Editor's Blog: Happy Holidays, And Plans For 2023

Jack Miller at the Valencia Test, with a golden light as the end of the day approaches

Dear MotoMatters.com readers, subscribers, Patreons, and other supporters,

As you probably have guessed, the winter break is upon us, and so I will be logging off for a while. MotoMatters.com will be shutting down over the holidays, and will return sometime during the second week of January.

That should include some big changes to the site. The site is currently running on old software, and I intend to update it to a newer version with more features. The goal of the new server will be to be much simpler, cleaner, and less complex. The look of the site will not change much, but it should be quicker and more efficient, and hopefully create fewer problems.

I also intend to change the focus of the site slightly. There will be less news here (though race and practice reports will continue), and more analysis, interviews, and background. There are plenty of sites dedicated to providing news about MotoGP, but few providing insight, explaining the background to the news. The mission of MotoMatters.com is not to cover the what and the when, but the how and the why.

I will also be introducing a few more functions to the site. I will be adding a user forum to the main site, which will run in parallel with the existing forum, but be more aimed at site users. There will be extra perks for subscribers too, including a Discord channel for real time discussions. I will try to hang out there regularly, and make it a place to discuss racing as it happens.

Thanks once again to everyone who has supported the site in one way or another. The community which has grown here and allows me to continue to work is remarkable, and the site is widely read not just for my words, but for what the community contributes. As the calendar expands, the job of covering MotoGP becomes more demanding. It is easy to become exhausted and washed out, but your support buoys me up and keeps me going.

And thanks also to everyone who has contributed to the site. To Zara Daniela and Jared Earle for their race reports. To Neil Morrison, Akira Nishimura, Steve English, Tammy Gorali, Niki Kovács, Gordon Ritchie, Cormac Ryan Meenan, Andrew Gosling, Peter Bom, and others for their contributions to the site. I am proud to be able to feature work of such incredible quality. Thanks to everyone inside the paddock and out who has helped me or helped the site this year.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, or even if you don't celebrate at all, enjoy the break, spend time with friends, families, loved ones, if possible, and try to enjoy yourself if not. Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and fulfilling 2023, and a year of exciting and safe racing.

Cheers,

David Emmett


If you want to support MotoMatters.com, you can help by either taking out a subscription, supporting us on Patreon, by making a donation, or contributing via our GoFundMe page. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.

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Comments

David, thanks for another great season of MotoGP and World Superbike reporting. I thought the interviews were the best so I am very enthused for the changes you proposed above. Happy holidays and a have a great 2023!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, DE. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. 😀 

Thanks again for another year of superb toil! Wishing you and your family a Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2023 and your excellent work!

Thanks David and all the crew for great work this season. Your subscribers really appreciate everything you do.

Have a nice rest- long season coming up!

Thanks again.

 

Hope you're actually going to relax a bit and not get over-worked on your software revisions! Looking forward to following your insights through next season and beyond.

Many Thanks for this year and all the hard work put in by everyone. Its still the best motogp site. Best wishes to you and your family, looking forward to next year.

Regards

Kathy Christensen

to you DE and all the other mutterers here. The excellent articles and discussions in the comments easily make this site one of my daily highlights. Thanks for that and I hope to see you all back here in 2023!

  • bringing years of experience and connections in the racing community to reveal the personal and the technical inner workings of MotoGP and SBK
  • being authentic, no BS, unbiased reporting
  • creating a real community of readers who participate in the discussion (with good manners, too!)
  • being a platform for other creative, professional and passionate race enthusiasts (all those you mentioned)
  • investing in the future of the site, keeping it relevant, willing to try new things (any site upgrade can be very scary)

Looking forward to the new MotoMatters, and wishing you a restful and happy holiday!

Thank you David for your insight--and a great site! Which you continue to support and improve. Much appreciated. You have a big year ahead of you, take it easy the next few weeks.

Thank you also to Zara and Jared for your timely and subtly witty race reporting.

And lastly thank you to my fellow Mutterers, one of the more civil, informed, and interesting groups on the interweb.

Now, time for a short holiday ride on the RC-51. See you next year!

Thanks Krop and the team for your efforts. 
Looking forward to next year!

The best journalism for the best sport supported by the best community. Thanks to everyone for their contributions and especially for those I disagreed with as I did learn something from every one. Good luck with the upgrade David - I hope you don't have to resort to Mapping number 8 at some stage. Update from OZ is a Christmas day outside peaking at 30C. Now where's my Proseco?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays David and co. Thanks for another year of insight and entertainment.

I love the idea of a Discord for this community as the discussions and interactions are so positive and add alot to my thinking around the sport we love.

Have a great break and stay safe everyone.

MotoGP pre-season Test schedule:

Sepang Shakedown: 5th – 7th February

Sepang Test: 10th – 12th February

Portimão Test: 11th – 12th March

Round 1 Portimao: 23rd - 25th March

"Wintertainment" is here in the mean time. Join in with news bits, video links and Motomutterers discussion, good hearted teasing, and keeping in touch with the circus.

^ Round 1 not at Qatar = good news! Beloved Portugal rollercoaster in the 3rd week of March though? Concern about conditions...what is it like at Portimao then?

Interesting 2023 Schedule!

Krop, request - please keep the SAVE button up high where it was vs "scroll scroll scroll" way down there again? Lots of folks agreed last go around.

Thank you so much. Enjoy time off at home!

Xmas day here today in Oz and 30*C forecast today so a dip in the pool might be in order. Commiserations to all who are freezing their butts off elsewhere but hey, White Xmas?

White Christmas my ass. Moved three feet of snow off my deck and out of my driveway today. Envious of you guys on the right side of the world this time of year! Enjoy your swim.

A bit of sunscreen on the back of the neck and open the vents on the lid and away we go.

33'ish here today and about to take the kids for a swim at the beach. I've only ever seen snow in Afghanistan back when I had to snap the kettebells off the stand at 5am because they'd been frozen on solid. I think it's high time I booked into a snow resort or something next July, just for a taste (at least I can leave!)

