncelli has crashed out of a race, and with a strike rate of 50%, it is starting to look like a habit. Speed is not a problem, but the racing acumen to make the right decision appears to be largely lacking in Simoncelli, as even his friend and defender Valentino Rossi conceded. "He is always very fast, but he makes very many mistakes this year," Rossi said. "So he need to understand from inside what is happening in his head in these crucial moments. He needs to try to understand his problem and improve."

The third faller in the MotoGP class was Ben Spies, the Texan crashing unseen by the TV cameras. He fell heavily, sliding into the wall and hitting it with his back, his back protector destroyed in the crash, but allowing Spies to come away bruised, sore, but largely unhurt. The quality of protective gear is pretty impressive at the moment, though there is always room for improvement.

I managed to snag Jeremy Appleton from Alpinestars for a few moments, and got some interesting background on the subject of rider protection. Appleton firmly believes that active safety - i.e. airbags and similar systems - are the future of rider protection. There are already suggestions that in-suit airbags should be made mandatory, but the problem is that there are currently only two manufacturers producing leathers with airbags (Dainese and Alpinestars), and developing the systems is an enormously expensive and lengthy undertaking.

And airbags cannot prevent injury altogether. Dani Pedrosa's injury at Le Mans was a case in point: Pedrosa's airbag inflated 100 milliseconds before Pedrosa hit the ground, but the force with which Pedrosa hit was much larger than anticipated. The Spaniard had hit at a very steep angle, creating an extremely high energy spike, which the airbag had been only partially capable of dispersing. Appleton said he was convinced that if Pedrosa had not been wearing an airbag suit, his injury would have been very much worse.

The topic is current because of the current paucity of the grid. Just 15 riders started at Silverstone, after Cal Crutchlow broke his collarbone and injured his neck in a crash during qualifying. His Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Colin Edwards had recently had his collarbone plated, though neither this, nor the separated muscle in his ribs which was far more painful, would prevent the Texan from getting his first podium since a strange half-wet-half-dry race at Donington in 2009.

That podium was a delight not just to the Texan's many British fans at Silverstone, but also to both the media corps and even his fellow riders. Edwards' language is politely described as "colorful", though a more accurate estimate would say it was half unprintable expletive, half hilarious turn of phrase, and his performance had the press room pretty much in stitches. Repeating what he said in the press conference would cause MotoMatters.com to be instantly blocked by thousands of work internet filters, so suffice it to say that he was happy with his podium, the team had gambled on a completely different setup, and it had paid off.

While Edwards' podium was deeply impressive, and his press conference highly amusing, the most significant thing to come out of the weekend was Casey Stoner taking over the lead in the championship. Stoner once again rode a faultless race, scoring maximum points while never looking as if he did not have the situation under control. Stoner's win takes him to a total of 27 premier-class victories, but more importantly, it put him at 66.6% for the 2011 season. Stoner has taken two-thirds of the wins (four out of six), two-thirds of the poles, and has topped the timesheets in two out of every three sessions. Stoner has already left Kevin Schwantz behind him for total premier-class wins, and is likely to surpass the legendary Eddie Lawson before the year is out. That would leave just four men ahead of him in the all-time standings: Mike Hailwood with 37, Mick Doohan with 54, Giacomo Agostini with 68, and Valentino Rossi with 79.

And this is precisely what has been dividing MotoGP fans over the past year, since Stoner moved to Honda and Rossi switched to Ducati, and the comparison between the two. Such comparisons are inherently flawed, and so far, most have shown a blatant disregard for either one half or another of the facts. Only an idiot would regard what Casey Stoner has done on the Ducati and is doing on the Honda as being solely attributable to the bike, and only an idiot would write a nine-time World Champion off after just six races on a new (and notoriously difficult) machine. Apparently, though, there is no shortage of idiots, though in my experience, this is the same regardless of the subject at hand.

No doubt that Stoner is fast, and the Honda is outstanding, though its supremacy is slightly overstated. The special quickshift gearbox, for example, helps keep the bike more stable while accelerating at full lean, but it has a downside too. Stoner explained that because the bike does shift so quickly, the bike is much more prone to wheelying than with a standard gearbox. That requires finding a way of keeping the front wheel down, though Stoner was unhappy with the anti-wheelie systems. They work by cutting power - exactly as traditional traction control also works - and that means you get out of corners slower than if you managed the acceleration yourself.

Likewise, much has been made of Rossi's failure to tame the Ducati, a bike that Stoner was clearly capable of winning on. Speculation is rife that Rossi is trying to turn the Ducati into a Yamaha, or at least into a bike that he can use to carry his corner speed through the fast sweepers, and maintain a decent turn of pace. There were even rumors of a new chassis for Rossi at Silverstone, though the Italian denied it strenuously. What Rossi did admit is that Ducati are working hard on some new parts for the rear end of his Desmosedici GP11 to be made available some time around Brno. Rossi himself would like the new parts at Mugello, but he understands that realistically, those parts are simply not ready to race.

