2011 Valencia MotoGP Saturday Round Up: On The Happy Demise Of The 800s, And The 2012 Silly Season

It seems somehow fitting that the last ever qualifying session for the 800cc MotoGP bikes should be dominated so utterly by the man who has dominated the 800cc era. Despite the fact that Casey Stoner won only the first and the last 800cc titles, he still has the most pole positions and wins in the period between 2007 and 2011. Stoner ended the penultimate day of the 2011 season in style, matching Mick Doohan's record of 12 pole position in a single season and beating everyone else on the grid by over a second.

It wasn't just that Stoner was in a different time zone to the rest of the field, it was also the panache with which he did it. Turn 13 - the long, long left hander that runs over the hill and down towards the final tight corner leading back onto the straight - is a pretty spectacular sight at the best of times. Perhaps the iconic image of the 990 era was of Nicky Hayden sliding the back his V5 RC211V round there back in 2006. If anything, Casey Stoner was even more outrageous, getting the back of the successor RC212V - an RC211V with one cylinder removed - stepped out so far it looked like he was back racing dirt track, not a MotoGP bike. "Casey is very confident with the bike and also in the right position in the seat," was Valentino Rossi's understated assessment of Stoner's slide. "We slide also, but he slide more."

At the front, the race looks like being a typical display of 800cc MotoGP machinery, with Casey Stoner looking set to depart from the beginning, and Dani Pedrosa trailing a way off in Stoner's wake. The gaps will probably be sizable by the end of lap 5, the race already decided by the time they hit the second corner. A processional 800cc race to provide a fitting end to the class - imposed on MotoGP by the manufacturers - that has nearly killed the premier class of racing.

Behind the leaders, though, it could get pretty interesting. Valentino Rossi has matched his best qualifying of the year, while Randy de Puniet has far exceeded his, and Nicky Hayden is disappointed to be down on the third row of the grid after starting the last two races from the second row. The Ducatis just seem to love poor grip conditions, and it would be a foolish man who would bet against a determined Valentino Rossi, in his last race of the worst year in his career, wearing a helmet bearing a tribute to his dead friend. Rossi is clearly on a mission, though the mission is more modest than it might have been on previous years on a bike that suited him better.

A podium would be a fitting way to remember Marco Simoncelli, and though Rossi has Ben Spies on the Yamaha ahead of him, as well as Randy de Puniet riding like a man possessed (or at least, riding for his future), a podium is a realistic possibility for the first time in many races. Stoner and Pedrosa are out of reach, Rossi told the press, but after that everything is open. It could be a pretty interesting race tomorrow, as long as you ignore the first couple of riders.

It is not often that a title is settled on a Saturday, but the 2011 Moto2 crown passed to Stefan Bradl before the qualifying session had ended. Marc Marquez did not take his bike onto the track during qualifying, sitting in his garage in his street clothes, the double vision in his right eye preventing the Spaniard from riding. Not having turned a wheel all weekend, Marquez failed to qualify for the race, and Brad's 23 point lead was enough to take the title. In a gesture which displayed great class, Bradl stepped into Marquez' garage once the rain started to fall during Moto2 QP, and shook the hand of his rival and the rest of his team, before being presented as the 2011 Moto2 World Champion at the end of the day.

That leaves only the 125cc title to be settled, and this one could be closer than the 20-point lead which Nico Terol has over Johann Zarco may appear. Zarco starts from the front row while Terol is back in 9th, the Bankia Aspar struggling in the wet after a year of dominance. Zarco has looked fast and confident all weekend, while Terol looks like somebody has sneaked into the garage wearing his leathers to get a few laps in on the bike. Johann Zarco has to win on Sunday, while all Terol has to do is finish 11th, but even that looks like a bit of an ask at this stage in the proceedings. The title should go to Terol - the Spaniard has done everything to deserve it this year, including win a handful of races - but he will need to keep his nerve in the expected rain to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

With just one day of the 2011 season left to go, the final slots in the 2012 grid are starting to be filled. The Gresini MotoGP bike left vacant by Marco Simoncelli is now almost certain to be filled by Andrea Iannone, though whether that will be a factory bike or not remains to be seen. The factory RC213V destined for Simoncelli could now pass to the LCR Honda team, who seem likely to welcome Randy de Puniet back to their ranks.

