Recent comments

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   10 hours 8 min ago

    Valid point except the production market has been using 17" rims for so long and they work so well I don't see the oems wanting/needing to switch. Also then everyone who purchased forged 17" Marchesini or OZ rims for their gsxr, fireblades , etc would now have $3000 paper weights if the oems switched to 17" and the tire manufacturers focused on 16.5"

  • The Racing Week On Wednesday (On Friday) - News Round Up For The Week Of 27th February   16 hours 24 min ago

    This guy seems to have a habit of cruising for tows in testing - there's a video on youtube of him and Stoner having a good shout at one another in pit lane over a very similar situation at another test.
    I seem to remember Stoner saying he couldn't understand the point of getting a tow at a test - it doesn't really achieve anything, does it?

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   20 hours 48 min ago

    I see little need to get riled up. Does anyone think that without even sorting setup for the tires they are going to work nearly flawlessly? Man,, what a tough crowd! Shift a bit of set up, and adjust riding style a bit, and badabing badaboom. Ducati has the most to gain here methinks btw. Right now I am pondering how much Gigi and company considered the decrease in F grip we all knew has been coming when making the new bike. It just makes sense that a bike undergoing a revolution would synch up better w a ture change than one that was not. What if the WHOLE BIKE was developed with projections of the likely Michelin characteristics in mind? Oooh, the possibilities are tantalizing.

    I am looking fwd to the shuffle! The Honda - Yamaha cup has had me yawning. Let's mix things up a bit and enjoy, I say. Some riders and bikes are going to gel well w the new tire and surge ahead. I remember racing and trying Bstone instead of my Dunlops, and having one horrific race trying to keep it upright. Then switching to Pirelli and WOW! It was a new lease on life. Others did the exact opposite. Perhaps, just like certain riders and their style fit certain bikes, we will see "Bstone riders" and "Michelin riders."

    Best 2 yrs of MotoGP interest for me in a looooong time.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   22 hours 32 min ago

    "The reasons for this are simple: Michelin feel the knowledge gained from using a standard size used in road tires will transfer more directly into production. Though the tire sizes are different, the outer diameter is exactly the same, the difference coming in the height of the sidewall."

    They should get into the manure business. They'll never run out of product. As if the production market couldn't use 16.5" diameter tires just as easily as 17's. The relationship between the tire size and the inner diameter affects all manner of performance characteristics.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 33 min ago

    So after only a couple of tests and with a different rim size the Michelins are nearly as fast as the Bridgestones while still using a Bridgestone bike setup. If the teams were able to tweak the bike setup, had more than one day to test and had riders willing to push for a fast time they would have broken the track record.

    Michelin has not made a GP tire in over 6 years while Bridgestone has 'developed' their GP tires thoughout that period. This says a lot about the material being supplied by Bridgestone: enough quality to prevent major embarrasment (but not entirely successful at that, se PI 2013) but nothing extra thrown in, and God forbid any actual R&D happens because that costs money and this is after all, a marketing campaign.

    I'm nearly at the stage of looking for a new favorite sport.

    Chris

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 2 hours ago

    That is close to the situation. First, these bikes are being ridden with a Bridgestone set up, where the front has all the grip and they are trying to find grip at the rear. That means moving weight to the rear (as an aside, Jerry Burgess and the crew spent the first half of 2008, afer Valentino Rossi had switched from Michelin to Bridgestone, moving weight further back to accommodate the front grip). The Michelins have the grip the other way round, less at the front, a lot at the rear. That means that the front is more likely to wash out anyway.

    What is happening, as I understand it, is that the riders are trying to exploit the grip they have at the rear by opening the gas earlier and earlier. As highside specialist says, this means opening the gas when the bike is still very leaned over. Do that on a Bridgestone, and the rear washes out, or worse, slips and grips and tosses you over the highside. With the Michelins, the front is pushing through the corners anyway, because the bike balance is wrong. Opening the gas early at full lean pushes the front further and further, the bike runs wide, and eventually the front lets go.

    Normally, getting on the gas is a good remedy for most problems, but the problem the riders are describing is happening at the limits of their ability, which is far beyond anything normal riders (even normal racers) can manage. They are getting into problems on the gas, not using the gas to get themselves out of problems. 

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 2 hours ago

    That was in his first year, all of these guys have had plenty of big crashes on every variation of bike they've ridden.

    It's a bit unfair to Lorenzo's talent to suggest Bridgestone tyres are the reason he isn't having huge crashes every weekend.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   1 day 2 hours ago

    Not interested in being anyones fan, I respect all the MotoGP pilots for their skill and big kahunas; so can it be argued that both Dovi and Bautista have ridden satellite bikes better?

