Photos

Mon, 2019-07-15 10:06
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A view which Maverick Viñales' rivals are having to get used to, now the Yamaha rider has worked out the issues he had at the start of the season


All gone green - the Sachsenring is very picturesque, especially the north side of the track, at the top of the hill as the riders flash through Turn 11


A graphic illustration of Ducati's woes. All three GP19s finished together in Germany. The bike needs to turn better


Up the hill from the final corner and along the main straight. Miguel Oliveira leads Alex Rins against a backdrop of houses, farms, and fields


Dark days for Johann Zarco at KTM.


While Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo are a serious threat on the Yamaha, Valentino Rossi is still looking for the final piece of the setup puzzle


Jack attack: Miller is ever more competitive on the GP19, and is crossing the i's and dotting the t's on a contract for 2020


Up, down, and over, all on the side of the bike. That's the Sachsenring in a nutshell


Sure, it makes for great photos, but despite being asked not to, some fans lit flares while the race was on. Stupid and dangerous


Alex Rins is arguably the second best rider on the MotoGP grid at the moment. Or at least he would be if he could stop falling off


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Tue, 2019-07-09 09:30
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Marc Marquez, speaking at Assen

Marc Márquez is well on the way to winning his sixth MotoGP title in seven seasons, dominating the class almost as completely as he did in 2014. He is making winning look easy again, despite the fact that other Honda riders will tell you that the 2019 RC213V is more difficult to ride, albeit more powerful.

How has Márquez managed to return to such dominant form? At Assen, I sat down with the reigning world champion to try to find that out. We talked about the strategy behind winning races, how to analyze how strong the competition is, and how not to get fooled by the data.

We also talked about what Márquez learned from 2015, and how he has managed to shape Honda, to try to create some continuity and improve the communication process inside the factory. And to wrap up, I asked Márquez whether he thought a perfect season, winning every race could be possible.

Q: I want to talk about winning. I find it really interesting, because you win so much. Is it easy to win a MotoGP race for you? It looks like it sometimes.

Marc Marquez: No, it's never easy, because when you think that it's easy or it will be easy, or before you start the weekend you say sometimes, this circuit is good and it will be easy, then it becomes more difficult. So in the end, the way to prepare the weekend, the way to do the meetings, all these things, every weekend you have to do it in the same way. Sometimes it gets more difficult, sometimes easier, some years it’s easier, some years it’s more difficult. But in the end sometimes you go out and for some reason on Sunday in the race you feel really good, really smooth and then it becomes easy, like for example in Argentina this year. But then some days you go out, and then you are pushing, pushing, pushing and for some reason the distance is there and you cannot open a gap.

Q: The Barcelona race was interesting because it didn’t feel to me like you were comfortable all weekend. You did not seem like the normal comfortable Marc. But then something happens in the race, you get a little bit of a gap and that’s enough for you to manage. It becomes easier than it might have been if you had had Maverick, Valentino, Jorge, Dovizioso, or anyone else there?

MM: It’s true that Montmelo was a strange weekend, but it was all related to the tires. When you manage the tires in one way or another way. In Montmelo we managed them in a different way, but for that reason in the press conference, in everything, I was quiet. On Friday for example I was far behind on the timesheets, but I knew that I was there. And for that reason sometimes I say, yes, we are far behind, but we are not far. And sometimes we are there, and I say, we are far behind. Because you know how you did the lap or how you were pushing. But in Montmelo I was riding in a good way and I knew, OK, on Sunday we can fight for the victory.

Q: Is it easy for you to tell how strong the competition is as well? Because I look at the timesheets and I can see who’s got how many laps in low 1:40s and someone else has got high 1:40s. But then when you come to the race, it turns around.

MM: In MotoGP you need to analyze only FP2 and FP4. FP1 and FP3, it's like you can forget for the rhythm, because you will not find this temperature in the race. And then when you have low temperature, the grip is unbelievable and the bikes are working well. It’s like in the test on Monday in Montmelo, everybody was fast at the end of the day because there was a lot of rubber on track. Sometimes you need to analyze these first two runs of FP2 and FP4. The first two runs are the real conditions you will find in the race.

Q: That’s where you understand and get an idea of who’s competitive?

MM: Who will be fast and who will be slow.

Q: They say about Valentino Rossi that on Sunday morning he would always find something. It seems to me it's much more difficult, because warm up on Sunday is so much colder, conditions are very different. Can you really learn anything in a warm up session?

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Tue, 2019-07-02 08:39
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Assen means fast changes of direction. The Suzuki is better at that than the Ducati


What does it mean when they say that Assen is one of the most physically demanding tracks on the calendar? Pecco Bagnaia gives a demonstration


Moments before this photo, Alex Rins was leading the race and looking in total command. A race can change in a heartbeat


Miguel Oliveira had the carbon swingarm for the first time at Assen, and ended up battling with Aleix Espargaro and Pecco Bagnaia


Pol hustles. Pol loves to hustle. So Pol loves the KTM


Tranky Franky pulled his finger out at Assen and bagged a solid fifth


The jigsaw pieces are starting to fall into place for Suzuki's Joan Mir


Sweet release for Maverick Viñales. It's been eight months


It took Marc Marquez a long time to get past Fabio Quartararo, but he managed eventually


The GSX-RR is a bike that wants to be flicked from side to side


Tito Rabat embarks on the walk of shame


Consecutive poles, consecutive podiums, and just turned 20 years old. Signing Fabio Quartararo looks like less of a gamble every day

 


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Thu, 2019-06-27 13:05
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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.


