Motoette -in forward motion

Motoette; continuing on in forward motion

To all my limited, but valued readers,

I sincerely apologise for my lack of entries since my last MotoGP report at Valencia back in November, 2011. Just to give you a little insight into the last eight months, I no longer write MotoGP race reports for Girlracer.co.uk (as if you didn’t notice), but still contribute casually, on occasion.  I am now doing travel blogs for travel adventure author Carla King’s MotoSFO.com. Happily working with five other talented writers, as well as guest writers, enlightening  Northern California’s visiting and local motorcyclist where to find the best routes, delicious food,  comfy lodging and fun events to try when you get there!

I won’t lie, it’s going to be difficult giving up living the glamorous motorcycle racing life, by portraying a professional photographer and reluctantly having to give up my press pass status that allowed me access to the best seats on the circuit. It will be interesting when I head down to Laguna Seca Raceway, in Monterey CA in the next few weeks, arriving with nothing more than a general admission ticket and a limited paddock pass!

I sound like such a snob, but the reality is, the special privilege came with a lot of work to be accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, it was heaven on earth, but it was also a lot of hard work. My boy friend and race colleague, Matt, is looking forward to going to the races as an ordinary spectator, to just enjoy the race and the festive surroundings. I guess I should too!

Moving on to MotoSFO.com, does not mean to imply that I have given up attending and photographing motorcycle races. On the contrary, I will blogging about my maiden voyage to the Isle of Man TT race, this past June. A spur of the moment trip of a life time, that basically fell into our laps by happenstance… and good timing on the part of my better half!

As I mentioned earlier, I will be making my annual trek down to Laguna Seca at the Mazda Raceway in the extraordinarily beautiful seaside town of Monterey, CA. In staying with tradition, I will be swinging by BorrowLenses in San Carlos and picking up my favorite fixed 2.8 200 G-lens for my Sony A65 DSLR, to get up close and personal with the racers. But,  having a 5’4 stature, I think I might throw a small step stool in,  just to ensure I can clear the cyclone fencing! what will be new to the mix is my BMW F800ST! Riding the 3 hour+ coastal hwy one byway for the first time in my five years of attending the majestic race.

I look forward to hopefully seeing you down there, I shouldn’t be hard to find amongst the zealous mass, just look for the short, blond girl with a ridiculously long camera lens and a step stool!

Cindi

July 16, 2012 Posted by | BMW motorcycles, girlracer, Infineon Raceway, Isle of Man TT, Laguna Seca, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, MotoSFO.com, Red Bull, Sony A65 | | 2 Comments

Ciao Marco~

MotoGP’s Valencia Pre Race Review 2011

Spain’s Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana will mark the 18th and very emotional final round for the GP calendar starting this Friday. The Cheste track is a relatively small 2.4 mile (4.0km) circuit, but furnishes grandiose grandstands that can comfortably fit up to 150,000 spectators at one time.  The odd-shaped venue incorporates 5 right and eight left turns with a long straight that runs anti clockwise and was voted best GP track in 2005 by IRTA. Because Valencia is traditionally the last race of the season, it also plays host to a special annual celebration to honor the ending of a memorable season.

There is no denying Valencia will be the culmination of the sweet and the sorrow to this 2011 season. The shock of the sudden and tragic loss of San Carlo Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli atMalaysia’s Sepang race less than two weeks ago still lingers on and will no doubt weigh heavy on the riders this weekend. It is overwhelming to experience and to observe how much Marco touched the lives of so many people by virtue of his short-lived racing career. I can honestly say, I have not been the same since.

Team owner Fausto Gresini has decided to run both MotoGP and Moto2 teams this weekend to pay tribute to the fallen Marco Simoncelli. It was a difficult choice by Grisini, but felt by participating it was the most appropriate way to show honor and support to Marco. Hiroshi Aoyama and Moto2’s Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi will be representing the teams in the finale race.

Fausto Grisini:

“The decision to participate was not an easy one, but we have made this choice as it is what Marco would have wanted.

Going out on track at Valencia is definitely the best way to honor him by doing what he most loved to do: Ride and experience the world of MotoGP. This is why I believe that the best show of affection that we can make to Marco is by lining up our teams and riders for this race.

“‘Super Sic’ will be present in the hearts of Hiroshi Aoyama, Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi, and I am sure that they will give him a most fitting tribute with their performances on Sunday.”

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner will most likely be taking it easy in finishing up this last round after confirming his 2011 MotoGP World Championship on his home turf at Phillip Island. Even though Casey has not been the ideal role model for being personable with the fans, he has exhibited a great amount of compassion to riders less fortunate as of late. Whether it be a humbling resolve because of his vulnerable position as a husband and soon to be father or as one professional rider to another, it’s evident there has been a softening of the heart over this past season.

In the light of things, I would like to see Casey Stoner traditionally receive his due acknowledgement in becoming World Champion; it’s the appropriate thing to do.

Casey Stoner:

“It will be difficult to return to racing this weekend after Marco’s terrible accident in Sepang but I think it is the best thing we can do to honour him. My thoughts go out to his family and I hope that they are coping through this period. After the race here in Valencia we will have the two-day test on the 1000cc machine and then we can take a well deserved break and reflect on the ups and downs of a very long hard season. We will go out there this weekend and try to put on a good show for all the fans and especially in memory of Marco.”

Teammates, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will be battling it out for third for the Championship. Andrea Dovizioso was probably considered Marco’s longest and greatest rival on and off the track. Competing against each other since they were kids in the 125cc and 250cc classes and most recently, competing to secure a worthy deal with Honda with the simultaneous end to their contract with HRC. Andrea was one of the many attendees’ at Marco’s funeral last Thursday at the Church of Santa Maria Assuntain Coriano,Italy.

Andrea Dovizioso:

“I’m very sad for the loss of Marco, “I’m going to Valencia not in the right frame of mind for a race. I will wear Marco’s number 58 on the chest of my leathers, close to my heart; this is the only thing that counts.
I have raced with Marco throughout my whole career, he was ‘the rival’ and now that he is no longer with us, he has left a big void and I want to convert this feeling of emptiness to determination.”

