2011 MotoGP Championship

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QuietMonkey
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2011 MotoGP Championship

#1 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

MotoGP racing coming soon...

Looking like a Honda vs Yamaha season so far with the Ducati riders all suffering in various ways.

Great to see Edwards doing well after last years rough ride. I would have liked Edwrads to go to WSBK though, but if he keeps this up, he definitely deserves the ride on outright speed alone.

Spies mentioned today that he expects to be fighting for the lead at Qatar; of course Lorenzo is in there, then the mix of Stoner, Pedrosa, Dovi, and Edwards' psuedo-2nd-tier nemesis Super Sic.

Nice to see Bautista in 8th here. Suzuki needs to get some decent results and get back in the game.

I think it'd be a great year for Ducati to get stomped and crushed... just for kicks :lol: Rossi is going to have a rough start to the season and I think a really rough season in general. To bad Hayden is looking even worse right now.

Cant wait for the first race to see how it starts to shake out. Last year was great for Lorenzo and he may manage it again, but even without Spies dogging him all season the Honda team, particularly Stoner are looking deadly.

Time-sheet from http://www.gpone.com
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#2 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Alot of news and even more P/R seems to be going into John Hopkins being made a backup rider for Suzuki this year (who only have 1 bike on the grid)...

Wayne Gardner was very critical of Hopper, and I remember during races last year one of the journalist's made secondary mention of Hopper by saying that another rider (Leon Haslam I think) was "Like Hopper without the hangover" -- because of Hopper's reputation as a hard-partying, drinking guy in his time with the Suzuki MotoGP squad... so when they say Hopper is "recovering" they often mean from partying rather than injuries. Charlie Sheene looks like he'll own the world title for *crazy* so at least he can rest assured that the spotlight in Hollywood is much bigger than in MotoGP.

His AMA Superbike season didnt work out well in 2010, so it will be interesting how his BSB season goes and if he does get a call into GP as a replacement. Hopefully not. I'd like to see Bautista ride the whole season as he his fast at times.

One more test session and then MotoGP is right around the corner...
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#3 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Here are the test times prior to this coming weekend's MotoGP/Moto2/125cc season opener in Qatar.

Looking pretty serious from a competition perspective... Honda fans are undoubtably cheering, especially with Stoner ready to win for months now. It's Yamaha's 50th Anniversary year in GP and Honda wants to hand it them there butts.

Spies fans are cheering too! If he wins the championship this year it'll solidify his reputation as golden boy. It'd be cool for him to win the 800cc wars before the move to 1000cc with prodi and proto motors for 2012.

With the 2nd tier guys: Spies ex-team-mate and veteran, Colin Edwards is looking ready to go. I hope he can click off a few top 5 finishes this year. And Honda 2nd-tier man, Simoncelli will be hard competition. It's pretty hilarious to see Randy DePuniet ahead of both factory Ducati's!! incredible!

Moto2 will probably be the best racing though with the Honda powered machines and a number of prototype chassis' .... serious battles will errupt. And it's the last year for 125 2-strokes before the 250 4-strokes arrive in 2012. Last chance to smell and hear the 2-strokes on the world stage.
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#4 Unread post by rayian »

It's looking like it could be another championship for Stoner as long as he can stay on the bike. Spies could pull it off, he's definitely got what it takes. Then there's Lorenzo who I don't think will do it again (might be wishful thinking) and Pedrosa. If he can find some consistency he'll be a threat. Rossi looks to be out of the picture though when his shoulder gets stronger he might find a way to ride that bike.

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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#5 Unread post by High_Side »

It looks like the Honda is the bike to beat but NEVER count out Rossi - sand-bagger extraordinaire. Things were similarly hopeless in pre-season testing when he jumped ship to Yamaha to ride a bike that hadn't been competitive in years. He was off the pace in pre-season testing and we all know how that ended up......

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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#6 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Definitely Rossi is a master of "working the press", and all the associated "Social engineering" sort of stuff, etc... but I think he has had his run, and his time has come, as it has for every era and across all sports. He brought the field up a level or at least upto the level of Mick Doohan and the guys before him... because really Mick had no challengers, he just left the sport and the machines and everything changed. You might even say the flow of money and benefit towards European riders began.

