Honda

Qatar 2015 – determination required, drama guaranteed!

MotoGP gave us one of it’s greatest races in a long time, and a very Italian podium, but the Spanish domination had vanished in all three world championship classes, they did not feature once on the podium in Qatar (though all the Spanish Moto3 and Moto2 rookies look VERY promising).

 

Reporting on the support classes is always enjoyable, both races had winners who had not won before in that class thanks to a mixture of talent and luck. Behind them riders got the chance to excel on their new machines, while other faltered at the final hurdle.

Moto3 saw experienced ‘veteran’ of the class Alexis Masbou claim his first Moto3 win, just his second ever victory at 27 , Moto2 saw Sam Lowes dominance come to nothing, the reigning champion Rabat also falling and Zarco be let down by his machinery. One of the few other riders to drop a sub two minute lap, Jonas Folger was perfectly poised to pick up the pieces there.

But who else impressed? Who bagged a trophy?

To catch up with the action, try these reports (I again, lovingly created!)

Crash is the destination for detail, as reported live directly after the session reports for Moto2 and Moto3, just click the links to be immersed in all you could wish to know about the Qatar action so far:

Less time? Try the shorter version at PaddockChatter

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Qatar qualifying 2015 – resurgence, dominance and experience

MotoGP has returned so it’s time to get back to blogging after my own winter break!

Qatar qualifying has really been exciting as there is so much movement in the paddock, many riders beating expectations and some below where they were predicted.

MotoGP brought us a session where the Ducati really shone a resurgence under the guidance of project manager Gigi Dall’Igna, emotively completed by chants of the man who has stuck by them through thick and thin ‘Dovi’ – Andrea Dovizioso.

 

But my main focus for reporting remains the support classes, both of which had riders take career first poles within the world championship structure.

Moto3 saw experienced ‘veteran’ of the class Alexis Masbou rise to the top , Moto2 saw Sam Lowes continue his dominance over the weekend.

But who can challenge them?

The finest place to catch up with the action, try these reports (I lovingly created!)

Crash is the destination for detail, as reported live directly after the session reports for Moto2 and Moto3, just click the links to be immersed in all you could wish to know about the Qatar action so far:

Less time? Try the shorter version at PaddockChatter

MotoGP: Nicky Hayden’s book promo helmet at Indy

08/08/2014

Not letting recovery and not racing get in the way of a great marketing opportunity Nicky Hayden is still giving all the American fans as much as he can ahead of his home round of the MotoGP championship in Indianapolis.

Missing the next couple of races while recovering from having bones removed from his troubled hand to make it more flexible ( he is being replaced by Briton Leon Camier) you could expect to find the fan favourite with his feet up but Nicky will instead be holding Honda meet and greets on Friday and Saturday and getting down to business. The family business.

Earl Hayden, Nicky’s dad has written a book chronicling his racing family – all the Hayden’s can ride a bike, not just Nicky, Tommy and Roger Lee the multi-title winning Hayden Brothers.

The book entitled ‘The First Family Of Racing’ was launched by Earl himself at the start of the Indy weekend in a press conference, while Nicky contributed this lovely bit of advertising for his Fathers work:

Hayden’s Starline special is once again a beautiful creation by Roberto Marchionni with a healthy dose of Camouflage as seen on many of Nicky’s recent popular helmet designs, the book title and the ‘Earl’s Racing Team’ logo used on many of the Items purchasable to support the brothers in the Hayden General Store. The photo montage from the book cover is also prominent on one side while a large ’69’ plate covers the other. The barcode is a nice touch too.

I can’t review the book yet but if it is half as good as the now hard to find ( especially outside the U.S.) OWB to MotoGP it will be worth a read, the Hayden’s are an entertaining bunch!

Finally, here is a statement from the books press release where Earl Hayden reveals the best thing about his project – it’s for a great cause –

“I’ve been blessed to have a great life so far, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share it,” said Earl, who is donating his portion of the proceeds from this book to St. Joseph’s Peace Mission for Children, an emergency shelter for abused children in the Hayden family’s hometown of Owensboro, Ky. “I’m really passionate about this charity, and I hope to see it do well. If this book can entertain people and help make a difference, I’ll be tickled pink.”

For those interested the book can be found at the Hayden Bros General Store and also on Amazon.

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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).

 

 

Moto2/Moto3: Jerez starts with Rabat and Miller on top.

2014 Rins42 surgery

Out – Alex Rins is not at Jerez to have surgery on a cyst on his wrist. Missing in Moto2 is Gino Rea – he rode the Valencia test with a broken foot!
Image via Alex Rins Twitter account @Rins42

Moto2 and Moto3 got down to testing again as the paddock moved on to Jerez.