    Points make prizes, so surely the results determine who rode what well, to level it off, I only looked at time spent on a MotoGP satellite machines, factory rides are not relevant to the sample.

    Cruthlow
    Satellite rides;
    2011 Tech 3 Yamaha satellite - 11th
    2012 Tech 3 Yamaha satellite - 7th
    2013 Tech 3 Yamaha satellite - 5th

    Dovi
    2008 Scot Honda Satellite - 5th
    2012 Tech 3 Yamaha - 4th

    Bautista
    2012 Honda Gresini - 5th
    2013 Honda Gresini - 6th
    2014 Honda Gresini - 11th

    Both Dovi and Bautista were both factory riders when Crutchlow joined as a rookie in 2011, whilst Dovi's class shines through even on a satellite machine its reasonable to say Crutclow's record is at least comparable with Bautista.

    So to the second part, its far to say Aleix Espargaró is a fantastic rider who hasn't always had the best available kit, however Aleix was a 'full' satellite rider in 2010 on the Pramac Ducati when he finished the season 14th.

    Pol finished 6th in his rookie year on a Tech 3 Yamaha which was a brilliant achievement and marks him out as a special talent. Worth noting though in Crutchlow's rookie season he was Yamaha's No 4 rider and bottom of the pile, Pol is a factory employee and getting treated as such. This takes nothing away from Pol's achievement though, well deserved plaudits for a great debut.

    My assessment is simple
    Pol has had a better start to his MotoGP career than his brother, Dovi is a world class rider, Crutchlow is generally no better and definitely not any worse than those he is being compared too;- as a satellite rider.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 4 hours ago

    I think what's being said is that the GP-level tires offer so much more grip than us non GP riders can ever imagine, you can open the throttle while at steep lean angles. While doing so, the rear tire will have a bigger contact patch than the front. if still leaned, the front tire is being pushed while on its side. this push is overwhelming the edge grip.

    That's my interpretation, anyway.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   1 day 8 hours ago

    Remember his 2nd win was stolen from him by Stoner/HRC at Valencia. Nothing Ben could do about it. Also, only a select few GP riders are head & shoulders above the best WSB riders. WSB champs have almost always been in the top 6-8 in gp. So take away your top 3 established GP gods who are always there and throw in your Brit, Aussie or Yank whom the gp team won't listen to for a year. By the time the WSB champ knows what's going on he is on a B-team.

    Had Hayden not been US Honda's golden child he would never have survived his early career in Gp. Look what happened to Edwards. A better rider with a deeper resume. It is more about the system in GP.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 11 hours ago

    overnight specials were banned for a couple of years. it was during those years Michelin lost the tire-war to Bridgestone.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 14 hours ago

    ..."nobody ever lost the front on the gas"???

    I think the explanation of *why* riders crashed, in paragraph 7, is not entirely accurate.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   1 day 14 hours ago

    ...in 2007 when the 800 was introduced so I don't see them as a given favorite for 2016. Maybe this is what will bring back the Ducatis to the top, like Bridgestone did in 2007?

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   1 day 21 hours ago

    Well...Bayliss, is just Bayliss. ;)

    For him to come in and win that one race after being off the Motogp bike for awhile just shows that he always had the speed there. He said that Ducati would not listen to him. But with the crew he used for that race he was able to get what he was asking for.

    Still feel something happened in the background with Ben. Dont' know if it was in his personal life or on the team. His luck was not just him jacking up, there were alot of MYSTERIOUS failures happening with him. He had more raw talent than Crutchlow to me. But Crutchlow at the Motogp level seems to have a little more "F*ck you!" in him than I saw with Spies which is surprising because Spies had the about the worst teammate you could ever deal with in AMA. He was fast AND talked mess about Spies every race and interview.

    To me I do not think rider styles matter as much. When Lorenzo started winning everyone said tires in line works. Now Marquez is dominating real hard and making veterans look like rookies riding like he is at a dirt track. Really does seem it is whatever works for the rider with the speed. Everyone else has to emulate to catch up.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   2 days 17 min ago

    I think the real problem here is the single tyre supplier. The main problem with the tyre competition was that, apart from two companies dominating it -and anyone sorry enough to be on Dunlops getting left behind- the qualifying tyres and overnight specials unfairly advantaged certain teams with lots of money.

