Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
Valentino Rossi took to the track today, to assess the state of his shoulder ahead of the resumption of official testing for the MotoGP class next week. Banned from testing a MotoGP bike, Rossi instead tested a WSBK-spec Ducati 1198SP, putting in a respectable 25 laps of the Italian circuit, just a few miles from his home, to judge his strength, mobility and fitness.
The verdict, according to a press release issued by Ducati Corse, is not good, but it is no worse than expected either. "It hurts a lot and isn't very strong," is how Rossi summed up the state of his shoulder after the test, though he added that the test "more or less confirmed what we expected." At Ducati's launch event in Italy, the Italian had told the press that he did not expect to be back at full fitness until May 1st, and this press release confirms those statements.
The photos are already all over the internet, and will be filling up the pages of the motorcycle racing press (or what remains of it). That doesn't prevent us from jumping on the bandwagon, and publishing a few of the press shots released by Ducati of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi in full Ducati Corse getup. Click on the photos for desktop-sized images, and enjoy!
Well, the presses have stopped rolling, and a stack of MotoMatters.com 2011 Motorcycle Racing Calendars are sitting at the printers waiting to be delivered. That means shipping will start some time on Monday (or Tuesday morning at the latest), and the calendars will start winging their way to their lucky owners.
It also means that the pre-sale period will come to an end, and the price will go up, from $19.95 plus S&H to $21.95 plus S&H. So if you want to take advantage of our pre-sales discount, secure in the knowledge that your calendar is just a few days away from dropping onto your doormat, then you have to hurry. The prices go up on Monday night.
There is something beautiful to be found in a form of racing that's less about technology and TV rights than it is about simply trying to beat the other fellah with whatever you can afford to bring to the track. Sometimes the other fellah isn't a fellah at all, and sometimes he or she has better gear than you. But you do the best you can with what you brought and even if it takes a quick wrap of duct tape or a tie of bailing wire, you do your damnedest to make it to the next heat.
You don't lounge in a fancy RV between races, and your bike doesn't arrive in a shiny tractor-trailer and it doesn't plug into a computer. You drive yourself, or your dad or your cousin takes a turn, with your bike in the back of the van or on a flat bed trailer, and you sleep in a well-used sleeping bag that smells of solvent and dust.
Randy Mamola truly is a MotoGP legend. The American may never have won a championship, but the perennial runner up was always a huge favorite with both the fans and the media. To this day, Mamola is still a regular face in the paddock, the American riding the Ducati X2 two-seater for VIPs and guests, although budget cuts and the loss of the live broadcast rights meant that he is no longer the pit lane reporter for British Eurosport.
Mamola holds strong opinions about the sport of MotoGP, which regular expounds both in his column for US magazine Road Racer X and on the Alpinestars website. MotoMatters.com's Scott Jones caught up with Mamola at Laguna Seca, to get his take on the Moto2 class.
MotoMatters: Randy, now that we're half way through the 2010 season, what are your thoughts on Moto 2 and what might be done to improve it next year?
The customary marine mist has rolled in over the hills of the Monterey Peninsula, delaying the start of the action at Laguna Seca. Practice for the AMA classes has already been rescheduled, but no news yet as to whether this will effect the warm up for the MotoGP class. If the fog persists, it will render data from the morning warm up fairly meaningless.
The good news for race fans is that this is unlikely to impact on the race itself. Fog in Monterey is common, and is usually burned off fairly quickly by the morning sun. The MotoGP bikes should be ready to race by 2pm local time.
Bikes out on track as scheduled, in cold and still misty conditions, but the fog seems to be lifting.