Valentino Rossi's finger-operated rear brake
Peter Bom: To be able to apply the rear brake deep into right-hand turns (where space to operate the foot pedal runs out), some riders are experimenting with the idea of operating the brake with one or two fingers of the left hand. Valentino Rossi is one of those riders, trying the system at the Monday test after the Barcelona race. The current state of technology in MotoGP, and especially the type of tires being used, makes using the rear brake crucial at various points around a circuit. The rear brake is used particularly to help the bike turn mid-corner. The question is now whether we will see more riders use finger brakes, and at more points in the track.


Spirit level on Dani Pedrosa's rear wheel
Peter Bom: A spirit level in the rear wheel, at a right angle to the direction of travel. Never seen one before or heard of one being used outside of endurance racing, where the wheel stand is asymmetric to be able to stand the bike up horizontally in a pit lane which is not horizontal. I would take an educated guess that the MotoGP teams use a spirit level to ensure the rear wheel is horizontal to be able to zero out the accelerometer sensors, especially the lateral sensor.


The aero fairing on Stefan Bradl's Honda RC213V To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Yamaha YZR-M1 swingarm with two rear wheel speed sensors To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


KTM RC16 - Dani Pedrosa without a carbon swingarm, but a different tail To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


New Honda RC213V aero fairing with a lower winglet which is a little bit wider and larger (Cal Crutchlow) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Under the tank cover of the Yamaha YZR-M1 (Franco Morbidelli) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


New Honda RC213V aero fairing (Jorge Lorenzo) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Carbon insert on Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati Desmosedici GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


New Honda RC123V aero fairing (Jorge Lorenzo, from the other side)


KTM RC16 - Pol Espargaro To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Carbon insert on Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Carbon swingarm, link, load cell for the quickshifter, transponder (KTM RC16 Pol Espargaro) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


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If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

Fri, 2019-06-21 21:56
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Jack's Ass


Alex Rins complained he had no grip on the right side of his tire. Getting the bike sliding sideways at T1, suspension compressed, when trying to pass Danilo Petrucci suggests he might be right


Rins had a lot of ground to make up again after this


Ritual: fist bumps for the crew holding the bike. Every single time


Tito Rabat demonstrating there are no slow riders in MotoGP anymore


Pol Espargaro bullying the KTM RC16 into the corner


Jorge Lorenzo's mistake let Marc Marquez escape, but the battle for the remaining podium places was fierce and entertaining


Yamaha's present and future?


Oh, nothing. Just a one-handed wheelie while looking behind to see where everyone else is.


From Superstock 1000 racer to MotoGP winner. And yet massively underrated.


Except by his teammate


Miguel Oliveira is to be found at the lower end of the result sheet. But anyone who follows him will tell you the kid can ride


A podium. He can barely believe it


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Tue, 2019-06-11 17:20
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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.


Maverick Viñales' seat
Peter Bom: An old trick, seen a lot in 125s and Moto3: The rider can move their butt up by sliding backward. The advantage of this on most bikes is that it reduces wind resistance. The air flow stays attached to the rider's back for longer, making the rider's wake smaller, and reducing drag. Maverick Viñales gains more from this, as he is shorter than Valentino Rossi, so lifting his rear puts his back into the same spot as Rossi's without the seat pad. There is a downside to using this on a MotoGP bike: support in hard, low-gear acceleration is less.


Carbon swingarm on Pol Espargaro’s KTM RC16
Peter Bom: In terms of shape, this swingarm is identical to the aluminum version. The advantage is primarily weight, of course, but also that you can modify stiffness in multiple directions quite easily. You do that simply by laminating in a different direction, by placing the layers of carbon at different angles. We can expect to see KTM bring a lot more carbon swingarms now. The initial investment is very high for the first version; making a mold to lay the carbon up in is expensive. But because you can create swingarms with different stiffnesses by changing the way the carbon is laid, it is much less expensive in the long term.


Carbon swingarm on the KTM RC16, interior view To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Aluminum swingarm with carbon cover on Johann Zarco's KTM RC16 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Rear wheel cover on Michele Pirro’s Ducati GP19, left hand side To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Rear wheel cover on Michele Pirro’s Ducati GP19, right hand side To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Rear wheel cover and swingarm attachment on Danilo Petrucci's Ducati GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Carbon discs, calipers and front wheel covers for the Ducati GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Aprilia RS-GP swingarm attachment To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Special livery for Pramac at Mugello on Jack Miller's Ducati GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


Moto2 rear wheel speed sensor – relocated at Mugello, as up until Le Mans, it wasn't set up correctly To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.