I've had the Multi out a fair bit and can't stop test riding the Desert X. If you saw the roads out my way you'd understand.

….I’m in Newcastle. Beautiful weather, just had another dip in the pool. Enjoy Hawks Nest….good pub.

Well that was unexpected! I'm out Seaham direction at a place where all the bikes come past and/or stop for an afternoon sherbet.

Damo and RustyT, Steve Apical is not all that far correct? Didn't you figure that out aleady? How close are you two? A P.I. GP visit is on the bucket list for some readers here including me, and others go now and again yeah? 

Curious who is where. We have quite a few in Netherlands apparently. Great Britain too.

I'm in United States in the NW corner not far from the Pacific, Portland Oregon. No one right by me I don't think, but lots of USA readers scattered about. 

Anyone near St Steve and his SP-1 blazing about N.California? Someone here was racing there - Joshua Mson are you close to St Stephen?

(Drinks on me if anyone is nearby or passing through)

'Ello Aussie Motomutterers 

Good on ya! He rides far, and has a few Ducatis bumping around (I see you have that affliction too)

Good luck w the Scrambler, I like them! Making a custom mini "Scramblini" in the shop as we speak, to go on the campervan and bop around on. You have Multistrada?! Those are mega! Can you soften the suspensio a bit and put dual purpose tires on it? Wondering if it could do much of what a Scrambler would. 

Wishing I could join you all at that restaurant and talk racing. Hope you do!

;)

It's not a Scrambler. Don't trigger me, big bro. Completely new chassis and production line, and a reasonable Testastretta to get things moving (I'd never buy anything assembled in Thailand - outside of maybe happy ending massage), and they're nothing like the demo model Frankenstein. I'm still not convinced but I'm close.

I've got a 2011 MTS 1200S and it's a great bike. I don't feel that it has a character though, it just does everything right and the F8 was like that too. 4 in 1 was no marketing gimmick and control of those Ohlins is a couple of thumb presses away. Hit Sports mode and watch the fuel light come on in what seems like just a few clicks later. There's no way the S is hitting the dirt, and that's my mistake for buying a good bike at the right price but which only does half the job I need it to do.

Steve loves stirring me with pics of his Ducks.

Alright alright, imagonnago look the bike up. :) Hope you get one and love it! 

Apical is a mensch. I like his huge beard pictures too. 

So is Cloverleaf - you here mate?

(I have a luckily plated 250 dirt bike to start exploring off road with here --- just got the gear, I can see the hospital visit off in the distance!). Mountain bicycle single track was my 1st love before Moto Road Racing. Added together these make a no-dirt-skill motorcycle endeavor seem clearly dangerous to me. 

Yeah G'day 'Shrink its not all that far, you are correct. New South Wales, what a state to be in. What is 540 odd kilometres when it comes to visiting a fellow Motomutterer. Simply a day's ride. I would avoid the Emerald city if I made that trip.

Good day Rusty Trumpet & D999 my wife is road tripping in a car up Foster Tuncurry way. K took her riding gear, so will probably have a ride on a friend's Monster. Her Dad, my father-in-law 90 years old, is a Triumph guy & IOM TT spectator. He is navigating.

Multi pasta not a fan, they do go alright. I'm not keen on the current rockets except on the racetrack. No track days for two years unfortunately. Had to sell my 250 dirt bike too. But my son has his 30 acres debt free.

Yesterday my brother, the good dirt bike rider, told me he has picked up a new Two stroke enduro weapon. Tells me I can ride his Husky 350 FE again. I will be visiting him as soon as I can!

Thanks for the compliment Motoshrink. I had to look that up, never been accused of having integrity before. I'm a mensch. Woody Allen isn't.

Stable? Who is questioning my stability. Oh you mean the fleet or collection. I started on dirt bikes 1979 XL250s with 23 inch front, learnt how to crash and repair with that. Yamaha SR500 then Honda CB250RS. same donk as the XL250s plus a tacho drive. went through about 10 of them Hondas as a courier in Sydney. Messed myself up real bad on a Honda VT250 Spada. Got out of hospital a month later & decided to move to my rural retreat. Brought the 600 Pantah with me and 29 years later I still love it. Old yellow the 1999 996 is the faster one.

Down to only two Ducatis. Mrs Apical has two and all, M797 & 848 SF. SF always stands for Science Fiction even when it's a real thing. Ask Kropotkin, he is a bug eyed SciFi reader too.

And a DT175, which doesn't count for much.

It is too damn hot for full leathers anyway. Mainly because all the highway patrol police from Sydney are down here & it is double demerit points until next year. Will probably sneak out on my day off and do some motorcycle mindfulness on some back roads.

 

Happy Hogmanay Shrink and a prosperous new year to all MotoMutterers.

 

Cheapest 30 acres in Australia.

It was good value compared to some land we looked at. But not that cheap. My CRF 250 LA paid for the second hand tractor.

The CRF did it's job of proving I can still ride dirt. I didn't find the single tracks my bro was keen to find. But later realized two people I ride on the road with have KTM dirtbikes. They know where the single tracks are!

We should be on similar size by this time next year but I'll be damned if I give up the bikes for a tractor! It better have a front loaded and auger!

I have considered just grabbing a 450 and hitting the trails hard to get more experience on the dirt before getting another Adventure bike. I intend to actually ride the thing how it's supposed to be ridden and not just be a cafe poser. It'll give me a window to watch DX v1.0 sort it's gremlins out too.

What say you?

Not sure if I'm good enough to enjoy a 450. Probably need several rides & plenty of hours on the 350 to get up to speed on the dirt again. Need to be able to relax and let the bike do it's thing.

ADVs? Maybe, lighter would be better for me, if the seat is higher than my naval it is too high. No 230kg chook chasers for me thanks.

Sometimes a parent has to make tough decisions, he rides as well so it's all good.

