Month: May 2014

MotoGP Mugello Qualifying Reports…

31/05/2014

…Are online now!

Want to know who made the front row for some fine racing in the Tuscan hills on Sunday in Moto2 and Moto3? Here is all the information:

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!

Moto2 was especially exciting for Sam Lowes stellar performance…

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

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MotoGP: Rossi’s Mugello helmet – a first look

31/05/2014

Mugello always means special helmet time for the Italian riders, with Valentino Rossi’s generating the most interest and for his 300th Grand Prix start we have…Pasta!

 

Hopefully he won’t be tempted to overcook it! (The text “non scuoce mai” translates form Italian as never overcook).

Any updates on an exact meaning or a quote from Rossi on his helmet design will mean an update to this post later.

MotoGP: Melanie Sykes officially leaves BT Sport coverage

British TV based post warning! (Sorry international readers!)

30/05/2014

With Fridays anchor-less coverage of round six at Mugello underway and all the clues in place BT Sport moved today to confirm that Melanie Sykes was no longer going to be at the helm of their MotoGP coverage.

The daytime TV regular had been absent at the previous Le Mans round due to ‘personal circumstances’ and her replacements impressed.  One of those replacements was Craig Doyle; motorsport presenter and MotoGP Tonight host; who revealed he was not covering the Isle of Man TT on Sunday and would be working at BT Sport instead:

Tweet ITV4 Craig Doyle

Removed, but not at ITV4, who clearly love their presenters work – and his tweets! image in the public domain via the ITV4 Twitter feed. Used under the fair use act for reporting purposes. Editorial use only.

He will be fronting the coverage for this weekend at the very least and due to his popularity and knowledge is a good bet to deservedly keep the position.

BT Sport - Presenters - Melanie Sykes

As they were: The BT Sport team, including Sykes, centre Image from BT Sport’s original promotion campaign on Twitter at @btsportmotogp

 

The BT Sport statement:

“We regret to say that Mel Sykes will no longer be a part of the presenting team on MotoGP for BT Sport.  BT Sport’s approach is to operate a team of presenters and experts who work across both live and magazine programmes.  Mel has other broadcasting commitments which prevent her from being able to do this and as a result working across BT Sport MotoGP programming is no longer viable. We wish Mel all the best in the future.”

So after just five rounds (well, four if you count out her Le Mans no-show) we see our first major change in the BT coverage of MotoGP and regardless of how it came about it is a well received one, especially in social media terms.

As their coverage continues to improve and impress it will be interesting to see what happens next…

Inside Moto3: Jack Miller’s rise to the top of the championship.

29/05/2014

“One doctor told me to put an axe through the bike!” – Sonya Miller, Jack’s manager and mother.

So many people from all walks of life grow up dreaming of emulating their heroes and being the best at whatever it is they love – music, film, sport, art, writing – the list goes on.

Hobbies are the first fruit of that interest and money is quickly invested in ballet shoes, pencils or keyboards – whatever is needed.

What if your child is a massive motorsport fan?

What if they have a lot of potential and that means eventually paying to ride and leaving the country?

Moto3 rolls into Mugello this weekend for round six of the world championship with Australian teenager Jack Miller leading the way by 30 points – more than a race win – so he will head off to Catalunya as the championship leader regardless of how this race turns out.

The Miller clan minus big brother Fergus with Jack far left

The Miller family, minus big brother Fergus, at home in Queensland. Image via http://www.jackmiller.com.au used with permission.

Miller impressed last season riding the life out of his underpowered Honda and scoring some good results, which earned him a top ride for 2014 at the multi-title winning Ajo Motorsport team.

Not everyone is lucky to be cherry picked and handed excellent equipment from the off and I was lucky enough to be able to speak to Sonya Miller, Jack’s manager and mother about the struggles involved in entering Grand Prix racing as Miller’s rise to the top has been hard work, not just for him, but for his family too.

The most wonderful thing about writing this Q&A was the unique insight Sonya could give from her dual role and all the entertaining and insightful answers she provided. An awesome human being to work with.

