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TOV Forums > Professional Motorsports > > Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)

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JMU R1
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Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-05-2012 14:11
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No surprise that Stoner is at the front. I am quite surprised to see Nicky Hayden up in third, and Michele Pirro as the 3rd CRT rider, behind Randy DePuniet and Colin Edwards. I must say I'm looking forward to see more bikes on the grid and following the CRT race-within-a-race.

I must say though, those closing speeds between the prototypes and the CRT bikes is kind of scary. Closing at 40 km/h is gonna cause problems in qualifying.

1 Casey STONER - Repsol Honda Team Honda - 334.5 km/h - 1'56.474
2 Jorge LORENZO - Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha - 329.9 km/h - 1'56.648
3 Nicky HAYDEN - Ducati Team - 334.2 km/h - 1'56.924
4 Ben SPIES - Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha - 326.7 - 1'56.982
5 Dani PEDROSA - Repsol Honda Team Honda - 332.9 km/h - 1'57.130
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha km/h - 329.2 km/h - 1'57.395
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA - San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda - 336.8 km/h - 1'57.512
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - Yamaha 330.0 km/h - 1'57.547
9 Hector BARBERA - Pramac Racing Team Ducati - 337.2 km/h - 1'57.912
10 Valentino ROSSI - Ducati Team - 334.3 km/h - 1'57.914
11 Karel ABRAHAM - Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati - 336.1 km/h - 1'57.939
12 Stefan BRADL - LCR Honda MotoGP Honda - 330.9 km/h - 1'58.934
13 Randy DE PUNIET - Power Electronics Aspar ART - 314.0 km/h - 1'59.985
14 Colin EDWARDS - NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 315.1 km/h - 2'00.044
15 Michele PIRRO - San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR - 309.5 km/h - 2'00.322
16 Aleix ESPARGARO - Power Electronics Aspar ART - 311.8 km/h - 2'00.720
17 Ivan SILVA - Avintia Blusens BQR-FTR - 304.7 km/h - 2'01.138
18 Mattia PASINI - Speed Master ART - 307.6 km/h - 2'01.261
19 Yonny HERNANDEZ - Avintia Blusens BQR-FTR - 303.7 km/h - 2'01.276
20 Danilo PETRUCCI - Came IodaRacing Project Ioda - 288.5 km/h - 2'01.352
21 James ELLISON - Paul Bird Motorsport ART - 302.4 km/h - 2'03.421
danielgr
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-05-2012 23:51
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Can't add much to what you said, but I'll be sure following the race this weekend; here is hope to start as it ended past year but with a bit more fight at the top.

On the CRT's... I really feel is an ill-suited solution to the budget problem. Really, I don't know how cheap and nice to own they are for the teams, but I don't think many would appreciate watching races with 2 completely different leagues mixed together... And really, it may be nice to have 21 bikes in the grid, but I don't think anyone cares about those from 15 to 20 ... Anyway, I hope the makers find a way to move forward with the engineering-driven series while becoming more affordable and doing away with the CRTs.
CafeDelMar90
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 01:56
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I dont think Honda will have it easy this year, especially early on in the season. So far the Honda has had some notorious chatter issues which is pretty bad on a track with quite a few twisty bits.
Even with those problems Stoner still puts it on top, just amazing .
danielgr
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 02:26
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CafeDelMar90 wrote:
I dont think Honda will have it easy this year, especially early on in the season. So far the Honda has had some notorious chatter issues which is pretty bad on a track with quite a few twisty bits.
Even with those problems Stoner still puts it on top, just amazing .

The chatter problems arose from a last minute regulation change over the winter that forced prototype bikes to add 4 or 5kg (don't remember exactly).
Personally, I don't think that'd be such an issue for Honda in the long term, it's just something that may hurt in the first outings since the bike was designed to be balanced without that extra lugage.
JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 08:57
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danielgr wrote:
Can't add much to what you said, but I'll be sure following the race this weekend; here is hope to start as it ended past year but with a bit more fight at the top.

On the CRT's... I really feel is an ill-suited solution to the budget problem. Really, I don't know how cheap and nice to own they are for the teams, but I don't think many would appreciate watching races with 2 completely different leagues mixed together... And really, it may be nice to have 21 bikes in the grid, but I don't think anyone cares about those from 15 to 20 ... Anyway, I hope the makers find a way to move forward with the engineering-driven series while becoming more affordable and doing away with the CRTs.


