Motoette -in forward motion

MotoGP riders prepare for a melt-down in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Sepang Grand Prix 2011

The Sepang International Circuit is the result of another innovative design by the German designer Hermann Tilke and will be the host to the 17th round of the MotoGP calendar this weekend.

The 3.44 mile (5.54 km) state-of-the-art 2,300 acre complex resides just south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and offers amenities such as a golf course, shopping centre and a hotel to stay for the night just to make sure you get it all in.

This intricate track is most popular with its clock-wise sweeping corners, a hair pin turn and wide straights that grants maximum throttle for the perfect over taking opportunities.  Unlike Australia’s Phillip Island, Sepang’s climate can be unbearably hot and humid, making it difficult for the riders to find their comfort zone in sweltering leathers!

Now that Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner has confirmed his World Championship title for 2011 last weekend, he can now rest a little easier with two rounds left to go…. Who am I kidding here? Lets be real people Sepang is where Stoner excels! Entering into his 100th MotoGP race, the challenge to equal or break two records is too great a temptation to resist for the audacious Aussie! The first being to break his own record of 10 wins in 2007 and second, to exceed compatriot Mick Doohan’s 12 starts from pole in one season from the days of the 500cc series in 1997. Stoner has not been off the podium in 14 consecutive races, why stop now?

Believe it or not, teammate Dani Pedrosa is only one victory shy of the new World Champion. Although the Spanish rider has had his fill of hard knocks by just missing the podium coming in 4th at Phillip Island, dropping him from second to third in standings after an intense battle with teammate Andrea Dovizioso.

Yamaha’s soon to be former World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo will be sitting on the sidelines this weekend after a harrowing fall during a routine pre race warm-up at Phillip Island. The gifted Mallorcan went down without warning only to sustain a nasty ring finger injury that sent him directly into surgery and out of the Australian race. Lorenzo now faces the distinct possibility of not only missing Sepang, but Valencia as well. Not a favorable way to end an exceptional season. I just can’t help but to feel the loss for the highly regarded Lorenzo in these last few remaining races. As far as I’m concerned, the playing field has just been leveled!

Yamaha’s seasoned YZR-M1 test rider, Katsuyuki Nakasuga will be taking Lorenzo’s place, to maintain a two-man factory Yamaha team.

Teammate, Ben Spies, will be in attendance for Sepang after bashing his head when he took a nose dive on his M-1 machine during qualifying at the coastal circuit last weekend. The American rookie rider still remains in the top five and hopes to play some catch-up in the last two awaiting venues.

San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli is most likely still riding on cloud nine after displaying true poetry in motion when he seamlessly conquered his first ever second place on the podium as a factory rider. The lanky Italian rookie rider has no doubt made leaps and bounds in his riding abilities and is finally starting to prove that he can ride a bike without taking somebody out! Simoncelli is now neck and neck with Valentino Rossi for 6th in standings.

Everyone’s favorite Italian icon, Ducati’s Valentino Rossi has definitely been through the school of hard knocks this year with his au courant homeland team and the infamous Desmosedici. With an entire season dedicated in trying to obtain a suitable set up with the GP11 and the “modified” 1000cc GP11.1, it has been nothing but frustration and disappointment for the nine time World Champion. With two DFN’s in the last two races and rapidly declining points in standings, clearly, this was not the way it was supposed to go for the “Dream Team”….

The recently crowned second place winner in the British Superbike division, John Hopkins, will be once again filling in as a wild card for Rizla Suzuki in Malaysia. The former GP American rider was seen on the grid earlier this season at Jerez, standing in for the recovering Alvaro Bautista and again as a wild card at Brno.

It was reported that Rizla Suzuki would be announcing their decision at Phillip Island whether they would remain in the GP Paddocks for 2012. Now, it is being said the conundrum will be answered supposedly this weekend at Sepang.

Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera is working extremely hard to be as fit as possible for this weekend’s Sepang race after sustaining a collarbone injury at Japan’s Motegi circuit. The recouping Spaniard missed out on Phillip Island, but will do his best to make up for Australian, Damian Cudlin’s disastrous substitute efforts.

The FIM announced the acceptance of Moto2 and the newly added Moto3 classes for 2012. The final rider selection will be held at the 18th Valencia GP round, where it will be published.

Mapfre Aspar’s team manager Jorge Martinez will be breaking contract ties with Ducati over elevating costs to run the Desmosedici in the MotoGP Championship. Martinez, who has a lengthy past with grand prix racing, is now looking at running two bikes in the CRT (Claiming Rule Team) entry-level.

Current Mapfre Aspar rider, Hector Barbera, flatly refuses to join the CRT and has shown interest in joining Pramac. With Pramac’s Loris Capirossi retiring and Randy de Puniet eyeballing LCR Honda, the Ducati team has yet to announce their aspirations for 2012, so time will tell.

Contrary to rumors of being linked to BMW, the Aspar team is turning their attention towards running an Aprilia-powered FTR chassis.

In addition:  follow @girlracerlive @girlracerWSBK and @girlracerMotoGP on Twitter for all your racing news updates, and for racing information in its entirety, check out Girlracer.co.uk and our fan based blog on Girlracerlive.com

Look for all the racing action to get underway this Friday, October 21st, starting with the first free practice round at 10:10am (GMT+8) Race day will be Sunday, October 23rd starting precisely at 4pm local time. For all my fellow Pacific Coast fans, that’s1am in the morning for us!

 
MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 325
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 260
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 212
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 208
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 156
6 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 139
7 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
8 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 132
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 109
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 94
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 57
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 56
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 55
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 49
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 36
18 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 7
19 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
20 Shinichi ITO Honda JPN 3
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October 20, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia RSV4, Ben Spies, Brno, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, melissa paris, Motegi, Moto2, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, phillip Island, Randy De Puniet, Sepang, Valencia, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

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