Recent comments

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   7 hours 8 min ago

    @David Emmet:
    Even though I have a MotoGP membership, I have seen very little footage apart from interviews & technical briefs.
    But on one flash I saw Iannone riding behind Stoner... are you aware of any "helping" of CS towards the factory Duc riders? Knowing CS was never too big a fan of people getting a tow :)

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   9 hours 41 min ago

    The only thing I could think of that would affect rideability is the bulk of the 90 deg and not being able to centralize mass as easily, but seems obvious that it's not that big of a deal given the popularity of the layout.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   10 hours 10 min ago

    Most likely I'm wrong but having retired from one profession at a fairly young age, I think maybe I have a slightly different perspective. When you go out, on your own terms at the very top of your profession both in terms of experience and attained knowledge you sometimes feel as though you still have something to contribute to the people the you leave behind. Whether or not that is an actual fact, it is still a feeling you have.

    I know I felt that way when I retired. After a 23 year career in aviation, I still felt I had things I could contribute. I submit that Casey likely feels the same way. He has a feel for a motorcycle like few others and the ability to communicate what he feels like even fewer. It's likely why Casey still wants a job as a test rider. I can completely understand wanting to know how and then why a change has a particular effect.

    If he can contribute to further success at Ducati, why wouldn't he? I don't think the factory team riders have anything to worry about regarding Casey taking one of their seats.....but they should worry that any claims about the machine or its settings could be easily proved or disproved by a test rider well capable of riding to the absolute limit rather than by one who can merely approach it.

  • Honda Press Release: PJ Jacobsen Confirmed In Ten Kate Honda World Supersport Squad   10 hours 38 min ago

    When I first came across this press release last week, I remember finding it odd. "That's nice.. But wasn't his deal all locked up last fall? And how come no mention CORE motorsports?" It appears to be yet another case of a sponsor backing out at the last minute, to leave rider and team swinging in the wind. Some more details on the situation emerged here:

    It’s a bit depressing that a guy with obvious talent (he finished 2nd in the championship last year despite having another team/manufacturer [Intermoto Kawasaki] fold out from under him part way through the season) would find himself without a ride again, this close to the start of the season.

    I’m really glad to see that Honda and Ten Kate swooped in to save PJ last week. But I wish this kind of situation wasn’t nearly as common as it’s become in recent years.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   10 hours 44 min ago

    Excellent Read on Honda Development processes. It is interesting to see the upside down development with the muffler on top and the gas tank on bottom. Looked very dangerous to me, like an explosion just waiting to happen. All in pursuit of better handling. That early two stroke turning 22k RPM sounds nuts, but interesting to me in how they got that to work. Excellent read. Enjoyed it immensely.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   10 hours 54 min ago

    WHEN Pepsi holds out the cheque with 8 figures on the amount line to Valentino for 2 years of work that he loves to his core, you will see the fastest re-focusing of a rider's career plan in history - followed by the most enthusiasm to ride a Suzuki GP machine since a certain Schwantz swung a lanky leg over a racing motorcycle.

    "I like verrie mutz race for factorie teem..."

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   15 hours 27 min ago

    I read many comments to the effect that MM#93's riding style is similar to CS#27's. I think this is a fallacy based on the appearance of both riding obviously hard. That is where the similarity ends however, I would suggest.

    Stoner controls his bike much more from the rear, whereas MM is all about the front end. Overly simple without doubt but a good place to start to point out the huge difference in riding styles.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   15 hours 32 min ago

    Stoner showed the Ducati could win at the end of 2010 and come Rossi 2011 we all know how that went. Rossi is never going to base bike ability on Stoner's results again. Of that I am pretty certain.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   16 hours 1 min ago

    A few years ago I was sitting with my wife on the couch waiting for one of the European rounds to commence. I casually mentioned to my wife that the umbrella girl was Casey's wife, her reply was he'll retire shortly after she has her first child to him. My wife knew more about human nature then almost all of the armchair experts put together.