For a long time, it looked like Alvaro Bautista could move to LCR, but a decision on Suzuki's future is likely before the end of Sunday night, and all the signals are positive. Suzuki will be back in 2012, though most likely with their 800cc machine - at least until the 1000cc bike which has been testing in Japan has undergone more development - potentially with a sort of two-man team. Bautista will remain as the team's main rider, while he will be joined for five of the eighteen races next year by John Hopkins. Whether Hopkins will also compete in Crescent Suzuki's World Superbike squad in 2012, or focus solely on MotoGP is unknown, but we are at least a little closer to knowing the truth.

In Moto2, the situation is a lot more fluid, with very few riders confirmed. Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez, Scott Redding and Bradley Smith are all certain to return, with Alex de Angelis switching squads to NGM Forward, but beyond that, a lot of guesswork remains. At the Moto2 test on Monday, riders will be trotting between various garages trying out different bikes, in the general audition that the Valencia post-race test has become.

First, there is a day of racing, and time to say a fond good riddance to the abomination that is the 800cc formula. From an engineering perspective, the machines are absolute jewels, as the 2010 M1 engine on display in Yamaha's hospitality demonstrates. But the racing they created was bloodless, dispassionate, frigid, an excitement-free formula which rewarded perfection rather than risk. No wonder Carmelo Ezpeleta is on the warpath, with his sights aimed firmly at the factories.

Total votes: 291
Total votes: 47

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Comments

L.S '08 and '11; P.I. 09; Catalunya '09, and there are some others, that hold up against the best of any era.

However, in general, the point about the quality of the racing is fair. The promise of the 1000s beckons; it remains to be seen.

Total votes: 259

The 800s have created spectacular races. Circumstances played a big role in the perceived poor racing though. Before the 800s we were used to Rossi playing his cats and dogs games with his rivals. He always made it look like it was a close fight. But was it really?

With the 800s also came the new crop of riders. Stoner and Lorenzo don't seem to mind sailing off. They are that good. They can simply drive faster than anyone else like clockwork if everything is to their likings. Stoner demonstrated it whenever he could. And Lorenzo seemingly tries to do it too. Like Doohan these youngsters did not only aim for perfection. They also make it happen when there is an opportunity.

Hopefully in 2012 we'll have a few more guys who can join in. I'm looking at Spies especially. I believe he'll be more competitive with the increased displacement and power. And maybe Ducati can build a bike that not only Stoner can ride fast.

I also had Super-Sic on my 2012 watch-out sheet. But unfortunately that wont happen. :-(

Total votes: 257

Suzuki will be back in 2011, though most likely with their 800cc machine

2012 ;)

To morrow can be really interesting due to the weather ... and you're right, I havent seen Rossi motivated like this since a long time, maybe, maybe with tricky/lucky conditions, a second place behind the "what the f... slide master" is possible

I hope so

PS: De Puniet is on a (contract) mission too :) ... Ducati best week end of the year so far

Total votes: 227

I am so glad I bought the video feed for this weekend - watching Stoner sliding the rear through the long left stretch between turns 10 and 11 never gets old

Total votes: 247

Please tell me Scott Jones has been camped out at turn 13, ALL WEEKEND! Watching Stoner come through there is nothing short of spectacular. Slo mo' (if you have it recorded like I do) the footage of him on his pole lap at the end of qualifying, the black line he lays down is twice as thick or more as anything else already layed on the track!

WOW!

Total votes: 255

PLeaase slo mo in this corner :)

We dont see fight anymore, but the rest is spectacular (thanks to Stoner)

Total votes: 242

I cant wait for the 1000s to come back, it would've been fabulous to have Marco as well Spies taking it to the little guys next year.

Stoner has been providing a master class since 2007, his ability to ride the worst bike (the duke - sad) in the field to a win on numerous occasions, to his incredible dominance with the Honda, Gorge being the occasional and only serious threat.

The two best riders I've ever watch ride at a track are Fast Freddie Spencer (shame about Freddie, his personal life did not do his talent justice) and Stoner. I'm not panning either Valentine or Doohan, they are just incredible, but there was just something Freddie had and Stoner has that was/is almost divine.

