2015 MotoGP Sepang 1 Test Round Up: Honda vs Yamaha - An Even Battleground

Who has the best bike? Is it Honda? Or have they been passed by Yamaha? Did the first MotoGP test of the year at Sepang answer that question? After Monday, we thought the answer was yes. After Friday, it's clear that it's not clear. There is still a long way to go to the start of the season, and the only thing we can be sure of is the fact that this is going to be a fantastic year in MotoGP. When it's hard to point to who has an advantage, it means the racing is going to be tight.

So how did the balance of power swing from Yamaha to Honda? Yamaha turned up at Sepang with a bike that was ready to go. They had plenty of parts to test, but following the Yamaha philosophy, all of those parts offer just a small, but positive change. The bike was fast, and got a little bit faster. That meant that Yamaha were quick on the first day, and got a little quicker day by day.

Honda, on the other hand, turned up with four different bikes for Marc Márquez, and three for Dani Pedrosa, and the two Repsol Honda riders spent the first day of the test running back-to-back comparisons. They had pretty much narrowed down their choice by the end of Wednesday, confirming their impressions on Thursday, then getting on with the job of improving the bike through Thursday and Friday. By the end of the test, the 2015 Honda RC213V had proven itself a formidable weapon. The bike was not without problems, but there was plenty of potential. "We are the same, if not better, than in 2014," Márquez said. "With the 2015 bike, we still we have some points that we can improve. The most important is that we have options to improve this feeling."

So does the Honda now have the definitive advantage? Marc Márquez' record lap time – the first man ever to lap the circuit in a 1'58 – certainly seems to suggest so. As does Dani Pedrosa's second fastest time, coming up just shy of a 1'58 after he made a mistake on his fast lap. Even more impressive was Pedrosa's race simulation: 10 laps of 2'00, 9 laps of 2'01, his simulation 12.5 seconds faster than Marc Márquez' race winning time in October last year, despite a 2'14 last lap, as opposed to Márquez' 2'08 first lap in the race.

Comparisons to last October are not strictly fair, however. The condition of the circuit was fantastic, the riders agreed. With no rain during the three-day test, even in the evenings, and 28 MotoGP bikes circulating, the track was clean and well rubbered. Temperatures were cooler than October too, with track temperatures some 15°C lower. It all made it very easy to go fast. But even then, they still had to do it. Rossi summed up the situation. "Today have a very good condition for everybody. But going 1'58.8, to say it is a surprise? From Márquez is not true!"

So far, it looks like the Honda is ahead, but that is only at this test. "It looks like the advantage they have in one lap, they have also in the first part of the race," Rossi said. "So if the race is today, I think that the Honda can win. But we are not very far." What this neglects to include is what happens at Sepang 2. There, Honda will get on with the work of refining the 2015 RC213V, which needs work to make it easier on corner exit, and to reduce the spinning of the rear tire. "We lose a little bit mid-exit corner with gas," Márquez said, characterizing the engine as very aggressive. "If we improve the character of the engine will help a lot."

But Yamaha have something bigger coming at the next test at Sepang. The fully seamless gearbox – seamless both in upshifts and in downshifts – is due to make its debut in just over two weeks' time. Barring unforeseen problems, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will get to use the gearbox for the first time, which should help them in what remains their biggest weakness: braking for corners. "We improve, especially in braking," Rossi said. "Looking at the data I can brake deeper, but not enough, still." The new gearbox should help fix that. If that offers a big step forward, then all of a sudden, Honda and Yamaha are on a par once again. The advantage might even go to Yamaha.

The long runs today were also slightly deceptive. While Dani Pedrosa's run was deeply impressive, he was out at the right time to do it. So were both Rossi and Lorenzo, but Rossi was also testing parts during his long run, and had to slow down a couple of times to change mapping and engine braking settings, which Yamaha had wanted to try over the distance of a race simulation. Márquez' race simulation was significantly slower, but while Pedrosa, Rossi and Lorenzo were all out shortly after midday, Márquez ran his race simulation around 3pm, in the middle of the tropical afternoon heat. At that time of day, the track gets greasy and there is no grip from the surface.

