2011 Aragon MotoGP Sunday Round Up, Part 1: On Racing, Championships, And Italy vs Spain

Three races, three championships drawing closer to their conclusions, but not all of them brought the excitement we might have hoped for. The first race of the day was a good start; Terol ran away at the front of the 125cc race, but behind him there was a tense battle for 2nd and a monster fight for 5th. The Moto2 class delivered the most spectacular race of the day, with every rider in the top 20 finishing with tire marks on his leathers somewhere, until Marc Marquez seized control of the situation and finally got a gap. And the MotoGP race provided the typical 800cc anticlimax that we have come to expect since 2007, with Casey Stoner settling the race in his favor before the first lap was over.

First to the 125s. Nico Terol was up to his old tricks once again at Aragon, getting away early and setting a pace that no one else could follow, though his teammate Hector Faubel certainly did his best. Worthy of note was that Johann Zarco appeared to have learned the lesson of Misano, keeping his cool and resisting his urge to look back for threats from behind which cost him the victory at the previous round. Instead, he kept his cool while Faubel lost his, pushing too hard to get past Zarco into the first of the final pair of corners and sliding out of a certain podium.

Faubel's error - the Spaniard is now 28, too old 125cc class next year, and forced to look for a seat in Moto2 - was Zarco's gain, the Frenchman limited the damage to Terol, and still in with a shot at the title this year, though it gets more and more unlikely with each passing race, especially each race he fails to win. Zarco now trails Terol by 36 points, and must win each race and hope that another rider can beat Terol as well every time out, as Terol needs only to finish 3rd or better everywhere to secure the title. Given Terol's domination of the 125cc class this year - having won 8 out of 13 races - that seems extremely unlikely. The fat lady may not have sung yet, but the orchestra has already started.

The Moto2 race was a reminder of what makes motorcycle racing so exciting, with a group of six or so riders battling it out for the first half of the race. A recap is simply impossible to give, without running to twenty or thirty thousand words, so I strongly recommend you go watch the race. But the heady mix of youth, ambition, talent and overeagerness produced the kind of riveting display that has turned Moto2 into the main event for many fans. Passes were made anywhere and everywhere, cleanly, brutally and fearlessly.

In the end, the race came down to the two best men in the field, after Stefan Bradl's tire spun on the wheel. Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone established themselves at the front of the pack, and if they had cooperated, they would have left the rest for dead. But the Spanish-Italian rivalry proved too strong to allow them to work together, so they spent their time getting in each other's way, holding each other up and allowing those following the illusion that they had a chance.

The way the battle was settled spoke volumes about the difference between the Italian and Spanish schools of riding. Andrea Iannone, desperate to keep Marquez from escaping, attempted to dive up the inside of the Spaniard at Turn 1, outbraking himself and running wide. Marquez seized the opportunity with both hands, pushing hard as soon as he realized that he had a gap over Iannone. A lap later, and he was clear, going on to win convincingly and cut the deficit to Bradl in the championship from 23 points to just 5. Iannone had fought fiercely, attacked, never given up, but an excess of zeal had overcome strategy, and the Italian had lost out. Marquez, though just as fierce in his attack, had shown the tiniest fraction more restraint and thought, and exploited Iannone's mistake when it came. The discipline imposed by the Spanish championship - ruled with an iron rod by Dorna - paid off when the Italian's impetuosity got the better of him.

At the beginning of the season, Stefan Bradl won 4 of the first 6 races. But since his crash in Assen, the German hasn't won another race. Marquez, on the other hand, started the season with three crashes - two of his own making, and one through no fault of his own - and has won every race except Brno since Assen. The Dutch TT at Assen was a turning point in the season, and the momentum is very much on Marquez' side. Unless the Spaniard starts throwing points away, the title is his for the taking, and he can move on to other things.