Rossi down in 13th, 1.3 down this close to race time is not good -- but they are working hard. Testing times can be flaky too, because that chart ony shows the fastest ONE lap, so consistency is not shown at all, and what the teams were actually doing during that time. Lots of things can happen -- like the wind everyone was complaining about. Rossi is a top-5 for sure even this far off just because of his racecraft and overall ability, but I wont bet higher. Burgess did state a month ago that Rossi can win at Qatar because it is not as physical a track as others.

It'll take a few races to shake things out, but I sense that Spies has everything he needs to actually nail the championship this year. It was interesting to see Lorenzo drifting backwards --- under pressure :-)

To me the most bizarre thing is DePuniet being ahead of the factory bikes. He may have different suspension components, but the factory team may also be swapping parts right-left-and-center to find the right setup.

[edit] -- with the triple catastrophe happening in Japan the Japanese GP has been rescheduled until October; this will change a few things in the championship chase too...
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#7 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Things are starting to bubble in the MotoGP cauldron... we're having a little MotoGP Season Opener Party on Sunday and MiniRacing Preseason get-together (which starts next month for us --- the weather here is super motorcycle friendly ... major cool). This allows my buddy to show off his big screen TV from Boxing Day Deals --- racing probably accounts for half the TV he watches and most of the rest is movies with his wifey...

MotoGP World Championship
Losail Circuit - Doha, Qatar
March 17, 2011
Free Practice One Results:

FP1:
1. STONER, (HONDA), 1:55.752
2. PEDROSA, (HONDA), 1:56.362
3. BARBERA, (DUCATI), 1:56.421
4. SIMONCELLI, (HONDA), 1:56.441
5. ROSSI, (DUCATI), 1:56.479
6. SPIES, (YAMAHA), 1:56.493
7. LORENZO, (YAMAHA), 1:56.586
8. DOVIZIOSO, (HONDA), 1:56.592
9. DE PUDDINGHEAD, (DUCATI), 1:56.790
10. EDWARDS, (YAMAHA), 1:56.879
11. HAYDEN ,(DUCATI), 1:56.910
12. AOYAMA, (HONDA), 1:56.987
13. CAPIROSSI, (DUCATI), 1:57.366
14. CRUTCHLOW, (YAMAHA), 1:57.429
15. ABRAHAM, (DUCATI), 1:57.821
16. BAUTISTA, (SUZUKI), 1:58.528
17. ELIAS, (HONDA), 1:59.087

"The words I want to say cannot be used in a press release!" --Alvaro Bautista - stuck down in 16th at the moment...
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#8 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

MotoGP Rider quotes after Thursday's Free Practice #1:

Stoner
"We started of where we left on Monday and used more or less the same set-up - the wind is a little stronger than we had in the test but the track condition feels pretty good. We need to improve rear edge grip, this is an area we've struggled with a little so we need to improve that which will give us better turn in and exit from the corner. I'd say we're about 80% complete on the bike package, we have a few main areas we can improve, but this is always the case - you can always improve something, and if we do in these areas it will makes us a lot more confident.I did the whole session with the same rear hard tire and I was happy with it from the beginning to the end, and this is good for the race. Finally the season has started, everything has gone fantastic so far but we need to be realistic and keep focused."

Rossi
"We're all pretty satisfied with this first free practice because we worked well throughout the entire session, progressively improving with each outing. We modified the setup a little compared to the test, and we immediately found it to be better, to the point that within just a few laps, I improved on my time from Monday. The last run was particularly positive and my final lap time, done with a hard tire that had 19 laps on it, was my best, a bit more than a tenth off of second place. We know that if we want to have a good race on Sunday, we have to cut another five tenths, and we'll try to do that tomorrow. Anyway, although we still have to improve some more things on the bike, now I don't have to push so hard and it is turning better. The shoulder is holding up well. It was only at the end that it started to lose a little strength, and tomorrow we'll see how it reacts with two practice sessions. In any case, we're happy today."

Hayden
"It was certainly nice to be back in action that counted a bit more. We had a bit of wind, and the temperature wasn't really high, but for as much sand as we've seen blowing around the last couple of days, the track was in great condition. The session started out pretty well. I immediately went out with a hard rear tire and a soft front, which isn't my favorite setup, and I was able to match my lap time from the test by the fourth lap. I felt quite good, but from there, I never really was able to improve much. Obviously everybody else got quicker, so I'm not thrilled with that time. The bike was similar to how it was in the test. We've got some more opportunities before Sunday night, so we'll keep trying to improve."

