2012 Jerez MotoGP Sunday Notes - Of Rising Stars

The weather may have tried to claim the leading role at Jerez on Sunday, but after three fascinating races, there are still a few stars which easily outshone it. First and foremost is surely Romano Fenati: the Italian teenager won a Moto3 race at just the second attempt, going one better than his first race. Winning was impressive enough - you had to go back to 1991 and Nobby Ueda to find a rookie with a better debut, and Fenati's victory made him the 3rd youngest winner behind Scott Redding and Marc Marquez - but it was the manner of his victory which impressed most. Not only did the 16-year-old keep his head in the treacherous conditions while all around him fell, ran off track or made other serious mistakes, he also managed to run at a pace simply inconceivable to the rest of the field. Fenati was over 1.5 seconds a lap quicker than the rest, and he went on to win by over 36 seconds. This was just his second ever race in the rain (he won the first one, naturally) and he still felt he lacked experience in the wet. His victory received the loudest round of applause in the media center all day.

With the favored Italian riders falling short elsewhere in the series, the Italian media have seized on to Fenati's success with much eagerness. At last the Italian journalists can repay in kind of the jibes they have received from their Spanish colleagues, who have had things go their way in all three classes for the past few years. Fenati is clearly something very special, but it is only his second race at this level, and the pressure on him is likely to grow massively in the coming weeks. How he handles that - he is a likeable, calm and cheerful soul, which bodes well for him - will determine just how far he goes in the future. The past is littered with the remains of great 125 and 250 riders who could never make it in the premier class, but right now, Romano Fenati is looking like something very, very special indeed.

The rest of the Moto3 race turned into a comedy of errors, though forgivable given the callowness of much of the field. Alex Rins looked outstanding in the early laps, capable of running with Fenati until halfway, until he made a mistake and ran through the gravel and grass, rejoining in the middle of the second group. In the early laps, a mass of riders went down on the patchy conditions, though thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt.

In Moto2, the weather gods smiled upon Pol Espargaro. Marc Marquez was looking like the inevitable winner, deciding to push into the lead just as the weather looked like turning. It changed quicker than he had anticipated, the rain causing the red flags to be waved before Marquez had led the race for long enough to win. Espargaro took an emotional - and well-deserved - maiden Moto2 victory, forcing Marquez down into 2nd. With Thomas Luthi finishing 3rd, the Moto2 championship is looking closer than was expected at the start of the season. And with strong rides by Scott Redding, Takaaki Nakagami and even Mika Kallio, there could be a few more names to add to the mix as the season progresses.

The one cloud on the Moto2 horizon is rumblings of nefarious doings among some of the top teams. Marc Marquez' behavior at Qatar was fueling much of the gossip, the Spaniard constantly sitting up on Qatar's long front straight to stop himself from passing others considered suspicious. Whether there is any truth in this, or whether it is just the usual paddock spite, excuse-mongering and backstabbing remains to be seen, and is something I will be returning to in due course.

In MotoGP, Casey Stoner finally freed himself of the Jerez monkey on his back. The Australian had won here only once, back in the Spanish championship a very long time ago, but finally, despite a recurrence of arm pump, he managed to get a win at the track on a MotoGP bike. The arm pump had been an issue all weekend, though he had done his best to hide it, with an HRC employee even engaging in a pointed conversation with Dorna's head of TV about the amount of air time Stoner's wrist and forearm was getting. It was good enough to still win with, but the Australian still has work to do. Behind Stoner, Lorenzo had ridden well, but he could not make his front tire last - both Stoner and Lorenzo raced on the softer of the two compounds, which were not quite up to the drying circumstances - as well as the Repsol Honda man.

Behind Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow confirmed that his result at Qatar was no flash in the pan. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man hounded Dani Pedrosa all race long, and felt he could have gone with Stoner and Lorenzo had he got past Nicky Hayden much earlier. The pace he set would seem to confirm this, the Englishman not only setting the fastest lap, but also posting consistent low 1'40s throughout the race. He had learned a few things following Dani Pedrosa all race long, he said, enough to give him sufficient pace to stick with the Spaniard. The 1000cc bikes, but more especially, the new Bridgestone tires had given Crutchlow the part that he was missing from last year, and have made him a genuine threat. The only question mark over his performance - and it is a relatively minor one - is that he chose the new, harder compound tire for the race, that turned out to perform better than the softer one selected by the front three.