While the first two races provided plenty of entertainment, the MotoGP race was a downright snoozer. Casey Stoner had the race in the bag by the time they exited the final corner on the first lap, the first two podium spots already decided before the two Repsol Hondas of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa crossed the line. Behind Stoner and Pedrosa, the race turned into a battle of attrition and tire management, the Bridgestone tires having trouble lasting, despite being the same compound that was used at Aragon last year. Ben Spies lost that particular battle to his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo and San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli, Lorenzo taking third and keeping his title hopes alive, though only just barely.

Stoner's win brought his season total to 8, and his overall total to 31, equal with Eddie Lawson. If the Australian wins the remaining four races, he can match the record set in a single season by his great idol Mick Doohan. But when asked if that was the goal he was aiming for, he once again expressed his dislike of statistics. Firstly, he told reporters, winning the remaining four races would be incredibly hard. Jorge Lorenzo was not just going to roll over and give up, handing him the wins. Dani Pedrosa is a real threat everywhere, but especially at Sepang and Valencia. Even if he did match the number of wins, his achievement would not be equal to Doohan's. Doohan won 12 in a season with only 15 races, not the 18 that Stoner will race this year.

Nor was matching Lawson's record a genuine goal, Stoner reiterating that it is impossible to compare different riders in different eras. Lawson raced even fewer races a season, on totally different tracks. Each achievement should be viewed in the light of the era that a rider competed in, and not in an imaginary arena where like cannot be compared to like.

Though the front of the MotoGP race was tedious, there was plenty of interest elsewhere. That, however, will have to wait for tomorrow, and part 2.

Total votes: 191
Total votes: 69

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Comments

Just finally was able to watch and it made the GP race look like a joke. Feeling bad for Bradl but Marquez is on fire. 18 years old, Wow.
GP is heading toward F1 of a few years ago, it needs to revisit the rules.

Total votes: 197

Since Repsol Honda's 100 wins are bookended by Australian riders, 12 wins in the season for Stoner would be a nice touch. I think it's a bit too much to ask for but hey, a Skippy can dream.

Total votes: 214

What a good race to watch. Sadly it's the first full Moto2 race I've seen, I usually just watch the last 5 laps or so since I don't know much about the riders. Shame on me, it's definitely the best GP racing.

Total votes: 226

I hate to be a pesimist, but MotoGP is in real trouble, the racing for the past few years has been really dull and largely predictable. They've changed the rules for next year making the engines up to 1000cc, but does anyone really see any improvement in the racing? I certainly cant. The CRT rules next year IMO are just a desperate attempt to try and get more than 17 bikes on the grid, all it will do in reality is make the backmarkers even further away from the mid-pack.
Sorry times

Total votes: 214

Phil, I certainly agree that the 800 class in MotoGp has only produced infrequent great battles, for all the reasons discussed ad nauseum. Having accepted that, the "predicability" level is relatively low in my opinion.

We have 4 race winners again this season from 17 riders. Roughly 25% of the field has won at least one race this year. That is pretty competitive in any racing discipline.

Regardless of whether Stoner or Lorenzo win the championship this year, in the 5 years of 800 class there will have been 3 different world champions.

While the racing has unfortunately not been wheel to wheel the wins have been by tough, hard fought, incremental gains. The bikes and riders are so evenly matched in this era that even tiny mistakes erode the margin between riders, and this cannot be made up again as the bikes are so clinical to ride. The recipe should have made great racing, but the end result is not so tasty.

Roll on next year. I hope the larger capacity bikes will have more margin for error and the difference between a perfect set up and one missed by a fraction will be able to be made up for by the riders.

Total votes: 192

The more 2011 comes to an end, the more I already miss GP 125cc... which will become Moto3 with 250cc 4stroke singles (kind of sad, IMHO), so yet another thing to hope that 2012 will not turn to even worse.

I don't think MotoGP will improve much with the increased engine capacity, not with so many electronics for rider assistance, but with 2012 being the first year using 1000cc, it may show some different things in the riding aspects (hopefully!). CRTs are definitely a big question in the middle of this (almost as big than what Ducati, with the Rossi/Burgess duo, will do!).