The big drifts, the ability to ride bad bikes fast, to ride away from the best of the earth as if they are stopped. Its generational stuff. I'd watch Casey ride the 800 round a track by himself, in fact lately that's been the story anyway. Without Gorge, this weekend has been a little lopsided. Stoner over a second in front from the hometrack boy on the same bike, is embarassing. I like Dani, I hope they sort the problems prior to the race.

Let's hope Vale and Burgess can sort the duke prior to next year. I want to see racing again.

Total votes: 270

I am going to PI next year to camp out on turn 3. Never been to a race before but I just have to see that live- and I don't care for a race either just 22 of those slides will be worth it.

Total votes: 246

I was at P.I this year in the Bass Straight Grand stand. I bought tickets there with the one purpose - to watch Stoner slide. Every time Stoner came around and drew those beautiful long black marks the stand would cheer as one and complete strangers looked at each other with the biggest "kid-happy" grins on their dials... magic.

Total votes: 233

I want exciting racing, at the front, every race, as much as the next fan, but are we being fair in blaming the odd processional race on the 800cc engine capacity? Firstly, we know that there are a few other factors involved in the change of riding style towards maximising momentum and corner speed. Less fuel, Bridgestones (great edge grip and durability) and better electronics are some of these factors and I'm sure there are probably more. These 3 factors will still be in play when we switch to 1000s.

I'd also like to suggest one more factor - the Aliens. One of the things that separate these 4 from the rest is their ability to reliably ride the best line, hit their braking markers etc, etc, lap after lap. That ability used to separate Rossi from the rest. Now there are three others. When you have 3 or 4 (if Rossi is on a decent bike) guys at the front who rarely make a mistake, even a small one, that makes for processional racing. Will this change with 1000s? How many times have we seen Lorenzo ride consecutive laps with less than a 10th, sometimes less than a 100th difference. That is amazing. But that makes for processional racing.

I remember last year, when Stoner was struggling with the Ducati at Mugello. He fell behind DePuniet and Melandri. He said after the race that it was scary riding behind them because "they never used the same part of the race track twice". He was used to racing with the other 3 at the front...

Total votes: 245

Totally agree. I am afraid that the 800 class is a convenient scapegoat being blamed for processional racing, when the reality is much more complex. I don't believe the 1000 formula will change anything. The 1000 bikes in any case appear to be basically 800 bikes with a few more cc's. Sure they require a slightly different style of riding according to feedback from the riders, but I suspect that the change in style will suit Stoner more than anyone else.

In fact 2012 is tailor made for Stoner. New bikes, new conditions for everyone, and we all know who excels in those circumstances.

For close racing we need similar bikes and riders of similar ability. I don't understand why anyone thinks that the 1000 formula will reduce the gap in ability between the aliens and the rest. The best we can hope for is close racing between the top four, which is what we saw in the late 1980's /early 1990's. Most of the rest just make up the numbers, at least as far as winning is concerned.

Total votes: 246

why are we blaming the tools? If Stoner can pull lurid 100 metre long powerslides on his RCV (also a habit of his on the Dukes) I really don't see a lot wrong with the machinery. It is as simple as stated. Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa have raised the bar to new heights of precision. Hardly their fault the rest struggle to keep up. I think there's some workman issues at play here more.

Call me a fool, but I'm willing to bet against a Rossi podium.

Total votes: 238

Anyone who saw the last races of 990cc and watched the first pre-season tests of the 800cc few days after (Valencia '06) saw the huge differences, like night and day.

It was as if the 800cc were 125cc with rocket engines in comparison.
Much smaller in size, no sliding at corner entry or exit (whatsoever), cornering on rails like scaletrix toy bikes.
And it just aggravated through the years.

I think that even Rossi, Edwards and Hayden would never imagine how right they were, with confessed disappointment for the transition, something along the lines of "these little rockets will benefit the 250cc clean riding style and not the old school point-and-shoot slide style".

I think it's clear that the 800cc never were the sort of bike where you can "invent" different lines or aproaches to corners due to their characteristics, pretty much "one line" cornering sort of machine (IMO, the reason for difficult overtaking).
The 800cc, and all the things that became prevalent by them, through them, and in consequence, are too blame. No doubt.
I'm glad they're being ditched (took too long!) and certainly not alone with such relief.

And, indeed, from 2012 and on, the 1000cc will have to be pretty different, otherwise more snore fest will be coming...

