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

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

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

Spies escapes Italian sandwich for Podium

Red Bull Indianapolis Motor Speedway Post Race Review:

Under party cloudy warm skies, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner rewrote his days of old from his past 2 experiences at the Red Bull’s Indianapolis Speedway by scoring another podium win and blowing the lid off the time sheets in the process! The next rider in line for 2nd and the “unique” trophy was teammate, Dani Pedrosa, who reconfirmed his notable status from Brno’s disappointing DFN. The American rookie rider for Yamaha, Ben Spies, fought hard and brilliantly won the third position for the podium.

With Stoner, Spies and Pedrosa to head the first row on the grid, the race got off to a quick start with Pedrosa jumping to the lead right out of the gate, giving the fans the idea that the Spaniard might repeat another win like last season. But, with Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner hot on his tail, he could only hold the first position for 7 laps before being passed by Stoner on the straight away. The untouchable Aussie charged ahead with almost a 5 second lead over Pedrosa after crossing the finish line, breaking lap records as a result. World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo was off to a good start on race day after a frustrating weekend in qualifying. But, soon relinquished his promising position to Stoner and Spies, by just coming off the podium in 4th, handing over a now 44 point lead to Stoner in Standings.

Spies had an unfavorable kickoff from his cushy first row start and somehow ended up in a 9th spot before the first turn. Things went from bad to worse when the talented Texan brushed fairings with Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso into turn one, setting him back even further. But the determined rookie Factory rider did not let it get to him, as he methodically made his way back up to the front and into third position by lap 16, where he remained.

Achieving a personal best this weekend, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso played tag with several of the front-runners, vacillating back and forth with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies for 5th, exchanging paint along the way. The three riders held in a tight formation until Dovizioso made his move in the 9th lap, only to be passed by Spies in the very next pass. Spies, continuing in his path for third, became the meat of the Italian sandwich when he found himself wedged in between San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso in the 13 lap. Passing Dovizioso and Simoncelli, he plunged past his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo on the next lap and into the straight after capitalizing on an error in judgment by the Mallorcan.

Simoncelli, battled persisting tire issues finalizing him in a discouraging 12th position, compared to his debut on the podium, in third at Brno. The lanky Italian got off to a bad start and poor results in qualifying in the pre race weekend, but managed to pull himself up by his (motorcycle) boot straps and get up to third before falling back to 6th , 8th then his final 12th position.

Hayden drastically dropped off 14 laps later, also due to tire issues with the blistering tarmac. In the final laps of the race, Hayden briefly exited the track and then reentered to collect his 14th position and much-needed points.

It would be fair to say the man to watch lately has been Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, with an impressive performance in sustaining a solitary 6th for most of the race, after attaining 3rd on the grid. The color enhanced Spaniard passed the checkered flag 9 seconds in front of the patriotic Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards, coming in at 7th. Behind the All-American rider, was Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, coming in 8th, achieving his best record for the season.

San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Japanese rider, Hiroshi Aoyama had a nice result this round, just making the top ten and a second and half in front of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. Rossi, sporting his new designer “Don Johnson” stubble, on the other hand, had one his worst results of the season coming in 10th after exiting the track in the eighth lap from epidemic tire problems, pushing him back to 17th. But the inspirational Italian doesn’t take lightly to being last and began to fly back up the line, picking off his contenders one at a time. Rossi encountered a few obstacles along the way, but placed 10th when it was all said and done, just in front of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s faltering Cal Crutchlow, in 11th.

In the final 7 laps of the race, the premier riders seemed to drop off like flies in their efforts to stay clear of the marbles collecting on their Bridgestones, due to 123F track temperatures. Unlike Hayden, Simoncelli, Rossi, Pramac’s Loris Capirossi and Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham had to claim a DFN.

Despite being in 8th place and the fastest Ducati on the tarmac, Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera surprisingly went down on the final lap in the last turn of the race, becoming the only casualty of the day.

Don’t make any plans just yet, as the GP teams high-tail it back to Europe; returning to the paddocks in less than a week  for the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano this Thursday, September 2nd 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 243
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 199
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 174
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 130
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 125
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 124
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 105
8 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 84
9 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 80
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 77
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 62
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 49
13 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 46
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 46
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 39
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 27
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN  

Sunday race day,August 28, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 151.1 46’52.786
2 20 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 150.8 +4.828
3 16 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 150.5 +10.603
4 13 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 150.2 +16.576
5 11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 150.2 +17.202
6 10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 149.5 +30.447
7 9 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 149.0 +39.690
8 8 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 148.3 +53.416
9 7 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 148.3 +53.790
10 6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 148.2 +55.345
11 5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 148.1 +57.184
12 4 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 147.9 +1’00.141
13 3 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 147.8 +1’02.169
14 2 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 138.0 2 Laps
Not Classified
    8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 148.3 1 Lap
    17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 146.2 8 Laps
    65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 145.6 12 Laps

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Brno, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, Indianapolis MotoGP, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, Red Bull, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

MotoGP riders looking to get it on in the land of love

Pre Race Review Mugello

The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM marks the second consecutive weekend and eighth round of an intensive race packed month. With wet and inconsistent weather conditions throughout the 2011 season, the fans and riders are looking to have a more arid experience at the popular Italian circuit.

