Month: October 2013

MotoGP penalties for all classes – a list

This year has seen the debut of MotoGP’s new points system, where bad riding and thoughtlessness were to be punished accordingly. This is something I plan to look at in detail after the final round at Valencia, but ahead of that, for those who are curious here’s where the penalty points went so far this season, though no-one has managed to hit enough points for the lowest sanction of a back of the grid start:

 

Format = race – rider – class – points awarded – reason (all events in race unless stated otherwise)

  • Jerez – Rafid Topan Sucipto – Moto2 – 1 – Did not respect the blue flag
  • Catalunya – Maverick Vinales – Moto3 – 1 – Riding in the opposite direction in the pit lane in qualifying
  • Assen – Andrea Dovizioso – MotoGP – 1 – Striking another rider in qualifying
  • Assen – Hector Barbera – MotoGP – 1 – Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider in qualifying
  • Brno – Andrea Iannone – MotoGP – 1- Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider in qualifying
  • Silverstone – Marc Marquez – MotoGP – 2 – Did not respect the Yellow Flag for Crutchlow crash in warm up
  • Misano – Ricky Cardus – Moto2 – 2 – Did not respect the Yellow Flag in qualifying
  • Aragon – Alessandro Tonucci  – Moto3 – 1 – Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider in qualifying
  • Aragon – Sandro Cortese – Moto2 – 1 –  Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.
  • Aragon – Marc Marquez – MotoGP – 1 – Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.
  • Sepang – Maverick Vinales – Moto3 – 1 – Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.
  • Sepang – Pol Espargaro – Moto2 – 1 – Irresponsible riding, crossing the track in front of riders in the Practice Start zone
  • Motegi – Jack Miller – Moto3 – 2 – Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider (Masbou)
  • Motegi – Isaac Vinales –  Moto3 – 1 – Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider (Salom)
  • Motegi – Damian Cudlin – MotoGP – 1 – Did not respect the blue flag when lapped by Lorenzo

By total points accrued :

  • Marc Marquez – 3
  • Maverick Vinales – 2
  • Jack Miller – 2
  • Andrea Dovizioso – 1
  • Andrea Iannone – 1
  • Hector Barbera – 1
  • Pol Espargaro – 1
  • Sandro Cortese 1
  • Alessandro Tonucci -1
  • Rafid Topan Sucipto -1
  • Isaac Vinales – 1
  • Damian Cudlin 1

Penalty List:

  • 4 points – start at back of the grid
  • 7 points – pit lane start, 10 seconds after field
  • 10 points – disqualification from next race

The points all get wiped at the end of the season. So 2014 is started afresh, with no penalties carried over.

If anyone can enlighten me as to why Miller got handed a heavier penalty for the contact I’d be interested to hear the logic, but that is just one of many points you could pick out of the list when discussing how/when/if the penalty points has been implemented well (fairly or otherwise!)

More people willing to risk the wrath of race direction in the later races too, so let’s see if we have any (pretty pointless) additions after Valencia…

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Motegi madness! Moto3 and Moto2 reports online now!

What racing! After the weather left an empty programme The Japanese Motegi Grand Prix’s at Motegi really made up for the wait.

Lorenzo did all he could to take the MotoGP battle down to the wire, whereas Marquez rode an intelligent race in second, though he had much work to do off the track too after apologising hard for THAT t-shirt and helmet design, tweeting :

“My special helmet was designed to be a symbol of thanks to all my Japanese colleagues & fans so I am very sorry if it caused any offence.”

Good on him to have the strength of character to apologise. Picture of the helmet here: https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/motogp-marquez-has-special-motegi-helmet-design-and-a-poor-choice-of-t-shirt/

Moto2 and Moto3 detailed race reports can be found here at crash.net, Moto3 was a thriller and Moto2 has a champion so well worth a look.

The brief round up is as usual at Paddock Chatter here, just click the links to share, comment, like, tweet and discuss!

I also have a special feature on Espargaro’s title win in moto2 and how it was not meant to be for Redding here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/197554/1/moto2_pol_espargaro_i_feel_like_im_flying.html

Enjoy!

 

Motegi Moto2 and Moto3 qualifying reports online now!

All the weather. That’s how best to describe the Motegi Grand Prix weekend so far.

With rain, clouds wind ans even the sun putting in an appearance it gave the chance for some unusual names to fill the top spots on the grid for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix!

For a quick round up visit paddock chatter, my report the covers both classes.

For detailed analysis there are also race reports from directly after each race (yes VERY early this week!) at crash.net for both Moto2 and Moto3, just click the links to share, like, tweet or discuss with other racing fans!