Yeah I would prefer Moto GP to be prototypes only but right now I just don't think that's possible. The factories have been increasing lease prices to the point that less and less satellite teams can afford them. When you have teams like Gresini having to go to a 1 satellite bike and 1 CRT setup, you know things are getting bad.

Honestly the concept of a protoype chassis with a production-derived engine isn't a bad one. I think this season we'll see maybe the top 2 or 3 CRT's competing with the satellite bikes. With the other CRT's I think the problems are that they don't have the money to really develop the bike, and that they don't have top-notch riders that are capable of getting the most out of the bikes. Out of the 7 CRT riders, only one of them is a former world champion (Colin Edwards), and two have won more than one race in 250GP/Moto2 (Randy Depuniet and Mattia Pasini).

Supposedly there's some rules compromise that will bring the satellite bike lease prices down but who knows if that will go through. I hope Dorna doesn't screw over the teams that invested in building their own bike by pulling the rug out from under them in 2013.
JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP2 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 12:31
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Man it's looking bad for Rossi. Especially with a satellite Ducati ahead of him so far.

1 Casey STONER - Repsol Honda Team - Honda 332.6 km/h - 1'55.960
2 Jorge LORENZO - Yamaha Factory Racing - Yamaha - 328.8 km/h - 1'56.174
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - Yamaha - 332.2 km/h - 1'56.648
4 Ben SPIES - Yamaha Factory Racing - Yamaha - 328.2 km/h - 1'56.671
5 Hector BARBERA - Pramac Racing Team - Ducati - 339.0 km/h - 1'56.678
6 Dani PEDROSA - Repsol Honda Team - Honda - 331.6 km/h - 1'56.697
7 Nicky HAYDEN - Ducati Team - Ducati - 336.9 km/h - 1'56.782
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - Yamaha - 330.5 km/h - 1'56.814
9 Stefan BRADL - LCR Honda MotoGP - Honda - 332.4 km/h - 1'57.197
10 Valentino ROSSI - Ducati Team - Ducati - 337.0 km/h - 1'57.274
11 Karel ABRAHAM - Cardion AB Motoracing - Ducati - 334.0 km/h - 1'57.523
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA - San Carlo Honda Gresini - Honda - 334.1 km/h - 1'57.668
13 Colin EDWARDS - NGM Mobile Forward Racing - Suter - 317.1 km/h - 1'58.801
14 Randy DE PUNIET - Power Electronics Aspar - ART - 310.9 km/h - 1'58.945
15 Yonny HERNANDEZ - Avintia Blusens - BQR-FTR - 307.5 km/h - 1'59.698
16 Aleix ESPARGARO - Power Electronics Aspar - ART - 313.9 km/h - 1'59.997
17 Michele PIRRO - San Carlo Honda Gresini - FTR - 309.9 km/h - 2'00.231
18 Mattia PASINI - Speed Master - ART - 314.4 km/h - 2'00.373
19 Danilo PETRUCCI - Came IodaRacing Project - Ioda - 292.4 km/h - 2'00.404
20 Ivan SILVA - Avintia Blusens - BQR-FTR - 305.9 km/h - 2'00.787
21 James ELLISON - Paul Bird Motorsport - ART - 303.1 km/h - 2'02.112

JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP3)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 19:14
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I was thinking that maybe this is the first sign of trouble for Stoner at the track he pretty much owns, but he apparently didn't get to put in a flyer on the soft tire in this session...

1 Jorge LORENZO - Yamaha Factory Racing - Yamaha - 329.7 km/h - 1'55.302
2 Cal CRUTCHLOW - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - Yamaha - 329.6 km/h - 1'55.456
3 Casey STONER - Repsol Honda Team - Honda - 336.3 km/h - 1'55.674
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - Yamaha - 333.4 km/h - 1'55.905
5 Dani PEDROSA - Repsol Honda Team - Honda - 334.9 km/h - 1'56.114
6 Hector BARBERA - Pramac Racing Team - Ducati - 338.3 km/h - 1'56.163
7 Nicky HAYDEN - Ducati Team - Ducati - 338.8 km/h - 1'56.402
8 Valentino ROSSI - Ducati Team - Ducati - 337.4 km/h - 1'56.535
9 Stefan BRADL - LCR Honda MotoGP - Honda - 335.1 km/h - 1'56.751
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA - San Carlo Honda Gresini - Honda - 334 km/h - 1'56.771