The parts which Rossi has coming are all aimed at improving rear traction and stopping the pumping of the rear wheel that so plagued the Ducati last year. Even if they don't work, Rossi is confident for 2012, at least, the new 1000cc bike having no such problems with the rear end. Sadly, that rear will not fit directly on to the GP11, or the Desmosedici might already be closer to the pointy end than they are right now.

Of course, talk of a Rossi Revival ignores the fact that the championship just got a whole lot more interesting. Stoner now has a 17 point lead over Jorge Lorenzo, and does not look like relinquishing that advantage. Up until now, Lorenzo has been happy to defend his position and his lead, but that tactic is no longer sufficient. Lorenzo's team manager, Wilco Zeelenberg, acknowledged that their game plan had now changed, and it was a question whether the new tactics would work or not. Instead of simply defending, and trying to score points while keeping Stoner honest, Lorenzo now has to attack, and try to force Stoner into making a mistake. The problem, Zeelenberg acknowledged, was not that Stoner might be immune to pressure, as much as keeping up with Stoner to apply that pressure in the first place.

Coming tomorrow: a look at Moto2, a discussion of the CRT Teams, and a note on Toni Elias.

 
 
Total votes: 88
Total votes: 385

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Comments

Another well written, well researched, well articulated gem of an article.

Total votes: 387

One of the greatest joy, is to read David's review after watching the races. Thank you David! Not the first time I posted this "Thank you" note.

Total votes: 381

I really feel bad for Marco. He is like a kid that has his hand in the candy jar and can't get his hand out because he has his fist clenched on the desired prize.

If it weren't for bad luck my man Spies would have no luck at all.

I thought this was going to be a close series before the year started but the speed of Casey and the Honda's have nixed that theory.

Poor Vale. If it weren't for the tens of millions he has in his Swiss account I would really feel sorry for him too.

Can we introduce the 1000's at the next race?

Go Spies!

Total votes: 380

They should seriously consider having Colin Edwards on the podium and in the podium press session after the race REGARDLESS OF WHERE HE FINISHES lol.
Seriously, he just takes all the tension and BS out of the room and replaces it with foul s*** jokes and smiles. More CE please!!!

Total votes: 387

Thats exactly what I'm talking about! lol

Total votes: 370

I have to disagree about the part about Jorge " gifting the lead in the MotoGP championship to the winner Casey Stoner". Stoner was in the lead and Jorge took himself out. He nor anyone else was going to catch Stoner today. The only gift given and received this year was the one given to Jorge by Valentino when he took out Stoner at Jerez. Without that gift, Jorge wouldn't have been on top of the standings until today. Also, I don't see the Ducati being any better next year than this year, in relation to the Honda and the Yamaha. Regardless of how much they improve it, Honda and Yamaha will be moving forward as well. They will always be playing catch-up in terms of handling.

Total votes: 411

Fully agree that the only possible gift was the Jerez incident which is really what set Casey back those two races and allowed Jorge to lead the championship.
I also agree that Honda and Yamaha aren't going to be sitting around. But having said that, Ducati in particular will have the benefit of 1000cc direct rider development experience and expertise in the form of both Rossi and Capirossi. All the other front-runners - Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovi, Simo et al - haven't really done anything significant in terms of 1000cc development being graduates of the 250 champions' class. Ducati IMHO is better placed to get a bigger leap forward than the other manufacturers. At least in theory, they should.

My name possibly gives away my bias, but hats off to Casey what his awesome control and dominance. I think again in 2012, his special talent and ability will possibly overcome any bike deficiencies. As I have said elsewhere in these pages, on current form, it is not inconceivable for Casey to top most practice sessions, take most pole positions and possibly win every race till the end of the year. He is a man on a mission - and on the warpath.

Lastly, thank you to David for that beautifully crafted depth of insight that you always seem to bring out which takes everyone's understanding and discussion to the next level. And thanks to Scott for the superb visual storytelling - see you soon again on facebook! ;-)

Total votes: 401

Lorenzo is going to have to do what Rossi did to Stoner at Laguna if he wants to be in the running for the championship. I am trying to think of a race where Stoner has had to fight for a win right down to the wire. Rossi learned to apply pressure and got him to make a mistake. But as we all know he wants to step out and win with a comfortable margin. If Lorenzo can use some racing tactics he says are dirty then maybe he can win and throw Stoner off his game.

Total votes: 399

Phillip Island 2009. Rossi sat in behind Stoner from start to finish, and Stoner rose above it and kept him at bay for the entire race.

Total votes: 403

Germany last year. Sure it wasn't for the victory but Stoner and Rossi battled practically the whole race with Stoner beating Rossi in the final uphill corner

Total votes: 394

Don't forget Brno and Misano 2008.

Rossi tormented and hounded Casey Moaner both races causing him to fall off.

That was Stoner's 3rd consecutive crash (Laguna, Brno and Misano). All being challenged and raced by you know who.

If Casey can't check out.....

Hopefully Lorenzo or Sic can make him earn and fight for the victories this season. Keep him honest to keep it entertaining at least.....

Total votes: 401

well no, Rossi wasn't tormenting and hounding anybody in Brno and Misano 2008, he wasn't anywhere near Stoner, Stoner was about 3 seconds clear in both cases, which is a decent gap in MotoGP terms. And what's with the name calling? Casey Moaner? Seems rather childish when people are otherwise trying to have an intelligent discussion.

