Photos

Fri, 2018-10-12 08:26
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Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.
As Tom was not in Thailand, here are some photos of things he has noticed at recent races.


Right handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: Although the bike is ‘ride by wire’, Yamaha still rely on the natural feeling of Bowden cables for the rider throttle, where both Honda en Ducati have electric wires coming from the throttle housing.


Left handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: The small wheel in front of the handlebar is there so the rider can adjust the position of the front brake lever while riding. Riders are very sensitive to the front brake pressure point, and this might change during the first laps out as a result of the temperature changes.


Under the 'salad box', at the rear of Jack Miller's Pramac Ducati Desmosedici GP17


Suzuki GSX-RR swingarm on Andrea Iannone's bike


New aerodynamic fairing for the KTM RC16 on Pol Espargaró's bike. First appeared at Misano


Front view of the new aerodynamic fairing for the KTM RC16 on Pol Espargaró's bike. First appeared at Misano


Brembo monobloc brake calipers


Ducati GP18 carbon swingarm


Under the tank cover of a Monster Tech3 Yamaha M1


Head of a fork tube (Stefan Bradl’s Honda RC213V)


Three connectors on the front fork of a Ducati GP18, the left one goes to a (hidden) sensor that measures the acceleration of the unsprung part of the front fork, needed to judge front fork damping qualities. The middle one is connected to two (!) wheel speed sensors. Just to show you how important measuring wheel speed is, they connect two identical sensors just in case one breaks. The right-hand connector is there for the sensor that measures the temperature of the carbon brake disc using infrared. Pretty important as the carbon brakes need to be kept between 300° and 700° Celsius. Any lower and they are just not there when you need them, anything higher and they are damaged beyond repair (and they are very, very costly).


Yamaha M1 rear suspension


Honda RC213V fairing (Márquez)


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

Thu, 2018-09-27 09:30
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Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.


KTM RC 250 R engine (Moto3)
Peter Bom: This engine is tilted backwards for cleaning and maintenance. Note the (orange) caps that keep dirt out of the inlet / exhaust ports during transport and cleaning. The aluminum box on the left is the water / oil intercooler. Here, instead of using an oil cooler, the water from the radiator cools the engine oil.


Gyroscopic sensor on the Ducati fork
Peter Bom: A two-axis acceleration sensor fitted close to the wheel axle of the front fork. Measuring the acceleration forces inline with the fork, together with the suspension stroke sensors, gives the engineers a clear view of the damping qualities of the front fork. The 2nd axis measures the lateral forces that will show understeer.


Dell’Orto ECU used in Moto3 and Dorna unit used for TV
Peter Bom: Note the difference: all the ‘not so neatly’ fitted electronic boxes are there for Dorna TV coverage. Not all bikes in Moto3 have to use them, it’s the price of being successful…


Cooling system to cool down the caliper (Yamaha M1)


Aerodynamic cover on Danilo Petrucci’s Ducati GP18 front fork


Carbon swingarm on the Aprilia RS-GP. That part has been used on and off since Austria (the first time Tom Morsellino saw it)


Ventilated mudguard on the Yamaha M1, appeared at Barcelona


Honda RC213V carbon swingarm


Cooling system for the rear brake caliper (Marc Márquez)


Carbon/aluminum top triple clump on Ducati GP18


Brembo bake system (Honda RC213V)


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

Tue, 2018-09-25 12:25
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The second half of 2018 is turning into a repeat of 2017: Dovizioso vs Marquez


Pol Espargaro was back in fine style, until he fell and rebroke his collarbone


Dark days for Movistar Yamaha at the moment


Story of the race: Jorge Lorenzo went down at Turn 1, and blamed Marc Marquez for it. Race Direction disagreed


Taka. Teammate Cal Crutchlow has fine words for Nakagami


Aragon proved that the Suzukis are closer than ever. Local boy Alex Rins lost out to Andrea Iannone, though


Head down and work. That's all Johann Zarco can do with what he has


Steady progress for stylish Jack Miller, until a gearbox issue gave him vibration


Next year on a Yamaha. Wonder what Franco Morbidelli thinks of that now?


And then there were four


Squad goals for Petrucci: lose more weight, conserve the rear tire, try to match his teammate next year


If you'd like to have very high-resolution (4K) versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Cormac Ryan Meenan

If you'd like to see more of Cormac's work, you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram, or check out his website, cormacgp.com.