Total votes: 200

if cost is their primary issue, can't suzuki just build a frame using gsxr's engine?
although this way they will be ruled under factory rules but afaik this will save them some tremendous amount of money right?

Total votes: 236

The GSXR engine is not suitable for CRT duty. It has a relatively small bore measurement compared to other production engines, and the GSXR mill would require substantial modification to make it competitive. I wouldn't be worth the money, and it wouldn't perform under the 21L restriction.

Total votes: 234

I'm anxious to find out what happens in the MSMA vs. Dorna saga. There is a rumor going around that Dorna will push for a spec ECU and a rev limit for 2013.

Could be interesting depending upon the exact rules. If the formula is 1000cc-24L-16,000rpm, the manufacturers could literally dust off their 990s and adapt the electronics. Sounds like a good way to get new participants and old participants back into the MotoGP paddock.

Total votes: 230

their best best qualifying in 2011, qualifying 4th just 6 cenths from the front row!
Until Valencia, Ducati best qualifying was 6th, twice by Hayden and Rossi, once by Barbera and Abraham.
This and the results all year long show that the GP11.1, in its carbon fibre or aluminum version, is not much better than the original GP11.
Hopefully Ducati will show some more progress in 2012.

Total votes: 223

Stoner hasn't really dominated the 800cc, regardless of the circumstances, he was a non factor in the championship battle in 09 and 2010. The only entity that has been consistently good has been the Yamaha YZR-M1.

I also don't think that the 1000cc bikes will change anything, in fact they might be more dangerous and require just as precise riding as the 800. I don't see any difference why they would be slower in the corners and they would have more power which could potentially mean more highsides.

Total votes: 250

Stoner has the most wins and poles, that sounds pretty dominant to me?

The 1000cc bikes will have heavier rotating/reciprocating internals, which affect how quickly they change direction. 800cc bikes with their lighter moving parts work best with a high entry speed into corners, carrying lots of lean angle. The bigger motors will be more suited to a slower entry, late apex and use the torque to stand the bike up onto the fat part of the tyre and power out of the corners. They won't be any more prone to highsides; the current bikes have more than enough grunt to send riders into orbit but the traction control helps to prevent this. It will do the same for the 1000cc bikes.

Total votes: 229

How do you know? The cranks etc will be exactly as heavy as they need to be to optimize lap-times... I doubt they are currently at the limit determined by reliability.

Funny, people say racing is crap in MotoGP because the bikes have narrow powerbands and so require high corner speeds to compensate for their lack of torque.

I guess there can hardly be any passing at all in the 125 class then...

Or it's crap because traction control makes it too easy to open the throttle... just as it used to be so spaced out in WSS back when they had <120hp ?

Do we really believe an 800 4-stroke has less mid-range torque than a 500 2-stroke?
And that more power will make for closer racing?

Here's my take: the racing is strung out because the bikes are really hard to ride and so magnify the differences between riders, crews, engineers. It has always been the case that races have been close in the smallest class and largest in the biggest class, but people choose to remember a few anomalous periods of close racing in 500's. The 1000's will make it worse.

If you want close racing, give them bad tyres and reduce the power.

Total votes: 210

When the engine sizes were dropped from 990cc to 800cc, the bikes went faster in the corners - this was not something that anyone had foreseen, and as it turned out it was down to the lighter reciprocating mass allowing higher cornering speeds (it's all written up elsewhere on the net so not going to go into the specifics here). Therefore it stands to reason that going back up in capacity will see the bikes handling moving back towards the way the 990s were.

Total votes: 230

that as time marches on, things stay the same? Err, no it doesn't. The litre machines will be little like their grandparent 990's. How many generations are?

Graham nailed it above. If you really must have a culprit for the 800 era then look no further than tyres.

Total votes: 216

Probably the best analysis of the problems of the 800 period were described by Kenny roberts this year after riding a Yamaha. In sum, he said the bikes give you 1 line in the corners, and punish anything a couple centimeters off.

All that left is who can jackrabbit start to the front,mand what's the power to weight on the bikes. Is it any mystery that the only non Honda procession was during wet tracks when getting power down is really hard?

Total votes: 242

All that left is who can jackrabbit start to the front,mand what's the power to weight on the bikes.

That's why Pedrosa is champion then?