Total votes: 403

People like to think otherwise, but in reality Stoner hardly ever cracks under pressure and definately not when people are on his tail. I think LS '08 was an occasion where he did crack, but more out of frustration for not being able to pass. So yes, as stated by someone else, if the competition wants to stand a chance they best try to sit right in front of him. Worked for Dovi this weekend, too.

Total votes: 405

well yes, Rossi kept him within 2 and 3 seconds....as soon as "Moaner" tried to stretch that distance, Rossi never let it exceed 3 seconds. Stoner thus got frustrated and fell off. LOL

Sorry to call him "moaner", it's actually a term I've heard used on this site and found it fitting. I'll try not to use anymore.....you're related to him?

Total votes: 415

but its use is discouraged and stinks of 'fanboy-ism' which is not what this site is about. This site is about logical and analytical discussions where favoritism doesn't equate to a quality comment.

Total votes: 402

I don't know any of the riders personally and I am sure you don't either so why the name calling? It's childish. IIRC Stoner had an injury problem, his wrist I think, that was affecting him most on right hand corners. Historically Stoner has been happy to keep the gap at around two or three seconds, adjusting his speed to the rider behind him. Like it or not, statistically Stoner is one of MOTOGP's greatest riders, and is entitled to respect from all genuine followers of MotoGP. If someone can't respect the achievements of Stoner and the other aliens, regardless of personal likes and dislikes, I think it demonstrates a very superficial character.

Total votes: 398

a definite must read for all the fanboys who just cant accept the end of an era and the blossoming of a new one1!!!
http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-casey-stoner-among-the-bes....
interesting always to note that most of stoner's mishaps have come on the ducati that is notoriously fickle and clearly proving a career killer...even resisting a fix in 80s.

Total votes: 352

Something positive from Speed concerning MotoGP, now if they can just carry that over to their coverage of the races...

While I have been a Rossi fan since the turn of the century, I can't deny that Stoner is very talented. He has won a championship in which he isn't always given full credit, which he deserves. Even Lorenzo is a champion as much as some wish against. It is very interesting reading different reports that changes being made at Ducati now are some of the things that Stoner was calling for while he was there. It's too bad that he wasn't given the respect or appreciation that he does deserve.

As for the comments that he "doesn't earn" the victories - come on! If he has the ability to push and break away from the the followers that just proves he has the talent and the package. While the racing isn't as exciting it is phenomenal to see a rider utterly crush the others on lap times. I remember when Rossi had passed under a yellow and he knew he had to win by 10 seconds because that was going to be the penalty and he just took off and finished with over a 10 second margin, that was talent too right? Let's not hold a double standard.

Total votes: 397

"Hopefully Lorenzo or Sic can make him earn and fight for the victories this season. Keep him honest to keep it entertaining at least....."

Pretty sure Stoner "earned" this last win. So what, if a guy gets out in front by 2 or 3 seconds or more he's not "earning" it? I guess you can cross out ALL of Lorenzo's wins and championship last year.

Hopefully Lorenzo and Sic can make him earn it? Hopefully they can keep up!

Total votes: 394

Cat 07 was one of the best race IMHO. Clean racing, beautiful lines, strong but safe overtakings right down to the wire and immense respect from both riders to each other to make it work. Though Casey won the race, it was evident during the post race interview that Rossi enjoyed the racing. Think I go dig up the ol DVD and watch it again.

Total votes: 402

Also China 07, where Stoner fought Rossi wheel to wheel for several laps at the end before Stoner eventually won by 3 seconds after forcing Rossi to make a mistake.

Total votes: 391

Not sure about China, Rossi going banzai in the twisty bits only for Casey to come from half a sec back on the straight to blast past Rossi and half a sec into the lead into the first corner...
Any 2007 race apart from Catalunya was like a turkey shoot, unless them miches worked which they still did at a couple of tracks in 2007/08. The bikes were closer in 2008 dues to same tyres but the Duke still had plenty on the Yam you just need to watch Donni and Assen that year or LS.

Great point David about Dovi who for me put the race beyond doubt for Casey. Whilst it was a very good ride from Casey, both JL and Simo(even though both were quicker and had the pace to go with Casey) were held up by Dovi simply because he had better acceleration off the corners(late breaking being very difficult in the conditions)..there were many comments at the time on the frustration that could be seen in both Jorges and Simos riding.. having said that I suppose from Hondas view it was the team working in perfect harmony and a very good job at that.
As for the honda supremacy, having now watched them in the flesh it looks even greater, the yam doesn't appear to even be better in the twisty bits. The honda bike sounds incredible.
I have little doubt that but for Danis injuries and Simo's excitability Honda would be one two three in the championship without question(with even Dovi not far behind Jorge). A level of Dominance not seen in a long time, with the current Champ who was supremely dominant last year, unable to make a dint other than one caused by the hondas themselves falling over or being pushed.... At the moment only a Honda can beat a Honda which says it all.