Fri, 2018-09-21 22:24
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What is the value of a MotoGP test? About a morning, if Aragon is anything to go by. At the end of FP1, before any real rubber had built up on the track, four Ducatis topped the timesheets. When I asked Davide Tardozzi whether he was happy with the Ducatis looking so strong so early, he replied that this was just the benefit of testing. Watch and see what Marc Márquez does in the afternoon, Tardozzi said.

Sure enough, by FP2, Márquez had caught up and then passed the Ducatis. The Repsol Honda rider ended the day on top of the timesheets, a tenth ahead of the factory Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo, and half a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso. Cal Crutchlow was just behind Dovizioso on the LCR Honda, while Andrea Iannone was a fraction over a half a second behind Márquez. The advantage was already gone.

For Yamaha, there wasn't any advantage at all. The Movistar Yamaha team had come to the track and found some gains, Maverick Viñales in particular taking confidence from the test, which he carried into the Misano weekend. That lasted all the way until Sunday, when the grip disappeared in the heat, and the Yamahas slid down the order. Friday at Aragon was more of the same: competitive in the morning, when there was some grip, but nowhere in the afternoon, when the grip went. Rossi and Viñales made it through to Q2 by the skin of their teeth, though with no illusions of a podium, or more. Yamaha are in deep trouble, with no end to their misery in sight, but more on that later.

The fast boys

It is always difficult to draw conclusions from practice on Friday, but what is clear is that the championship contenders (by which I mean Marc Márquez and the two factory Ducatis) have the better of the pace at Aragon. Márquez spent the morning working on a single tire, as is his wont, while Andrea Dovizioso plowed his usual steady furrow, deceptively fast while under the radar. Jorge Lorenzo is blisteringly fast over a single lap, while his race pace seems a fraction slower than Márquez and Dovizioso.

There are others to watch too: Cal Crutchlow impressed with a fourth quickest time, and he had decent pace to match it. Jack Miller was fast in the morning, though it looked like Alvaro Bautista had better pace in the afternoon. Andrea Iannone, and perhaps even Dani Pedrosa have decent pace on the hard rear tire, though Pedrosa was adamant that he was still struggling with corner speed. This group, though, looks to be fighting over the spots behind the podium. To match Márquez and Dovizioso, they will need to find some real speed.

Marc Márquez was pleased to have caught up with the Ducatis, despite not testing at Aragon (Honda chose to work on their 2019 bike at Misano after the race instead). "Of course, the most important thing today is that from the morning to the afternoon we did a big step on the setup, on the electronics, and I feel better with the bike," Márquez said. "Still we need to improve, but it was something that we already expected, that especially both Ducatis would be fast in FP1 because they tested here a few weeks ago. But the good thing is that in the afternoon we were much closer with the race pace to them, and also in one lap we were fast. But the most important thing is that we worked on the race pace."

Desmo development

Race pace was Andrea Dovizioso's objective too. Ducati was obviously helped by the test at Aragon before Misano. "The track today was exactly the same as the test and the lap time was very similar," Dovizioso said. "This is the reason why we were able to start immediately with a good speed because we didn't need to adapt to a new situation, just start in the way we finished the test. Now we have to start to work on some details where in the test it's very difficult for the race, to be good for the 23 laps, be fast and able to save the tire."

What had Ducati been testing at Aragon? No new parts, Dovizioso had told the press conference on Thursday. Pressed to explain on Friday, the Italian explained that even though they had no new parts to test, there was still plenty of performance to be extracted from the package which they already have. "It's not about development or not," Dovizioso explained. "There are electronics, setup. If we change something with that, it doesn't mean we need new parts."

"It's not so easy to explain in detail because it's difficult," Dovizioso said, "but really there is a margin to improve with the same package. You learn how to manage the tires, how to manage the electronics, the bike constantly, because one part is to develop the bike and another important part is for riders to adapt to the situation. That I think is the biggest and most important thing, more than developing the bike. So that's why we are a bit stronger and we try to understand and analyze what we have to do, in the way we have to manage the brake, the setup."

"Ducati manage all the Ducatis that are on the track," Dovizioso explained. "So the reason why you can see some other Ducatis with a good speed is because it's one family. If we find something, normally they have everything. I think Pramac but also some other Ducatis. They don’t have exactly the same things as my bike but the base is from last year and they update within the season, so this is the reason why we are a bit stronger."