Spies
"Everything went really smooth, we made two major changes to the bike, one was better, one wasn't. We spent the whole time on tyres we hope are the worst for the track, a front I don't like and a harder rear and we matched our time from the test. I'm happy that we've made the bike a bit better, if we go to what we think is better with the tyres we should have a few tenths."

Lorenzo
"Today we used a set up from last year here, I feel much more used to it so I am a lot more happy. I think if we improve the setting some more tomorrow we can really step forward. With the new chassis I can make faster corner speed here so the 2011 chassis is working well. I think we will all be closer to the front on Sunday night."

Edwards
"I actually feel really good on the bike but unfortunately I am not quite fast enough at the moment. The number beside my name on the time sheets doesn't look that good but I'm actually better off than the charts suggest. I'm missing those crucial two or three tenths but I'm confident I can find it. We just need to get the bike to turn just a little bit better and I'm sure if we can work in that area, we'll find that time I'm losing. But I did my best lap on the hard tire right at the end, so that gives me a lot of confidence with a couple more changes to the bike that I can be higher up. I think a lot of the guys in front of me ran the soft tire, so the race set-up isn't that far away. I got with Dovizioso on the Honda and behind Valentino and our package is pretty strong, bu t the times tonight prove how competitive it is going to be this season."

Crutchlow
"That was not easy at all and being honest, the pain from the finger is really bad and it was tough to ride. The crash was only three days ago and when I took the bandage off tonight, I learned there's some nerve damage where the fingernail was. The pain when the bandage came off was something I can't describe, so considering how uncomfortable it is, I'm pretty pleased to be where I am and doing some decent times. I was having trouble using the clutch so I modified the lever, but I was still having some problems shifting, particularly at the first corner when I kept going down to first instead of second. That was costing me time but I couldn't do anything about it. We made a change to the front-end at the end of the session that we haven't tried since Sepang and it felt night and day different. I was much faster and felt much more comfortable because I felt like the front tire was loaded more in the corner and I could turn better. I'm looking forward to working more with the new front-end set-up tomorrow because I believe we can make another step and hopefully the finger will be a little bit better too."

Bautista
"The words I want to say cannot be used in a press release! It was an impossible practice because we wanted to try a different setting, but I had a problem with the front brake feeling right from the beginning and after that I also had some pain in my right arm - which was probably because I had new gloves on and they were too tight - so I wasn't able to ride like I can. At the end I used the other bike, but the problem hadn't gone away. I think we need to forget today and concentrate on tomorrow because we have two more practices to improve things."

Pedrosa
"I had a problem with the rear tire that we need to understand. It's the first issue we've had this winter with the tires, so I hope it's an exception to the rule. We started the practice very well, we were fast in the first exit and then we stayed with the same tire, the softer compound, for the whole session. Even if I used the same compound during the winter test without any problem for several laps, today already in the second round I felt it dropped down a lot, and in the third and last one it was even worse. With only 45 minutes practice, the rounds are very short and you don't have much time to make changes. Maybe the tire had a problem, maybe it dropped down a lot because with 125cc and Moto2 bikes on track the conditions were very different comparing with the test of few days ago, we don't know exactly. Anyway, the Grand Prix weekend just started and we will try with another tire tomorrow to understand more. I hope we can take the best profit of both practices sessions to prepare for the race in a good way."

Dovizioso
"With four days of practice it is important to manage the tires so today we used only the hard compound to save the soft tires for tomorrow and the coming days as I expect it will only be possible to use the soft rear tire for the race. The biggest problem today was a vibration on the front when I released the brake and this limited me a lot because I was not able to push and lean as I wanted. We need to understand this problem and solve it as soon as possible. Tonight my engineers will analyze the data and we will see how to improve this issue. I am not happy about my lap time, but I am confident that we can improve because I feel that we have margin. Today, I'm very proud as Italy celebrates it's 150th anniversary of unity as a Country, so I have a special sticker on my helmet to commemorate this."