Great rides today by everyone who stayed on with special mention to Casey, CE(brilliant) and Nicky..
ps Considering the number of shoulder injuries and the fact that the new regs will be even more of the same are there any rumblings in the paddock as to a David Cameron styly turnaround??

Total votes: 402

By 2008 Yamaha had passed Ducati, remember how many problems Stoner was having early in the year after Qatar. Le Mans especially showed that Yamaha had the best bike. Most of Stoner's advantage in 2007 was down to the Bridgestones, and even then the Yamaha on the Michelins was much better in corners. All it took was for the Yamaha to get some Bridgie-boots on and it was the bike to have.

The only reason Stoner was so fast on the Ducati was because he was literally riding on the very edge constantly. Look at Melandri in 2008, it took such a huge toll on him physically and mentally.

Total votes: 372

Casey is talented for sure but him just getting a lead and skating makes for some really boring races. I was really hoping for a more dynamic season.

Total votes: 424

Sorry harumph, but the margins this year are not as big as in previous years. Lorenzo has had the biggest winning margin - 19.4 seconds in THAT Jerez race. The next biggest margin was yesterday at Silverstone in the wet @ 15.2 secs. Le Mans was 14.2 secs after the Dani and Simo crash eliminated the opposition. In incident free races it has been much closer: Qatar 3.4 secs, Estoril 3.0 secs (Dani - Jorge), and Catalunya 2.4 secs.

Certainly the racing has not been as cut and thrust as in bygone eras, but that is the nature of the 800's. 100% rider input for 100% of the race, tyres that don't change their performance much throughout the race, and fuel management to ensure the rider finishes will only ever lead to very gradual stretching or closing of the rider gaps. The biggest variation near the race end appears to be fuel management related - highlighted by Dani's win in Estoril where he slipstreamed Jorge for most of the race and then had a performance reserve compared to Jorge. I am sure if you were on the back of Stoners bike while he is incrementally buiding his lead it would be exciting enough.

In reality there is only ever one or two epic battles a year regardless of the format. Even the great 125 battles that have a 10 rider pack with 5 laps to go get reduced incrementally to a 2 or 3 man race by the final lap.

I think our memories retain highlights - and as Masters swimmers know "The older I get the faster I was". Perhaps that's true of racing recollections as well.

Total votes: 398

Regardless of what he has done and what he can do, I find the races where he just takes off to be really boring. That sort of goes for any race where someone just rides off into the distance, it just happens to be Stoner a lot at the moment.

Total votes: 404

I found it very difficult not to be tense during the race. Sure Casey was in first, but he could have just as easily hit the deck.

Total votes: 404

I am almost hoping for more wet weather races just to keep the action intense and the race "not over 'til it's over". Surely no one was expecting Lorenzo to crash, Simo... not unexpected, Spies was looking good, too bad, at least he's not injured.

The wet races really seperate the boys from the men, and I enjoy watching them, so bring on a few more this season... Laguna Seca? That would be a crazy wet race in the cork screw.

Total votes: 374

I understand the sentiment you have expressed, and to be honest, I agree to an extent.

If you are bored by races where the winner is unchallenged and wins by 3 - 4 seconds or more, as a racing fan you are in for a disappointing life. You will only ever be satisfied in 2 or 3 races out of the 18 each year. Go to the results page of motogp.com and track back over the results from years past. There are very few races in any year that are close regardless of the combatants and machinery used. The close races were indeed the famous epic battles we all long for, but the reality is that these are few and far between - and always have been.

Perhaps you can develop the appreciation of the effort required to gain a couple of 10ths of a second per lap riding at 100% and how 5 or 6 laps of intense effort can be undone by the slighest error by the rider. Because the battles are not necessarily fairing to fairing does not make them less intense or reduce the effort and skill required to be there. IMO of course .....

You are right that a very close race is a better spectacle, but gaining an appreciation of the more "mundane" races will help you keep an actice MotoGp interest for much longer than relying on the quick entertainment fix. Again just my opinion as a now very long term viewer and fan of motorcycle racing.

Total votes: 396

Anyone who finds a race such as Silverstone " boring" shows a contemptible lack of understanding of what is involved in racing a motorcycle and ignorance ( maybe they should stick to NASCAR or WTCC..........)

Total votes: 359

How was Rossi 09 any different? There were many races where Rossi was just gone and that was that. And I'm a pretty big Rossi fan.

As said, It's just as great as an achievement for Rossi to just obliterate a field, nailing perfect lap after perfect lap, as it is to see him take Lorenzo at the final corner @ Catalunya 09'. I wish the cameras would sometimes stay on the lead rider more often, give the viewers a chance to see a rider getting everything perfect and riding in perfect harmony. I'm pretty sure if you gave a rider an option of situations they would rather prefer, a perfect string of laps just absolutely nailed, or a battle that they could potentially lose, they will all take A. And as mentioned, when you start appreciating that you are finally appreciating the racing as a whole. Until then, you're just as bad as the people who watch NASCAR for the crashes.