For Ducati, the test generated a lot of excitement. The GP14.3 which the Italian factory brought to the track for the two Andreas, Dovizioso and Iannone, was the closest thing to the GP15 we have seen so far. A new chassis allowing the riders to use the kind of geometry they would run during the race, and a modified engine was much smoother. The bike still had understeer – asked what problem he wanted the GP15 to solve, Dovizioso did not hesitate: "the turning!" – but it already allowed the factory to start testing things for the debut of the bike at the next Sepang test. The times set were hopeful: both riders got into the 1'59s on their fast lap, with Iannone posting a lap of 1'59.388, the third best time overall, ahead of the two factory Yamahas.

While it was disappointing that the Desmosedici GP15 was not present at Sepang for the first test, the approach taken by Ducati was a showcase for Gigi Dall'Igna's organizational talents. The GP14.3 was a small enough change for it to be ready in time for Sepang 1, but different enough for the basic geometry of the GP15 to be tested. For the Sepang 2 test, the plan is for Dovizioso and Iannone to work on the bike, testing the new chassis, engine and looking for a base set up, while Danilo Petrucci works on the electronics package which Ducati are bringing for the GP15. The advantage of electronics is that they work across different machines, so the data gathered by Petrucci on his GP14.1 (basically, the bike ridden by Cal Crutchlow in the second half of the 2014 season) is directly applicable to the GP15.

The results of this test left the Factory Ducati riders in an optimistic mood. For Andrea Iannone, the GP15 could not come soon enough. How keen was he to see the GP15? "Very, but I am already happy with what we have done in 2014 and the first part of 2015," he told reporters. Andrea Dovizioso was a little more circumspect. "I am optimistic, but it would be stupid to say any more at this moment." The reality of the bike will be shown once it hits the track.

For Suzuki, the test was overwhelmingly positive, yet it also mercilessly exposed their weakness. What do you want from the next development of the bike, Aleix Espargaro was asked. "More power!" was his emphatic answer. Rookie teammate Maverick Viñales concurred. Both praised the handling of the bike once again, saying the bike turned very well, but it was down on power. Unofficial top speeds put the Hondas at 325 km/h through the traps, versus 315 km/h for the Suzukis. That is not an insurmountable difference – at the race last October, Marc Márquez' average top speed was 324 km/h, while Pol Espargaro's was 316km/h – but it is not something Suzuki can find in an afternoon.

Suzuki's original plan was to have a more powerful engine at Sepang. But the engine reliability issues which emerged at the race and test in Valencia meant they had more pressing problems. Suzuki's engineers had spent six weeks chasing down the problem and solving it – their engines at Sepang were nigh on bulletproof – which was time they could not spend extracting more power. When asked about the cause of the problem, Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio remained vague. All he would say is that it was not a single component, but an interplay of several factors. This was why the problem had not emerged during dyno testing. "We did many kilometers on the dyno," Brivio told a small group of reporters. The issue had only started to emerge during testing last October, coming to a head at Valencia. When Suzuki will have more power, Brivio could not say.

Given the performance of Maverick Viñales, that extra power cannot come soon enough. The Spanish rookie had an exceptional test, making progress, adapting his riding style, and gaining speed all the time. Viñales cut the deficit to the fastest riders by 0.9 seconds between the first and the last day, and improved his own time by 2.2 seconds. Only Loris Baz did better, though Baz came from much further behind. Viñales ended the test as 12th overall, just half a second behind his more experienced teammate Espargaro. Viñales was the revelation of the first test at Sepang. Andrea Iannone may have also made big steps forward, but this is only Viñales third test on the bike.

The story at Aprilia was a lot less rosy. The newcomers managed to blow up a large section of their new pneumatic valve engines, the motor clearly still having some teething problems. What was worse was the fact that the 2015 chassis which Aprilia had brought was left sitting idle in the pits. Neither rider liked it, preferring to stick with the 2014 chassis which had emerged from the ART project. What's more, though Alvaro Bautista was posting respectable times, their star rider Marco Melandri was dead last, behind factory, Open class, rookies and test riders alike. The deficit of 4.7 seconds to Márquez was pretty poor. But the fact that he was also 1.7 seconds behind his teammate was even worse.

Why is Melandri faring so poorly? The Italian did not want to come to MotoGP, but he was left with no choice when Aprilia withdrew their factory team from the World Superbike championship to focus on MotoGP. Still under contract to Aprilia, leaving would have been difficult, especially given the late stage at which Aprilia announced their plans. Melandri gives the impression he does not want to be in MotoGP. His times at Sepang leave you wondering how long he will be.