11 Ben SPIES - Yamaha Factory Racing - Yamaha - 327 km/h - 1'57.030
12 Karel ABRAHAM - Cardion AB Motoracing - Ducati - 335.8 km/h - 1'57.223
13 Randy DE PUNIET - Power Electronics Aspar - ART - 312.3 km/h - 1'58.261
14 Colin EDWARDS - NGM Mobile Forward Racing - Suter - 316.8 km/h - 1'58.310
15 Michele PIRRO - San Carlo Honda Gresini - FTR - 313.5 km/h - 1'58.800
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ - Avintia Blusens - BQR-FTR - 306.6 km/h - 1'59.087
17 Aleix ESPARGARO - Power Electronics Aspar - ART - 313.1 km/h - 1'59.169
18 Danilo PETRUCCI - Came IodaRacing Project - Ioda - 292.2km/h - 1'59.517
19 Ivan SILVA - Avintia Blusens - BQR-FTR - 311.4 km/h - 2'00.035
20 Mattia PASINI - Speed Master - ART - 314.5 km/h - 2'00.226
21 James ELLISON - Paul Bird Motorsport - ART - 312.2 km/h - 2'00.563
CarPhreakD
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP3)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-06-2012 22:47
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He was stuck in traffic. In actuality he says that he likes the bike now then the first practice sessions.
K25
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-07-2012 08:14
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danielgr wrote:
Can't add much to what you said, but I'll be sure following the race this weekend; here is hope to start as it ended past year but with a bit more fight at the top.

Be careful what you wish, those Yamahas are getting WAY to strong for my taste. May cause serious problems for Stoner in the race, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedrosa failing to finish in a podium position. He's struggling big time.

danielgr wrote:
The chatter problems arose from a last minute regulation change over the winter that forced prototype bikes to add 4 or 5kg (don't remember exactly).

Are you sure about that? Because I remember Stoner saying they had chatter from the first time they tested the RC213V. And that was almost a year ago. I think they blamed the new Bridgestone compound tires. So if they were unable to fix it until now it won't surprise me if it stays like that all year.

The extra 4kg however, should cause them other issues like general balance of the bike, change of direction...
Was Honda the only affected by this late regulation change?
JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-07-2012 09:59
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K25 wrote:
danielgr wrote:
Can't add much to what you said, but I'll be sure following the race this weekend; here is hope to start as it ended past year but with a bit more fight at the top.

Be careful what you wish, those Yamahas are getting WAY to strong for my taste. May cause serious problems for Stoner in the race, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedrosa failing to finish in a podium position. He's struggling big time.

The thing about Pedrosa is that he usually isn't one to top the timesheets during free practice. Over the weekend he works his way up the order and I figure if he's top 5 by race day, he's got a shot at a podium or a win.


The extra 4kg however, should cause them other issues like general balance of the bike, change of direction...
Was Honda the only affected by this late regulation change?


All of the factory teams got hit with the weight change. Ducati was least affected though because they weren't finished with their bike when the change came down, which prompted some to speculate they were the ones who lobbied for it.
CafeDelMar90
Profile for CafeDelMar90
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Quaifying Results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-07-2012 14:58
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Im convinced, Yamaha truly do have the best bike on the grid i dont think anyone can dispute that. Its taking all of Caseys raw talent just to stick with Jorge. I seriously hope HRC are ramping up their development process otherwise the Tuning Fork company is gonna run away the early part of the season.
p.s good job Nicky Hayden!..and Valentino Rossi 12th and last Ducati!?! so is it the bike or the rider?!

1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 54.634s
2. Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 54.855s
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 1m 55.022s
4. Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 55.512s
5. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP12) 1m 55.637s
6. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 1m 55.858s
7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 55.905s

8. Hector Barbera ESP Pramac Racing (GP12) 1m 55.983s
9. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 56.063s
10. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (GP12) 1m 56.198s
11. Alvaro Bautista ESP San Carlo Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 56.521s
12. Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team (GP12) 1m 56.813s
13. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 57.644s
14. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 58.266s
15. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 58.520s
16. Yonny Hernandez COL Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 58.795s
17. Michele Pirro ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1m 59.085s
18. Mattia Pasini ITA Speed Master (ART CRT) 1m 59.195s
19. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing (Ioda-Aprilia CRT) 1m 59.664s
20. Ivan Silva ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 2m 0.493s
21. James Ellison GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 0.757s
P54
Profile for P54
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (FP1 results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-07-2012 16:07
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JMU R1 wrote:
K25 wrote:
danielgr wrote:
Can't add much to what you said, but I'll be sure following the race this weekend; here is hope to start as it ended past year but with a bit more fight at the top.

Be careful what you wish, those Yamahas are getting WAY to strong for my taste. May cause serious problems for Stoner in the race, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedrosa failing to finish in a podium position. He's struggling big time.

The thing about Pedrosa is that he usually isn't one to top the timesheets during free practice. Over the weekend he works his way up the order and I figure if he's top 5 by race day, he's got a shot at a podium or a win.


The extra 4kg however, should cause them other issues like general balance of the bike, change of direction...
Was Honda the only affected by this late regulation change?


All of the factory teams got hit with the weight change. Ducati was least affected though because they weren't finished with their bike when the change came down, which prompted some to speculate they were the ones who lobbied for it.



Has there not been speculation over the years that Ferrari in F1 lobbied for changes to their advantage too?

More from Honda here:

The MotoGP class specs have changed this year, raising the top engine capacity from 800 to 1,000cc. You had a very busy season in 2011, racing with the RC212V while simultaneously getting the new RC213V ready for 2012. In the post-season test at Valencia, Pedrosa made top time two days running and then in the new year, Stoner had top time in three tests, two in Malaysia and one at Jerez. As we get ready for the opening race of 2012, talk to us about your riders and the new RC213V.

We've been continuously developing the new bike since last year to meet the 2012 rule changes. It's mostly gone very well, although I can't say that we have completely solved all our issues yet. A major problem was responding to the unexpected fresh change in the minimum weight rule we faced in December last year. In spring 2010, when the change to 1,000cc in 2012 was settled, it was decided to raise the minimum weight from 150kg to 153kg. We had already designed our new bike to meet these specs when suddenly the order came to increase the weight by another 4kg. We'd already built our new bike, so changing our specs at that point in time was impossible. For the Malaysia and Spain tests we simply added weights to the bike. However, this made it really hard to achieve a good balance, and it especially caused us problems with Dani, since he is smaller and lighter than most riders.

As for the required increase in minimum weight, we'll be replacing our temporary solution of adding weights to the bike by gradually increasing the weight of various bike components.

By the time of the Jerez test, the riders had got used to compensating for these issues and we had also made big improvements to the bikes, but we are still a long way from a perfect solution.

Anyway, this is our number one priority. Our rivals are facing the same conditions with the new minimum weight rule and tires. Yamaha is fielding two teams, with four bikes, but they seem to have got everything perfectly set up. Lorenzo is as fast as ever, and there's no question that he is our biggest threat. Ducati are also making good progress developing a very strong bike, so we are going to have to work pretty hard to win this year.

This year looks different. It's going be a very tough fight, I think. Everything was going very smoothly up until the first test of the 1,000cc bikes in November last year. That was when the new minimum weight rule was suddenly sprung on us, giving rise to a number of problems. It's going to take us some time yet to resolve them, and we're still troubled by the chattering problem. And as for stability, I'm nowhere near as confident as I was last year. Things would be different if they had stayed with the original plan for a 153kg minimum, but then again, this change affects all the other teams too.


Read the rest :

http://world.honda.com/MotoGPreport/2012/round0/

JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Quaifying Results)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-07-2012 19:18
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I guess Nakamoto-san wasn't joking when he said Yamaha had the best bike. For the first time in a while I think Stoner is gonna have a fight on his hands at Qatar. I've gotta say I'm excited.
danielgr
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (WarmUp)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-08-2012 12:09
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JMU R1 wrote:
I guess Nakamoto-san wasn't joking when he said Yamaha had the best bike. For the first time in a while I think Stoner is gonna have a fight on his hands at Qatar. I've gotta say I'm excited.
It's too bad I won't be able to watch live since the race is in the middle of the night in Japan (damn the European bias), but still, Repsol guys made a 1-2 in WarmUp, and with a decent 0.3s gap over Lorenzo in 3rd...

Best bike this, best bike that, this rider this or that; personally I'll wait to see what happens at the very least during the first race of the season before drawing so many conclusions...

So far though, it seems we've got the ingredients for a nice race; let's hope no incidents spoil it and Honda wins !

PS: Lorenzo as always has an impressive race-pace; but wonder how much the new softer tires will alter the result. Past year was all about trying not to crash in the first warming-up laps while knowing the tires would last till the end, this year will be all about managing the tires to the finish line.
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2012 08:45
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danielgr wrote:
JMU R1 wrote:
I guess Nakamoto-san wasn't joking when he said Yamaha had the best bike. For the first time in a while I think Stoner is gonna have a fight on his hands at Qatar. I've gotta say I'm excited.
It's too bad I won't be able to watch live since the race is in the middle of the night in Japan (damn the European bias), but still, Repsol guys made a 1-2 in WarmUp, and with a decent 0.3s gap over Lorenzo in 3rd...

Best bike this, best bike that, this rider this or that; personally I'll wait to see what happens at the very least during the first race of the season before drawing so many conclusions...

So far though, it seems we've got the ingredients for a nice race; let's hope no incidents spoil it and Honda wins !

PS: Lorenzo as always has an impressive race-pace; but wonder how much the new softer tires will alter the result. Past year was all about trying not to crash in the first warming-up laps while knowing the tires would last till the end, this year will be all about managing the tires to the finish line.


So in the end we are not far from where we left past year.
- There are 3 aliens (after Rossi's demise), the fastest being Stoner but no-one not being 100% able to ride away with it, and the Aussy's arm pump problems cost him a race that was his.
- The only Yamaha that can challenge the Hondas is Lorenzo (who rode a brave race and won a well deserved first in Quatar), and Dani was right there for the whole race, may have had a shot at his fellow countryman if not being blocked behind his team-mate.
- The Hondas still have enough power to get past the Yamahas on the straight, while Lorenzo keeps needing to find the holes to get around.
- Too bad that this year Gresini doesn't have the budget to fight Tech3, but the Yamaha boys still put a serious battle throughout the race in their fight for Spies ride in 2013. That being my opinion but, as fast as Spies is, he ain't no alien.

Otherwise it was a decent race with some nice moves around, just sad that after 45mins I couldn't tell where or if there were any CRT bikes around. They say those are there to fill the grids, but that's really about all they are doing right now...


sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2012 09:53
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Stoner's pace is still the one to match, I just hope he can resolve the arm pumping issues without surgery.

Regardless of that it made for a very exciting race, and a pity Pedrosa couldn't hang onto the lead when he took it. As for the CRT bikes, it is very early days for these bikes, not that you could ever expect them to remotely match the factory bikes. And as Beattie said in the Aussie intro, you can't expect too much from mostly in-experienced riders either.
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2012 10:27
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sadlerau wrote:
Stoner's pace is still the one to match, I just hope he can resolve the arm pumping issues without surgery.

Regardless of that it made for a very exciting race, and a pity Pedrosa couldn't hang onto the lead when he took it. As for the CRT bikes, it is very early days for these bikes, not that you could ever expect them to remotely match the factory bikes. And as Beattie said in the Aussie intro, you can't expect too much from mostly in-experienced riders either.

Just don't forget there is a guy called Colin Edwards on one of those on one side, rookies from Moto2 fighting with 9time world champions on the other side…

Really, I just hope those bikes get lost asap.

PS: Pretty much agree on Stoner, but as this race has proven, the other two will be ready to get anything the Aussi doesn't hold strong enough.
JMU R1
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-09-2012 11:13
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Well we have to be real here, without the CRT's we would've had 12 bikes on the grid at Qatar. That's a level that would lead to contract defaults with the promoters at the tracks. I agree it's not an ideal solution, but it's better than the alternative.

And when you think about it, back in the 500 cc days you had privateer machines that were really slow too so this really isn't anything terribly new.

I think the Suter-BMW and Aprilia ART machines are not that far off. Improving by a second or two is a tall order, but these bikes are very new. We went through the same thing with Moto2 and now they're faster than the old 250's.
Dren
Profile for Dren
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-10-2012 13:53
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Plus, for those who are watching live, you really get two races in one.
CarPhreakD
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-13-2012 19:01
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JMU R1 wrote:
Well we have to be real here, without the CRT's we would've had 12 bikes on the grid at Qatar. That's a level that would lead to contract defaults with the promoters at the tracks. I agree it's not an ideal solution, but it's better than the alternative.

And when you think about it, back in the 500 cc days you had privateer machines that were really slow too so this really isn't anything terribly new.

I think the Suter-BMW and Aprilia ART machines are not that far off. Improving by a second or two is a tall order, but these bikes are very new. We went through the same thing with Moto2 and now they're faster than the old 250's.



There's been some protests in the CRT ranks regarding the legality of the BMW/Aprilia machines, actually. In fact, there's been calls regarding the Aprilia's "very close" relationship to the RSV4 (which should really get a jump on their marketing =D)
P54
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-15-2012 17:25
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http://world.honda.com/MotoGPreport/2012/round1/index.html


Many problems yet to solve

The opening race of the season at Qatar was a fiercely-fought battle between Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda and Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha that was only decided in the last few laps when Lorenzo finally took the lead back from Stoner. Lorenzo has been on top form all through the winter tests and is a formidable rival for the Honda team again this season. We asked HRC Team Principal Shuhei Nakamoto to go over the race and tell us how this result affects his plans for the team.

Jorge Lorenzo, your most dangerous rival, did well all through the winter tests, then here at Qatar he led in qualifying to take pole position and beat your two Repsol Honda riders to win the GP. What are your thoughts about this result?

Yes, Lorenzo was the rider who caused us the most trouble last year. He's in even better condition now, and with him riding so well I think we are in for a very tough season. When I saw the superb averages he was getting in Malaysia and Spain, I started to wonder if we even stood a chance. And indeed he beat us fair and square in this opening race with a perfect ride, fast and consistent. On the other hand, we've been held back by all kinds of problems and weren't even able to make the same best times as last year. Casey's bike suffered from chattering, while Dani had problems with balance. Under those conditions, before the race I couldn't see us winning, and felt the championship was out of the question. Casey is always extremely confident on this circuit, but even so he only managed to come in second in qualifying. Dani had some problems that put him seventh on the grid. So yes, I expected Lorenzo to beat us this time.

It's true you didn't win, but it seemed like a really close race.

At the end of qualifying, when we compared the times with last year Dani was 1.6" and Casey was 0.7" slower. So our Hondas weren't managing the same speeds as last season, and at the same time the Yamaha bikes kept doing better and better. We had a huge advantage last year, but that's all gone now. You could see the way it was going all through the winter tests, but it was even more obvious here in Qatar. Lorenzo's bike was behaving well, with very consistent times. Looking at him I didn't think we could win this race, and that's still my feeling. One bright spot was that the actual race went far better for us than I expected. If things stay the way they are at present, I really couldn't forecast a win for us with any confidence. But if we keep making our best efforts, I now think it's possible to turn things around and give us a real chance again.

During warm-up, both Stoner and Pedrosa seemed to have improved beyond recognition. In the race, Casey held the lead much of the time, and Dani also looked like a possible winner. Both riders commented that the condition of their bikes was really good in warm-up. But then....

Casey's bike has been plagued by chattering. We managed to improve this by changes to the set-up, but unfortunately that made cornering worse. That compromise was the best we could manage – we just couldn't find a perfect solution. Under those conditions, even using soft compound tires didn't give us much better times. It was tough, and Casey reckoned we couldn't win like that. Then, for the warm-up before the race, we tried tweaking the suspension spring rate. This improved things tremendously and Casey was able to up his pace and take the lead for much of the race, but unfortunately, arm pump struck and he had to drop back to finish third. Arm pump has various causes, but this time it was probably due to the way Casey had been controlling the chattering by strenuous use of his brakes. He'd been riding like that for four days, and it finally took its toll on his muscles in the last laps of the race. It seems to me that we haven't really solved the root of this problem, Casey has just been suppressing it.
We made big changes to the setting of Dani's bike for the race. Altering the wheelbase produced a huge improvement. He got off to a good start and was a contender right to the end. Both riders stood a chance of winning this one, which was great progress when you think how far behind they still were in qualifying. Of course I'm disappointed we didn't get a first place, but considering I went into the race thinking we were completely doomed this result makes me very happy – I now feel that if we keep trying, we can win.

With the change from 800cc to 1000cc, we expected the larger engines would bring faster speeds. It's true the top speed is up, but lap times haven't changed much.

It wasn't just the engine displacement that changed, the minimum weight of the bikes is now 7kg more than last year. And the Bridgestone rear tires are new too, so you can't make a simple comparison. Everything that we learned up till last year no longer applies – we had worked out how to respond to most situations, but all that know-how isn't useful any more. There were no fresh changes for the Qatar GP, but trying the bikes out for the first time in an actual race revealed a lot. Casey and Dani are probably disappointed we didn't win this opening race, but I think they now have a better idea of what to do next. And that goes for the rest of the team too – we'll all be working to give them the bikes they need to beat Lorenzo.

Ex-Moto2 Champion Stefan Bradl really stood out in his first MotoGP race. He got swallowed up by the pack at the end and finished eighth, but it was a fine performance. Alvaro Bautista rode a fast race too, after a hard time in qualifying.

Yes, Bradl rode very well. To hold on to sixth place for much of the race is an amazing performance for a rookie. Too bad he made that mistake with the brake adjuster. If only he had corrected that immediately, he could well have finished in sixth place. This is definitely a rider to watch. Bautista had struggled with front feel ever since arriving in Qatar, which meant he lacked the confidence to bank after braking. But in the race itself, he had overcome this problem and set a good pace. Both these riders have a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

Tell us about your strategy and hopes for the Spain GP.

Both Casey and Dani really gave it a lot this time. But we are still not in any condition to take the championship, and I certainly don't have the confidence yet to predict victory in the next race. We'll just have to press on and clear up all the problems still affecting Casey and Dani, and make sure they have bikes they can win on as soon as possible. The season has just started, so we have a long way to go yet. We'll be trying our utmost to make it happen, and I hope you'll all be there supporting us.
P54
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-10-2012 22:41
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Stoner takes lead with second successive win, third podium for Pedrosa

Just one week after the Spanish GP, Casey Stoner went from pole here in Portugal to take his second win of the season, pursued to the line by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and team mate Dani Pedrosa. Like the Spanish GP, free practice this time began with unsettled weather, but brightened for Saturday and Sunday. Stoner made best time in both warm up and qualifying, and kept up this pace to pull off a fine win. Honda was able to achieve consistently better times in this race, although many issues remain to be fixed. The Honda team were really not sure they could pull off a second successive win, and were immensely grateful to Casey Stoner for his superb ride, showing all the strengths of a true champion. After the Spanish GP, HRC Team Principal Shuhei Nakamoto commented "It was Casey who won this one for us." Here in Portugal, he had much the same to say "To tell the truth, we hardly helped at all. It was all Casey. I hope we can start doing our part soon and fix his issues with the bike." Dani Pedrosa, in 3rd place, could only salute the inspiring turn of speed displayed by his team mate. Under less than ideal conditions, the Repsol Honda team won their second out of three races, continuing their run of two riders on the podium each time. Team Principal Nakamoto talks to us about the Honda team's second successive win of the season.


At this second race in two weeks here in Portugal, the weather again started off unsettled, but fine skies returned for the weekend and Casey Stoner was able to show us some impressive speed. No one watching him in the pre-race warm up could doubt he had a good chance to win. This race showed Casey at his strongest.

Yes, he certainly showed his best strengths in this race. Watching the gap behind him all the time, he really built up a good pace. Casey maintained a lead of around 0.5s until the final laps, when, sensing Jorge creeping up on him, he really upped his pace and drew away. He rode a somewhat similar race in Spain, but this time it was easier to see the tactics Casey was using. One problem this time, as people watching TV would have seen clearly, was that he suffered from some really bad tire chatter. Casey himself said that it was the worst he'd ever experienced. And yet even so he pulled off this fine win for us. So yes, once again we have to say thanks to Casey for the result.


Casey commented that, to beat the chatter, he was changing his riding style throughout the race and trying out different mappings. He rode a very strong race, but it was obviously very tough for him, fighting the uncertainties of chatter and arm pump.

He didn't suffer too much chatter at the start, but it got gradually worse after lap three, and that's when he says he started feeling arm pump too. After that, he experimented with various tactics to suppress the chatter. As he succeeded in getting the chattering under control, the problem of arm pump also lessened. We now clearly see the connection between chatter and arm pump so we'll be doing whatever it takes to fix that for him. This race followed just one week after the last, and with unsettled weather, although not as bad as in Spain, and because of the weather on Friday and Saturday we had no time to try out the new parts. And yet, Casey still won the race for us. Our two wins so far have really been almost entirely thanks to Casey.