The one thing that we can be sure is that Moto2 will still rock!
Some consider Moto2 as a flawed GP class (because of the CBR600RR controlled spec-engine), yet this new class already proved a major point - less electronics (if any?) do provide infinitely better racing, appreciated by both the riders and the public.
Once again, it was the best motorcycle racing show all weekend (almost old school racing!) and I really, really think MotoGP has more to learn from Moto2 than vice-versa...

Total votes: 185

Stoner and Pedrosa were on identical bikes, yet Stoner finished 8 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Lorenzo and Spies were on identical bikes, yet Lorenzo finished 13 seconds ahead of Spies. And they were all on identical Bridgestone tires. Do you think if they were all riding identical spec Hondas that anything would change much? For sure Rossi would be in fight for the podium, but that's about it. Saying that it's electronics that prevents close racing is simplistic, and there is no real evidence that the problem is electronics, just guesswork.

I saw the racing in the Lawson/Gardner/Rainey/Schwantz/Doohan era and yes there was some spectacular racing. I also saw the Doohan era of domination that followed. Was Doohan's domination due to electronics? Well, no.

Maybe they should all be riding Ducatis. Oh wait, that wouldn't help either, Stoner would blow the rest away.

Look at WSBK this year, it has been much the same as MotoGP.

MotoGP is prototype racing. The way to get closer racing may be to dumb the bikes down so that anyone can ride them. Like Moto2. But is that we want for the pinnacle of motorcycle racing? I doubt it.

But I do wish they'd get rid of the ridiculous fuel restriction rule.

Total votes: 197

Yes, Moto2 any one can ride.. and in a sense of he word.. anyone can ride a MotoGP bike..

But since Moto2 is sooo simple.. that why we have SOOO many different winners this year.. and last year too. And all the finishes have been so close together too..

Total votes: 192

Lorenzo led previous race from the first to the last corner, not making even one pass and yet there was no one complaining that it was boring. I am wondering why? It was even more tedious to watch, Stoner at least was third and had to pass twice to get the top spot.

Total votes: 228

It was different because there was at least close racing for a while. Stoner looked threatening for probably half the race. It wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination but there was at least something to watch. When he, or anyone for that matter, takes off on the first lap it's like watching a practice session.

Total votes: 182

Boring = As a spectacle, there was little entertainment.

It has nothing to do with who won or how good of a job they did.

Full props to Stoner, was a superb display again. But nothing of interest happened at the front... probably exaggerated by the stonker of a Moto2 race we had.

Total votes: 188

Back in 2010 everyone I talked to about MotoGP thought it was the most boring season they could remember.

Total votes: 200

There is a simple solution to make MotoGP races more interesting. Pay the top riders to ride somewhere else and/or write rules that 'dumb down' the bikes. Boring races are the inevitable result of a 'mature' racing formula and very fit, skilled riders.

A high level of consistency will turn small advantages into large gaps over race distances.

Moto2 has close racing because the riders generally have less 'race craft' and the bikes are less developed than in MotoGP.

Total votes: 210

David, you've left us with a bigger cliffhanger than The Italian Job!

My nerves are shot :(

Total votes: 210

Races like they have on Moto2 where not blue-moon rare 5 years ago in MotoGP, there was nothing "dumb" about the engineers back then, lots of them are still MotoGP engineers today. And rider where all very experienced professionals.

Total votes: 214

ah, these write-ups are marginally less enjoying than watching the Moto2 class..

once again, thanks David

Total votes: 225

Yeah, but you have to look at the level of talent! Watching Stoner 'leave' is stunning! As someone mentioned above: if everyone was on spec Honda's, Stoner would still 'leave'! Dani looked pretty dejected after the race---he's on the same bike as Casey and he looks 'slow'. Next year will be the same---Stoner leaving on a 1000cc Honda!

Total votes: 212

Can I borrow your crystal ball please, I need 6 numbers for Saturday.

Total votes: 188

Not everyone believes that Stoner would still walk away if everyone was on the same bike. I personally think Lorenzo would have been closer if the Yamaha was better. Someone here probably has some sort of empirical proof that I'm wrong though.