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo is also in a solid second place for the season. Still in recovery from plastic surgery on re-attaching the tip of his ring finger that he sustained during the warm up session at Phillip Island; it looked like Jorge might test his abilities for Valencia with the first free practice round. But cooler minds prevailed and Yamaha test rider, Katsuyuki Nakasuga will fill the hefty boots of Jorge Lorenzo for the second consecutive time this season. It is still unconfirmed who will be testing the all new 2012 1000cc prototype next week, the announcement is scheduled for Monday.

Teammate, Ben Spies will be attending the final race at Valencia after sitting out the last two races due to a minor head and rib injury during qualifying at Phillip Island. Ben was commentating at Sepang when the horrific accident occurred that cost the life of Marco Simoncelli. The American rider was no stranger to rubbing elbowz with Simoncelli in race battles, finishing side by side in race results 5 times for 2011. Now, the only rider that stands between Spies and a 4th for the Championship is Valentino Rossi.

Ben Spies:

“I can’t believe I won’t be battling Marco on the track this weekend, it’s an incredibly sad way to finish the season,” said Spies. “I’m going to honour him in the best way I know how, on the track.”

The now very solemn Colin Edwards will not be able to finish out his season with Yamaha’s Monster Tech 3 team as a GP rider. It’s extremely unfortunate that Colin was at the wrong place at the wrong time when his M1 hit Marco Simoncelli in the second lap at Sepang, triggering a shocking end to the race. Not only does the talented Texas rider have to deal with the pain sustained physically from the crash, but mentally as well. It will undoubtedly be a heavy cross to bear for some time, even though it was clearly a tragic accident. AMA Graves Yamaha Superbike two-time Champion, Josh Hayes will be joining Colin’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow for Valencia. The American rider has never raced the Valencia circuit or the Yamaha YZR-M1 before, so this will be an all new learning curve for Hayes.

Colin Edwards:

“I watched Marco’s funeral yesterday and I really wish I could have been there. I wanted to go but unfortunately my injuries meant I was unable to travel. I know Valentino spoke to Marco’s family on my behalf and I thank him for that. It was a great service and a fitting celebration of his life.

A good friend, mentor, rival and big brother, this is the glue that binds Marco Simoncelli with Valentino Rossi. Although Valentino has remained fairly quiet on his feelings concerning Marco’s fate, nothing speaks to me stronger than the look on Valentino’s face looking back while still astride on his bike after the doleful event took place. There was no question, he knew what had happened and I could tell all he wanted to do was turn around and go back. To lose a close long time friend is difficult enough, but to be involved in the accident makes it that much harder to comprehend.

There has been speculation that the loss of Marco could motivate Rossi to take an early retirement. I have never seen the charismatic Italian so sad and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi will be racing his 328th and last race this Sunday at Valencia after officially announcing his retirement in MotoGP. With a racing career that spans over 22 years, it will be another sad day to see the talented Italian rider exit off the track permanently; Loris is truly a class act!

Loris Capirossi:

“It will be difficult to be in the paddock without Marco, as everyone will miss him. No one will feel like going on the track, but we have to do it for him and for all fans of motorcycle racing. It will be my final race, and I still don’t know what will be going through my head, but I want to do it as well as possible.”

All racing events at Spain’s Valencia is set to commence this Friday, November 4th starting with the first free Practice at 10:10am (GMT+1) With race day on Sunday at 2:00pm.

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

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

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Elena Myers, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, melissa paris, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, phillip Island, Sepang, superbike, Valencia, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

The wind cries Marco– A tribute to Marco Simoncelli

In the grim wake to one of the greatest losses in the sport of MotoGP history, I find it difficult to write these words:

On Sunday, San Carlo Honda Grisini rider, Marco Simoncelli was killed almost instantaneously in a horrific accident before the second lap was complete at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit. I choose to not dwell on the tragic incident but rather on his legacy and what his passing can bring to those of us still living, as a gift in knowledge by example.

For the past two years I have been reporting twice a week for the 18 races per season about Marco and the rest of the MotoGP riders and their racing escapades. Marco was one of my favorites to write about with his big “Jimmy Hendrix” inspired hair cut, his lanky, unusually tall stature as a GP rider and his overwhelming determination on the track. All of which got him noticed by the fans and most especially by the press.

With a background in competitive racing that spanned over ten years, starting with a minibike championship in 2000, that only lasted a few years. Marco was the poster child in accomplishing great achievements in his very brief 24 years on this earth and went on to excel in the 125cc and 250cc classes before joining the premiere class of MotoGP in 2010. I often described Marco Simoncelli as a diamond in the rough and in the past few races, he most certainly was proving the point by placing second on the podium for the first time at Phillip Island. He was a delight with his ebullient personality and thick Italian accent in interviews and press conferences and he always made sure to put on a show for the fans, right up to the final 2 laps of  his life.

I never had the pleasure to meet Marco, but saw him in the paddocks many times at Laguna Seca Raceway, cheerfully interacting with the fans and happily signing autographs as he made passage to the Honda paddocks.

He was a dream to photograph with his aesthetic riding style, no matter how controversial it might be to his contenders and Dorna officials. Marco Simoncelli lived life with a passionate thirst and lived his dream every other weekend for 8 months a year. He left this planet doing what he loved to do and that is more than most people can say.

There are lessons to be learned by this talented young Italian rider, leaving us with an imperative message to live life to the fullest, to live your passion, no matter how great or small.

Marco once said; to only live 5 minutes to ride bikes like this, is far greater than most people live in an entire life time…..

To quote a fellow Girlracer.co.uk contributing editor, Olivia Gauch, who put it so eloquently on her Facebook page along with a photo of her and Simoncelli in an interview: “The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.” and you have burned so very, very brightly—RIP Marco.

My Heartfelt condolences go out to Marco’s family, friends, his team, the GP riders, his fans and all the people he left behind. Selfishly, he will be greatly missed.

~Cindi

October 24, 2011 Posted by | girlracer, helmet, history of MotoGP, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, phillip Island, San Carlo Honda Grisini, Sepang | Leave a comment

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

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 | Leave a comment

MotoGP riders exit stage right at the treacherous Phillip Island’s Grand Prix

Phillip Island Iveco MotoGP Post Race Review 2011:

Holy cow what at race! Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner blew the socks off his competitors with a domineering pre race weekend that led him to a ninth first place podium win and the 2011 World Championship title! The stars couldn’t have lined up any better with his victory taking place in his homeland of Australia and on his 26th Birthday! Not that it’s worth mentioning, but he now leads by 65 points in standings! Another astonishing win was San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli, with a well-earned 2nd place on the podium after some heavy head to head combat with Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso coming in third.