    I say bring back multiple suppliers of spec tyres. Don't allow overnight specials, but rather give them an allocation like the current system, but allow more than one manufacturer in. We'll probably still end up with only two manufacturers at a time, but at least we won't have all this trouble with switching the entire field at once.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 25 min ago

    Indeed, Cal made a silly mistake, but I guess from ‘his point of view’ he had little or no other options, I would say…
    When he was at Tech 3 and Rossi decided to continue, he saw his ultimate dream, a factory Yamaha ride, go up in smoke…
    At Ducati, he never felt at home, not only on the bike, but more importantly, in the ‘communication’ with the Italians. Dall’Igna never kept it secret that he preferred working with Dovi. Cal, such a social guy, never felt taken seriously and accepted among the Italians…
    On top of that, last year he was put in the shade by the better results ànd the positive approach (which is not the least important from a factory's viewpoint!) of yet another Italian, Iannone. So in the end, I guess Cal felt him left with almost no other option than to leave Ducati…
    Hope I got it all wrong, but I guess Cal's chances to ever throw his leg over a championship winning factory MotoGP bike are all gone now. But who knows, perhaps this year we will see him shine again in its 'good old' role, thumbs up ;-) Go for it Cal !!!!

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   2 days 36 min ago

    I forgot all about that until you brought it up. Him launching himself into the atmosphere in China and Laguna Seca (which I saw live), were what made me believe traction control only goes so far. He might hold the record for thrown in the ejection height in the 4 stroke era.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   2 days 1 hour ago

    But... in the old michelin days Lorenzo was not adverse to launching himself into orbit on a relatively frequent basis. Sure he might have improved in consistency since then, but only on bridgestones.

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   2 days 3 hours ago

    This is gonna be EXPENSIVE!

  • Analyzing The Michelin Tire Test: Despite Secrecy And Crashes, Positive Results   2 days 3 hours ago

    So the smart money is on things settling into the same order we have now? It seems rather wasteful to spend so much money for such a result although it will be interesting to see who does a better job of adapting. And, of course, that expenditure keeps an army of engineers, technicians, designers, riders and team management in jobs doesn't it.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 4 hours ago

    MotoGP has changed quite a bit since Lorenzo and Yamaha can plant a Bridgestone front tire and knock out 250 GP style metronome laps to win. Superbike riders have not been top notch MotoGP riders for a while, no. During the time of the "faith over feel" Bridgestone spec front tire that is SO different than any other. And the age of electronics and HRC fuel limit rules. This might be seen as an exception era in years ahead.

    If we think things have changed a lot since Bayliss's wildcard win, perhaps we can do the same in foresight re 2016 and the next era. We have our rider domination established ending the last era and opening the next one. It will not stay that way forever. And Marquez, he is a "Moto2 style" rider, which wasn't even a thing when Spies came through the pipeline.

    Ah, Spies. His Tech3 tenure was something to behold, very hopeful and exciting. His Factory experience was, well...bizarre disappointing shite. Just a touch like Cal maybe in some respects? Both really good guys in my estimation too btw. I am glad expectations are low for Cal and Satellite Hondas. Perhaps that will dispel whatever demonic juju afflicted poor Ben.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 5 hours ago

    Agreed Whorida. I can speak from experience that is somewhat applicable, at least in the sense that I have had a revelation of sorts in the last yr re electronics as apply to technology trickling down to production bikes.

    Just spent (blissful) time canyon carving for a few days on a newish CBR1000rr and it was...mixed. 160hp is all it has cooking under the fairings and it is much different than my old 130hp R1. Honestly lots less rideable and manageable. And less fun than the 2007 CBR600rr I now wish I hadn't sold.

    A dear friend of mine, expert racer team mate, was almost taken by the "widow maker" 2007 Kawasaki ZX10 on a free practice day. He was trying to sort suspension to make the power rideable. I have always said that it was down to bike geometry primarily and his adjusting to the monster engine second. And been a avid anti-electronics crusader of sorts re GP rules AND on production bikes. My limited frame of reference and eager temperament are to blame. I intentionally bought the 07 CBR600RR to avoid ABS. Why? It adds a bunch of weight, and I didn't want anything between my right hand and front rotors but fluid, stainless lines, and great pads. I had experienced front end slides controlled in rain races, and floating the rear braking in the dry. So I know everything! (Yeah, right).

    The 07 ZX10 and 08 CBR1000rr were amazing bikes. More power. Size of a 600. Give me MORE! When can we get 180hp and in a 250GP little carving knife? Oh yeah? Try and ride it! I can only imagine (and believe me I do) what it must be like to be on a teeny little 225hp MotoGP bike with only wheelie control and minimal engine management for rear wheel spin. I need to be careful what I wish for! It sounds awful.

    The next wave of production bikes is upon us. The BMW1000rr and now R1m have opened the next war - not for more power with less weight. For more refinement of electronics packages.

