Sun, 2013-07-21 14:24

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.

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Mon, 2013-07-15 22:51

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

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Sun, 2013-07-14 17:13

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?

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Sun, 2013-07-14 00:22

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

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

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Tue, 2013-06-04 11:27

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.

Jorge Lorenzo apologized afterwards for this move. We still don't understand why.

Mugello, Moto3. There is no escape

Just because you've scraped your chin in the gravel at 280 km/h, doesn't mean you don't race Sunday

The hunt is on

Aleix Espargaro, the unsung hero. Putting a CRT machine in among the satellite pigeons

This would not end well

Pol Espargaro started at the rear of a large group ...

... and ended up leading it

The hills are alive with the sound of motorbikes

Tough race

And a very happy victor

Clean up time


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Sun, 2013-06-02 18:07

Jorge Lorenzo, a giant of MotoGP

A tortoise? He ain't that slow quite yet

Aspar Aprilia spy shot, courtesy of Randy de Puniet

less than 24 hours previously, Marc Marquez had suffered the highest speed crash in MotoGP history

What is it about rookies, Mugello and crashing? Bradley Smith had his fair share here too

Smith's crashes resulted in a fractured scaphoid and a damaged finger. His gloves were adapted to cope

Home boy

In dry dock. Ben Spies' shoulder injury forced him to sit Mugello out again

The claw

No longer a young man

Dani 'Poleman' Pedrosa - one happy bunny

Ago. When you've won as much as Giacomo Agostini has, two syllables are enough

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Sat, 2013-06-01 14:28

Mugello has been Marc Marquez' first reality check this season. He'll bounce back

At home with The Doctor. But is he still fast enough?

Jorge Lorenzo has to get his title defence back on track at Mugello

Rider aids: now including trackside track maps

Gone, but the memory lingers

One fast Englishman

A fast Englishman come to see a fast Englishman. Mark Cavendish (center) is at Mugello to watch his friend Cal Crutchlow

Battle of the CRTs. Aleix Espargaro vs Randy de Puniet

Ben Spies returned at Mugello, but it was too early. He had to pull out again after struggling with his shoulder

Chasing. Always chasing

Bradley Smith, a picture of grim determination

Coming through!

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Mon, 2013-05-27 10:08

Honda Racing Corporation today issued the first photo of their Production Racer, to be sold to MotoGP teams for the 2014 season.

The photo was taken during the Motegi test at which Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki participated, which also featured the first semi-public run out of Suzuki's MotoGP machine. While times were reported by German-language website Speedweek, (see our time comparison here), no times were available for Honda's production racer. Honda comments only in a press release (see below) that the results were 'more than what we had expected' in the words of HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto. 

From the photo (the close up above is a cut out of the full photo shown at the bottom of the page), the bike looks extremely familiar. The lines - as far as they are visible from the artfully out-of-focus photo, with EXIF data removed and supplied at a resolution designed to obscure rather than reveal - are almost identical to Honda's RC213V MotoGP machine. Fairing front section, tail and swingarm alll look the same, and the visible section of the frame (from the fuzzy detail available) does not look radically different. This would make sense, given that the bike is directly derived from the current MotoGP machine, and has been modified mainly to reduce costs. We will have to await further photos and details from Honda to get a really close-up view of the bike.

The first full public outing of Honda's MotoGP production racer is expected at the tests at the Valencia races, Honda having encountered some delays in the production of the machine. In an interview with the official website, Nakamoto confirmed several details about the machine, which he had previously discussed at the Sepang tests earlier in the year. Honda's production racer - which remains nameless at this moment - will run an engine similar in design to Honda's RC213V machine, but missing a few crucial parts. The bike will use conventional valve springs rather than pneumatic valves, run a conventional gearbox instead of Honda's seamless transmission, and make use of the allowance of 24 liters of fuel. The bike will feature Nissin brakes, and Showa suspension. As the bikes are to be sold rather than leased, teams will of course be replace the suspension and brakes if they so wish.

