2012 Laguna Seca MotoGP Race Result: Tense Duel Settled In Final Laps

Results and summary of the Red Bull US GP race at Laguna Seca:

Casey Stoner has won the Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca for the second year running, beating Jorge Lorenzo with a pass in the same corner as 2011. Stoner's victory halts Lorenzo's recent momentum, but the Spaniard's 2nd place means that Stoner only gets back 5 points in the championship, leaving Lorenzo with a comfortable lead going into the summer break.

Lorenzo got away from the line brilliantly, leading Dani Pedrosa into the Andretti Hairpin, while Casey Stoner saw Ben Spies slide underneath him before pasing the Texan right back. Lorenzo and the two Repsol Hondas proceeded to leave the rest of the field behind; having dominated practice, the trio seized control of the race, gapping Spies quickly and leaving him to contend with the Monster Tech 3 Yamahas of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. Lorenzo pushed early, looking to build on the pace he knew he had from qualifying. Pedrosa led the pursuit, but it was clear that he would not be able to hold off a resurgent Stoner for long. His resistance crumbled on lap 3, the Australian getting past to chase Lorenzo down.

What unfolded was a tense tactical battle that revolved around tire strategies. After the cold of the morning, the sun had come out and warmed the track, persuading Lorenzo and Pedrosa to go for the safer, harder rear option. Stoner, though, had struggled with the hard tire, as he has at previous races, deciding instead to risk running the softer rear and trying to manage the temperature if it got out of control. For the first half of the race, Stoner chased Lorenzo around, following closely and always making sure that Lorenzo knew he was right behind the Spaniard. On lap 18, as tire wear came into play, Lorenzo had a moment in the Corkscrew, being thrown out of the saddle as the bike dropped down the hill. Smelling blood, Stoner closed in, snapping at Lorenzo's back wheel on the way into Turn 11 a couple of times before sliding past on the inside of Turn 1 at the start of lap 22. Last year, it was a brave move round the outside; in 2012, the pass was simpler, Lorenzo losing drive as he struggled with a wheelie, but Stoner still had to fight to get the bike stopped and make the Andretti Hairpin.

Once past, Stoner turned up the pressure and started to pull a gap. After resisting for a few laps, Lorenzo realized it was futile and settled for a comfortable 2nd. Casey Stoner went on to take a comfortable win, but more importantly, he slowed Lorenzo's seemingly unstoppable momentum. An elated Stoner was happy that a gamble on strategy had worked, hoping perhaps that the lessons learned at Laguna could be taken into the second half of the season. His gap to Lorenzo in the championship is still 32 points, but at least he closed the gap at Laguna, instead of losing out. He is still 3rd in the championship behind his teammate Dani Pedrosa, the Spanish Repsol man coming home a comfortable 3rd, but without the grip needed to challenge Stoner and Lorenzo for the lead, but the title race is tightening up.

Ben Spies' run of terrible ill fortune continues: after spending the first half of the race holding off Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, the Texan was starting to pull away and looked on course for an easy 4th place. But as he dropped down the hill on lap 22, his swingarm snapped, dumping him on the floor and leaving him out of the race. This is Spies' second mechanical failure of the season, after struggling with a cracked subframe at Qatar. 

Spies' crash left Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow to scrap over 4th, the Italian triumphing once again over his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammate. The two had swapped positions several times throughout the race, but Dovizioso always came out on top. Dovizioso took 4th, leaving Crutchlow to settle for 5th. Nicky Hayden had a creditable race to finish 6th, chasing and catching Stefan Bradl in the latter stages of the race, passing him without too much drama this time out. Bradl finished 7th - a good result for the first time at a notoriously tricky circuit, while Alvaro Bautista ended in 8th, inheriting the position after Valentino Rossi crashed out with two laps to go, the Italian locking the front wheel of his Ducati at the top of the Corkscrew. The crashes of Rossi and Spies allowed Aleix Espargaro to get into the top 10, bagging 9th and the best CRT bike, finishing ahead of Karel Abraham, still recovering with a finger injury.

