2012 Silverstone MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: A British Hero, Tire Problems And A Troubled Marriage

For the past few years, attending a MotoGP round has been a disheartening experience for most British fans. After sitting in traffic for several hours, they then faced a day getting soaked to the skin while watching their local heroes - if any were actually on the grid - circulating around at the rear of the pack. At the end of the day, they faced yet more hours sitting in a traffic chaos in a downpour to get home again. They loved it, of course, but it tested their courage.

2012 would be different. The miserable weather magically disappeared for race day - it was far from perfect, but it remained largely dry - Scott Redding got on the podium in Moto2, and Cal Crutchlow put on a heroic and brilliant performance in MotoGP. It might be fair to question the wisdom of Crutchlow's decision to lie about his foot not being broken and race anyway, but there is no question about his bravery or pain threshold, nor, after starting at the back of the grid and slicing through the field to finish 6th, matching the pace of race winner Jorge Lorenzo, about his ability. The British fans have a hero again. More than one, in fact.

It started well with the Moto2 race, the first laps enlivened by an intense battle between Scott Redding and Bradley Smith. There is no love lost between the two young Brits, adding a fierceness to the battle for the front. Redding came out on top, but he could not do much about Pol Espargaro, the HP Pons rider dominating at Silverstone all weekend. A win may have been just beyond his reach, but Redding would not be denied the second spot on the podium, holding off a fierce challenge from Marc Marquez at the end of the race. Where Espargaro's performance was imperious, Redding's was deeply impressive, showing resolve, grit, intelligence and a big dollop of talent to keep Marquez behind him. If Redding could put in this kind of race on a more consistent basis, he could seriously challenge for the championship.

The man Redding beat to the line was at the center of a lot of speculation over the weekend. On Sunday, it became clear that the Rookie Rule is to be dropped for next season, allowing Marquez to go straight into the Repsol Honda team in 2013. That Honda should want him there is no surprise, but after a strong start to the season, Marquez' momentum is just starting to flag. The Spaniard will likely be signed at the Repsol Honda team within the next few weeks, but with Espargaro growing stronger every weekend, those who had penciled Marquez' name in for the 2012 Moto2 championship are reaching for their erasers. It is entirely possible that Marquez could find himself going to MotoGP without having won a Moto2 title. That is not necessarily a disadvantage - Casey Stoner did not win a single championship in the support classes, and that did not slow him up in MotoGP - but it will certainly take some of the shine off Marquez' silver spoon.

In MotoGP, we had a serious and interesting race, for a whole host of reasons. The track, the weather, the lack of setup time, all of these conspired to make the MotoGP race pretty entertaining, almost to the end. Silverstone's fast and flowing nature allows passes to be made, but more importantly, it offers the rider being passed an opportunity to strike back immediately. This was demonstrated vividly by Casey Stoner, who swapped the lead with Jorge Lorenzo for the better part of half a lap, despite Lorenzo being half a second quicker than him at that point.

Lorenzo is having 'a perfect season' in his own words, and Silverstone was just another example of this. A difficult start on Friday, some bad luck during qualifying on Saturday, but on Sunday, Ramon Forcada gave Lorenzo just what he needed to win. The Yamaha is the better bike in 2012, though Lorenzo would be the first to deny that. "Just a few more km/h on the top, and it will be perfect," Lorenzo said after the race. When riders are complaining about something as trivial as three or four kms of top speed, then you know the bike is good.

Lorenzo could perhaps come to regret those requests for more top end power. The 2012 season is about tires more than anything - even more than usual - and the bikes that can get the best from them. The switch to a softer construction has been a massive safety improvement, with the cold-tire highside on Friday morning firmly a thing of the past. But the softer construction also means that the tires are wearing more quickly and generating more chatter, for some at least. Managing that is key, and this is what Yamaha have got so right this year. Winning a title requires a few things to come together: a smattering of luck, a bike which offers some kind of advantage to be exploited, a smart crew who can put a package together, and a massive dose of talent on the part of the rider. Lorenzo's talent has never been in doubt, that 90% of the equation has not changed, but the small things are coming together to make Lorenzo's season just that little bit easier.

