Month: July 2012

MotoGP: Ben Spies crash caused by more bad luck – swing arm collapses

American MotoGP rider Ben Spies suffered the latest in a long line of bad luck at the Mazda Raceway during the Laguna Seca Grand Prix when a ‘technical issue’ caused his swing arm to collapse, resulting in him crashing out of the race dramatically from fourth.

The Texan recently announced his departure from the factory Yamaha team, but is yet to reveal what his future plans are, the strongest whispers suggest a move back to World Superbikes is probable with BMW, who in turn are looking to have a greater presence in MotoGP in the future.

Spies’ tumble, in which he escaped injury, happened on the exit from the infamous corkscrew and the number 11 felt he was lucky not to have been hurt:

“We had a technical failure in the swingarm…all of a sudden, when I got to the bottom of the Corkscrew, the bike went out from underneath me. I had no control, it didn’t even slide or anything. I didn’t know what happened at first, I thought I had hit a huge bump but there isn’t one there. It’s nobody’s fault, just more bad luck.

I was lucky it didn’t happen at turn one. If it had happened there or going up to the Corkscrew, I could have been seriously hurt. I’m not mad at Yamaha about it. There’s no room for that in this type of racing with this much money in the bikes, something like that shouldn’t happen. I’m lucky that, being caught up in the bike like that, I didn’t catch a hand in the wheel or the chain”.

One Yamaha fan benefited from his poor fortunes as ‘Elbowz’ chose to throw his helmet into the crowd after his accident, as shown in this video from MotoGP.com, hopefully he’s thrown the bad luck away with it:

MotoGP: Laguna Seca – Rossi gets a lift from Hayden !

Image

Laguna Seca saw some very fast crashes in the race, a feature of the race weekend, one of which ended Valentino Rossi’s chance of a top ten finish. As Stoner celebrated a hard won victory on a soft tyre gamble, with Lorenzo and Pedrosa a distant second and third and the rest of the pack even further behind, Rossi’s team mate and sixth place finisher on the Ducati Desmosedeici, Nicky Hayden came to his aid and gave him a lift home!

The American can be seen wearing his special ‘Easy Hayden’ helmet in his home Grand Prix, for a detailed image check out my previous post:

https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/haydens-awesom…eca-helmet-5-2/

Picture taken by me via MotoGP.com coverage by BBC sport.

Hayden’s awesome Laguna Seca helmet

PIC: Nicky Hayden’s 'Easy Rider' US MotoGP helmet

Nicky Hayden is running a special ‘Easy Hayden’ Easy Rider themed helmet for the weekends racing at the Mazda Raceway.

The Laguna Seca special design features a cartoon Nicky on a chopper and the front painted with Hayden’s face emulating an open style helmet.

Edit : Hayden also used this helmet for the next grand prix also held in the USA at the Brickyard. You may have caught a glimpse of it before Haydens big Indianapolis qualifying crash resulting in his arm fracture and concussion,the latter  preventing him from racing. Hope to see Nicky back in Brno!

Update: Now for sale! For more information, click here:

https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/motogp-nicky-haydens-replica-easy-rider-helmet-to-be-available-for-sale/

Image from Nicky Hayden’s official Twitter feed @NickyHayden69.

MotoGP: Yamaha’s new comedy video!

Yamaha Factory Racing have released their regular comedy video featuring the factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies as well as the Tech3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.

This time out they are revisiting the working at the office theme they last used when Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards and James Toseland all appeared as receptionist,security and mail boy respectively. Jorge Lorenzo was the disgruntled janitor.

Now Jorge has had a promotion and Dovi has his old job and seems to enjoy cleaning toilets WAY too much! Crutchlow has taken over the ‘opening’ in security while Ben Spies was told he wasn’t ‘receptionist material’ – no wonder he’s leaving!

MotoGP: Nicky Hayden to remain at Ducati !

Nicky Hayden

American MotoGP star Nicky Hayden is confirmed to ride for the Ducati factory team after signing a 1 year contract covering next season.

After much speculation during the MotoGP ‘silly season’ Nicky Hayden, who celebrates his 31st birthday on Monday, was given something to celebrate when the announcement safeguarding his future was announced, although who his team mate will be in 2013 is still open for speculation.

The 2006 world champion has been a loyal member of the Ducati team since making the move from Honda in 2009, after riding for the Japanese manufacturer for 10 years over various championships.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’, currently in his tenth MotoGP season and the highest placed American rider in the championship standings heading into the Laguna Seca race weekend,spoke of his enthusiasm to continue working with Ducati on the Desmosedici next year in his teams press release:

“I’m very happy that I’ll be back with Ducati and back in MotoGP, racing at the highest level for a very important team. I love the guys I work with, I love the Ducati fans, and I love the brand. This is an important time for Ducati in a number of ways, and I’m excited that I’ll continue to be a part of it. I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business here, and hopefully we can get all the pieces into place and reap the rewards of the hard work we’ve put in the last couple of years. It’s nice to be able to make this announcement at Laguna and to share the moment with my fans, friends and family. If I can do a good result on Sunday, it could make for a pretty special birthday weekend.”