The riders now head into a three-week break. Casey Stoner will be happy to have regained some of his momentum, and slowed Jorge Lorenzo up a fraction. Lorenzo will be happy that on a bad day, he is still capable of finishing in 2nd, while Dani Pedrosa will hope to find a few more solutions to his tire problems. For Valentino Rossi, it is crunch time, with a decision on his future expected within a week or so. By the time the paddock reassembles some four thousand kilometers further east, things could look very different.

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 1 Casey STONER HONDA 43'45.961  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 43'49.390 3.429
3 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 43'53.594 7.633
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 44'04.563 18.602
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 44'04.740 18.779
6 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 44'12.863 26.902
7 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 44'14.354 28.393
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 44'36.207 50.246
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 45'04.954 1'18.993
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 45'08.037 1'22.076
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 43'47.392 1 lap
12 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 43'55.108 1 lap
13 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 44'17.426 1 lap
14 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 44'20.627 1 lap
Not Classified
  46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 40'12.716 3 laps
  11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 28'53.855 11 laps
  77 James ELLISON ART 27'06.077 13 laps
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 25'44.849 14 laps
  54 Mattia PASINI ART 15'39.351 21 laps
  24 Toni ELIAS DUCATI 1'36.924 31 laps
  51 Michele PIRRO FTR    

 

Round Number: 
10
2012
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Total votes: 87

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Comments

Tony Elias crashing out speaks volumes about.........Tony Elias.

I think it was a very interesting race myself. CRT's did a good job of observing the blue flag. Quite unlike what I was expecting to happen during them getting lapped. Thank you Steve Rapp for not getting up the the one hundred seven percent mark on your brand new, never ridden before CRT. Had no place on the grid what with not ever been ridden anywhere before this weekend imho.

I'd still sign Crutchlow over Dovisioso for a ride.

Rossi looked very confused after his crash. Very disoriented.

Total votes: 137

The 107% does not matter. He had been allowed by Dorna to race but the team had to withdraw due to a technical issue which arose in the morning.

Total votes: 128

Someone please, please slap the person responsible for the camera views up the side of his/her head. We have a lot of race action going on and they show a view of the garage of some backmarker who's pulling off the track or a view of some slap happy fan instead of the or Haydens family sitting in the back of the garage instead of the race action. Heck, show the chipmunk again if you don't wanna show the race.

And I loathe the Speed tv commentators on Speed tv vs the audio of the Dorna feed. The Dorna feed is well worth the money imho.

Total votes: 147

Speed is horrible, they should stick to what they know; NASCAR. Of course they are owned by News Corp so what do you expect...

Total votes: 144

... boring ... langweilig ... noioso ... ennuyeux ... aburrido ... do dupy ...

MotoGP ... <=> WSBK 2012 ... 2013 ... 2014 ...

Total votes: 152

Did you watch the same race as rest of the others did?

First 15 laps the top three were covered by within a second. And the remaining laps Casey and Lorenzo were within few tenths of each other.

If we move back from the pointy end of the field there were good battles between Dovi/Crutchlow Hayden/Bradl all the way till the end.

Watching Casey,Lorenzo and Pedrosa this season has been a brilliant viewing pleasure - the ease at which they manhandle these GP bikes.

Casey was on song this weekend. If he hadn't encountered traffic on his hot laps he was sure to be on pole.

Total votes: 129

He must have been watching the same one as me.
A race with 5 overtakes in the front 10 bikes in the ENTIRE race, to make it even worse I think only 3 were shown on TV. That's bad even by early 2000's F1 standards. And all overtake attempts were successful, so that's 5 overtake maneuvers total, not just position changes.
Before you give me the "pure" racing fan argument let me tell you that I found QP far more exiting. Qualifying was more exiting than the race, is there any clearer way of proving that the race was boring?
You might think defending races as the one today means you love the sport more than us but I think is the other way around. Races like this are a vary real threat to the sport's continuity.