The real disappointment of the MotoGP class is surely Ben Spies. The factory Yamaha rider complained of a lack of confidence in the front end of his M1, the bike wanting to run wide, especially at the fast sweepers of which Jerez has so many. Spies' set up is radically different to the other Yamaha riders, but adopting their set up has never worked for the Texan so far. But finishing in 11th, 38 seconds behind the winner and 37 behind his teammate on identical equipment is simply not good enough. His team have two ideas for Spies to test at Estoril, and he is confident they will make a difference. They will need to.

Naturally, we will have to talk about the Ducatis, but for once, we will leave that for another day. More tomorrow.

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you dont want to talk about ducati. please explain ? ducati/rossi is why im here and i know im not alone

It's reasonable that the top 4 get higher priority than 8th & 9th, surely?

There is really nothing new to cover. We all know their problems as that is all anyone has talked about so far this year. It's the journalists trying to make headlines or get site hits that keeps it going. They don't have any new parts for the next race so perhaps just let it be for the next week.

If you want to discuss something talk about how Crutchlow is an emerging star in the paddock, b2b 4th place finishes on a sat bike beating 3 factory pilots. Or as DE said, he had the pace to run with Lorenzo and Stoner.

Or discuss how Stoner just beat Lorenzo on Jorge's home turf.

Or how about Fenati?

Every GP follower in the world knows what is going on at Ducati already.

Perhaps David is planning on writing something specific, more comprehensive and insightful (as is customary for him) on the Rossi/Ducati situation. I find his articles well thought out and thorough. Also it makes good sense not to write about everything on a single day.

Covered Ducati and Rossi a good deal over the weeekend. As he said in his previous article there are many other things to write about in Motogp at the moment.

Not sure if you caught his article yesterday that went into depth about Ross?


>>Writing about MotoGP is hard at the moment. There are so many great stories to tell - the astonishing rise of Romano Fenati out of nowhere in Moto3, the legion of Kalexes taking on Marc Marquez in Moto2, the frenetic pace of development among the CRT machines, the ascendancy of Dani Pedrosa as a challenger for Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, the rebirth of Cal Crutchlow as a serious force to be reckoned with, the HRC design gaffe that left the RC213V seriously afflicted by chatter, just to name a few - but it is hard to get around to telling them. Because the vast majority of fans only want to read about one single subject: the enigma of Valentino Rossi's continuing battle with the Ducati Desmosedici, and his fall from championship contender to mid-pack straggler.

I am interested in the Rossi/Ducati saga too but there has been so much said about it in the past weeks what else is there to say? And there were three races yesterday with many more stories to tell...

David writes very good articles for us on these championships and it's nice to hear about other riders and teams and not just drown in the usual Rossi/Ducati talk.

I think Spies got a mention, even though not in top 4, as his performance is the most surprising/disappointing in the whole field. The Yamaha is clearely very competative this year and his perfoamce relative to the other Yams is much worse.

The Ducati is clearly still the worst bike, apart from Spies the Ducs made up all of the last prototype places in the field. Even Hayden who could put a fast lap together for QP couldn't hold on to the pace for a whole race and went backwards. Rossi's result was as expected really. Nothing is going to change for Ducati until they improve their bike.

i have been quietly following the rossi /ducati saga from the beginning . the man is clearly beaten and bruised and now that he isnt winning with this new bike people seem ready to pounce

I have to admit, I had been on the fence about Crutchlow since......forever. But man he's impressive! I like his willingness TO RACE! He has a little of that Simoncelli factor. Crutchlow's "respector of no one" and "not here to make friends" approach has been sorely missed since Marco. I like and miss the days when the rider's weren't buddies. Casey and Jorge's love affair is kind of depressing..... But I'm excited about Crutchlow and I am quickly becoming a fan.

Which brings me to the disappointment which is Ben Spies. You don't hear or read(until now) much about his troubles and how much of an underachiever he's becoming. I'm a Spies fan and I think he's very fast and talented and has proven it on many levels, but Crutchlow will have his ride next year.

And Stoner.....what can you say? He fills the seats and has an enormous fan base and HE is the reason MotoGP is still surviving and why we watch. Stoner is the best ever, there's no one better and he will.... go down as the GOAT. (;

I'm in agreement about Ducati, as a Ducatisti, I can only hope they can turn things around and talking/reading about it does nothing. It's just wait, watch and see at this point.