Moto2 saw Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat sitting at the top of the timesheets one the opening day of testing after sneaking the best time of the day at the damp track from Tom Luthi late on, though both riders impressed with sub 1m 43s times.

other performances of note were Speed Up rider Sam Lowes keeping on the pace in fourth and just one place behind him in fifth Maverick Vinales, the Moto3 graduate also finding his feet in the intermediate class.

Moto3 was lead by Austraian Jack Miller, fast as he seemed he would be once free of the Honda he impressed on last season. The Red Bull KTM rider was the only one to dip under 1m 47s, with Isaac Vinales his closest time rival after taking over from his championship winning cousin at Team Calvo.

Danny Kent (Husqvarna Ajo), Niccolo Antonelli (Go & Fun KTM) and Romano Fenati Sky/VR46 KTM)remained at the front too and showed why Honda saw such an exodus from their product after it’s lacklustre showing in 2013, while hinting that the KTM  bikes are all set to dominate once again.

Efren Vazquez was the top Honda rider in in sixth, while Red Bull Rookies champ Karel Hanika found his feet in Jerez, pushing up to eighth on the list on day one.

Full times for both classes below:

Jerez Moto2 Test Times Day One:

1. Esteve Rabat  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 42.747
2. Thomas Luthi  Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.989
3. Mika Kallio  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.320
4. Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up (Speed Up) 1m 43.449
5. Maverick Viñales  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.544
6. Takaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 43.570
7. Sandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 43.634
8. Julian Simon  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.695
9. Simone Corsi  NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 43.748
10. Luis Salom  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.793
11. Alex De Angelis  Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 1m 43.841
12. Anthony West  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 44.178
13. Xavier Simeon  Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.226
14. Johann Zarco  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 44.283
15. Dominique Aegerter  Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 44.338
16. Mattia Pasini  NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 44.348
17. Nico Terol  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.394
18. Axel Pons  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 44.412
19. Alex Mariñelarena  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 44.499
20. Louis Rossi SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 44.518
21. Hafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 1m 44.553
22. Randy Krummenacher  Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 44.596
23. Jonas Folger Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 44.601
24. Franco Morbidelli Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 44.617
25. Lorenzo Baldassarri Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.912
26. Josh Herrin Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 44.951
27. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 45.112
28. Roman Ramos QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 45.209
29. Azlan Shah Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 45.298
30. Jordi Torres Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 45.743
31. Thitipong Warokorn APH PTT  SAG (Kalex) 1m 46.027
32. Tetsuta Nagashima Teluru Team JiR Webike (TSR) 1m 46.378
33. Robin Mulhauser Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 46.770

Jerez Moto3 Test Times Day One:

1. Jack Miller  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 46.975
2. Isaac Viñales  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 47.277
3. Danny Kent  Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 47.471
4. Niccolo Antonelli  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 47.480
5. Romano Fenati  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 47.735
6. Efren Vazquez  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 47.845
7. Jakub Kornfeil  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 47.910
8. Karel Hanika  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 47.960
9. Philipp Oettl  Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 48.113
10. Alex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 48.186
11. Fabio Quartararo  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 48.232 * in for Alex Rins
12. Livio Loi  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 48.370
13. John McPhee  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 48.547
14. Miguel Oliveira  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 48.660
15. Niklas Ajo  Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 48.674
16. Francesco Bagnaia  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 48.859
17. Brad Binder  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 48.927
18. Eric Granado  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 49.183
19. Arthur Sissis  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 49.299
20. Scott Deroue  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.591
21. Ana Carrasco  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.598
22. Jules Danilo  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 49.625
23. Bryan Schouten  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 49.654
24. Juanfran Guevara  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.797
25. Zulfahmi Khairuddin  Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 49.891
26. Alessandro Tonucci  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 50.010
27. Luca Grunwald  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 50.104
28. Hafiq Azmi  SIC-Ajo (KTM) 1m 50.245
29. Alexis Masbou  Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 50.326
30. Gabriel Ramos  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 50.372
31. Matteo Ferrari  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 50.405
32. Enea Bastianini  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 51.109
33. Andrea Locatelli  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 51.314

MotoGP- Moto2/Moto3: Rabat and Antonelli leave Valencia test on top

Looks like this seasons support classes will offer some extremely closing racing if testing is anything to go by.

Marc VDS 2014 Valencia Moto2 test Tito Esteve Rabat

Different team…still fast. Tito Rabat finished with the fastest time during the test, he is no longer tied to his Spanish Radio Sponsor number 80 now at Marc VDS, choosing 53 for 2014.
Image:Marc VDS

 

There was action before the test even began.