More aero trickery from Bologna

Much of Ducati's success has accrued through the Italian factory's using its satellite teams as a development platform. They initially did a lot of development on the spec electronics based on feedback from the satellite teams, and used the data to better understand the Michelins. This philosophy was further evident at Aragon on Friday, as one of Danilo Petrucci suddenly found itself adorned with an aerodynamic outer cover on the fork uppers (pictured below, taken from MotoMatters.com technical photographer Thomas Morsellino of OffBikes Twitter feed).

When I asked Davide Tardozzi about the fork appendages, he would say only, "we are testing something." But examination of the photos, and talking to various people in the paddock, suggest that the purpose of the aero forks is to smooth the airflow behind the fork uppers, and increase air pressure on the radiator. The teardrop or wing shape reduces the turbulence which a round fork tube normally produces, and this increases air pressure, which in turn improves cooling.

It is no surprise that such an update should first appear on Danilo Petrucci's bike. As the heaviest of the Ducati riders, his bike gets slightly hotter than the others. With MotoGP about to head overseas, to the tropical heat of Thailand and Malaysia, any modifications which can help improve cooling, and reduce the engine temperature, will leave the Desmosedici engine with a lot more power.

Grip in every circumstance

That Ducati is the most rounded bike on the grid was evident from the very different assessment of how the grip of the track changed which the Ducati riders gave, when compared to those on Hondas and Yamahas. The track temperature went from 26°C in the morning, to 43°C in the afternoon. But the rubber laid down made the tarmac less abrasive.

"The grip of the tarmac was not fantastic this morning. The track needed more rubber to gain grip, so I think the main improvement has been the grip," Jorge Lorenzo, factory Ducati rider said. Contrast that with the assessment of Marc Márquez on the Honda RC213V: "In the morning the grip was better than in the afternoon. It's strange because the asphalt had more rubber and normally it's better grip, but in the hot conditions the grip is less and it's more difficult to understand the limit."

Valentino Rossi expanded on this. "For me, it depends also which tire you have but in general everybody suffers more in the heat, in general," the Movistar Yamaha rider said. "But it's also true like Jorge that in FP1 usually the track does not have enough rubber. The other problem we have is that it looks like when it becomes very hot, we suffer more than the others. So it looks like the Ducatis don’t suffer a lot."

Sensitive souls

The Yamaha M1's problem appears to be that the bike is much more sensitive to changes in the track, in grip levels and in temperature, than other bikes. "[The track temperature] just changes ten degrees, and the bike changes completely," Maverick Viñales said. "It’s true. We suffer a lot from the changes on the track."

Johann Zarco suffered much the same problems. "The first practice was really good, I was better than what I expected, and I was happy to have a good feeling and in the good pace," the Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider said. "But in the afternoon, I lost that good feeling totally. With the warm temperature, we totally lose the grip on the bike, and then we are lost, because we have no solutions to do."

Zarco and the two factory riders seemed to have problems in very different areas, though. "The bike doesn't have acceleration," Zarco complained. "Entry is not bad, it's one of the strong points of the Yamaha, but then on the track, you also need to open the gas sometimes. If we could do six kilometers without the gas, maybe we would be competitive!" he joked.

For the factory riders, the problem was not on corner exit, but going into the corner. "For me it’s more the deceleration than the acceleration," Maverick Viñales said. "I slide so much on the rear straight and with banking so I cannot push. I’m really slow going into the corner." Valentino Rossi concurred. "For me personally, more in the entry."

Fundamentally flawed

The fact that both the old bike and the new bike suffer with a lack of grip in different areas points to a larger, more fundamental problem. "It's like we are more at the limit with the grip, and this is the problem," Rossi said. "So when the track for some reason has less grip, it looks like the Yamaha suffers more than other bikes. But the other big problem is that in a perfect condition of grip, with the new asphalt and a perfect temperature, anyway we are slower than the factory Honda and Ducati. So it means that also in perfect conditions we suffer. We suffer less, but we suffer."

These issues are not new, Rossi said, but had been coming since the beginning of last year. "After the first season back with Yamaha, where I won one race, I was quite competitive in 2014, 2015 and also 2016. In these three years the bike worked well. Sincerely this season is very similar to the last season. It's not a big difference. Last season I was able to win in Assen but it was just one race and apart from the first three races already in 2017 we suffer like this year. So it's negative because we suffer a lot under the technical point, but what we can say is keep calm and give the maximum indication that we can and hope that we can fix the problem in the future."