The same thing happened to Casey Stoner in 2011, the coin falling in the Australian's favor more often than not, as he acknowledged himself towards the end of the season. 2012 is not going quite so swimmingly for Stoner - when it all comes together, as it did at Estoril, he is absolutely unstoppable, but that has not happened as often as he would have liked. Tires have been the bane of the Honda this season, the bike chewing up the rear more often than it should. Engine braking appears to be part of the problem at the rear, while at the front, chassis stiffness is an issue. The factory Hondas have suffered with chatter, while the satellite bikes (which use an older iteration of the RC213V frame) have had no such problems.

At Silverstone, Stoner was hampered by more than just the usual tire wear, however. The Australian's rear tire lost grip within a few laps, the left-hand side of the tire destroying itself far more quickly than it ought to have. Nor was Stoner the only rider to suffer: Ben Spies had a similar issue, losing grip within four laps and the left-hand side of the tire blistering severely, causing the Texan to drop back from the lead and finish 5th, 11 seconds off the pace of the winner, teammate Lorenzo. There was clearly a quality control issue for Bridgestone at Silverstone, an extremely unusual occurrence in MotoGP. When asked how often he had had a bad tire from Bridgestone, Casey Stoner pondered a while, and replied "very rarely". Simple statistics means it must happen from time to time, and then it is just a matter of chance who gets the bad tire. If one of the CRT machines had had a bad tire, we would never have heard of it, but it was the defending champion...

Though Honda may be having a few issues with the tires, they are minor compared to the situation at Ducati. The aggressive nature of the Ducati's power delivery means that it rips up rear tires very quickly, as Nicky Hayden showed at Silverstone. After a strong start where the Kentuckian ran at the front with Spies, Stoner and Alvaro Bautista - the Spaniard had an outstanding weekend, and topped it off with a superb result - Hayden burned through his tire too fast, through no fault of his own, and switch to defensive mode, trying mainly to limit the damage. The taste of running at the front had whetted Hayden's appetite, and dropping back through the pack had not gone down well. The new engine to be tested at Mugello this week by Franco Battaini, and by the factory riders after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello is supposed to help in this regard, providing much better response to the first touch of the throttle and being less hard on tires.

It needs to be better if Valentino Rossi is to stay at Ducati. The Italian said that his only priority now was to have a competitive bike, and he hinted that this was the only issue standing between him and a new contract with Ducati. As an observer, it looked like Rossi's patience is slowly starting to wear thin, after nearly 20 months of being pummeled into submission by a bike he has never been able to ride. In the rain, when Rossi knows he can be competitive, the Italian looks like the old Rossi, the man who can work magic on motorcycle. In the dry, once the limitations of the Ducati meet the limitations of Rossi's riding style - without a solid front end with good feedback, Rossi is a little lost - the old Rossi goes away again, to be replaced by the timid shadow of a man who circulates in mid-pack. Rossi himself admitted that he had nothing on his teammate at Silverstone - "The real Ducati was the one being ridden by Nicky Hayden," he said - but his dejection was clearly visible. The new engine could end up being decisive for Rossi's future, though he himself said that it was not "the last chance" for Ducati to keep him. The performance of the new bike with the new engine will be important, he said, though assessing it will be difficult at a track with such a tight layout as Laguna Seca. The marriage between the two Italian icons may not yet be over, but the bed in the spare room is starting to get much more use than is healthy.

Total votes: 254
Total votes: 116

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Comments

Great report David - more insight than the rest put together. Thank you. Hopefully the Spies marriage has some life left in it too. It is very easy to criticise from the armchair, or pit box, without the insights and the top riders are just that. As for Rossi - do I wish it had rained as forecast?! The rider he showed us he was at Le Mans and memories of a classy wet ride at Donnington a few years ago tells me that he can still ride the right bike like no-one else. He's a watchmaker, not a blacksmith.

