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  • Reply to: 2018 Le Mans Sunday Round Up: Crashes Shape The Championship, Yamaha's Woes, Ducati's Decision, And Moto3 Madness   6 hours 14 min ago

    Pedrosa just signed with SUZUKI?!
    Yep.
    Lorenzo, Iannone, both quite good and getting cheaper by the day.
    Petrucci looks great. Miller is strong.
    Mir is the one they want.
    A Repsol seat is a rare event. How long was Pedrosa on that bike?
    Betting Honda goes with the kid and it works.
    Ducati takes someone they know from within since Bagnia is signed. Petrucci, one yr deal.
    Lorenzo to Aprilia?!

    Edit - source redacted on Pedrosa to Suzuki. False alarm. Staying tuned.

  • Reply to: 2018 Le Mans Sunday Round Up: Crashes Shape The Championship, Yamaha's Woes, Ducati's Decision, And Moto3 Madness   6 hours 23 min ago

    Could Korfiel's team have appealed the 1.8 secs penality & what time window is available to the teams?

  • Reply to: 2018 Le Mans Sunday Round Up: Crashes Shape The Championship, Yamaha's Woes, Ducati's Decision, And Moto3 Madness   6 hours 58 min ago

    If you are really asking then let me tell you that ducati fans have always been almost nationality blind...proof is the worship of Stoner... pure devotion like the Napolitans with Maradona. In other words Lorenzo could be from mars or even from another galaxy, as long as he wins they don't care.  But he does not, win. Moreover he did nothing, nothing! to show some caring for the team. 

    My post was just a joke about the rumors heard via different media.  The only truth in it was the Ciabatti part: i saw him in his post le mans interview and he said  that the odds in favor of petrucci were high and that by Mugello ducati will have made a decision.

  • Reply to: 2018 Le Mans Sunday Round Up: Crashes Shape The Championship, Yamaha's Woes, Ducati's Decision, And Moto3 Madness   7 hours 33 min ago

    "So, Bambi, when did you think the turning point was in this fight?"

    "Well, Howard, I would say about three seconds into the first round, when he crushed my spine with his giant lizard foot"

    Can anyone give Marc-zilla a run for the title? On a strictly one-on-one basis over the course of the season, I think the sober answer is either "No" or "Hell No!". I believe, and still do, that Dovi could (and may yet) give Marc a decent scrap for the crown, but only as part of a committed Team effort by Ducati. But Ducati doesn't have a Team; they have Dovi...and they also have the world's best paid drag racer, who unfortunately then treats the next 26+ laps as the strip return road and transforms himself into a rolling Majorcan Paracarro. Jorge was slow in sectors 2 and 3, and disturbingly slow when he had someone trying to overtake him (and would then promptly drop his lap times 3-4 tenths after being passed). In other words, to quote the movie Patton: "George, you're a pain in the ass". I don't know what his plans are for 2019, but it appears his fate is now controlled by Patrucci. Another great finish in Mugello by Danillo and I think Jorge's goose may be well and truly cooked. He is dragging around about two-million Euros of Monster Sponsorship money that will be gifted to whoever signs him, but will that be enough to put up with a rider who, many months after throwing a leg over this year's bike, suddenly discovers the GP18 doesn't fit his...well...groin region?? (and then promptly shares that little gem with whatever press still follows him). After a very difficult Sunday, I am pretty sure Dall'igna was not in the mood for: "Gigi, mi sono fatto male all'inguine".

    And don't get me wrong, I have the very highest respect for Jorge's skill on a motorcycle. He is truly one of the very best that I ever saw, and maybe the best front-runner I ever will. But I cannot escape one very dark thought: The worst bit of luck Jorge Lorenzo ever had was winning the 2015 MotoGP Title. Not for any of the normal drama queen nonsense, but because that triumph precipitated the chain of events that led straight from the Valencia Podium to near Paracarro status. If for some reason he had been second in 2015 I really believe his future would have taken a much happier path, and he would still be riding a bike from Iwata perfectly suited for his amazing skills (and one that...evidently...provides all the groin comfort a man could ever want). It is almost a Greek tragedy, as of course Lorenzo cannot be in any way faulted for doing what champions are supposed to do, namely win. So he won...and then he lost. (Of course, the other explanation is that there may also be some gypsy crone in Tavullia with mad Stregheria skills that I, for one, never want to get on the wrong side of).