Total votes: 162

You cant blame the sport for not providing exciting racing now can you?

The only bikes capable of winning are Yamaha and Honda. Out of that you see Hondas regularly on the podium - both the bikes. Discounting Spies here for him he has been haunted with setup issues and few issues inflicted by himself. Unfortunately among the so called 4 aliens one has been decimated to running in the midfield because of the bike's incapability.

How do you expect exciting racing at this point with only three bikes capable of winning and being on podium?

Lets hope Ducati stops producing pig of a GP bike. Then we may have great races hopefully.

Total votes: 141

Who's fault is it that there are only 2 bikes capable of winning, I wonder.
3 men capable of fighting for the win is one more than you need to have an exiting race, the second biggest problem with MotoGP today is that current MotoGP riders hate shoulder to shoulder racing, so if they are not 110% sure that they'll pass, and that they'll make it stick they don't even try.
The biggest problem (obviously in my opinion) is that current technical regulation promote and reward that very attitude, in Laguna you could actually see it happening to Cal, he spent the entire race glued to Dovi's back wheel and he never tried to pass, Dovi is his main rival, Cal's future depends on him proving him self to be better than Dovi, Cal is very aggressive rider, and yet with every race Cal risks less and less to get in front of Dovi. Why? because that is the current MotoGP way, and that makes me very, very sad.

Total votes: 145

Unfortunately for many people
overtaking = exciting
no overtaking = boring
There weren't a lot of overtaking moves, but I don't know how you can say it was boring. The RACING was great. The three riders were very close for most of the race, and you could see for many laps that Casey was trying different lines and trying to find a way past Lorenzo. Then when he got past Lorenzo was right on his tail and you were just waiting for Casey's tyres to go off and lorenzo get past and Pedrosa run him down also.
His tyres didn't go off so the last 4 laps weren't as exciting as Lorenzo backed off. However, you got to see the battle with Cal and Dovi which was good. Cal was trying really hard to get past and at one point I thought he had done it. He wasn't backing off.
If you like overtakes and crashes, then maybe you should try Nascar.
If you don't think the lead guys like to rub shoulders, maybe you should watch the previous race again where Casey passes Bautista.

I do agree that the winner should get more points ie 25, 15, 10, 9, 8 etc. People like Lorenzo do play it safe when they are in a strong position in the championship. However, then you will have people whinging because somebody can get get a big lead very quickly and people will lose interest.

Total votes: 150

I'm not sure that they 'hate' shoulder to shoulder racing, but there's a lot of respect shown between the leading riders, which isn't such a bad thing. Stoner made three passes to get to the front and he's come through the field quite a few times this year
Marquez will be there next year, he's pretty aggressive.

Cal got past Dovi a couple of times, we never saw it as the director was focused on the action up front.

In my opinion the biggest contributors to a perceived lack of action are:
*Brakes, suspension, anti wheelie, TC, etc have become so good that there is no longer room to take advantage of one particular area of skill (unless you're passing a Ducati!)
*The current tyres only work when ridden in a certain way. There is still a little room for variation (compare the cornering styles of Stoner and Lorenzo for example), but the difference between slow in fast out and late on the brakes isn't enough to make passing easy
*The riders themselves are so skilled and consistent that mistakes are very rarely made, meaning passing opportunities are reduced
*Rossi can't make his bike work

Total votes: 122

The second biggest problem is that the best guys are intelligent, tactical racers more concerned with winning than beating their chests? How would you make the rules and regulations reward less competent riding?

I do genuinely see where you're coming from. Dicey racing and big chances are exciting but I find it hard to complain about what basically boils down to the riders being too good. Perhaps they really need to handicap the bikes in some way but you can't take away the cool, calculating minds of professionals at the top of their field.

Total votes: 134

Exciting race at the front! Great duel. Sachsenring and this track may be "go-kart" tracks for these bikes, but they produce great races year-in, year-out.