For Honda, it must be very gratifying to win twice under such hard conditions. Even Casey wasn't all that confident after qualifying, even though he'd taken pole. Before the race he told us "this course is a specialty of Lorenzo's, and he rode very well in qualifying despite ending on the second row. It's going to be a tough one and I'm not sure if I can win it." In the end, he went from pole to take his second win. Was there anything very different about this race?

Casey took pole, but that didn't mean he felt the race was in his pocket. In qualifying, a crash toward the end of the session meant they were stopped by a red flag. The session restarted with only 10 minutes left, so all the riders set off in a rush, determined to make good time. That's why a lot of them never got a clear lap, including Dani, and Jorge ended in the second row because he never had a chance for a good attack. So, luck really played a part in giving Casey pole position. I don't think there was really much in it between them. Casey lost time in the last half of the course, in the high speed section at the final corner. In contrast, that was where Jorge was fastest. This repeated the same pattern as last year, and probably has something to do with Casey's riding style. Another reason would be the unpredictable Saturday weather that didn't allow him to get a proper feel for the changing surface conditions. Those were the conditions in which the Repsol Honda team took first and second place. Actually, at the end of qualifying, I thought Dani was looking a better bet than Casey.


So after qualifying, you thought Dani had a chance to win. What do you think about him actually finishing third?

Dani is always good at Estoril, and this course suits both his riding style and his bike's setup. So I rather thought that Dani would be the better of the two here at bringing out the performance of his bike. But that unfortunate moment on the first lap knocked him back to third position, and I think that's the only reason he didn't win the race. His pace throughout was the same as Jorge's, so I think that if he had managed to stay ahead of him he could have been sure of second place. But however you look at it, Casey gave it his all this time and dominated the race. Jorge and Dani were putting everything into chasing him all the way, though. If Dani had won this one, then I think Casey would have been second and Jorge third, a result that would have given all of them exactly the same championship points. Part of me was tempted by the thought of these three riders starting their battle over again from scratch after three races.


You haven't had a chance to try out new parts either in Spain or here in Portugal. I expect you'll be doing that in the Monday test.

Yes, this coming test is very important for us. Now we have figured out what's causing Casey's arm pump, we'll be doing our utmost to find a proper solution. The trouble is the weather – it just refuses to give us a chance. We have the parts ready, but we keep on getting days where we can't test them. It's not just Casey – Dani has made a lot of requests too, and we really want to get their bikes set up better for them. The continuous poor weather is very frustrating. This race puts Casey in the lead for the championship, but in fact a difference of just one point isn't really what I'd call a lead. We've now had three races. They've all been held under tough conditions, but thanks to the efforts of our riders we've managed to stay neck and neck with Jorge. We're still at a point where just one mistake by our riders, engineers or staff could have a big impact on our championship chances, though. Rain is forecast for Monday, so yet again maybe a decent test won't be possible. However it turns out, I'll be making sure the whole team keeps working to give our riders the support they need to overcome these problems. I hope we can count on the support of all our fans too.

* Repsol Honda Team cancelled the May 7 Estoril Test due to rain.

http://world.honda.com/MotoGPreport/2012/round3/
CR-V9
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-11-2012 07:38
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... As he succeeded in getting the chattering under control, the problem of arm pump also lessened. ...
What is "arm pump"? I'm just curious.
Chocs
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Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-11-2012 08:30
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CR-V9 wrote:
... As he succeeded in getting the chattering under control, the problem of arm pump also lessened. ...
What is "arm pump"? I'm just curious.


Quick google:

"...frustrating lack of strength and control you unwillingly acquire in your forearms and hands while holding on for dear life to your handlebars."

"When under extreme pressure, the blood circulating away from your arms cannot leave as quickly as the much-needed, oxygen-rich blood is coming into them, which creates a buildup of lactic acid. Pressure builds up in the forearms compressing the muscles and nerves which in turn loose their ability to function properly."
CR-V9
Profile for CR-V9
Re: Moto GP is Underway! (Race Spoiler)    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-11-2012 09:01
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Thanks, Chocs.
I don't ride. 50cc and 90cc for a while a long time ago though I didn't think that'd count. And it's nice to hear from someone who've experiounced it or knows about it.
And in Japanese was "arm rising", didn't have no clue.
 
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