Editor's Blog: Content In The Next Few Weeks

Some of you may have noticed there has not been a lot of new content on the site over the past week. That is in part due to the fact that there has been very little real news to report from the world of MotoGP. A new documentary on Marc Marquez to be shown on Amazon Prime around the world in February, Pedro Acosta missing out on riding KTM's MotoGP bike because of rain at Jerez, and the prospect of Danilo Petrucci heading to WorldSBK with Barni Ducati.

I hope that the content which has been on the site - especially Akira Nishimura's fantastic two-part interview with Suzuki boss Shinichi Sahara - has kept you entertained.

The lack of content is not because none is being produced. I am in the middle of going through a mass of detailed photos from Niki Kovács from the Valencia test, from which I have unearthed some interesting detail I have not seen at other sites. However, this is an intensive and time-consuming business. I hope to have the first part, on Honda, up in the next day or two. The rest should follow in the course of the next week. All this will of course be exclusive for subscribers, as it is too good to give away for free.

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Shinichi Sahara Interview: Part 2 - How Suzuki's 2011 Withdrawal Differed From 2022, And Going Out On A High

Suzuki's MotoGP activities finally came to an end with the Valencia GP, the final round of the 2022 season. Since the bombshell news of Suzuki Motor Corporation's decision to withdraw at the end of the season hit the world this May, every venue and every racetrack has become a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all the team members of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. On Thursday afternoon, before Team SUZUKI ECSTAR's final race at the Circuit de Valencia Ricardo Tormo, we spoke with Shinichi Sahara, the project leader who has been leading the team for twenty years.

In the second part of this two-part interview, Sahara-san discusses how Suzuki's decision to withdraw at the end of 2022 compares with 2011, when Suzuki paused participation in the premier class. He talks about what will happen to the team at the end of the season, the chances of a return, and the joy of Alex Rins' victories at Phillip Island and Valencia.

Q: Your withdrawal is inevitably compared to that of 2011, but in 2011, it was an announcement of “suspension of activities".

Shinichi Sahara: In that sense, it is different from this time. Although it was a suspension, returning to the racing was very tough. And after returning, it needs a lot of effort to become competitive and fight at the top level. Therefore, even at that time, we did everything to persuade them not to suspend racing activities. In that sense, this is the second time we have worked like this. Although there are some similarities, suspension and withdrawal are different things. Anyway, I think once is enough for this experience!

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Shinichi Sahara Interview: Part 1 - On Suzuki's Withdrawal, Managing The Team, And The Value Of Racing

Suzuki's MotoGP activities finally came to an end with the Valencia GP, the final round of the 2022 season. Since the bombshell news of Suzuki Motor Corporation's decision to withdraw at the end of the season hit the world this May, every venue and every racetrack has become a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all the team members of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. On Thursday afternoon, before Team SUZUKI ECSTAR's final race at the Circuit de Valencia Ricardo Tormo, we spoke with Shinichi Sahara, the project leader who has been leading the team for twenty years.

In the first part of this two-part interview, Sahara-san discusses in depth how Suzuki's decision to withdraw at the end of 2022 affected the team's season, and how the team handled it.

Q: This weekend must be very emotional for you. First of all, I would like to know what you are feeling now.

Shinichi Sahara: It is true that this is our last race, but to be honest, I try as much as possible not to think about it. I told my team members ‘let's do things as we always do to make a solid weekend’ because it is the best way to win the race, and this is what we always do in every race weekend. In the final part of the season, not only the engines but also a lot of chassis parts already have a lot of mileage on them, so we have to avoid any possibility of small troubles in order to have our riders give their 100% to demonstrate their potential and our bikes'.

Q: Do you feel that your last race has finally come?

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2022 Phillip Island World Superbike Race Two Result: Racing The Rain

Australia wanted more excitement for the last race of the year so it brought rain in for race two, but it stopped raining as the riders headed to the grid and was dry again by the time the race started. Everyone lined up for twenty two laps on slick tyres. 

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2022 Phillip Island World Supersport Race Two Result: Finally, A Dry Race

The last World Supersport race of the year was eighteen laps off Phillip Island and the grid lined up for a dry race. Niki Tuuli was ruled unfit after stomach pains. Leonardo Taccini would start from the back of the grid due to a tyre pressure infringement. 

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2022 Phillip Island World Superbike Superpole Race Result: Rain Delay Forces Hard Choices

World Superbike's last ten lap Superpole race of the year had a delayed pitman opening due to a downpour that appeared just as riders were about to get out to the grid. Puddles on the grid meant tyre choice would be important and the race was declared wet with the wind and sun adding to the unpredictability of the conditions. 

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2022 Phillip Island World Superbike Race One Result: Flag To Flag, Drying Track, Tyre Changes, Oh My

Rain stopped but everyone bar one was on wet tyres. Philipp Oettl was the lone rider on an intermediate rear. Ducati needs fourteen points over Yamaha to claim the manufacturer title.

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