Photos

Sat, 2013-08-17 22:06
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It may not be fast, but it's pretty


Stefan Bradl rocking Red Bull sponsorship. But how long till energy drink sponsorship gets banned?


Ben Spies was back. But only for three session. His misfortune continues unabated


Back on it. Cal Crutchlow has the new fuel tank at Indianapolis


Alvaro Bautista is having one of his better weekends


Catch him if you can. You can't catch him? Then just follow...


IMS: turning photographers into cage fighters


Green Mamba


Karel Abraham had a rough first day, falling heavily on his shoulder


Getting there. Bradley Smith has picked up a little more speed over the summer


Whereas Valentino Rossi has lost the gains he made after Aragon


At home with Nicky Hayden


Aleix Espargaro is not the fastest CRT rider at Indy, for a change


Big sky in the Midwest


In at the deep end: James Rispoli gets a wildcard ride on the GPTech Tech 3 bike


Dani Pedrosa has his work cut out for him


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Sun, 2013-07-28 08:23
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The secret to going fast? Countersteering


What now, Son Goku?


Firestarter


"It's OK, I can still save this one..."


Shimmer


Peek-a-boo


Alvaro Bautista was on form at Laguna Seca.


Over your shoulder


Jorge Lorenzo fought valiantly, but lost out to Dani Pedrosa in the end


Just because he's down the order, it doesn't mean Karel Abraham isn't trying.


The Doctor is in


Cain and Abel


Colin Edwards is holding on for one more year. An FTR Yamaha would be awesome


Past and future?


Photos by Tim White. You can see more of his work here. If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of these photos, or the photos by Scott Jones or any of the other fantastic photographers featured on MotoMatters.com, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see here, the head on over to Tim's portfolio site and send him an email.

Fri, 2013-07-26 12:00
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Style comparison. Smooth transitions


versus necessary muscle


The right stuff


Blue and white


If you think Marc is quick, just wait till you see Alex


Twist and shout


Penny for your thoughts, Cal?


Coming to get you


The two Ducati teammates did battle all race long


Dani, downhill


Cal, uphill


One fast German. Stefan Bradl staked his claim to the LCR Honda ride at Laguna Seca


Follow my leader

 


Photos by Tim White. You can see more of his work here. If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of these photos, or the photos by Scott Jones or any of the other fantastic photographers featured on MotoMatters.com, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see here, the head on over to Tim's portfolio site and send him an email.

Thu, 2013-07-25 08:51
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It took him a few laps, but Marc Marquez would eventually catch Valentino Rossi...


... and get past him ...


... then be pushed wide by him ...


... and off into the dirt...


... even further than Rossi in 2008 ...


... but he rejoined well ahead of Rossi, who had been struggling to get his bike stopped


Don't tell me... you're a Taurus, right?


Lean angle. Despite having titanium inserted in hs shoulder for the second time in two weeks


Gas it up, Cal


Setting son


In the hunt


Blake Young was doing well on the Attack Performance bike, before getting caught out by cold tires.


In a world of ...


The Dry Lagoon


Photos by Tim White. You can see more of his work here. If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of these photos, or the photos by Scott Jones or any of the other fantastic photographers featured on MotoMatters.com, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see here, the head on over to Tim's portfolio site and send him an email.

Mon, 2013-07-22 11:32
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Over the hill? Not quite yet


Fear the race face


Ducati: if only it handled as well as it looked


How tough is the Corkscrew? Down the hill the rear bottoms out while the front tops out


Alvaro Bautista came tantalizingly close to a podium on Sunday


Pain is temporary. But it's still pain


Maybe this time next year, Nicky Hayden will be on a bike he can hustle round Laguna again


Preparing for battle


Laguna Baby!


A special helmet could not conjour a special performance for Cal Crutchlow


Now, about that contract for next year....