Total votes: 225

I'd dearly love to see a once-off, say after Valencia. Put Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi, Spies & Simoncelli on a GSV-R and see what happens. You could even leave Bautista in the mix to see how he stacks up to the others.

Imagine the Internet forum meltdown that would fill the next few weeks!

Total votes: 166

In races they both finished (which excludes Jerez where Stoner was torpedoed by Rossi, Le Mans where Sic took care of Dani and Catalunya, Silverstone and Assen when Dani was recovering from being Simoncelli'd), Dani finished 3 times ahead of Stoner: at Estoril (win), Sachsenring (win) and Misano (2nd).
That's 3 times out of 9.

Dani was hurt, then on the recovery and so on but there's just not much "leaving behind", 7 seconds at Estoril, 1 second at Sachsenring and 4 seconds at Misano.

Dani did outqualify Stoner twice, at Estoril (only time Stoner wasn't on 1st row, Dani qualified 3rd, Stoner 4th) and Brno (pole for Dani).

Total votes: 187

Let's move on from the "How Boring" MotoGP talk is... and enjoy what we have. MotoGP has been this way for years (since the 800cc Era) so we have no choice as spectators to just take it for what it is... for now! Besides, with all the other media/rider drama, on/off track, we still have things to entertain us. Each season we can watch the musical-chairs that the riders do between brands, who mastered their machines the best, and how injuries decide who is running up front or not! MotoGP may not be as entertaining as Moto2 is now but we still watch don't we!? I, for one, like to watch Stoner warp through and from the remaining field of riders... especially when he's shown in super-slow motion. The real battle will be the Spanish brigade vs. Stoner! Dani and Jorge now, then soon Marquez will join the party. 2013 will be very interesting... where will Dani and Jorge be on the grid and which team?!

Total votes: 199

The question is for how long. I used to be a huge fan of F1 And I haven´t watched a race in 3 years. I really doubt the majority of viewers are as loyal to MotoGP as I was to F1 and MotoGP can´t afford to lose as many viewers as F1.

Total votes: 195

So after Valencia let's have one more race, take the MotoGP riders and put them on the Moto2 bike of their choice. Anyone out there who wouldn't watch that?

Total votes: 214

I should have read further down before posting. I was thinking GSV-R, but dropping them onto a Moto2 bike would be interesting too, and a lot more feasible.

Total votes: 205

MotoGP has morphed into a situation where we now don't know if the reason a rider is doing well (or terrible) is because of his bravery and skill, or because his factory has the best computer programmers.

Sure, maybe the order of finishing wouldn't change without GPS traction control, that would be fine, but at least we would know their skill was rewarded according to their talent/effort.

I follow MotoGP because I am interested in the riders and the hardware - not software. There are other competitions for engineers and programmers.

Total votes: 207

None of the hardware would work as well as it does if it wasn't all minutely simulated and optimized via finite element analyses and engine simulation software. If Honda are doing a better job of squeezing power out of a drop of fuel, it's because some geek did a better job looking at a computer screen. Frames, brakes, suspension... none of it is design by eye now.

In the days that Ago was riding an MV 4 while the rest of the field were on British singles, it wasn't that obvious whether the rider or the bike was the big factor, either...

Total votes: 217

I have no problem with engineers and programmers working behind the scenes making the machine better and faster. I was a programmer/designer/analyst for 35 years.

My problem is when the computer, as directed by a programmer, is in affect DURING the race and over rides the controls that are given by the RACER.

Total votes: 180

Our world is run by electronics and there is no going back, so don't lets kid ourselves. The trick is to find a balance so that the rider still matters. And when one rider finishes seconds ahead of another rider on an identical bike it shows that the rider does still matter (Stoner vs Pedrosa, Lorenzo vs Spies at Aragon). F1 has struggled with the same thing, and when they removed traction control and standardised the ECU it made virtually no improvement to the racing. F1 has found other solutions but they are not solutions suitable for motorcycle racing. Dumbing down the bikes to make them easier to ride might work, but that will surely lose the manufacturers, who have been the mainstay of MotoGP for a couple of decades. Not sure if that's what we really want.