I've had so many surgeries on shoulders, arms and wrists that I can't clock up the miles on the Superbikes any more. The 999S was incredible, but it was only a couple of hours here and there for lunch. I'll end up with another Super no doubt but it'll spend more time being gawked at and at Gloucester pub than big trips inland heading south.

I'm 6'3 and 95kg so I have no idea which traily I would get if I made the jump. I really want to develop that skillset though.

I hear you about the big ADV's. The Multi is a handful at times, especially 2-up.

There's a Ducati 848 in there? Surely you are in good enough w the wife to ride hers?! I thought you were riding a yellow 748 Mr Reddy? Or is it a 996 and I'm wrong?

Go see these guys down a the Tin-Shack for us and take a picture of the first Motomutterers Regional Get Together!

:)

Then it's a race between England, Netherlands and Western USA for 2nd?

:)

Yes she bought herself a 848SF after the shoulder operations worked well. Second hand. Yes she has let me ride it. The 848 used to cease accelerating at about 160 kph and the engine light came on? Took it to a good mechanic and now it keeps improving it's rate of progress. She told me she saw 199 kilometres per hour on the speedo recently. On a closed circuit of course.

R3 or RC390 yes 'shrink definitely fun. I once sponsored a guy who raced R3s. Great racing on an indoor cart track small tracks all the way up to Philip island.

Sounds like Rusty & D999 live closer. I'm a days ride away. But I am on their way to P.I. SBK round 1 is the last weekend in February. We should be able to organise some bench racing by then. Stay at mine guys, plenty of room here.

Motoshrink mine is a 996 Strada. Yellow like a 748 but a little faster. Makes up for my extra ballast. The bike isn't as light as some either. Juniors on 150s are quicker than me. But it is a classic, good looking bike and they can't grow a beard like mine.

There's a Ducati 848 in there? Surely you are in good enough w the wife to ride hers?! I thought you were riding a yellow 748 Mr Reddy? Or is it a 996 and I'm wrong?

Go see these guys down a the Tin-Shack for us and take a picture of the first Motomutterers Regional Get Together!

:)

Then it's a race between England, Netherlands and Western USA for 2nd?

:)

I'll wave next time as you'll go right past my pad and of course you're welcome any time. Have you seen the roads lately? It's pretty full on. The state of our roads is one of the main reasons I'm leaning towards grabbing a Desert X. It's a bigger, better F8 (which I adored) and this time with the right badge.

The ride out to Gloucester and up over the top is really good hey. I used to take my old F800GS out there a couple of times a week. Maybe we should hook up at the Tin-Shed Brewery some time.

…sounds like a great idea. I have an MV Agusta Dragster, a Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer, a Triumph Bonneville Cafe Racer and  a KTM dirt bike. How do we connect?

^ Now THAT'S a proper stable of ponies, eh?! Gah! Have people seen this MV Agusta Dragster?! Sexy as the get.

Evidently not by confusing your Scrambler w a Desert X --- I admit to know very little about two brands, Ducati and Harley Davidson, neither of which I intend to ever own. 

(While we're at it, what's in your Bike Shed?) Buell 1125R w some custom bits. I hate it, selling when built. Triumph Daytona 675R (love it!). Two scooters (guests etc, the old pit bike habit never died - Malaguti F18, International Buddy 170i). Suzuki 250 dirt bike. Mini Scrambler custom off of a Kymco Spade 150. 

1000cc Sportbikes seem to come and go. As soon as there is room in the shop (like when the Rotax Buell is gone) a new project leaps in to fill the spot. There were 12 at one point, this now seems pretty reasonable).

Loving the Triumph so much plus being finished with messy vintage toilings (and being 52) seems to have pulled the wandering expansive eye back. Until, hmm...

Tempted by a race only kart track toy. RC390 or R3 sort of thing to crash and smile.

Anyone else?

That's what I love to hear and I love what I'm hearing about these collections.

I went from a CBR250RR --> Ducati M600 Monster --> F800GS --> 999S ---> MTS1200S. The most character was hands down the M600 with staintunes. I spent my entire deployment dreaming about riding her over the river across the old truss bridge next to my place. Fast forward a bit and after a good clutch bleed, she backfired like mad across the bridge then hit her stride nicely. Then a f'in spider bit me on the inner thigh.. so the reality didn't quite match the fantasy in the end.

I'll have extra shed space once we settle on the new farm in 2023, so I will be able to add to the stable without subtracting from it! Those Dragsters really tickle my fancy. Beautiful bikes. The 675 has always intrigued me and your love of it has stoked that fire many times.

** deleted the NSFL bit

^ That 999S, betting it was fun! Ridden a few 998's. 

- WINTERTAINMENT - Supersport bike edition

Big twins just don't do it for me anymore. Like a..."racing tractor." And not that light either really. Narrow between the knees is cool! Looking and sounding sexy! Puttering around on the street at day to day jaunt pace? Pleasant! Usable relaxed power. But DAMN they are BORING. Uninspired.

Loved the inline 4's! But, over time the angry wasp scream zing wasn't quite...sweet enough? Settling? Comfortable? I wanted more over the whole powerband from the 600's. The 1000's were...angry. On road, not pushing hard? Lovely power. Impressive. Fun. Egoic too frankly, "I'm really something here, aren't I?" Roll on wheelies on tap. 2nd gear "up she goes!" and snick it into 3rd. Away from a "fast car" "racing" on the highway, quite a treat. Me have big schlong, look!

Give the 1000 Inline 4 the beans though? Not sweet at ALL. Angry with ME. Wants me off of it. Thinks it is funny. I do NOT. 

Quick mention, the V4. That Aprilia Superbike is wonderful! Electronics are not as good as BMW or Ducati, but DAMN the bike feels good! But, a bit much. Again, for me...the "feel" and sweet confidence. Like oddly, I am wishing for a 750cc V4 on a big diet. Zero rider aids. Minimistic, go for sweet feel and "whole package" of me and machine on this track. Aprilia has not given us a 4 stroke middleweight. They graced the Supertwins with the magic RS660! Whelp...(ahem, Next Gen Supersport on the drawing table Black?).