Bradl, Rossi, Marquez. It would not stay like that for long


Bradley Smith was having a decent weekend at Laguna Seca, until his engine went pop


Aleix Espargaro's run of good results came to an end at Laguna


They breed them tough in Sabadell. Dani Pedrosa was faster than expected, despite a fractured collarbone


Can Marquez repeat Kenny Roberts' feat from 1978? The odds are shortening.


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Sun, 2013-07-21 14:24
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Aleix Espargaro. Aprilia ART. Horn mono


Valentino Rossi, looking back. To 2008?


This man is riding with a cracked collarbone


This man is riding with a plated collarbone


But you don't realize it until they get off the bike...


... and sit down in the pits


Gunning it much? Cal Crutchlow, reaching for the sky


Caution. Student driver


Nicky Hayden has another awesome helmet at Laguna. Sadly, it will be his last outing here with Ducati in MotoGP


Bradley Smith, and a pillow of heat haze


Motorcycle racing. Fun for all the family!


Herr Pole. Stefan Bradl is on fire at Laguna Seca


Andrea Iannone, bBack in four weeks' time...


... along with his teammate. For Laguna, Alex De Angelis is filling in


The Attack Performance Racing bike of Blake Young was one of the best looking on the grid. Until a cold tire caused it to be totalled.


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Mon, 2013-07-15 22:51
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Ready to rumble


Racer's dream: Stefan Bradl leads his home Grand Prix


Jordi who? Jordi Torres!


Moto3's Magic Trio: Rins, Viñales, Salom


Pretty in pink: Aleix Espargaro is making a fair few prototypes look silly


Bruised, battered, but unbowed


They hope. They really hope


For the first time in years, Nicky Hayden is finding it hard to be upbeat.


Forest, fast roads, loud bikes, a massive party. Saxony loves MotoGP


Sixth place, and 25 seconds behind the leaders. Bradley Smith is getting there, slowly


"We are more than brothers, we are friends." Aleix Espargaro on his relationship with brother Pol


Big sky, big bikes


And he's gone


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Sun, 2013-07-14 17:13
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Up close and personal with Marc Marquez at speed


Rossi. Ready.


Andrea Doviziozo, symphony in red, yellow and black


Cal Crutchlow took two tumbles on Friday, and ripped up his arms and hands. Didn't keep him off the front row on Saturday, though


Homeboy. Stefan Bradl was under massive pressure at the Sachsenring


The calm before the storm. It would not be Dani Pedrosa's weekend at the Sachsenring


Alvaro Bautista impressed in Germany


Aleix Espargaro, Giant Slayer


Tech 3, front and back


Danilo Petrucci on the CAME Ioda Racing Suter BMW. Prettier since they turned the bike black


Claudio Corti on the FTR Kawasaki NGM Forward bike. Will Forward be using the same bike next year?


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Sun, 2013-07-14 00:22
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How quickly things change. Yesterday, it looked like Jorge Lorenzo had handed the 2013 MotoGP championship to Dani Pedrosa on a plate, by crashing unnecessarily at Turn 10, and bending the titanium plate he had fitted to his collarbone after breaking it at Assen. Today, Pedrosa did his best to level the playing field again, by pushing a little too hard on a cold tire at Turn 1, and being catapulted out of the saddle in a cold tire, closed throttle highside. He flew a long way, and hit the ground hard, coming up rubbing his collarbone much as Jorge Lorenzo had done. He was forced to miss qualifying, and for most of the afternoon, it looked like he too could be forced to miss the Sachsenring race, and possibly also Laguna Seca.

At the end of the afternoon, the medical intervention team - a group of experienced Spanish emergency doctors who spend their free weekends hooning around race tracks in hotrodded BMW M550d medical cars - gave a press conference to explain Pedrosa's medical situation, and what had happened that afternoon. Dr Charte and Dr Caceres told the media that Pedrosa had had a huge crash, walked away feeling dizzy, and been rushed to the medical center. There, he had one X-ray on his collarbone, but just as he was about to have a second X-ray, his blood pressure dropped dramatically. The second X-ray was immediately aborted as the medical staff intervened to stabilize Pedrosa.