Casey:

“I don’t think anyone could plan things to happen better than they have today,” said Stoner. “The race was incredibly difficult, the conditions we’re very tough. I came into the last turn and the rain started hard. I nearly lost control and thought for sure I was going to end up in the gravel. I managed to control it and maintain the gap to everyone and thankfully bring it home for the win, but it was a little bit nerve-racking for sure.”

Marco:

“I am delighted! It was a really tough race with changeable conditions throughout and every time I saw raindrops on my visor I was unsure whether I could push or not. I managed to put a little gap on Dovizioso and Pedrosa but when the rain came Dovizioso was able to catch me and make a pass. I managed to stay with him and follow his lines so when the track was dry again on the last lap I was able to throw everything at him and make the pass.”

Andrea:

“It was a difficult race as we expected, this track is very tricky, as are the weather conditions. To return on the podium and arrive in front of Dani here at Phillip Island is a very good result for us and it was our target before getting here. I think we could have even finished in second position but when Dani overtook me in the middle of the race we lost contact with Simoncelli, then I retook the position when the rain came, but on the final lap I didn’t have enough grip to push hard in the last few corners.”

The three-day race weekend in southern Melbourne’s Phillip Island in some respects was as unpredictable as the atmospheric weather conditions it presented. With a shocking crash by Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the last lap of the warm up and teammate Ben Spies going down in qualifying on Saturday, leaving Yamaha’s paddock garage doors shut tight for race day. Lorenzo took off a good portion of his ring finger on his left hand, which forced him to withdrawal from the race and head off to a plastic surgeon to try and salvage his finger. The disappointed Mallorcan had a successful surgery, but will most likely miss this weekends Sepang race and possibly the crowning Valencia on November 4th.

After sustaining a nasty head slap on the tarmac the day prior, Spies attempted to take to the track on race day with the morning warm up, but regrettably decided it was too risky to participate in the race and bowed out.

Another rider to go down pre race wasAustralia’s Damian Cudlin, who was to substitute for Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera. The fledging GP rider went down for the count in the FP3 round, leaving a sparse 14 spots for the start line.

In front of almost 44,000 fans, Sunday’s 27 lap race started off with a bang as the poised riders waited on the grid for the green flag to disappear while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow received assistance on a last-minute jump-start on his M1.  On cooled tyres, Casey Stoner, once again, found his comfort zone out in front leading the pack. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden had no issue casting his Desmosedici off the grid and right behind the magnificent Aussie with Simoncelli, Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista and Dani Pedrosa in the wake.

From the on set, it was clear Stoner was going to be racing against himself as he pulled away within the first lap with a 1.3 second lead over Hayden, in second position. By the second lap Simoncelli flawlessly passed Hayden, but furthered the gap to Stoner with a 3.3 second gap by the 4th go around. Hayden continued to drop back, this time behind Dovizioso in fourth.

Meanwhile, as the looming clouds move in, Simoncelli created a nice cushion between the two riders, but Dovizioso worked diligently to gain on him with every lap that passed. With Simoncelli holding his own, the four riders hammer it out for 3rd with Valentino Rossi closing up behind.

The customary fickle coastal weather was right on cue with breezy partly sunny skies fast turning to a strong chance of precipitation. While the paddocks prepared for the white flag in the 8th lap, the GP boys continued to battle it out on the damp tarmac. Another cluster of bikes to duke it out for 10th was Karel Abraham, Cal Crutclow, Hiroshi Aoyama and Loris Capirossi with Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet looking great with a sizable gap in 8th and 9th.

As the rain drops began to fall in the 10th lap, the white flag was raised, but the premiere riders took little notice of the pit lanes as the battles drew on. While Simoncelli and Dovizioso were at each others throats up front, Pedrosa was feeling a little left out and crashed their party by stealing third in the 12th lap.

Simultaneously, Rossi kicked in the overdrive on his updated GP11.1 and passed his teammate Nicky Hayden before rallying on in hot pursuit of Alvaro Bautista for 5th position. Rossi went for broke and attempted to pass the flaxen tipped Spaniard, but slid out and off the track in the process, giving the crowd a gasp and thinking, how the hell did that happen??

Off in the distance, Stoner pressed on towards the checkered flag with nothing standing between him and the championship but the precarious wet weather. The other two Repsol riders went at it again while Karel Abraham and Randy de Puniet temporarily took a detour off and then back onto the track with the periodic rain showers cascading over the land down under.

Wet, dry, wet, dry, was the scene as the “flag to flag” race end closed down, making the tarmac more like a slip and slide than hard asphalt. Three victims of circumstance to be affected were Hiroshi Aoyama, Alvaro Bautista and Cal Crutchlow in the last few laps, ejecting them from a virtually completed race.

Hayden and Capirossi didn’t want to take any chances and pitted in the last two laps for the change-up from slick to wet while Dovizioso threw caution to the wind and squeezed down the throttle to pass Simoncelli after leaving his teammate, Pedrosa in the dust. The two Honda’s did a paint exchange a few more times before the industrious Simoncelli took the bull by the horns and passed Dovi in the last lap to claim his first ever GP second place win. Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi were lapped by the three podium winners, but managed to stay up right for the finish.

In the final lap everyone came to their feet in anticipation to witness the home-grown Casey Stoner create history and cross the finish line to clinch the World title for the second time, including his parents and expectant wife in the paddocks. It most definitely was a day to remember for the new World Champion, Casey Stoner.