    Speaking of Tavullia and witchcraft, kudos to Vale's crew for a great effort this weekend. Looking at the Sector 2 times (with the hard acceleration points out of La Chappele and Musee), Rossi was not only quick, but was quick the whole race. Fastest lap and fastest Sectors 2 & 3 splits on lap 17, which is also the segment of the race where Marc and Danillo were at their best. It's been a while since we have seen that from Rossi with an elevated track temp, but we will have to wait for Mugello to understand if this is a substantive improvement, or really down to the grip and topology of Le Mans. By the way, Michelin provided a nice explanation of why there were so many gravel naps Saturday and Sunday...high grip levels. While seemingly counter-intuitive, Michelin explained that at high grip levels, when the tire does break loose, it does so very, very quickly (and that releases a lot of energy). Low grip levels are actually more forgiving as the tire has stored a lot less energy, so recovery is a far better proposition.

    A few random thoughts:

    Danillo...brilliant. Imagine what he could have done with a four mm drop up front.

    Miller has a lot more in the tank, and will only get better. When looking at lap and sector times he was one of four riders that were on a completely different level Sunday, but of those four he was the clearly the least consistent. The speed is already there, the consistency will come with a few more races.

    Zarco didn't look like he had a winning set-up as the weekend went on, and his bike's stability looked pretty shaky Sunday. I also have last week's winning lottery numbers and yesterday's weather report if anyone is interested.

    Dani had another brave ride, but not the speed of the leading group. He wasn't going to catch Miller or Vale no matter when he passed Jorge.

    Cal has a fine brain in his head. He needs to give it a chance to help him. The "no airbag" stunt was idiotic. And for pity's sake,  stop worrying about who you are towing in practice. Several times already this year he has pulled over unnecessarily because, well, that is what all the fast guys do, and Cal is a fast guy. But trust me on this one, mate, you are not going to ruin your weekend just because Luthi is in your wake, nor are you are going to tow Hafizh onto a front row start and upset the cosmic balance of the universe. What you are doing is letting your tires cool off and losing opportunities. You only had 18 laps in FP3 while a lot of the riders (who wound up in front of you) had 20-24. And while you set an absolutely blistering final lap in FP3 (that would have completely removed any need to go though Q1), it went for naught as you were five bloody seconds late crossing the start/finish line on that attempt, so the session was over. Slowing down for a clear bit of track is fine. Slowing down because an occasional top 12 rider is behind you makes no sense. Glad that you are OK though. Cheers.

    PS - One additional thought on the Marc VDS mess. The MotoGP bikes are leased from Honda. But Honda must have some very real concerns about the legal liabilities they may incur from the current state of Bedlam. They have no concerns about being paid, as Marc van der Stratten will take care of the bills, but just calling it racing does not negate the applicable EU laws when it comes to risk and responsibility, and Italy may actually be an (extreme) example of a place you do not want anything associated with you coming un-tethered at 200 mph and hurting someone without a very clear definition of roles and responsibilities for the safe preparation and operation of your leased equipment. Marc VDS canceled a MotoGP test session (scheduled for before the next race) on very short notice. Most fingers were pointed at M. Bartholemy as the villain, but I suspect that the Honda Shoguns back in Tokyo may have simply said "we let you race this weekend for the good of the sport, but you are not to touch our property again until you have a clear legal resolution to your issues". So, does this get hashed out quickly by Marc VDS...or will there be two less bikes on the grid at Mugello? Some additional insight available on Speedweek.com.

     

  • Reply to: 2018 Le Mans MotoGP Race Result: Practice Means Nothing Come Sunday   7 hours 43 min ago

    I thought Stoner was on Satellite bike for a year, and back in those days that means you don't win ...