Recent comments

  • Order Yours Now: The Essential 2016 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   56 min 3 sec ago

    All calendars for Europe are now shipped from Europe, so that shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, the way which customs decides to impose import duty on stuff from the US is completely arbitrary, so while most people haven't had to pay import duty, a few have. We have been happy to reimburse them for the extra charge.

    In the future, all European shipments will be done from Europe, to avoid the situation.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   2 hours 59 min ago

    ... but Foggy probably deserves a mention in that list too.
    Love him or loathe him, he won a lot of races and championships and was certainly one of the more prominent reasons the series was so popular in the 90's.

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   4 hours 22 min ago much the riders detest the promotional activities. That is part of their job, is it not? If they hate it so much they can't even bear to show up for a press conference or a signing session, then maybe a different job would be more suitable? This is the (small) price they pay to do what they love as a full-time job and if they want to continue doing that, maybe they should just have a piece of humble pie and get on with it like any other corporate employee in this world has to. Stoner had this figured out and he admirably rather quit the sport on the top of his game instead of continuing to grin and bear it for the fame or money or ego or whatever drives each rider while secretly hating it all inside. He knew exactly what sacrifices he was willing to make and decided that it was no longer worth it. Maybe this kind of self-reflection would help a few other riders to approach their contractual duties in a better way.

    Standing up everyone at a press conference (Rossi in Malaysia), skipping official award ceremonies without reason (Rossi at Valencia), refusing to speak to the media because you're "in a mood" (plenty of riders) is not just bad form, it is unprofessional. I get that being a MotoGP rider is not a job like any other, that the riders are under constant scrutiny, high pressure and in high demand every race weekend, but it's a shame that such a ruling even has to be enforced to keep employees, which is what riders essentially are, to their agreed contract. The media exposure is what this sport and any sport is ultimately about. Sure, going fast is part of it and helps everyone involved, but it is the plastering of their faces and names on the TV and every branded item that makes the sales and brings in the money to keep the sport alive. All so that these very riders can continue to enjoy going around in circles very fast.

    To me it is ridiculous to think that previously the richer riders could simply pay their way out of promotional duties for the very companies which made them that rich in the first place.

    Maybe I should try this pick-and-choose approach at my job and see how that goes...

  • Order Yours Now: The Essential 2016 Motorcycle Racing Calendar   5 hours 25 min ago

    Is there any way of buying this calendar from within the EU? I'll end up paying costums and fees worth more than the calendar itself if I buy from the US. :-(

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   6 hours 15 min ago

    "Stoner is contracted to test.
    Dovizioso and Iannone are contracted to race".

    The lines above are part of a post by XCOM. I really don't think that you are unaware of "clauses in contracts". There are "performance" related clauses and other conditional clauses which facilitate the breaking of the contract. Miller was contracted to the Marc VDS team to ride in Moto2 but he went to ride for Honda on an extra motorcycle given to team LCR, since Miller is directly contracted to HRC. Contracts I suppose do have their use but they are not always binding. Kawasaki quit MotoGP breaking a contract with Dorna and after protracted negotiations made a team of mechanics for one motorcycle with no development at all over the full season and the motorcycle was not even called Kawasaki, it was called Hayate.

    js90 - Michael Schumacher's teammates were never as fast he was. In 1994 while at Benetton Michael Schumacher beat drivers and teams using Renault V10s and Ferrari V12 (that was the last season where people could use as many cylinders as they like and active suspension was allowed) driving a Zetec Ford V8. Neither JJ Lehto or Jos Verstappen who stood in a for an injured Lehto finished anywhere near the front. Even after the cunning Flavio Briatore bought the team Ligier to get access to the all conquering Renault engine in 1995 (apart from Williams, Ligier had access to the Renault engine for an all "French" team) and rebranded the team as Benetton and this was in 1995, his teammate was Johnny Herbert who did manage some podiums but he was the exception rather than the rule. At Ferrari when Schumacher was taking the car to third and fourth places, his teammate Eddie Irvine was finishing outside the points positions. Luca De Montezemolo famously said the potential of the Ferrari was more indicated by Eddie Irvine's position rather than Schumacher's.