Set in the heart of the beautiful Tuscan Valley, Mugello is known as one of the best venues with its 3.2 miles of challenging slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and perfectly banked corners. The modern track has some of the best viewing areas and a reputation as one of the safest race circuits.

Repsol Honda’s star performer, Casey Stoner is at the top of the World Standing at 135 points, a hefty 28 points ahead of World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The awesome Aussie literally can’t be touched this season with another podium win in second place at Assen last weekend. The Dutch track marked his 49th podium win as a premier class rider and if he continues on to Mugello in the same fashion, he with become the 12th rider to make 50 in placing a boot upon the rostrum.

Casey’s teammate, Andrea Dovizosio had another solid podium finish taking his third position on the podium at Assen. He hopes to continue his good fortune and impress his home crowd with a third in a row podium win.

The final Repsol Factory rider Dani Pedrosa will be the come back kid at the classy circuit after missing the last three rounds due to a broken collarbone inflicted upon him by the incautious Marco Simoncelli.

The recovered Pedrosa said: “I head to Italy with great motivation to be back on the bike, to see how I’m feeling and to compete. As well as riding again I’m really looking forward to getting back and seeing all the team, working with them and trying to do well. At the end of the day we’re like a family. You miss it when you spend such a long period without competing.”

The Factory Yamaha team’s Ben Spies is riding high on his first premier win of his career and the first American to win a race since Nicky Hayden riding for Repsol Honda at Laguna Seca,CAin 2006. The handsome Texan is the one to watch this season with his steadfast form and precise determination; he could just be the “wow” factor for 2012!

Teammate and reigning World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo is doing his best to uphold his top-notch reputation, but the task has had some complications with two uncharacteristic crashes in the last two races. The Mallorcan managed to regain his dignity at Assen after he was taken out in the first lap by San Carlo Grisini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli by remounting his M1 and pushing his way up the procession in a 6th place finish. He is 28 points behind current leader Casey Stoner and needs a first place win to catapult himself nearer the top.

San Carlo Grisini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli might have to consider a make-over in more ways than one with his less than popular reckless behavior this season. With his undeniable talents in placing in the front row for the last 5 races, the inflicting Italian can’t seem to capitalize on his hard-earned efforts and eventually goes down, usually taking a contender with him.  Which inspires the question; is “Super Sic” truly a diamond in the rough or just an out of control rookie that needs a hair cut?

Simoncelli’s teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama will be heading back to the San Carlo Grisini Honda paddock this weekend after filling in for Factory Honda’s Dani Pedrosa at Assen while in recovery from his second fractured collarbone.

Mugello, Ducati and Valentino Rossi; the perfect combination everyone has been patiently waiting for since his departure from Factory Yamaha last season. The triple Italian infused union was to be the ultimate in racing history, but with Ducati’s continuance in developing  the GP11 and Rossi’s past injuries and inability to mesh with the Desmodici machine, it’s been a union of let downs. The imposing Italian has some catching up to do, but with a past record of seven successive wins at Mugello between 2002 and 2008, it might just inspire him to put on a good show for his fans and put some points on the board. But, that’s probably it for this year!

Teammate and perfectionist, Nicky Hayden will be working to put in a good performance for the Factory’s homeland, While the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 broken collarbone duo, Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow both exhibited amazing endurance capabilities in their quick comeback and placements.Calwill be racing Mugello for the first time as a rookie premiere rider.

The Pramac team’s Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet would probably rather forget last weekend at Assen, with Loris being unable to participate on race day due to a crash that resulted in two broken ribs and a dislocated right shoulder in the qualifying round. It has just been announced that Capirossi will be sitting out Mugello, leaving him stagnant in standings. The veteran riders said: “I’m obviously very disappointed and angry. I was hoping I could get on track for this race, but the double fracture of the ninth and tenth ribs and distorting the AC joint injury forced me to raise the white flag for the first time in my career for Mugello.”  Randy has had ongoing disappointments in his advancements this season and had an early crash on race day, saying: This negative period seems to be a never-ending story for me and for the team.”

LCR Honda’s Toni Elias are getting ready for a positive home race and better start from the Italian grid, even though Elias had a strong start in precarious conditions. Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera, Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista and the smiling rookie Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham are looking for substantial improvements as we come to the halfway point of the 2011 season.

All the (hopefully dry) racing action will commence starting this Friday July 1 at 10:10am (local time GMT+2) with the first free practice round.

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

Top of Form

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 136
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 108
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 99
4 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 81
5 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 71
6 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 61
7 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 61
8 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 51
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 46
10 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 39
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 35
12 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 34
13 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 33
14 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 32
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 27
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 10
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Andrea Dovizioso, Assen, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, Laguna Seca, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, mugello, Nicky Hayden, Silverstone, Valentino Rossi | Leave a comment

Silverstone MotoGP: Post Race Review

The Factory Honda team nailed it once again in a very blustery wet and cold English afternoon! Repsol Honda’s untouchable Casey Stoner, floated away with his 27th victory and another 1st podium win today at the AirAsia British Grand Prix at Silverstone. While Casey’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso placed second and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s injured dark horse, Colin Edwards entered the parc ferme in a surprising third place.