Don’t put that remote down just yet, because this Friday on October 21st the GP teams will be back at it for the 17th round at the Shell Advance Malaysia Grand Prix. The first practice round to commence on Friday morning at 10:10am (GMT+8)

Phillip Island, Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 171.4 42’02.425
2 20 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 171.3 +2.210
3 16 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 171.2 +2.454
4 13 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 170.5 +13.160
5 11 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 169.3 +30.886
6 10 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 168.1 +48.800
7 9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 166.4 +1’16.314
8 8 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 164.9 1 Lap
9 7 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 164.6 1 Lap
10 6 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 156.1 2 Laps
Not Classified
    19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 171.9 4 Laps
    7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 170.6 4 Laps
    35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 170.6 4 Laps
    46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 172.2 14 Laps

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

October 17, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, phillip Island, Randy De Puniet, Valencia, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

Feeling the thunder in the land down under

Phillip Island- Iveco Grand Prix Pre Race Review:

Australia’s Phillip Island was constructed in 1928 and later became known as the Australian Grand Prix, hosting races up until 1935, just before closing in 1940. In 1951, a group of businessmen came together to reconstruct a new track, making an executive decision to move it a mile or so away from the original location. The only land available at the time was a parcel that sat on a small, coastal cliff overlooking the Bass Strait.

The circuit continued to go through several transitional periods; opening and closing and even being moved to New South Wales because of the harsh exposure to the elements from where it sits.

In 1989 the challenging track once again landed on the GP calendar after a decade of hosting the 500cc GP legends like Wayne Gardner and Wayne Rainey in the late sixties and into the late seventies.

Twenty two years later the 2.76 mile fast flowing track still holds up today and is considered to be one of the most exciting to the fans and premiere riders alike.

Native Australian, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner is one such rider looking forward to racing on his home turf and with good reason after winning there for the last 4 years. With  Stoner’s 40 point lead in standings, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo is the only threatening competition for the Aussie as the season comes down to its last 3 races. So, it’s paramount that Casey scores at least 10 points ahead of Lorenzo to seal the Championship.

This time last year Lorenzo created his own destiny when he clinched second on the podium, and successfully secured the 2010 World Championship for his team. Now, being within arms reach of another Championship, you better believe, he’s going for it!

Casey Stoner’s teammates, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa will be crossing swords for the next 3 rounds in who will be the second Repsol rider to partake in the Championship with only one point dividing the two riders. Pedrosa is sitting pretty with another trophy on his mantle from Motegi and feeling physically stronger compared to last year after making Iveco his debut return after undergoing surgery on a multiple fractured collarbone. Unfortunately, it was premature planning for Pedrosa and he could only make it through a practice round before returning home with a DFN.

Dovizioso’s third in standings makes it hard to believe his factory team is giving him up after this season. The invaluable rider made a surprising decision to sign a one year deal with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 satellite team just after Moto2 star rider Bradly Smith cunningly resigned a 3 year deal with his current Tech 3 team. The cleaver Brit will remain with the Moto2 team for one more year and then will move over to the satellite team in 2013 for two more years, kicking Dovi out of the playground once again.

It just forces the question; why didn’t he consider Rizla Suzuki?? Didn’t Dovi swear up and down about his refusal to go with a Satellite team? He just could have been the ticket to keep Suzuki in the GP paddocks.

“If I have to come back on a satellite bike there is no possibility to fight for the victory next year and I am not racing to do fourth, fifth, sixth. The level is high so if you don’t have one of the best bikes, then you can’t fight for the podium.” Dovizioso stated just prior to the Aragon race.

Okay, so maybe the obvious answer for Suzuki is BSB rider, John Hopkins. True, the American rider is burning up the track right now and he has publicly stated he wants to return to Rizla Suzuki. But his history with the GP division has been bittersweet to say the least, with debilitating injuries, the GSV-R’s mechanical failures and a global downward economic crisis that left him out in the cold with Kawasaki.

Three years later and finally finding his niche in a seven-year career of hard knocks, would it be wise for Hopper to make the transition back to the Grand Prix? With Rizla Suzuki threatening to bow out of the MotoGP for good, it could just make the decision for him.  But, then again, there is LCR Honda….

Hopkins saying:

“My goal is to get back to MotoGP. My mind is set so that anything else is just a stepping stone to MotoGP.”

Hopkins substituted for Alvaro Bautista back at Jerez while the Spaniard recovered from a broken hand and will once more be a guest rider for the factory team in Malaysia later this month.

Speaking of the solo Suzuki rider, Bautista will be awaiting his fate this weekend when the factory team announces whether they will return to the GP circuit for 2012. The loyal Spanish rider will not make any decisions until he knows if he still has a seat on a Suzuki or not. LCR Honda have recently expressed great interest in Bautista after Dovizioso turned them down for Yamaha Tech 3, saying he is their first choice over John Hopkins and Randy de Puniet. It has also been rumored that one of the satellite Ducati teams have also been vying for the prized rider.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi was unable attend his scheduled test with the GP12 at Jerez on Tuesday at a result of an injured little finger on his right hand from his crash at Motegi. Teammate, Nicky Hayden took his place for the testing, but not for Sunday’s race with a track record of 13 podium finishes out of 14 races at Iveco.

Rossi saying: “Phillip Island is another track where the Ducati has always gone well, as have I, so we hope to be able to work as well as we did in Japan. As far as my hand is concerned, the swelling is reduced, and we still have a couple of days before we go on the track. We just have to wait for Friday morning to see how it reacts.”

For San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli it will be business as usual coming off the Motegi track and onto the Australian tarmac. The afro haired Italian capitalized on a chance to test his future factory ride, Honda’s 1000cc prototype for 2012. It’s fair to say the diamond that has been in the rough at the beginning of the season has polished up very nicely as the year winds down to a close.

Marco Simoncelli saying: “After a bittersweet Grand Prix at Motegi, I had the opportunity to test the RC213V, the bike I will be riding in Team San Carlo Honda Gresini colours next year. It was an amazing experience – 50 laps of pure adrenaline!”

Australian rider Damian Cudlin will be gracing the fans again with his presence as a GP replacement. The multi faceted rider filled in for the recovering Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi at Motegi and this weekend will return representing the injured Hector Barbera.

Off the subject of MotoGP (slightly); British team owner, Paul Bird has expressed his desire to put together a new British-based team for the inaugural 1000cc world championship in 2012. Bird has his sights set on Aprilia after his relationship with Kawasaki runs out at the end of this year with WSBK, but will be continuing forward with a two-rider factory team with BSB next year. Recently, he met with Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta at Aragon, where he proposed his objective to exclusively run the British project.

The shrewd businessman’s goal is to pair a British team with a British rider for the GP grid and Dorna are very interested and awaiting his proposition.