    So no Sir, it is not necessary that when one rider/driver is good then the other also benefits. The best example is Valentino Rossi and Jeremy Burgess who said that Jorge Lorenzo was benefitting from the data that was being generated when Rossi and Burgess were improving the Yamaha's performance. Lorenzo finished as MotoGP champion while Rossi was in the wilderness on a Ducati. Ben Spies who was blighted by bad injuries and sometimes bad engineering from Yamaha was not in a position to provide a clear picture of how good he was vis a vis Lorenzo. But he did win one GP at Assen (I am not sure) and Rossi returned to Yamaha to play second fiddle to Lorenzo for two years but eventually caught up with him and led Lorenzo on points till the end and screwed himself up royally with the now famous Marc Marquez story.

    In my considered opinion the idea that a good rider is also a good developer of a racing motorcycle or car is flawed. When Ducati was competitive in the hands of Sete Gibernau the development rider was Niccolo Canepa. Yamaha's development rider was Nakasuga (one of many) and Suzuki's development rider was Nobuatsu Aoki a good rider but not a winner and Kawasaki's was Akira Yanagawa. If racers are to be good developers why do companies have development riders? I understand that a certain amount of input from the rider can make a difference in small increments but I don't think it can turn Aesop's donkey into an Arabian Stallion. This whole development thing therefore is overrated.

    And yet again I emphasize Stoner needs to race and there is indirect support to this statement of mine in an interview with Stoner on Autosport where claimed if he wanted to just ride a motorcycle he could buy one and ride it anywhere. Was that an inadvertent give away. Stoner will race. The no I won't race and the development thing is to give him an idea of where he is. If he is fast and fit he will race if not this year definitely next year.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   7 hours 17 min ago

    Totally agree about the punch CS gave to RdP - it was a wake-up tap like you would give your friend for knocking over your pint in the pub.

    If you want to see what how an angry Australian punches, re-watch the 2010 PI moto2 race.

  • 2016 Sepang MotoGP Tuesday Test Times Final: Petrucci Fastest Early, Lorenzo Fastest Late   8 hours 14 min ago

    ... you're comparing a road-biased sports touring tyre.

    No, no tyre is designed for burnouts, but the Pilot Roads are definitely not designed for that sort of abuse. They are designed for long distances on road, under road conditions. Not sports usage and certainly not burnouts.

    If you operate any tyre outside of its design operating parameters then there are likely to be problems.

    Delamination under long rolling burnouts is not a failing of the Pilot Roads any more than delamination due to under-inflation under race conditions is with the MotoGP spec tyres.

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   8 hours 14 min ago

    From what I understood, all inflating, deflating, and pressure checking was done by the Michelin tech in the garage. So if the tyre was under-inflated then it was by a Michelin hand (or a failure).

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   9 hours 43 min ago

    Now every result will be unofficial until the review party has had there say.. I'm sorry but if that's what technology brings than you can keep it.

    Race Direction relies on calls from the track side Marshalls more than they do TV camera, and there are lots of things that happen off camera you don't see and neither would they if it were not this way.

    The above change to make it where race direction is no longer competent to review cases of dangerous riding is a joke and just a kneejerk reaction to apease but it does more harm than good.

    Now all cases will be handeld as they were in Sepang, there Mike Webb made the call to put the issue to the side for further review. All that did was open the door for protests and appeals. Now we have lots more of that to look forward to.

    Action needs to be swift and served during the race to be a deterent. Adding up points and debating how many should or shouldn't be assigned only serves to delay action at best, and create controversy at worst, fueling fires rather than extinguishing them.

    To muddle it up even further now teams get an email to confirm penalties ... The fans only learn when it get added to timing and scoring and advised to the media.. Im all for technology where it servers a purpose but this is just ridiculous.

