Archive - Aug 2009

August 31st

Lorenzo Estimates Chances Of Title At "25%"

After his impressive victory at Indianapolis - in a race which he described as "boring" once Rossi had crashed -  Jorge Lorenzo spoke briefly to the English-language press about the race and how it affected the championship. Here's what he had to say:

Q: Now that your future is settled, you've made your choice for Yamaha over Ducati, was it easier to concentrate?

JL: No I don't think so. I think I was riding quite well in Donington, I was leading the race, by one and a half seconds, but I pass the white line and I crash. I couldn't do anything about it. Maybe I was wrong in my line, but nothing more. Maybe in Brno I did a mistake in this corner, because I wanted to open a gap between me and Valentino, and maybe I had to be following him not to pass him. Maybe you are right in Brno, but not in Donington.

Q: Every time you crash you learn very quickly, you never make the same mistake twice. Was your plan to get ahead of Valentino or stay behind him?

JL: You know, now that I win, it is very easy to say I don't make mistakes, that I am the best, but it could happen again to me that I crash. So, today has been good, but you don't know in the future.

Q: Have you started to believe in the championship again, or is 25 points still too much?

Scott Jones' Race Day Photos From Indianapolis

Nicky Hayden ran his best-selling Laguna livery on race day

Colin Edwards and his Amazing 3D Camera Rig (tail section)

The Moriwaki Moto2 bike was out on track at Indy ...

As was the Blusens Moto2 bike

August 30th

2009 MotoGP World Championship Standings After Round 12, Indianapolis, Indianapolis

MotoGP Championship standings for round 12, 2009

2009 Indianapolis MotoGP Race Result - Crashes Shake Up Championship

Results and summary of Indianapolis MotoGP race:

Hayate To Lease Yamaha Engine For 2010?

The news that the MSMA is moving closer to allowing engines to be leased has been received with enthusiasm both inside the paddock and out. The move is aimed at reducing costs and expanding the grid, and word from inside the paddock is that it might just work. The proposal is due to come into force in 2011, but rumors are rife that it could happen before then. 

It seems that Yamaha could lease one engine to a team in 2010. That team would be Hayate, allowing the plucky little team which has done so outstandingly with so few means to stay in MotoGP, and bring the grid size up to 18. The news was reported by, and discrete enquiries around the paddock have confirmed the report, though no one would speak on the record. 

The idea of the Hayate team running a Yamaha engine in 2010 makes a huge amount of sense. According to the reports, the new bike would use the existing Hayate / Kawasaki frame, and drop the Yamaha engine into it. Given that the man who designed the Yamaha M1 is Ichiro Yoda, who left Yamaha to redesign the Kawasaki, and is still in charge of the Hayate team, the bikes and the configuration are unlikely to be vastly different. The engine should fit without too much work, as both the Yamaha and Kawasaki engines are inline fours.

By running the engine in 2010, the members of the Grand Prix Commission - and especially the manufacturers and the IRTA - can test out in practice just how well such a proposal would work. And with restricted engine numbers, it should be relatively affordable for the cash-strapped team. Unfortunately - if somewhat understandably - Hayate have lost their star rider, Marco Melandri having signed for San Carlo Gresini. But with so many riders likely to be out of a job and offering their services for free to stay in the series, it shouldn't be hard to find a rider capable of surprising the field once again.

2009 250cc World Championship Standings After Round 12, Indianapolis, Indianapolis

Championship standings for round 12, 2009

2009 125cc World Championship Standings After Round 12, Indianapolis, Indianapolis

Championship standings for round 12, 2009

2009 Indianapolis 250cc Race Result - Championship Candidates Fight It Out

Result and summary of the 250cc race at Indianapolis:

2009 Indianapolis 125cc Race Result - Five Way Dice Goes Down To The Line

Results and summary of the 125cc race at Indianapolis:

2009 Indianapolis MotoGP WUP Result - De Angelis Pips Pedrosa In Final Seconds

Results of the morning warm up session for the MotoGP class:

2009 Indianapolis MotoGP WUP Result - Barbera Just Ahead Of Simoncelli

Results of the 250cc Warm Up Session:

2009 Indianapolis 125cc Warm Up Result - Corsi Edges Simon

Results of the 125cc Warm Up Session:

More Indianapolis MotoGP Photos From The Lens of Scott Jones

Third, behind two Spaniards. That's two too many.

Kids in 99 t-shirts. Are 46's days numbered?

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Getting a sense of scale is almost impossible

August 29th

MSMA: Engines To Be Leased From 2011, More Details To Follow At Estoril

MotoGP's biggest problem right now is the number of bikes on the grid. The withdrawal of Kawasaki, leaving just a single bike in the Hayate team cut the grid down to 18 bikes, and once Sete Gibernau's Grupo Francisco Hernando team pulled out, the field was cut just to 17. With Kawasaki almost certain to withdraw the last remaining bike from the Hayate team next year and the return of the extra Ducati for the Aspar team, the grid is likely to stay at 17, though it could increase to 18 if Honda does add an extra bike, as HRC has hinted it might.

To deal with this problem, and drastically reduce the costs of participation, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta suggested that the rules be altered to allow production-based 1000cc engines in prototype chassis to run against the existing 800cc full prototypes. As a serious suggestion, it was almost certainly doomed from the start, but as a bargaining gambit, it has been a stroke of genius. The suggestion immediately jolted MSMA into action, and at the Sachsenring, the manufacturers organization offered a counter proposal to lease just 800cc prototype engines on their own, rather than entire bikes. They asked the Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP's rulemaking body, for some time to come up with a more detailed proposal, which they promised to present at the meeting scheduled for this weekend at Indianapolis.

That proposal was presented this morning to the Grand Prix Commission - sort of. After the Grand Prix Commission met, the press release issued contained only a few minor detail changes to the 2009 tire regulations, so tracked down Herve Poncharal, boss of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team and IRTA's representative inside the Grand Prix Commission and asked him just what the MSMA's proposal had consisted of. The answer, it appears, is a little more complicated than just a straight proposal. 

2009 Indianapolis 250cc QP Result - Favorite Pipped For Pole

Result and summary of the 250cc qualifying practice at Indianapolis: