Tag Archives: motogp

Rossi seeking to revive some Mugello magic

Never has it been so important for Valentino Rossi to show good form at his home race Mugello this weekend. Its not really come togther for Vale and Ducti just yet, although I will be the last man to write the guy off. He is far too talented for that.

However, it is hard to overestimate the importance of this weekend’s Italian MotoGP for Valentino Rossi and Ducati.

The seven-time MotoGP champion will be competing in his first home as a home Ducati rider, at a track where he suffered his most serious injury of his career.

Rossi won at Mugello for seven successive seasons from 2002-2008, before being beaten to third in 2009 and then breaking his leg in practice for the 2010 event.

The Doctor returns with just one podium from his first seven races for Ducati, during what is now his longest losing steak since joining MotoGP – Rossi’s last victory having been at Malaysia 2010, a space of ten races.

But there is reason for optimism ahead of Mugello.

Fourth on his race debut with the new GP11.1 last Saturday at Assen, Rossi has previous testing knowledge of both the 11.1’s chassis and Mugello’s new racing surface.

That was with the 2012 engine – which could have been as large as 1000cc, or as small as, say, 900cc. Maybe smaller.

Ducati, like all manufacturers, is yet to confirm it will utilise the full 1000cc capacity available due to the fuel restrictions and experimenting with several engine sizes would hardly be surprising.

“We’ve ridden there with the GP12, but because our bike is an 800, it responds a little differently to adjustments, and it’s also in its first phase of development,” said Rossi of his private Mugello tests on the 2012 bike.

“It will be vital to quickly find the right path for the setup, as it’s important that we improve in every session in order to qualify in a good position.”

In the past, Rossi has proven more than capable of rising to the occasion for his fanatical home fans and – even without crew chief Jerry Burgess (see separate story) – the 32-year-old knows Italy and Ducati will be desperate for at least a podium challenge on Sunday.

“The track is one of my favourites, and I’ve always done pretty well there,” Rossi continued.

“Returning after last year’s accident is no problem for me, because I enjoyed riding there during the recent tests, as I always do.

“I hope there will be a big crowd and that I’ll be able to do better than we’ve managed until now, because this is a very important race,” he admitted.

Rossi is fourth in the world championship with a best race finish of third, at Le Mans.

Simoncelli: victim of the press?

Now I know that riders in MotoGP get paid vast amounts of money for a job that is pretty dangerous. But you cannot wrap these guys up in cotton wool, it is racing after all and people do fall off. Yesterday at Le Mans proved that when Marco Simoncelli was persistent enough to try to re-overtake Dani Pedrosa. Unfortunately, there was not enough room for Pedrosa to get the place back – 2 into 1 just does not go and Simoncelli left enough room and ran off the track himself.

What ensued was a ride throigh penalty for Simoncelli and a 6th place finish when we was destined for the top step of the podium. Pedrosa could not rejoin the race and retired.

Recentlu in the press Siomnocelli has been up front about his style of riding, showing that he is willing to fight for his place in the championship and his future in any team. And so he should. This is racing and not a PR exercise. I also feel that his comments on his ‘racing style’ are what ‘helped’ the race organisers to their decision on his ride through penalty.

Simoncelli says he is sorry that Pedrosa is hurt

Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli believes his ride-through penalty in today’s Le Mans MotoGP race is as much to do with talk of his dangerous riding as it was to do with the incident with Dani Pedrosa which resulted in the Spaniard’s broken right collarbone.

Simoncelli’s ‘aggression’ was the subject of a rider delegation going to the safety commission on Thursday on top of Jorge Lorenzo’s comments before the Estoril race where the world champion basically accused Simoncelli of being a menace.

The big-haired star says he is unhappy that Pedrosa has been hurt but insists he gave the Repsol Honda man ‘a metre’ in which to put his RC212V – it didn’t happen and Pedrosa ended up with a bust right collarbone and may miss the Barcelona round.

“I am unhappy because a result that was within my reach was denied and, above all, because of the fact that Pedrosa is hurt. In my opinion the incident went like this: Pedrosa was having a bit of difficulty – I had pulled alongside him and passed him,” said Simoncelli.

“When he passed me back I was not intentionally trying to resist, and my telemetry shows that I got on the brakes at the same point as on previous laps. I think that he had hit the brakes well before the corner, and I found myself on the outside of him and in front on the entry to the corner.

