Photos

Sun, 2019-02-03 13:19
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Fri, 2019-02-01 12:27
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Marc Marquez has returned to training on a motorcycle for the first time since having surgery on his shoulder in December last year. To mark the occasion, the Repsol Honda team issued the following press release, containing a video of Marquez riding and explaining what he found easy and difficult on the bike. The press release appears below:


Marquez rides again

The 2019 pre-season has been different to any other before it for reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez after a substantial shoulder operation in early December.

Surgery was performed by Dr. Xavier Mir, Dr. Victor Marlet and Dr. Teresa Marlet at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in order to resolve a recurring dislocation of Marc Marquez’s left shoulder. The issue had persisted throughout the 2018 season, and the winter break was deemed the only time possible to operate on the Repsol Honda Team rider. With recovery predicted to take multiple months, Marquez and his team set about building a plan to strength the shoulder and prepare for the Sepang Test on February 6 – 8.

Hours of work with his physiotherapist Carlos J. García and highly targeted training in the gym became Marquez’s new winter routine. But, the seven time World Champion kept his focus, pushing to be as fit as possible for Malaysia.

The goal of returning to racing his Honda RC213V remained his motivation throughout and each week offered a new milestone. First, being able to use his shoulder in every day life, ride a mountain bike and then return to training with motorbikes. A practice bike would be the shoulder’s first test of 2019 and on January 29 – just under two months after his operation – Marquez was back.

With some trepidation, Marquez rolled onto a track in Alcarràs, near his home in Cervera, to see if the shoulder was ready for the demands of a bike.

“I needed this!” beamed Marquez after his first run. “I touched my elbow on the ground! Riders in general need to have their minds clear. At least on the trip to Malaysia, which is 14 hours long, I will be thinking I have ridden a bike, got on the brakes, felt the throttle and the clutch. We have done a few laps that have helped me to see where things are. This week we have to work on it. It was pretty much what I expected, the large force under braking – especially left-handers, where I have to support my left shoulder was problematic. That is where we have to continue working, have patience in Malaysia and get to March at full fitness.”

Now the attention turns to the Sepang Test on February 6 – 8 when Marc Marquez and the Honda RC213V will meet again as they prepare to defend the Triple Crown.

Fri, 2019-01-25 15:56
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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. 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.


Clutch cable on the Honda RC213V
David Emmett: Honda are one of the only factories to still use cable-operated clutches rather than hydraulic clutches. Cable clutches are lighter, simpler, and given that the clutch is only used once during the race (at the start), any benefits a hydraulic clutch might have are barely a factor.


Ducati GP19 (Alvaro Bautista) with the parallelogram torque arm system
David Emmett: For a full explanation of what Ducati might be trying to achieve with this, read Peter Bom's full analysis.


KTM RC16


Suzuki GSX-RR (Sylvain Guintoli) with a front brake lever sensor


Andrea Iannone’s RS-GP, note the brake pedal not hidden behind the chassis as before.


Rear tire temperature sensors on the Yamaha YZR-M1


Behind the Yamaha YZR-M1 fairing


2019 Honda RC213V


Ducati GP19 chassis


Velcro on Marc Marquez’ RC213V seat


Ducati’s salad box, almost open!


Ducati’s tail aero


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of David Emmett'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, 2019-01-23 15:37
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After the team presentation at the Repsol Campus in Madrid, the Repsol Honda Team issued the following press release. Unfortunately, as a result of Jorge Lorenzo's injury, HRC were unable to do their normal full photoshoot with the team. A full gallery of the bikes will be available next week:


2019 Repsol Honda Team livery revealed in Madrid

2019 Repsol Honda team presentation at Madrid, with Mick Doohan, Marc Marquez, Antonio Bruffau (Repsol), Tetsuhiro Kuwata (HRC), Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Criville

Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo were joined by Repsol Honda Team legends Mick Doohan and Alex Crivillé to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Repsol Honda Team.