He was then flown to a local hospital, where he had a cranial MRI scan and a CT scan of his upper body, which showed that he had sustained no major injuries, apart from a partially fractured collarbone. A neurological test turned up no signs of concussion, and the drop in blood pressure was probably just due to the force of the impact, a typical symptom of shock. He returned to the track, where he was examined again, and nothing abnormal showed up in that exam.

Will Pedrosa race tomorrow? That will be decided in the morning, firstly by Pedrosa himself, who must decide whether he wants to undergo a medical test, and then by the doctors performing the fairly full medical test, including an extensive neurological exam, aimed at ruling out any signs of concussion or nerve problems. While the neurological exam will be relatively cut and dried, the more difficult question will be the state of Pedrosa's collarbone. Dr Caceres told the press that he believed Pedrosa would be able to ride with the partial fracture (meaning that part of the collarbone is still connected, but part is cracked), and cope with the strains of riding a MotoGP bike. The danger was if he were to crash. Falling on collarbone would almost certainly cause a fully displaced fracture, and a much more painful injury and recovery process.

Pedrosa's dilemma is whether he believes he can race safely at both Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, as Dr Caceres explained that the injury would take 4 weeks to heal. The difference in risk between Sachsenring and Laguna Seca was negligible, the collarbone not healed sufficiently to make much difference. Crashing at Laguna Seca or Sachsenring would probably have the same effect.

On the other hand, with Jorge Lorenzo tonight having announced that he will skip both the race in Germany and Laguna Seca, and return only at Indianapolis in mid-August, Pedrosa may feel he has the ideal chance to capitalize and lay the foundations for his first MotoGP championship. He is already 9 points ahead of Lorenzo, and a place inside the top 10 - the top 5 would be better, but the competition could be tough - would allow him to extend his lead. Another similar result at Laguna Seca would give him yet more advantage over Lorenzo, and hold any possible challenge from Marc Marquez at bay. Racing the next two races is Pedrosa's best chance of winning title.

Two odd things struck me about the press conference. Firstly, there was no one from the Repsol Honda team present, the press conference having been organized without their knowledge or cooperation. A Honda employee expressed surprise when I told them about the press conference this evening. As informative and helpful as the press conference was, it was rather strange that nobody thought to liaise with Honda, the team whose rider was the subject of discussion.

The second oddity was doctor/patient confidentiality, of which there appeared to be none. The doctors discussed Pedrosa's medical condition freely and without constraint, something which would be unthinkable if the patient being discussed was a stranger picked at random off the street. Most likely, the doctors and riders have all been required to sign releases, allowing the doctors to talk to the media about the medical condition of any rider who happens to cross their path. Heaven forfend should any rider catch something as embarrassing as an STD.

So Pedrosa may elect to start, and if he does, he will start the race from 12th spot, just as Jorge Lorenzo did last week. If Pedrosa rides, he may find it harder to climb his way forward into the top 5, as Lorenzo did at Assen. The Sachsenring is a much tighter racetrack, with far fewer points to overtake. He will also be faced with launching off the line into Turn 1, the very place he went down.

With race favorite Pedrosa out of contention, the race looks set to be a classic. Both Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi are running a similar pace, and look to be the fastest of the bunch, Behind Marquez comes Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow, who also appear to have a similar race pace. Crutchlow's problem are the injuries he picked up yesterday, having tumbled through the gravel at Turn 11, suffering a rip in his gloves and leathers, and causing serious gravel rash all the way up his arm. A few clear laps is easy, but a 30 lap race for Crutchlow will be extremely draining, especially in the latter half of the race. Though Crutchlow has the pace for third in qualifying, the race will be a good deal tough.

Crutchlow sits between pole man Marc Marquez and a resurgent Valentino Rossi. Marquez continues to mutter inanities if you ask him about the championship or a race win, though his language on track speaks volumes of his serious intent. Rossi, on the other hand, was positively elated, his return to the front row after more than two years, the last time coming in 2010 in Portugal.