While the Repsol Hondas lead the timesheets, the satellite and Open Hondas languish much further down the standings. Cal Crutchlow is the best of them, but the Englishman is a lowly 11th. Crutchlow, like Scott Redding, is struggling with the aggressive nature of the Honda engine. The bike is excellent on corner entry, both Crutchlow and Redding assert, but the very aggressive engine means the bike just spins on corner exit. This is something which the factory riders struggle with too, but extra years of experience and the resources of a factory team allow them to deal with it better, and neutralize it.

The new Open Honda may not have any issues with horsepower, but it is hard to say whether the bike is an improvement. Nicky Hayden may have a stronger wrist, but he struggled with chatter, and with finding electronics set ups which could tame the engine. That the bike is difficult to ride is clear from the timesheets. This time last year, on a woefully underpowered Honda RCV1000R, Hayden was just under 2 seconds off the pace of the leaders. On the far more powerful Honda RC213V-RS, Hayden is 2.6 seconds slower than the leaders. The bike may be much more powerful – they are not losing any ground to the factory bikes any more – but horsepower does not equal speed.

Scott Redding is struggling with another problem, one shared by Danilo Petrucci, though the Italian is on the Pramac Ducati. Both riders spent previous years riding underpowered bikes, and adopting a different riding style. The RCV1000R was much easier to ride, Redding told us, as you could open the gas and use the rear to help turn the bike. Do that on the RC213V and the rear just spins, using tire but not providing any drive.

Petrucci explained that he had a similar problem. He has been on underpowered CRT machines before now, and has learned to brake early and carry as much corner speed as possible, to ensure a good exit. Now that he is on the Ducati, he needs to brake later, turn the bike, then stand the bike up before getting on the gas. That goes against everything he has learned, so he finds himself opening the throttle too early and the rear wheel just spinning. He has to learn to be patient, to wait a moment before opening the throttle, so that he has a chance to start standing the bike up and getting it onto the fatter part of the tire.

It is, ironically, something I hear over and over again, from riders on Hondas, Ducatis, Yamahas, on factory bikes and Open class machines. The harder you try, the slower you go. The more you relax, the calmer you remain, the better the bike responds, and the faster the lap time. It appears that the ideal temperament for a Grand Prix rider is no longer that of the wild man, who throws his heart into riding, but of the Buddhist monk, observing calmly and acting with careful deliberation. Perhaps, underneath their leathers, Márquez and Pedrosa are wearing Repsol orange robes ...

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Comments

Does he not want to be in MotoGP because of the extra pressure? I would have thought given how he left before, that he'd have a chip on his shoulder on the return. If not, that would explain his lack of ultimate success.

He's coming back to a series where he was unceremoniously dismissed because of being clinically depressed, after riding the Ducati. Melandri is no longer one of the contenders, but a back-marker. He might be having some flashbacks of his days on a Ducati.

I can see why he wouldn't be enthused to come back to GP on a machine that will be underpowered and underfunded. He's won in GP before, he knows what it takes, and the Aprilia isn't it.

"Perhaps, underneath their leathers, Márquez and Pedrosa are wearing Repsol orange robes ..."

The engineers rarely get the credit they deserve, but make no mistake,
the Honda bikes are an advantage.

Though the skill of Marquez cannot be denied, Pedrosa is not as good as Marquez. That they are both able to generate such quick lap times strongly hints at the advantage the Honda gives.

I suspect Yamaha have yet to optimize their bike to reap the maximum benefit from the new Yamaha seamless gearbox. Honda has had far more time to optimize their bike. Given more development time, Yamaha engineers will probably erase some of the Honda advantage, and if they do, the Yamaha riders may be able to make up the remaining difference. So this year could bring some really good racing with the championship actually being contested instead of being a foregone conclusion.

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"It appears that the ideal temperament for a Grand Prix rider is no longer that of the wild man, who throws his heart into riding, but of the Buddhist monk, observing calmly and acting with careful deliberation. "

Per Cal Crutchlow's comment, Marc Marquez is anything but. According to Crutchlow and his interpretation of the data, Marc is riding wheels out of line, tons of rear brake and tossing the bike into turns. Perhaps the calm temperament is true of the riders sitting behind Marc, but it's not the ideal. Clearly, the only way to drop into the 1'58s and ride the Honda to its fullest potential, you still have to be a wild man.