The traditional British rain reared its ugly head on and off through out the practice weekend, but the skies could hold back no longer and drenched the 3.66 mile circuit, leaving infinite puddles everywhere for the premier riders to blindly dodge.

The moistened fans would have to forgo witnessing their beloved Monster Yamaha Tech 3 mascot rider, Cal Crutchlow take part in a hometown race when the popular Brit lost control of his YZR- M1 on the 3rd lap in QP on Saturday; further lowering the participating grid count to 15 riders on race day. The rookie rider was diagnosed with a (infamous) broken collar-bone, possible neck injury and a slight concussion leaving a big question mark on his return.

Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies catapulted himself to the front right out of the gate with Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner right on his tail in the short wet 20 lap race. But, the American rider could not hold his primary place when the Honda duo pushed him aside for the lead with San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli drafting close behind.

Spies continued to fall behind in the front line up until he unexpectedly went down in the 8th lap, putting him out of contention for the remainder of the day. Honda’s prize possession, Casey Stoner, found his comfort zone at the front of the pack once again and never looked back with an amazing lead over second place winner and teammate, Andrea Dovizioso and actually lapped Mapfre Aspar Teams Hector Barbera and Pramac’s Randy de Puniet in the process.

Saying; “It was very, very hard, I didn’t get off to the best start. I had a lot of water coming up in front of me and some actually got inside my visor. A lot of water and bad visibility, the last 10 laps were torture. But it got better and felt more confident, I’m happy for the win and big thanks for my team.”

Andrea Dovizioso kept his nose to the tarmac and in deep concentration held his 2nd place lead well away from his contenders with the exception of Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo’s brief threat to overtake in the first half of the race.

Dovizioso stated: “I tried to start as fast I can, I wanted to stay in front of the riders. I was very happy in the first 3 laps and happy about 2nd position. Thank you to my team and the fans. I need that support to help to try to win the Championship.”

The Factory Yamaha team continued its streak of bad luck when World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo showcased a rare high side in his futile attempt to pass Dovizioso in 2nd place rounding the 8th lap, emulating his teammate Ben Spies. A feat the Spaniard has not publicly displayed since 2009.

With both Factory Yamaha riders yanked out of the water-logged course and Simoncelli soon to follow in the 10th lap with a disappointing 3rd crash in the last 6 races of the season, it set the stage for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards.

The visibly pained American veteran rider made an impressive start in QP and a 3rd position on the grid after taking a header just 9 days prior at Catalunya. Suffering from very sore ribs and nursing a healing collar-bone surgery, the happy-go-lucky rider held his grueling pace crossing over the finish line in an astonishing 3rd place on the podium. Edwards stated: “I had a great doctor, he did a great job. It was hard to keep that thing on two wheels and it was a little tricky in some areas. But, I thank my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, we went out on a completely different set up, they made it work and they are fantastic!”

Marlboro Ducati’s Nicky Hayden placed 4th  and clocked the fastest lap time of the race with 2:21.432 pace even though the Kentucky Kid was not content with his performance the entire weekend.

Although the Ducati teams were favorable for the wet conditions, they struggled to find an agreeable race rhythm. Teammate Valentino Rossi could not get his groove on for the entirety of the competitive weekend and his frustration showed in his rare 14th  position on the grid. The easy-going Italian exhibited obvious signs of discontent with his inexperience on the Silverstone tarmac, entering corners too slow and finding the right bike set up. But, he managed to pull himself out of his rut and passed the checkered flag in an uncustomary 6th place. With Rossi’s recent past performances and continual set-up battle with his Italian heritage GP11, you can’t help but ponder the idea if this was indeed a good move for the talented rider?

Solo rider for Rizla Suzuki, Alvaro Bautista made a surprising effort coming in 5th right in front of Rossi and had a favorable weekend feeling good about his lap times and bike set-up…”no?”

Cardon AB Motoracing’s Czech rider Karel Abraham took the best pole representing Ducati in the second row and placed 7th with LCR Honda and former Moto2 Champion, Toni Elias in 8th, San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama for a 9th and Pramac’s Loris Capirossi, Hector Barbera and Randy de Puniet bringing up the rear in the final 10th, 11th and 12th spots. 

