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Full Jerez MotoGP Race Online On Youtube From MotoGP.com

Dorna has been notoriously careful with the video footage of its races, and has spent a lot of time and effort getting races and fragments of races taken off of Youtube and other video sharing websites. Indeed, when an online publication such as ours applies for media accreditation for MotoGP races, we are issued with instructions explicitly forbidding us to shoot and use any moving image footage of the race. This is entirely understandable, as the lion's share of Dorna's income is from television broadcasters, and they expect a good deal of protection for the large sums of money they pay for the broadcast rights.

One sign that things are starting to change a little at Dorna was the opening earlier last year of the official MotoGP.com Youtube channel, which hosted various snippets of video from the MotoGP.com website, including the excellent After The Flag official video podcast. It was a start - a careful one, but a start nonetheless.

Now, though, bigger changes are afoot. Perhaps having learned from the World Superbike website, which hosts live video of the races on its website for free in most countries, MotoGP.com is now starting to put some of the old races online. The first race to go up is the complete footage of the 2008 Jerez race, which went up online earlier today. Whether this is the first of many, or just a one-off experiment remains to be seen. At the very least, it is a promising step.

Embedding of the video has been disabled, so you'll have to head on over to the MotoGP Youtube channel, and watch it online there.

2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 2 - Bautista And Simon On Top Again

Alvaro Bautista and Julian Simon dominated once again on the second day of testing for the 125cc and 250cc riders at Jerez. The Spanish Aspar duo lead their respective classes as they had done yesterday.

In the 250s, it was KTM refugee Hiroshi Aoyama who was second fastest, getting the Team Scot Honda within half a second of Bautista. Behind Aoyama, the two newcomers, and former and reigning 125cc world champions Gabor Talmacsi and Mike di Meglio were third and fourth respectively, while yesterday's fast man Thomas Luthi dropped to 5th.

In the 125 class, Julian Simon turned up the pressure a few notches, getting to within half a second of the existing lap record, and beating his team mate Bradley Smith by almost a full second. Sandro Cortese and Marc Marquez swapped places, taking third and fourth, while behind them, Sergio Gadea and Scott Redding did the same. American Cameron Beaubier set the 12th fastest time, the slowest of the GP regulars, and in the middle of the Spanish and Italian national championship riders.

Testing concludes tomorrow.

250 cc

Pos. Rider Bike Time Total Laps
1 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'43.673 54
2 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1'44.201 52
3 Gabor Talmacsi Aprilia 1'44.387 49
4 Mike Di Meglio Aprilia 1'44.468 49
5 Thomas Luthi Aprilia 1'44.733 79
6 Raffaele De Rosa Honda 1'44.792 51
7 Ratthapark Wilairot Honda 1'45.112 46
8 Lukas Pesek Aprilia 1'45.135 63
9 Hector Faubel Honda 1'48.083 40

250cc Race Lap Record: 2008, Marco Simoncelli 1'43.546

125 cc

Pos. Rider Bike Time Total Laps Series
1 Julian Simon Aprilia 1'47.908 50  
2 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1'48.863 58  
3 Sandro Cortese Derbi 1'49.401 18  
4 Marc Marquez KTM 1'49.491 62  
5 Sergio Gadea Aprilia 1'49.976 42  
6 Scott Redding Aprilia 1'50.219 56  
7 Maverick Vinales Aprilia 1'50.362 42 CEV
8 Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1'50.429 60  
9 Dominique Aegerter Derbi 1'50.559 56
10 Adrian Martin Aprilia 1'50.617 48 CEV
11 Johnny Rossell Aprilia 1'51.335 58 CEV
12 Cameron Beaubier KTM 1'51.477 52  
13 Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 1'51.529 62 CEV
14 Luigi Morciano Aprilia 1'51.535 44 CIV
15 Alberto Moncayo Derbi 1'51.660 73 CEV
16 Alessandro Tonucci Aprilia 1'51.791 45 CIV
17 Armando Pontone Aprilia 1'52.296 36 CIV

125 Race Lap Record: 2006, Lukas Pesek 1'47.404
CEV: Spanish national championship rider
CIV: Italian national championship rider 

Official MotoGP Cost-Cutting Proposals For 2010 Include One Bike Per Rider

As the global financial crisis continues to hammer the world of motorsports, the Spanish magazine Motociclismo has revealed the Grand Prix Commission's proposals aimed at significantly cutting costs in MotoGP. The commission, composed of the MSMA representing the manufacturers, IRTA representing the teams, Dorna and the FIM, has spent the last few weeks putting together a range of measures which should help to reduce the expense of participating in MotoGP.