The price for the bike is expected to be around 1 million euros. HRC will also sell an upgrade kit for the bike for 500,000 euros, which will be available in the second year to bring the bike up to the matching spec. HRC have said they are prepared to build and sell five of these production machines.

The price of both Honda's production racer and Yamaha's engine lease package remains an obstacle, however. Although the Honda is sure to be a very complete machine, and Yamaha's engine has proven to be fast, their level of performance is still uncertain. With the CRT machines making major steps forward in their second year of development - much as the Moto2 bikes did in theirs - a CRT bike is looking increasingly like an attractive alternative to Honda and Yamaha's offerings. In the hands of Aleix Espargaro, the Aprilia ART machine has proven to be capable of challenging satellite Ducatis, while Hector Barbera has also shown the FTR Kawasaki to be capable of surprising the satellite bikes, though the machine remains down on horsepower. Engine upgrades are expected this year for both machines, bringing them even closer to the front.

This creates a dilemma for existing CRT teams. Should they remain with the bikes they know, and which are rapidly matching the pace of the satellite bikes? Or should they place their trust in Honda and Yamaha, and hope that those bikes will get them closer to the front than the CRT machines will? The big question is how competitive Honda's production racer and Yamaha's lease package will be. Some assumptions can be made on this score: without pneumatic valves and Honda's trick seamless gearbox, they will have problems matching the Honda and Yamaha satellite machines. And with Ducati starting to make serious progress in the development of the MotoGP bike, those machines will be harder to catch in 2014 than they are now. Scoring a top ten finish will be as hard with a production racer as it will be on a CRT bike, so it will be purely a matter of money. With CRT bikes still substantially cheaper than the production racers are expected to be, that could be a concern. However, with the Honda and Yamaha brand on the tank, production racers could be more attractive to national or regional distributors of those brands, potentially offering a new source of sponsorship for teams.

So far, nobody has committed one way or another. Teams are still biding their time and considering their options, waiting to make a decision. It will be a while before it becomes clear exactly which way the teams decide to go.

The full text of the press release issued accompanying the photo appears below:

Honda completes successful test of new production model for MotoGP at Motegi Circuit

Honda will unveil an entirely new production model machine for the 2014 FIM Road Racing World Championship, Grand Prix MotoGP class by the end of 2013. The new model will enable entrants to race in MotoGP at lower cost starting from next season.

Development of the model is currently slightly behind schedule but Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), with its test rider, managed to successfully test the prototype at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. The test took place from May 23rd through 24th, 2013.

By conforming to 2014 MotoGP technical and sporting regulations, Honda intends to finalise the development and to announce the introduction of the model by the end of this year.

“The test results - comments Shuhei Nakamoto, Executive Vice President of HRC – showed more than what we had expected, in particular, with its running performance. We are very pleased at this stage and we will announce more in the not too distant future.”

This is the original version of the photo provided by HRC, from which the above image was cut out:

Tue, 2013-04-30 09:22


One of the things that has often struck me as I move around the track at a MotoGP round is the amount of cable Dorna sets up to deliver their TV coverage. Many kilometres of cables run around the entire circuit, are spliced into a complex network of amplifiers, antennas, and cameras, and eventually lead back to Dorna’s TV center in the paddock. In Qatar I was chatting with Pol Bardolet, one of the Dorna staff who is part of the TV and video production department, and he kindly arranged for me to speak with Sergi Sendra, Director of Dorna Sports TV Production. In Austin we sat down for a few minutes on Friday so that I could ask him about how he and his team deliver TV coverage of 18 rounds of Grand Prix racing.

MotoMatters: Most if not all of our readers regularly watch MotoGP on television, but I don’t think many of them have any idea how complicated it is for you to set that up for each race then get it packed up and on to the next event. So, to start off can you tell me a little bit about how you do it?

Sergi Sendra: The infrastructure of the television production [is based on] the experience that we have acquired having produced the show since 1992. We started producing it at every single venue from 2000, more or less.

The way we work is that we have a production team arriving Sunday and then from Monday until Wednesday, which is the installation and setup process, we are working with around 35 tons of equipment, cable and gear for cameras, radio frequency equipment…




MM: The platforms?