Next on the GP provisional calendar: Iveco TT Assen in the Netherlands, Commencing on Thursday June 23rd at10:10am GMT+2

And don’t forget to follow @girlracerlive 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

Silverstone, race day  Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 147.9 47’53.459
2 20 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 147.1 +15.159
3 16 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 146.8 +21.480
4 13 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 146.5 +26.984
5 11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 146.1 +35.569
6 10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 144.6 +1’04.526
7 9 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 143.3 +1’32.650
8 8 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 142.3 +1’51.938
9 7 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 142.3 +1’52.350
10 6 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 141.8 +2’03.312
11 5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 139.7 1 Lap
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 139.5 1 Lap
Not Classified
    58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 147.1 10 Laps
    1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 146.7 12 Laps
    11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 143.8 13 Laps

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 116
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 98
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 83
4 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 68
5 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 61
6 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 60
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 43
8 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 37
9 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 36
10 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 33
11 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 32
12 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 31
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 30
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 28
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 22
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 10
18        

June 12, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Assen, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Catalunya, Colin Edwards, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, Silverstone, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

Silverstone’s AirAsia British MotoGP Pre Race Review

The Premier riders and their teams will find themselves going full swing into the most intense portion of the Grand Prix calendar this Friday with 5 races packed into the next 7 weeks. The venue to host the 6th round is the newly renovated Silverstone Circuit in jolly old England. Silverstone has a 60 year history in motor sports, but was recently remodeled and reintroduced in 2010, making the layout one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP agenda.

After dealing with temperamental wet and dry weather inSpain’s Catalunya track just days ago, the radical riders will be hoping for more consistency in the atmospheric conditions this weekend, enabling them to find the perfect tyre set up and being able to stick with it….. literally! The Bridgestone tyre choice is clearly becoming the key difference to a successful race.

Latest winner, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner is sitting pretty with 3 first place podium wins for this season and is just shy by 7 points to match his closest rival, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo; after having to give up the probable points he would have gained after being grazed in a gutsy pass attempt by Valentino Rossi in Jerez.

The Aussie is looking forward to racing the newly renovated British circuit for the second time even though he did not have the most favorable results last year with a bad race start. Casey is putting it behind him this weekend and feels confident about Honda and his recent past performance saying; “We need to stay focused (at Silverstone) and watch those around us, as we know our biggest Championship rival at the moment is Jorge. He is extremely fast there, so we’ll see how the weekend pans out.”

Casey Stoner’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso reflects back on last weekend as a race of progression despite his disappointment by just missing the podium and placing 4th. The industrious Italian feels he made some accomplishments with his race pace and crossing over the finish line just 5 seconds behind his compatriot and winner, Casey Stoner. “I didn’t make a good start in Catalunya but we made a big improvement from Le Mans, coming in 5 seconds behind Casey. Now we go to Silverstone and I think its going to be good for us, after last year coming in second.”

The third and final Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will have to sit out another round after sustaining a second collar-bone fracture as a result of a crash at Le Mans. Surgeons implanted a plate with screws that are much smaller than the commonly used ones to reduce vascular problems that he endured from his other shoulder injury last October. On doctor’s recommendations, Dani has decided to hold off on mounting his RC212V until he is a 100% fit. The dispirited Dani said;“We have to check week by week and right now it’s unknown. It’s hard to swallow, but something I have to accept.”

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo is at the top of standings with 98 points and is feeling very happy with his consistency this year. Silverstone holds positive memories for the Factory rider in achieving close to perfection last year as one of his best races in his career. The Mallorcan stated; “We managed to finish our home GP leading the Championship last weekend, I’m very happy because we are very consistent. I know this season will be tough, but Yamaha and I are working hard and are focused on each race results.”

Yamaha teammate Ben Spies had a similar experience with the Spanish circuit last weekend, after a rough seasonal start, the handsome Texan finished on the podium for the first time as a Factory rider in 3rd place. After signing a newly extended one year contract with the team, Ben is hyper focused to continue his good fortune at Silverstone. “I can’t wait to get to Silverstone, and get back on the bike again. It’s a track I really enjoy riding and where I got my first ever MotoGP podium last year.”

Ducati Teams Italian icon Valentino Rossi will be facing the refurbished Great Britain circuit with less certainly than his teammates due to missing out last year from a prior injury. Although recently, he was able to christen the track for an inauguration, parading around on a Ducati 1098 street bike for about 20 laps. The nonchalant Rossi will work to push past of his lingering 5th position that seems to continually overshadow him. “Silverstone will be difficult for me because I have less experience and don’t know the track like the other guys. We need to improve stability and acceleration on the bike. It’s good on the wet but not so much on the dry, I have too much slide .So, we need to set up the bike and understand the track for this weekend.”

Second Marlboro Ducati team rider, Nicky Hayden will be making his way to England after a visit on Wednesday to the Isle of Man TT race. The American rendered a lap of honour on the historic mountain road race circuit piloting a Ducati 1098 SP. Nicky comments on Catalunya and Silverstone; “I got a good start and the bike felt good, but started to lose time in the corners and wasn’t able to get into the 43”s. I need to improve everywhere, I feeling so far off in needing to improve on everything. I’m looking forward to Silverstone, it’s a track I enjoyed a lot last year because it’s big, long and fast. The pavement was a little bumpy in a couple of places, but it was perfect in other parts. I’m looking forward to it.”

San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli continues to make amends for his questionable pass on Dani Pedrosa, which left the Spanish rider with a second fractured shoulder and out of racing contention indefinitely.  The ambitious Italian would like to move in a forward direction, for a change, in his eternal quest for the podium this season. Marco: “Starting from pole position (in Catalunya) I expected something more. I released the clutch too soon and everybody overtook me and was in 7th place in the first lap. I was disappointed with last weekend, but I’m happy and confident. A lot of people support me and thank you to everyone. I like Silverstone; I did a good race last year and looking forward to being over there”.

Teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, is working to put the past behind him after causing a crash in Barcelona and some not so memorable times at Silverstone. The singular Japanese rider experienced a serious crash and a spinal injury at the British circuit last year causing him to miss 6 consecutive races. Hiroshi says; “Naturally I don’t have good memories of Silverstone. The team is working hard to improve the bike, we improve the set-up at every race, but the results have just arrived. I need to improve and give more of myself, as my goal is to be near the top five. I know it is not easy, but I’ll keep trying.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo will be back in action this weekend, especially veteran rider Colin Edwards, who returns to the grid after sitting out the 5th round in Catalunya. The seasoned American rider has participated in 141 successive GP races, but broke the perpetual impressive streak with a crash leaving him with an injury to his collar-bone in last weekend’s Montmelo Grand Prix. Colin is feeling ready and able with 13 screws and a shiny new titanium plate in his shoulder. Saying; “It would be brilliant to get some points but I just want to concentrate on having a trouble-free weekend because then I have a couple of weeks to let the bone heal further and be back to full strength by Assen. Part of me is still a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get to ride in Catalunya, but I guess I’ll finally get to start my 142nd MotoGP race, even if it is going to be one week later than planned!”

Hometown boy and rookie Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow will be making his debut on his home turf this weekend after finishing on a record high in 7th place back in Barcelona. The eager Brit is excited to be riding the wave and will be working to impress his fans with a 6th  place finish at the British Grand Prix.Cal says; “I can’t wait for my home race in Silverstone. Ever since I knew I was joining the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, I have been thinking about the British Grand Prix. The race couldn’t be coming at a better time after I scored the best result of my MotoGP career only a few days ago in Catalunya.”

Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi continues in “recovery” from an almost 28 lap race battle for 9th place against Karel Abraham in last weekends Montmelo circuit. The versed Italian rider stays poised and positive for Silverstone after an exultant start in Barcelona. Saying; “it’s actually hard to find a negative; even the start was quite good. I want to consider Barcelona a starting point for a new direction. Now we shouldn’t get misdirected with poor choices, and we’ll work like we did over this weekend.

Teammate to Capirossi, Randy de Puniet will back on the grid after being involved in the one and only crash of the day when Hiroshi Aoyama took both of them out by the third lap in Catalunya. The Frenchman struggled with his bike set up all weekend and now with his injured ankle. Randy has had to deal with some bad luck in the 2011 season, but he will be racing the GB circuit this Friday with the goal to get back to feeling good again and in more ways than one.

Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham is still suffering from a bruised hand and dislocated thumb injury in a near miss with Randy de Puniet last weekend. Karel managed to stay up right and reenter the tarmac, leaving de Puniet and Aoyama in his wake. He visits the British Isle as a respectable top ten contender.

Rizla Suzuki’s solo rider Alvaro Bautista has fought hard this season to stay healthy and to ride a successful race on dry land. The independent Spaniard needs to make some vast improvements to forge ahead in breaking into the top ten spot and hopes to do so on British soil.

Mapfre Aspar Team’s Hector Barbera and LCR Honda’s Toni Elias have their work cut out for them entering into the 6th  of an 18 race venue with a gap of  72 and 76 points in Standings from current leader Jorge Lorenzo.

If last weekend at Catalunya was any indication to how things will go down at Silverstone, then expect a lot of copy and pasting in my next Post Race Review! I don’t know about you folks, but if this premier race repetition continues, I will be looking to sell my crystal ball!

Silverstone’s AirAsia British Grand Prix will commence this Friday, June 10th starting with the first free practice at 10:10am GMT+1.

And don’t forget to 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 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 98
2 Casey STONER Honda AUS 91
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 63
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 61
5 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 58
6 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 47
7 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 36
8 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 36
9 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 32
10 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 30
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 26
12 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 24
13 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 21
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 20
15  Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 16
16 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 11
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 6
         

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Catalunya, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Hector Barbera, Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo, Le Mans, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, Silverstone, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | Leave a comment

MotoGP: Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya Pre Race Report

After a two-week hiatus from our beloved MotoGP paddocks, the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in Spain will play host to the 5th   round for the 2011 season and the venue to kick off the mega 6 races in 8 weeks time! The Catalan track is a favorite by many of the premier riders with its large attendance, elevations changes, high-speed and slow corners and is also home to reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The Catalunya homeboy will be looking to continue his victorious history at the 2nd Spanish circuit to host the GP this season with a pole win in 2010. After Le Mans, the Factory Yamaha rider managed to extend his lead to 78 points, surpassing his closest rival, Casey Stoner by 12 points.

After sustaining a finger injury during a warm up at the French track, Jorge continues to recover and hopes to be fit as he was in Jerez to take on the brawny competition. He and his team plan on aiming high for the podium starting this Friday.

Another Yamaha Factory rider, Ben Spies is looking forward to reconnecting to one of his ideal tracks of the season to date. It is true the American rider has had a rough start with some less than favorable results, but is starting to rebuild his confidence after a more positive experience coming off Le Mans in mid May. Spies and his team will be working hard to move up the standings ladder with the goal in mind to gain more points and break into a top five position.