I hope that the Ducati blacksmiths are working hard to improve his toolkit.....

Crutchlow was remarkable. I also hope that he hasn't done more damage to himself in doing so and can put a good race together at Assen that helps him stay on a competitive bike next year too.

Total votes: 244

Does anyone have lap times for the race? I could've sworn Stoner was back in the 203's later on in the race, I can't see how he could have done that if he had a dud tyre?

Also Im really puzzled by Ducati at the moment, I still cant see how Valentino can be up there in wet sessions, but lag behind Nicky in the dry. It really is one of the strangest situations in MotoGP recently... almost like the GP12's ECU is governed by a random number generator!

Total votes: 244

For Timing section 3 he wrung out a fast one late in the race, contributing to a fast lap, but that uses the RHS of the tyre and the report says the LHS was shot. Is that correct, David???

Total votes: 242

I missed the races but now it seems I know about basically all the most important stuff. Thanks!

Odd thing about Marquez. I also expected him to win some 10 races or more with ease. But for some reason it seems all the more difficult.

And Vinales, is he really a fast/complete rider in the making?

Total votes: 225

As ever a great assessment/roundup of the weekend. Metrology. As early as Wednesday last week the met boys predicted that the storms would dissapate to neglible come race day. So it transpired.
Stand out ride of the weekend was obviously Crutchlow given circumstance.
Ducati situation revisited. 2010 saw Lorenzo win with Hayden and Stoner around 7 seconds adrift at the end of the Silverstone event with the CF bike.
As forecast by many,the 1000cc prototype was not expected to be much different to 800 other than providing more bottom end grunt at the users disposal. Ducati have a surfeit of it and it perhaps needs to be dumbed down a bit. The other side of the coin is Spies vs Lorenzo on the M1.Spies seems to be having as much issues with the M1 as Rossi has with the D16.
Oh yes. Spare me the sentimentallity. High time San Carlo Gresini Honda let bygones be bygones. One hell of a performance by Bautista.
Very mature ride by him and very impressive. Had Dani,Alvaro and Casey gone Moto 2 in the brain, all three of those Honda riders may have skittled themselves.
Such is the precision required these days.

Total votes: 228

Metrology - Metrology is the science of measurement. Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement.

Meteorology - The branch of science concerned with the processes and phenomena of the atmosphere.

Total votes: 248

I'd say it would be pretty much impossible for even the almighty Casey Stoner to finish in 2nd place if his tire was truly defective. Sounds like everyone lost edge grip pretty quickly, some just managed it better than others. Temp's were higher on race day than they had been all weekend. And I'd say it's a bit premature to be writing off Marquez for the title. He is after all still leading the championship.

Total votes: 242

"I'd say it would be pretty much impossible for even the almighty Casey Stoner to finish in 2nd place if his tire was truly defective. Sounds like everyone lost edge grip pretty quickly, some just managed it better than others." <<< yes totally agree with this statement....had stoner's tyre deteriorated measurably more than others, pedrosa and bautista would have eventually crossed him (or would have been able to make a few attempts to do so without much extra effort) sometime in the last few laps without too much difficulty...the fact that stoner was able to continue being in the second position with no immediate or major threat from pedrosa and bautista even when during the last few laps those two were just behind him itself means his rear tyre grip hadnt gone all that bad, not anymore that what most others' tyres had...it's not like lorenzo's rear tyre was in a significantly better shape either, although of course his slightly better tyre condition (which probably reflects on who managed it how at what stages of the race) from stoner's apparently worse tyre condition might have made a small difference of a few tenths (but still no difference in the result)...