When asked about his development priorities for the 2019 M1, Rossi once again pointed out that he was not an engineer, and it was not his job to pinpoint particular engineering solutions. "For me, my work is not to say 'I need the V engine', or 'modify the chassis in this way'," the Italian said. "What I said is, for me we are in big trouble in the area between the tires and the bike. Especially, the rear one. So this what I try to explain, but the area to work is not one for me. They are different. Electronic, engine character etc. But I don't know. They have to know. I can just say the advice and every time I say the same."

Stagnation

The fact that this issue has been ongoing since the switch to Michelins points to a stagnation in the development of the Yamaha, allowing the Ducatis and the Honda to overtake them and become better bikes. The Yamaha still handles well, but it demands a particular riding style, one which is not an ideal match for the Michelin rubber. Where Ducati and Honda have worked on extracting maximum performance from the tires, while preserving the strength of their bikes, Yamaha have tried to polish what was a hugely successful bike in 2015 into a race winner in 2018. To little avail.

This lack of development is evident even from just looking at the exterior of the bike. The 2008 Yamaha M1 is barely distinguishable from the 2018 version of the bike, with only a few details giving away its age. Compare that with the Ducati: The GP18 is barely recognizable when put next to its ancient ancestor, the GP8. So much has changed to take the bike which was only really competitive in the hands of Casey Stoner to convert it into a weapon which is dangerous in the hands of many a rider.

So little has the Yamaha M1 changed that the 2012 engine will fit almost effortlessly into the 2018 chassis. Sure, chassis flex and stiffness has changed, but the character of the bike is pretty much identical.

The buck stops where?

Clearly, there is an issue in the upper echelons of Yamaha's technical management. When Masao Furusawa departed Yamaha, he left the project in the capable hands of Masahiko Nakajima. When Nakajima retired, he handed over the reins to his deputy, Kouchi Tsuji. Development of the M1 appears to have ceased under Tsuji, the momentum having turned into inertia, and an unwillingness to try new ideas. Tsuji's deputy, Yamaha MotoGP project leader Kouji Tsuya, has not brought any radical solutions to the M1's ills. And so the project stagnates, and a season-long winning drought has grown to 22 races, and the prospect or a record-breaking 23rd straight race without a win on Sunday.

A fundamentally new approach is required to Yamaha's MotoGP project. That new approach has nothing to do with the engine configuration, but rather with the way the bike uses the tires. If the M1 can be redesigned to make use of the drive grip of the Michelins, without sacrificing the bike's ability to maintain corner speed, it can be competitive again. The Ducati is winning because it can produce incredible mechanical grip. The Honda is winning because it has outstanding strength on the brakes, and great top end power. The Yamaha has neither of these, and is suffering as a result. Change is needed.


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Fri, 2018-09-14 17:11
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Another new feature on the site starting this week. After every round of MotoGP, the immensely talented Cormac Ryan Meenan of CormacGP will be supplying a selection of photographs from that weekend's event. If you'd like to see more of his work, you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram, or check out his website, cormacgp.com.


Flying on Friday and Saturday, but when the grip went, so did Maverick Viñales' chances of a podium


Miller Time


Alvaro Bautista reflects on his performance


Marc Marquez gets physical


Jorge Lorenzo came to Misano with a plan. But Andrea Dovizioso had a better plan


"The best bike on the grid". The universal verdict on Ducati after Misano


A race in Italy means a special helmet for Valentino Rossi. But only us old hands can remember the movie this one was based on


Speed thrills


A good result for Dani Pedrosa, but a long way back from the front group


Peek-a-boo


Next year's bike will be easier, Franco


A happy man, is Paolo Ciabatti


If you'd like to have high resolution versions (4K) of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Cormac Ryan Meenan

Sat, 2018-09-01 20:54
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Storm clouds gather over Silverstone. The storm would break on Sunday


If anyone could claim to have lost out at Silverstone, it was Maverick Viñales. The Spaniard was back to his old form during practice


Of course, Viñales only lost a chance to win a race. Tito Rabat lost the rest of his 2018 season after going down on some standing water


A reservoir and a piece of aluminum. One of the secrets to Jorge Lorenzo's speed on the Ducati


Jack Miller would have raced. But he was one of the only ones


Two of the parts which get swapped a lot. Shock linkages, and rear shocks. This is where traction starts


Andrea Dovizioso. Pondering lost opportunities?