Per Crutchlow, Crash.net:
Crutchlow is able to see the data of Marquez and Pedrosa, but said it is of limited use.

“To follow what they are doing is difficult, because one is almost 20 kilos lighter, and the other wins races and nobody really knows how! To do what he [Marquez] does is something I think only he can do.

“I don't think it's like trying to copy Dovizioso or Valentino, where you could look at the data and see what they are doing. Marc and Dani have completely different styles so deciding on which way to go is difficult because Marc uses so much rear brake and Dani uses half as much as Marc.

“One will have the bike completely sideways, one is quite in line. It's about finding a balance and what I'm happy with. I need to find a way to do more laps on the bike and improve.”

Marquez may be braking with his wheels all over the place, but that doesn't make him a wild man. Everything he does, he does with careful deliberation. He knows exactly what he is doing. One engineer who has seen Marquez' data told us that it was like he has a turn-by-turn riding style: he adapts it to each individual corner, each one is different. 

In the original Faster movie, Dr Costa talks about the difference in heart rate between Rossi and Biaggi. Biaggi was at max HR throughout the race, Rossi's was at 130 or so. The calmer you stay, the faster you go. It's not about what it looks like on the outside, it's about what it feels like on the inside.

so all of a sudden Honda have an advantage? my, how fickle the observers can be. Only a few days ago all and sundry were trumping how great the Yamaha is, waxing lyrical at the marvel that the engineers had created.

I sincerely hope Dani has found a new cog, especially after his incredible pace. Bring on another Repsol championship in 2015 :)

Stoner used to use a heap of rear brake also, Capirossi said the identical thing - that he could see Stoner's data but not replicate the technique. I'd love to know exactly what it is they're doing that's so hard to copy. I know GP riders use the rear brake to control spin but racers have been doing that forever, it must be something else. Marquez and Stoner have broadly similar styles, Marc more crossed up on corner entry and Stoner a bit more sideways but it's interesting they both use an unusual amount of rear brake. Honda are extremely fortuitous to have not only found two such gifted riders, but have one of them still testing parts for the other one when nobody can really ride like either of them! It reinforces my view that Dani ' s window to win a title is gone at Honda.

Crutchlow is such an excellent rider to have in the paddock because of the honesty and transparency of his comments regarding his riding style and setup.

At Tech3, Crutchlow said the exact same thing about Lorenzo. He once told his crew to replicate Lorenzo's settings exactly on his Tech3 bike, and went and tried to copy Lorenzo's riding style. He couldn't stay on the bike. He kept crashing. In his own words, he couldn't understand how Lorenzo could ride in the manner that he does without crashing.

The fact that he's saying the same about Marquez only means one thing: this is not about the bikes. Both the Yamaha and the Honda have the potential to win races. It is most assuredly the riders that are making the difference here. Jeremy Burgess' 80%-rider/20%-bike ratio comes to mind.

Particularly with the Honda, it is becoming ever more apparent how talented Stoner and Marquez were/are to ride this machine at its limits. There is literally no one who could do the same. Every rider other than Valentino, Stoner and Marquez have been crushed by the Honda. Nicky Hayden came close, but in the end he was bucked by this vicious bronco.

Why is Dani's style so different than Marquez's? Dani is a 250 champion. His formative experiences were on a bike which ruthlessly enforced smooth riding and high cornerspeed above all else. The fact that he's managed to win races on a Honda, which needs to be ridden in the absolute inverse manner, is astounding. I have always stood by my assertion that Dani would have fared much better on the Yamaha. In terms of style, he is far closer to Lorenzo than Marquez or Stoner.

These tests just reinforce my passion for motorcycle racing. At its core, it is about the riders, and always has been. You can have the best bike, but without a truly exceptional rider you will not have the results. This is a lesson Honda and Yamaha have both learned quite painfully over the past few decades.

My utmost respect to the brave lads who risk their lives for the pursuit of riding perfection. You are modern day heroes.

Maverick Vinales is a sensation. It's almost a pity than he's on a Suzuki this year. Having almost caught up to Aleix Espagaro (4/10th off), who is undoubtedly one of the most talented riders in the paddock, in such a short period of time is astounding. His achievements defy all logic, and I sincerely hope Suzuki can deliver the engine they need to finish on the podium this year.