Quick nod, who amongst us does not have appreciation for the everlasting stalwart beauty of the Suzuki GSXR750? ALL this time? Yes, it reached a pause in development at...what, 2010? But damn what a sweet spot! Well, it is arriving NOW in Supersport.

OF NOTE: === HONDA=== Yes, remember them race fans? They are about to do something. Their Superbike is coming forward. But importantly, there is something going on in Supersport. A real deal new Japanese Team in the "talk of the town" WorldSupersport. What will this bike become? A "special concessions" 2007--> CBR600RR Fireknife? Yes, that is what they are fielding. Without mentioning the bike in it's announcement. They are trying to homologate something, or have a new bike coming. Honda has not had a Triple to work with. Big Twin way back. A V4 ALMOST popped out into Superbike, but didnt. It won't now in Supersport. The 600cc Inline 4 was the past, and they lost that race outright 12 years ago. ===CBR750RR=== Believe me, crystal ball is clear, an Inline 4 well above 600cc. Not their CBR650 garbage either. Fresh chassis coming. 

Tuning fork Yamaha, R1 and R6...well done! I'm sorry Blue, but I regret to inform you that your "R"7 is a standard. Suitable for beginner riders, or a boat anchor. You ==DO== have a large Triple engine, and it is a good one! Nice sporty naked you've got there! Rather retro. Shove that XSR900 890cc 3 cyl into an R6. Sell it retro style w no fairing, as is the current perversion, an X9R. Price it just under the Triumph Street Triple 765R. It gets homologated, magically arriving with the R6 race fairing. Every damn thing in it but the engine is the ubiquitous R6 stuff laying about everywhere.

"And on the 15th day, god made the high revving Triple..." Every single sportbike person that has ridden my Triumph LOVES it. If they wrung it out and had some straight, a few notice that while a hi red line, the last top part of the rev range doesn't offer more power, kind of a big "over rev." (Stock 2014 675R engine, Power Commander, full exhaust). But WOW the engine character and power delivery everywhere is DELICIOUS as sin! The sound of the exhaust is unmistakeable (uneven firing has a gallop for more traction). Guessing I have 130+HP and unsure exactly but lovely Ft Lbs torque. 

This EXACT motor character, but the magic number...150 horsepower. No rider aids thank you. The rest of the bike, perfect. 

Methinks that is 800cc basic Supersport build, race gas territory. And there was singing, shafts of light from above...

Except yours St Steve! SP-1's are fantastic. Just ask CE Edwards II right RC51? You are a lovely bike. Don't be insecure about your weight either! You look great. I've always admired your fairing stay, you have "fighter pilot" qualities. Your torque and poise are admirable. More reliable than ANY of your peers. Especially that delicate spendy Italian you know red who. Kawi 750's watched you walk away. Your side radiators are a tank-like mighty glory. And your Castol livery live on indefinitely in reverence. If your Steve wins a bet with me, I will send full sized big main Castrol fairing decals for you to wear for fun. He might not, but you deserve it you lovely big HRC twin beast you.

(Sorry SP-1, but as soon as I got a 2001 R1 a WHOLE bunch of bikes fell of my adoration wish list)

Funny though, I think I missed out by not picking up the cheap VFR800 nephew of yours a while back to tour on. 

Good RC51. We love you. Carry on.

It's starting to feel better. Born into a family of VFR's going back decades it was always insecure.

SP-2 BTW

SP_won (Mutterrer) goofed my head typing his name a lot here. 

I really have big logos I've been saving but not using. Guessing 38cm long. Red "Castrol" on white, that green trim around the outside. Set of two, like you get from a sponsor. Friendly wager? No hurry, we can find one before Portimao. There will be something we disagree on. See any of my "trying to fill in Winter" blather here to take issue with? I like a friendly ribbing, a little too enamored with my own opinions if you ask me.

We seem to usually agree don't we? Until I just say something annoying? (Sorry about that, not intended).

Marquez vs Quartararo?

Bagnaia vs Bastiannini?

Mir vs Rins?

I'm big on OLIVEIRA in Black right now. Care to have a race? Dark horse if you ask me. A few people are tipping A.Marquez, Zarco and Rins. What about Bezzecchi? Dark horse?

Distasteful as it is, in my head I predict who I see crashing out before Sunday lights out. Biggest crasher of the year too. Funny, but an argument could be made for dark horse rider AND biggest crasher being...Rins. 

Are you a fan of a Manu, Team or Rider St Steve?

I’ll chime in seeing as you mentioned me. Should probably change my handle to SP gone, alas.

That bike was perfect for me. I loved the lazy torque of a big twin and the fact that it wasn’t too much bike for me to really flog. That and the sound of the Ti Akropovic full system.

Always had comments about the sound when hitting PI for cornering school.

I’ll always be grateful to have ridden such a beautiful machine in anger on such an iconic track.

#glorydays 

Yo!

Have you seen JINX? Pitbull? Powervalve? 

Perhaps we are an interwoven buncha threads. Yeah, overplayed here Wintertaining whilst Krop operates on the site (dude never takes a break, hyper technically laser focused) sure. 

Pop on in folks, the water is warm! We love motorbike racing and we're in Krop's virtual living room. Which wouldn't be so warm without you.

SP_won, a track day at PI, I am very jealous. Southern Loop leaned way over on the RC, er, SP I mean, on to Stoner/Honda-Miller/Siberia...

There are maybe a half dozen tracks in the world where I can name and visualize every corner, and PI is one of them. Been there as a spectator. Would be amazing to ride it.

'Shrink: Thank you for the offer of a wager for Edwards/Castrol stickers. But if I'm going to go all in I would get a 2nd set of bodywork from China and start over. My '03 is red/black/silver, and looks pretty stock, with only a couple of HRC stickers down low, and the obligatory small 69 sticker on the tail.