This leads me to WSBK’s Yamaha rookie, Eugene Laverty. With Yamaha’s secession with WSBK at the end of this year, Laverty announced that he possibly will be joining Aprilia over BMW Italia for 2012. With Max Biaggi standing firm and Laverty most likely in place, where does that leave the Leon Camier and does MotoGP fall into the mix? Things that make you go hmmmm?

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 14th, starting with the first free practice round at 11:10am (GMT+11)

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 300
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 260
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 196
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 195
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 156
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 123
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 119
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 98
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 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 39
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 7
19 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
20 Shinichi ITO Honda JPN 3

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia RSV4, Aragon, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Eugene Laverty, girlracer, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, phillip Island, Red Bull, Valentino Rossi, WSBK, Yamaha | Leave a comment

GP riders compete on shaky ground at Motegi

Motegi MotoGP Post Race Review:

This last Sunday the rebounding Motegi Grand Prix of Japan delivered another multiple podium finish for the Repsol Honda Team. Dani Pedrosa ran another flawless race and brought home a third trophy for the season, pushing him within a one point difference to teammate Andrea Divizioso for the Championship with 195 points and a solid 4th place in standings. Yamaha’s reigning World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo landed another second, which inched him closer to rival, Honda’s Casey Stoner. Stoner came in at a surprising third place after a successful pre race weekend, breaking a GP pole record, with ten for the season and beating the best lap time of 1’45.267 set by Lorenzo in 2008.

After 3 months of indecision, the primary Grand Prix teams arrived in full attendance to the majestic island historically known as “the land of the rising sun”. But the premiere riders were back on shaky ground with a very exciting race right out of the grid. In a rare moment, Andrea Divizioso jumped the start as the lights were just about to go out, causing a chain reaction to San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, as they followed suit. The reprimanded threesome were mandated to take a ride through and did so on the third lap, pushing them back several positions.

As the riders set out to take on the most intense hard breaking circuit on the schedule, it was a continuation of excitement from back on the start line. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi shocked the fans when he went down in the second turn by becoming a Yamaha sandwich courtesy of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies. Deploying his airbag suit and instantly ejecting him from the race. The handsome Texan had a rough start to the pre race weekend when he came down with food poisoning, but Spies managed a quick recovery by displaying a great start. This soon came to an end when another rider clipped him from behind, bumping his hand off the handlebars and off the track as Rossi came off. But Spies maintained his M1 up right through the gravel and reentered the race, sending him back several positions.

With Casey Stoner leading out in front right out of the gate and teammates Pedrosa and Dovizioso right behind, it was business as usual for the Honda trio. Lorenzo had a bad start and settled into a 4th position until a series of events happened. After nearly crashing along with Rossi, the Mallorcan capitalized on mistakes made by Stoner and Dovizioso. In the 5th lap, Stoner went wide and off the track after a hair raising shimmy that could have been much worse. The Aussie reentered the track and quickly picked off his contenders one at a time, ultimately giving him third. Dovizioso dropped from his cushy 3rd position from the first lapwhen two laps later he was forced to take his mandatory ride through, putting him aback 6 spots to 9th. Crutchlow, also having to take the pit lane penalty, attempted to make up some time that he was going to lose by kicking it up a notch. Putting the pressure on Elias in turn 3, the Czech rider unexpectedly braked hard forcing the British rider to take a temporary detour off the track.

Now the playing field was getting interesting with Pedrosa out front, Lorenzo, Simoncelli, Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner putting the heat on in 6th. Ducati’s most successful rider, Mapre Aspar’s Hector Barbera went down in the 2nd lap after obtaining a comfortable 9th position. The Spaniard was transported off the track on stretcher and was later diagnosed with a broken right collarbone, which could keep him from racing in Australia in less than two weeks time.

In hot pursuit of a pit lane recovery, Dovizioso double-times it and passes LCR Honda’s Toni Elias, Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards and San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama, while Stoner emulates the same, passing Bautista and Hayden 10 laps in. Hayden also goes into the gravel in the next lap , but jumps back into the thick of things and gains 7th place after cruising by the checkered flag.

Stoner continued to recover from his crippling error and cunningly claimed third on the podium, despite the 10 second gap between Pedrosa and Lorenzo, who was leading the pack.

Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi replacement, Damian Cudlin got a little over his head with the intimiating GP session and slides out in the in the 14th lap. Toni Elias soon follows suit an goes down four laps later, lessening the count from 18 to 13 riders.

The real dramatic battle was in the 18th lap for 4th place with Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Divizioso, who currently has no ride for next season. The two Italian Honda riders have made no secret about the lack of love they have for each other because of disapproving race etiquette and secured contracts, making it more personal than professional. With patriotic flags waving in the stands, the boys went at it, using their two-wheeled machines as boxing gloves for the next two laps. Going back and forth, Simoncelli made the final jab and won the fight, demoting Dovizioso to 5th….for now.

Edwards passes Spies for 7th in the 19th lap but Spies kindly repays the gesture in the very next lap, giving Edwards an 8th spot. The proud Aoyama demonstrated great form to his homeland fans with a sound race coming in just under the top ten in 9th and Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, rounded up the top ten.

The 16th GP round will be the Iveco Australian Grand Prix commencing on Friday, October 14th starting at 11:10 (GMT+11) with the first free practice.

MotoGP Race Classification 2011

Motegi, Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 161.6 42’47.481
2 20 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 161.1 +7.299
3 16 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.4 +18.380
4 13 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 160.1 +23.550
5 11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.1 +23.691
6 10 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 159.2 +37.604
7 9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 159.1 +39.167
8 8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 158.8 +45.023
9 7 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 158.5 +49.074
10 6 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 157.9 +59.022
11 5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 157.0 +1’13.964
12 4 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI JPN LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 156.6 +1’21.709
13 3 72 Shinichi ITO JPN Honda Racing Team Honda 156.3 +1’26.381
Not Classified
  24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 158.8 7 Laps
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 159.7 11 Laps
  6 Damian CUDLIN AUS Pramac Racing Team Ducati 156.7 11 Laps
  8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 147.6 23 Laps
  46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati  0 Lap

MotoGP World Standing 2011PDF

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 300
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 260
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 196
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 195
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 156
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 123
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 119
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 98
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 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 39
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 7
19 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
20 Shinichi ITO Honda JPN 3

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, melissa paris, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, Red Bull, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

Hayden’s comments stir up a storm at Motegi

MotoGP: Motoegi Japan Pre Race Review:

This Friday will kick off the 15th round of the MotoGP Championship at the multifaceted Twin Ring Motegi Raceway in Japan. Motegi was originally to be hosting the GP event earlier in the season, but was regrettably postponed due to a devastating earthquake that resulted in a massive tsunami in March.
The isolated 2.98 mile long circuit was first built by Honda in 1997 as a test facility for Indycar Racing, but did not win a race until 6 years later by Dan Wheldon. The road course houses 6 left and 8 right mostly flat corners, but is still considered intricate in its challenging stop and start hairpin style, creating less of a flowing layout for the premiere riders.