Oops, the best P/W guy finished ... 4th. Last of the Repsols in fact.

Oh, it was raining at Laguna Seca when Lorenzo led for 2/3 of the race (and finished 2nd)?

And at Motegi... ? Where the straight allows the highest top speeds of any circuit, obviously a Honda circuit. Yep, must have bucketed down for Lorenzo to win...

Total votes: 253

. Pedrosa has not been as aggressive since his last broken collarbone. I was at Laguna. It was damp and cold until late. Were you there? If you were, then you would have woken like we did to soaked tents and bike seats, and rapidly changing conditions.

The Honda has reeled in the yamahas and every other make on the straights. And as far as Motegi goes, did pedrosa just barely win that one by seven seconds? Had stoner's bike not gone into a wobble at honda's home track (the only one stoner never complained about) stoner would have clinched his championship early.

I watch for the racing, not to see one guy leave skid marks on the pavement. If that is what you like, what matter who wins the race? I'd like to have seen how McCoy would have done with modern electronics, he was every bit the slider stoner is, but actually broke bones in crashes.

The most exciting racing this year has almost always had sic in the mix. Boy, I'll miss him.

Total votes: 217

. Pedrosa has not been as aggressive since his last broken collarbone. I was at Laguna. It was damp and cold until late. Were you there? If you were, then you would have woken like we did to soaked tents and bike seats, and rapidly changing conditions.

The Honda has reeled in the yamahas and every other make on the straights. And as far as Motegi goes, did pedrosa just barely win that one by seven seconds? Had stoner's bike not gone into a wobble at honda's home track (the only one stoner never complained about) stoner would have clinched his championship early. Also, Pedrosa missed 3 races entirely due to the rebroken collarbone, and was not as fast after the break. In the hot and dry, his p/w ratio ( and his corresponding tire wear and fuel economy) make the Honda unbeatable. As far as sliding a bike around, pedrosa hasn't a clue on how to handle sliding bikes at this level--as evidenced by his 5th place in the rain. Neither he or lorenzo are sliders as they came up from that Spanish road racing series.

I watch for the racing, not to see one guy leave skid marks on the pavement. If that is what you like, what matter who wins the race? I'd like to have seen how McCoy would have done with modern electronics, he was every bit the slider stoner is, but actually broke bones in crashes.

The most exciting racing this year has almost always had sic in the mix. Boy, I'll miss him.

Total votes: 226

There's not much Dorna hasn't fiddled with during the 800 experiment, but so far the laws of physics have managed to stay out of their reach.

Larger pistons are heavier pistons. Heavier pistons increase the gyroscopic effect of the motor in the context of its relationship with the other forces acting on the bike. These forces are at play within the engine at all rpm, and have a direct effect on the way that the bike behaves.

The bike still weighs 145kg, same as the 800, but now instead of 4kg of ballast to bring it up to minimum weight let's say there is now 3.98kg of ballast, as there is an extra 50g per piston to take the bike to 1000cc (wild guess, the actual increase in piston weight is not important in this). How can that affect how the bike rides? The thing to consider is that the 200g we are talking about is now dynamic, rather than static. And not only is it moving, it is moving at insane speeds. That mass is multiplied by velocity to give momentum and because larger pistons mean more momentum, the amount of secondary force required to change the relative direction of that momentum must also be increased. I will attempt to explain it here, but please note that I'm no scientist - I did far better in English and Music than in Maths and Physics at school - and corrections to my analysis are welcome.

There are two factors in play here. The first relates to piston movement in the bore. Force = mass x acceleration. Increase the mass of the piston and either Force or Acceleration will be affected. Since we know that a piston going from BDC to TDC will accelerate up at the same speed for any given rpm regardless of piston mass (all other things being equal), the force involved (the vector quantity) will therefore be higher for a larger piston.

A force has magnitude and direction. We will presume that the force acting on the larger piston in the 1000cc engine is acting vertically (well it is probably angled forward for an I4 and either forward or rearward for a V4, but easier in the example to say vertically). Meaning it is acting in the same plane as our initial lean angle in the left hander.