A entertaining race for the first few laps.....

Sorry but I have to disagree on one point. We don't all watch MotoGP for Stoner. He is very impressive to wacth but after a few laps it gets boring unles there is some hard racing going on. That's what made Rossi so popular, not just his winning but his hard racing, go and wtch some classic MotoGP races if you have forgotten about that.

Like you say Cal is the guy bringing us the hard racing at the moment. Which thankfully gives me something to cheer for! I've said it before and I will say it again, it will be criminal if he looses out on a decent ride next year.

Not sure if your comments about Stoner are tongue-in-cheek or just over the top, Vlad. However, there is no doubt that without Stoner the MotoGP world would have been very boring for the last few years. Without Stoner what would people write about? Who would Rossi fans hate? Stoner has been the lightning rod for worldwide media commentary, opinion, debate, hate, love, derision, admiration, scepticism, confession. At least it makes a change from the media fawning endlessly over Rossi.

I like and miss the days when the rider's weren't buddies. Casey and Jorge's love affair is kind of depressing..... But I'm excited about Crutchlow and I am quickly becoming a fan.

It has nothing todo with love affair, Lorenzo and Stoner but also Pedrosa are respecting each other, and they're capable of separating racing from personal disputes, they can share a laugh after a hard race.

And BTW, if you read Crutchlows interviews, he's very modest, very respectful towards the established (alien) racers. That's also the reason why I like his persona a lot.

Now that it seems that Spies has troubles to make the last step into the olymp of aliens, it would be very refreshing to see Crutchlow getting there.

magic_carpet, Crutchlow (and all riders at this level) respect each other, that's not news or groundbreaking. But it's evident that Crutchlow (like Simoncelli) does not fear anyone. He's got sponsors, a team and a paycheck to earn....and his respect for any of the top riders will not (and should not) get in the way of this.

Some of the unpopularity of Stoner and Lorenzo is their own "sense of entitlement". Jorge and Casey expect everyone to move out of their way, let them pass, and dare not race them hard.

Here's proof of Lorenzo's thinking and also his fear of Crutchlow:


Lorenzo actually expects Dovizioso not to battle with them until the later laps. In other words..."let me and Casey check out first, then....".

I'm glad Crutchlow scares Lorenzo....reminds me of Super Sic. There are many reasons I'm liking Crutchlow, and this is one of them.

Also, Lorenzo and Stoner respect for each other goes beyond a healthy respect.... 

"Some of the unpopularity of Stoner and Lorenzo is their own "sense of entitlement". Jorge and Casey expect everyone to move out of their way, let them pass, and dare not race them hard."

WTF. Have you been smoking crack????

Are really out of line, hey don't pass me? lol someone must of forgot to tell him it was a race. Lorenzo is one of the more outspoken riders when it comes to "hard racing" especially last year with Marco, I think these are comments that riders should keep to them selves especially when he was the one who was on the inside pushing Andrea. if they went down it would have been his fault not Andrea's, and Casey complaining that people get in his way during qualifying. it gets tiresome. and I do agree with the entitlement comment, he is always saying about team orders. he has mentioned in that link; we are on the same manufacturer and Yamaha told me ok you are going to be champ this year. here is a senereo for you; what if it came down to the last race to determine the champion. Lorenzo or Stoner, all stoner has to do is come in say 4th to win Lorenzo needs the win but Ben is leading on the last lap.... dose Ben slow down for Team orders to give the champion ship to Lorenzo or dose he make Lorenzo earn it? I know my answer....

In the form of Crutchlow! seems he is a very intelligent racer that wants a scrap. Really enjoying watching him develop in front of us. Love watching him put AD behind him but makes you think jow deep Yamaha's bench is. Lots of talent

Ben, if you're reading, spend less time on your Biography and giving shout-outs to your Elbowz bicycle racing team and more time worrying about the cranky and surly Englishman that is eating your lunch. You're too complacent. Granted, if i had your life and were dating Playboy Playmates, a factory rider and living on Lake Cuomo i may be too! But that's not what makes a racer.

They said the same crap about Toseland and his piano playing. It is possible you know to have a life outside of MotoGP yet maintain a 100% focus on the day job.