There will be no denying this race weekend will be an emotional one as all the GP paddocks touched down on Japanese soil earlier this week to show their support for the proud country.
San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama will be one rider feeling the emotional effects while racing on his home soil. The Japanese rider has publicly urged his fellow riders to support his recovering homeland in past interviews and recently stated his gratitude in the full attendance of all the teams participation.

Hiroshi’s teammate, Marco Simoncelli announced on Tuesday that he will be returning to the Grisini team for another year. A smart move by the radical rider that will further establish his growing relationship with Grisini and HRC and who will be setting him up with a factory RC213V machine next year. The continued union will also serve as a solid platform for the big haired Italian to be taken more seriously as a viable contender for the Championship.

With the four races remaining, Motegi will play an important role in where the Championship titles will be decided. With the Repsol Honda riders leading the procession at the top with front runner, Casey Stoner currently ahead with 284 points in standings and teammates, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa right behind in the top four.

It’s still a mystery where Dovizioso will go for the 2012 season. Current reports indicate the Italian rider will want to stay within the Honda circle and move over to the satellite LCR team. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s interest in Dovizioso has certainly motivated Honda to hang on to the talented rider, but with Honda’s hefty pay roll, can they afford Dovi?

If Dovizioso does indeed move to Tech 3, LCR has also shown interest in American BSB rider John Hopkins and Pramac’s Randy de Puniet. The LCR team has also been looking at Rizla Suzuki’s blossoming Alvaro Bautista to replace the struggling former Moto2 rider, Toni Elias after a less than favorable season.

The only rider to keep the Honda trio from standing three astride on the podium for the Championship is Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in second with 240 points. The reigning World Champion has his work cut out for him if he wants to hang on to his title for one more year with 4 races, 25 point maximum and a 44 point difference to Stoner. You do the math!

Lorenzo’s teammate, Ben Spies had a great start at Aragon but lost momentum with tire issues. The handsome American hopes to have a reprise experience as last year at the Japanese track, being able to let go a little and enjoy rather than banter in frustration in his ability to move up the line. Both riders will once again be sporting the snazzy red and white 50th anniversary Yamaha livery. You have to admit, it’s nicely done, which is more than I can say for Repsol Honda’s “secretive” attempt at updating their aging colour scheme at Aragon.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi will be granted the good fortune to start from the grid at Motegi after having to take a pit lane start penalty at Aragon after exhausting Dorna’s newly enforced 6 engine limit rule. The good-natured Italian will be piloting the GP11.1 aluminum chassis for the second time this race weekend. Although it’s probable that he will not make the Championship this year being in 6th place, it has given him numerous opportunities to make crucial set up improvements to the GP11.1 and GP12 Desmosedici. Revered as one of the most successful riders in GP history, Valentino Rossi along with his loyal crew chief, Jeremy Burgess have managed to persuade the stubborn Ducati team to see the light in reevaluating their prize double-L twin engine machines, which has most recently led to some drastic improvements. A feat that no other rider has been able to do.

With Rossi being made by example in what the repercussions can be after maxing out a 6th engine, there are other riders not far behind. Hiroshi Aoyama, Toni Elias, Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden are all on their sixth engines as well. Hayden is most at risk after using his sixth engine for the 3rd consecutive race. The Southern lad also fell under scrutiny earlier this week with allegedly joking on Twitter about not attending Motegi because of the unwarranted threat of radiation after-effects from the tiny islands earthquake.

Hayden initially wrote:
“I have taken a very difficult decision not to go to japan out safety concerns & radiation levels. Hope the fans understand & will support me”

He quickly countered his comment with:

“Gotcha… I was kidding with all that Nonsense bout not going to japan. Most saw thru the BS, but a few of ya bite on it pretty hard. Sorry to any fans who took that joke wrong 2 much airport boredom. Please except & if not just unfollow me…”

It’s uncertain if the American GP rider was actually serious about his first comment, but one thing is for sure, the tragedy and destruction associated with Japan and its citizens is no joking matter!

Pramac’s Loris Capirossi will be sitting out yet another race after he re-injured his right collarbone in a crash at Aragon. The veteran rider has only a few races left before his permanent retirement from the Grand Prix. After consulting with several doctors, he has been given the green light to finish out the next three races, if he can successfully stay up right! Damian Cudlin, an Australian multi-talented racer, has been chosen to fill in for the recuperating Capirossi for the singular round at Motegi. Cudlin, is an interesting choice with his inexperience in the GP divisions and various appearances in an assortment of motorsport venues.

Damian Cudlin:
“It’s hard to put into words what this opportunity means to me. I’ve dreamed about starting in MotoGP since I was a boy, and until now it’s been just that- a dream. Now it’s become a reality and to be honest, I’m still in shock! I’m under no illusions about how difficult this race will be. I’ve never ridden a real MotoGP bike before and I’ve never been to Motegi either, so realistically my expectations can’t be too high.

In heartfelt support for the valiant country of Japan, look for all the racing action to commence this Friday, September 30, starting with the first free practice round at 10:10am (GMT+9)

MotoGP Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 284
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 240
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 185
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 170
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 146
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 114
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 106
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 90
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 87
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 52
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 33
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3

September 28, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aragon, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

Pit lane penance for Rossi at Aragon

Motorland Aragon MotoGP Post Race Review: 

Wow is the best way to describe Sunday’s race at Motorland Aragon with an exuberant start which lead Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner to the center podium for the 8th time this season and a 100th win for his team. Teammate, Dani Pedrosa in his classic modest resilience, kept a beautiful consistent pace, placing him in second in the parc ferme and keeping his promise to the fans, was Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, rounding it off in third.

