Month: April 2014

Image of the GP- Argentina : What a start!

27/04/2014

The start back in Austin made the headlines for all the wrong reasons as Jorge Lorenzo had some insect trouble at the lights.

Fast forward to Argentina and we have a brand new track and no clue what kind of racing to expect.

Thankfully the Rio Hondo track gave us three great races and although the final result eventually slipped back into Marquez domination, one of the closest, tightest, MotoGP openings for a very long time:

The first curve of the Argentina MotoGP Grand Prix and look how many riders are in the frame, huge mix of manufacturers and ‘classes’ of motorcycle too.

This got everyone buzzing and excited, so maybe there is a strong argument for changing up the calendar and throwing in some new tracks or rotations of circuits more often. The relatively even playing field of Rio Hondo certainly threw up a few surprises (Marquez not being one of them. But, hey – at least he took longer to hit the front!)

If you read Michael Laverty’s tweets the toilets may have been a bit suspicious, the anthems a bit wonky (or for Italian Fenati, err, French?!) and the marshals occasionally AWOL, but what a refreshing trio of races we were treated to.

Well done Argentina. You have hosted a great GP after a fifteen year absence.

MotoGP Argentina Race Reports…

27/04/2014

…Are online now!

I wish I still had the time to re-write a different round up of the action for my blog but on race day my keyboard is required elsewhere!

Here’s how to catch up on the action:

Want to know who made the podium in Moto2 and Moto3?

My Moto3 race report at crash.net can be found here, and Moto2 here.

For a brief summary of the two there is also my shorter combined round up for both classes over at Paddock Chatter, something for everyone – just follow the links!

I also appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so please feel free to get involved, I love to see feedback and which riders people follow so I can make sure their performance is covered! (Thanks all!)

MotoGP: An Argentina helmet special from Marquez

26/04/2014

Time to look at some helmet art!

Marc Marquez promised something special for the first GP in Argentina for 15 years and here is the artwork:

2014 helmet marquez Argentina

Argentina x Marquez! A little South American flavour for Marquez at Round Three. Image in the public domain and shared via Marc Marquez at Facebook. Image used under fair use act for reporting purposes/editorial use only.

This design is so nice it’s a shame the blue didn’t cover more of the helmet. A nice tribute to Argentina, though if you live there it may cost a house to buy the no doubt soon-to-be-available replica, which is a shame.

All the usual graphpics are incorporated, number and ant, with great use of the race nations national flag to supply the colour palette for the rear of the helmet.

Glad it is a awesome and the design is at the back, it means everyone else should get to see plenty of it as we watch the rest of the field try to track him back down (although, this is MotoGP, so you never know…)

UPDATE: For more from the creator of this marvelous helmet head over to @nicoaffin (arts&customs) on Twitter or at affin.com.ar !

MotoGP Argentina qualifying round-ups…

26/04/2014

Are online now!

Want to know who made the front of the grid in Moto2 and Moto3? I have just the links you need !

My Moto3 qualifying report at crash.net can be found here, and Moto2 here.

For a brief summary of the two there is also my shorter combined round up for both classes over at Paddock Chatter, something for everyone – just follow the links!

I also appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so get involved! (Thanks all!)

Moto3: Argentina – Bike changes at Team Calvo

Moto3 bikes whizz round at quite a pace and who knows where they’ll end up on a brand new track!

So here’s a heads-up to some livery changes over at Team Calvo, courtesy of rider Jakub Kornfeil:

1002680_537221409724213_1261878542631242036_n

Team Calvo will be looking a little different this weekend! Imageshared by Jakub Kornfeil and available in the public domain at Facebook and Twitter. Used for reporting under fair use act. For Editorial use only.

So it’s off with the white base and barcode already and – for one race only – the bike is dominated in the blue section with a local sponsor. It’s Redox Instead of Mobil on the bottom too. No looking for Calvo up the side – it’s only on the front.

The Argentina look is one I’d be happy for them to adopt, it seems more blue as the graphic is less in-your-face than lettering and is more aesthetically pleasing, a shame sometimes it’s all about the money, how good would this bike look all in blue? So many of the iconic paint jobs of yesteryear are long gone. Makes you wonder what Suzuki; a team heavily associated with blue; will look like when they return to MotoGP.

MotoGP: Argentina preview

24/04/2014

It is time for MotoGP to head back to Argentina.

After an absence from the championship of 15 years we head back to Argentina for MotoGP. Things have changed quite a bit since the paddock visited the Autodromo Oscar A. Galvez.

The riders of then are the managers of now – In 1999, Emilio Alzamora, who looks after Marc Marquez, finished second in the 125 race to clinch the world title by a single point.

In 1994, Jorge Martinez – Mr ‘Aspar’ – took the last of his 37 GP wins. Look further back to the 1980’s and Sito Pons was a winner.

The Argentinian Grand Prix also has the distinction of holding first  Grand Prix to take place outside of Europe when in 1961 the final event of the year was held in Buenos Aires.

This will be the 11th motorcycle Grand Prix event to be held in Argentina, but the first outside of the capital, The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit also becomes the 26th different venue to host  MotoGP  since the category was introduced in 2002 and the 18th different country to host a MotoGP in that timeframe.

A final fact – the only two riders who have been in the paddock long enough to have raced in Argentina before this weekend are Valentino Rossi and Ant West, both competing in 1999 as 250cc riders.