I do love the Castrol livery though! Despite not being a fan of either Marquez I did really enjoy Alex's LCR look last year, similar to Colin's from 20 years ago.

As far as being a fan of a manu, for me it's more the rider. When I caught the gp bug in the late 80's (boosted by a trip to the '88 gp at LS), there were so many Americans to root for that brand was secondary--Rainey, Schwantz, Lawson, Mamola (NOT Spencer!), you know the names. 

Gotcha. Watched Nicky get his big 2005 Laguna win, hung out with his family in their AMA pit. Running his helmet from there now. Miss him.

Have the little yellow Woodpecker birdie he ran on your bike?!

Joe Roberts didn't. Almost! Gerloff, nope. We have a couple more Americans bubbling up eh? But they aren't QUITE making the last oomph up to MotoGP nor pointy end of WSBK or Moto2. I like Brandon Paache (spelling?).

Whelp, I tried. Maybe I'll get a hook in you later. 

Happy New Year friend!

…2020 MV Dragster RR but just recently had a ride on a low kms 2013 MV Brutale 1090 which is a 4 cylinder vs my Dragster triple. Quite a different feeling bike but still very appealing and powerful. Now toying with trading the Ducati on it. Hey, who doesn’t want two MV Agusta’s?  It’s good chatting when there is no motorcycle racing going on. We are going to Austin in April for COTA.

Sensible indeed, of course you NEED the Brutale as well as the Triple. We are all happy to let the wife know...

(Good for you re COTA too! Well done sir!)

….I’m 6’1” and 90 kg and I downsized from a WR 450 which was too much bike for my advancing years to a KTM 350 which is spot on in grunt and much lighter. I don’t get to ride much dirt these days as I don’t want to slow the fast guns down or do it too tough but I still enjoy it. We should do some dirt together. I have a Ute to transport my bike.

Thanks a heap for that mate and I will definitely take you up on that offer. I'll have plenty to learn on the dirt but I will profit from it bigtime for sure. My profile should have a contact button otherwise I've flicked 'shrink an email to try and link us up.

So hey, 450 dirt bikes = 1000cc Superbike in a way, right?

Had a CRF450 Supermoto formerly owned by Jake Holden. Fun, but...nuts! And it was street plated by some "they knew the dealership owner from racing sponsorship" sneaky jazz. It was...too much man. Had one dirt zip on a Yamaha 450, same thought. 

I have a Suz 250 (Supersport of the dirt world?). 

And then, like magic...the KTM 350 sweet spot?

Pedro Acosta? 

Ogura?

Arbolino?

Canet?

(Other?)

A wee part of me thinks having "Top 5 MotoGP plus a Moto2 rider" would be more fun than "plus Top Independent (or Rookie)" because it gets us looking at other classes. 

I think Acosta is coming...and unfortunately MotoGP Rookie A.Fernandez is about to get his career ripped to shreds in the Orange grinder. Poor Remy Gardner, ouch! 

Please please don't send the 2023 Moto2 Champ off to the KTM slaughterhouse again. Especially Acosta, who might be something special. 

Contrast Bastiannini's Rookie entrance on a Ducati 2021, two podiums! 10th in his first outing at Qatar. Year two outright challenging and matching the fastest guy out there.

"But if Acosta is REALLY special, couldn't he do it on the KTM?" No. Not this one. Maybe an improved one or just via the new Michelin front. B.Binder already IS something special. Oliveira is exceptional too. In Orange you just keep your boots from getting caught in the grinder blades. At Honda it tries to kill you. At Yamaha you need to have a psychologist and moderate expectations. Tough times! Have I mentioned that two or three simple things would dramatically improve that? A couple weeks ago and for the 7th time? Oh, ok. Back to work...

 

;)

With every word. The delays to bring on a new front tyre are compounding the impact of the ride height plus aero plus Gigi's kitchen sink. And please Pedro, don't go to KTM.

Amen brother Tony g, good to see you. How are things, and what is good? We have you in the 2023 Top 5 right? Confident?

(I haven't looked at it for a bit, but will pop it back in here again in January churning a chat)

Seeing Honda finding traction, and not Yamaha. Missing Suzuki of course. Orange puzzles me aside from our F tire woes. Duc Armada has hold of all the silverware. Aprilia? Cheering them on whole heartedly!!! Oliveira specifically, hope they toss him updates when he is matching Aleix.

What say you!?

:)

Hey Shrink, I'll go there - imo, it's Pedro then everyone else in Moto2. He is that special, not like Binder, like MM. I haven't seen one like PA since Marc. Title this year then podium contention instantly in 24 Motogp. Guevara is special, too, but Acosta is magic imo. I think he can win on anything he gets on.

Love the off-season chatter and speculation, news and rumors. I have no good words for Honda but I wish they would get their excrement together. Racing is better with the big red villains. And MM gets number 9 this season no matter how badly Honda tries to kill him. I'm looking for big things from Bezzecchi this year, he's a competitor. And Yamaha won't have enough motor. Again.

Goes without saying with my track record you shouldn't take any of these to the bank. Cheers!

You are right about Acosta Brian, can't argue. But I feel that Ogura has a very strong shot. Yes, he crashed and burned (literally and figuratively) at the end of last season, but I think he will learn, have another year of growing up, and will be a rocket with a chance to win every race in 2023.

Aye, I see eye to eye with you on Ai. Let's hope he has that .1% that Taka lacks. Either way Moto2 is far from the doldrums of the Luthi years (no offense) with the 600s screaming their little airboxes out trying to outrun the 250s. Now I wish they'd go to 400 twins for Moto3. Enough wishing for this NYE. Cheers and Happy 2023 to you and all the Mutterers!

Brian! Hey Buddy!

:)

100% agree. Nice to see you, too. Pedro Acosta comes through on these others. Poor Ogura STILL gets the 2nd LCR Idemitsu ride. 