MotoGP: Marquez has special Motegi helmet design, and a poor choice of t-shirt!

Special helmet at the race where you might seal championship victory on Honda home soil = good idea.

Special t-shirt = oh so very, very bad.

Here’s the link to the offending Tweet on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/marcmarquez93/status/393659261353349120

And here’s the image in question:

Marquez Motegi T

Marquez helmet and questionable T-shirt. Image via Marc Marquez on Twitter. Editorial use only, under fair use act.

The helmet is a nice rising sun edition of his usual ant design and is therefore in red and white, making for a neat design change.

The T-shirt. Oh, the T-shirt. The Tweet translated says:

“Special helmet and shirt for a special GP in Japan, at home!!! 😉 Do you like?”

Well Marc, the helmet gets a big thumbs up, your choice of top, no.

He clearly means to show his love for the home country of his employers at a race which could prove to be very special for all of them. What he actually shows is ignorance at best. Where does he get his advice from?! Sack the stylist! (Wonder if he had a champion t-shirt printed in a bulk discount job at the same time…)

UPDATE : Image is also on the back of the helmet, so may not sell so well if released as a limited edition!

MotoGP Japan weather update : FOG! (friday practice cancelled)

After all the rain and the typhoon warning it was fairly obvious the the Japanese MotoGP race weekend at the Twin Ring circuit in Motegi was not going to go to plan. The weather, however, had yet another trick up it’s sleeve – FOG.

Low clouds, fog and generally poor vision meant that the safety/medical helicopter could not take off under Japanese law. No helicopter means no session (safety first!)

This however has had a massive impact on the weekends scheduling. No action on Friday coupled with the same conditions predicted for Saturday has left practice, qualifying and even the race up in the air, with several scenarios possible to assure a race actually takes place.

Race Direction have issued the following contingency plan:

The helicopter is currently based five minutes from the circuit. If the clouds do not dissipate there it will be DISASSEMBLED, transported to the track by road and reassembled so it can be used.

Several ideas are in the pipeline to get as much track action in as possible. weather dependent, naturally.

Race Director Mike Webb added:

“We also have a draft schedule for Sunday; we have prepared a possible plan, in case we don’t have any practice tomorrow, which would be 40 minutes for each qualifying session. Also, teams have proposed that perhaps they would like a single, longer practice session rather than two. We need to discuss this with the riders as well, to make sure they agree with these possibilities”.

Once the Saturday weather has been analysed, further plans will be revealed. These may include a longer or combined FP3/qualifying, qualifying moved to Sunday – meaning action would have to start at around 6am Japan time to fit everything in, with a small possibility remaining that the race could move to Monday.

This may end up being more complex than Phillip Island!

Weather warning! Typhoon warning for Motegi MotoGP!

Weather has been bad in MotoGP before, remember when Rossi won at Indy in 2008 in the leftovers of a hurricane?

With news it is going to hammer it down for Most of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend there has been much use of ‘in the land of the rising sun’ and ‘rain on my parade’ in pre-race reports.

Former World Champion Nicky Hayden has posted a picture to Twitter suggesting it may be more serious than that.

Motegi weather warning

Nicky Hayden briefly turns weatherman for us all with this update from his Twitter account @NickyHayden.
For editorial use only, under fair use act

Accompanied by Hayden’s text : “I seen a lot in racing but first time I got one of the notices” it seems IRTA have taken the unusual step of notifying everyone that it’s going to be stormy weather, REALLY stormy weather ( it was already with all the championships so delicately poised, but now there’s actual stormy weather ahead too!).

Here’s hoping Moto3 don’t blow away or get washed down pitlane, there called the lightweight class for a reason !

And that the BBC’s Matt Roberts has brought a titanium strength brolly, can’t let the best MotoGP anchor get wet! Plus he promised great outfits for the weekend!

On a more serious note, after the Australian debacle it would be nice if the weather didn’t see fit to ruin Japan too!

Moto2: Game on – Redding to ride in Motegi

He’d hoped … and hinted, with gym pictures. So we all hoped along too.

Today Scott Redding was ‘deemed fit to race’ in Japan and keep his title hopes alive with just two rounds remaining in this years Moto2 championship.

The Briton lost the lead he held just last weekend in Australia where a horrible turn of luck saw him fracture his left radius in qualifying and need a plate and six pins inserted. He was told not to use it at all for a week.

Redding want it

“If you don’t try you don’t know” – what Redding wrote on Twitter via his @reddingpower account next to this picture, looks like the positive thinking and hard work has paid off.
For editorial use only.Used for news reporting under the fair use act, image by @reddingpower

Yet after just four days of rehabilitation Redding felt fit enough to ride and after an assessment by the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit staff he was declared to be ‘fit to race’ but will be assessed again after his FP2 performance.