    It might make me old fashion but I would have rather seen the whole penalty points system removed, and go back to a flag gets waived and a board hung over pit wall with the offending riders number on it. Simple.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   14 hours 35 min ago

    Fantastic link, man! Thanks so much for that.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   14 hours 51 min ago

    Why Honda never take the easy road? Here is why:

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   14 hours 57 min ago

    Thank you David for making clear that most of the new decisions are totally....unclear! :)

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   20 hours 50 min ago

    I think Marquez is the most dangerous rider on the track but thats my opinion. Rossi is usually a very clean rider. How many times have we seen Marquez just barely missed someone rear tire under braking. How many people did Marquez hit in Moto2, he had to start from the back of the grid how many time? Marquez bumped into Rossi how many times this season? Brazil, Assen, and even Sepang. You're seriously going to tell me he couldn't ride off the track at that slow speed when Rossi stood him up but when these guys win races they can ride ANYWHERE on a cool down lap. Give me a break. Marquez turned into Rossi and hit the deck.

    Luckily plenty of people disagree with you. We are lucky enough to live in a time where HD footage can be reviewed in slow mo and people aren't forced to make quick and possibly wrong decisions on the outcome of a race or championship especially since the internet and social media exist, a bad call can really do damage to the sport financially. You have to understand at the end of the day MotoGP, no matter what the fans and racers think, is a business, end of story. Technology and common sense prevail. We are no longer racing in the 80's. Welcome to 2016

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

    Not only is the original article an excellent read but there are a lot of great comments above, thank you all.

    Perhaps these two can work together at a level that has not been seen before. An alien working directly, not with a crew chief, but a genuine engineer. After reading what Dall'Igna had to say about Stoner and the Sepang test, that is what I believe. Stoner sees in this engineer something that he has not seen before. An impression so strong that Stoner expressed a genuine interest in the engineering involved. And reading between the lines, Dalligna's feedback also seemed very positive and gave the impression that he sees in Casey the chance to implement a more accelerated test and development schedule. Mind you, it is difficult to assess accurately with just printed interviews, to gauge enthusiasm one really needs to see the body language.

    We fans tend to focus on the loss/waste of on alien that is no longer on the grid but for Dall'Igna & Stoner they may see an opportunity for success for all of the team and the factory.

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   1 day 5 hours ago

    One detail: David you wrote "Loris Baz' Avintia Ducati exploded at high speed [...] as a result of too low a tire pressure being used."
    Has it been proven now, is there an official statement by Michelin or Dorna or FIM?
    As you wrote earlier, Avintia was saying pressure was ok it was tire's fault, Michelin was saying pressure probably too low. Since there is a Michelin guy in every garage they should now, right?
    Anyway Michelin wasn't sure it was under pressure, otherwise they would not have withdrawn the soft rear for the rest of the test, so now that the tire has been shipped back to Clermont-Ferrand, any news on this front?

    Not related to the previous issue, but I remember reading quotes from someone from Dorna (Ezpelata?) stating that they would have to think about a system to avoid riders/teams systematically referring to TAS to ask for penalty suspension as Rossi did. Obviously this was significantly the first time in Grand Prix history that TAS was involved in an issue regarding dangerous riding (previously it only dealt with doping issues, see Haga for example). Since it takes about a year to get a TAS ruling, if they suspend a given penalty, this would void it of any effect during a current season and titles could even change hands afterwards and so on...
    Did Dorna (and FIM) eventually assess that there's nothing they can do about it?

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   1 day 5 hours ago

    Thank you for a fantastic link - just gorgeous engineering. I couldn't help but think of the day my 6 week premature granddaughter was born. Perfectly formed, just in miniature and covering about the same hand surface as the Suzuki and Honda crank and piston set up pictured in the article / blog. It's just a pity that these remarkable bits of engineering never had the chance to grow up - lol!!

