MotoGP: The Valentino Rossi fanclub increases

A lot of the younger riders who arrive in MotoGP share their appreciation for multiple world champion Valentino Rossi, even those who don’t speak of watching him race or being a fan (or super-fan, hello video studying Marc Marquez!) have perfected that leg dangle The Doctor is so famous for, in a very flattering manner.

Though fairly new to twitter, Dani Pedrosa is already treating us to content worth a further look, including this old photo of his from the Catalunya race weekend of 1999.

From his pre-world championship days – he started his 125cc career in 2001- it shows Dani Pedrosa meeting with the then 250cc riding Rossi (he won the race that weekend in Montmelo and went on to win his 250cc title that year) in a yellow t-shirt.

Tweeting the Italian, Pedrosa reminisced ” @ValeYellow46 Do you remember Montmelo GP ’99? Check the boy on the left with yellow t-shirt… #GoodMemories”

Here’s the picture:

Montmelo 1999

How they used to be – Pedrosa meets Rossi at the Catalunya race in 1999…but wait! who’s that in the blue top…
Image shared via Dani Pedrosa’s official Twitter account at @26_DaniPedrosa

Undeniably Pedrosa. He’s not really gushed about Rossi before so a little unexpected but an excellent photo and piece of MotoGP past. However, looking a little longer reveals he isn’t the only future MotoGP star meeting a future MotoGP legend that day.

The ten year old boy in blue directly to Rossi’s right grows up to be CRT ruler Aleix Espargaro, his career was even further away than Pedrosa’s at this point, he joined the 125cc class in 2004.

A gem of a photo. Just in case he has any more up his sleeve @26_DaniPedrosa on Twitter could be worth a look!


MotoGP: Image of the GP – look, I can fly!

The Sachsenring race weekend contained a lot of crashes and a lot of spectacular imagery to illustrate what a flying MotoGP rider looks like for those who missed practice, where much of the action happened.

My favourite image has not got a rider in mid-air, but is instead an image of the current championship bucking bronco of a ride-  the Ducati – in action, and it was the fancy new prototype bike that Dovizioso saw off at the beginning of the weekend. It’s position in the sky suggests why.

gigi soldano ducati

I can fly! Andrea Dovizioso’s factory Ducati tries flying, turns out to be an expensive experiment.
Image by Gigi Soldano shared on Twitter at @GigiSoldano

I made it my feature image as it conjures up thoughts of great conversations in the Ducati camp:

Dovi: Look Nicky, I can go higher than yooooooou!

Hayden: But Y’all meant to go straight not up!

Back in the Garage…

Hayden: Please tell me you didn’t give him the fancy new one…

*Ducati mechanics shuffle while staring at feet*


Though the funniest image of the weekend came via Moto3 rider Luis Salom and the marshals deckchair, which you can see here – If you can’t beat them.. have a sit down!

Laguna Seca is this weekend so get well soon to Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone and those who rode through the pain – Hector Barbera, Cal Crutchlow, Xavier Simeon, Tito Rabat (Moto2 wasn’t exempt from pain) did I miss anyone off? So many crashes!

Image of the GP 2 : Rossi strikes back!

Rossi fans got what they had been waiting for in Assen on Saturday, Valentino Rossi back on winning form for his 80th premier class victory .It is also his 106 career win and eighth at Assen.

The Yamaha rider looked extremely happy to be back on the podium for his first win since Malaysia 2010 in a race he described as “one of the best races of my career”.

Nothing says ‘Rossi win’ like a silly face and a whole heap of yellow, so here it is:

Rossi assen win 2013

Rossi back on winning form, now all we need is a crazy celebration!
Image via Yamaha Motor Italia, editorial use only

Rossi continued :“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time,” reflecting on his two tough years at Ducati, adding “I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. “

MotoGP: Football friendly – MotoGP vs Moto2/3 in Barcelona!