After missing the Australian GP entirely the 20-year-old saw a nine point lead turn into a sixteen point deficit to his main rival for the title, Pol Espargaro. Though he may not be up there fighting for the win, taking points and pressuring the Spaniard by just turning up could be enough to see the enthralling Moto2 championship fight go all the way to the final round in Valencia.

Here’s the Marc VDS team’s Redding quote from the press release in full as it illustrates his determination perfectly:

Scott Redding:
“There was no way I was going home after Australia, not when there was even an outside chance I could ride in Japan. Even after the surgery on Sunday morning I knew I was going to Japan to try and ride. The surgery was a success, Dr. Andrew Oppy and his staff did a great job, and the recovery has been exactly as expected. From Sunday morning onwards I’ve been working to restore the movement and strength in my left hand and, as the medical staff here at Motegi have now confirmed, I’m fit to ride. I have to undergo another assessment after the two free practice sessions tomorrow, but I’ll know straight away whether it’s possible to race. If I’m fit to race then the goal has to be to ensure the championship battle goes down to the final round in Valencia, for which I’ll have had more recovery time.”

#wantit Scott! (yes, I know this isn’t Twitter, but it’s exciting news!!)

Image of the GP- Phillip Island: What rules are for!

I feel for Marquez. No-one likes to see the black flag shown to them. It is demoralizing. It means there was a massive mistake made. With all the fingers pointing at YOU.

It appears his side of the garage thought they could interpret the special ‘come in on lap nine or ten’ rule differently. either that or someone can not read and/or count (-to ten!!) No-one is going to admit to that.

The rule was brought in for Safety.

This image of the GP shows why:

MM rear tyre wear PI Kim Schwaner @schwaner

Tyre destruction. This picture doing the social media rounds purports to be an unaltered picture of Marc Marquez’s rear tyre, showing EXACTLY why those forced changes to the rules were brought in at Phillip Island.
Image via Twitter and posted by Kim Schwaner at @schwaner, used for reporting under the fair use act. UPDATE: now also shared by the rider himself and available to see at @marcmarquez93

This shows why it was so crucial to have that stop. Sure the race was a farce, but from a viewers point of view, if they hadn’t done it there may have been no race at all.

Much of the blame has to sit with Bridgestone/Dunlop, new surface should mean a tyre test, surely? Though you can also point fingers at just about anyone for a part of the mess that was the Australian GP.

As for Marquez, the tyre may show why he HAD to come in, but a black flag seems pretty severe, even if decided beforehand for such a different race. there are many other ways to say ‘You didn’t comply so you can’t win!’

He probably didn’t look behind enough exiting towards a speeding Lorenzo, but if they knew he had infringed the rules and would be disqualified he shouldn’t have been there at that point anyway, they could have held him in the pits.

Logic suggests his safest action would have been to just copy Lorenzo and follow him when he pitted. The Yamaha rider needed to beat him after all so copying his tactics would have kept him where he needed to be in the championship and still left him in contention for the win.

Poor Cudlin was shown the black flag when he hadn’t done anything wrong, which shows how far into farce the race fell. It was certainly different to watch.

Phillip Island Race Reports online now!

Moto3 had a photo finish and Moto2 saw the championship lead change hands!

An exciting morning of action in Australia ahead of the MotoGP race!

Full Moto3 and Moto2 race reports at crash.net and as always my round-up is available at paddock chatter.

Why not get involved and comment,tweet and like with fellow fans? Just click the links!

Image of the GP (qualifying) : I thought it was Red Bull that gave you wings…

…No, it’s Phillip Island!

In a round full of thrills, spills, alterations,changes and general carnage it was hard to stand out.

Yamaha team rider Jorge Lorenzo managed to do so unwittingly on the way to pole…

Lorenzo and seagull

Lorenzo did more flying than the seagull …Image originally shared on Twitter by MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci – @Petrux9, re-shown hereas a newsworthy funny under fair use act.

Initially, it looked like everyone might want a deceased seagull wingman as Jorge hit pole originally with the bird attached, but he later improved without it. MotoGP tomorrow will have to make a stop to change bikes, which will make things very interesting, especially if it rains.

Lorenzo has never won at Phillip Island and claimed Australia as a ‘Lorenzoland’, mainly due to Stoner’s recent dominance. Lets face it though, if you can be fast while hitting the scenery there is still a chance the Spaniard can keep the championship alive for another week at least!

Here’s hoping for a good battle.