Spies is struggling, no doubt. In his own words yesterday was 'pathetic'. I thought he had a very average pre season in fact despite the upbeat words. The timesheet rarely lies. I also have no doubt the man will turn it around and be a podium regular. He's shown us in his GP career to date that he can compete with the three extraterrestrials. A couple of wins as expected by Jarvis - here's hoping.

To use #52 as an example? You could make the argument that James did fail in part to his piano. When concerts and performances compete for priorities, something has to give. It seems logical to me that when your results are poor, well below expectations of Lin Jarvis, that perceptions become reality. Becoming a prima donna and pissing off the garage doesn't help, either.

I dont subscribe to the notion that they need to be monks, but i do believe they should be mindful of such Hubris in the face pending disaster. Being a CRT target with one of the two best bikes on the grid would find me with my head down, not giving the appearence of being taken in by what that life offers.

The gap between being a professional pianist (trust me Toesland's not even close) and just playing on your time off for yourself is basically as different as being a monthly trackday rider and being in MotoGP. I guarantee you Toesland wasn't spending 6 hours a day practicing instead of focussing on riding his bike. Toesland was just another victim of injury and inability to adapt to GP bikes, nothing else.

I like Crutchlow's Go Hard or Go Home attitude.

And I did like some on Nicky's around the outside moves. Made me smile.

Early laps were great. Lots of tight but fair stuff.

What is the story about "HTC's design gaffe" that has been mentioned a few times. Did I miss something. Has Honda fessed up that they introduced the chatter themseves????

@mad_dog, given the fearsome chatter the new Honda has, I can't think of who else designed the bike and would therefore be responsible. Unless you meant HTC the Taiwanese phone maker. In any case, I watched the last laps on the edge of my seat, with Cal threatening Dani til the finish and Jorge Casey until the final lap. Genuinely gripping racing and far from processional.

The bike already chattered at Valencia, when it still weighed 153kg, before the extra weight was added. Chatter is down to characteristics of new tires, which Honda hadn't evaluated correctly. So now they're stuck with a frame that chatters. I expect it will get fixed later in the year, after a new frame or two.

Chatter is down to characteristics of new tires, which Honda hadn't evaluated correctly.

To my understanding chatter is a rather very complex interaction between tire characteristics, tire pressure as well as chassis characteristics. On the chassis site it's mainly flexibility and damping characteristcs of the material but also from the vibration characteristics that stems from the shape of the welded together cupped aluminum pieces of the frame. Also the lenghts of the frame pieces have an influence like e.g. the length of the swing arm.

Yes, but I guess that what David is trying to say is that the first time Honda saw chatter was when putting on those new, 2012 spec Bridgestones (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't seem to recall problems during the development of the bike during 2011 tests, before Valencia. So, even though it is a complex interaction between different parts, tires seem to be the bottleneck in this case.

Thanks, David, that was what I was alluding to with my question, as I was under the impression that chatter was due to the 2012 spec tyre from Bridgestone. I didn't realise that Honda had admitted that they screwed up with weight placement.

Who is that sarcy bastard lurking behind the 'not the doctor' moniker? :-)

I like Crutchlow's attitude a lot, I hope he keeps it out of the shrubbery.
Would be nice if Kropotkin could get a good in-depth interview with the lad as by all reports he is a very likeable character and a bit of a larrikin.
The TV feed gave good coverage of the battle for 3rd, and overall it was a good broadcast.

BTW, I believe the Moto3 guys are up for 'Synchronised Crashing' as a demonstration sport for London Olympics, with Mick Doohan and Alex Criville as judges :-)

Boring! Rossi/Ducati stinks, getting bested by satellite/ART bikes. Casey or Jorge drops the hammer after the first few "OK at best" laps. I know I know, it's not all about Rossi, and nice to see hungry Cal tearing it up, blah blah blah. I'm finally going to write what I thought would be impossible, if not unfathomable in the recent past. I have become more inclined and eager to watch WSBK racing! It's just plain old better at the moment, and I know I'm not alone!

Keep up the excellent work David! Reading your articles have become more pleasurable than actually watching MotoGp...

Oh, one more thing. Someone please tell Speed to stop blasting music while we're all trying to listen to the minimal comments from the riders before the race!


I've been watching GPs since the late 80's and really I don't think that much has changed other than the bikes getting faster and more refined. Half a second now has a bigger visual gap than it did 20 years ago but I would argue the cream has always risen to the top and there is just as much excitement in a race now as there was back in the day.

