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Mon, 2018-12-10 17:33
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The Angel Nieto Team released the following press release today, to give an idea of the travel schedule involved with contesting an entire season of MotoGP:


FOUR AND A HALF LAPS OF THE WORLD WITH MOTOGP

All of the flights taken in a season for the Angel Nieto MotoGP team

Almost 260 hours of flight and 160 days away from home make up a single season of MotoGP

At the end of any season, the victories, the joy of the good results and the satisfaction of a job remain fresh in the memory. What gets forgotten is the hours of hard work, the never-ending journeys and the many, many days away from home, away from loved ones. Away from the glare of the cameras, before the television sets are switched on and after they are turned off at the end of the racing on a Sunday, the activity is frenetic. In total, a season such as 2018, with 19 Grands Prix and 3 preseason tests as well as a post-season test at Valencia, adds up to almost 160 days away from home, only 71 days of which feature motorcycles on track.

The Ángel Nieto Team took a total of 54 flights from their base in Spain to make the 19 races and 4 tests. Some long, between 12 and 14 hours, and some short such as Jerez. From Australia to Argentina, via the United States or Thailand, the MotoGP World Championship offers a unique opportunity to travel but without the time to truly get to know each place away from the circuit, hotel, hire car, aeroplane or airport.

The only time to really soak up the culture is at the races outside Europe, when the atmosphere and the pressure is reduced and the teams don’t have the hospitality units that are their homes and offices from Jerez to Aragón. Feeding the kangaroos in Australia, eating at a proper Japanese restaurant in Motegi, sampling an Argentinian barbeque in Termas de Río Hondo, or visiting the shopping districts of Kuala Lumpur…

A video call can eliminate the 17,000 kilometres between Phillip Island and home but even that can’t cut short the 260 hours of flights (and several more spent queuing in the terminal), or the 184,000 kilometres, over the course of a season. No fewer than 14 airlines take the team to 17 countries in 4 continents and a total of 23 different airports – those outside Europe and especially in the USA, with their lengthy queues at passport control, amongst the most feared.

Once the aeroplanes have landed, the remainder of the journey is usually taken by hire car. The distances, like the circuits, vary a lot – such as the 15-minute drive from Valencia airport to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo or the 5 hours from Bangkok to Buriram.

Once at the circuit, it is time to get to work. Before anything can take place on track, the teams spend two days preparing: Wednesday to set up the garage and Thursday to focus on the bikes and make sure everything is in top condition after the last race. For the riders, these two days are spent meeting media commitments, before free practice gets underway on Friday – a total of 46 days.

And finally, it’s time to head out on to the track, to fight for victory and then start counting down the kilometres home.

Visiting the Batu Caves, just north of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

The Angel Nieto Team at Phillip Island

 

 

Fri, 2018-12-07 14:45
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Fire in the hole: Qatar shows up a lot of things usually hidden by daylight


2018 kicked off the way it would continue: fierce battles with surprise leaders


Franco Morbidelli - future rookie of the year. But it would not be easy


The boss chats to the boss


Daylight in Qatar. A new and much improved schedule meant some practice took place before the sun went down


We all thought Jorge Lorenzo might win at Qatar. Then we thought he might not win at all on a Ducati. We were wrong on both counts


Scott Redding got to be a factory rider. Unfortunately, the factory was Aprilia


Kouichi Tsuji greets Valentino Rossi after qualifying. Things would not always be so cordial between Yamaha's riders and top engineers


Year 2 for Pol Esparagaro and KTM. It would not be an easy one


Old Italians do it fast enough for the podium


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Tue, 2018-11-27 17:46
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New challenge for Jorge Lorenzo


Honda heat


A busy schedule for a man with a banged up shoulder


Hafizh Syahrin stays with Tech3, who switch to KTM


Full factory Petrux


Bit of a shock for Johann Zarco. The KTM isn't what he was expecting


Do the frog


Stepping into the future


Unbranded testing leathers and helmets are the best leathers and helmets


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Tue, 2018-11-27 09:45
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Valencia was an occasion for goodbyes. MotoGP bade farewell to Dani Pedrosa, MotoGP Legend