Repsol Honda rider, Casey Stoner will also be entering into this weekend with confidence after coming off a 25th premier class podium win at Le Mans and placing on the podium consecutively at the Spanish circuit since 2007. The audacious Aussie is clearly in a strong position to continue his success in the compact succession of race weekends.

It has been decided that Stoner’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa will regrettably not be racing this weekend after undergoing surgery to yet another shoulder injury just 3 weeks ago. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider clipped the rear tyre of Marco Simoncelli and went down in the final laps of the Le Mans race, resulting in a collarbone injury on the opposite side just weeks from his prior injury. The questionable maneuver by the wild haired Italian has been the talk of the track and has inspired a lot of heavy discussion amongst fan forums in the interim.

The third and final Repsol rider, Andrea Dovizioso, has been one of the most consistent riders in the 2011 season. Although the Italian rider hasn’t been at the top of the leaderboards, he has been progressive in his steadiness and hopes to be able to showcase his efforts in another podium win coming off his latest race in France.

The controversial San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, Marco Simoncelli is under the watchful eye of the FIM this weekend in his aggressive overtaking choices. The lanky rider will be meeting with the Race Direction this weekend to discuss the incident at hand. Simoncelli has stated that he regrets what happened in France and hopes to put this behind him, wishing Pedrosa a quick recovery in time for the race weekend.

Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden are equally matched in the standings just three points from each other. Hayden has fond memories of this weekend’s circuit with its large crowds and his podium win in 2006. The Kentucky Kid is confident with his team and the improvements being made to his GP11 since the start of the season.

Recent team Ducati rider Valentino Rossi is no stranger to the Montmelo podium and is feeling fine after his first 2011 podium finish in France. The radical Italian feels right at home in the Spanish winners circle, becoming one of the most successful racers, claiming nine victories there, six in the premier class. Rossi is especially looking forward to making up for some lost time after not being able to participate on race day after an injury in 2010. The Barcelona based circuit is one of Rossi’s favorites, second to Mugello and especially enjoys the large crowd it brings.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammates, Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow are even steven with 21 points and counting, along with Maphre Aspar Team’s Hector Barbera. The British rookie will be making his first debut appearance at Catalunya’s Montmelo race circuit.

Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Susuki’s one and only rider is hoping to come on strong in his homeland turf after continuing to recover from a fractured femur sustained early on in the race year.

Cardion AB Motorracing’s Karel Abraham, LCR’ Toni Elias and Pramac’s racing pair, Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi are all hoping to capitalize on some great racing this weekend and improving their results from the last 4 races.

Look for all the wild and wacky race action to commence this Friday morning June 3 at 10:10am local time (GMT+2) starting with the first free Practice round.

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 78
2 Casey STONER Honda AUS 66
3 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 61
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 50
5 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 47
6 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 39
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 36
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 22
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 21
10 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 21
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 21
12 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 20
13 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 18
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 17
15 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 9
16 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 7
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 6
18 John HOPKINS      

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo, Le Mans, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, toni elais, Valentino Rossi | Leave a comment

Estoril MotoGP Post Race Review

 Bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal played host to the 3rd round after a 4 week hiatus due to the reassignment of the Japanese Motegi circuit, now scheduled for the end of  September. The august country was afforded more time by the World Championship in an effort to recover from the natural disaster that struck the diminutive island this past March 11th. We, at Girlracer continue to send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the people of Japan, and hope for a quick and opulent recovery.

The coastal Portuguese circuit kept to its reputation as being one of the least popular tracks because of the consistent inconsistency with its cool and wet weather conditions. Right on cue, the bulky black clouds hovered over the riders for most of 2 days during the free practice and qualifying rounds. But on Friday afternoon, the ominous skies could hold back no longer, inviting massive amounts of hail entangled with thunder and lightning illuminated the track after the 3rd free practice round. Lost power and an actual bolt of lightning were caught on video hitting and damaging the track within feet of the Rookie riders qualifying practice session.

Despite the unsettled weather and turbulent over-heated egos, the MotoGP boys managed to squeeze in some of their best pre race lap times. The welcomed four-week break enabled the premiere riders to physically heal, improve bike set-up’s, and to decipher the proper tyre choices for the probable perilous atmospheric changes.

Saturday afternoon’s QP final and grid positions:

Estoril, Saturday Qualifying Results, April 30, 2011

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 298.3 1’37.161  
2 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 305.3 1’37.294 0.133 / 0.133
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 302.1 1’37.324 0.163 / 0.030
4 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 300.3 1’37.384 0.223 / 0.060
5 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 307.3 1’37.866 0.705 / 0.482
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 298.8 1’38.073 0.912 / 0.207
7 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 299.8 1’38.080 0.919 / 0.007
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 298.8 1’38.189 1.028 / 0.109
9 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 301.4 1’38.271 1.110 / 0.082
10 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 292.4 1’38.363 1.202 / 0.092
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 296.5 1’38.497 1.336 / 0.134
12 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 285.5 1’38.786 1.625 / 0.289
13 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 306.0 1’38.922 1.761 / 0.136
14 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 305.3 1’38.934 1.773 / 0.012
15 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 293.9 1’39.172 2.011 / 0.238
16 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 295.9 1’39.378 2.217 / 0.206
17 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 307.9 1’39.894 2.733 / 0.516

This afternoon’s World Championship welcomed mostly sunny skies and noticeably warmer temperatures, granting the riders a huge sigh of relief.