Below is are some short excerpts from the Q&A, with the full version available at PaddockChatter.com

It’s an excellent look at the financial and often hidden side of racing, well worth a look. Why not comment or share to get involved or visit me on Twitter – @LisaLewisWrites

PaddockChatter got the chance to speak exclusively to Miller’s manager, Sonya Miller – who currently has a dual interest in the 19-year-olds career as both his manager and mother – for an inside account of the sacrifices needed to go all the way in the world championship paddock- finances, broken bones and all…

Successful start Miller takes win number one in Qatar

Successful start: Miller takes win number one in Qatar Image via http://www.jackmiller.com.au with permission.

Jack has a big personality, akin to the like of Schwantz, Sheene or Rossi – which is being embraced by the sport already as it’s been missing a true character to take to heart. He still seems very grounded though. Has he changed at all since his first taste of success this season?

I was worried about what he would be like when we went to Qatar after such a good pre-season. Those worries were soon allayed with the first hug I got – he’s exactly the same as he always was.

I think Aki (Ajo, Team Manager) has been a good grounding influence on him…

 
Not being gifted an easy route into the sport has meant a lot of pushing underpowered machinery to the limit to get noticed and that’s resulted in plenty of broken bones over the years. Does seeing your son in hospital ever become easier or normalised?

Never. You learn a lot over the years – I can now see the breaks easily on x-rays . It got to the stage where we would get in the ambulance and they would ask medical history and I would say there’s a very thick folder at the hospital with everything in it, but I can tell you he hasn’t broken this before.
How close did you and Jack come to actually having to quit the paddock when your finances were under pressure?

It was a very close call but thanks to family and the sponsorship from Macca we could continue to the end of last year.

In a team where you pay there is no financial leniency it’s just business, no matter how well you are doing…

Continued in full by clicking the link!

Image of the GP: Le Mans – A worm, a tap and Bautista!

20/05/2014

The thing you usually remember about Le Mans is that it was wet. Probably even if it wasn’t as it has the habit of raining on the grand prix THAT often.

No rain meant one of the most action packed race days so far this season. So much so that I believe that each class should have their own ‘Image of the GP’ this time around.

First up was Moto3 and even by it’s own exciting standards it was a race to remember. Jack Miller had clearly decided that there was no room for manners after his clash with Fenati a few weeks ago and took no prisoners on his way to victory, which has left Efren Vazquez a little peeved to say the least. For his third hard earned win he celebrated in style, something lacking of late, and even busted out ‘The Worm’:

No worm in Moto2 but we did see a cool Kallio ease to victory, which raised a rare smile on the Finn’s face. Not everyone was as calm and collected though. Here’s Tech3 rider Ricky Cardus getting a ‘tap’ on the head from a frustrated Mattia Pasini:

Finally, MotoGP. Marc Marquez won, and was as record breakingly awesome as ever. Rossi looks to be on the way to finding an answer and was a wonderful second.

Is it down to contract time being upon us? Was it Athletico Madrid that spurred him on?
Who knows – but Alvaro Bautista was back on the podium all the same, possibly making it the happiest podium in history:

MotoGP Le Mans Race Reports…

18/05/2014

…Are online now!

 

Want to know who made the podium in Moto2 and Moto3? Here is all the information:

My Moto3 race report at crash.net can be found here, and boy was that a thriller from Miller! Well, the image is a bit of a giveaway there! To find out which riders cool approach saw them hit the top step in Moto2 look  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!

For UK readers, I’m not tackling the BT presenter changes until the press statements really have an answer, so for the latest on where Melanie Sykes went I recommend fellow WordPress blog The F1 Broadcasting Blog for the latest news!

I also appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so get involved! You can always say hi on Twitter too I’m @LisaLewisWrites (Thanks all!)

MotoGP Le Mans qualifying round-ups…

17/05/2014

Are online now!

It’s round five already and the MotoGP paddock has hit France.

If you want to know who made the front of the grid for the Le Mans grand prix races 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!

Both races feature riders who have their first pole position in the class so there’s been plenty going on.

I always appreciate much tweeting, liking and commenting, so please do take the opportunity to have a conversation using the links above or at @LisaLewisWrites on Twitter and get involved!

MotoGP: Le Mans – home riders special helmets and colours

17/05/2014

Vive Le France!