There was a time when Rossi was able to coast around at 90% pace and 'stalk' his opposition until the final laps. If one guy cruising behind another floats your boat then that's ok, but personally I love watching Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa (and Rossi too in his last years at Yamaha) wringing the neck out of these machines and barely containing the awesome power of the beasts they mount - even if there's a gap between them... It's superb to watch! These riders are amazing!

In 20 years from now we'll look back fondly on this period of MotoGP.

Do you actually watch WSBK mikesav? The dry races this year and last have largely been processions, certainly not more entertaining than MotoGP. And it is very hard to get excited about WSBK when it is largely dominated by a couple of older riders who lost their places in MotoGP a long time ago. The best of the best are in MotoGP, and a couple of them are very special talents indeed.

Last year I was certain he did not belong in MotoGp, with his fairly light CV(was I alone?).

But man is he fun to watch! I agree with the others about the likness to Simoncelli. At once he's charming but doesn't give a rat's a#$ about anything but racing. Though his passes have been for the most part - very aggressive but clean.

Thanks for feeding me crow Cal (really)- I hope you get the go fast parts for the rest of the year and regularly put it on the box...

Go man go..

Great racing from all so far - the 1k and the new tire are so far very exciting to watch.

Is my love for Stoner "over the top" motogpmd? Never! Facetious....no way.

Stoner is the reason MotoGP is what it is.....do you not agree? Casey is responsible for the success of MotoGP! Since his arrival, it has reached a whole another level and has reached millions worldwide and has open the eyes to many who would otherwise never enjoy motorcycle racing! His personality, charisma and talent is unheard of and is truly transcending. Stoner is paving the way for future MotoGP hopefuls and talent. Give Stoner credit when credit is due.

Casey is the GOAT! We shouldn't argue about it... let's talk racing.

Regarding Ducati/Hayden; I also thought Hayden displayed awesome grit and determination. Passing on the outside and sticking his nose with the front group, he impressed and even Rossi(admittedly) is taking a page out of Hayden's book, set-up and riding style.

Crutchlow and Hayden made the race pretty entertaining. Like I said earlier, I am a Crutchlow fan and I'm sold. I can't wait to see him on a factory M1.

For me the real interesting part is from Haydens press release:

It was fun for a couple of laps. We know our bike is great at generating heat in the tyres, and for the first few laps, I was able do what I wanted. Then about the time it looked like the other guys’ tyres came up to temperature, mine had already started losing grip, especially in the front. I was pushing wide in places and guys started coming past me.

First, that a Ducati is generating (more than) enought heat in the tire is exactly the opposite of what we "knew" from the GP11 and GP10, a bike that never got the front tire working out of its own.

Second, it seems that Hayden was really able to fight at least with Crutchlow for the first laps and the GP12 worked during these laps. That would shed a new light on the "GP12 is a piece of poo" perception.
If Hayden will get the Duke working also for the other 3/4 of the race, that would just be awesome.

"Rossi's main problems are (and were) with corner entry, torque and engine characteristics wont change this. This is a pure chassis problem. David thinks it's the 90° engine configuration and the weight distribution that goes with this design, but maybe Preziosi made some other errors with the geometry of the frame." magic_carpet

The Italian Nightmare: in the latest AMCN, Colin Young, has a v good story on …… I daren’t say it, I might be banished from this site. (OK it’s titled ‘Rossi’s Red Rage.’)

Informative comments, but firstly a stunning photo of JB looking like he’d scalp someone – the only time I’ve seen such a shot!

“... this is still my goal but in order to keep going in this project a lot of things have to change.” VR

“…I know how to ride and use the bike, I can be competitive again.” VR

“I just say that if I can use my bike in my way and find my feeling maybe I can be up there and I can fight with them.” VR

‘Rossi admits it is a combination of technical issues and the riding style demanded to get the most from inbuilt bad habits of the Ducati.’ CY

‘… since the introduction of BS control tyres there has been a reduction in edge grip which works against Rossi’s classic style. A nerveless late braker, Rossi is a front end man, demanding silky smooth handling, precise cornering lines, and seamless throttle connection on exit.’ CY

“A lot of the problems come from the engine power delivery, and not just when you open the throttle on corner exit it, but also when you close it in braking. When you close the gas the engine keeps going, the reaction is not smooth and this is critical to the understeer of this bike. You want to put the bike in the corner but the bike always goes out of the corner.” VR