Total votes: 391

It is interesting that according to Mick Doohan (in commentary for the race) Rossi's problem at Silverstone was that he couldn't get heat into the tyres. This is also the problem with the Ducati that Stoner has mentioned on several occasions. The difference seems to be that Stoner was prepared to take bigger risks by pushing the bike very hard to generate the heat. We all remember the images of that Ducati sometimes bucking and shaking and looking like it was about to crash when Stoner rode it. This also meant Stoner risked crashing more often. It is understandable that an older and recently injured Rossi is apparently not prepared to take those risks. That means that he has to find a different solution to the Ducati challenge.

Total votes: 411

Yes, Stoner commented several times that for the first three to five laps he was riding it over the top and almost?? all of his crashes were in the first five laps. Once he had the heat in, he could run to the end reliably, though he had to run hard all the way, which combined with the fuel use issues means that his race strategy pretty much HAD to be to get out and run alone. Now on the Honda we see him using a considerably more conservative strategy

Total votes: 425

It is worth reading the riders comments in the press releases elsewhere on this site. Casey has stated that the biggest problem he faced was keeping the heat in his tyres during the last race. Every time he slowed down the tyres cooled and the bike became "nervous", so he had to up the pace again. It must be a conundrum to have to ride faster in treacherous conditions to be more secure.

It was the same during his ducati days, as often mentioned here. I have read interviews over the years where Stoner has been pretty forthright about being scared during the headlong rush required on cold tyres to generate the heat to be secure. How much committment was required during the early experimentation to gain the understanding that he had to put everything on the chopping block for a few laps and after that it would be alright? Hayden arrived at the same conclusion, but was always slower to get the tyre temperature required.

I wonder if knowing that he had to start in that way regardless of the tyre rating - hard or softer - dictated his decision to often use a harder tyre than many of his competitors and so put him in a stronger late race position as a result?

Total votes: 370

Stoner commented yesterday that when he reduced his pace the bike started to "wiggel" so he had to ride faster as he would other wise chosen to get heat back into the tires.

I wonder if Bridgestone introduced a serious design flaw with managing tire temperature when they all went for endurance/consistency over a race distance.

Total votes: 404

So does anyone have the balls to print what he said, or is it going to be something only people who were there get to enjoy?

Total votes: 379

What is causing these front end washouts, I am no expert, but here is my humble opinion:

We saw Capirossi, De Puniet and Rossi all lose the front under hard braking into turn 16 at Silverstone, the bike was hardly off upright. Very hard to see what happened with Capirossi, in the dry and so quick, and we didn't really get a close up of Rossi at the end of qualifying, but there was a really good view of de Puniet when he lost it, and what struck me was that he momentarily locked the front, and because it was wet it was long enough to actually see it happen.

Could this be what is causing the front end wash out, it happens so quick in the dry that it isn’t noticeable, but the briefest of lock ups and the stiffness of the 48 mm forks and carbon fibre headstock can’t react fast enough to re-engage the front tyre, the bike is falling into the corner and there is loss of traction, and down she goes?

This would also explain why it is not repeatable, it is unusual to lock up the front, nobody does it deliberately, but maybe, just maybe, they should reduce the size of the brake pads a little on the front of the Ducati?

Another thing that would help is getting more weight on the front, I believe that the Ducati is longer than the other bikes, I have scaled off the axle centres on the Honda and Ducati, based on them both having 16.5 inch rims, and get Honda at 1295 mm compared to 1372 mm for the Ducati. (Motocourse 2010-2011, pages 48 and 50). What was the fix that suddenly saw Ducati get back to its winning ways in 2010: going back to the 42 mm front forks AND Casey saying he was moving his weight forward into the corner to load the front.

Burgess’ famed “80 second fix” was to lift the bike by 20 mm, but this does not appear to have worked as hoped. (Ref AMCN Vol 60 No 16 - Page 166)

I hope Ducati get this sorted, we need Rossi to be back at the pointy end as soon as possible.

Total votes: 395

I've posted on other threads about a fundraiser I went to where Burgess spoke. As he described it, the problem is at the rear. The swingarm has virtually zero flex at extreme lean angles compared to the Yamaha, and because of the lean angle the forks have less ability to damp the vertical forces (like ripples etc) and these forces therefore cause the front end to break traction, hence the front-end loses that have characterised the Ducati over recent years.
So whilst Stoner earned the moniker "Crashey Stoner" in recent years, it might be more accurate to attribute the moniker to the Ducati - "Crashati" anyone??? :-)

Total votes: 393

Yeah "Crashati" definitely works for me

Total votes: 397

Most of Stoner's crashes last year were in a strange nexus between getting off the brakes and fully over onto the side of the tyre.

Total votes: 401

I believe it was a common nexus between the ground and the side of his motorcycle.

Total votes: 397

Motogpmd, you are spot on. Stoner remains the only one who was willing to ride the Ducati the only way it can be ridden to win, on the edge of disaster. I'm not sure if Kenny Roberts was the first to say it but he once said " second place is the first loser". Some guys hate to lose so much that their risk factor is simply higher than others. Stoner, Lorezo, and Simoncelli are like that. Rossi used to be. I think that crash last year had a huge effect on his mental approach to racing. His racing skills are second to none but I think he simply is unwilling to take chances he used to. I don't think he will ever win on the Ducati.