Marc Marquez' shoulder is his Achilles heel


Desmo Dovi will get another chance next year


Alvaro Bautista's last MotoGP ride before heading off to WorldSBK


Petrucci's last ride at Pramac, before stepping up to the factory team


Alex Rins worked wet weather wonders on the Suzuki GSX-RR


Problem solved? Maverick Viñales found speed in the wet too


Another departure: Bradley Smith headed to Aprilia on Monday, after leaving KTM on Sunday night


We see you, Valentino


Temporary returnee: Stefan Bradl filled in for the injured Cal Crutchlow


Wet weather? Unpredictable grip? Best call Marc Marquez


Not quite like a fish in the water in MotoGP for Hafizh Syahrin


What does going fastest on Saturday get you? A chance to chat to damp reporters in Parc Ferme

 


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Thu, 2018-11-15 12:10
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It has been a long and eventful career for Dani Pedrosa, which draws to a close at Valencia. The Spaniard has been enormously successful: three world championships in 125s and 250s, 54 Grand Prix victories, 31 in the premier class, putting him seventh and eighth respectively all time. On Thursday, he will be made officially a MotoGP Legend by Dorna, to mark his achievements in the series.

Yet Pedrosa has always been an intensely private man. Like Casey Stoner, Pedrosa loved the racing passionately, but everything in between climbing off the bike after the latest race, and climbing back aboard for the next, that he could do without. He was always friendly to fans, and polite to reporters, but it was obvious from his media appearances that this was the one thing which interested him least of all.

At Aragon, I got a chance to take a look back at MotoGP with Pedrosa, and talk about how he had experienced it. It was a personal view of his life, and his approach to racing, rather than a dry look at his stats. Pedrosa talked about how he saw the series, about the things he loved and the things he hated, and about the difference between racing now, and racing in previous eras. He was open about himself as a human, and how his view of the world had changed through the years, and how, in a way, that played into his decision to stop racing.

Q: MotoGP has changed a lot in the time that you've been in it. How do you see the championship? What state is it in? What is going well, and what is going wrong? What were the good changes? What were the bad changes? What would you change if you were Carmelo?

Dani Pedrosa: In my opinion, and this I see every day in TV when I watch the news and you see all the political games from the right, left, and all this stuff, is that it's very easy to say from the outside, "Ah, I will do this and I will do that, and I will do the other, and blah, blah, blah." But you have to be in the big chair so you can say what you will do. Unless you have that pressure, with the circumstances, with all the inconveniences and all the good things, all the situations that surround that chair, unless you are there you can't just say, "I would." You can say it, of course, but you are not right. So this is something that I could only answer if I would be in his chair. But I would say that it's positive for the championship because every time we have more spectators. We are growing. Fans, sponsors and people, every time there is much more interest in MotoGP. I think it has been positive.

Q: I have a perspective as a journalist and as a fan, but as a rider?

DP: As a rider it's different than as a commercial boss, of course.

Q: Sometimes the choices that we make are good for the commercial side, but maybe not for riders. Is there anything that you as a rider think…?

DP: You as a rider, you have to adapt, otherwise you get out of the game. You need to develop in the championship. You have to be more versatile in being gentle with the press or being nice with sponsors, attending more and more events all the time. Still the racing is there, but every time it is less. It's more about the pre-race and the after race talk than the actual race.

This is positive in one sense because you can have more the guys that are not in the front, they have still some exposure. You talk about them. There are chats because this happened, that happened. While in the past, you only see the top three or five. So this is positive, also for the small teams and things like this. But of course for the rider, you have to be able to change your idea of what the championship is. But in my opinion when you want to be a top rider, you have to remember that this is racing, and racing is the only thing. At least, that's the point I like.

Q: That's why you race, for the racing.

DP: Yes, I race for the racing.

Q: Would you liked to have lived and raced in the 1970s, when it was turn up, race, and just live for racing? Casey was always one of those riders. You have riders who love the attention, love the show, who like the press. You are more like Casey. He retired very young because he was tired of it. You're more like that?

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Thu, 2018-11-15 09:47
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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.


Air cooling system on Kalex (Marc VDS), for water
Peter Bom: Moto2 engines automatically enrich the fuel mixture over 80°C in order to cool the engine. This rich mixture causes a slight loss of power and in the extremely tight Moto2 class, every detail is worth looking at. Here we see the MarcVDS team, cooling down there Moto2 engines while the bike waits in the pit box.