So Acosta, yes. Special. AND, isn't it cool that there are 2-3 OTHER trajectories for our Top riders? 1) Alien "win a lower class race from the back of the grid" magic. 2) Blue collar hard work gets human mortal out as an Astronaut. Bagnaia, Dovisioso, etc. Ideal Test riders btw! Important these days. Then, 3) that Big Bike surprise. So-so Moto2 record, but gives the right people (Ajo etc, but doesn’t get put in the Orange grinder) "that hunch"...Fabio Quartararo. The late-bloomer Alien. Such a treat!

Brad Binder btw, I think he is even better than we know. We always have a rider or two for whom "but if only they'd gotten on a (Suzuki/Ducati recently) things could have been _____" 

Ten yrs from now? GOAT conversations? May even say that about our broken Skittle Marc, like what if he wasn't on the nighmare Honda yrs and never had more than his old "sometimes my shoulder pops out" fintess/injury situation. Hell, not on that bucking bronco bike, his damn shoulder would even have been fine. 2018 bike switch ---> Domination! Ago, Rossi beating stuff.

Anyhoo, much to see here. Happy New Year Brian. 

Gonna be a fun year. So many races. So many comments. So many predictions to go wrong. Woohoo! Take care and be safe in 23

Surprise surprise, I'll chime in!

;)

Miller is a rather physical rider. He's got balls. He has wrangled bikes that won't turn in. He rides the bike he gets, no primadonna. No "but the grips are the wrong color, I may have mild flatulence, and the data engineer hasn't professed his love for me since breakfast" Vinales. Not a front end feel guy. Huge balls. 

He'll do fine! Which, on this KTM? Mid pack. Demotion. 

Binder is a better rider and will beat Jack in Season points. Will bet a shirt on it if you want for fun (yes, I love it and always pay up. Warning though, you become the object of silly taunting connected to Jack!). Miguel Oliveira in Black vs Binder and Miller, have a pick there? I go 1) Oliveira, 2) Binder, 3) Miller. 

I like doing the WHOLE GRID like this! Trickiest for me now? Mir/Honda. Tough crystal ball, right?!?! A.Marquez in Lavender is someone I could put ahead of Mir at Repsol! Crazy era here. 

Rusty, want D9's email address? (I can put mine here until you get it, then delete. Will reply to you w theirs). Or did you already catch up w him? Hey, I can vouch for Steve "Apical" being a great human being too, he is a bit further away but ventures far. I can send you his too. Wishing me and my bike could be there to meet up.

:)

I think Jack will go close to getting the best from the KTM rc16. Brad Binder & Miguel Oliveira probably took it close to 100% at times to. Some said the rc16 was better in low grip conditions. Miller is good when there isn't much grip available. The KTM may work well for Jack. Dani Pedrosa seemed to like the way Miller performed at the Valencia test.

Jack won at Motegi in 22 and two GPs in 21, plus a superbike race in Oz. At the same time Pecco did better, winning 11 times.

Apparently JM43 is bringing his crew chief across to KTM and two engineers who have worked with him at Ducati Corse.

KTM have been working on their MotoGp project, and spending mega Euros, for several years. Six full seasons from 2017 until now. 108 races until now for 4 wins and 11 other podiums. If it was easy Everybody would be racing. Suzuki, Kawasaki and Mahindra gave up to name a few. Good on KTM for having a red hot go. I expect the Austrian company will continue to work very hard to make progress. I hope they will do better in 2023 than '22. Predicting KTM's best rider will end up about 4th or 5th in the championship.

Picked BB33 for 4th next year.

V-fours forever now, Yamaha and Suzuki (remember them? beautiful) got lucky. Don't expect lightning to strike three times.

We will see.

Maybe Jack coming fresh to the bike will be an advantage over BB’s experience?? So I will have a go at the T-shirt. I think that I successfully sent an email to D999 via the contact thing. Very happy to catch up with Apical though not quite sure where he is.

Rusty Trumpet/Miller vs Motoshrink/Binder for Season Points. One racing shirt mailed after Valencia.

Thanks a ton mate! (Watch how this boosts the interest factor, even already).

:)

"Apparently JM43 is bringing his crew chief across to KTM and two engineers who have worked with him at Ducati Corse." - Isn't this big Apical and Mutterrers?

(It begins already) Hey RustyT how nice of your Miller to help Dani and Co develop the bike. My Binder is so appreciative! Jack might be the new Crutchlow at LCR Honda. Aren't they quite alike eh? 

;)

….are Jack and Cal so it could happen that way. BB might be presenting a T-shirt to Jack at season’s end reading “Thanks for Making the Bike Work Mate”.

Jack is hard to be objective about because he seems so unpretentious and is so open in his opinions - hence a hugely popular guy. I have to agree that he is just a step or a step and a half below the top tier though. The first reason is that he seems to have a couple of unnecessary DNFs each season. The second is that he seems less kind to his tyres than some others (notably Bastianini...). The thing is though that Jack and some others are going to have the Sprint races to perform in this year and a shorter format seems to present Jack (and Brad) with a real opportunity to to just go nuts. I think we are all underestimating the impact of the new format on the 2023championship. I certainly hope that it brings new challenges to the Ducati dynasty that is otherwise going to dominate again.

Tank full - 22degrees - the road beckons even for slower blokes like me this morning.

Jack had a terrible start to the season and very little of it was through fault of his own. He turned it on later and even had a remote shot at the title when things started to get serious. I agree that he's still that half step below the top guys so his move to KTM is a real wildcard. The sprint races will most certainly play into his hands.

Next year will be different. An additional and different race--the sprint--and an additional way to accumulate points for the championship. It will favor some--those quick to get up to speed, those who get good starts, those who are not the best at tire management--and drop others back into the pack. Can't wait.

Sprint races, oops didn't factor them in at all. They didn't make much difference in SBK, results wise at least. In MotoGp I suspect we will see different winners and crazy stuff happening. What is the race strategy? Probably just go nuts, damn the tyre and fuel consumption & may the Devil take the hindmost. Marc Marquez could clean up, race fitness slightly less of a factor, maybe.

