Recent comments

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 20 hours ago

    V4 has 3 main crank bearings. I4 has 5 main crank bearings and is wider...

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 21 hours ago

    are those made to Honda and Yamaha. MotoGP is supposed to be prototype racing,run what you brung....as long as fuel limits and engine limits are in place, those with the money will win. The racing dollars,(R&D, engineering,testing) necessary to produce results under these "limiting" conditions virtually guarantee lesser bankrolls will lag behind...If this were not the case, then these limits would not be in place...Follow the money...truer words have never been spoken....

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 21 hours ago

    ... on that basis Yamaha should get some concessions over Honda, because Honda dwarfs Yamaha.

    It can't work based on size, it has to be performance.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 22 hours ago

    If you look at top speeds, the Honda's have the most power, not the Ducati's. The Tech 3 Yamaha's are very fast also (faster than Dovi). I cannot believe the Ducati is better than the Honda. Looking at top speeds doesn't show the whole story. Fuel consumption is not only due to power. Honda and Yamaha may have better computer programmers and electronics on there bikes. It's hard to separate the bike from the rider.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 22 hours ago

    The concessions are in place to help smaller, less-well-heeled manufacturers compete. Honda and Yamaha have the best engineers and most money and they've developed rules over the past 5-7 years that have effectively driven away competition due to the cost. Fuel limits, engine limits - it takes money and talent to meet these goals so those with the biggest R&D budget and most talented engineers win. Without concessions the only way to compete is the Honda/Yamaha way. Only they can afford it.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 22 hours ago
    +1

    +1

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 22 hours ago

    Ducati will never have to manage with 20L. 22 is as low as they will go. Motegi might be a problem but not much else. They'll get it knocked. They've run on 21L before.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   3 days 23 hours ago

    But Factory Option with Concessions is precisely what brought Suzuki and Aprilia in. I think Ducati are showing exactly how the rules should work. Concessions granted to aid development to the point of contention, once that point is reached concessions begin to be stripped away. Its developmental fast tracking.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 47 min ago

    I wish they'd put him in the box though, during FP and QP he was great, but having him down in the paddock with whatever his name is that they used to leave at home in the studio, fielding arbitrary questions is a colossal waste of his insight...(IMO)

  • 2015 MotoGP Championship Standings After Round 2, Austin, Texas   4 days 1 hour ago

    Aprilia with a point and Petrucci in 10th, for some reason that makes me smile. Anyone know if or when the Pramac boys will get GP15's or is their whole year on GP14.X's?

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 1 hour ago

    It's what I've always said. Some like to say there's a magic symbiosis or perfect style for a given bike in motorbike racing, when the truth is more straight forward. There are great bikes and great riders, when you put the two together you get a title contender. In rare cases a great bike can turn a good rider into a title contender, or a great rider can take a mediocre bike to title contention, but only rarely.

  • Scott Jones' Texas Adventure, Part 1 - Austin Rain   4 days 1 hour ago
  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 2 hours ago

    After watching the first two races this year, a couple of things jump out at me. First, Rossi's fastest race laps are *faster* than Marquez's fastest race laps. In Qatar that led to a win. In COTA, it led to a ruined front tire. Marquez is a beautiful, or rather exhilarating, rider with remarkable "immediate" pace, but it still is not clear to me how much of that is Marquez + Honda, and how much is "just" Marquez. It also might be that Ducati is not 2nd-best bike, but the best, period, with Honda a close 2nd. It has as much or more power and turns better than the Honda. It's two races in, and early, but thinking that Dovi is somehow that much faster than Lorenzo, or that Lorenzo has the same pace as Iannone is nonsense.

    Remember the Porsche 917/30 form the 1970s said "Porsche + Audi" on the front bumper...and I seem to recall a certain success at Le Mans over the past 15 years or so.

    I also wonder if the pendulum - with fuel limits especially - has swung towards engines vs. chassis (at least assuming a reasonable chassis). An I4 is not naturally balanced like a 90-degree V4, and that robs horsepower. At the outer limits of efficiency here, that seems to matter. So Yamaha's choice to focus on chassis and sacrifice engine might have cost them too much with the 20 liter / 5-engine rule. With 24 or 22 liters the difference was smaller. I think that Honda and Ducati have roughly a 10% HP advantage based on top speeds at Qatar - this is an immense difference in racing. Given that both turn reasonably well, that gives them both a much, much greater margin for error.