Cal Crutchlow came to win his home GP, but went away empty handed. Like everyone else


The Misano test helped the Yamahas. Valentino Rossi was back near the front again


Bad weather = clear visors = awesome


Slovenian titanium bringing the loud


Repsol Wrestlemania


Johann Zarco is back to something like his old form


Playstation? No, these are the go-faster buttons

 

 


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Tony Goldsmith

Wed, 2018-08-08 14:37
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No closing the lid on Pandora's box. Ducati debuted a new aero package at Brno. Expect more updates next year.


Dark days for Maverick Viñales


The Doctor is still In, and will be for the foreseeable future. But they need to fix tire wear


Cal Crutchlow went a long way at Brno, but lost the two with five to go


Meet the New Improved Jorge Lorenzo, who has finally got his head around the Ducati


A lot of data left to analyze for Kouji Tsuya, Yamaha MotoGP project leader


It's amazing what you can do with a leaf blower, a 3D printer, and a little ingenuity


Johann Zarco was near his old self at Brno. His relationship with former manager Laurent Fellon has been mostly patched up


Even helmets get hot at Brno


Desmo Dovi is dangerous at Brno


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Tony Goldsmith

Tue, 2018-07-31 12:42
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Endurance starts: sprint across a track, jump onto a bike and race off among 50+ other bikes. Nerves of steel required


Kawasaki vs Yamaha, Rea vs Van der Mark - the battle we were all expecting


Leon Haslam, waiting


Jonathan Rea, waiting


PJ Jacobsen, waiting


Michael van der Mark, waiting. Endurance racing is hours of waiting punctuated by an hour of excitement


Endurance starts - even more terrifying in the wet


Honda got beaten at their home track again. HRC will have to up their game again in 2019


Nightfall


Bradley Ray shaking up a storm in BSB, making an impression at Suzuka


The key to endurance racing: trying to pace yourself at the limit for 8 hours or more


Some are better at it than others, of course


Why put yourself through all that torture? For this: Michael van der Mark celebrates Yamaha's 4th straight victory with Katsuyuki Nakasuga


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Sat, 2018-07-28 21:00
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Jonathan Rea - Can the King of WorldSBK become the King of Suzuka?


Takumi Takahashi leads a Japanese Red Bull Honda effort


Suzuka is light and darkness - Alex Lowes is defending Yamaha's crown


Ant West will race anything, anywhere, so naturally, he's racing at Suzuka


Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda is getting his chance to represent for Hamamatsu


Domi Aegerter giving the Musashi Honda a handful


Michael Laverty has brought a BMW and Christian Iddon to Suzuka


An American in Japan: Moto2 rider Joe Roberts is racing a Suzuki for Team Kagayama USA


Leon Haslam is practicing for 2019 by being Jonathan Rea's teammate at Suzuka


Mr Rea, taking things seriously


And Mr Lowes, wondering how to stop Mr Rea


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Fri, 2018-07-27 11:51
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Suzuka is a race with a rich history and a full factory effort from Honda for the first time years is a real sign of the ever increasing importance of this race once again. Honda had trusted the efforts of supported teams in the past but now they're back and it's a full-fat Fireblade that's in action this weekend. It will take a lot to beat the Yamaha's but this is a good starting point


Sylvain Guintoli is back in action this weekend for the Yoshimura Suzuki squad and the former WorldSBK champion is keen to show exactly how much potential the bike has. A second lap crash cost the team any opportunity of success in 2017 but the bike will be fast once again


Bradley Ray has struggled in recent BSB rounds with grip issues. Armed with Bridgestone tyres this weekend he'll be keen to prove his speed to the Japanese bosses


The Number 21 Yamaha R1 has dominated recent years at the 8 Hours but they'll be under pressure this year. Honda is back with a full factory team, Kawasaki is back with Jonathan Rea and a handful of KRT WorldSBK bigwigs and the Yoshimura Suzuki has already proved to be a one-lap threat


Randy de Puniet has been moved to the Pro-Harc squad and he's certainly not afraid of sliding his Honda Fireblade through the Dunlop Curve!


It's been 20 years since Yukio Kagayama made his 500GP debut but at Suzuka he's still a big draw.


American PJ Jacobsen was elevated to the Red Bull Honda seat vacated by the injured Leon Camier. He'll be out to prove his speed but alongside two factory HRC riders he's been behind on seat time thus far.


Time to towel down! Takakki Nagagami feels the burn in qualifying


Alex Lowes does his best to tend to the grass while out on track on the Number 21 Yamaha


Michael van der Mark looks into the light as he prepares for qualifying at the Suzuka 8 Hours


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

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