The promotional antics of the riders are never usually this much fun! Ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix the riders from all three classes met up at Camp Nou for a football friendly.

bcn espargaro football

Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro ready for action at Barcelona’s Camp Nou
Image via espargaro’s twitter account @AleixEspargaro

Barcelona’s pitch was filled with a different type of sport star by noon on Thursday, all eager to play at the world famous ground.

MotoGP vs Moto2 and Moto3 got underway and off to a determined start, with all the goals being scored in the first half, with the riders running out of steam a little in the second.

The MotoGP team won by one goal with the final score sitting at 4-3. Andrea Dovizioso, Randy De Puniet, Marc Marquez and Stefan Bradl all scored with the Moto2/3 teams goals coming from the feet of Pol Espargaro, Sandro Cortese and Xavier Simeon.

Espargaro scored the opener which saw the junior class team, managed by Marc VDS man Mika Kallio, take an early lead. With 36 players all on the pitch at the same time things soon got busy and with guidance from the MotoGP squad manager Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who suggested they “KICK THE BALL!”  the MotoGP team moved to 4-2 up, with Simeon pulling one back just before half time.

Bradley Smith’s previous training trip to Everton seemed to be of little use, but the Brit does currently have the worlds most messed up finger from his Mugello crash!

After the match MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez spoke of his joy at being able to play on F.C. Barcelona’s pitch. Speaking to Barça TV, the young Spaniard added : “Not everyone has played at the Camp Nou. I am delighted and Barça feels like home, I’m thrilled. “

Here’s a video which includes Pol Espargaro’s goal and the Marc Marquez interview (in Spanish):

Maverick Vinales new helmet art revealed!

A new season of racing means plenty of new ‘reveals’ bikes, riders…and helmets.

Moto3 frontrunner Maverick Vinales quickly became a rider to watch, being both an exciting rider and talented. He added controversial to that list when he walked out on his team before the end of last season, read more on that here:

He has used an interesting graphic since he arrived on the scene, here is the image used on his Merchandise in 2012:

Maverick Vinales 2012

Vinales ‘boar’ logo for2012

Starline Graphics founder Roberto Marchionni has released the first images of Vinales new helmet which features the boar design again in 2013  (via his official twitter feed @robertomarchion ) :

Not a bore but a boar – Vinales 2013 helmet design revealed!

The fun design sees the boar glaring face forward from the back of the helmet, Vinales will be hoping his rivals are all behind him to see the little fella give them a good snarl!

Don’t forget for more you can check out Marchionni’s Twitter feed for more images of the helmets he’s been working on including the Nicky Hayden helmet featured in mu previous post and also a small preview of Lorenzo’s new lid!

First Look: 2013 Nicky Hayden helmet design revealed

Part of the excitement for a new season of racing is all the ‘reveals’ bikes, riders…and helmets.

Having always been a fan of the canvas that protects the head there have been some notably excellent helmet designs over the years, Nicky Haydens ‘Easy Hayden’ being a particular favourite. See it here:

Starline Graphics founder Roberto Marchionni has released the first images of Nicky Haydens 2013 regular helmet design via his official twitter feed @robertomarchion  :

Nicky Hayden Arai Helmet 2013

The part of his helmet Hayden will be hoping his rivals see the most of this season…

Nicky Hayden Arai Helmet 2013

Side view of the Starline design…

The back design is particularly stand-out – bold in monochrome nicely complimenting the main red of the rest of the helmet while showing of Haydens many ’69’ logos.

Check out Marchionni’s Twitter feed for more images of the helmets he’s been working on including a small preview of Lorenzo’s new lid!

MotoGP: First look at the Honda Factory Team 2013 livery

After a whole half an hour build up from BBC reporter Matt Roberts and an interesting chat with HRC riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez the main event arrived – the unveiling of the 2013 Honda bike.

Not as drastic a change as was promised, less blue, more white, but still plenty of orange! A noticable difference given how hard it is to work a new scheme around a major sponsors set colours, and still looks traditionally Repsol Honda enough for the fans.

Here’s the official picture from @hrc_motogp :

Photo by hrc_motogp“We are very proud to present our 2013 riders and new livery!”

MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo shows off his new helmet!