In Moto2 Xavier Simeon lost his teeth in a big crash at a private test in Almueria:

www.crash.net – Simeon set to miss Valencia test (my report, click link for more)

In Moto3 Eric Granado moved from Aspar to Team Calvo (who last year were home to championship winner Maverick Vinales) as sponsorship came before talent. He’s a Red Bull rider and then Aspar signed a big deal with another brand…(though to be fair they did help him find somewhere else to ride and not filling their vacated seat suggests to me they maybe helped foot the bill too…):

www.crash.net – Granado makes transfer from Aspar to Calvo (again, by me – click link for more)

Times were close at the top over the three day test with Moto2 seeing the whole top ten under 1m 36s. Maverick Vinales who moves up to Moto2 as the reigning Moto3 champion, has been quickly on the pace at the Pons team and his time on the final day was just slower than the overall fastest posted by Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat:

“I’m very happy for the feeling with the bike and with the team during these three days in Valencia. We worked very well, trying many different things on the bike – suspension, swinging arm and fairings – and we learnt a lot. We made improvements to the bike and also found a good rhythm during our race simulation today. Now we need to head down to Jerez to confirm everything at a different track, under different conditions and, hopefully, make one step more.”

In Moto3 Austrailan Jack Miller showed off his skills after joining the KTM ranks for 2014 with the fastest final day time for the Red Bull Ajo team, but it was Niccolo Antonelli, also now a KTM rider, who remained fastest overall. Britains Danny Kent and Romano Fenati at VAlentino Rossi’s Sky sponsored 46 team also went sub-1m 40s.

The top eight bikes were all KTM powered when Husqvarna and Kalex-KTM’s included, indicating that once again the riders on anything else will struggle for the top spots. Mahindra had the ninth fastest bike with the first Honda showing up in tenth, it was piloted by Alex Rins – a title contender last year- at Estrella Galicia last year before they went against the majority and swapped FROM KTM to Honda. Oh Dear.

The next official test is just next week in Jerez -from February 18-20.

 

Valencia combined Moto2 times:

1. Esteve Rabat  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.155
2. Maverick Viñales  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 35.302
3. Takaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 35.337
4. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.422
5. Sandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 35.564
6. Jordi Torres  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.643
7. Mika Kallio  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.690
8. Nico Terol  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.715
9. Julian Simon  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.725
10. Luis Salom  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 35.844
11. Alex De Angelis  Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 1m 36.033
12. Sam Lowes  Speed Up (Speed Up) 1m 36.082
13. Johann Zarco  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 36.222
14. Axel Pons  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 36.335
15. Dominique Aegerter  Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 36.384
16. Jonas Folger  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 36.439
17. Anthony West  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 36.534
18. Josh Herrin  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 36.566
19. Marcel Schrotter  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 36.684
20. Franco Morbidelli  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 36.785
21. Louis Rossi  SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 36.852
22. Hafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 1m 36.886
23. Lorenzo Baldassarri  Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 36.926
24. Azlan Shah  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 36.955
25. Alex Mariñelarena  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 37.015
26. Roman Ramos  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 37.067
27. Gino Rea  AGT-Rea Racing (Suter) 1m 37.141
28. Randy Krummenacher  Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 37.151
29. Thitipong Warokorn  A.P. Honda SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 37.867
30. Robin Mulhauser Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 37.878
31. Tetsuta Nagashima  Teluru Team JiR Webike (MotoBI) 1m 38.915

 

Valencia Moto3 combined times:

1. Niccolo Antonelli  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 39.454
2. Jack Miller  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 39.462
3. Danny Kent  Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 39.726
4. Romano Fenati  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 39.885
5. Isaac Viñales  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.060
6. Francesco Bagnaia  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 40.103
7. Juanfran Guevara  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.112
8. Enea Bastianini  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 40.166
9. Miguel Oliveira  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.206
10. Alex Rins  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 40.231
11. Livio Loi  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.394
12. Arthur Sissis  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.409
13. Jakub Kornfeil  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.444
14. Efren Vazquez  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 40.546
15. Philipp Oettl  Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.601
16. Alex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 40.629
17. Eric Granado  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.694
18. Hafiq Azmi  SIC-Ajo (KTM) 1m 40.734
19. Brad Binder  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.965
20. Niklas Ajo  Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 41.127
21. John McPhee  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 41.170
22. Ana Carrasco  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.214
23. Karel Hanika  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 41.258
24. Matteo Ferrari  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 41.321
25. Luca Grunwald  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.542
26. Gabriel Ramos  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.749
27. Scott Deroue  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.765
28. Alessandro Tonucci  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 41.840
29. Jules Danilo  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 41.962
30. Zulfahmi Khairuddin  Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 41.973
31. Andrea Locatelli  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 42.043
32. Bryan Schouten  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 42.392
33. Alexis Masbou  Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 42.404

 

MotoGP: Marquez remains on top for day two and Iannone’s follow friendly helmet

Day two in Sepang for the MotoGP riders saw Marc Marquez go sub two minutes in Malaysia, the first rider to do so.