What looked to be a strategy of lying in wait for most of the 28 lap race, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa sailed over the finish line just over 3 seconds ahead of leading World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo. All the while continuously breaking lap times and claiming his first ever Estoril win of his GP career.

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was once again first on the grid at the coastal circuit and retained his position just in front of Dani Pedrosa for most of the fast paced race. But with 4 laps to go, the visibly aching Pedrosa passed the fellow Spaniard flawlessly down the long straight. Breaking Lorenzo’s 3rd in a row winning streak at Estoril.

The race was off the an exciting start in the opening lap with high sides from San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco “crash” Simoncelli and Mapfre Aspar Team’s Hector Barbera, initially dazing both riders and forcing a DFN. Soon after, Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham went off the track and out of the race, making it his first non finish,

Pedrosa’s teammate, Casey Stoner took a lonesome 3rd place finish, just over 7 seconds behind Pedrosa. Another Repsol Honda rider to make into the top 5, was Andrea Dovizioso, narrowly passing Marlboro Ducati’s Valentino Rossi in the final milliseconds of the race, pushing Rossi back to 5th after a back and forth scramble mid-way through the race.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s jovial Colin Edwards had a good weekend overall and pushed for a 6th spot on the leader board. Picking up the pieces for fallen Simoncelli, was teammate San Carlos Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama, placing a respectable 7th in standings by putting in a good effort against the former Superbike rider Cal Crutchlow. The 8th place rookie Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider is one of several recovering from surgery and had an incredible weekend making leaps and bounds up the time sheet.

American Ducati rider, Nicky Hayden crossed over the finish line in 9th in the top ten, rounding it off with Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, in 10th, who is also recovery from a leg injury.

Yamaha’s Ben Spies had to accept a DFN in his 3rd Factory race of the season, disappointing himself and his fans by going down in the 12th lap. Rizla Suzuki’s sole rider, Alvaro Bautista returned to the track after a 6 week break to the day, recovering from a badly broken leg, but managed to stay upright and complete the race in 13th.

 Estoril, Sunday, Race Results May 01, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 153.2 45’51.483
2 20 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 153.0 +3.051
3 16 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 152.8 +7.658
4 13 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 152.3 +16.530
5 11 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 152.3 +16.555
6 10 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 151.4 +32.575
7 9 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 151.1 +38.749
8 8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 151.0 +40.912
9 7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 150.2 +54.887
10 6 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 150.0 +59.697
11 5 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 149.9 +1’00.374
12 4 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 149.8 +1’01.793
13 3 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 148.6 +1’24.370
Not Classified
    11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 149.8 16 Laps
    17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 136.6 27 Laps
Not Starting
    58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda   0 Lap
    8 Hector Barbera SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Ducati   0 lap

 

Look for more racing excitement 2 weeks from now, when France hosts the next MotoGP extravaganza; Monter Energy Grand Prix de France at Le Mans, May 13, 2011

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Estoril, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, superbike, Uncategorized, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha | 1 Comment

Eugene Laverty Interview~ Yamaha’s WSBK Extraordinaire

Eugene Laverty~Donington Park

As one of the peerless additions to the recently reinvented WSBK Yamaha team, Eugene Laverty is gradually finding his comfort zone on his R1. New to the WSBK series with a good inaugural start at Australia’s Phillip Island and two crashes at England’s Donington Park, the Irish rider is choosing to chalk it up to experience and looks to the future for a successful season.

Girlracer has an in-depth look into Eugene Laverty with his transition from Supersport to Superbike and what he hopes to achieve in the progression of his thriving racing career.

 

Girlracer– After a challenging UK debut race as a WSBK racer at Donington Park, how are you feeling since, physically and mentally?

Eugene Laverty- Starting to feel a lot better. The week after Donington wasn’t so good, after having a concussion, I felt like I hadn’t slept in a year. But I’ve had a lot of Physical therapy and I’m starting to feel like myself again. I didn’t break any bones fortunately, but the concussion was the main thing.

Girlracer– I had read that tyre temperature problems were part to blame for the unsuccessful weekend?

Eugene Laverty- Yes, we found out after the weekend and learned an important lesson. Friday was good, we placed 4th  and  was thinking about a race win for Sunday. But once the temperature dropped things went disastrous and we couldn’t put our finger on it.

But we have learned from this and there are things we can do to put heat into the tyres, we just didn’t realize it at the time.

We don’t expect there to be a problem with Assen. There was almost frost on the ground on Sunday morning at Donington, that’s how cold it was! We are just going to strip back to how we were on Friday, because Saturday and Sunday was not a true reflection of where we are right now.

Girlracer– What has the transition been like going from WSS for the last 2 years to WSBK?