Total votes: 266

- The fact that stoner was able to continue being in the second position with no immediate or major threat from pedrosa and bautista even when during the last few laps those two were just behind him itself means his rear tyre grip hadnt gone all that bad, not anymore that what most others' tyres had -

Wow you know so much more about this than Casey does! You should do his press releases for him!

Total votes: 211

But if his throttle sensitivity is enough to substitute TC to some point, who says he won't be able to tell a tyre which is faulty? It doesn't have to fall apart, but to simply behave unexpectedly would ring some bells. None of these guys are normal anyhow...

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As for Marquez, in 2011, once he found his groove, he only didn't win when things went very wrong. Now it seems he's working harder without the wins.

Total votes: 240

I think it was around this time last year that Marc had managed to only finish one race. Then he went on to win race after race. I think people are neglecting to see how much his team has struggled with setup in the last two races. Call me a fanboy but the difference between Marc and everyone else is that when they struggle for setup, Marc is still battling for the win and on a bad day still ends up on the podium.

Total votes: 255

How would he know his tyre's defective without running the race on a non-defective tyre for comparison? He knows his tyre wore out fast. That doesn't mean it's defective. They could all be like that.

Total votes: 264

No offensive but you seem to have forgotten that these guys are the best motorcycle riders in the world. They go out do a couple of laps and then gives very specific and very detailed feedback of exactly what the bike is doing at every part of the track.

To even considered that any of them don't know the difference between what a tyre should feel like and perform like is totally naive.

I am not sure why some folks look so hard for excuses rather than just listen and understand.

Total votes: 247

You're missing the point here. The thing indestructibleman tried to get across was that it wasn't that the tire was or wasn't performing like it should in Casey's opinion but rather if all the tires performed like that then was his "more defective" or what. If they all suffered serious tire wear in the first five laps then maybe the conditions caused that and some riders "Spies, Stoner, Hayden" have a riding style which made the problem a bit worse. That still doesn't reflect a defective tire for the guy who came in second. The one looking for excuses is Stoner. He showed exactly after the race why off the track he won't be missed in MotoGP next year.

Total votes: 229

I'm not questioning that Stoner's tire performed badly. I'm questioning whether his tire, Spies's tire and Hayden's tire were different from everyone elses.

Though those three apparently had the worst tire wear is that due to differences in the tires or differences in setup and riding style?

Stoner's a genius but that doesn't mean he can tell a tire's defective without basis for comparison. Unless he ran the same type tire with the same setup in the same conditions for a sufficient number of laps during practice and qualifying he doesn't have a control to compare his race results to.

Total votes: 246

If thats the case FP and testing seems obsolete because by your reckoning these guys are not able to understand anything from time on the bike and it is all irrelevant if the conditions are not the same. Do you know how many laps each of these guys did on that exact tyre or do you some how believe that because Stoner does 3-4 lap stints during FP that that is all he does on a tyre?

As I stated earlier, why waste your time trying to catch them out with an excuse. Do you find it so hard to believe as confirmed by many if not all commentators on the inside of the sport who sits across from these guys week in week out, that especially Stoner tells it exactly how it is much to the disgust of those who prefer the PR & PC version of how nice a day it is.

Total votes: 259

Couldn't agree more. I dunno why the focus for so many readers is catching the riders in a consipratorial lie or even a basic excuse. Their focus should be learning everything they can from these guys at the pinnacle of the sport.

Total votes: 240

For me, they are a bit like Chazz Michael Michaels & Jimmy MacElroy from Blades Of Glory. If you have seen the film it is obvious who is who.

Total votes: 245

It was enlighening to hear the commentary of Abraham during the race when watching the race on MOTOGP home site. Yes, I know he is dead last in the championship, but what the heck, it's a Ducati he's riding and not the latest version of it (actually the less messed with might mean it's really a better bike, if you get my drift.

That's a bit off the subject of this thread but worth mentioning. I've read on these forums about Stoner using less traction control/electronics but this is the first time I've heard that from a actual rider(Abraham). Someone who probably knows what he's talking about. Maybe the lack of the use of the electronic traction control or less use of it is the cause of the tyre wear factor in Stoners case?????