The 14th round at Motorland Aragon started off with a slight inconvenience on Friday when the second free practice round was cancelled, due to a downed power transformer causing a blackout at the Spanish circuit. Technical officials tried to rectify the problem, but had no luck and the remaining sessions in all classes had to be cancelled for safety reasons.

Saturday’s practice rounds were granted an additional 75 minutes to make up for the time loss from Friday’s power failure, so the boys could play catch up from the odd occurrence.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi was not so fortunate after he went down in a minor crash during the qualifying practice, using up his 6th and final engine for the season. The good-natured Italian took it in stride and opted to start 10 seconds behind in the pit lane on race day. The resourceful Ducati team managed to bolt the new nonconforming 7th engine into Rossi’s prototype aluminum chassis, choosing to take the penalty at Aragon rather than Motegi in October.

Under cool cloudy skies, the immediate 23 lap start off the grid was intense with Pedrosa and Stoner briefly out in front barely touching fairings as Yamaha’s Ben Spies whizzed by the two riders. But, before the first lap was completed, Stoner and Pedrosa passed the American like he was standing still, never to regain his front position again.

By the second tight corner, Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham went into the gravel giving Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, who was right behind, nowhere to go. The historical Frenchman was able to keep his composure and reenter the track in last place and in the end crossed the finish line in 11th.  Almost simultaneously, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso went down at turn three, ejecting him prematurely from the race.

As Stoner and Pedrosa started to isolate themselves from the procession just behind, San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli tilted his helmet down and set aim for his targets ahead, Spies and Lorenzo. With Ducati’s Nicky Hayden on his tail, Simoncelli kept his cool and passed Lorenzo in perfect form in the third lap, giving him a clear shot at Spies and another sweet taste for the podium in third.

As Simoncelli closed in the gap to Spies, a six man battle went down with LCR Honda’s Toni Elias leading the pack for 6th place in the fifth lap. With Hiroshi Aoyama, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi putting the pressure on, the Spaniard could not hold the line for long and was passed by Monster Yamaha’s Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and the rest of the clan soon after.

The remarkably patient Simoncelli laid in wait for Spies, like a lion stalking its prey and pounced on the Texan in turn 15 coming into the 9th lap. But, like so many times before, the wild haired Italian suddenly ran wide in the very next lap, allowing Spies and Lorenzo to recapture their 3rd and 4th positions.

Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista and Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera hounded Nicky Hayden for 6th, capitalizing on an error in judgment when the Kentucky Kid also ran wide in the 10th lap, giving Bautista an unencumbered entry. The situation didn’t last long when Hayden was able to pull it together and pass the frosty tipped Spaniard on the next go around.

While Stoner ran away with the victory, breaking lap records in the process, the heart of the race rallied on. Valentino Rossi, in his Championship excellence, reminded the 63.000 fans who he was by pulling himself up by his (pit lane) boot straps and worked his way up the line. Picking off a few of his contenders one at a time, the scruffy faced Italian advanced up to 9th, but not without some intimidation from Aoyama and Crutchlow. Rossi was finding it difficult to stay in the game with a rear tyre that was disintegrating rapidly in the last seven laps. He held fast, keeping the bike under control and pulled through just making it into the top ten.

Lorenzo, finding rear grip that he thought he had lost, makes his move and passes the declining Spies in the 13th lap for third with Simoncelli following in his wake in fourth.  Spies was obviously losing ground, which turned out to be the premature destruction of his rear tyre, as with Rossi and settled for 5th.

Bautista came out fighting hard from the grid and later with his continual back and forth banter with Hayden and Barbera for a good portion of the race. But the homeboy wanted to do his fans proud and made a tremendous effort to secure an impressive 6th position, leaving the two Ducati’s to duke it out briefly until Rossi and Crutchlow got involved. With Bautista now out of the mix, the three riders meant business and “went for it” in the last 2 laps of the race, fighting hard for 8th. After a near paint exchange with Crutchlow, Barbera claimed the spot after an aggressive last-minute pass.

Two more riders go down in the 16th lap when Pramac’s soon-to-be retiring Loris Capirossi clips the back-end of Toni Elias. Capirossi smacked the pavement pretty hard, but the two premiere riders were able to dust themselves off and exit the track, while the classy Elias gestured to Capirossi to see if he is okay.

Look for the next Grand Prix round to be held at the twin ringed Motegi in the resilient country of Japan. Commencing on Friday, September 30th starting with the first free practice at 10:10am (GMT+9)

Race day Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.7 42’17.427
2 20 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.2 +8.162
3 16 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 164.8 +14.209
4 13 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 164.4 +20.646
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 163.9 +27.739
6 10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 163.7 +30.373
7 9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 163.5 +34.288
8 8 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 163.3 +37.305
9 7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 163.2 +39.652
10 6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 163.1 +39.832
11 5 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.1 +39.997
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.2 +54.717
13 3 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.0 +58.430
Not Classified
    24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 162.0 8 Laps
    65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.0 8 Laps
    4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda   0 Lap
    17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati   0 Lap

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 284
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 240
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 185
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 170
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 146
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 114
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 106
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 90
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 87
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 52
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 33
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aragon, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

Its about honor at Aragon

Motorland Aragon Pre race review 2011

The state-of-the-art Motorland Aragon in northern Spain will  play host to round 14 for the premier riders for the second time in GP history. The charismatic 2009 constructed track was designed by German architect, Hemann Tilke and F1 driver, Pedro de la Rosa, as a technical consultant. The challenging Spanish circuit was only to be a last-minute replacement for the unfinished Balatonring in Hungry for 2010, because of financial delays in its construction. It was also to be the venue for the reintroduction to the additional Friday free practice rounds.

Because the ultra modern track was such a big hit with the GP riders, Dorna decided to make it a permanent entry and signed a 5 year contract this year, which will keep the riders and the fans coming back at least until 2016.

This fast undulating 3.1 mile track houses ten left and seven right corners and is now considered one of the most technical venues on the roster. It’s also fast becoming a public favorite and received the 2010 IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award, making it the first circuit to win an award in its inaugural year.

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo comes to his home turf track in high spirits after an outstanding performance at Misano, claiming his 3rd victory this season. His persistent efforts also helped to close the gap to Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner down to a 35 point margin in Standings.