Did Spies rear shock collapse/swingarm break before or after his crash? Was hard to see on BBC as there was only a couple of replays. Looked a strange crash if something didn't break since the tyres would have heavy loading at that point and would not want to break away into a highside, as happened.

Total votes: 135

Has anyone slow-mo'd the on-board shot of Spies tire, just as he loses it? In the feed we got, in Europe,there seemed to be severe " feathering ", or ? , on the edge of the tire.

Murphy has got it in for him this year. Hopefully he hasn't sustained any injury.

Total votes: 147

Rear suspension failure for Ben Spies? The rear spring was definitely broken after he crashed but it looked as though it may have been the cause.

Total votes: 120

Did any of you people pondering Spies crash read the text that David wrote for us? That it tells us that Spies's swingarm broke? I suppose not.....

Total votes: 130

David puts the race results up first then adds the report as it's completed those comments where made while the race report was still being written.

Total votes: 141

The world feed director is awful. If they insist on showing team principals/pit crews/crowd shots while there is thrilling nose to tail race action going on, can we at least get split screen with actual racing shots? Why show a 1 minute replay of the start 5 laps in when the action at the front is absolutely fantastic? Dont we all want more majestic HD onboard shots? More telemetry too please. The motogp.com season pass is great and the only way to watch in my opinion, but it still could be better. Speed tv here in the US is unwatchable. Although i dont know what Gav and Nick were talking about saying Spies was holding up Dovi and Cal. Said it a few times. Always with the "poor old Ben Spies" type remarks. Seems strange. But they are saying that Ben's swingarm broke causing his crash in the corkscrew, so maybe it is poor old Ben Spies. Amazing race by Casey, especially with the soft rear. Good ride by Nicky and Bradl as well. Can't wait to see them all in person at Indy in 3 weeks.

Total votes: 141

Spies tweeted "Sorry for the boys had a solid 4th locked until the swingarm broke! When it rains it pours!"

Yes his tire was looking pretty bad on the right edge.

Total votes: 126

Boring race...and puhleeease refrain from 'inch perfect', 'poetry in motion' and 'extreme rider concentration' comments. Bowling has the same excuses for being boring. Something has got to give.

Total votes: 163

that last lap dash at Dani in Germany. He's not going to beat Jorge, or even Dani in every race remaining and no-one looks likely to beat Jorge for second...he's too good. So that self belief, determination, impetuosity, call it what you will, may well end up costing Stoner the championship.
Buts thats what we want isnt it? Riders willing to have a go and not putting on their championship/ points head.
Fascinating race to watch the three of them and then finally the two. Interesting that he got the jump again when George was struggling to drive out of the corner and keep the front wheel down..exactly the same scenario as last year.
But you see the man hugs, joy and kisses at the end... dont tell me he wont miss that...thats what they race for.
Terrible luck for Ben, when its going bad, it keeps going bad.

Total votes: 126

I've felt for a long time that it's too easy for a rider to run away with the championship too early in the year. Lorenzo was able to 'settle for 2nd' today and he's now in a position where he will be very hard to challenge for the championship. That potentially makes for a very poor 2nd half to the season, with Jorge mostly able to puddle around in 2nd place and still walk away with the title.

Total votes: 128

For Ben Spies to catch a break this season. Rear swingarm failure?!?! Are you serious?!? Tell me that's not the same swingarm that was on the bike he violently high-sided during practice. Yamaha would know better than that right... I hope. When it rains it pours indeed Mr. Spies.

Total votes: 140

I am so disappointed that we won't see Stoner v Lorenzo next year.

Just when one seems to be getting away, the other pips him and steals momentum. Time and time again this has happened for the last two years and it has made for great viewing.. even when the racing is somewhat processional (ok, completely processional).

They push each other so hard, show respect on and off the track.. and I think it has been *very* good for Dorna during a very trying time for the sport.

I'm going to miss it. Alot.

Total votes: 149

... for those who appreciate the finer points of this great sport.

Stoner v Lorenzo was top dollar - no-one could call the winner until the final laps. Two masters in action, and at their best.