If not, I feel like there will be a bidding war for this young sensation even before his contract expires. Oh and let's not forget about Jack, who is also a cool 4/10th off Nicky Hayden, the fastest man on his spec of machinery. Both of these rookies are doing exceptionally well.

I am quite looking forward to the next few years in MotoGP!

It actually was a bike many riders could have won the title on, including serial bridesmaids Biaggi and Gibernau. Rossi was better, but riders like Cal and Spies have said they understand how Rossi rides where Marquez and Stoner do something a bit alien, so to speak. Agree that Dani would fare better on the Yamaha, but until Rossi leaves there isn't a factory M1 available.

The early-2000s Honda was remarkable, and I suspect others "could" have won on it - absent Rossi. But I think Cal and Spies are mostly full of it when they say that they understood Rossi's "style" such as it is. Why? Spies had a factory Yamaha ride and as I recall wasn't overly successful, granted mechanicals, injuries etc. - even when everything worked, it didn't. Rossi certainly doesn't look as wild as Marquez or Stoner - and wasn't willing to get wild on the apparently bizarre Ducati, for sure - but Cal's results suggest that he probably doesn't actually fully understand what Rossi is doing.

There is no doubt that Stoner, Marquez, Lorenzo and Rossi are (or were, in Stoner's case) all exceptional - but the differences among them are modest. They each have a different approach, and it has led to to multiple championships for each. To rate Marquez and Stoner ahead of Lorenzo and Rossi I think is a mistake, though. They all have beaten each other, and I think mental state and equipment variances are quite impactful. It's not that it's not 80% rider - it's that they are all close enough to "fill" the 80% part, that the differences in the 20% are amplified.

We saw that last year, especially in the 2nd half of the season. And this season should be cracking all the away along.

Burgess said that a long time ago. Over a decade. Rossi and others have said that has changed since 2007 and the electronics arms race. Hell it's 50/50 now or Aleix would be on the podium regularly.

The V4 makes more power than the crossplane. Yamaha always had their tuning advantage, the chassis, sweet handling. The difference now is Honda's turn well now, and are stunning on the brakes. And Honda uses less engines and manages the fuel better. These are not huge discrepancies Honda > Yamaha, but small ones. Combine them, over race distance, and small differences mean bigger differences over race distance.

I can't help but feel, he put that exceptional time to be the fastest of anyone...

Back in the 90s and and maybe earlier, Honda had a clear cut advantage and gap on the rest of the teams. So much so, they were unmoving in their belief that it was their bike, no the rider. Supercross, Motogp, any damn series they had factory Hondas in. Arrogant in their belief. Then Champions like Jeremy McGrath, Valentino Rossi chose to show them that they could win not just races, but Championships without Honda. Even then Honda STILL stayed arrogant for awhile. But as time passed, especially in Motogp, they had to start to look harder for Riders. In the past it was whatever bike the World Champion was riding was the bike. Not the rider. Fans and competitors alike thought this. With Yamaha some people have felt that way, but no where near the numbers of people feel like that with the strength that people believe that Honda is the main ingredient to winning. Why... because Yamaha may get it right, and even get ahead at some points. But Honda will always find not just one step, two or three to keep them ahead.

Yes people speak on how 'hard' the Honda is to ride. But I bet it is no harder to ride than the damn Ducati which seems to be the hardest to ride out of every bike in the paddock. Stoner went to Honda, they asked how the bike was, and I am paraphrasing but he said it was smooth. It had it's problems but I bet it was a walk in the park from where he came from. Pedrosa had more complaints before he got there, those complaints dropped down and he started getting on with focusing on how he could get it to work beyond the problems he was feeling.

In the end, both bikes are good enough to win a Championship. They are matched up well enough for whoever winning the races to the championship just won it on their own merit. Unless some huge development happens that gives a years worth of development advantage, (which may be the shifting coming for Yamaha), 2015 will probably just be won off who is the greatest rider, not who makes the greatest bike. At the pace these 4 are carrying, even the greatest bikes will have 'problems'. Whatever development that is made the maximum performance will be reached and then there will another issue.

Posting comments just to slag off riders is boring and leads to pointless arguments. I have found over the years it is better to remove them. There are plenty of other sites which will let you post negative, content-free comments about riders.