    It's importantly to remember when reading this is that this was done 50 years ago - technology and metallurgy are not sciences solely of the 20 teens.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 7 hours ago

    In the 'modern' era, manufacturer 'brand heroes' are almost without exception NOT the nationals of the company. The exception I can think of is Agostini for MV Agusta.

    For Ducati, three people would be up there as 'heroes': Hailwood, Bayliss, Stoner. Hailwood was, of course, a hero also for Honda and MV Agusta.

    For Suzuki: Schwantz and Sheen.

    For Yamaha: Heck, just about every other top rider on the planet.

    If Stoner sees a path that interests him in tackling the engineering side of a motoGp motorcycle, he follows the paths of at least two damn good Australian riders turned crew-chiefs: Jerry Burgess and Warren Willing. Getting closer to the engineer-side than the 'team' side' is pretty consistent, just maybe a move into the laboratory.

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   1 day 8 hours ago

    Complaints surface about the potential for bias by Dorna for having a person as part of race direction, and the response is to replace those suspicions by now imposing penalties against riders for not upholding PR commitments with Dorna.... And this stands up to reason how?

    And since they bring up this matter of skipping comitments, I suppose that should have meant Rossi getting a fine, or now further penalty points, for skipping the awards cerimony in Valancia like a spoiled brat and sore looser. Choosing rather to send Massio Merigalli to collect the second place hardware instead. I said I suppose, because we all know they would never do so. Afterall this whole thing stinks of appeasement rather than any real problems getting solved.

    The only clear message given in this release is a dangerous one, pun intended, that dangerous riding is no longer a matter of indisputable fact, but rather one that requires further analysis to be recognized and deliberated on. This is the exact opposite of what was needed and just further slows down the procees.

    Not the right message to send to a grid full of riders who making their living by taking a mile when given an inch.

    The only other certainty now is that Mike Webb must loath being the man responsible for introducing this penalty points system in the first place.

  • MotoGP Rules Update: Stewards Disciplinary Panel Confirmed, Tire Pressure Sensors Mandatory   1 day 8 hours ago

    Whaaaat? George Orwell is running MotoGP now? Big Brother makes autograph signing sessions obligatory?

    How the wheel turns: I've actually come full circle with Stoner. I remember being quite angry when he quit, that he was possibly the most gifted rider the sport has ever seen, and that he would rather walk away than put up with all the background bullshit. Following last years end of season fracas, the back-pedalling on the unified software, the u-turn on previously agreed concessions to struggling manufacturers, and now this sort of minor mandatory madness I'm actually starting to think Stoner is a visionary.

    Seriously, how ludicrous that Dorna strangle the sport with their draconian attitude to TV and online viewing yet force riders to carry out PR duties when Dorna are so crap at promoting the sport themselves.

  • Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Honda never take the easy road   1 day 8 hours ago

    than the bike blowing up (regarding the "upside down" design)...

    Also, that 22 Krpm bike was a four-stroke. Here's an awesome forum thread about some of the amazing little machines back then.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 12 hours ago

    These top flight riders are not confused about what the optimal line should be. The problem is sensitivity. Stoner even said the other riders may not have the same feelings/sensations that he has.

    And, even if they have the sensations, do they know how to react to it so as to go fast? Think of it this way, Ben Spies' career was ended because what he was feeling and what the Duc was telling him was completely skewed.

    Hopefully for Ducati, Gigi will take what Stoner's telling them and make the bike better for the mortals, rather than as before when Stoner was riding around the problems, they thought they were doing a great job.

    One last analogy, when Michael Schumacher's teammates were also fast, the car was good. When only Schumacher was fast, it was probably all him working around the problems while his teammate wasn't sure how to find the reverse gear. Stoner's job is to help Ducati develop a bike such that the two Andreas are capable of finding the same limits as Stoner.

  • Casey Stoner's Ducati MotoGP Test - Your Questions Answered   1 day 15 hours 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   1 day 18 hours 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   1 day 18 hours 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   1 day 19 hours 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.