Total votes: 396

“Idiot” this, and “idiot” that? ... online “Dads” aren’t supposed to name-call like that; ..because they are more capable of getting the same point across without overtly insulting the hooplehead forum members and visitors that feed this site.

Class with a capital-K language looks funnier on Edwards than you.

Total votes: 385

Of course Rossi can win races given the right equipment. It is very unlikely that he can win races this year on merit against Stoner, Pedrosa and Simoncelli on Hondas, but in a small field anything can happen. Look at his present position: 4th in the championship. This is largely because other people have crashed ahead of him: Simoncelli, Spies, Pedrosa, Edwards, Dovizioso, Lorenzo have all fallen at various times when well ahead of Rossi. Rossi has also crashed but he was lucky enough to get going again. So even with his current problems I have no doubt Rossi could win if there were unusual circumstances.

Total votes: 391

am not prepared to write rossi off after 6 races! I hope he's not resigned to being back of the pack - but mentally it's got to be very very tough. Motogp would not be nearly the specticle it is without VR.

Casey always has been the best on his day (which is everyday this year). I certainly hope none of the engineers from the other factories is sleeping and that we can have some actual racing this year - for wins.

I just watched the highlights from Catalunya 2009 and to me, it's one of the best 5 minutes in all of sports (last 3-4 laps). Somehow dorna has not gotten all of them down. Google and enjoy.

On to Assen!!

Total votes: 390

Guys just remeber that all the epic battles the riders have had with Casey as mentioned above.

Casey was on a Ducati... and the other guys giving the pressure where on the well handling Yamaha's ( who else has won on the Ducati 800cc?)

Casey now likes the Honda as he feels the front end and Rear all at the same time, where the Ducati either has a front end feel and no rear or a Rear end feel and no front.

Total votes: 420

Brilliant comment David, thanks..
Also a brilliant ride and win by Casey (no thicker knee pad and still knee down awesome), Ben Spies was right to fear him on the Honda..

But to be honest I find it brilliant that anyone can ride a racing bike in those conditions, so hats off for all the other riders as well..

Fantastic race by Colin I think that we all enjoyed that very much, my respect for Colin rose to a higher level
(wonder what Dani was thinking when Colin took 3th..)

The bike of Jorge was pretty much ruined with his can upright I wonder if
his engine survived the crash?

Bring on Assen..

Total votes: 382

David, do you know whether JL, BS or MS "binned" any of their engines while crashing.
I know the Yamaha's have already plucked a fresh engine from their allotment at Catalunya.
If JL has damaged another one, he might not have any left nearing the end of the season to challenge who ever is leading the WC.

How are the factory Honda engines going?

Total votes: 399

There's an updated list of engines coming. No engines were damaged at Silverstone, despite the crashes. Wilco Zeelenberg told me that Yamaha have made a couple of minor modifications (including to the electronics) to ensure that they didn't go bang like the one that let go in the warm up at Le Mans.

Total votes: 383

Will be interesting to see if Rossi put an old engine in as it would have been the smart thing to do this weekend..

Total votes: 412

After the crash in the warm up he used an old engine. Apparently more for the possibility of a damage after the crash than for preserving the new engine.

Total votes: 394

... for the investigation on protective gear David, you know this topic is important to me ;-)

Still, 3 broken collarbones within a couple of weeks doesn't make this manufacturers look very good.

Total votes: 409

Firstly this is one of the extremely rare occasions on which I disagree with you David. Lorenzo won in 2010 through nothing short of brilliance and dominance. 10 wins can be nothing other than that. All titles can only come through consistency - 2006 Hayden obviously. But those that describe Lorenzo's title in this manner do him a disservice.

As for Zeelenbergs assessment of a change of tactics required. Well that's simple semantics. I don't think a rider of Lorenzo's calibre ever goes out there thinking defensively. Win is always the primary objective. Of course pragmatism comes into the equation and this has been the reason he's been so happen to be leading the points after 5 rounds. Nor do I think that desperation will overtake Lorenzo with him risking more. You can only give your 100% and see where the chips fall. He's frustrated for sure and agitated into an error Sunday, but he is far from done in this championship, even if the title is looking increasingly unlikely in the face of Stoners onslaught.

Rossi on the other hand I believe we will start to see look increasing desperate. For the life of me I cannot figure out why he hasn't modified his riding style more to adapt to the Ducati. I mean all those years he so adeptly rode the RCV211 V5 as it ripped and snorted are attributes he should be able to bring to the GP11 more. Too spoilt by all those M1 years? Perhaps now he's fit again he'll find that Ducati groove. Sure the machine is problematic, I just feel there should be more coming from the rider - especially one with such a stellar record of winning history on a variety of machines. As it stands he's lost Alien Status for now, whilst Stoner has become a vertiable Time Lord.

Total votes: 411

Nostrodamus wrote: "For the life of me I cannot figure out why he hasn't modified his riding style more to adapt to the Ducati."

http://www.gpone.com/index.php/en/201106123994/Vale-Mi-prendo-un-terzo-d...