Big mention though to the brilliant Dovizioso - yet again the best customer bike rider, and his race-long battle with Crutchlow was simply titanic.

Total votes: 137

"for those who appreciate the finer points of this great sport" To bad for me that I'm one of those who appreciate ALL points of this great sport, the ones that satisfy you and the ones we've progressively lost in the last years.

Total votes: 163

broken tail section and now a swingarm. don't care if it is due to previous crash damage. someone should be sacked for sending a professional rider out on potentially suspect gear.

Total votes: 140

... but its perhaps better to focus on the here and now - rather than reflect with rose-tinted specs.

This US race served 'modern' race fans with several rare treats:

Stoner v Lorenzo; Dovizioso v Crutchlow; Bradl v Hayden etc.

If that is not fully appreciated, then perhaps you are following the wrong sport?

Total votes: 152

I don't know if it's Yamaha in general, or his crew, but between them and Bridgestone, it's no wonder Spies wants out of MotoGP. It's a miracle he hasn't been severely injured or worse with the equipment he's been working with. I ask you, how can you go out on a track and race against the world's best without 100% confidence in the bike and tires you're riding on?

Frankly, I thought something was wrong straight from the start of the race, the way Spies was going backwards so quickly, when compared to his qualifying and pre-race efforts.

Hats off to Nicky for placing as well as he did and taking the fight to Bradle. And Bradle continues to impress.

I thought Crutchlow was going pull the pin and rip past Dovi in the last few laps, but it never materialized.

Rossi to Yamaha, Crutchlow to Ducati, and Dovi to WSBK when Dovi doesn't get his factory ride? I hope to see Spies back in MotoGP (if he does indeed leave next year) on a BMW or Suzuki effort, assuming the bikes are competitive.

Total votes: 126

I've been down to Laguna-Seca four times for the races, but have missed the last two due to a bout of baby-making...

So, really, the last couple of years have been the first chance I've had to watch the race on TV. I watch the Dorna feed, and I think they do a particularly awesome job at Laguna-Seca. Now, I agree with posters above that sometimes the direction could use a little work, but on the technical side they seem to pull out all the stops at Laguna. The abundant use of crane cams, helicopter chase shots, and the onboard stuff was just superb. In short: what a scene!

The race was alright. Not horrible, but not great. It's a difficult track to pass on, so the fact that there were few passes was somewhat understandable. Casey going for it in T1 was great, similarly Nicky's move on Bradl. Rossi and Spies' crashes both seemed highly unusual.

One last observation: When the CRTs were announced, the speculation was that their power deficit would be their main handicap, but that they might give the prototypes a run for their money at the tighter tracks like Sachsenring and Laguna-Seca. So I found it interesting that here at the tightest circuit on the whole calendar we saw more lapped riders (would have been quite a few more were in not for DNFs) than at any other race this year.

It makes me think that perhaps the power deficit is not the CRTs' biggest handicap but rather it's the lack of chassis refinement. Who knows.

Total votes: 130

It seems to me that Laguna is a very hard track to master, and that most of the CRT riders have never been to Laguna accounts for the fact that some guys got lapped very early.

Total votes: 124

I know he had not been off the track in the race and you could see the shower of sparks from Spies' M1 going thru the corkscrew before the crash. Broken frames, sheared swingarms; if I were Spies, I would clean House and start fresh next year....

Total votes: 148

It might be nice if Spies could poach Stoner's crew. He'll still need a bike, though.

Total votes: 121

Without Stoner, oh no, it would be a one bike exhibition of high speed riding. I'm dreading next year.