Last year, representing Ducati, Stoner became the first premier rider to win at the contemporary circuit and still remains a difficult fish to catch. Although, the gap has the possibility to widen even further if the reluctant Aussie decides to forgo Motegi in October. The out spoken father-to-be has made no secret of his concerns in exposing himself and his family to possible nuclear radiation contamination as a result from Japan’s earthquake back in March.

With the Yamaha team announcing all systems go for Japan, you have to ask the question; is he actually serious or is this a ploy for publicity? Let’s face it; the exceptional rider may be winning races, but congeniality contests, not so much!

This leads me to the next Repsol rider third in line in standings, Andrea Dovizioso. The reticent Italian will be looking for a new ride next season after Honda stated that there will only be room for two Factory riders due to a 30% budget cut. San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli could be facing the same situation with a lack of support from HRC for the 2012 season. With the Factory Honda team under financial scrutiny, there leaves little funds for the Satellite team, putting Simoncelli right in the mix.

The Satellite Ducati teams have shown interest in the talented factory rider, but Dovizioso commented that if he is reduced to a satellite bike, he will be forced to look elsewhere.

“If I have to come back on a satellite bike there is no possibility to fight for the victory next year and I am not racing to do fourth, fifth, sixth, stated Dovizioso. The level is high so if you don’t have one of the best bikes, then you can’t fight for the podium. If Honda doesn’t give me a lot of support, then I have to think in another way.”

The third Repsol rider, Dani Pedrosa follows in a fourth position and a secured spot on the Honda team for next year.  The rebounding rider made his 95th podium finish at Misano and continues to fight for the championship with an approximate 40 point spread on either side of him for the title.

Yamaha confirmed that they will be in full attendance for the 15th round in Motegi on October 2nd, sporting their 50th anniversary red and white livery for the 4th time. After a harrowing last-minute show down with Simoncelli and Dovizioso for fourth place at Misano, American rider, Ben Spies is making it his goal to make it to the podium for the fourth time this season. But, beforehand, Spies and Lorenzo made use of some valuable time at Misano, assessing the new 1000cc M1 for the up-coming season. The handsome rider affixed another year to his contract with the factory team and is currently in tight contention with Valentino Rossi, with only a two point lead over the charismatic Italian.

The boys donning the red livery for Ducati continue to search for the perfect set-up for the unique desmosedici. Valentino Rossi spent most of his time-off testing the new GP12 for next season at the Mugello track, working on developing the electronics and chassis.

The constant complaint from the two riders is the overly rigid frame, which avails them only in the cold and wet. There has been talk from outsiders that it might be a step in the right direction to revert back to the likes of the GP8’s aluminum chassis. Because in combination with the stiff Italian frame and the contracted Bridgestone hard outer wall front tires, it interferes with the current carbon fiber frame; and therefore could be compromising Rossi and Hayden’s talent and career.

Adding fuel to the fire, both riders are on their 6th and final engine of the season, thanks to Dorna’s newly implemented rule this year of a 5 to 6 engine limit per rider. Ducati will have to be very careful in these last 5 races in keeping the two vulnerable teammates out of the gravel and from starting from the pit lanes. But, in saying this, it could add to the competitive fun!

Along with Honda, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team will be making some adjustments with the current line up for next season. Veteran rider, Colin Edwards made his public announcement at Misano that he will be leaving the Satellite team to join up with NGM Forward to race a CRT bike in 2012. The resignation of the Texan has opened the door up for talented motorcyclist such as WSBK’s Eugene Laverty, Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso and Moto2 German rider, Stefan Bradl. My only question with so many riders on the table for the acclaimed position is; are there one or two positions open? Edwards’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow has had a rough time entering into the world of GP racing from his successful WSBK days and could very well be getting the axe from the Monster team very soon.

San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama has voiced his heartfelt concerns for his family and homeland in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami that left the island and its people in total devastation this last March. The Japanese rider hopes that all the premiere teams will find it in their hearts to compete at Motegi this October to show good faith and support for his recuperating country.

Hiroshi recently participated in a tribute to the tragic death of compatriot and Moto2 rider, Shoya Tomizawa, whose one year anniversary fell on September 13th. The gathering included friends and family that dedicated several tributes along with a memorial stone in Tomizawa’s honour that was unveiled in front of his emotional parents.

LCR Honda’s Toni Elias took to the track on a superbike for the first time on September 13th and 14th for the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team. Thanks to his good relationship with BMW Motorrad Italia’s team sports director, Serafino Foti, and LCR owner Lucio Cecchinello. In addition to his sound professional ties, it was the untimely retirement of WSBK’s James Toseland that further afforded the Spanish rider a golden opportunity to test the new BMW X1000RR for two days at Misano.

With Toseland out after a career ending right wrist injury, the timing could benefit the non productive Elias for next season in the WSBK class with an offer from the Bavarian based manufacturer. But, the Spaniard might have to get in line with rumors of WSBK’s Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio vying for the position as well!

Pramac Ducati’s Randy de Puniet will be making his 100th start at Aragon this Sunday, becoming the first Frenchman to accomplish the copious number in GP history. Also, Moto2 rider, Bradly Smith reportedly turned down a Grand Prix offer with various teams for 2012. Although in saying this, Smith will make his final decision known at Aragon this weekend.

On a final note; on September 13th, it was agreed between Dorna and the Argentinean Government to reinstate the Grand Prix Championship to South America in a three-year deal, commencing in 2013 at Autodromo Temas de Rio Hondo in the Santigo del Estro province.

While Germany’s Sachsenring is forced to bow out of the GP roster after Dorna upped the ante to host the round from two million Euros to four, which would leave the historic venue with over two million in losses. A conceivable bad move for a track that has been a favorite with GP fans and riders since 1998. There has not been any official word on who will replace the circuit, but there is talk of Nurburgring or Lausitzring as possible candidates.

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, September 16th, starting with the first free practice round at 10:10am (GMT+2)

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 259
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 224
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 185
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 150
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 135
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 133
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 105
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 93
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 87
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 82
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 69
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 57
13 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 45
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 29
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3

September 15, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aragon, Ben Spies, BMW motorcycles, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Eugene Laverty, girlracer, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, marco simoncelli, Misano Italy, Motegi, Moto2, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, mugello, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, WSBK, Yamaha | Leave a comment