The most radical change suggested is to limit riders to a single bike per race, instead of the current two bikes they have. This would save both in costs of leasing the bikes, as well as mechanics to maintaing the bikes and spare parts. The biggest obstacle to this change would be the current flag-to-flag rules, which means that riders are allowed to switch machines if the weather conditions change during a wet race. With only a single bike, riders would be forced to switch wheels instead of bikes.

There are likely to be safety objections to any change of the flag-to-flag rules. Just changing from slick to rain tires - or vice versa - will not be sufficient to prepare the bike for the changing conditions. Usually, adjustments to the setup are also required, including changing the suspension to make it either softer for rain or harder for dry conditions. These changes require more time than just a change of wheels, and so the gamble of coming in to the pits becomes that much greater. More riders may choose to stay out on unsuitable tires rather than coming in for a time-consuming change of tires and setup. More riders out in the rain on slick is likely to mean more crashes, and more crashes means more injuries, and more holes in an already decimated field.

The one thing the teams would not have to worry about under the new rules is changing brakes. The proposals also include a ban on carbon brakes, which Fausto Gresini has lobbied for, claiming it would save him some 250,000 euros a year. The argument against carbon brakes is fairly solid, in that they are of no practical application outside racing, as carbon disks wear out too quickly and don't work in the rain, making them impractical on the streets. This change is almost certain to go through, and may as a side benefit make the racing more exciting. Steel brakes take longer to stop a bike, and if braking distances are longer, then outbraking maneuvers are more likely to succeed.

The final proposal under discussion, according to Motociclismo, is an extension of engine life. Under the plan, engines would have to last for three race weekends before the engineers are allowed to change them. A minimum engine life has been in force for the past couple of years in Formula 1, and has spectacularly failed to reduce costs in that series. As we explained in our series on saving MotoGP, the manufacturers can either choose to reduce performance so that existing engines last longer, or they can radically redesign the engine using more expensive materials to make the engines last longer. It's almost blindingly obvious which path the manufacturers will choose to go down.

Imposing longer engine life will save on engine rebuilds, which Honda's old steel spring engines required every 300kms, while Ducati's desmodromic engine needed very 700km or so, and this would be a big saving. The only question which remains is whether the extra development time and more expensive materials required to make the engines last longer will be less than the amount saved by the reduced maintenance requirements. The lesson from Formula 1 is that any savings achieved are likely to be minimal at best.

What is clear is that the Grand Prix Commission is taking the question of cost-cutting very seriously. Unfortunately, what is equally clear is that their thinking is still flawed: too many suggestions fall into the trap of trying to circumvent the law of unintended consequences. And that's what got us into this trouble in the first place.

 

Kawasaki Decision Due "After Phillip Island"

Rumors continue to surround Kawasaki's MotoGP program, and the latest rumor would seem to tip the balance in favor of the program's demise. The often well-informed British website Visordown is reporting that the 2009 MotoGP bike showed a distinct lack of reliability at the private tests they ran last week at the Australian Eastern Creek circuit.

So worried are Kawasaki's MotoGP bosses by the reliability that they are giving the project one last chance, according to Visordown. The bike will run at the private test to be held by Suzuki and Kawasaki at Phillip Island next week, where reliability issues will be examined. If the bike is not reliable enough, the project will be killed - and with it, any hope of a privateer team running the machines - so say Visordown's sources.

2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 1 - Bautista And Simon Lead A Thin Field

As if to emphasize the point that motorcycle racing is approaching once again, after the past three days of testing by the World Superbike and World Supersport field at Portugal's spectacular Portimao circuit, a reduced field of 250 and 125 riders took to the track a couple of hundred miles further east at Jerez.

But unlike the overflowing World Superbike paddock, the 250 and 125 tests were significant more for who was absent than for those present. The biggest name missing is of course reigning 250 champion Marco Simoncelli, but there's no doubt that the Italian Gilera man will be on the grid next year. For others, though participation is less certain, as sponsorship deals are still being haggled over in an attempt to finalize budgets.