    The wonderful exploration above of the questions so often raised when discussing Stoner really confirmed the assumptions my wife so casually put forward.

    As stated above, racing involves crashing, crashing often results in injury, sometimes severe and even life forfeiting (think Marco etc.). Casey's current situation is, he has a beautiful young family, enough money for the rest of his life, but not perfect health. Analgesics commonly used to treat the pain associated with broken bones may also result in kidney inflammation, he has a neck which is restricted in movement and some pretty serious arthritis to look forward to. I think a confrontation with his own mortality and the wish to watch his family grow and flourish outweighs any other appetites he may have. His current MotoGP dalliances are merely scratching his personal need for speed, but its not that important to him in his larger plans.

    People talk of Marquez being similar to Casey, and Marquez is a sublime rider, but for me I watch Casey and only one rider is comparable to Casey in style. Unfortunately, he also ended his career far too early for my liking. The great Fast Freddie Spencer! Google a few images of each taking a corner, the shoulder and head position etc. its quite an uncanny similarity.

    I selfishly hope Casey returns, but I suspect this is the end of the race for my all time favourite athlete.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   19 hours 39 min ago

    No way his ego could handle getting on a bike that casey Stoner had fixed and would get the credit for fixing.

    Back in 2010 Ducati got new hospitality units and trailers etc which included gyms for the riders. In 2011 Rossi wouldn't use the gym because Stoner had used it before him.

    Rossi creates his own demons from the other riders, done so thought his career, its how he motivates himself and it worked pretty well for him until Sepang 2015.......

    Casey is one of those demons, Rossi wont touch anything Casey has been given credit for.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   23 hours 24 min ago

    I remember my tire engineer friend describing nuanced vehicle behavior in similar detail. IIRC, it may have been about why the Porsche 993(?) had really narrow front tires. May have been to tune out the twitchy behavior (tune in more understeer) under certain dynamic conditions that was causing a lot of problems for most drivers.

    Neither Stoner nor Rossi are confused about what a bike "should" do. Difference with Stoner is he doesn't let his concept of what the bike should be doing get in the way of getting on with what the bike wants to be doing. Fighting the vehicle is the fastest way to go slow.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   23 hours 27 min ago

    If you stop to think about it in depth, Stoner might very well NOT want to do P.I. for several reasons.

    Firstly, if he had any personal nagging consideration that perhaps he's lost the edge he had, I think this test alone ought to have settled that; he's chucked a leg over a bike that had, in the hands of Iannone, proven both itself and Iannane very capable of mixing it up at the very pointy end with everybody at the fastest and recognised top 'rider' circuit of the motoGp season: P.I. last year. Iannone is fast, just not consistent (though his season last year has rocketed him up in the respect stakes). For Stoner to have wrung more out of the particular bike in a directly comparable situation so quickly in the company of a batch of riders all very much race-fit, (remembering he was quickest on the hard tyres even at the end of his second day of test riding) would surely be pretty solid affirmation that he isn't exactly washed-up.

    Secondly, Stoner holds a record at P.I. which is the stuff of legend: six wins on the trot. Next best is Rossi with five, and Rossi is not going to be able to best Stoner's record. Nobody else is even in the frame. P.I. has a certain cachet, like the IOM circuit; it's the Wimbledon or Rose Bowl of motoGp racing. If Stoner were to race there again and NOT win, it would be (for his Australian fans at the very least), akin to the sun not rising tomorrow. Sometimes it is best to leave them wanting more... and NOT delivering less, even if that is outside your control.

    Thirdly, the media attention should Stoner race at P.I. would be thermonuclear. The chance of him being left alone to have a fun weekend is so much less than zero, it beggars description.