Total votes: 121

Once again stoner made the race watchable, and in contrast Lorenzo made no effort to get back at him once he had lost first. Lorenzo is determined to be world champion again and if he continues to race with half his mind on the points table then he probably will succeed. That's the problem with the sport. Numero uno needs 30 points, the rest should stay the same.
Can't believe spies' swing arm failed. And from the Yamaha director's reaction to the crash, that team doesn't give a toss about spies. good for him for leaving. As for Yamaha's other slot next year - it reAlly doesn't matter. No one on the grid except maybe dani or casey could beat Jorge on the same equipment. His form in the early part of the race was unbelievable. So fast so smooth - impossible to overtake. He made two tIny mistakes all race at the cork screw and at thwarting drive out of turn 11 and that was all Casey needed. Amazingly tight racing between those two. Without Casey next year we are due for the most boring whitewash imaginable - starring a certain Jorge Lorenzo.

Total votes: 123

If race wins were 30 points wouldn't Jorge just have a bigger championship lead to rely on?

Total votes: 127

The point is Stoner could close the gap much faster if it was 30, 20 etc.
With the current system Lorenzo can settle for second to Stoner for 7 races before Stoner would be in the lead. With a 30, 20 etc system it would only be 4 races before he had the lead.
Lorenzo has won more races so it would make more sense that he would have a bigger lead with the different system.
The current system makes the reward going for a risky win too small to be worth it. They have different approaches. Lorenzo is out to win championships so he is unlikely to do it. Stoner is out to win races so he is more likely to try a move.

Total votes: 132

Fair point about making a win more rewarding than it currently is.

But it's entirely possible that Lorenzo took second place as much for preserving an engine as for preserving his points lead - remember he is an engine down on Repsol Honda and that could be a problem for him later in the season.

Total votes: 137

It seems that as more time passes the less genetic diversity we are seeing;

1. Down to two competitive brands.
2. Spanish aliens only need apply.
3. Less and less buy-in from true multi-national sponsors (as a result of the two preceding points?).

When David Emmett wrote that article about the fight to save motogp, I thought he was being a bit melodramatic, I now agree completely with his fear.

They describe it as the world championship of motorcycle racing, but is it dying from its specialisation, in nature when a creature evolves to feed from a single food source, its next step is extinction. motogp looks to have too little diversity in terms of bikes, sponsorship and rider origin.

Total votes: 134

Not sure what to make of this, except some kind of weird coincidence or something. The DSB support race this weekend was won by Cameron Beaubier and 2nd was Martin Cardenas who's leading the championship. Now Beaubier did the Red Bull Rookies, Spanish 125 and a season of 125gp where his team mate was one Marc Marquez. Cardenas did a couple of seasons of 250 with some solid top 10s on a privateer Aprilia. Neither of them did enough to make the next step up or were able to attract enough sponsorship money to stay in the circus. But also, neither of them were probably ever going to be world champions.

Despite the apparent health of Moto3 and Moto2, the problem for the Moto Circus is that apparently there's no room for the also rans that fill positions 5th through 20th unless they've got rich parents or rich friends in business. The problem is that without 5th through 20th, there's no race and no big show to sell to the TV companies of the world.

Total votes: 125

..but strength in depth that seems to be another major factor. Sure Cam Beaubier came through the right route - RBR, CEV, 125 - but unfortunately he happened to be hampered by being around at a time of supreme depth of talent talent, with the result being minor points finishes. In the races that I've seen him ride I like his style, but unfortunately if you can't beat the Spanish and Italians on a regular basis, the main sponsors of those smaller capacity, (who happen to be from those european nations nations) won't stump up and take the risk, especially when they know there's an seemingly unending line of talented spaniards in some rider factory just outside Barcelona...
It's sad yes, but in reality unless we get some more US-centric sponsors supporting the smaller classes (and anglophone riders, particularly those with an American accent) then the situation won't change. Problem is they need a successful young non-European rider to make them sit up and think "that kid can sell my stuff". Add that to the fact that a lot of 'western' (read english speaking) corporates no longer identify their burgeoning youth market with road racing and it's not surprising that the situation doesn't appear to be close to changing anytime soon, sadly. That is why I'm excited to see riders like Fami Khalruddin making an impact in Moto3 as its encouraging rider development in the worlds largest motorcycle markets - in the far east - that may end up being the future challenge to Spanish dominance. Not anytime soon for sure, but maybe one day.