    The 2015 Open Honda customers have a great bike. That is slow. And if you dropped your $200,000 for one and I could ride it on a track day I sure would love it (happy to share my email for all those interested of course). Until I stopped loving it and wanted to go back to enjoying putting down similar lap times on a 130hp middleweight Supersport like I should be.

    The comment above a bit sounds wise - we are 99.9% sure to not see a satellite win in 2015. Electronics are a big deal. Let's watch what the 2015 Open Honda can do relative to its main rivals. Which include the 2014 Open times, the Aprilia, and...not any of the satellites. For 2016 I agree with the other poster above that the top Factory teams will still have an advantage with their more full use of the Championship electronics package. And the more functionality that is included the more likely it is to make this more pronounced. In 2016 we may have a 95% chance of not seeing a satellite win. And that sounds like a huge improvement to me.

    And who will the greatest threat be? Top satellite that is grabbing podiums? I am still betting P.Espargaro or Crutchlow. Or some wild newcomer on a satellite Ducati maybe even, which is a joy to even have in consideration. (Side note - ever notice that criticism of the paddock whipping post rider, currently Cal, tends to entail less wisdom and more personal attacks? Ironically addressed at Cal's intelligence or character?).

    2015 is here and I eagerly await the perfect storm of a low grip low temperature track that suits the super soft rear tire closer to race distance, #29 or #4 and the GP15 coming into their own together, and a podium that was not granted by attrition or a bike swap. It is coming at some point. And top satellite may be in tow.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 5 hours ago

    I do not have the exact article or video of the question. When Ben Spies was asked why more WSBK racers do not do better in Motogp he said "These guys (Motogp) are just faster. There is no way to get around it."

    That came from someone who came to the Superbike Class and waxed the dog mess out of everyone in it in his first year in the series, at many of the racetracks, and living in Europe coming from America. All HUGE factors in themselves let alone Winning a huge amount of races, taking pole positions, and actually breaking Haga while on a bike that was not the best. Cal Crutchlow alluded to the same thing when he said that anyone that gets top five in Motogp can win races or a championship in WSBK. It is not the bikes. It is the racers who are just better in Motogp.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 6 hours ago

    CC35 although very fast is still of a dying breed a (superbike) rider...
    Since the 4-stroke era of gp only a very select few have been successfull: Hayden, Spies, and somewhat Bayliss. Hayden only has 3 wins in his 12 seasons of racing in gp and won the title in '06 through consistency. Spies was supposed to be the next big thing coming out of the U.S. He was probably the only superbike racer that could have given the aliens a run. He did win a race in the "hard to ride" 800cc era in the dry against Stoner/Lorenzo/Pedrosa. Then there's Bayliss who won a race as a wildcard for Ducati in the last 990cc race ever. That's it. I don't see gp factory teams recruiting any superbike racers in the near future. Most superbike racers try gp and end up going back to production derived racing. CC35 is "topped out" I don't see him moving anywhere higher. Couldn't do it with Yamaha, Decided to leave factory Ducati, and he won't move up to factory HRC. He'll probably do ok with LCR Honda and then have an opportunity to move down to open machinery or MAYBE Gresini Aprilia and help them develop the rs gp and by the time that machine gets sorted he will have been past his "shelf life" in the top class. For whatever reason superbike racing doesn't transfer over to well in gp racing...Possibly a combination of stiffer chassis and stickier tires that provide deeper lean angles not really seen in sbk idk.

  • 2015 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up: Marquez vs Lorenzo, Honda vs Yamaha, And Why The Open Honda Is Still Slow   2 days 6 hours ago

    Hayden being so far behind on a regular Motogp bike with Spec Electronics and no seamless shifting I will not say is fully down to those things. BUT, it does show how much electronics are playing a part in making these heat seeking missiles easier to ride or control. Being able to tune bikes to work differently corner to corner should be cut in my opinion. They should have to find a setting that works for most of the track or their worst area and work out the rest themselves with their own skills.

    I get some traction control and lean angle based programming to help get off a corner. But goddamn, it is beginning to sound like if you have do not have a factory electronics package you will not EVER get close to winning. A little too close to Formula 1 to me. Motogp always held a higher level to me because of rider input which used to be more 80 rider 20 bike. Now it is a solid 50/50, maybe even more in some cases. Marquez seems to be able to make things work well like Stoner did, but everyone else seems to be OBSESSED with getting the electronics right. Engine braking, acceleration, anti wheelie, settings for the whole track...etc. Riders still do make the ultimate difference but would like to see less factors available for everyone to say it is because of this or that, (electronics) that I could not keep up with Marquez/ Lorenz/ Ross/ Pedrosa and just be more down to them to get more speed.

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