Total votes: 213

I agree with pretty much nothing of what you said.

I especially think that removing throttle control by the RACER and giving it to a computer programmer is more than just "dumbing down the bikes...". It is actually "stacking the deck" against what racing is all about.

Total votes: 189

Everyone claims the electronics make the bikes easier to ride, but also are making racing boring. Generally making the bikes easier to ride makes for closer racing. If you took off the traction control Casey would probably win by much more than he is now. Remember when Doohan went back to the Screamer and nobody else could ride one as well?

Total votes: 241

I think the general concensus is that one of the things that has improved F1 is having tyres that go off.
Maybe that's what is needed... the spectacle in M2 is partly because the tyres are so fickle that running away at the front is a dangerous strategy, since the rider might find himself without the tyres to bring it home.

This was the case back when Rossi was racing in 250's... it was all about riding at a pace that ensured there would still be some rubber left for a real hot couple of laps at the end. Still, what has happened in M2 at both Indy and Aragon was maybe taking that a little far...

Total votes: 219

"... that will surely lose the manufacturers, who have been the mainstay of MotoGP for a couple of decades. Not sure if that's what we really want."

Are you sure about that? I'm not so convinced.

Free of factory teams, a grid full of CRT bikes with modified proddy engines in custom frames could be rather interesting, especially if the ridiculous in-season testing limits were scrapped.

Total votes: 181

There was a lot of interesting things during the MotoGP race.
I agree with the ghostrider11, the slow-mo footage of Stoner is awesome.
I enjoy watching a rider with the skill to get the most out of these bikes.
The duel between Spies and Lorenzo was great. You could really see Jorge's superior cornering speed mid-corner and how this allowed him to catch Ben even though Spies has better exits on the fast bits of the cousre..
The different race lines during the tussle between Batista and Hayden and Rossi was interesting too. I appreciate that even with electronic controls the MotoGP bikes are missiles and to ride and race them well is brilliant stuff! You know, in the 1st half of the race Stoner was pushing and he could have tucked the front numerous times. You have to be more than brave or crazy to win in MotoGP and I appreciate that.

Total votes: 210

All of this talk about how great moto2 is and how lame and boring MotoGP is just proves that the masses actually love NASCAR type racing more than real prototype racing. Why don't we put them all on the exact same bike, and then if Casey is still faster we can give him a weight penalty so we have parity? I am just not prepared to sell the soul of racing just so we can have close racing.

Total votes: 209

You'd have to be dead to say Moto2 races aren't exciting.

The racing, it seems to me, is so close because these guys make mistakes. Something which you are sorely punished for in MotoGP.

Total votes: 205

I previously posted this comment in the wrong thread!

There is a natural leveling of Moto2 each year as any "aliens" move up to MotoGP leaving a bunch of old OK riders and new riders from 125s.

There has been a lot of complaining about the entertainment factor of MotoGP this year with Stoner steeting the field. Was this an issue when Rossi dominated seasons in the past. Surely Doohan winning 12 of 15 races must have been a snooze fest. Agostino winning race after race on the only factory bike in a field of 10 or 12 amateur bikes must have been like taking candy from a baby.
This is the top flight where the best riders meet. It is a development class with bikes leap frogging in capability. I believe we should be able to appreciate the class and skill of these top riders for there ability when they street the field as much as a paint scraping battle. I think the battles of Ducati to get the bike up up speed is also a story in itself.

David has alluded to the balance of technology and entertainment. Maybe that is what we can look forward to in Part 2 of the article. My comment is to be careful what you wish for.
I wouldn't want to end up with NASCAR on 2 wheels!

Total votes: 222

I don´t care if who wins wins by a mile (or several) as long as there is exiting racing somewhere. If a dominating riders comes along and wins 12 of 15 races is a bummer (by the way according to Wikipedia he only did that once), but it still is joyful to watch the race if there is fight for the second spot, or the third or at least the 5th. This year (actually through out the 800 era) there is little fight anywhere in the track and that has nothing to do with Casey.