Thanks David. Appreciate you taking the time to do pruning. That comment was an Illmore and this is a wonderful site in no small part due to the readership contributions being better than fanboymegaphone.com

I find reactive anti Cal commentary a bit curious (certainly not for their content). They often seem not only surface, but self agrandizing. Simple school yard bullying. He is a demonstrative, friendly and openly expressive, genuine person. Stoner and illness brought out similar responses. A few others come to mind too.

One way of looking at it is that the riders get beaten with a keyboard from far away by someone else over compensating for vulnerability by attacking it outside of themselves. Primitive "survival mode" functioning.

Glad we had our racism post to get this sort of thing out of the way. Next year can we please do religion? I noticed Sete was always crossing himself on the start grid and want to be enlightened re why he couldn't win a championship with celestial sponsorship. Or we could do politics - think of all the bright new readers you could gain with an expose "Single tire supplier: fascist or communist?" Or a dedicated series of articles for lawyers and accountants perhaps?
;)

For the rest of us, here is a bit of porn that offers comparisons of the Honda and Yamaha and some riders' styles. Marquez is so beautiful getting that bike carving arcs!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GxOTP3pBpsE

Re monks - this is closer to the truth of my experience than most would guess. I used to meditate on the grid waiting for the start flag. Riding a motorcycle isn't "like a meditation" as much as it is one. Focused Presence. Deep open full consciousness. Synchronization of mind, body, bike, and track. Flexible awareness with room for everything, including the subtle.

I remember leaving the rural mental health clinic I worked at on a well sorted R1 in a hurry to get back to the city to facilitate a mindfulness meditation group. It is so natural to flow from one to the next. Chi, Prana, spirit, life force, whatever we try to call it, is an inherent essence of our wonderful gift called motorcycle racing.

Everything I went through to corner a bike well is a microcosm of what being here more fully as a human being entails. The flow state is inherent goodness. It is all generalizable to living well. One could go on and on about it. They aren't alien, they are SO human that they seem alien to the sleepwalkers.

Motorcycle racing is trancendental.

I like Cal. He's a great character in my opinion. And the fact that he's constantly comparing himself to the fastest riders on the same bike imho is not a sign of megalomania. I think it's just normal. For him, the reference is always the fastest guy with the same gear. In my book that's just normal. If anything, he sometimes seems rather insecure and I think that gives him a human touch.

And I was quite intrigued by the way he turned that Ducati around in the second half of 2014. Maybe he doesn't have the raw speed and genius of somebody like Marquez. But to me it seems that he's extraordinarily determined and focussed. And he always gets up to speed eventually. At least so far he has. Let's see how he'll get to grips with the Honda. I wish him well.

Cal is also referring to others WHILE connecting with press and the world (us) about racing. This is multiple perspective taking and generosity of consideration and expression. It is a two way conversation. One side is Cal trying to get the ocean through a pinhole about what is going on as a racer. The other is the ears, mind and pen of the journo trying to drink said ocean and piss a pearl for you.

Cal did amazing sh*t on an outgunned Ducati late last year. And on the Tech 3 Yamaha when there was considerably more a gap between the Factory and satellite Yamaha's than now. And got less help from the factory than he was promised. He is genuine. He is fast. He is smart. He is a good guy. Perhaps interestingly in just the complimentarily opposite as what is drawn forth by detractors.

I love all these guys. Heck, even Melandri right now. Went from reaching the front on a BMW then Aprilia in WSBK just to end up in what could be seen as the last blip of the CRT fading from existence in GP's. Don't forget what he did on the Hayate too easily. The guy is a beast! If he loses his seat mid season and replaces someone under performing on a decent WSBK ride, then makes compost of his crap again to do well there, I will be more proud of him than if he doesnt. Odd part is that it was new engine spec rules that bucked Aprilia and then Marco in SBK. If he isn't a bit depressed now with his situation that could be seen as a detriment to getting out of it. Same with Cal and his frustration. And contrary to some folks lashing out with concrete operational inhumane "criticism."

Some of you sound like a bunch of Biaggis. Who, btw, did what and how not long ago in WSBK? Yes, even you folks have a legitimate way of being I am coming to appreciate with some effort. When I loathed myself under my helmet with disgust and shame in a race it was a few corners behind a over compensating greedy pseudo heroic overreach at the end of the straight that threw me off at 150mph. Racing is good like that.