Qualifying had been Rossi's bugbear for a large part of this year, the new format continuing to catch the Italian veteran out. For the first time this year, Rossi got a few hot laps in unimpeded, helped no doubt by the shortness of the track. A front row start is what he's been dreaming of, and it puts him in a prime position to fight for the win. Rossi is starting to believe in race wins again, and even starting to think about the championship.

Stefan Bradl will start from 4th, the German rider pushing hard to get a result in front of his home crowd. Bradl would have been further up the grid, had he not crashed out during QP2. His crash was a sign of just how hard he was pushing, the German rider knowing that his contract is yet to be extended, and he may lose his ride at any point. Bradl's weakness may be that he can pressure himself into crashing, either pushing hard to keep up, or pushing on to drop the group behind him.

Special mentions must go out to Aleix Espargaro and Xavier Simeon. Espargaro continues to impress with the Aprilia RT machine in MotoGP, the Spaniard lapping under the 1"22 mark in qualifying. Matching the pace of the full prototypes will be hard, but Espargaro will no doubt be in the mix with the group behind the leaders. Simeon became the first Belgian polesitter since his mentor Didier de Radigues in 1989. The Desguaces de la Torre rider has shown huge improvement this year, having already had a podium earlier in the season. He told the press conference he is aiming to be the first Belgian winner since De Radigues in 1983, but with Pol Espargaro on the front row beside him, winning may prove to be extremely difficult.

There was much talk this evening of why there were so many crashes at the Sachsenring. One senior journalist asked most riders whether they thought it was the fault of the track that riders were crashing, and whether the fast right hander at Turn 11 should be slowed down. No, was the general consensus of riders. Yes, that corner could be dangerous, and yes, it is fast, but nobody really wants to see that corner altered. Apart from the topography of the surrounding area, making it almost impossible to reconfigure Turn 11, the corner itself is beloved, despite the many injuries which have been caused there. The turn is fast, and it is difficult, and getting it just right is one of the great pleasures of motorcycle racing.

A quicker fix, most people said, was to have an asymmetric front tire, to go with the asymmetric rear. This would give more grip in the right handers, the riders opined, and allow the Bridgestone tires to warm up quickly enough on the unused right side. Bridgestone are reluctant. Their asymmetric tires have different compounds on the left and right side. Rider feedback with asymmetric front tires in the past was not positive, all the riders complaining of a weird front end feel with different compounds on different sides. This creates a vagueness which the test riders were able to feel, and which they were not at all comfortable with.

Some riders had already used a Michelin dual compound tire, which they praised after all the crashes. That Michelin had the same compound on each side, plus a harder section in the middle, but this made for a much more stable construction. That in turn generated positive feedback for the riders, but it didn't solve the problem of tracks with lots of corners going in the same direction.

Will Bridgestone bring an asymmetric front to Laguna Seca and Indianapolis? It is highly unlikely. The Japanese tyre factory has no plan to build an asymmetric tire, and they will hold off as long possible. They do not see the positives in a change with others have ready rejected.

Sadly, that means more highsides, especially around contract time. Riders out of contract push a little extra hard to get noticed, Nicky Hayden commented, and the factor of trying to score as many points as possible to impress potential employers is enticing riders in all three classes to take just a little bit more risk than usual.

Sat, 2013-07-13 09:52
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Airbag deployed. Nicky Hayden was one of many, many fallers on Friday at the Sachsenring


This was the biggest news though. Jorge Lorenzo's M1 left him down and out


Cal Crutchlow would not be outdone. He went down twice


Opportunity knocks?


And it knocks for Valentino Rossi too...


Getting ready for another tough day at the office


Fastest man on Friday, in front of his home crowds. Stefan Bradl made Saxony ring with cheers.


Welcome to the future


Gas it up, Alvaro


The Waterfall. It's steep. It's very steep.


Hangin' it out


Lab bike. Andrea Iannone gets Ducati's latest experiment


With all the talk of Pol, it is hard to understand why people aren't chasing Aleix Espargaro


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

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