Total votes: 210

Stoner made a comment about Vale not having much competition on GPone. The reason why Vale is so popular is the excitement he brings to racing. The only races Stoner have been involved in that were exciting involved Rossi: Qatar, China, Catalunya and Assen of '07 and Leguna Seca. He is a good rider but very boring and turns off people.

Total votes: 209

I agree with you. But do not think Stoner is boring to watch. For those that can see what he is doing when he rides, he is inspirational. He handles the bike like no other, and you can tell by how much lean or change in direction or just the way he clearly has a bike at or slightly beyond it's limit but he keeps it going forward the way he wants it to.

Rossi on the other hand riding by himself can be boring to watch. He likes both wheels in line for the most part. But the difference is, when Rossi was dominating. He would ride around either behind someone for most of the race, letting them lead, then pass with 3 laps to go and win. Or lead letting everyone stay close until the end. Then saying what a spectacle at the end. All past champions would have smirks on their faces because they knew he could have won by greater distance. Rossi knew this and would purposely keep things close. Rossi cares about "The Show". Stoner, like Doohan, could give a damn about "The Show". Both feel they do their job better by domination

Proof of this is in 2003, on a Honda, Rossi got a 10 second time penalty. The man just rode clear by more than 10 seconds and won. It did not even look like he had to try that hard. Up until the Stoner/ Lorenzo era, he basically has been able to do things like that.

Total votes: 218

"Up until the Stoner/Lorenzo era...." exactly, you explained the situation in that one sentence. In the 2003 race where he got the 10 second penalty Rossi had been far faster in practice than anyone else. Up against weaker opposition Rossi could afford to play around. Once Stoner arrived (and Pedrosa), and then Lorenzo, Rossi could no longer afford to play around. He said so himself in 2008. He said that he could not let Stoner get away, because most times once he got away Stoner could not be caught. Rossi was once quite a poor starter, but that changed in 2008 because Rossi had to get away well. I am just paraphrasing what Rossi himself said.

The whole issue of racing in MotoGP is not just an issue of electronics, as some people persist in believing. The quality and consistency of the top four riders has a lot to do with it.

Total votes: 192

No, the reason he is so popular is because he is likeable and has a massive marketing push behind him. He has brought a lot of people to MotoGP as fans of Rossi, but not of GP.

You are obviously one of them. When he retires, many of these "fans" will leave too. I won't miss them. They do not understand motorcycle racing.

Australian racers are generally not interested in the marketing and celebrity side of the sport. Stoner, Doohan, Bayliss, Pitt, Gardner, McCoy, Vermeullen, Corser, etc... none of them were interested in being famous and selling more Tshirts. They are there to race and race hard. Nothing more, nothing less. Being famous doesn't interest them. Even Stoner has said that when he's had enough he will simply disappear back to the farm. He won't hang around riding mid-pack on 2nd rate bikes just to stay racing and stay famous and making money.

This is why Australians have been so successful over the years, despite not having the financial support and sponsorship to get them rides like the Europeans do. They are singleminded and highly effective.

Total votes: 228

Yes I am a Rossi fan. So what. Tired of people like you always bitching and moaning everytime someone says anything about liking Rossi. I have been watching from 1990 til today. There have been many champions in that time. Doohan and Schwantz being my absolute favorites. Rossi was not even around during the early 90s. So to say I am only a Rossi fan is retarded. I watch Supercross, Supermoto, AMA Superbike, British Superbike, World Superbike, Motocross, Motogp, Moto2 etc etc. Been watching most of them for more than 20 years. Ride on the Dirt and Road. At tracks or in the deserts. My understanding of motorcyle racing is fine. But you sound like someone that will discount all that. Just wants to attack someone because you are bored and love to hate for fickle ass reasons. Been watching before Rossi, and will continue after he is gone. So don't lump me in with people who know nothing of the sport.