Total votes: 129

"Lorenzo will be happy that on a bad day, he is still capable of finishing in 2nd"

Here lies the major difference between the two best riders in the world. Lorenzo loves winning, hell, even winning a Free Practice session will make him fist pump and show off... but Lorenzo is happy to settle for 2nd, even if he is close enough to smell victory. Stoner is never happy to settle for second, even when 2nd place is absolutely guaranteed [see Sachsenring] and for this I will miss him SO MUCH from MotoGP.

Total votes: 140

So Ben's bike broke in half midway thru the race?

That takes some real bad luck! This kid has had more "bad luck" in half a season than all the others combined in the whole year!

I'm sorry but I'm wearing my thin foil hat tightly to the head! You can't munster that amount of "issues" even if you try. Bad tires, bad food, broken bikes and whatnot, there's a mole in Spies garage and I'm pretty sure it has slit eyes and a laptop with more backdoors than a haunted house.

I think its very easy to electronically "un-tune" a bike much the same way they tune it, so I wouldn't be surprised if they can manipulate the bikes by switching to another program, the "bugged" routine *rolleyes* so that come race time the unsuspecting rider all of a sudden "lost the feel" or "lost confidence"...why? Because the bike is not responding the way he expected because of minute details here and there(use your imagination) , I'm pretty sure it can be done, now the question would be "WHY?"

Total votes: 122

The team seemed sanguine about a major structural failure ! How many riders this season have had a swingarm break. Or a frame crack. I'm guessing lightened parts being field tested by Ben. Shades of Colin Chapman!

Total votes: 120

A superb display of determination to win by casey stoner. Very good strategy to put soft tyres. I sorely miss him next year and i hope after 1 yr break he decided to back in motogp or even in wsbk. Well done mate, good luck in indy!

Total votes: 135

I agree with the comments above about the TV feed.

I was amazed to read in your account that Cal and Dovi were swapping places, there was no evidence of that on the BBC (I take it they just have to transmit / comment on what's fed to them).

I'm sure we'd all liked to have seen that contest, and the Hayden / Bradl. Still, we got to see Mrs Stoners' reactions a few of times; but lovely as she and the wee 'un are, I'd sooner see the racing.

So often people here complain about this, when will the bloody broadcasters take some notice?

In WSBK it's Melandri's girlfirend that the (no doubt Italian) broadcast direction are utterly obsessed with. I never thought I'd say this; I'm sick of the sight of her!

Total votes: 123

I did notice on the position marker on the left of the screen that Dovi & Cal did swap places briefly - having not seen the actual action and judging by how brief it was; iI assumed it to be a outbrake up the inside and a re-overtake on the power at the corner exit on the same corner.

Total votes: 117

Basically agree with geddyt, re: shots at Laguna Seca. Especially liked the camera on the outside of the Corkscrew. Never seen that angle attempted before, and IMHO it gave a nice perspective on the speed of the riders through the CS, as well as capturing the steepness of the corner.
Kudos to Stoner for another ballsy pass in T1. Not quite as ballsy as last year's outside pass, but nice, nonetheless. And thumbs up to Hayden for that pass on Bradl in Rainey corner. Well done, Nick!
These passes illustrate how you have got to be inch perfect on these MotoGP machines.
Some very strange crashes at Laguna Seca this year, both during practice and the race.

Total votes: 118

I can't remember a single instance of such a catastrophic failure in the years I've been following GP.I do remember a chain failure on John Hopkins bike and the comentators were all crazy about such a strange "incident" now just imagine a broken swingarm in a million euro bike handled by people with white gloves!!!

That's just short of amazing.That swingarm alone probably costs more than my house.

Total votes: 136

If Ben's swing arm had failed at Mugello at 214 mph and killed him, Yamaha would be in court facing a criminal charge just as the Williams F-1 team after the death of Ayrton Senna because of an equipment failure. Yamaha needs to be up from about this and not shrug it off.

Total votes: 119