Editor's Blog

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Predicting the unpredictable

Looking back at Le Mans and forward to the greatest race of the year

Was Jorge Lorenzo’s runaway victory at Le Mans the sign of many more to come or just the latest twist of a new technical era in which the only thing worth predicting is the unpredictability of the racing?

Who knows, except the man himself and crew chief Ramon Forcada. But what is a known-known is that while fans love watching racing when they don’t know what’s going to happen, the factories and riders hate dealing with curve balls from the left field. They spend many millions and work endless hours to know what’s what – all the way from suspension clicks to software algorithms – and during the Bridgestone era they pretty much knew what was what. Right now, at the dawn of a new Michelin era, most of them don’t. Great for us; not so great for them.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoGP tyre disasters: a history

MotoGP is going through a tough time with tyres, but how long has this been going on?

It is Michelin’s home MotoGP round this weekend; in theory a time for celebration, even though the French company hasn’t had the easiest of returns to a class of racing that it ruled almost continuously from 1974 to 2006.

First came Scott Redding’s delaminating tyre in Argentina; which had Michelin hurriedly deploying stiffer rear casings that had riders battling wheelspin in sixth gear at a dry and sunny Jerez.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Rossi’s secret

He’s old and he’s fat

I’m joking, of course, but not entirely

Valentino Rossi’s 113th Grand Prix victory was historic and much more. It was the success that brought him to within ten wins of Giacomo Agostini’s record of 122 victories, which for many decades was presumed forever impregnable. Hard to believe, but his 87th premier-class win was also the first time in 17 seasons in the big class that Rossi had led from pole position and from start to finish.

Rossi won his first Grand Prix in August 1996, three months after his first decent GP result, a fourth-place finish, just metres shy of the podium, at Jerez, funnily enough. After that race sidekick Uccio Salucci said, “that’s when I thought, hmm, maybe it’s possible that something good comes out of this, not just one victory or one podium, maybe something more…”

To attempt to fully understand the enormity of Rossi’s unique career it’s worth rewinding to 1996 to remind ourselves what else was going on in the world at the time.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Dorna: un favor, por favor

Here’s a special MotoGP request ahead of this weekend’s Jerez GP

I’m often a bit mean about Dorna, because they’re the people in charge of MotoGP, so they’re in the firing line. But they are big enough to take it. I fully realise that much of the time they do great work, but I’m only a journalist, so, as Pavarotti once said, “when a journalist write about the positive he write fives lines; when he write about the negative he become a poet”.

Dorna’s greatest act over the past year or so has been to admit that MotoGP is too expensive to survive entirely on outside sponsorship, so it has wisely and kindly decided to underwrite the poorer end of the grid for the foreseeable future. This is in stark contrast to Formula 1 and top-level football, where those in charge only seem to care about the headline teams.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why did Lorenzo do it?

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.


Why did Lorenzo do it?

Why Rossi’s failure on the Ducati could be Lorenzo’s biggest reason for going there

Anyone who tells you they know why Jorge Lorenzo quit the manufacturer that’s won five of the past 10 MotoGP titles for a brand that hasn’t got close to winning the championship for the past eight years, is making it up.

But let’s take a look at the possible reasons behind the defection.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why MotoGP is going backwards

Why MotoGP is going backwards

There’s very little all the factories agree on, but engine rotation is one of them

After sunshine, rain and fresh air, my favourite natural phenomenon is gyroscopic effect. This is because we wouldn’t be able to ride motorcycles without it. If you don’t believe me, try this next time you’re out riding: when you stop at a traffic light, don’t put your feet down. (And don’t send me the bill.)

A motorcycle’s spinning wheels create gyroscopic effect that keeps the machine going straight. The more speed, the more gyro and the more stability. This is all good, unless you are racing. Most racers don’t give a hoot about straight-line stability: they’re happy to hold on like gorillas on the straights, just so long as the bike will turn left or right in the blink of an eye.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - The new MotoGP title favourites?

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.


The new MotoGP title favourites?

Many people thought the secret to MotoGP 2016 would be smoothness, but Sunday’s Argentine GP completely trashed that theory

So much for all the preseason theories that the secret to 2016 would be riding nice and smoothly to get the best out of the lower-tech control electronics and lower-grip Michelin tyres.

Major Site Infrastructure Upgrades Coming - Normal Service Will Resume Thursday

If you thought the site had been a bit quiet recently, you are right. I seized the Easter holiday to embark on a major upgrade of the software which runs the website. As this requires a switch between major versions, this turns out to be about four times as much work as I expected. Which is almost always the way with any software upgrade.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Farewell to winglets?

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.


Farewell to winglets?

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP secret

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.


Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP secret

Why was Jorge Lorenzo so fast on Sunday? Here’s one theory…

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - To finish first, first you must finish

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.


To finish first, first you must finish

10 Years of MotoMatters.com: Reprinting the First Ever Post Previewing the 2006 MotoGP Season

The 20th March 2016 will mark the tenth anniversary of the first post on what would become MotoMatters.com. Though I had started the blog almost a year earlier, intending to write about politics, philosophy, and all manner of lofty subjects, it remained terrifyingly blank until the 2006 MotoGP season started to draw near.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Saluting a Grand Prix great

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.


Saluting a Grand Prix great

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Dorna's mistakes

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.


Dorna’s mistakes

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Maverick by name, maverick by nature

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.


Maverick by name, maverick by nature

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