And I guess you ignored my comment on how good Stoner rides, because most people that only love Rossi, shit on Stoner at every turn. That is not what I am doing here.

Total votes: 204

Correct. Whorida 002000 my reply was to redandhott. You can tell that both by what I said (we actually agreed with each other) and where my reply was placed in the column. It was in line with yours, so that means it was a reply to the post above yours. But don't let that stop you having a meltdown. Nothing like a good internet fuse blowing session to entertain us all.

Total votes: 205

His point still stands... everyone lumps a Rossi fan into some generic lump of lemmings... that's wrong. It may be more right compared to other riders, but trust me, ALL the riders have numptee fans...

Total votes: 207

I apologize. Just a little over the top when it comes to racing....... :D

Total votes: 227

There's a lot of complaining here. Why do you guys think racing is all about close battles?

Sometimes it is about watching the synergy between man and machine that brings about domination of the others, just like the Doohan era. People complained then too, but most of us just loved watching Mick ride a bike. It was a joy in itself. I didn't care if anyone else was on track or not.

Watching Stoner is the same. I stood and watched him last year at Philip Island both at the hayshed and turn 11/12. It was simply extraordinary. He was so much better, faster, in control and sideways than anyone else it was just sublime to watch. The other guys just provided a bit of a sideshow to keep you entertained until Stoner came around again a minute and a half later and showed once again how it is supposed to be done.

I was at Laguna this year and it was the same. He is simply breathtaking to watch. Every time he comes past you shake your head and grin like a loon, amazed that someone can ride a bike that fast. Watching Lorenzo when he's at his best is similar. Rossi used to be similar.

If you can't get some joy out of watching a truly supreme rider thrash the arse out of a GP bike, even when he's riding by himself, then you really are not a race fan at all.

Some of you should get away from your televisions and come to a race track and plant yourself at one of the fast corners. You'll never call it boring again.

Total votes: 206

And just to add to what I posted above, if all the people who demanded tight racing were right, there would be absolutely no appeal to events like the Isle Of Mann TT. It is a race against the clock where each rider starts with a time gap between them, yet it is the most famous motorcycle race in the world.

It is about man and machine and skill. True fans understand this.

Total votes: 233

Not so long ago if you where a "true" fan you could get all the skillful man and ultra technological bike you wanted by watching QP sessions the rest of us could watch close racing on Sunday.
In those days MotoGP used to have something for the "true" fans and something for the rest, nowadays it doesn't. So I guess we both agree MotoGP is less than it used to be.

Total votes: 185

Spot-on.

Furthermore, my trenchant criticisms of MotoGP have, for some time, been about the appalling direction from the broadcasters.
If you are in North America in the next few weeks watch the telecast of the V8 Supercars race from Australia's iconic circuit - Bathurst (but more affectionately know as "The Mountain").
I know it's tin-tops, but here you will see race broadcasting on a grand scale - more cameras than you can poke a stick at and all the angles and bingles in HD.
It's rare on the telecast we get fed into Oz to see that many action replays, but the Australian motor racing telecasts give you pretty much everything that happens, and very close to real-time.
Pity Dorna can't get as talented a group to telecast MotoGP - it would be sensational, and you would see all the action from the whole field.

But you can't beat sitting against the fence and watching them twitch and shimmy as many of the laws of physics try to fight each other for dominance.........:-)

Total votes: 183

Sooks, I have stopped going to watch MotoGP as I now consider it too be so boring that it is not worth the money anymore. Just watch it on TV now.