So, now to the present. We have a brand new track in the shape of the Termas De Rio Hondo. NOT Honda.

Pictured: Dani Pedrosa gets to grips with the new track.

For the technical bit this post on Riding Fast and Flying Low is a must-read, an interview with Jarno Zaffelli who designed the track.

So what else is new?

Marc Marquez apparently has a special helmet ready for the weekend. Who knows what will happen there. Minds will flick to Japan where it was the T-shirt and not the helmet which caused all the fuss. His final round helmet with a graphic for every race was quite special though, and poked fun at his Australian disqualification.

Andrea Dovizioso claimed his Ducati podium came while he was ill, so fit and at a track new to everybody the Italian is surely one to watch this weekend.

Dovizioso’s team-mate Cal Crutchlow has had an operation since his Austin crash and will be recovering instead of racing. He is replaced by Michele Pirro, who did excellent work when sitting-in last season, amassing a pretty impressive points tally for a stand-in rider.

Also coming off the subs bench is Sebastian Porto. The Argentinian is set for a home GP ride after scoring a wild-card entry in Moto2. Porto is a seven time 250cc race winner but has not featured on the grid since 2006.

Sticking with Moto2 news, AirAsia Caterham rider Josh Herrin will not be present after breaking his collarbone in a training accident. He is not due to be replaced.

Moto3 has been dominated so far by promising young Australian Jack Miller, who became the first man from his country to achieve back-to-back wins in the lightweight class after winning both the Austin and Qatar rounds. He has really shone since landing the Red Bull KTM, but there are still plenty of Hondas around to keep it interesting at Hondo.

The Moto3 riders will kick off the race weekend action for the Gran Premio Red Bull de la República Argentina on Friday at 9am local time (GMT -3).

 

 

Image Of The GP – Austin: Ready Steady…already gone!

14/04/2014

Jorge Lorenzo – “I wasn’t thinking and was distracted and I made a big mistake in the start”.

There were some great rides in all the classes in Austin. Miller’s blocking in Moto3 was a masterclass in staying ahead. Vinales showed his potential by getting a win in just his second Moto2 race, and making it look easy – no learning curve required there.

MotoGP had it’s fair share of interest and intrigue too, but it’s first big talking point set the tone for the race and that’s why it is my image of the GP:

2014 Austin COTA Texas Jorge Lorenzo start

Jorge, come back! A contender for the most obvious jump start of all time? Yamaha’s Lorenzo ended his Austin adventure before it had even begun. Image via Movistar Yamaha. Editorial use only under the fair use act.

 

The Yamaha press release perhaps put it best – ‘Jorge Lorenzo experienced his second Grand Prix weekend to forget today, making a jump start at the beginning of the race and receiving a ride-through penalty as a result’.

That, of course meant that the Spaniards race was over before it had even begun. Lorenzo took the penalty swiftly and rejoined in 23rd. Ever the professional, knowing that fans come to watch and sponsors need to be appeased he staged a spectacular ride carving through the field to come home in tenth.

After crashing out in the early stages in Qatar Lorenzo could at least take positives form getting his first championship points of the year –

“At least I didn’t crash because it was a difficult situation with the tension and it was easy to make a mistake and get injured. The good thing is that I finished the race and got my first points in the championship but clearly it wasn’t our weekend”.

Yamahas ‘difficult’ race was compounded by teammate Rossi’s tyre problems, with a destroyed front tyre the Italian did not finishing that far ahead of Lorenzo all considered, the margin at four seconds at the flag in an eventual eighth for Rossi after a promising start.

In the mean time reigning world champion Marc Marquez vanished in to the distance and even a late wobble on the final corner could not stop him from taking his second succesive win and we’re only two races into the season!

MotoGP Austin Race Reports…

13/04/2014

…Are online now! The proper posting will occur at a more reasonable hour but for now here’s some links to what I have been writing elsewhere!

Want to know who made the podium in Moto2 and Moto3? I have just the links you need (again)!

My Moto3 race report at crash.net can be found here, and Moto2 here.

For a brief summary of the two there is also my shorter combined round up for both classes over at Paddock Chatter, something for everyone – just follow the links!

I also appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so get involved! (Thanks all!)

MotoGP Austin qualifying round-ups…

12/04/2014

Are online now!

Want to know who made the front of the grid in Moto2 and Moto3? I have just the links you need !

My Moto3 qualifying report at crash.net can be found here, and Moto2 here.

For a brief summary of the two there is also my shorter combined round up for both classes over at Paddock Chatter, something for everyone – just follow the links!

I also appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so get involved! (Thanks all!)

MotoGP – Looking ahead: Special guest presenters for Austin

04/04/2014

Both the MotoGP.com feed and BT Sport have announced some special guest experts are due to appear on their coverage ahead of this seasons first American round.

After the big impression made in its inaugural appearance, the media has embraced the Austin round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas this year.

Ben Spies is set to join the qualifying and race coverage over at MotoGP.com, so fans around the globe have the chance to hear the Texan talk about his local track, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge as a former MotoGP rider and Superbike world champion.

BT Sport will add Steve Parrish to this line up for Austin. Image via BT Sport

If you’re watching in the UK with BT Sport they have added BBC’s regular commentator Steve Parrish, who will be accompanying their anchor Melanie Sykes in the Studio.

For more please check out the long form of this article at  Paddock Chatter!