The top three times of the day were all set by Honda riders with the Spaniards factory team-mate second and LCR rider Stefan Bradl improving to third.

Valentino Rossi completed another solid day of testing with the fourth fastest time, just ahead of the rider of the test for me so far, Aleix Espargaro – who was the fifth best on day two, easily the best of the Open Class entries and one place faster than Rossi’s Yamaha colleague Jorge Lorenzo. Impressive.

Andrea Iannone saw off the factory Ducati riders once again with his Pramac machine, so to celebrate here’s his ‘follow me’ social media inspired helmet as the image for todays blog, Day two times listed below the picture:

2014 at andreaiannone29 sepang test

Still Crazy… The self styled ‘Maniac Joe’ wants you to follow him – just like Crutchlow and Dovizioso at the moment!
Image via Iannone himself initially posted on his Twitter feed – @andreaiannone29 and used under the fair use act

Sepang Test 2014 Day Two Times:

1. Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 59.926s (Lap 38/65)
2. Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.336s | +0.410s (12/62)
3. Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 0.339s | +0.413s (13/52)
4. Valentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.464s | +0.538s (18/61)
5. Aleix Espargaro  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 0.547s | +0.621s (16/42)
6. Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.573s | +0.647s (27/49)
7. Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.603s | +0.677s (27/66)
8. Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 0.855s | +0.929s (9/49)
9. Alvaro Bautista  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 0.897s | +0.971s (51/55)
10. Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.061s | +1.135s (4/49)
11. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.146s | +1.220s (8/45)
12. Cal Crutchlow  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.396s | +1.470s (11/48)
13. Michele Pirro  Ducati Test Rider (Desmosedici) 2m 2.177s | +2.251s (6/56)
14. Nicky Hayden  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.287s | +2.361s (25/58)
15. Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 2.545s | +2.619s (8/35)
16. Yonny Hernandez  Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.675s | +2.749s (13/45)
17. Kosuke Akiyoshi  Honda Test Rider 2m 2.692s | +2.766s (8/68)
18. Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.825s | +2.899s (65/66)
19. Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.970s | +3.044s (49/56)
20. Randy De Puniet  Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 3.064s | +3.138s (73/96)
21. Scott Redding  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 2m 3.117s | +3.191s (39/53)
22. Michael Laverty  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 3.528s | +3.602s (37/41)
23. Hector Barbera  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 4.551s | +4.625s (2/37)
24. Broc Parkes  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 4.619s | +4.693s (42/43)
25. Karel Abraham  Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 5.261s | +5.335s (21/32)
26. Mike Di Meglio  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 5.355s | +5.429s (4/34)

MotoGP: Hayden reveals 2013 Valencia test helmet early!

It appears Nicky Hayden is already looking to the future.

Who can blame him? After many years of dedication to Ducati the American; who was world champion in 2006 after Rossi fell in Valencia in a race that was poised at it’s start in the same way as the Lorenzo/Marquez battle this year;  is ready for his forthcoming move to the Aspar team.

He is so ready he has already shared the following image of his new lid on Twitter at @NickyHayden :

Nicky's New lid, shared by the Kentucky Kid himself, image for editorial use only, under fair use act

Nicky’s New lid, shared by the Kentucky Kid himself, image for editorial use only, under fair use act

The latest Arai special helmet for Hayden is once again covered in Starline graphics and is painted by his usual artist Roberto Marchionni, who posted the news in a reply that ” now I don’t think is possible make replica…but is possible after special edition painted hand. Thanks Roby”

So for those wanting a replica it sounds like there is a good chance. As long as you don’t expect him to paint them all by hand!

It is really nice to see a rider of Hayden’s caliber and quality ready to fight again after his long, hard stint at Ducati, adding RESET & PUSH HARDER and ‘The Next Match’ to his usual, equally positive personal mantra of ‘Let’s Get It’.

Here’s to seeing this helmet in action in his Honda return at the Valencia Test!

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.

Image of the GP, Aragon, Part 2: There goes the championship

Unlucky. Dani Pedrosa. In the MotoGP dictionary they are one in the same.

Here is the picture you were probably expecting for Image of the GP, thanks to the events impact on the championship.

The bit where Dani Pedrosa saw his championship hopes fade away, thanks to an overexposed traction control wire and a he-could-never-hit-that-again-if-he-tried-forever touch from Honda team-mate Marc Marquez.

Though video replays initially suggested no contact, Marquez has since confirmed and apologised for the touch and is currently under investigation from race direction. It had a lot more to do with crazy wire positioning for something so vital, so let’s hope the one time it’s not actually his fault that he is not penalised (unlike the many times they could have rightly, but chose not to sanction).

DanPed Maq Aragon

there goes the title hopes, into the gravel, along with your bike.
Pedrosa off in Aragon, via the MotoGP Twitter feed.(editorial use only, under fair use act.)