IN the past I've heard commentary on the MOTOGP site during the race by other injured riders and that's a plus imho. Lorenzo commenting last year at the end of the year???? In Aus? Yes.

Total votes: 234

It was obvious from the telemetry shown during the race how different Stoner and Lorenzo use the throttle, at mid corner Lorenzo cranked the throttle wide open and let the electronics get him out the corner and down the straight, whereas Stoner drove it out with a progressively opened throttle.

PS - David, please scrap the awful tablet layout for this website, firstly the login pane is inaccessible, and secondly the text is much to widely spread across the page in a tiny font. All of the side panel information is gone as well. At least please give us the option when opening to choose the std format.

Total votes: 237

How long is it before Honda go back to the 2011 chassis? It seems that as David has said"they got the sums wrong" on the new one. Of course I could just be pissing in the wind as the all mighty Honda would surley have a new chassis at the next test. As for tyre wear, it seems Casey's talent in his right hand is the thing that is hitting him right now. Using less electronics than the other pilots certainly leaves him more vulnerable to the actual on condition of the tyre. It seems it's a case of not being able to ride as one would like. In this case, Stoners aggressive style. That's not taking anything away from Lorenzo. His silky smooth riding style has to be admired and cutting his premiere class teeth against arguably the best to throw a leg over a bike (Motegi 2009 comes to mind as does Barcelona 2010) shows just how much he's matured and learned.

Nakomoto has repeatedly said two things, Rossi will never race at Honda again and he will not field two Spanish riders. I think this part of the silly season has been over looked. The comments from Pedrosa about his options for next year, the rookie rule being thrown out and Nakomotos statements on Spanish riders in his camp lead me to think that it won't be Crutchlow or Dovi at Yamaha, it will be Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Jarvis has always been one who likes to have two riders capable of winning the championship. Pedrosa seems the obvious choice as Dovi has proven that he's not capable, no matter how consistent he may be, he's consistent to 3rd or 4th. Not for wins, and that's what it takes to win a championship. With Stoners retirement announcement contract negotiations have been pushed into overdrive this year, when was the last time that a rider signed a two year deal only 6 races into the season? I see HRC going after Crutchlow and only if Yamaha agree to give him a factory bike next year(not likely) will he stay. If they do, it's either Rossi(HRC eating crow) or Spies(the only other rider to actually win in the dry) on the Honda next year. If Spies gets the nod over Rossi then the options for the Italian will be few, take another year aboard the Ducati or migrate to Tech 3. Both choices aren't very appealing but fighting for the podium on a Sat bike seems better than banging your head against a wall in a factory team that can't finish higher than 6-7 in the dry. As to weathe rSpies will stay at Yamaha, it may have been possible during a normal season, bad start but turns things around mid year. Usually enough to keep your seat. This year however is far from normal concerning contracts. Decisions have to made and have to be made soon. The bad start and getting better is just bad luck for Spies(I'm American and want him to do well, but also relize what's happening this year).

Total votes: 252

While true, Bautista has been showing good form on the modified version of the 2011 chassis. With Stoners ability to ride around issues this might be a step in the right direction. Again, Honda most likely have a modified version already in the works and probably the reason they skipped the test in Aragon. No need to test the new chassis without the new tires. Until the point where they can test a new version it might be better to have one bike in FP1 of the next race on the Satellite version to see the difference. Seeing as that chassis doesn't seem to have the chatter issue and I'm sure Stoner can find a way to ride around any other issues. Again, not saying that this is the right direction because who really knows whats going besides HRC. We've seen from years past that adding strategic welds to the frame and swing arm can have positive effects.

Total votes: 232

I hadn't realized (or had forgotten) that Bautista's bike is based on the 2011 chassis. You may be on to something.