    As a small aside: if you go back to the de Puniet incident: firstly, Stoner's 'punch' was little more than a spirited 'wake-up' tap to an armoured part of de Puniet's leathers, and secondly, de Puniet wasn't 'looking for a tow' - he was, by his own admission, switched off and wandering all over the racing line. He crossed over the racing line at slow speed when Stoner was on it at the limit of adhesion, with no escape line. de Puniet not only stated that the 'fault' was his but pleaded with Race Direction to NOT fine Stoner - as a fellow racer, he understood how dangerous what he had done was.

    You suggest Stoner left motoGp as 'an angry man'. The things on the track that made Stoner 'angry', are now the subject of Race Direction attention and increasingly severe penalties for those who do what Stoner was campaigning against. The last rider in my memory who received anything like the 'fan' censure for his stand, was Barry Sheene, for stating that the IOM was too dangerous.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   23 hours 28 min ago

    Stoner will wildcard this season. The question is how many. And w what outcome, and what next.

    He wants to, Ducati want him to, DORNA want him to. We want him to.

    1-3 wildcards are in the cards.
    And nothing next. Thassit. He wants to finish near the front a few times then go fishing.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   23 hours 38 min ago

    I'm not convinced Marquez and Stoner have similar riding styles at all. Marquez is spectacular to watch mainly because he seems to over ride the bike. That worked great in his championship years when Honda was the best bike and just recently vacated by Stoner.

    Stoner, OTOH, rides the bike he has to its limits. And, a poorly behaving bike like the previous Ducatis, look spectacular at it limit. A great bike like the Honda at its limit looks sublime under Stoner.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   23 hours 40 min ago

    People can do whatever they like and they are entitled to change their mind.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 21 min ago

    I am making this post for one reason. I have stated several times I have never felt warmth for Stoner as a person, but I have always said that as a motorcycle rider/racer he is a genius without a parallel. People change their opinions frequently and it is possible that having a bit of an adrenaline rush can make Stoner change his stance. I do not understand why some people seem to think that sticking to his original stand is an act of virtue which could get undone if he were to go racing again. He didn't like it then, he might want to try it again. Number of rounds in the championship, travelling, they are not deterrents to a race return. Let me be frank as an admirer of his ability (not a fan) I really want to see him race. It is embarrassing to see him doing the work that Pirro is doing. Really I think he is rightful place is on the race track, on race day and in racing colours. His return will enrich MotoGP and boost its image substantially.

    The one thing I like about him is that he is the anti-thesis of Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez because after a win he calmly returns to parc ferme has a dignified conversation with his crew and just smiles on the podium. This part somehow is better than the celebrations; of Lorenzo especially, planting the Lorenzo land flag. If I can get his mail ID I would even write to him saying with changing circumstances people can change their stand. Absolutely nothing wrong there.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 4 hours ago

    If you think back, every time there was speculation about Casey's next move he would categorically deny it. Within weeks he would be doing it.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 4 hours ago

    Disappointingly I agree with you. The only reason I see him returning is if he could ride and forego all the external rubbish, which I don't see any team giving him.

    Still, we can live in hope he wildcards Phillip Island. I'd be sorely tempted to head across and watch him race.

    It's awesome to be on a site where you can read the comments.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 5 hours ago

    I'm sure that he does look forward to this Ducati development project but considering that he just ran the 8hrs and volunteered to replace for Dani its hard to believe the part where he does not want to race at all. He wants to race but with zero drama, which is unlikely but not impossible. Saying 'Honestly, I'm not racing and I have no plan to' could mean 'plans could change at any time but until I say so leave me alone'. I can't imagine him doing an entire season because of the punishing travel and schedule, but one here and there is not much more effort than testing, especially if he is staying in enough shape for testing. And especially if no other Duc riders take a win.