Personally I feel it would be a shame for such a talented rider and interesting character not to be present in the MotoGP paddock, although I can see the viewpoint which would argue that someone needs to make way for some new blood, I believe Hayden still has the ability to do well, he has finished ahead of current team mate Valentino Rossi, arguably the greatest of all time, four times this season, and works wonders on a Ducati that has been notoriously hard to ride (and back in the day did goodness knows what to Marco Melandri’s head). It would be good to see the American reap some rewards next year for the time and perseverance he has put in at Ducati, plus it means any future posts about ‘Hayden on a Ducati’ will not have to feature my little son (named after said world champion) on his Ducati ride-on!

image courtesy of Andrew Napier and used under Creative Commons, go find him on Flickr!

Moto2/MotoGP: Toni Elias to ride for Pramac at Laguna Seca

Looks as if the Gresini Moto2 riders who were supposedly under threat of losing their rides to the newly free agent Toni Elias can breathe for a while as the lure of another pop at MotoGP proved too strong and the Spaniard will be keeping the seat of the lone 2012 Pramac Ducati warm for the absent and injured Hector Barbera.

The Mapfre Aspar Moto2 team earlier announced that they will be replacing Elias with Jordi Torres, currently flying high in the Spanish CEV Championship.

Torres had never set Moto2 alight in his previous runs in the class, but looks more confident and able after taking the time to improve his race craft back in Spain, while Elias has won just one MotoGP class race, his legendary win over Valentino Rossi at Estoril in 2006, causing a difference of five points, the margin that Nicky Hayden went on to beat Rossi by in that years Championship.

Moto2: Ant West – “My seat fell off the bike!”

QMMF’s Ant West reports a rather unusual reason for finishing down in 23rd place in the Mugello Moto2 race.

Australian Ant West revealed that during Sunday’s Moto2 round at Mugello the reason he needed to enter the pits, eventually resulting in a 23rd place finish was that his seat had come away from the bike, resulting in him attempting to ride at speed on top of a slippery carbon fibre framework.

West said: “ It came loose in a corner and I almost slid off the bike. I threw it off on the straight and kept going, but under this cushion is just carbon. You slide all over the place and you are also 20 millimetres lower without the cushion, which hurts the set-up. I thought I was able to continue and I rode on for two laps…the guys put a new seat on, but it was a different one and wasn’t perfect. But once you stop, that’s it anyway for the race.”

The former Kawasaki MotoGP rider went on to explain how he had been making good progress with his changed set-up before the unusual issue arose:

“It’s a bit of a shame because before that happened, I felt good. I was strong and I passed heaps of people. We made a big change to the set-up from yesterday, and on the first laps, I was not very aggressive because I was still a bit unsure of the bike. But I still caught up with the group in front of me and I could definitely have taken world championship points!”

West echoed this enthusiasm to his Twitter followers and looked forward to beyond the Moto2 class summer break, posting: “unfortunately my seat fell off the bike during the race so I had to stop in the box and fix it. I think I could have been in points today.. but I’m really happy with the new Speed Up bike and I can’t wait to improve in the next races!”

Now also available here in full at crash.net: http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/181989/1/moto2_ant_west_my_seat_fell_off.html

Moto2: Iannone on fire for home Mugello win

Italian Andrea Iannone took victory today at the Mugello Moto2 race resplendent in his ‘Joe the fireman’ livery. It was a close fought race with a sore Pol Espargaro in second for the Pons 40 HP Tuenti team while Tom Luthi also made the podium in third.

Johann Zarco made it to 10th despite his grid penalty for the Espargaro collision, while the action continued after the race when Toni Elias, who failed to finish the race, split from the Mapfre Aspar team. His replacement appears to be Jordi Torres.

Check out my full report on the race action and find out where your favourite riders finished here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/race+report/181950/1/moto2_iannone_on_fire_for_home_mugello_win.html

Moto3:Vinales victorious in Mugello thriller!

Maverick Vinales took victory today on his Blusens Avintia (FTR Honda) for round nine of the Moto3 Championship at Mugello on Sunday, cutting Sandro Cortese’s championship lead to nine points.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Cortese, scoring his eighth podium finish from nine starts this year, had shadowed Vinales for the entire race when championship contenders Cortese and Vinales along with Fenati broke away with seven laps to go to fight for the podium positions to the line.

for the full rundown on who finished where check out my full race report here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/race+report/181948/1/moto3_vinales_victorious_in_mugello_thriller.html

and there was just as much interest in the Moto2 race….

Moto3: Vinales snatches late pole at Mugello

Sandro Cortese looked to have the Mugello qualifying session all sewn up, improving with every lap he did in the closing minutes. He could however only look on from the pits to see Maverick Vinales take the flag with seconds to go and complete a final lap which snatched pole from from him by almost half a second.

Cortese can take heart from the fact that he did the majority of his fast laps with no tow from another rider, so his race place looks hot for tomorrow.

to see where everybody will start the race from, check out my full race report at crash.net here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/181921/1/moto3_vinales_snatches_late_pole_at_mugello.html