Total votes: 192

Beautifully said fanatic. The words of a racing connoisseur. There are far too many people who watch racing just because they like a particular rider, without having a clue what they are watching. I suppose it puts bums on seats and pays the bills, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

It's extraordinary what these guys do on two wheels, and Stoner just happens to be the master of the craft right now, and one of the most exciting riders I have seen in many years of watching Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Total votes: 198

What on earth is 'SV650Nut' on about??? He is saying electronics engineers in the pits make inputs to the bike that can over-ride the rider! Good grief. Where is this appalling nonsense coming from? Is he a refugee from that 'other' (terrible) English website? The MotoGP rules specifically forbid what 'SV650Nut' writes as a fact. Those rules were put in place back in the 1980s when basic data-logging was introduced, and no one had even thought about inter-active electronics. Can anyone read what 'SV650Nut' has written and not wonder from where he has dreamed this nonsense up ? Just think about the implications were it allowed. What rider would even get on a a MotoGP bike in those circumstances. It was bad enough the throttles not shutting off on Katoh's V5, but being able to monkey with that sort of thing from the pits while the rider is racing around the track... It does not even bear thinking about.

Total votes: 190

Wow, did you greatly/supremely miss understand what I actually wrote. I will make another attempt, and even further simplify it, so you can get it.

I have no problem with using programmers and computers to make the rider and machine better and faster – if they are not over riding the rider throttle and brake controls on the bike during the race. I do have a problem with programs (software) that are inside the control units (computer) which reside on the motorcycle that may or may not use Global Positioning System tracking to over ride the throttle control inputs made by a rider in order to keep the rear wheel from excessive spinning. This is currently done on MotoGP bikes completely independent from any Wi-Fi or other radio connection with the Pitts. I have no problem with CAD/CAM machines/programs/programmers to make the hardware better/faster – off the bike – at the factory.

I hope this redundancy clears it up for you.

Total votes: 185

Thank you so much 'fanatic' - I could not have expressed it more clearly. When Agostini was racing - and winning by a country mile (sometimes more than a lap!) the crowds were much, much bigger than today. Do you think the real racing fans went along and whined about Agostini being too fast and spoiling 'the show' ?
Not on your nellie. They went to watch brave men race fast motorcycles as fast as humanly possible. When Wayne Gardner was racing, he had at least one nation of viewers on the edge of their couches every time he got on the throttle of that evil old NSR500. He won races by sheer guts and determination. Eddie Lawson was way smoother, but no less a joy to watch. But we were fans of racing then, not fans of the personality cult. Those who worship a single rider to the point of deification should stop watching MotoGP - and read women's scandal rags instead. And leave us real blokes alone to enjoy the spectacle of fast bikes being ridden to the limit by blokes with bigger balls and way more talent than we can ever imagine possible.

Total votes: 210

As another who's followed the sport religiously since the mid eighties it's always been about the game and not the participants for me. Race by race I'd be egging on one rider over another purely due to the circumstance and display of bravado they displayed during that race, that rider would change week by week. Who didn't applaud in the pre Rossi days when riders like Barros, Checa, Abe or even Puig won?

Rossi is not responsible for the nonsense, it's the shallow cult of celebrity times we live in. I used to watch the television news for world events. Now half of it is padded out with celebrity dross. Whatever a damn celebrity is.

Just appreciate the show, it's always good and has never been greater than one man.

Total votes: 226

that some of the people complaining about electronics and boring racing don't get a chance to try to ride one of those bikes. In a conversation elsewhere, there were some road-riders postulating what sort of lap times they might be able to do on a motogp bike... they really have no freaking idea of how fast even a mediocre club racer is compared to a "fast" road rider. Until you've tried (and failed) to get within 50cm of your apexes consistently while riding on the limit, you don't appreciate what Stoner is doing when he hits the white line with his front tyre while drifting both ends after braking from 300+ km/h. If you think it's boring, go watch golf.

Total votes: 220

The skill of the aliens to repeat top times lap after lap is truly amazing. Stoner mentioned in an article that the top riders are making so few errors that passing is very difficult. They can't wait for a mistake to win like Marquez and Terol can.
This is accentuated by the 800s having few lines that hopefully will be addressed next year.
One exception that comes to mind is the move of Stoner on Lorenzo at Laguna Seca - wow!
So should we complain about the perfection or enjoy it? - I think I know my choice!

Total votes: 205

It's a good thing there are people here to tell me what a real race fan is. I might not have known where I stood otherwise.

Total votes: 201