‘Gone is the joking, carefree and often humorously self-depreciating Rossi …… there is a darkness now.’ CY

“Now with 250hp, you don’t need more. This is something I am trying to explain to Filippo but he doesn’t understand. I want less power and more drivability.” VR

“… they don’t understand me and what I want in order to do my best. The problem is that Filippo has to understand me because there are only two problems and they are big and clear.
Fist the understeer. This is amazing. This bike always has understeer and we cannot fix it. The second problem is the engine.” VR

Burgess had some early advice for Ducati engineers. “Ignore Valentino Rossi at your peril.
And Burgess has joined Rossi in a call to sacrifice top speed in the interests of smoother power delivery.

can you please post the link to this article? I have googled and can not find it, I wouldn't think you would be kicked off for posting it....

You can also get AMCN on line through the Mag Shop app in iTunes. Probably available through the Google Marketplace or Playground or whatever it is this week. Costs$5.90 AUD for one issue

“Now with 250hp, you don’t need more. This is something I am trying to explain to Filippo but he doesn’t understand. I want less power and more drivability.” VR

I would like to hear Preziosi's retort, because that statement in itself sounds far too simplistic. What designer is not going to listen to his lead rider about an issue of this magnitude?

The way this drama is playing out it sometimes appears Rossi and Corse are at loggerheads rather than pulling in the same direction.

Thanks for the quotes JVD. AMCN is a fine rag which I brought religiously for many a year. Shame the Woose carked it, but I'm sure Fred Gassit is still tearing it up.

".... results haven't come, despite massive resources, and what many claim has been an 18-months waste of Rossi's talent.
Preziosi is now a man under pressure.
One school ot thought has it that Preziosi is so tied up in his own self-belief and ideas that he is unresponsive to feedback. A level of arrogance some say." CY

" ... after 18 months of riding a bike that scares him with understeer and brutal engine manner." CY

"The message appears to be a very clear one to Preziosi. Listen and change if you want the best from Rossi." CY

"I had absolutely not thought the results could have been as bad as they were with Valentino, the results were the opposite of what we were expecting.
No one could imagine something like last season , so we have to find a way to exit from that situation." FP

'Preziosi remains bullish, maintaining he has the same goals as Valentino.' CY
"We don't care what it takes." FP

'Rossi is waiting. Impatiently.' CY

"Im sorry I cannot answer now what I will do next year." VR
'He plans to see out 2012 but has put Preziosi and Ducati on notice.' CY

'Deep rivalries aside, Rossi happily ackowledges talent ..... Casey is a fantastic rider (VR) ... Rossi asserts Stoner's style is very good, not just for the Ducati, but the new era of MotoGP .... Stoner is an artisan when it comes to picking the bike up early on corner exit onto the wide part of the tyre and getting on the gas early.' CY

"Casey and Dani have the very good acceleration of the Honda ....and Jorge and Ben, they can all pick up the bike and open the throttle.
With the Ducati you cannot do this because the corner exit is very bad, the power delivery is not smooth and when you open the gas the bike slide and moves." VR

'Chronic understeer is central to Ducati's problems and this has barely changed in the frame transitions ..... in its latest 250+ hp configuration (the engine) is being fingered as a primary culprit' CY

From GPone, yesterday.
How is the update work proceeding at Ducati?

"I was clear in my requests to the engineers, and every time I ride the bike I'm sure of my evaluation.

... it's hard to battle with other riders on the Ducati, because it forces you to take certain lines, as if it's on rails. You can't really improvise in the corners, and that's what you need when trying to pass someone." VR

Rossi had previously said his requests to Ducati engineers "were consistent, it has never changed."

I would add, I distinctly remember FP saying of the new bike 'It won't be a Rossi, it will be a Ducati.'
The photo I referred to in the first few lines above - I've never seen a shot of JB looking so dark.

and you can sense the all round frustration in that camp. Why is it then that this weekend just gone, Nicky Hayden, on the same machine (albeit a different set up) can qualify in 3rd place and maintain that position against the other factory bikes for the early part of the race when VR is languishing back with Hector Barbera? Just asking ........

just guessing, but Hayden uses the rear brake explicitly on corner entry, in that sense probably similar as Stoner used it. If it's true what the quoted articel says then using the rear brake is essential on the GP12 on corner entry as you have to stall the engine from pushing you out of line. Additionally he can turn the bike in on corner entry.