The two world champions were joined by the world’s press at Repsol’s headquarters in Madrid to unveil the livery in which they will chase the 2019 crown.

Having taken eight of the last nine world championships in the premier class, Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo form a perfect team to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HRC and Repsol joining forces. The first riders to run in these now iconic colours, Mick Doohan and Alex Crivillé, were also able to join the special presentation to share their memories from 1995 onwards.

The riders were joined on stage by Tetsuhiro Kuwata, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) Director, and Antonio Brufau, CEO of Repsol who both outlined and emphasized their plans for continual success. Carmelo Ezpleta, the CEO of Dorna and Begoña Elices, the General Director of Communications and board member at Repsol were also in attendance.

From the Honda NSR500 of Doohan and Crivillé to the RC213V of Márquez and now Lorenzo, the HRC machines have taken 168 victories in the premier class, 14 World Championships, 427 podiums, 182 fastest laps and 177 pole positions together with Repsol, forming not only the most iconic pairing in Grand Prix racing, but also the most successful. Among these accolades, the Repsol Honda Team have also produced four dominating titles for Mick Doohan, the first Spanish 500cc World Champion in Alex Crivillé (1999) and the youngest MotoGP™ champion in history – Marc Márquez. Now they celebrate their 25th anniversary and aim for even more success in the future.

Marc Marquez will now begin his final preparations for the Sepang Test (February 6 – 8) where he and the RC213V will debut the 2019 livery for the first time on track. Meanwhile, Jorge Lorenzo is set to commence an intense physical therapy routine in order to be as fit as possible for the Qatar Test (February 23 – 25). Finally the 2019 MotoGP™ season begins in under the floodlights in Qatar (March 07 – 10).

Marc Marquez

"It is a privilege to be part of the family that is the Repsol Honda team. When I was young and when I watched races from the sofa at my house I wanted to be here wearing these colours. It was a privilege to start collaborating with Repsol and have their support in the Spanish Championship and, later, to work with them in the World Championship. And now I'm here, helping Repsol and Honda win more titles, making their history even more successful. It's something that makes me very happy. When I was in Moto2 I knew that I wanted to ride for Repsol Honda and I wanted to win the MotoGP title. That's why, when journalists ask me if I'm going to change teams, I think: why would I change if I'm already part of this incredible team? Here we are a family, the relationship with Repsol and Honda is fantastic and this is something very important for achieving our goals, year after year. I hope that by the end of 2019 we can celebrate something beautiful together."

Jorge Lorenzo

"Repsol Honda are on a different level in every way. I could see it at the Valencia test, when I had many people around me listening to what I was saying. It is a dream for any rider to be part of this team. I am very demanding on myself and always try to get the best out of each situation. I want to repay the team for all the trust they have given me with good results. I am very proud to be on a team with as many victories and as much history as Repsol Honda. I like the bike a lot, it turns in very well and is very docile. In addition, the team gave me a very warm welcome from my first day here. My main objective for 2019 is, first of all, to recover one hundred percent and be able to demonstrate on track that we really are the Dream Team that people are talking about."

Tetsuhiro Kuwata
HRC Director - General Manager Race Operations Management Division

"Repsol and Honda have worked together for years, 25 in fact, to achieve excellence; for our customers, for our fans and for our riders. In this long period we have maintained our determination and target of improving our products, raising the bar once again. And year on year we are getting closer and we are chasing our dreams of a better product constantly. Today, we are happy to reveal the new Repsol Honda team with two riders that have demonstrated the excellence in all areas that riders need to be the best. The Repsol Honda team is always looking for this excellent, it's our duty to give the riders the best we can possibly can, and we believe there is no better combination than Repsol and Honda for this task."