Total votes: 260

The 2012 bikes are all new with the engines changing from 800cc to 1000cc. How would this even work? Pedrosa and Stoner say the difference with the satellite bikes is the pace and electronics, not chassis.

Total votes: 237

Seems Bautista had pretty good pace this weekend. I know what you're saying and I've heard them say the same thing. Pedrosa in particular. Again as in my first post, all this may good for nothing. Honda most likely have the next iteration ready to test. But it needs to be soon. A few more weekends without our a win and it's going to get really tough for stoner to pull it off.

Total votes: 243

Bautista and Bradl are not on the 2011 chassis, they are on the first iteration of the Honda RC213V chassis, not the latest version currently being run by the factory bikes. The RC213V was a new bike because of the engine and frame, though broadly based on the RC212V.

Total votes: 253

no way pedrosa will be beside lorenzo in the factory yamaha...for one thing, pedrosa seems to be owned by repsol ;) and also that honda will make sure he doesnt leave them (certainly not for yamaha ;)) as he is at the moment their best hope...

also, pedrosa is not so different from dovizioso either...consistent 2nd or 3rd or 4th and a very good rider sure, but not a great one capable to win a championship...wins a few races here and there, but i just dont see him having that extra special something that championship winners like lorenzo, stoner, rossi have in their own ways....am not saying he is easy to beat in a race, but not really that champion-like relentless quality and that extra special something i have no word for but i think you know what i mean..

it's still early to say, but as much as i like dovizioso and want to see him riding a factory yamaha next year (more so since he left honda coz they kinda made him/treated him like the dispensable third and he said he'd like to make a relationship with yamaha), i think at this point it should be crutchlow who should have a better chance at getting that factory yamaha seat...he seems to have that extra something that champions seem to have...

of both the tech 3 riders, i'd feel really bad for whoever gets left out of the factory yamaha seat...they both so wanna have it...multiple times they have said in their interviews and they both are doing really well...who knows maybe yamaha will get both of them to the factory team haha...

Total votes: 237

Rossi claimed his exhaust broke during the race. Anyone know when this happened? Since everyone turned their fastest lap in the first few laps, I wonder if his exhaust was broken from the beginning as his fastest lap was 1.4 seconds slower than Hayden's.
That's ginormous.

Total votes: 236

I must admit I'm still somewhat puzzled by such a significant change from the early 2012 tyre to the later spec mid-season, when so little in-season testing is allowed to deal with the change. So easy for a team to be put at a disadvantage by its competitors through the vote, with the regulations preventing redress.
And by the muted commentators' response.

Total votes: 241

Two new spec fronts were available during the pre-season testing and all the riders got to use them, I forget the numbers, I think they were 31 and 33, but anyway, all of the riders except Stoner and Lorenzo prefered the 33 while the HRC riders prefered the 31. So arguably Honda have had almost half a year to prepare for the new tyre coming in. I think the reason it's taken til now for them to be introduced is purely down to logistics. And this is not the first time new tyres have been developed and introduced mid season.

A tyre will always suit one rider/bike combination better than another. There is no tyre that is perfect for everyone. HRC are unfortunate that this time it is them who do not have the tyre they prefered but thats life. As they say theres no point crying over spilt milk. I believe the softer construction front tyres are much better for the CRT bikes, with the whole idea being to close the gap in pefromance between CRT and prototype.

Total votes: 233

MotoGP should have one set of rules and it does. There just happens to be a separate class running around at the same time. And for God sakes, will they quit putting the first CRT in Parc Ferme.

Total votes: 241

This is not quite correct.

Tyres constructions were selected for the 2012 season earlier during the 2011 season. Teams built their bikes around these tyres. Many have argued that now more than ever bikes MUST be built to suit the tyres and as a result it has stifled innovation which is a big reason that Ducati had to ditch the CF frame and go to an aluminium twin spar frame because that is what the tyres require.