G'day Rusty I am way down in the southeast corner of NSW, inland from highway 1. On your way to the Island.

I like my twins 'shrink even the SV650 was fun on the track. Enjoy your Trumpy. 150 horsies would be fun to play with. But I would eventually want more. 112hp at the brochure is OK for me. Just trying to learn how to make the most of what I have now.

Happy new year to all, time for another ride in 2022.

Used to go that way to PI when I lived in Canberra. Now I fly to Melbourne and get a rental car. My mouth is watering at the prospect of sprint races.

Yes Rusty just down the hill from Bombala. On the reasonably good Mount Darragh road. Fun part has 120 corners in 30 kilometres! I like! The more "maintenance " the local council does, the worse the road gets. Solution, put the speed limit down. meh!

Fly and drive? That sounds way too comfortable!

Congratulations on escaping from Canberra RT.

I've had to drive way more than I like, but I make up for it by always hitting the paddock and being there from open to close all three days. I've already got my accommodation locked in at the same pad for next year, just off the island in Grantville which I prefer these days. Modern, sleeps 12, water views from the top floor with a nice balcony/BBQ and set back from the main drag looking across a paddock filled with cows. It's half hour in the car tops and I'll be thinking of you in the campground when I crack that first beer over the barby mate. Roll the dice on whether it's pissing down or not!

^ Sprint races! 1st lap madness

(Ducati w no fuel conservation? Oh boy)

Sprints...1st few turns. Jorge Martin. Last chance saloon "luck changer" Zarco. Marc Marquez on his wobbly wooden horse. Hungry Mir and Rins, same bronco. Quartararo "I HAVE to lead or can't pass!" from Row 2. A Japanese rider on his second desperate over reach season, can't go better than the last one. Plus a gaggle of HUNGRY riders converging into the funnel of fury expecting entirely to be getting ahold of the front pack for a tow. 

2022 was already hot and spicy. Sprints? Hell fire!

Oh god we are in for a TREAT. Aren't we?

-----------

P.S. don't sweat the "save button" etc. We are in an old version of the site or something while Krop has it in surgery. 

Mutterrers make Wintertainment time

Christian or Cristhian Pupulin has defected from the Ducati corse to KTM with Jack Miller. Bringing a lot of knowledge and experience with him. I haven't heard who the other two techs are yet.

Best Gp of the year 2022? I don't know, didn't get to any in person. Open to suggestions from our MotoMmunity

Best SBK weekend of the year 2022? I do know; Philip Island! Saw the action live at the track. Rode to & from, caught up with friends. I had an good good time. Random strangers told me my bike was "Cool"

So much fun was enjoyed I intend to go back in February.

(Last one of the year)

^ "There will be less news here (on the site)," more "how any why" than what.

Cool! Please do. Really looking fwd to the ditection you are taking us all. Mutterrers often pop in here with the small news bits anyway. Through your Winter break I go all in on it. Having fun! Speaking of which...

"I will be adding a user forum to the main site. There will be extra perks for subscribers too, including a Discord channel for real time discussions. I will try to hang out there regularly, and make it a place to discuss racing as it happens."

EXCELLENT. You ARE Moto Santa! I will take my camping chair and cooler from here to there. Really great addition. Fingers crossed that Neil Morrison joins in too. Steve may hold Podcasts in nice cohesive flow, HUGE gift to offer, but Neil is the one that has me hooked in most solidly. Fanboy here.

^ Great stuff there. Hope you also take some rest and relaxation. Tip of the champagne and oysters to you tonight Krop!

to you DE and all the Mutterers and families here. Looking forward to the 23 season with MM93 nearly 100%, Bestia on the factory Duc, FB63 with the title to defend and FQ20 on a hopefully improved Yamaha. And I'm leaving out Mir and Rins on the Honda and Oliveira on the Aprilia....Vinales too...Binder/Miller...this could be a truly great season...

And sorry 'Shrink, I neglected to wish you a Merry Christmas with my last post (I'm an old fart and all). So Happy New Year, all the best!

Quartararo switched to HJC helmets, 750,000 Euros per yr!

Anyone else instantly go to Lorenzo, fogged visors and switch to Shark?

I am a little bit superstitious. Honestly, because things don't happen in isolation and are bits that can be brought into the crystal ball. Seeing each lightly, with humor. But I really do take note of every wee thing and integrate it into the bigger picture. They aren't "causal," all is interrelated. Possible indicators.

One just came to mind as an example. I had said it with humor, but...Alex Rins clearly said that if he ever won a race he would shave his head. He didn’t, and not long after hit his crash-fest of unforced errors.

There is a reason riders do stuff like put the left boot on first every time. In something like motorcycle racing sustaining the miracle of performance height within complexity, change and danger is a bloody miracle. And centrally, not primarily a matter of cognition and discursive thought. 

Once in a while I tell patients to do a single thing like change where they sit to have morning coffee the day after a session, and write whatever comes to mind. I tell couples to spend the next week sleeping upside down in their bed together NOT having sex. If I am struggling, I clean my bedroom, change the bedding color and put fresh rosemary from the garden under the pillow. Yadda yadda yadda.

Changing helmet brand to HJC for a money windfall when you have bike problems? Breadcrumb in the wrong direction I think. Arai! Or Shoei maybe, better helmets right? But you don’t "just change." HJC?! Don't change things lightly. Be in touch with the why deeply.

Yamaha has had a foggy visor for a few years. Tires and ride height devices screwed them too. Hoping that the new F1 engine engineer can squeeze ponies PAST where the first-try one step forward got (ever so briefly before dropping back inexplicably). Blue is fooked if you ask me. 

Fabio? He Just Can't. Tough to see, just like Marc on that other Japanese bike. Nearly poetic, the two Aliens on sputtering spacecraft, whilst Red and Black reach space travel speed.