Air duct for front calipers (Yamaha YZR-M1)
Peter Bom: Air ducts to guide air to the brake caliper, and no covers over the carbon brake disks. Carbon brakes have a fixed temperature window in which they operate well. Too low and they don’t work (very low coefficient of friction), too high and they get damaged.


Seat adjustments on Lorenzo’s GP18 during FP1


Honda RC213V (Marc Márquez)


Under the tank of the Ducati GP17, Xavier Siméon (Tito Rabat's bike, out through injury)


Exhaust Ducati GP18 (Danilo Petrucci)


Ducati GP18, Andrea Dovizioso


Clutch lever sensor on Maverick Viñales bike


Brembo calipers


Carbon swingarm (Honda RC213V)


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Mon, 2018-11-12 12:50
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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.


Torque sensor on the Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: Like all current MotoGP engines, the Yamaha M1 has a torque sensor fitted to the drive shaft. By measuring the amount of torque delivered on the track, the manufacturer can validate their engine dyno torque maps and fine tune them on the track. Note that Yamaha don’t use them on Sunday, that’s when everything should be sorted out. Left of the sprocket is an ‘inside-out’ or inverted sprocket which the external starter motor slides into.


Reinforced chassis on the Suzuki GSX-RR
Peter Bom: By gluing carbon fiber onto specific points, Suzuki can increase the stiffness of their chassis exactly where they want, and how much they want.


Aerodynamic outflows on the Ducati GP18 (Petrucci)


Suzuki GSX-RR engine


Honda RC213V tail (Marquez)


Carbon swingarm (Honda RC213V)


Front end of the Yamaha M1 (Valentino Rossi) with carbon fork


Electronics hub on the Yamaha M1


Ducati GP18 winglets


Electronics hub on the KTM RC16


Sensor on the clutch lever on Valentino Rossi’s M1 to evaluate starts. Maverick Viñales has a similar system


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, 2018-11-08 09:01
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A tire which was too hard even for Marc Marquez saw him doing this a lot. Sometimes, he even crashed


Hafizh Syahrin was inspired at his home race


The duel that never quite happened


That Suzuki GSX-RR is not a bad bike now. Riders are pretty decent now too


A couple more races on the Honda before he switches to a Yamaha. Will Franco Morbidelli start to fly on the M1?


As the season winds down, Johann Zarco winds up


Takaaki Nakagami climbs aboard for the last of the Pacific flyaways


Fast on the factory bike, fast on his own bike. Yet Alvaro Bautista is off to WorldSBK next season


Pole number 80 became win number 70, though the man in the background did everything in his power to prevent that


Pol Espargaro has slowly returned to fitness, and the KTM is starting to show some signs of progress


Full lean for Taka


"You want to know what?" Andrea Dovizioso gets a surprise question


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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.

Wed, 2018-11-07 17:21
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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.


Nakasuga’s YZR-M1 exhaust from above
Peter Bom: Exhaust configuration is vital for both power and engine character. Yamaha is using a four-into-two-into-one exhaust combination. Don’t be surprised if next year we see a different exhaust on the M1.


Winglets on GP18 (Dovizioso)
Peter Bom: The base of the winglet is integrated into the skin of the fairing to minimize air turbulence.


Suspension kit, harder or softer depending on the conditions and riding styles


When winglets are needed, just fit them on the fairing


Cooling system on the KTM Moto2 (Ajo) for Motegi and its hard braking points


Neutral push lever for seamless gearboxes (KTM RC16)


Valentino Rossi’s dashboard


System to cool down the water on a Kalex bike (Marc VDS).


Brake pressure and travel sensors on Katsuyuki Nakasuga's Yamaha M1


Tito Rabat’s calipers (used by Xavier Siméon)


Ventilated front mudguard on the 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

Wed, 2018-10-31 12:26
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Would the Yamaha be competitive at Phillip Island? Of course it would


Jackass was outstanding at his home round, but couldn't match the pace at the end of the race


Heavy wind, cold temperatures, hard tires. Dani Pedrosa's kryptonite trifecta


Big data, big difference


The King of Phillip Island? Only in odd years


Karel Abraham got a free upgrade in Australia


Little did Johann Zarco suspect what awaited him


Still not working the way it should for Valentino Rossi


Alvaro Bautista exceeded expectations in Australia. What a difference a factory bike, and a factory team, can make


Up, over, and down again. That's the magic of Phillip Island


Relations haven't always been this cordial. Winning cures a lot of ills


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.

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