During the official preseason tests after Capirossi had taken his place as "safety officer" a new tyre, not seen or ridden before, that had been developed on the basis of feedback from someone turned up and was called an experimental tyre.

It was at these tests, the first the tyres had been seen and used, that it was decided that they would be introduced and the previously designated 2012 tyre was to be dropped.

This is vastly different to the insinuation that both tyres were always in the framework.

Total votes: 238

Sorry if what I wote was not clear. All I said was new spec tyres 24 and 21 (I got the numbers wrionf above) were available at pre-season testingI think in Jerez, one was voted in by a majority and the other was dropped. And it is unfortunate for Honda their bike suits the new tyre the least. However all teams as you say designed their bikes around the original 2012 spec tyre and have since had to accomodate a new spec tyre.

http://www.motomatters.com/news/2012/04/12/new_front_bridgestone_from_je...

Also I said Lorenzo but obviously I meant Pedrosa....

Total votes: 239

Meteorology and metrology. Typo,Nick881. Thanks for reminding me. Global warming is blurring the two sciences,so it seems.
I enjoy reruns. I wonder what Assen will throw up weather wise. On the metrology side,one way to eliminate chatter is to lengthen the wheel base at the cost of direction shift speed.
I don't know. Lets see what the engineers come up with.
Meanwhile it does appear that divorce proceedings are in the offing.
Reasons cited future hence will be irreconcileable differences. The one party cannot build the marriage and the other cannot adapt to it.
I watch this space with much anticipation. If the GPC have turned turtle re the rookie rule,they may aswell turn turtle on the 4 entry prototype rule per manufacturer. Why not ? It all comes down to money talks.

Total votes: 244

This question does not seem to get asked. But I would think even if the business side is good, you'd expect that from a competitive standpoint Ducati is also having second thoughts. Rossi is very likely still the highest paid rider in MotoGP, but given current on-track form he doesn't really deserve to be.

Wouldn't mind seeing Ducati go with Crutchlow (assuming he's interested) as their lead rider next year. Keeping Hayden is an option, but after four years of mediocrity not a very exciting one.

With the rookie rule being dropped, Crutchlow and Iannone would be an interesting pairing.

Total votes: 226

and the difference in viewing pleasure was incredible. Watching MotoGP was about as interesting as watching paint dry.

Also I think Marquez is still the favorite for the Moto2 title, a few bad results wont stop him. Didn't he get nerve damage in his hand or something of that sort in Le mans? I'd bet that's why he hasn't dominated the last 2 races.

Total votes: 252

So I did a brief analysis of the lap times and splits found in the link below:

http://www.chicagoriders.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=4647&d=1340231053

I can't find any evidence of a dramatic drop off in tire grip in any of Casey's splits. The only thing I see if a slow increase in lap time starting at Lap 5 in T4. This is evidence of the honda wearing the tire more than the yamaha, not defective tire's.

Other interesting things:
1. Jorge won the race in T1, both in best average and lowest Standard deviation BY FAR. Everywhere else you can definitely see Jorge is more consistent, but only by about .05 -.07 seconds less in terms of volatility of lap times. However, in T1 he was .5 seconds more consistent than casey and .65 second more consistent than Dani!
2. Ben Spies was 1.6 ish seconds back when lookign at average lap times
3. Graphs got shrunk too much to really tell, But as expected Jorge's lap times look like he is dead - perfectly flat except the one moment he had in T4 they showed on TV, and two smaller blips that occured while passing others to take the lead.
4. Interesting tho is after Lap 5, Casey's lap times increase in T4 while staying constant everywhere else. So while jorge won with T1, Casey lost based on T4.

Total votes: 215

I don't think anyone has denied that Stoner's tire wore faster than Jorge's.

Total votes: 223

I agree. The point is rather, did stoner have a defective tire as claimed or did he experience normal tire wear. According the the lap times, normal wear seems to be the case, unless he accounted for the defective tire in ways that aren't detectible via trends in split times.

Total votes: 234