Eugene Laverty`- Testing was great and I surprised myself. But, with the two races, I knew it was going to take a little time adjusting, getting used to the different time table and the different team. It hasn’t been helped with some bad luck. I know and the team knows where my true potential is and I’m excited about it. I don’t want to get impatient, because I know it’s only going to be a short time until we can show our true capabilities.

Girlracer- Is it true that you had an opportunity to race in the WSBK division back in 2008?

Eugene Laverty– That was an opportunity for just one race. At the time I was racing for Aprilia in the 250ccGP and I guess I was looking away because it really wasn’t going anywhere. I spoke to Paul Bird of Motorsport Honda about his Superbike and was also thinking about Yamaha. Once Fabien Foret was injured I got the opportunity for a wild card position in the World Supersport Championship, which I thought was a better fit and less of a jump. It was a good choice because I finished on the podium that year!

Girlracer– Can you describe the differences between riding a Supersport (600cc) and your current Superbike (1000cc)?

Eugene Laverty- The main difference is the speed. The step up from 125cc, 250cc and then to 600cc was a big speed difference, but the 600cc was more controllable. Moving to Superbike, the speed and the power of those bikes is just incredible. I don’t think the brain can ever adjust to that speed; there is so much power there its unnatural! It’s an incredible feeling at the same time because you are really in control. With Supersport you can be aggressive and fight the bike for control, but with Superbikes if you do, it will come back and bite you. You have to ride in the best way; I think that’s why the best riders truly come to the floor when they take on the bigger bikes.

Girlracer– With only 2 years in Supersport, do you have any aspirations to move up into the premier class of MotoGP in the near future?

Eugene Laverty– I would like to move to MotoGP, it’s all part of the plan. I wasn’t sure whether to move to Moto2 or go with WSBK for this season, but in the end I opted to go with Superbike because it was a stepping stone. To go from WSBK with Yamaha to MotoGP, it’s all part of the plan.

Girlracer– Would you say there is a difference in how a rider performs on the track depending on what their racing background is? For example; your teammate, Marco Melandri is coming back to Superbike from MotoGP. Do you feel there is any advantage?

Eugene Laverty– I would say yes. In the last few seasons, the Superbike is so close to MotoGP, the two bikes are so technical now. Looking back even 5 years ago, Superbikes were a lot more like road bikes, now they are proper racing machines. Superbikes are almost GP level; the jump from Superbike was a bit of a problem before with riders, such as Neil Hodgson. Now it’s more like a half of stepping stone, riders like Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies have been fast immediately making the transition easily.

Girlracer– In your estimation, what do you think enables a rider to become a World Champion?

Eugene Laverty– It’s the total package. No matter what the Championship, you gotta be winning and if you are a popular rider, then you’re also marketable. In the beginning, choosing what team you want to ride for is important, because it doesn’t matter how good the rider is, if you’re riding a donkey, you ain’t gonna win!

Unfortunately, racing is a cut throat world, if you’re not winning races then nobody’s going to recognize you.

I think the cream will always rise to the top; this sport is all about getting opportunities and the right breaks, but to do that you have to be smart. Choosing your paths correctly, a good rider will always figure out the best way to ride a bike. If you are a quality rider, you pick these things up; the most important thing is to get the break.

Girlracer– Recently you had to give up your racing number 50 that you have had since 2002. Are you superstitious about having to go from 50 to 58?

Eugene Laverty– No, I wasn’t, but now that you mentioned it, I haven’t had such a good time [laughing]! Actually I made it 58 so it looked like the number 50. Even when I sign autographs, I still sign it with the number 50 and people look at me confused. Right now you can’t have two number 50’s, but I plan on going back to it pretty soon….or #1 would be nice as well!

Girlracer– You have your very own iPhone app, the first motorcycle racer to have one. How is it doing?

Eugene Laverty- I was very surprised by the feed back on it, especially within the first 24 hours. I didn’t want an app that was a short cut to my Web site, because a lot of people do that and it’s not interesting. The guys made it interactive and the fans can take a picture and post them and they can even take a picture with me and post it while at the track. Its fun and I find myself flipping through the photos!

Girlracer- Next Sunday, you will be racing at Assen. How is the feeling in the paddock?

Eugene Laverty– I’ve been to Assen twice and I’ve won both times, so it’s pretty positive. It should be a strong race for us. I know our pace is there, it just didn’t go our way for one reason or another at Donington. I’m hoping at Assen we get the results we deserve and aim for the podium this round!

Cheers Eugene and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

 Look for Eugene’s (temporary) #58 this Sunday, April 17th at Netherland’s Assen TT Circuit for more racing excitement!

For more details on the full provisional calendar, racing results and stats, go to Worldsbk.com

On a personal level, check out Eugene’s Website http://eugenelaverty.com/ and his very own iPhone app, so you can take a snap shot; keep up to date on race results, news, blogs and Yamaha press releases. All for just £1.19

April 11, 2011 Posted by | Assen, Ben Spies, donington Park, Eugene Laverty, girlracer, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, phillip Island, superbike, supersport, WSBK, Yamaha | 1 Comment