  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 6 hours ago

    Stoner left Honda after they wouldn't let him fill in for Pedrosa. If one of the factory, or even non factory Ducati riders were to get injured I'd expect Stoner might ask to fill in again, a wish Ducati would certainly acquiesce to. Not that Stoner is sitting on the sidelines hoping for an injury, but that's the best bet for seeing him race again. Then if he enjoys it well who knows, a full time return could be on the cards.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 6 hours ago

    It must be invaluable to have someone who can articulate the feedback in such a precise way. Being fast is great, but less so if you don't how or why you are faster or slower on certain sections of the track. Many people have also said over the years that the guys who become champions are usually the most intelligent ones, raw speed aside, like Rossi nearly last year. If they have both, even better. I remember reading about Kenny Roberts Snr at Suzuka years ago. Apparently, he couldn't find the extra half a second he needed for pole. He got his crew to take him back to the hotel and just lay on his bed thinking, going over the lap in his mind. After a while, he said that he's found it, went back to the track and took pole.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 6 hours ago

    My layman's analysis of Sepang (and hence likely completely wrong) is that everyone needs to cut the Ducati factory riders some slack until after Qatar.

    The problem I see with a simple analysis of Sepang times, is the Michelin front tyre.

    At Valencia, Michelin turned up with a front tyre which had a radically different construction and profile to the Bridgestone, and as we saw, riders were crashing left, right & centre. The riders who appeared not to be as troubled were the factory Yamaha riders on their new chassis, which was targeting the new Michelins.

    Between Valencia and Sepang, the factories would have been working on a new chassis, using the Valencia data... although I suspect that Honda may have been more focussed on other problems.

    However, at Sepang, Michelin turned up with a front tyre that was much closer in construction and profile to the Bridgestone. One remaining difference between the new Michelin and the Bridgestone (as detailed by Stoner) was raising its head at turn 5.

    The factory Yamaha and Suzuki teams both appeared to abandon their 2016 chassis, and go back to their 2015 chassis.

    Stoner was riding a GP-15 (obviously with 2015 chassis) but the two Ducati factory riders persevered with the GP-16, perhaps because they had limited options, or perhaps because the engineers needed to confirm the new data.

    Either way, it would appear that a 2015 chassis is now a better fit for the new Michelin tyre, and if Michelin now work on eliminating the remaining differences with the Bridgestone, then it's almost certain that the teams will need to produce a chassis that works with what is effectively a hybrid of the Bridgestone front and the grippier Michelin rear.

    It's unlikely Ducati will produce a new chassis in the 2 weeks between Sepang and PI, which might also explain the decision not to use Stoner at PI - providing more chassis options for the factory riders to test.

    I suspect everyone will need to wait until after the Qatar test before passing judgement on the Andreas, when hopefully Michelin will have locked in their front tyre, and Ducati have provided an appropriate chassis for it.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   1 day 7 hours ago

    >> The valve train differences are well known and that doesn't really makes much difference

    Given the same cylinder architecture an engine's character is all in the valvetrain. As is the efficiency.

    Besides that, Ducati have spent years making well behaved yet very powerful engines. Honda have spent years making barely tameable beasts with heavy electronics control. I'd say that the '16 engine is likely a lot more docile than the '15 (relatively speaking, of course) but the primitive software is masking it. They are being hamstrung by both their dependence on advanced electronic control and arrogance that they didn't need to do more R&D with the control software. I would not be at all surprised if they were trying to do with less than 22l.

    I wonder how much of HRC having to continually relearn basic lessons is due to them cycling new engineers through every few years?


  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 8 hours ago

    What part of the following is difficult to understand?
    " . . years of racing and crashing have left him battered and bruised, the massive crash at Suzuka only making matters worse. . . . he couldn't turn his neck to the left properly to look behind him. He also has a recurrent back problem . . . hospitalized with kidney problems . . "

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 8 hours ago

    sounds like ducati really know what they are doing now, it's great to have a working partnership like that with stoner

    and i think stoner will only be more valuable and knowledgeable as a rider in the long run, whether he races again or not, it's still a very intelligent investment from his standpoint.

    you can't say for many GP rider who have extensive testing experience as an "engineer rider" like the way he puts it. he will only get better, and if he ever decide to get back on the saddle, can't even imagine the possibilities