Clearly it is not that easy or desirable. There is little point to ride wild winning half of the time and crashing the other half. Sure, it is more interesting for us sitting on the couch but not for the rider, the team and the factory. This is a trivial pragmatism that I think Rossi is right to embrace to a certain extent.

Silverstone was worrying because it clearly outlined the limits of the pilot and his team more than those of the factory. I never hoped for a smooth transition to the Ducati but I expected pure talent in the difficulties. Fortunately, Rossi is lucid enough to admit his shortcomings.

Now let's hope he can do his 33% - and a bit more - at Assen :)

Total votes: 401

That'll get you nowhere on a railing 800. But he does need to be muscling it or dominating it more than he is right now. As you say he knows it.....

Total votes: 378

Hi David, as always you type caviar on your web. Thanks again
I think that JL DNF may be is not that a bad result in the end. We saw him, for a couple of turns, fighting hard to overtake AD, and clearly being faster than the Italian. What would had happen if he had done it, who knows, but I think he would have pushed CS to the limits. That’s the magic of wet races.
The good point of it is, first of all, no injuries for JL. But the best of all is that he is now below CS on the overall standings, and therefore obliged to make the best if he wants to retain his world title, so wonderfully earned last season.
And knowing JL, he will push himself and Yamaha very very hard in order to do so.
Watching JL chasing AD so hard for that couple of laps, made the adrenaline come back. Because, we all must admit it, this season is being a very rare and boring one. Let’s welcome JL in trying to solve this matter . . .
Cheers !

Total votes: 360

Spot on matteo, i suspect Rossi is modifying his technique(he has a good idea what works on the 800 already I suspect) as with spec everything there aren't options to do things much differently to achieve the same results(unlike 2007/08). Considering the last two seasons have afforded ducati very little,(no more a chance of the title than suzuki in reality) they needed a drastic reappraisal which they are in the middle off.
They were making progress, and faster than last year at the last race, but things were bound to come to ahead, when the old and new clashed. I doubt it will be the last time but it is a race in isolation nothing more..
Having said that I wouldn't like to be Ducati sales management at the moment, the bike still doesn't work(but they have the best team on it so covered for now) but they are building the new street bike with the same config. Does it definitely work with the alloy version of the front airbox/subframe?? and why can't the motogp team try it?? if they haven't already of course as weight isn't an issue here.

Total votes: 392

"Considering the last two seasons have afforded ducati very little,(no more a chance of the title than suzuki in reality) they needed a drastic reappraisal which they are in the middle off."

Uhhhh, not sure what you mean by this. Stoner won A LOT of races in those two seasons, in fact the only people who might have won more have names like Rossi and Lorenzo. Hayden had the best season since winning the title. Those 2 seasons weren't great but at the end of this season they're going to look much better. Had it not been for the mystery illness he definitely could've contested for the title. And whatever you think about those last 2 seasons they're still are MUCH better than what this season will be for Ducati and crew

Total votes: 385

For a "Ducatisti" your quite pesimistic. Have a little faith man, we´ll get there, it only been 6 races. Maybe you are more of a "Stoneristi" than a "Ducatisti"

Total votes: 391

It's true! Since Stoner switched my faith has been torn in two directions. I don't want to sound pesimistic. In fact I was never much of a Rossi fan. But since he has moved to Ducati I've been rooting for him every race and I've always been rooting for Nicky.
My comments were actually defending Ducati. The person I was responding to is saying how in 08 and 09 Ducati accomplished nothing. I was saying that is far from the truth, they didn't win the championship, but they one many many races.

If I sound pesimistic its because I'm used to have the best man on the Ducati... still on the Ducati. I knew the switch for Rossi would be too hard at first and the switch for Stoner would be too easy.
When people jab at Stoner (especially when he was on the Red Machine) it bothers me. 'Oh Stoner whines, Stoner faked the illness, Stoner wasn't riding the Ducati right' that s*** really bothers me. I think this season people are finally starting to appreciate how difficult the Ducati is to ride and just what Stoner had to go through.

I really try my best not to be a fanboy of anyone when I'm posting on this site (that stuffs for a different website).

Maybe I should switch my name to "Pesimisti" for a while?

Total votes: 383

Ducatisti is the plural of ducatista. A single Ducati fan is a ducatista and two or more are ducatisti. In my case I´m a ducatista who roots for Stoner. I guess there are a few other ducatisti like me with divided hearts wanting Ducati to go back to their winning days, but enjoying Casey´s wins like candy ...I guess I´m also an Stonerista.

Total votes: 382

Glad to hear someone else feels the same way. I guess my italian needs some work though! Thanks for clarifying.

Total votes: 382

Sorry I didn't explain myself properly it wasn't meant as a criticism only trying to show where they were in reality.. In terms of fighting for the championship, Ducati and Caseys expectations of themselves had dropped to an all time low, with ducati and Casey happy for a smattering of wins once the title had already been decided. If you look at it it from the title side Casey and ducati were out of the hunt in both 09/10 by race 3 if you critical and race five if you're generous. Yes he finished both seasons well(pattern anyone?) but the next year(08 also) was nowhere again.. Rossi had his worst ever season by some way last year yet the top duke still finished behind him..If anything Caseys nigh on stratospheric turnaround in form with his switching brands tells it better than anything else I've read..

