Recent comments

  • Reply to: Le Mans Saturday MotoGP Round Up: Strategy, Luck, Gambling, And Lorenzo And Zarco Finding Speed   14 hours 48 min ago

    Jinx thinks,
    Shrink dinks...
    Mixed conditions sure shuffle the deck. It clarifies who is how comfortable and confident, motivated. Rossi pulled of a great Q. Contast Rins/Suzuki, but also contrast him Sunday with him today - he will have race pace. Suzuki have their next step highlighted unfortunately well. Lorenzo too did Q magic. Rossi gets crafty, Joker's wild. Lorenzo doubles down, determination. And saying he feels natural on the bike has a precedent with the tank extension at Ducati - AND he managed to take his hams-arse Sargent touring saddle off BEFORE the race (Miller, take note mate).

    Jinx, howdy over there. Going to have a one-off disagreement w you on having a mixed conditions bike. Just like we never use the cut x-soft intermediate tires. Too many variables. Don't touch my chain! You got these ideas listening in on Davide and co at Suzuki, didn't you?
    ;)
    Nice saves Marc and Dovi! A few riders are going a bit nutty. Zarco and Crutchlow are both a tad wild eyed. Both Espargaro continue to much more than earn their keep.

    Is anyone saying this is a Ducati track yet? Let's go ahead. They are, going ahead that is. All of them are smoking. Especially the Factory garage, since their nicotine patches were taken away.

    Rossi has quite the duckling in Morbidelli. Fun to watch them quack around successfully today. Happy in the wet? Should have Yamaha staff honking a bit as well. Vinales and Quartararo are both migrating out of the cold right with them. Yamaha are flappling things back together and bit off a handful of tenths.

    Remember how far off Dovi finished at tough tracks last year? Not just a bogey or two, and he ended up mid pack and even then some. Not this year! LeMans, with several competitors on the back foot? Dovi. Both Yamaha and Honda are in need of a bit more sorting time that they did not get via very mixed conditions here. (Marc going down on his second out lap w wets on is a harbinger. Yes, Marquez has moved the ante WAY up by exploring the limit in practice sessions. But Q? This is a mistake. Not during a race, but Marc had ANOTHER mistake over cooking a corner and experiencing a very wayward rear end. Not engine breaking this time, he was giving it the beans). Marc not invulnerable? Dovi! Danilo and Jack are running strong too, big fat motivator and confidence boost for...yep. Dovi AND Bagnaia (that V shape in the sky, flap a tad harder mate! Time to fly!).

    Several riders have pace for the front Sunday. A couple will be barreling through the middle pack with pace just off the pointy end. Surprises are certain via the closeness of the grid this year and mixed conditions. Oui, pluie mixte et sec, fantastique est habituel. Lorenzo est plus rapide?!

  • Reply to: Le Mans Saturday MotoGP Round Up: Strategy, Luck, Gambling, And Lorenzo And Zarco Finding Speed   16 hours 54 min ago

    So says MM. It is such an inarguable truth that the first question is; when will the rest of the field apply the same dedication to qualifying that MM does? When was the last time Marquez missed the "extra" lap by leaving the pits eight seconds late? When was the last time his best efforts went pear shape because he was out of position and ran into a paracarro named Syahrin in the final three corners? When did Marc head out on the wrong tires or egregiously mis-read the weather?

    And the hard truth of it is found in this question; Is it easier to pass people Saturday than it is on Sunday? And while the final tally is only taken on Sunday, do you want to have to pass fourteen other riders to get on the podium...or not pass any (and just not fall off) for the same result? Do you want to manage tires that are at the pointy end of the field with all that nice cool air, or cook your front with mad lunges thru everyone else's exhaust discharge just to get a glimpse of the leaders before they are obscured by the curvature of the earth?

    Different Cats for Different Alleys

    The second mystery, solidly grounded on my having no conscience at all when it comes to spending other people's money, is why the lack of dedicated chassis' for the three primary conditions: Dry Race, Dry Qualifying, and Wet/Mixed. Example; if you changed the rules so that MotoGP races were a flying start and then two laps...what would your race bike look like? Would it look like the one that can make the tires last 20+ laps with a widely varying fuel load? Or would it be something much nastier, that had a relocated fuel tank the size of a thermos bottle, a different air-box, a short twitchy chassis, and a party-mode ECU switch that killed tires in three laps...but got everything except the squeal out of those Michelins? Sure, we all know the top teams do what they can now to adjust the suspension settings and reduce fuel loads for Q...but is that really the same as a dedicated three-lap terror? So why not have one of each in the box instead of a pair of do-alls?