    It will make for great racing, but I'm not sure Yamaha can win the championship unless Lorenzo and Rossi both find something extra each and every race. The margin might be too thin. It's still early, though. Argentina will be very, very interesting.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 3 hours ago

    Ducati have been attacking the big problems with their bike, and thanks to some very astute reading of the (dumb) rules they've simply not had to worry about fuel while they rethink their bike. We know from recent years that it takes a huge amount of R&D to make 20 litres work, Ducati knew they only had to make 22 litres work (a much easier task by all accounts) so they devoted their energies elsewhere. Sure, it's not a truly level playing field but if they're going to write such dumb rules you can't blame a company for making the best of them. TBH I hope Dovi wins the title.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 4 hours ago

    Dovi has made an excellent start this season with the gp15 and looks very competitive. I agree that its not easy to say if he would have done the same without the concession rules. One might say that Dovi is a excellent smooth rider which can possibly fight for the championship because NOW he has the equipment. For those I should remind them that he was a factory repsol honda rider for 3 years (2009-2011) and was beaten by his teammate(s) basically every season (2011 he finished 9 point ahead Pedrosa while Pedrosa didnt score for 4 races because of a collarbone breaking crash).

    Maybe he just got better and better and can finally show his potential, he was pretty impressive in his year at Tech3. But, Rossi was championship material from day 1 in 500cc/Motogp, can't say the same for Dovi. I do think Ducati gains a lot of benefit with the concessions, high grid positions and more power because of the extra fuel, the question is, how much. We will see that next year.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    I definitely think Ducati will struggle without the extra fuel. But Yamaha never ran out of fuel mid-race last season, and even picked up a few victories in the second half. I know Ducati in 2015 wouldn't be as well-prepared to manage 20L of fuel as Yamaha was in 2014, I just don't think the loss of that concession would necessarily mean sacrificing all of their progress without hope of recovery.

    As far as Marquez's heedless behavior at the end of QP, I'm convinced he arrived in Austin intent on sending a very explicit message to his rivals: do not doubt me.

    On Friday, his social media accounts posted pictures of him lapping in the wet captioned, "Happy in wet and dry conditions." From FP2 on, he seemed to pointedly place himself at the top of the time sheets, almost at will.

    Anything less than a lap record shattering pole lap a few tenths clear of 2nd just wasn't part of his plan. Everything from the moment his first bike failed to the completion of his final hot lap were just the inevitable steps that circumstances required of him for his plan to proceed. With that out of the way, the race clearly followed his script.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    That Ducati has a LOT going for it in many areas. One clearly being the motor - yes Rossi was able to get a bit on Dovi on the brakes but WOW did Dovi grab some grunt off of corners! Great bike.

    I am having a hard time feeling sorry for Honda and Yamaha for Ducati getting 2L of fuel that they could have had but declined. It is THEIR fuel limit they self imposed. Ducati has always had motor...now that they can get that power down on the ground again get ready to hear the "Ducati power" phrase a bunch like the old days.

    Now Ducati and coddling can hold some more water in WSBK right now. The last minute restrictor plate removal rule may have been a bit much. Chas Davies is a great rider of course, but Aragon had him walking away from Rea and Haslam such that I think they should have split the difference between the previous intake restrictor and none. Oh, and while I am at it, that WSS regulations should change to allow the 899 middleweight Ducati in ASAP. The 750 twin rule juxtaposed w the 1199 twin rule? Incongruent.

    Congrats Smith - you suprised me mate.

    Rossi - so glad you are showing the kids how it is done, and am betting on you and Yamaha adapting to Michelins well.

    Marquez - you sure look good up there! Beautiful to behold. Don't take it personally but I am hoping you and Honda don't find the Michelins to your liking.

    Gigi - thanks sir, you and everyone in red have brought us much joy. Impressed and very appreciative.