But now that we are transitioning to the right hander, the force on the piston is no longer acting in just one direction, because our second factor - lateral force - has come into play. The piston is still going up in the bore (we'll get to down later), so it's moving vertically in the plane of the bike, but it is now also going sideways. So now that we have more than one force at work, the only way to quantify the forces involved is to use the parallelogram rule of vector addition - meaning that the two vectors in question are represented by two sides of a parallelogram. The sum total of the two vectors is now represented by the transversal of the parallelogram, which is the actual vector for the combined forces:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vector_addition.svg

So if you increase 'a' (being the weight of the piston), then 'b', which represents the physical forces required to change the direction of the piston (from the angle of full left lean to the angle of full right lean) MUST be increased to keep the same resultant vector 'a+b'. If you don't maintain the vector quantity 'a+b' then you have simply gone slower through the corner because reducing it means you have reduced the secondary force acting against the piston. And remember that we have four pistons, and if we assume a steady 10,000rpm and three seconds from full left lean to full right lean, each piston will have gone from top to bottom and back to top of the bore again five hundred times while the bike is changing direction. Say the stroke is 45mm - that's a distance of 45 metres traveled (22.5 in each direction) in three seconds, and our extra 50g has come to rest then got going again 1000 times! In three seconds! Over all four pistons our 1000cc engine has an extra 200g travelling 180 metres in the three seconds it took to change direction. 4000 stationary moments too, and it had to be accelerated again after every one of them.

Across four pistons, that's two thousand 'a' vectors using the physics explained above - or four thousand when we count the down strokes as well, which are of course measured as force vector quantities too, along with the secondary forces acting against them.

The riders, tracks and tyres will be the same as for the 800s, result will be that the 1000s will be slower to change direction and they will not brake quite as well as the 800s for exactly the same reasons. They should accelerate just the same or faster though, also due to the laws of physics - the extra power means extra force, and force equals mass x acceleration so if we have extra mass plus extra force we should see the same acceleration values as the 800s have.

The riding style required will involve braking earlier than on an 800, then getting on the power hard to use the torque to get out of the corner with a combination of bar input and steering on the throttle. Just like in the 990 days. The upshot of all this is that we should see more passing under brakes than during the 800 era, and we have Newton and his laws to thank for that, not bloody Dorna : )

Total votes: 248

They are stroking the engines to get them to 1000cc, and some reports indicate that Ducati reduced their bore dimension to meet the 81mm limit. If engine parts are getting heavier in the 1000cc era, it will likely be the rods which may get longer to preserve stoke-rod ratios.

If engine internals remain unchanged, but the stroke is increased from 38.8mm to 48.5mm, the engine should produce about 18% less acceleration at peak rpm. They have piston acceleration calculators you can use for free on the net. If that were the only variable in this equation, the 1000s would generate less gyroscopic forces. However, the amount of gyroscopic force is determined by far more variables than we have access to, and we don't know how reciprocating engine parts will change as a result of 25% more stroke.

Total votes: 259

1. Linear momentum of the pistons etc sums over all the cylinders and so is largely ignorable.
2. Even in a big-bang engine where it doesn't cancel, the time average is exactly zero. Hence if at one instant the pistons are resisting the change of axis, a few ms later they are helping.
3. I think you need to look up angular momentum, which is what produces the resistance to change of angle you are thinking of. It is dominated by the rotation of the crankshaft and is proportional to the product of the moment of inertia and rpm. Hence a heavier crank need not have greater angular momentum if it is in a lower revving engine.
4. Piston sizes will not increase in the Ducati. We do not know bore vs stroke figures for the other bikes, but assuming they are close to the 81mm limit, the same may apply. So no need for heavier pistons (or heavier counterweights on the crank).
5. If the bore remains the same, the stroke must increase by 25%. However if mean piston speed is to remain the same (it's a good indicator of longevity) then peak rpm must decrease by 25%. See comment above about calculation of angular momentum.
6. In fact they'll probably get away with slightly higher piston speed because peak piston acceleration increases with rpm squared, so they'll probably have slightly higher AM... but I reckon the improved auto-blip and other slipper clutch type mods had a bigger contribution to increased corner speeds.

Total votes: 240

did anyone see dani stare at the screens watching stoner slide the bike around in scintillating fashion? he looked like he was not only admiring stoner's riding, he seemed bedazzled...

Total votes: 240

time to say a fond good riddance to the abomination that is the 800cc formula.

the racing they created was bloodless, dispassionate, frigid, an excitement-free
formula which rewarded perfection rather than risk.