Antonio Brufau
CEO and Chairman - Repsol

"It is an honour and a pleasure to celebrate, not only the 25th anniversary of the Repsol Honda Team, but also 50 years of Repsol supporting motor sports. The greatest riders have been part of this team and we can say that next season will not be different, since we have two athletes who have 12 world titles between them. It all started with two riders who became the references of the Motorcycle World Championship: Mick Doohan and Alex Crivillé. Today we are delighted to have with us the current World Champion, Marc Márquez, and another World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo. The sum of the best riders, the best machines and the best products is a formula of success clearly demonstrated throughout all the years that we have been together. We can affirm, with pride, that the alliance between Repsol and Honda is the most lasting and successful in MotoGP. A relationship in which values such as leadership, technology and innovation are shared, as well as teamwork, determination and the culture of effort."

Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at the 2019 Repsol Honda presentation

Fri, 2019-01-18 18:26
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The bike in the photos appears to be a GP18 rather than a GP19. But the launch is all about the sponsors, and the new livery, rather than the bike. The new bike will only be unveiled at the Qatar test, with parts still to be tested at Sepang.


The 2019 Mission Winnow Ducati livery


Bike and riders


The big money, on board camera sponsorship slot


Salad box...

 

 


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Fri, 2019-01-11 21:13
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The forces in play with Ducati's torque arm

Ducati has always been known for taking the path less traveled when it comes to their MotoGP bikes. Their willingness to experiment and innovate – and sometimes, pick up old solutions which were dropped in the past – has been put into overdrive since Gigi Dall’Igna took over as head of Ducati Corse, the Bologna factory's racing department.

The appearance of a torque arm on the Ducati GP19s at the Jerez test in November last year is another example of exactly this kind of thinking from Dall'Igna. An idea which was once common practice in racing motorcycles in the 1970s and early 1980s, but disappeared shortly afterward. Why had Ducati reinstated the idea again? What were they trying to achieve?

When we spoke to riders who used the torque arm at the Jerez test, they remained deliberately vague. "For sure there were some positives and negatives to it, and like I said, I think we've got to back check it," Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller said. "It seemed to be a little more stable grabbing the rear brake, and stuff like that. But it's going to take some time to really develop it, because at the moment, it's in its very primitive stages."


Jack Miller tested the torque arm at Jerez in November 2018

Newly promoted factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci was similarly ambiguous. The torque arm was an improvement, he admitted, but he was loath to go into detail. "It was more or less an improvement, but there were very, very small differences," he said. "I think Gigi didn’t like to change a lot of things. He always wants to try new parts to be sure if it works or not but it always changes very little not for evolution but you aim to go on the limit to feel the difference."

Something old, something new

I discussed this question with Peter Bom, world championship winning crew chief to Danny Kent and Stefan Bradl. Naturally, a person with Bom's technical background knew what those torque arms used to be used for, and a clear idea of what Ducati is trying to achieve by bringing them back again for 2019.

"Designers used this construction in the past because it helped to prevent the rear wheel bouncing or stamping," Bom explained. "That could sometimes happen with no warning if the rider used the rear brake when braking hard in a straight line."

Better suspension eventually fixed that problem. "Developments in rear suspension helped to solve that problem," Bom continued. "The top out spring was a big step forward in that respect." The top out spring is a small spring used to dampen the impact when a shock or front forks reach maximum extension.

Changing geometry

Ducati's rationale for bringing back the torque arm was different, Peter Bom reasoned. "The result of the torque arm is that it opens up the rear suspension. But it is not so much the case that the rear tire is being pushed into the asphalt with greater force. It's more that the rear of the bike is being pushed upward. That's something you don't really want when you are braking in a straight line."

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This is part of a regular series of unique insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The series includes interviews, background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion. Though most content on MotoMatters.com remains free to read, a select amount of uniquely interesting content will be made available solely to those who have supported the website financially by taking out a subscription.

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Thu, 2019-01-10 10:29
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There are many benefits to supporting MotoMatters.com with a subscription: access to our exclusive interviews and background articles, full-size photographs by our ace snappers such as CormacGP and Scott Jones, and perfect marriage of full-sized technical close-ups by Tom Morsellino with explanation by Peter Bom.