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. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

Thu, 2019-06-06 11:45
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100% raw, unfiltered emotion. Motorcycle racing doesn't get any more real than this


"The position at the start doesn't really matter," Alex Rins said. Makes you wonder what might have happened if he hadn't started 13th,though


Front row photo after Marc Marquez mugged the Ducatis and stole pole from Fabio Quartararo


It would not be their day on Sunday


There is nothing that Pol Espargaro loves more than trying to wrestle a MotoGP bike into submission. That's why he is so fast on the KTM


Not so Tranky Franky - Morbidelli crashed out of the race early on, falling at the last corner


Room with a view: the large farmhouse which looks out over Arrabbiata 1 and the circuit entrance


Rookies always have it tough in MotoGP, but some have it tougher than others. Despite this, Miguel Oliveira has shown signs of promise.


Spectacular doesn't begin to describe it


One of the best corner combinations in the world: Casanova - Savelli, and on to Arrabbiata 1


Jack Miller gets it crossed up up to get it turned in


Best Yamaha rider at the moment? Arguably Fabio Quartararo


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If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Cormac Ryan Meenan

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Tue, 2019-06-04 15:44
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Hell of a setting for a motorcycle race


Fabio Quartararo had all the speed in the world during practice and qualifying, but overheated his tire during the race


No matter how hard he hustled the bike, Valentino Rossi wasn't going anywhere


Mugello, home of Ducati. It is thanks to Michele Pirro's hard work that Ducati have now won the last 3 races in a row at the track


"Please do not ignite flares during the ... oh. Too late"


It has been a long, hard, and winding road to victory for Danilo Petrucci. When he got there at last, there wasn't a dry eye in the house


Perhaps Zarco's struggles on the KTM are a sign that the Japanese Imperial flag needs to go


Black and yellow (Pecco Bagnaia) ...


Or yellow and black (Jack Miller)? Pramac Ducati rolled out the stunning Lamborghini liveries at Mugello


... and then, the world drops away from you


Special helmet designs at home have a checkered history of success. Andrea Iannone's brought him just a solitary point


Ups and downs for Joan Mir, who is slowly figuring out how to ride a MotoGP bike competitively


Maverick Viñales is fast when he gets going. But he struggles to get going


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Tue, 2019-05-28 13:36
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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.


Carbon swingarm on Pol Espargaro's KTM RC16
Peter Bom: Interesting to note that KTM's first attempt at a carbon swingarm gave an immediate improvement. At Aprilia, for example, we have seen a number of different prototype carbon swingarms, but the riders have so far always reverted to the aluminum items. Apart from the weight – Pol Espargaro says the bike is still around 5kg too heavy – carbon fiber has one major advantage as a material for a swingarm: you can modify stiffness in both force and direction just by changing layering, using the same mold. Producing a mold can be expensive, but because it can be reused to produce different swingarms, it is still an attractive proposition.


Load cell on the Ducati GP19, used for the quickshifter
Peter Bom: The red cylinder is a so-called load cell. It measures extremely precisely exactly how much pressure (in compression or tension) is being put through it. This information is used by the ECU to make changing gear up or down easier, by cutting the ignition once the load reaches a preset value as the rider presses the gear lever down or up. The sensors used in MotoGP have to be extremely precise, and most importantly, they have to provide stable output even when exposed to severe vibration and high temperatures. The bolt thread on a sensor like this broke on Fabio Quartararo's bike at Jerez, leaving him unable to change gear.


Handlebar of the KTM RC16 (Syahrin) with the new carbon fork used by Tech3 since Jerez


The standard Honda seat on Jorge Lorenzo's RC213V


KTM Moto3, Can Öncü


Yamaha-like carbon rain deflector used on the KTM RC16


A new carbon fiber cover used on several Kalexes, this one on Sam Lowes' Gresini bike


Carbon cover for the brake fluid on the KTM Moto2


The 2019 aero package on Franco Morbidelli's Petronas Yamaha SRT bike


GP19 front wheel with several sensors (disc temp., gyroscopic sensor, wheel speed). Note the titanium screws


Special livery for France, replacing "Mission Winnow"


Honda RC213V steering damper on Cal Crutchlow's LCR Honda


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If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

Tue, 2019-05-21 17:41
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Fabio Quartararo came to his home Grand Prix with enormous pressure from the French fans, but he acquitted himself remarkably well


A sea of yellow awaits Valentino Rossi


Joan Mir came to Le Mans with high hopes...


Which were dashed by three crashes on Sunday, including one on the warm up lap


A shadow falls over Maverick Viñales


Danilo Petrucci needed a result at Le Mans. He got not one, but two, with a front row start and a podium


Compare and contrast: Pol Espargaro finished less than six seconds from the winner at Le Mans. He made a big step forward with the KTM RC16


Johann Zarco ... didn't.


Jack Miller demonstrates why riders are using thumb brakes. There's barely room for his leg under the bike now


Miller lead the race for a while, before Marc Marquez got back in front of him


The smile of a man who had hoped for so much more. Second place was small comfort indeed for Andrea Dovizioso


Alex Rins heading up the stairs to the press conference on Thursday. Little did he know how rough his weekend was about to get


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. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.

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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