There’s nothing like a home Grand Prix to warrant some special racing gear and the French riders in Le Mans are no exception and they’ve been showing off thier wares on social media, here’s a round up:

Former 125cc Champion Mike Di Meglio has a special helmet with a green strip filled with pictures sent in to feature on his helmet, a nice touch and involving for his fans:

Taking things to a whole other level this weekend is Johann Zarco, a true Le Mans local, who is running his leathers and bike in colours paying tribute to former French 250cc Champion Christian Sarron:

This makes Zarco’s bike an interesting mix of Sarron’s 1984 colours and his current AirAsia Caterham paint job, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his win.

Here’s some more info from the press release from Johann Zarco:

“Its 30 years since Christian Sarron won the 250cc World Championship in 1984.

“Since I began racing in the World Championship, my manager and I often look back at the older riders as an example, to learn about what they did with the bikes they had and we have a lot of respect for their achievements.

“I read about Christian a few years ago and I have also watched some of the footage of him racing, which is why I know the story. Moto2 is similar to the 250 class in that it is the middle category and so as a French rider in the Championship today I felt it was only right to pay tribute to Christian Sarron with this livery for the Le Mans GP.”

While Sarron has the following to add:

“I feel very honoured that Johann is running my colours here at Le Mans. I saw the pictures already and I thought wow that looks very nice!

“He doesn’t need these colours to bring him luck but he deserves a win anyway. It’s a long time that I have been watching him race, since working at Eurosport and before. He rides beautifully and if only it could be here at his home Grand Prix that he can take first place, I will be very pleased”.

MotoGP: Le Mans – Can anyone halt Marquez in 2014?

16/05/2014

With consecutive wins at every round to kick off his season Marc Marquez looks unbeatable. Ahead of Le Mans here’s a look at his peerless start and who can challenge his current dominance of MotoGP.

The full version of this story looking at the amazing start Marquez has had to the season, his records and who now, or in the future may rival him is available at Paddock Chatter, just click the link for more.

Here’s a taster to get started:

The achievements are incredible.

And that’s just this year. Marc Marquez has won all four of the MotoGP rounds held so far this season. No matter where in the world the paddock has been he has put his Repsol Honda on pole and crossed the line in first place for a perfect record.

If Marquez hits the rostrum again in Le Mans it will become his 60th podium appearance.

In that time the Spaniard has been victorious with broken bones, from the back of the pack, and come back from vision issues to win.

All the time the Emilio Alzamora protege has made it look easy with his ever present smile in place…

…Honda have hit gold and have rewarded their young charge with a new two-year contract. That leaves him in place to lead the way for them until 2016. His first season with all the track data under his belt and his riding style refined has seen him move from amazing to invincible.

The sport has had dominant figures before – Valentino Rossi won his numerous titles while his personality kept the masses mainly onside. The big difference is the chasing pack often had a sniff at victory.

The Marquez way of winning is something not seen for a long time.

The most recent rider to clock up five consecutive wins is still on track, and is Rossi. The Italian won from Laguna Seca onward in 2008. Despite his own return to form his thoughts in the press conference ahead of Le Mans were that for Marquez “four wins is enough!”.

It is rarer still to start a season so well. Australian legend Mick Doohan also won the first four rounds of the 1992 championship season, Marquez however still has a long way to go to hit his benchmark of ten wins in succession in 1997.

His fellow countrymen seem short of answers too…

For the full story please visit Paddock Chatter at the link above, all comments likes and tweets welcome, here, there on on Twitter direct at @LisaLewisWrites

Image of the GP: Jerez – Mind the Gap!

06/05/2014

This post, love or hate, right or wrong for the sport is dedicated to the performance – or OUT-performance over his rivals – Marc Marquez has given us this season.

Yet, as with the Argentinian GP we started with something that looked like a race. Then it was back to domination:

 

The gap he can pull out is astounding. this time he even had to try a little racing to hit the front. Who can stop him? Rossi had a flourish of an idea but not the pace over the full distance, possibly an early challenge sowing the seed of doubt could work before the tyre/bike/rider has to give best? Maybe the only man who can beat Marquez is himself. (A fall is inevitable, surely?!)

All that can be said for sure is the numbers speak for themselves in 2014. Every pole converted to every win. 4/4. Let’s see what Le Mans can bring. (Rain, probably.)!!