    MotoMatters readers complaining about commentators - if you wonder about posting that or something else I recommend going with something else. ;) But stick around! What are your other thoughts about the race? Come on! We are SOOOO lucky to have this racing, eh?

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    Welcomed Damodici!
    Come back soon. The water is warm. Except when it is not, but it is always interesting and usually exceptionally thoughtful.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    That's what it is- the rider surely makes the difference, but not without a competent ride. I always get bashed for saying this (simply 'cause all my friends are Rossi devotees) but today if all the media and fans are celebrating Rossi's resurgence, it's not completely down to his 'godly' riding skills. It's, lets say, 60 per cent down to the Yamaha M1.

    Rossi of today is more confident, pumped up and motivated only because he knows that he's riding a truly competent 'factory' prototype and not what used to be a donkey of a bike till late last year.

    And perhaps that's the reason why I respect Rossi, but not blindingly worship him. Because for a simple fact, he couldn't win one single race on a Ducati based on his 'rider not ride' philosophy.

    Also, if for instance, today it was Rossi in place of Dovizioso at Ducati, the press and everyone would be going crazy saying it's Rossi that had made the difference, completely neglecting the 'concessions' or the fact the Ducati has finally sorted its bike! Of course, when Rossi wins its his skills, but when Dovizioso beats him fair and square on a sunny day- it's all because of concessions, tyres, Dorna conspiracies, supernatural powers and what not! ;-)

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    Because high speed and massive power is useless when you can't stop and turn the bike... also the Open Class rules were drawn up to suit ANY manufacturer who wanted to go Open, not just Ducati.

    It's fair to say that Ducati were the main reason for Open Class, but that's because Dorna knew that with no other options available then Ducati would exit MotoGP, and no other manufacturer would be interested in entering. We'd have a Honda vs Yamaha snooze-fest.

    So I for one am pleased with the way Dorna did it, because their vision has been realised - Ducati now competitive, and Suzuki and Aprilia contesting the series. I'm not seeing much to dislike, in fact.

    As long as you have racing, you'll have perceptions of disparity. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all formula, if you want to encourage multiple manufacturers. Like they say about democracy - it's an imperfect system, but it's the best system we've got.

    Of course, the moment that Ducati get back to parity with the Japanese, we'll have more changes that will alter the dynamic again and favour one manufacturer or another.

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    Superb article once again David, I'm a first time poster but long time reader and finally thought I should show my appreciation.

    Keep Motomatters weird :)

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 8 hours ago

    Don't forget that when Aprilia was racing the RSV in WSB they were running under the same twin regulations as Ducati... so of course they would have had little to complain about back then.

    Then they switched to the V4, and ran gear driven cams even though they hadn't homologated them... over the years they've stretched the rules to suit them just as much as anyone else has. It's part and parcel of going racing as a factory.

    And then there's Aprilia's history in the two-stroke classes...

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 9 hours ago

    Ducati has never had a problem.(in fact their only strength - until now)..

    So why do they get more fuel and open engine development??? I understand that the rest of the manufactures agreed.... but why (like how stupid or arrogant)

    Even when Rossi was at Ducats they had the highest top speed... Yamaha now sucks at top speed and power, and due to having to submit ALL their engines at same time Yamaha is stuck with what they have for the remainder of 2015.

    I don't see things changing..for 2o15 = but now that audi is clearly throwing some development effort and $$... I would like to see parity, in the future, for Ducati, Honda and Yamaha. If concessions are granted to Suzuki than I hope the rules could be changed mid season should they have an un-fair advantage.

    Ducati can clearly out negociate the other manufacturers (like completely stating the obvious... they could make millions teach others how to make deals)going forward, lets have them all play by the same rules...

    Am I missing something??

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 9 hours ago

    Aprilia has a parts uncatalogued much like Ducati and I don't recall them whining and crying in WSBK. Nor did I hear a word from them in the MotoGP (including support classes).

  • 2015 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Weird Austin, Ducati's Fuel, And The Wane Of Spain   4 days 9 hours ago

    Stoner also thinks that Ducati used Preziosi as a convenient scapegoat, rather than confronting the problems within the company.

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