Total votes: 398

Clearly faster than Dovi and capable of hunting Casey. Great riding and late breaking by Dovi saw us deprived of a grand battle for the win in diabolical conditions. This won't bother Lorenzo one iota. 1 DNF apiece him and Casey.
The Championship is now poised like a 3 set tennis final. Casey wins the first set by tie break 1/3rd into the season.
Ducati as a team need at least 2 in the top 5 at Mugello or surely questions are going to be asked as to how they managed to lose Stoner.
George is not done by a country mile.
Great ride by #27 to sublimely claim his 27th.
Accolades to Colin,Alvaro and young Karel.

Total votes: 379

David - as ever, a wonderful post race ramble.
You tease us, though, not being able to relate Colin's
Interview and I wonder if such is available from some feed
so we, the great unwashed, can hear for ourselves
what you lucky insiders do? I'd truly appreciate that.
Regards
Barry

Total votes: 387

Elliot, thanks for that link.
Too bloody funny.

Total votes: 384

CE's comments are on the MotoGP website. Nothing to get too excited about. It was just more colorful language than we are used to with Colin.

About the equipment safety issue, why aren't Spidi, Arlen Ness, Berik or whoever else the riders are using these days leasing the airbag technology from AStars or Dainese? That is the most logical solution. Without having it, it seems that eventually riders will be pushed away from those leathers. If the development is too pricy, you lease it. If Dainese and Astars aren't willing to do it that is one thing (maybe they don't think it is ready yet) but if they just can't get the terms to work out the way they want, that is really a shame. I am guessing that eventually most or all of the suit will have various air bag systems in it and when a rider crashes it will be more like a beach ball bouncing.

Great job to everyone that stayed on the bike. I took last year off but I am going to LS this year (just sunday) and I hope that there is still a championship being fought over when i go. Wouldn't mind seeing Spies on the box.

Total votes: 384

I understand your concern about riders not being already protected by airbags but...they are free to sign whoever they want as a sponsor and they sure know who has and who has not airbag suits available.
These companies are competing, trying to dominate their market, I don't see any of them pouring millions in R&D just to lease the technology to competitors a couple years later.
Why would they will be willing to help their competition? All they wanna do is take advantage of their in-house development, and that's plain fair.
It doesn't make anymore sense for leathers than bikes.

Total votes: 413

Companies lease technology from other companies quite regularly. Hybrid cars are a good example (Nissan using Toyota technology). The theory is why reinvent the wheel especially when you are behind the curve. AStars and Dainese have a price, of that there can be no argument. Can the other companies afford it? Do they care about it? I don't know.

Why would a company lease technology to another company? Because at the end of the day they realize they have competitors who own some of the market share. AStars isn't going to sell every leather race suit sold this year. Neither is Dainese. But if they are the only two with an air bag system, they could lease the technology to help market their system and make some money while they are at it. Why not make some money before the technology is reverse engineered anyway. I am not saying make it cheap, just available.

As far as riders picking their sponsors...I don't think it works that way unless maybe your name is Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, or Troy Bayliss. The reason some guys use inferior equipment is because it was provided by a sponsor not because they decided they didn't want the best. Take a paycheck and free equipment or pay for the best out of pocket! Astars and Dainese don't have the need or desire to sponsor the entirety of the GP circus. Just the guys that make the most marketing sense.

Total votes: 343

Yes, companies lease technology to their rivals, but usually, only once those technologies have matured. When technologies are still young, they are kept close to the manufacturers' chest. Right now, both Dainese and Alpinestars are still developing the technology, and I believe only Dainese are selling suits to the public, Alpinestars likely to introduce the technology this year, I believe. Both factories have spent the last 10 years researching and developing the technology, which is a lot of time, money and effort to give away.

Five years from now, they will be leasing the technology. But right now, it's too early.

Total votes: 393

I make no secret of it, i am a massive stoner fan, but also a ducati desmo owner. I love ducati and i think casey is the best rider in the field and the only way we would ever know who is better is by two riders on identical bikes and we all know that is not going to happen.

I think where a lot of anti Rossi sentiment is coming from the fact that he had dished out so many negative comments about casey on the ducati, it is nice for stoner fans to see that he is also suffering similar and other types of problems, it is almost like he has been humbled by the ducati and personally i was very pleased to hear Rossi's praise of casey on the honda this year. Pity it will never be a direct reference to his view of what casey achieved as a champion rider on the ducati.

Casey stoner is not the most popular rider and he couldn't care less. And i say good on him. He hasn't or never will have a great relationship with the press or public, but he doesn't want one, so being a casey stoner fan is hard - even in australia there is a lot of anti stoner sentiment.

so what am i getting at? I don't think the putting down of rossi at the moment by pro stoner fans is an attack on him as a rider, he is an awesome rider and a very talented man (trust me that is hard to type) but it is more about stoner fans being able to say 'i told you so', and personally i think that us stoner fans have every right to say it!

Total votes: 384