    I know what you are thinking: "Jinx, you ignorant slut, what happens when Hero Racer bins the race bike in practice? What happens when we can't go out on two settings in race set-up back-to-back?" Well, fair questions both, though I think your ignorant slut quip was a bit over the line. My response is simple: The best of the Hero Racers don't bin them very often, at least not at the sharp end of the grid. No one is suggesting that we build a special Q-bike for Karel the Gravel. If our top rider does flatten the thing on one side, well, my response would be "go out and work on your qualifying set-up while the lads buff this out". As for the back-to-back stuff...don't. That is what testing days are for. Instead, adopt a stint on the race bike, debrief, out on the Q-Ship while we work on the racer, in for a debrief, back out on the race bike while we tweak the Q, and so forth. Or just swap tires on the race bike while your minions mop your brow, clean your visor, and re-hydrate you. And I would even go a step further, where each bike gets it's own dedicated crew. I.e., the race bike gets a dedicated race bike crew whose only goal is to deliver a Sunday product that will take the least time to complete all the laps. They are not one bit concerned with all the that silly drama of a Saturday afternoon. The other crew is responsible for the Q-Bike only, and it is job done when the sun goes down Saturday. They can even nip off to the local Pub if they want. OK, maybe after they check the rear chains one more time. Each team provides input back to the factory only for their dedicated tasks. Each crew works with their own unique chassis, suspension, exhaust, airbox, fuel tank, ECU settings, and so forth. And if you were really clever in Spring testing, you could use the "two aero package rule" to give them each their own unique set of canards. 

    And you would take the same approach, with some modifications, for the Wet/Mixed package. Start with the same question; "if every race were run in the wet, what would your racebike look like?" What it would not look like is your dry racebike, and it would not even be classified as the same species as a Q-Bike. To start with, the chassis would be much softer and have a very different weight distribution. And then you can go down the whole list of modifications that follow on from there. For a weekend where every session is run under a shower head, each crew gets a Wet Racebike, the only difference being the goals. The Sunday boys are building the best 20+ lapper. The Saturday Lads only care about five or so demonic laps (assuming a few extra are needed to to get some heat in the tires). For mixed conditions each team is responsible for a 20+ lapper, wet or dry. In fact, for a flag-to-flag, Hero Rider would be hopping off one crew's bike and on to the other's effort. There are, of course, always enough bits in the trailers to build any configuration that may be required by the actual weather, forcasts be damned.

    All that stands in the way of this approach is money (and perhaps common sense, since I have to assume someone has considered all this and rejected it for reasons beyond my understanding). The money does matter. At well over half a million Euros for just the chassis, this is going to eat some budget, and no one wants to spend money foolishly. Probably only the top four factory teams (and Petronas) have either the resources or the reasons to take such an approach. And even Suzuki would have to sell a shit-ton more outboard motor oil to play at this level. KTM does not yet have a package that can be split three ways (they really don't have a package that can be split one way yet), Aprilia and most of the satellite teams are thirty cents away from having a quarter, or have riders so gravel prone they have been reduced to stealing bread and sleeping under bridges just to keep a spare fairing in the cupboard. 

    So is this all a waste of money (given that our beloved sport seems to be, at its core, all about converting vast fortunes to fleeting exhaust noise)? Well, from my standpoint the true waste of money is spending almost enough to finish twelfth. The next biggest waste of money is to spend enough to win on Sunday...but not doing so...by losing eight places on Saturday. And finally, the biggest budget waster of all is thinking you will beat MM over a race season by never doing anything different, or as well, as MM + HRC. You wont. Go back over the last six years and check where MM starts a race and see if you can use up all the fingers of one hand counting the times he was not on the first two rows. If you ever have aspirations of beating Marc on Sunday, you had better understand, like he does, that the race started Saturday. Cheers.

  • Reply to: 2019 Le Mans Moto2 Qualifying Result: Down But By No Means Out   21 hours 45 min ago

    Hoping the kid has a good race!

  • Reply to: 2019 Le Mans MotoGP Qualifying Result: The Master Of Chaos, Some Of His Own Making   1 day 4 hours ago

    Anyone know if Johann got into trouble? He cane out of his pit in Quali and nailed his bike, ran close to another exiting rider and had marshalls waving their arms at him, definitely travelling way too fast out of pit lane, we were opposite!

  • Reply to: 2019 Le Mans MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez’s Gravel To Glory Routine   1 day 8 hours ago

    How about a standard interface for the starters on Moto2 and Motogp? Each corner crew could have a handheld starter and cut with all this pushing. Run over, pick bike up, start bike, rider away (if fit)