And so none of the Pons team riders are present, which includes Hector Barbera and Simone Corsi, and neither of the Espargaro brothers will be testing either; Alex Debon is absent, his future still unclear; and Hector Faubel turned up at the track, but will not be riding until tomorrow.

Of the riders that did test today, Alvaro Bautista was the fastest, as might be expected of a serious title contender. The Spaniard finshed ahead of Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, and the Scot Honda rider Ratthapark Wilairot. Reigning 125cc champion Mike Di Meglio managed only the 6th fastest time, after a tumble in the morning which left him relatively unharmed.

As for the 125 riders, it was the Aspar Aprilia pairing of Julian Simon and Bradley Smith who topped the timesheets, ahead of the tiny Marc Marquez on the factory KTM. Britain's Scott Redding was fifth fastest, while American Cameron Beaubier, who stepped from the Red Bull Rookies Cup last year managed the 11th fastest time. The 125s shared the track with leading riders from both the Spanish CEV championship, as well as the Italian CIV championship.

Testing continues tomorrow, and concludes on Wednesday.

250 cc

Pos. Rider Bike Time Total Laps
1 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'44.351 61
2 Thomas Luthi Aprilia 1'44.675 46
3 Ratthapark Wilairot Honda 1'44.928 44
4 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1'44.978 56
5 Gabor Talmacsi Aprilia 1'45.361 44
6 Mike Di Meglio Aprilia 1'46.358 39
7 Raffaele De Rosa Honda 1'46.425 49
8 Lukas Pesek Aprilia 1'46.500 34

250cc Race Lap Record: 2008, Marco Simoncelli 1'43.546

125 cc

Pos. Rider Bike Time Total Laps
1 Julian Simon Aprilia 1'48.875 44
2 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1'49.313 48
3 Marc Marquez KTM 1'50.300 30
4 Sandro Cortese Derbi 1'50.710 23
5 Scott Redding Aprilia 1'50.834 41
6 Sergio Gadea Aprilia 1'51.115 33
7 Adrian Martin Aprilia 1'51.891 52
8 Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1'52.075 26
9 Dominique Aegerter Derbi 1'52.204 20
10 Luigi Morciano Aprilia 1'52.556 28
11 Cameron Beaubier KTM 1'52.598 48
12 Gennaro Sabatino Aprilia 1'53.021 37
13 Isaac Vinales Aprilia 1'53.319 46
14 Nicola Stizza Aprilia 1'53.768 40
15 Alessandro Tonucci Aprilia 1'54.053 36
16 Armando Pontone Aprilia 1'54.068 37
17 Mattia Tarozzai Aprilia 1'56.289 29

125 Race Lap Record: 2006, Lukas Pesek 1'47.404

2008 In Review, By Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler is a name many readers may already know. The British-born photographer is a stalwart of the motorcycle racing world, and is the AMA photographer for the excellent American magazine Road Racer X and the UK magazine Motorcycle Racer. His work has appeared in a range of well-respected motorcycle publications around the world.

At the end of every season, Andrew puts together a slideshow of his highlights of the year, and this year, Andrew has kindly agreed to share that slideshow with us. The photos range from the AMA season opener at Daytona all the way through the 2008 motorcycle racing season to the post-race MotoGP test at Valencia. We hope you enjoy the show.

 

 

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 3 - Byrne Blitzes Superpole And Overall Times

Shane Byrne was once again the fastest rider in the first running of the new Superpole format for World Superbikes, which takes the form of Formula 1-style "knock out" qualifying: Three sessions of 12 minutes, with a cut down to the 16 fastest to start the second session, and down to 8 to start the final session. Rain disrupted the second session, upsetting proceedings a little and showing that the new procedure can catch people out in qualifying, just as the old procedure did.  

1. Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1'43.874
2. Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'43.965
3. Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.144
4. Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 1'44.157
5. Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.217
6. Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1'44.261
7. Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'44.586
8. Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1'47.057
9. Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.387
10. Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'52.340
11. Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1'56.553
12. Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 1'56.643
13. Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 1'44.119
14. Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1'45.182
15. Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1'45.624
16. Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.931
17. Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.181
18. Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.260
19. Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'46.849
20. Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1'46.897

 

Overall best times from the three day session, all of which were set on Saturday:

 

1 67 Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1 '43.294
2 19 Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 1 '43.484
3 41 Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 1 '43.487
4 66 Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1 '43.546
5 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1 '43.657
6 76 Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1 '43.674
7 96 Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1 '43.767
8 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 1 '43.951
9 65 Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1 '44.115
10 91 Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1 '44.170
11 11 Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1 '44.261
12 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1 '44.425
13 55 Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1 '44.546
14 9 Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1 '44.610
15 23 Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1 '44.704
16 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 1 '45.108
17 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1 '45.179
18 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 1 '45.199
19 24 Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1 '45.278
20 25 Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1 '45.393
21 100 Tamada M. JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 1 '45.446
22 36 Lavilla G. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1 '45.672
23 33 Hill T. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1 '45.679
24 99 Scassa L. ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1 '45.820
25 111 Xaus R. ESP BMW S1000 RR 1 '46.128
26 44 Rolfo R. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1 '46.916
27 77 Iannuzzo V. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1 '46.971

Fastest lap during the race in November 2008: Troy Bayliss - 1'43.787 

 

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 3 Session 2 - Sofuoglu Serves Notice

After the morning session was lashed by rain, the afternoon session for the World Supersport riders was at least dry, if also very windy. At the end of day it was 2007 champion Kenan Sofuoglu who put his name at the top of the timesheets, and a strong showing throughout the three-day test showed he means business on his return to the class. Sofuoglu finished ahead of Triumph's Gianluca Nannelli, the Italian putting on a strong showing to finish with the second fastest time of the day, ahead of Joan Lascorz on the Kawasaki, the other rider who has dominated the proceedings in Portugal.

1 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 1'47.314
2 69 Nannelli G. ITA Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.965
3 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'47.983
4 51 Pirro M. ITA Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.248
5 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.458
6 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'48.467
7 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 1'48.614
8 55 Roccoli M. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'48.874
9 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.973
10 127 Harms R. DEN Honda CBR600RR 1'49.372
11 14 Lagrive M. FRA Honda CBR600RR 1'49.457
12 24 McCoy G. AUS Triumph Daytona 675 1'49.650
13 8 Aitchison M. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'49.657
14 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'49.998
15 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 1'50.122
16 117 Praia M. POR Honda CBR600RR 1'50.232
17 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'50.446
18 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 1'51.282
19 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'51.341
20 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 1'51.347
21 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 1'51.554
22 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 1'52.123
23 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'52.404
24 30 Günther J. GER Honda CBR600RR 1'52.845
25 9 Dell'Omo D. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'53.537
26 88 Guerra Y. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'54.920
27 71 Morillas J. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'55.103
28 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 1'56.258

Fastest lap during the race at the final World Supersport round in November 2008: Kenan Sofuoglu, 1'46.082

 

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 3 Session 1 - Rain And Red Flags

The first session for the Superbike riders was stopped after just a few minutes. The red flag was shown after Yukio Kagayama's Suzuki left oil on the track, and the session was canceled after the heavy rain made clearing it up too difficult. At the time, Michel Fabrizio was quickest, ahead of Ben Spies.

Testing concludes this afternoon. If the weather hasn't scared everyone off, as according to Dutch site Racesport.nl, this afternoon's World Supersport session could be canceled.

1 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'01.679
2 19 Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 2'01.715
3 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'04.343
4 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 2'05.324
5 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2'05.923
6 9 Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 2'07.300
7 91 Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 2'08.082
8 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 2'13.128
9 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 2'14.144

 

 

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 3 Session 1 - West Rules In The Wet

The weather reappeared with a vengeance this morning, lashing the Algarve coast and keeping many of the Supersport riders off the track. To nobody's surprise, Ant West set the fastest time in the wet aboard the Stiggy Motorsports Honda, ahead of Katsuaki Fujiwara on the Kawasaki and Matej Smrz a surprising third on the Triumph. Practice is scheduled to continue this afternoon, but with the weather poor, more riders may choose to skip testing.

1 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'02.373
2 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'02.540
3 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 2'03.018
4 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'03.546
5 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'03.768
6 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 2'05.042
7 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'05.184
8 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 2'05.375
9 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 2'05.550
10 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 2'06.760
11 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 2'07.662
12 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 2'07.712
13 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 2'08.085
14 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 2'10.194
15 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 2'12.372
16 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 2'17.158

 

 

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