De Puniet
"I started today's session with some complications with the right boot that gave me some problems when changing gears down specially in the first corner. Solved this problem, we had three good outings with lap times very close to the best and this allows me to maintain a good position. The feelings that I had riding today are similar to the one I had during the last test and maintain this rate we will have a good race weekend. I am happy with how we are working, I don't have a specific goal, but be the first satellite rider and fight with some official rider would be a good start."

Capirossi
"I found the pace of the first day of testing, because Monday due of my slip, I was not able to make good lap times. We tried different tires, but the harder compound solution is the one that, in these climates conditions, it gives us more confidence. I do not feel satisfied, thirteenth place is definitely not our goal, but I am optimistic for the next rounds."

Simoncelli
"I am really happy because it is always difficult during testing to know exactly where you are but that changes when things get serious and we are able to make more a concrete analysis. I am satisfied because we struggled to get the hard tire working during the tests but we found something tonight. It may be that the conditions are slightly different but it is an important step towards making our choice for the race. We managed to make two changes to the set-up that improved things further and now it is just a case of confirming what we already know and getting ready for Sunday. In general I am feeling confident."

Aoyama
"This was the first session of the season so I was keen to do well. We started work on finding the best set-up for Sunday and the best feeling with the bike, working from what we learned in testing. We also tried to get closer to a decision on what tire to use for the race. The conditions are better than they were in testing and tomorrow we will try to improve on today's position, which is actually not that important because our focus for the day was not specifically on the lap time."

Elias
"Unfortunately we are still struggling to adjust the bike and I can not lap as I would like. The rear is not stable and in these conditions I can not push to improve my lap time. We are working hard to fix the problem but apparently we have not found the correct way to follow. We have compared two different bike set up today without success. I still have big issues to brake aggressive and the bike is sliding to much especially in the corners exit. I do not like this situation but I am confident we can improve step by step."
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#9 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

BAUTISTA has C*R^ASHED !! and broken his leg apparently! --- looks like Hopper is in like a frog on a log!!! well no better time than NOW ---- yee haaa...

The Honda's are killing -- and so far it's looking like only the Factory Yamaha's stand a chance of beating them down.

MotoGP FP3

Pos. Rider Time
1 Stoner 1:55.035
2 Pedrosa 1:55.193
3 Dovizioso 1:l55.740
4 Lorenzo 1:55.814
5 Spies 1:56.003
6 Barbera 1:56.266
7 Edwards 1:56.302
8 Rossi 1:56.306
9 De Puniet 1:56.362
10 Capirossi 1:56.434
11 Crutchlow 1:56.437
12 Aoyama 1:56.517
13 Simoncelli 1:56.540
14 Hayden 1:56.586
15 Abraham 1:57.275
16 Bautista 1:57.601
17 Elias 1:58.123

But this is a lonnggg extended qualifying system for the first GP so still more to come... Soon it all starts to matter: Qualifying and then the good stuff -- the race.
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Re: 2011 MotoGP Championship

#10 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Just pulled down the qualifying results from GP...

The Top 5 Qualifiers are no surprise -- from there on down it gets pretty interesting: Nicky! aaaah!, Crutchelow -- RIGHT ON ROOKIE!, Edwards -- damnit beaten by your own newbie team-mate and Rossi --- grrrrr! that'll "pee" 'em off enough to move up to spots come race day.

Maybe the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team was hyping Hopkins so much because they figured Bautista was not a crash-resistent (snicker) enough rider to run the whole season uninjured. Aa one rider team needs a solid guy who can do the business and rarely crashes -- like Colin Edwards or ???

Totally sucks to be Suzuki today.

Yamaha is running with a special graphic message on Lorenzo and Spies' bikes in Japanese, apparently translated to "Japan We Are With You" and Honda also has a simliar message on there Factory bikes

The wait is over - Official MotoGP video:


and here's the Round 1 - Qatar - highlights;

The first minute is cheesey promo video and the rest is race highlights with the winner and rostrum...

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Re: 2011 MotoGP - Round 2 - Jerez

#11 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

Wild race!!!!

If you havent seen it, I would say, watch the whole freakin' MotoGP from practice, qualifying and race for maximum effect! -- just a wild wild race. You dont want to know the results
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