And corner exit ..., maybe Hayden just got used to riding a lashing out beast.

I read Ferrari spent 5 yrs developing a machine for Michael Schumacher, at which point he was nearly unbeatable. He expects a planted front end ie he drives on the front end. When he reurned to racing and had to drive an understeering car (which his teamate said he didn't like either) where was he ? 8th to 10th. Sound a little familiar huh!

Posting long quotes from articles in magazines and other websites could end up getting me in trouble. I will have to dig into copyright law to find out more, but I may be forced to delete or severely edit these posts. A real shame, as they are an interesting contribution, but that's the way it is. So if you could summarize, rather than selectively quote in future, that would be great. Online articles can always be linked to.

Ok thanks David . I nearly wrote to you pre posting to find out a bit more re whats acceptable (I was unsure and feeling uneasy) but at the time I figured you were asleep .... we don't want to land you in trouble! (and increase your workload).

interesting article, thanks for sharing! Very dark view from Rossi's perspective.

One school ot thought has it that Preziosi is so tied up in his own self-belief and ideas that he is unresponsive to feedback. A level of arrogance some say."

Preziosi has been under massive pressure since at least a year, it's difficult to see him being arrogant and ignore rider input, especially when he knows what's at stack with Rossi not being competitive.
Another reason why I'm not fully convinced that it's all Preziosi's fault is that Ducati stepped back from the screamer to the big bang in the 800's era. When you check the top speed charts - Ducati eventually lost the top spot to Honda towards 2009 or 2010. So they willingly gave up max power for driveability. Why wouldn't they do the same again today?

Well Preziosi (and stoner) had been saying for over a year that the CF frame was not a problem, but VR/JB wanted an aluminium one. When VR and NH rode it they said the bike had the same problems, so Preziosi has a history of being right vs Rossi.
Rossi has also said he is not an engineer and doesn't know how to fix the problems. Preziosi is an engineer, but it also appears he doesn't know how to fix the problems.
If I was Preziosi, I would also be trusting my engineering background over Rossi's suggestions, particularly when they got the last one 'wrong' and Rossi is close to being the slowest Ducati.

Top speed is also not all about Power. Gearing, aero, traction etc all play a part.

"Well Preziosi (and stoner) had been saying for over a year that the CF frame was not a problem, but VR/JB wanted an aluminium one. When VR and NH rode it they said the bike had the same problems, so Preziosi has a history of being right vs Rossi."

The CF itself may not have been causing the problems, but the frameless design Ducati used with the CF was problematic for the following reasons:

1. Limited adjustability
2. Modifying the "frame" required new engines
3. Random / unexplained lowsides
4. Longer manufacturing time than aluminum

The first aluminum frame was designed to behave the exact same as the previous CF one, so it should have had the same problems. Switching from CF to aluminum with the same design did not fix anything, but switching to a traditional frame was a necessary step. (One of many.)

"Casey and Dani have the very good acceleration of the Honda ....and Jorge and Ben, they can all pick up the bike and open the throttle.
With the Ducati you cannot do this because the corner exit is very bad, the power delivery is not smooth and when you open the gas the bike slide and moves." VR

The Ducati has always behaved the way Rossi described. But Stoner was still able to caress that throttle somehow to make that bike the fastest thing on the grid most of the time. Just amazing. Part of me hopes that one day Stoner goes back to Ducati and shows us that magic again. He's obviously pretty special on the Honda as well but the way he used to tame that Ducati with a combination of silky touch and pure aggression was breathtaking.

Presumably CEO Del Torchio is going to have to front up to the Ducati board and say, well one can only guess, 'our engineers built the best racer they knew how'.
Sub plot: our riders did their best. Other sub plot: the Japanese did it better.

If Rossi really is going to adapt to the ducati then it's already over for them.. Adopting a losing formula over a winning one is down solely to Presiozi's ego. Anyone else would jump at the chance to learn from the experience of Rossi/JB and team instead he appears to be telling them what is best for them??? mental. Would love to see a proper interview with presiosi(not the marketing bullshit he usually comes out with, to explain why he is still following design path that has seen tehn turned into the laughing stock of motorcyle sport. I reckon he owes to the fans who pay go money to either buy their products or follow them or both.. Ducatis silence is mystifying in the extreme...