“I didn’t want to back off, so I left him with a metre between myself and the kerb in order to go in. I saw that it was tight, so I tried to adjust my position. That was when he touched my back wheel and went down. I repeat that any controversy regarding penalisation, but I believe that my ride-through was a result of all the talk over the past few days. Now I have to focus on Barcelona.”

Source: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=MotoGP-Le-Mans:-Unhappy-Simoncelli-victim-of-talk&newsid=209

Hopkins delighted with Crescent Suzuki BSB deal

I have watched been following the ‘Hopperman’ for a while now….even when he was in that horrible Kawasaki green that made him look like the Christmas Grinch…but the elbow on the floor stuff is just unbeatable. Let’s hope he doesn’t try too hard in the opoening rounds, fall off and bugger the rest of the season for himself, the team, the championship and the viewing public…….

John Hopkins says he cannot wait to get the 2011 season underway after his deal to join the MCE British Superbike Championship was officially confirmed.

As expected, Crescent Suzuki has announced it will field the former MotoGP rider in 2011, the American following in the wheel tracks of former rival Sylvain Guintoli in making the switch to BSB with the Jack Valentine-helmed squad.

Looking to become the first American to win a BSB race, Hopkins is excited to be starting a new chapter in his career having been blighted by injury woes in recent years.

“I am really looking forward to BSB and working with Crescent again, it will obviously be a different crew but I know they are a great group of guys and that will be a good foundation to start the season.

“It is going to be a huge challenge for me, I know there are new tracks to learn, but I am not too concerned, I have to say with a passion for motocross I am definitely looking forward to Cadwell Park! I have seen the racing and photos from there and I can’t wait to have a go myself.

“I have seen BSB races before and I know that there is some tough competition there, so I am excited to get started – especially as I haven’t raced most of the other riders before. It is pretty much a level playing field in terms of the riders and their experiences, but that always makes for the best racing.

“Everyone says how close BSB is and I know that it will be the same this season, but I know I am joining one of the top teams and we will have been testing ready for the start of the championship

Hopkins switched from MotoGP to Superbikes in 2009 with a deal to ride a Stiggy Honda in the world championship, but he would only start six of those races. Furthermore, having most recently competed in the AMA Superbike series he missed a large portion of the season through injury.

“I have been unlucky with injury in past seasons – that comes with the territory but I can honestly say that I am fitter than I have ever been before, both mentally and physically. I know I had a reputation in the past, but it has all changed and my focus is on racing and I am really enjoying it.

“I wouldn’t be coming to BSB if I didn’t think I could be successful and I think it will be a better stepping stone for my future. The team had a great season last year and I am confident in them and the bike that we will be up there where we need to be.

“My style really suits the Suzuki and I am looking forward to riding the full-blown Superbike again, as in the U.S series the bikes are more restricted.”

Hopkins is a former four-time podium winner at MotoGP level and thus one of the most successful riders to be joining the BSB series. As such, series director Stuart Higgs is delighted to be welcoming him to the fold.

“Back in the 70s and 80s riders from the United States regularly graced the English circuits; legends such as Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola and Freddie Spencer, so it is fantastic for BSB to restart that tradition. I’m sure John’s arrival will be nothing short of spectacular.”

Rossi finally shows off those Ducati leathers….not sure about the yellow with the red

By Edgar Jessop
Image by Ducati Corse

Ducati have today released the first pictures of Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP colour scheme which he will use for the most of next year, save for the doubtless special editions that are bound to surface at Mugello etc. The Desmosedici GP12 is, erm, very red and yellow but not as horrible as his leathers.

Here comes the science:

Engine: four-stroke, 90-degree V4, liquid cooled, desmodromic double shaft overhead cam, four-valves per cylinder

Displacement: 799cc

Maximum power: more than 200bhp

Maximum speed: more 310km/h

Transmission: six-speed extractable Exchange,with alternative gear ratios available. Chain final drive

Clutch: Dry multi-plate slipper clutch.

Supply: Magneti Marelli indirect electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves. Throttles operated by EVO TCF (Throttle Control & Feedback).

Fuel: Shell V-Power Racing

Lubricant: Shell Advance Ultra 4

Ignition: Magneti Marelli

Exhaust: Termignoni

Final drive: Chain Regina

Chassis: Carbon fibre

Suspension: Öhlins 48mm upside-down and Öhlins rear shock, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping

Tyres: Bridgestone, front and rear 16.5in

Brakes: Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs with four-piston calipers. Single stainless steel rear disc with dual-piston caliper.

Dry weight: 150kg