Lorenzo leaves x-lite and Rockstar behind – and his new helmet is no black mamba!

Jorge Lorenzo took to social network Twitter to reveal his new helmet design for 2013, the first to be made for him by his new helmet manufacturer HJC and the first to feature new sponsor Monster Energy.

It’s not his most exciting effort to date, so here’s hoping he’ll spruce it up with some special designs during the season!

He posted the following image to Twitter with the message “Yes! New helmet! Do you like it?”

I’m not really sure at all but it’s not a favourite, here’s his picture so you can decide for yourself:

Jorge Lorenzo reveals new HJC Monster Energy lid

Jorge with his new helmet!
Image by Jorge Lorenzo – @Lorenzo99 via Twitter

MotoGP: Bridgestone retain Rossi as tyre development advisor

Bridgestone tyre

Bridgestone retain Rossi as tyre development advisor
Image by Gilles Munten (Flickr) used under creative commons license

A Press release courtesy of Bridgestone has announced that Valentino Rossi will continue as their tyre development rider once again.

As under the previous agreement, Rossi and Bridgestone will work together to promote  motorcycling to bikers and enthusiasts throughout Europe, directly supporting the Bridgestone ‘track to street’ concept. Rossi will act alone as a professional rider; his MotoGP™ team and sponsors are not involved in the deal.

“I’ve been working with Bridgestone in MotoGP for many years and have always been impressed by their professionalism and the quality of their products. Continuing this agreement gives me an exciting opportunity to contribute to new Bridgestone motorcycle road tyres”, commented the Italian.

As part of his role, Rossi will provide his evaluation and opinions on the performance of Bridgestone motorcycle tyres, particularly in the hyper-sport, racing and sport touring sectors. Bridgestone in turn will use his input in tyre development to deliver road tyres with better performance and improved safety margins.

Franco Annunziato, CEO and President Bridgestone Europe, added: “Valentino Rossi is a great ambassador for our company. With the extension of our agreement, we have secured advice and recommendations from one of the greatest motorcycle competitors of all times, thereby ensuring that we bring the best new Battlax tyres to market.”

Bridgestone entered MotoGP™ in 2002 and in 2009 became the first Official Tyre Supplier to the World Championship. This was in part down to Rossi’s insistence on a mid-season change the previous year from Michelin tyres he thought were below standard by comparison and losing him races. Bridgestone welcomed their 100th win last season at the San Marino Grand prix.

Rossi to continue as Bridgestone Tyre Development Adviser

Rossi to continue as Bridgestone Tyre Development Adviser


MotoGP: Ducati after Rossi

It looked like it was to be a marriage made in heaven, the Italian factory and their homegrown Italian multiple championship winner Valentino Rossi. It quickly went sour, so sour that Rossi spent most of last season looking like he was sucking on lemons and aching to be somewhere else instead of his usually sunny confident self.

So while the inevitable parting of ways has occurred and Rossi is back in more comfortable surroundings at Yamaha counting down the days until he can prove he still has ‘it’, Ducati found the most valuable thing Rossi gave them from his time there was not an all conquering anyone-can-ride-it-now Ducati, but a look at just what his marketability was capable of.

Presumably this explains the promo shots on the Pramac site, home to former Yamaha man Ben Spies and more interestingly Italian  Moto2 crazy man – a rider so crazy he upgraded his nickname from ‘Crazy Joe’ to ‘Maniac Joe’- Andrea Iannone.

In the shot below, from Iannone is shown in an outfit not dissimilar to a fellow Italian who until recently raced in the factory team…

maniac joe crazy joe iannone rossi style leathers pramac test bike

“I will emulate Rossi by struggling to podium for Ducati”

It is worth remembering that Iannone has always shared a fondness for luminous yellow with Rossi, and he has never been known to shy away from a loud livery, none having more volume than his moving film advert for ‘Step Up 3D’ which was used at the San Marino round in 2012, as Iannone is such a flamboyant rider and risk taker here’s hoping that the red is luckier for hm than it was for Rossi and will be nearer the front come the checkered flag.