SS: The platforms are provided by the circuit, from local suppliers [for fly-away races]. In Europe we have a company that does the same job everywhere. This job is very complicated, so the important thing is to be able to trust groups of people for a certain amount of work, a certain kind of work. The technical side is really critical because a mistake on a cable will be a mistake on the screen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So we need to be very strict in the way we set everything up. 

Talking about cable we have around 26 km of fibre or Tri-X, basically now most cable is fiber [optic cable], the fibre allows you to have really high quality, long distances and also to manage a lot of signal through this cable. Apart from the 26km, to set up the whole pack of cameras, we have around 22 cameras on the track, this is to get the pictures on what we call the Track Feed. On the other side we have the fibre for the radio frequency. 

One of the goals for this production is we have to work in 18 different venues, with 18 different combinations of circuit, where they go from 3.5 km to nearly 6km long, this is the length of the road course. The other concept is that, in terms of coverage, we are talking about between 500,000 to 1 million square meters. This means that you need good equipment and a lot of knowledge and experience in order to deliver the coverage.

The way we cover this amount of square meters is with a number of sites along the track, at different heights, in different positions, and these antennas (basically this will be set up with antennas) are connected with another 16km of fibre. So, all of this makes around 45km of cable in total. The thing you can notice when you walk through the paddock is, as you say, you see a lot of cables. And this set up, as I said, it’s so important to install everything properly because once you start [the production], you then need to adjust depending on the shape and the behavior of the circuit.

For instance, we are here in Texas for the first time, we have suffered here more than anywhere else because even with a plan and our experience, when you start and turn on the system you realize there’s a problem here, there’s a shadow there. So here [at Circuit of the Americas], it’s a challenge. 

MM: That was one of my questions, how do you approach coming to a new circuit that you haven’t been to before?

SS: Well, I would say that the important thing now is our experience, the number of years [we’ve been doing this] and the experience of our technicians. Another concept is the technical team is always exactly the same, they go from country to country, from circuit to circuit, from year to year and will learn and gain experience and the analysis of this learning is the most important thing.

I mean, coming to Texas, we’re not improvising, but we didn’t have a week of testing. The testing is today with the first live practice and this is the first time the bikes enter the arena and you need to have everything very very tuned because, [on Friday] you can have 5% or 10% of mistakes that you’ll have to fine tune and eliminate, but the other 90 or 95% needs to be fine because it can only take two days to have everything ready for Sunday.



MM: So today you’re working on solving that 5% of problems?

SS: I would say Friday it should be 5%, Thursday was 10% and Wednesday a bit more... For example, today we had to change three cameras because the cable was too long, the amplifier didn’t deliver enough power. Another camera had a problem on the platform, it was not perfectly set up to get the right shot when panning.

The thing is that the 22 up to 24 positions in the track, every position is its own little world. You have your in shot and your out shot, and the panning setting for each camera requires different friction. The movement of the camera is not going to be the same, because you don’t realize the speed of the bikes until you see them go in front of you. You can imagine it’s going to be a fast section, but then when you are there you must adjust. All this tuning is in the first, let’s say, three hours.

I am sure that this morning… People [watching on TV] don’t realize because we are smart and we were putting shots in between and you don’t know why we’re doing it that way, you just watch the pictures. But on the inside, there’s like, not chaos, but it’s a little crazy. We try always to show that outside is calm and perfect but inside it’s like a family: You have your own problems but outside it’s a big smile. 

So what we say always is that, at the end of the day, the most important is Sunday, race day. The disadvantage of race day, you only have 1 chance, there are no races where you can practice, the MotoGP race happens in between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock, and if you are ready you will get the shots. If you are not ready, you will make more mistakes. 

With this knowledge, it takes 3 years, based on our experience, to fine-tune a perfect GP. I’ll explain. The first year we put 20 [camera] positions, now because of our experience we realize that we are nearly there [with 20]. But you need to see the bikes (MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3), the behavior of the racing, the first race is going to be the first for the riders, too. So in the second year, we learn from that and maybe there is a need to change [camera positions], and the third year is when the positions will maybe be made permanent. So it means we will make changes after this race [at CotA], based on experience, another year we’ll a bit more input and feedback, and then the third year is going to be, basically, ready to go. 



