April 2014

Bridgestone To Offer Three Different Specs Of Front Tire For 2014

Bridgestone is to add an extra compound of front tire for MotoGP riders to choose from. After complaints from the teams over problems at some circuits, Bridgestone has responded by expanding the number of front tires allowed for each rider from 9 to 10, and adding an extra compound of front tire to help deal with differing conditions.

The change to the allocation had long been a wish of the MotoGP riders. Though Bridgestone's two selected compounds performed well under most conditions, a sudden drop in temperatures sometimes left riders and teams struggling. The problem was most pronounced in the morning sessions at circuits like Valencia and Aragon, where temperatures can be very cold. There were several front end crashes in those morning sessions, as tires struggled to get up to temperature. Adding a softer tire should make the morning practice sessions safer, and allow teams to work on setup without compromising safety.

The added tire also makes Bridgestone's job a little easier. The tire firm already produces rubber which works under an exceptionally wide range of temperatures and conditions, and expanding that to handle the more exceptional conditions was an expensive business. Adding a special softer tire for cold mornings means they can optimize their tire selection for expected conditions in the afternoon, giving teams better tires for the race.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Who’s cheating now?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Who’s cheating now?

So that’s the 2014 MotoGP championship dusted, best talk about something else…

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2014 Argentina MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Of New Tracks, Doohanesque Domination, And The Merits Of A Rossi Revival

There is much to be said in praise of the first running of the Argentinian round of MotoGP at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. First and foremost, praise should be heaped upon the circuit itself. Designer Jarno Zafelli took a formerly pedestrian layout and added just enough kinks and twists to make for an exhilarating and difficult racetrack. There are plenty of places to pass, and sections different enough that teams and riders can concentrate on their strengths, though that makes them vulnerable at other parts of the track. Add in a final section which lends itself to last-gasp attacks – at the risk of penalty points, as Romano Fenati found out – and you have an utterly superb track for motorcycle racing. If Jarno Zafelli of Dromo was hired more often, instead of Hermann Tilke, there would be a lot more fantastic circuits to race at.

The only negative was the fact that the track was still so dirty, a result of it not yet having seen enough action. Once the riders got off line, they found themselves struggling for grip, losing a lot of ground. Fortunately for the races, almost everyone got off line at some point or other, putting them all on an even footing. Once the surface cleans up properly, the track should offer even more places to attack, and alternate lines through sections. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is a fine addition to the calendar.

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Romano Fenati Handed Penalty Point For Last-Corner Pass, But Result Stands

The clash between Romano Fenati, Jack Miller and Alex Marquez in the final two corners of the Moto3 race in Argentina has not gone completely unpunished. The Italian rider has been issued a penalty point for the misdemeanour, but the race result will stand unchanged.

The incident happened on the last lap at the final section of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, turns 13 and 14. Miller had taken the lead from Marquez braking for turn 13, when Fenati came through, bumping both Marquez and Miller out of the way. Fenati held on to take his first victory of the season, Marquez taking 2nd and Miller demoted to 3rd. Miller was incandescent afterwards, saying that he felt he had been robbed of victory, as he had been planning the move to take the lead all lap long, and had the situation under control. Fenati said that his problem had been his front tire, he had lost control which had forced him to enter the corner too hot and bump both Marquez and Miller wide.

Race Direction announced immediately after the race that they would investigate the issue.  A hearing was held with all three riders involved, the result of which was that Romano Fenati was issued a penalty point. The race result was allowed to stand, Fenati keeping his win, Marquez remaining 2nd and Miller 3rd. Miller decided not to appeal the result. 'Do you really think a protest would change the result?' Miller asked rhetorically.

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