image of the GP

Image of the GP: MotoGP, rodeo style!

17/06/2014

With a close MotoGP race and excitement all the way from Moto3’s kick off to pretty much the final podium it was tough to pick an Image of the GP.

Aside from all the great rides from the winners there was Dani Pedrosa proving he still has a fighting instinct with his last lap do-or-die move, Jordi Torres landing his Aspar on Dominique Aegerter and Jonas Folger honorably putting racing aside to ensure he didn’t hit Luis Salom to be taken into account.

For style points if nothing else, Niklas Ajo and his Husqvarna in Moto3 nudge into the top spot as the save seemed impossible, but rodeo style, Mamola style, the Finn pulled it off:

It must be hard to come to terms with what looked to be a sure thing for a podium place vanish but the skill required to pull that Avant Tecno bike back around and finish in the points deserves to be looked at again too, so here’s some footage too:

 

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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:

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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:

 

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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.)!!

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:

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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.

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!

Image of the GP – Qatar: Riding through the pain

25/03/2014

Sandro Cortese picked up the first penalty point of the season for crashing into Aspar’s Jordi Torres – his pilot-less bike then crossing the track and taking out Marc VDS man Mika Kallio.

Though both Torres and Kallio walked away relatively unscathed, the German number 11 has been diagnosed with a broken heel having spent much of his race weekend in a wheelchair.

Cortese, eager to make up for his moment of madness, rode Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix with a borrowed larger boot and pain killing injections and finished an impressive sixth in the race – and moved up to fifth when Taka Nakagami was disqualified for his Idemitsu teams use of an illegal air filter on his bike.

Here’s his bike as the mess that is his foot is still a little too graphic:

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Intact Dynavlot GP released the following statement clarifying the news on Cortese’s injury:

Intact GP

Diagnosis: Broken heel bone!

Right after Sandro Cortese had arrived in Germany from Qatar today, he went to his sports physician Dr. Armin Schupp in Memmingen to check his injured left foot. A CT scan revealed the diagnosis: a fractured heel bone and numerous internal hemorrhages in the entire left foot. To stop the bleeding @Sandrissimo11 has to keep the foot 3 to 4 days completely immobilised. Otherwise he feels topfit and until the team travels to Austin to attack in the second race of the season, the 24-year-old has two weeks time to recover.

Image of the GP, Motegi: A picture of determination!

Many picture-worthy things occurred over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Motegi, from that helmet to the first championship being sealed in Moto2.

So I figured it was more interesting to pick an image depicting something more likely to have been missed in all the Motegi madness.

Here’s the Japanese Image of the GP, A picture of determination and dedication:

Mlav push motegi

Michael Laverty shows his dedication to the cause and uses a good old fashioned push to get the job done after running out of fuel. Image shared by Michael Laverty himself via Twitter, editorial use only.

Out of fuel? Clearly in the Laverty household that is no excuse for giving up. The PBM CRT bike was pushed over the line in 19th place, leaving Laverty as the last finisher not to be lapped.

Though not the first rider to use the technique in recent years, hello Julian Simon after his crash at Le Mans in 2012, it is unusual to see near a race end, they usually just hold on a take a lift back with a team-mate!

That kind of dedication to your team will hopefully secure something good for Michael Laverty in 2014.

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 (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.

Image of the GP: Rossi Remembers in Sepang

There were many images of note over the three races held in Sepang, from the joy of Pedrosa winning, the battle between Marquez and Lorenzo with the gloves off, to the massive pile up that started Moto2.

With all these news making images and all the racing, it was the action of one rider which caused me to pick this for my Image of the GP:

Rossi remembers in Sepang

Rossi remebers in Sepang with a touching tribute to Simoncelli
Image via Twitter and the VR/46 official website, for editorial use only under the fair use act.

I know the world moves on but it was incredibly moving to see Rossi unexpectedly carry the flag for Marc Simoncelli, who sadly passed away at the circuit just two years ago on his warm down lap, it made me wish he had made the podium where no doubt he would have continued to celebrate the life of his fallen colleague and friend.