Instead of saying "can you imagine if Marc was on a Suzuki?!" we are soon to say the same of Quartararo on an Aprilia. 

Dakar Rally Raid (brought to you by Petrucci last yr? Certainly not Ronaldoramco)

The 1st part of coverage is always bikes. After are not only those 4 wheeled things but semi trucks. I'm stopping after bikes, and these links do NOT benefit Aramco, they are NBC USA. If they don't work in your part of the World, let me know. Also, VPN is super cool to grab race media from other regions. Watch guide:

These are 23mins hi quality daily Stage highlights. Bikes are first part, watch 1/3rd of each of these links in a row.

If you are honing in for the~~~~~~~~~ W I N T E R T A I N M E N T ~~~~~~~~~

Right here and now I will sell you on Dakar. Click "Stage 1" link below, and slide time to 2:30

Stage 1:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BCIbnPpxonc

Note how the Route is le piste. It starts out, as you can see in Stage 2, quite utmost in technical. Near forced mechanicals. Fresh Teams git the cheeze grater at the word go. This is a TOUGH route folks. It can't be overstated.

Motoshpucture Proof...shouldn't 1st tires be puncture proof, and "spares" be regular tires? Like PLAN for it!? My Mtn bike has puncture proof tires.

Stage 2:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XrGM7oc15Rk

So notice that there is plenty of strategy. Coming in 4th, you can relax and get tow of TOWS not being let out FIRST. You don't want pole, they are "breaking snow." Good strategy, safe. But, is this a sprint or a marathon?" Pacing yourself and the Terrain is a nice far/wide awareness. Tow here, break away there. My mustachioed American has my Fandom. Did you see that wheelie?

Stage 3:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hBFq_oTSxxM

Notice how there are No Spoilers here. Perhaps we start to see the other strategy -- can I just burst out in the front and break a gap? Super tough ask to leap out in front. SO way tougher to break trail out in front. Navigation is a major part of Rally Raid. The concentration to Navigate breaking trail is mega! Just behind gets a tow. But you know what's very confidence inspiring? Following the front two, carving in optimizing the line...those two make a full on track, and from just behind that one can cut inside lines to optimize time --- Mega tow!

But 4th is the real plush spot. But, what if there was a breakaway at the front? Ok, just watch and enjoy. David, enjoy your break! The Website is GORGEOUS. Don't knock yourself out. If you need someone to tell the wife that for your performance plan you are supposed to take Winter Break off? 

;)

Re Stage 5:
"Oh, right...it ISN'T a sprint. A seagull in the crosshairs of your helmet? Geese? At 2:50 you see pointy end rider meet not atypical fauna.

So you're riding Rally Raid on 2 Wheels? It is rhythm. And focused deep and wide mind. Their body-centric feel cornersone. Late night here, after a date. Sea food and champagne.

Regarding Stage 4: 

------------------ W I N T E R T A I N M E N T -------------------
Click Stage 4 and Fwd to 1:46

46, as in Rossi.

TRY DAKAR OUT, I DARE YOU!
;)

Viva airbag jackets. Stage shout out to Pablo Quintanilla del Chile. Mucho gusto amigo del Monster Crackjuice Honda! Chasing the lead pack is my favorite spot, and you are punching well aboce your weight mate! But who is most interesting?

Regarding Stage 6: mind strategy. 

You are well hooked onto Rally Raid, yeah?

Click 5:55 on this, and just grab a ----- W I N T E R T A I N M E N T ---------

Stage 4:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ke1F425wQsc

Hey, look. Maybe you just want to click right into le merde.

5:30 mins in this click...

Stage 5, shorter "Dash" Route.

3:20"

Stage 5: 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ghiro1wWTio

Stage 6:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XPOQwGI-fks

It's good Wintertainment stuff

If you are a snow skier, remember finding edges and carving tip to tail, rather than skidding your tails and pointing your toes? Then you could slalom. Then, you started using your legs as Ohlins and opened your awarness to see the whole hill? You start being able to big mountain GS ski. I skiied 4 days per week for a few Winters at Kirkwood and Heavenly Valley (Lake Tahoe "finding myself" after undergrad studies). 

Cornering a motorcycle is JUST like skiing. Instead of gravity, you have a throttle.? Anyhoo, Rally Raid is GS skiing. It is elegant!

Stage 7:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xo-nnGqeK5g

Stage 8: 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2_cQNG6kMcA

Stage 9:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ntN0qdseMOo

Stage 10:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2R7VEH2GwZI

Stage 11:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=saiui3HHgo8

Day 12:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SScrBXvHs-c

Stage 13:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LD3My73wVEk

Final, Stage 14:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pmAdYtz7aXg

(Caution, spoiler below)

Here in the USA I've been saying big fancy customized TRUCKS, small phallus. And, nearly got beat up displaying my pinky finger at a (cheese dong aggressive) guy and his fancy truck. Called "compensation" a form of displacement. Yeah, a thing. We are ALL a bit nutty wee humans. Critters. Organisms. Every last one of us? Neurotic. Egoic. Full of fear and self doubt. Just acknowledge it, get tobknow yours, minimize it, take it and you lightly. Enjoy! It is really wonderful that you get to be here at all. Rare lucky gem, this. And there is MOTORBIKE RACING too?! Wow. I was happy just with food and sex. 

Apical, you misspelled  American Skyler Howes for Dakar win mate.

Style points, moustache points, not favored but has my vote!

:)

Warmth sent your way buddy. Winter tests start in Feb!

The Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi memorial Rally has finished. My prediction for the win was wrong. Again!

Skyler Howes yes 10/10 for the moustache & very good rider in all terrain.

Toby is getting a bit thin on top, but rides as fast as ever.

"Kevin Benavides is officially the winner of the 45th edition by 43'' over Toby Price who finished taking second place on the podium, followed by Skyler Howes in third place." Congratulations Kevin Benavides & Argentina!

Forty three seconds after two weeks of racing! And the country looks very interesting, the regime not so much.