Take away traction control and the 800's would have provided great racing.

Total votes: 232

Traction control should have made the racing closer because it reduces the skill level required. Frankly, banning TC is likely to increase the margin between the best riders and and the rest. The reason guys like Stoner and Rossi don't like TC is for that very reason: they feel that TC reduces the skill needed. In any case, F1 banned TC and it made no difference to the racing. What has made the biggest difference in F1 is switching from the ultra conservative Bridgestones to Pirelli tires that are deliberately designed to provide a degree of degradation. MotoGP didn't just change to 800cc, it also changed to Bridgestones in 2008. The Michelins generally produced more degradation than the Bridgestones.

And it is all very well changing to 1000cc engines, but they still have a fuel limit, which will surely severely limit the difference between 800 and 1000 formulas in race conditions.

Total votes: 222

TC has not much to do with GP being boring. The two main issues are:
1) Tyre performance is consistent over time and not calling for tyre management skills
2) This class tends to give a high premium to the «single line» therefore limiting riders creativity and not rewarding risk taking.

Both of them are not related to TC. TC may prevent some mistakes. But nowadays riders do not make mistakes because there are no rewards in risking one. You have only one line to follow and always with the same charge (tye won't change) so why do something else?
TC will not solve the problem.
Neither getting rid of the fuel limits (although I am in favour of lifiting them since they don't make much sense).
And honestly I doubt that the transition to 1000 will change a lot.

I hope so but we maybe inline for some more processional racing until something "revolutionary" will come along. The combo 800+control tyre was one of those. Let's pray the next one will be better.

Total votes: 248

Actually I'm pretty sure the reason Stoner uses little TC has nothing to do with it "reducing the skill required" but everything to do with him turning faster laps times with it at a minimum. If people think that suddenly all this electronic tech should be banned from MotoGP for the reasoning of closer racing well here's some advice-go watch some local club racing. Watch some lower level racing like BSB or AMA DSBK. If all you care about is close racing then go do that. If you want to see the best riders on the most advanced machinery with two wheels then tune in next year to MotoGP!

Total votes: 228

The reason the racing is said to be boring is because Stoner is capable of putting 1s/lap into Pedrosa on a bike with the same potential.

That suggests that the rider has too much influence, not too little... if close racing is what you value most.

Total votes: 228

Copycats (see above comment) aside, the original statement by Mr Emmett "bloodless, dispassionate, frigid, an excitement-free formula" is an over-reaction and dissapointingly inaccurate. Sure there some processional races, but there were also some brilliant ones. Rossi v Lorenzo and Stoner. Lorenzo v Stoner. Dani and Dovi always battling it out. Rossi and Lorenzo's intense rivalry at Yamaha.

People hark back so fondly to the 500's - that era also had more than its fair share of processional racing.

Get over your unreasonable expectation that every race will be decided by 1000th of a second. Funnily enough, just as the very last race of 2011 'dispassionate, bloodless, frigid' 800's was, eh ? I seem to remember quite a few of these shout out loud moments.

When we're all watching CRT teams dropping oil in 2013 maybe you'll thaw and rediscover your passion.

Total votes: 258

I copied the two lines out of DE's original post so that people would
know what my comment was directed at. I guess you did not get it.

Total votes: 247

Dispassion is a qualitative human perception that cannot be measured in 1000ths of a second. If MotoGP lacks substance, close racing will not be sufficient to overcome negative sentiments, especially if close racing is a semi-annual affair.

Fans are not happy b/c beneath the bright lights, the superstar talent, the tech porn, and the crumpet, MotoGP lacks certain indispensable intangibles. The riders don't have control of the bikes b/c the fuel computer moderates throttle. The highest revving race engines on the planet, don't perform at their full potential b/c the fuel tank is too small. The sport doesn't generate a respectable stipend for the manufacturers. The B2B network is shrinking as rising prices and sagging enthusiasm send sponsors in search of better investments. Perhaps the fans don't know the specific source of MotoGP's problems, but they can perceive the existence of a fundamental problem. Treating the symptoms doesn't cure the disease so why would an occasional close race satisfy the fans or participants? If properly managed series' generate close racing, enthusiasm, and fierce competition between many entrants, why would you tell fans not to expect close racing?