Another issue that is important to bear in mind it the weather. If the weather is stable, you will have the same response of racing lines. But if the weather changes, it’s a completely different scenario. Also, in the rain, everything is slower, so if we start with a race weekend in the rain, it doesn’t work [to tune the system] because [the riders] were not fast enough to show you the limit, and we have to know those limits in order to pick up over-takings, crashes, what we call the “hotspots.” Also, what we do now that we didn’t do in the past is talk to the riders, and with the testing they’ve done they’ll tell us “ok, this is a hotspot, we will overtake here,” and with all this information, it’s very important because what we want to show on Sunday is that Texas is like Laguna Seca or Indianapolis or Jerez and the audience deserves for us to be the best and that’s why [this weekend] is probably more challenging than any other circuit. 



MM: So that’s just for the fixed cameras that are on the platforms around the track? You also have cameras on the bike, you have a Steadicam and shoulder cameras in pit lane…

SS: We have on-board cameras, a Steadicam, we have a Jimmy Jib, we have a helicopter, a gyrocam, the best ever camera in the air because it has 8 gyroscopes. 

This system of coverage is based on what we call the ‘high-view’ and the ‘lower view’ and then the ‘continuous view’. The lower view is based on the cameras but it’s cut after cut, there is no continuity and our job is to give you a sensation of fluidity so that everything looks like it’s connected.



The helicopter can give you a whole, continuous path with the view from the sky, the view on board can give you the same shot from the ground. On-board is another world, completely different, we install between 60 and 90 cameras. Everything is HD now. Right now, we are developing new technology for this season that hasn’t arrived yet. MotoGP is maybe one of the most-experienced series, technically speaking, in on-board cameras. We have the latest technology, the smallest and highest quality cameras in the world, and we know that because we can compare others doing the same job.

Also, there is another thing, that gives us the strength to work harder maybe than others.  And this is that our bikes are smaller than any cars. When you have a small object like the bike, we had to struggle so much to make sure the camera was small, the cable was strong enough and that doesn’t happen in a car. We’ve had three cameras on the bikes and we will have four this year. We have gyroscopic cameras, and the new camera that is coming later is a full body camera, very small, with the gyroscope inside all ready to work, so we can make fixed shots or a gyroscopic shot. 

MM: It can switch back and forth between those?

SS: Yeah, so we will need to use motors, little motors to turn the camera up to 60degrees.

MM: So you have remote control on the camera?

SS: Yes, everything is remote controlled. The teams have been working hard with us to improve and develop [on-board coverage]. And last thing we should mention is the high speed camera, for the super slow motion.

MM: Yes, people love that.

SS: It’s called high speed because the camera is filming at the high rate of speed. If we shot on a normal camera, we would get 50 frames per second. That gives fluidity, a sensation of normal speed. If we record at 1000 frames per second, in one second you have 20 times more information. The vision is slower, much much slower. Getting in this slow situation, you pick up things that it is impossible to pick up with your eyes, your eyes can now see the tire spinning, the suspension movement, and that’s another challenge. We have so many circuits, with so many corners, with so many positions, and this is a camera we are introducing now. 

MM: So you have one high-speed camera?

SS: We only have one at each GP, I’m sure in two or three years we will have three or four because it’s going to be necessary.

MM: But you have to decide, when you go to a track, which corner you’re going to put that on? 

SS: Exactly and we need to learn from that. Maybe a corner looks spectacular and then it looks like it’s not. 

As you can imagine, now that you have some idea of how complicated Mr. Sendra’s job is, our talk was interrupted several times by people needing to speak to him. By the end of our 15-minutes together, there was a large crowd waiting outside his office door and he could not make them wait any longer.

Our sincerest thanks to Mr. Sendra for taking time to speak to us, and to Mr. Bardolet for setting up the interview.

Thanks also to PHOTO.GP intern, Kerry Port, for transcribing this interview.