From this year, there is another benefit: all of our paying subscribers will be entered into our prize draw, where they can win a range of MotoGP-related goodies. The draws will be held once a month, with winners drawn at random from among active subscribers.

To kick things off, we have two grand prizes for subscribers. First prize is an exclusive object indeed: the media pack handed out at the official launch of Honda's RC213V-S street bike at the Barcelona round of MotoGP in 2015.

Honda RC213V-S press pack cover

Inside the box you will find a Honda RC213V-S branded notepad, pen, lanyard, and media pass to the event. A unique souvenier of a special occasion.

Honda RC213V-S press pack contents

The other prize on offer is a large wall calendar for 2019 from the Marc VDS Estrella Galicia 0,0 team. The calendar features a selection of photos of the riders who raced for the team in 2018, including Alex Marquez, Franco Morbidelli, Tom Luthi, and Joan Mir.

2019 Marc VDS wall calendar

The draw for the prizes will be held on 15th January, with prize winners to be notified shortly afterward. 

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Mon, 2019-01-07 23:58
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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. As Peter Bom is taking a break, David Emmett has stepped in to add some background information to Tom's photos.
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.


Honda RC213V steering damper
David Emmett: Honda have switched the location of their steering damper to above the tank. It's a conventional damper (the rules say electronic control of the steering damper is not allowed), but it has been relocated because of the change to the air intake, which now goes straight through the steering head.


Joan Mir’s Suzuki GSX-RR
David Emmett: This is the 2018 version of the chassis. The later version doesn't have the carbon sections glued to the upper part of the frame. Suzuki staff said that working with the carbon sections had allowed them to work on varying stiffness, and they weren't needed any longer.


Honda RC213V 2019 with the torque sensor and the 2D radio sensors for tire pressures


Yamaha have been working with different tanks during Valencia and Jerez Tests.


Gyroscopic sensor (hidden), two wheel speed sensors, one disc temperature sensor (Ducati)


The specially customized tank for Jorge Lorenzo's Honda RC213V


Another view of the customized tank for Lorenzo's Honda


Honda RC213V new aero fairing (Jorge Lorenzo)


Track temperature sensor on Marquez’s 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

Fri, 2019-01-04 16:35
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MotoGP in a nutshell


Jack Miller took to the Ducati like a duck to water


Front row and a podium. Jerez set Johann Zarco up perfectly for his home race two weeks later. Though that didn't quite work out like he hoped


Mika Kallio was a wildcard entry at Jerez, with a new, backwards-rotating crankshaft in the RC16. The two factory KTMs got that engine shortly afterward


Signs of things to come: Jorge Lorenzo led for the first part of the race, until his arms tired, a problem which would only be solved with a new tank


Racing in the first Spanish race of the year was a less than happy experience for Maverick Viñales, who finished 13 seconds behind the winner


Sure, everything is done on laptops in MotoGP. But before it goes into a laptop, it first gets written down on paper


Red Bull even gives trailers wings


Pole on Saturday at Jerez was confirmation that Cal Crutchlow was in the right place in 2018


Corner entry remained a problem for the KTM all year


No, not a Cyberman. The men and women of the fire brigade stand in the sun all day long, in full protective gear


Taka Nakagami, flying. He flew much faster at the test at Jerez in November


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, 2018-12-21 10:29
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Dani Pedrosa came to Austin with a bust wrist from the chaotic race in Argentina


Captain America


Despite the ban, aerodynamics change so fast that the first aero package of 2018 already looks hopelessly outdated.


First time for Alex Rins at Austin, after an injury ruled him out last year. It did not end as he had hoped.


Turn 1 is the toughest braking zone of the year on suspension, hard on the brakes uphill. It makes starts a nightmare


A hive of activity


Cal Crutchlow came into Austin leading the championship, but an early crash meant he left trailing


Alvaro Bautista struggled with the rear of the bike until the test at Jerez. In Austin, he scored a solitary point


One of the coolest trophies of the year. Marc Marquez has a whole collection of them.


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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