No one controls their own destiny in MotoGP. The MSMA have written a set of rules that gives control of the sport to an incomprehensible technological development curve for fuel efficiency, ergo the technical regulations are the reason for the sullen faces, short-tempers, and revolutionary sentiments

The organizational decay of the 800cc era was predictable b/c the development curve for fuel efficiency is unpredictable, disruptive, and expensive. Private IRTA teams can't assume that kind of risk. Neither can companies like Dorna or Bridgepoint. But for a manufacturer like Honda, who have just a single basis point of their entire company invested in MotoGP, who cares how risky it is? What's $50M to Honda when their company turns over $100B? From Honda's standpoint, the purpose of the technical regulations is the ensure that only Hondas will be in frame when Dorna TV cameras are pointed at the race leaders.

I'm glad that you find MotoGP's aesthetics to be more pleasing now than they ever have been, but you're missing the point.

Total votes: 230

. . . you hit it right on the head! Honda is only interested in 'marketing/advertising', so it writes the rules for that reason. This line that they use GP as R&D is 95% BS! The reason that 990's were better then the 800's is they had less electronics/more fuel/lousier tires! The more difficult the bikes are too ride, the bigger the gap between the 'aliens' and the rest of the field. Dani & Dovi are on the SAME bike as Casey and he's made them look slow!

And yes, I saw Dani looking at the monitor while Casey was on track. As David said, in an article at the start of the year, "Dani, meet your worst nightmare . . . you're no longer the fastest guy on the team!" And I'm afraid, 2012 will be the same . . . Casey and everyone else!

Total votes: 220

Look, no two bikes on that circuit are "the same bike". The Honda this year was not the "same bike" as last year. The Ducati from 07, 08, 09, etc, were not the "Same bike". Is stoner faster than pedrosa, yes. Is that because he is faster, or because he hasn't been through as many surgeries? Is Dp's crew as good?

Unless you make this a sealed spec race with random bike assignment, all this jabber about _____ being faster than _______, is just blather.

Total votes: 236

There's nothing wrong with the 800s that different tires and another gallon of gas wouldn't cure. The switch to 1000cc (or 940, or whatever they come up with) in itself won't fix a thing.

Adding variable valve timing and active intake trumpets would be a cheap way to broaden the peaky power delivery, and improve the engine's oh-so-important fuel efficiency. Why are these system, which are already installed on numerous road bikes, banned?

The only possible improvement for 2012 will come from Bridgestone. Let's hope the new control tires have a broader operating spectrum. At is stands, 1/3 of the field can't make the tires work properly; for all practical purposes, these riders aren't present at the event.

Total votes: 229

"phoenix1 on Sun, 2011-11-06 22:25. Dispassion is a qualitative human perception......"

[......and so on, till eyes bleed]

Sounds like you haven't enjoyed anything in the last 5 years of Racing, with all the shortcomings you list.

Some people like to over-analyse things until all the joy is sucked out of them. Your mini-essay did that for me. Try presenting your argument to your average punter at a racetrack, and witness the glassy look in their eyes as you drone on about why Modern Motorcycle Racing is not giving you the perfect spectacle that you so richly deserve.

I'm sorry that the last 5 years of Motorcycle racing has so frustrated your sensibilities - but it seems like you have missed the point of Racing. Just enjoy it, and try not to sweat the details. You'll give yourself an ulcer.

Total votes: 237

If Cinderella's castle and Neuschwanstein are the same building, you're posting on the wrong website. However, I suggest you stay and learn the difference between Teutonic masonry and a parking garage with a tilt-wall facade.

Both can be enjoyed in their own way when they are understood. But if you take family pictures at Cinderella's castle in your lederhosen, you look like an asshole. Just giving you fair warning.

Total votes: 242

The tires, the closed motors, the limited gas.

These things make predictable, processional racing. All these things are staying next year.

Total votes: 255

If teams could buy machines, I would bet the rules would stay more stable and the prices would come down. Here is a rule I'd like: manufacturers have to sell 2 machines for every one they run. So if Honda has 2 bikes, then 6 Hondas have to be out there, 1 +2 suzukis, etc.

It's totally unworkable, and would never happen. but, it would force prices down, and give teams a reason to lay out that cash. They could sell the machine at the end instead of having a handful of carbon dust.

Total votes: 228