I feel the gap between satellite and works Yamahas' will grow as the season goes on, due to the factory bikes getting all the best new bits first, and the satillites having to wait for however long for the upgrades.
Hopefully, the competiveness of Crutchlow and Dovi will stand them in good stead to get upgrades asap, unless they start getting in the way of Lorenzo!!

Am i the only one who was sitting there thinking..... serves you right after what you did to Luthi, when he lost the win?

Stoner did a great job pulling out a very fast lap on the penultimate one. Lorenzo was clearly faster in the final right handers and was probably fancying a pass on the last corner. But Stoner had it under control. A shame Lorenzo couldn't get in front to start the battle !

Has it been confirmed that RdP ran out of juice? Seemed to be quite a long way from the end of the race? I'm guessing they they dont have the fuel management hardware / software of the non CRT bikes yet? He seemed fast, especially in qualifying where the factories dont have fuel conservation holding them back.

RdP didn't run out of fuel, there was a problem with the fuel pump. Apparently similar to issues they had at Qatar.

Any news on what tyre construction the top guys used?

The new type 21 front was available as was the older type 24.

The coverage on motogp said JL, Stoner, and Pedrosa ran softs, Crutchlow and Dovi hard. Of more interest is if they ran the new, better on anything but a Honda 21?

Nice write up Dave. Some awesome racing. Watching all of these guys is such fun.

Dovi used a soft tyre too, which he said attributed to him losing ground to Cal (BBC interview after the race)

Casey rode a great race, control, beautiful lines, massive speed and pushed on the limit only when he needed to, to hold off George, who also looked great in this race. George was comparing front tyres post-race, and throwing up his hands, but that was never the reason. There will be other tracks where he will beat Casey... but this year I think is going to be some epic Stoner/Lorenzo battles, I look forward to every one. This already is, and is destined to be one of the great rivalries in Motrocycle racing.

Ben appears, from the huge number of tweets emanating from his Twitter feed, to be caught up in somewhat of a rock and roll lifestyle - without having actually made that top step yet. Ben! get your head down, filter out all the distractions that come with being a great racer cause Cal has an eye on your bike, and he appears to be very, very hungry this year.

Spies seems to have fallen in love with cycling - similar to another Ben (Bostrom) who is doing great on the non-motorized version but less well on the Superbike. These sports should be compatible, but one wonders if given the mega training regimen and all the flying involved if enough is left on the table to be competitive in 2 sports?

Another factor re Ben - his crew. House has a long proven record in Superbike, but is still relatively unproven in MotoGP (1 win aside). I wonder how Ben would be doing with a Gabbarini or Forcada by his side? They have missed the setup quite a few times while Jorge motors along, smooth as glass.

I agree with the comment above the WSBK has the better 'racing', but there's something about MotoGP when it isn't a F1 techno festival that just pushes the buttons! I think the 1K bikes are more fun.

This was a pretty good race, especially earlier on. We were wondering if Cal would catch Captain Pugwash near the end. An excellent effort again by Crutchlow; we tipped him to have a good year here at Swiftnick Towers. Mrs Swiftnick met him in the paddock walk in WSBK at Silverstone and said he was a very nice and witty lad so he gets the vote in this house!

I laughed at the interview with Poncheral (is that how you spell it?) afterwards, he was very pleased with Cal but just hoping he wouldn't make a lunge at Pedrosa towards the end and ruin it! Cal played it just right and showed the right mix of ambition and maturity; 4th again on a Tech3 bike is a brilliant performance, if he keeps this up all season and Spies doesn't improve, he'll surely be on that blue one next year!

Early days but it looks like the usual suspects are going to be the ones to beat, Lorenzo and Stoner look a cut above.

Finally (and yes I will say it), I don't care who is responsible (VR/Duke, or whatever), get that ruddy red bike near the front and make it more fun!

First of all, 'nefarious doing' in Moto 2? David, can you explain this issue? Yes, Marc was sitting up at Qatar, but I've seen Checa do that this year and last...and Rossi in previous years. So, are certain teams thinking that something is up w/his 'engine'? Aren't they sealed? Loved to hear more on this issue.

The 'race' was great from start to finish and I think that Casey had 'em covered from the beginning. Yes, Jorge got close, but Casey was just running his laps. I'm hoping that his arm pump is NOT an issue this year. David, anymore on that...Casey said that he did have an issue w/it, but it wasn't that bad.

GO CRUC! What a ride. I was hoping that he would get past Dani for his first podium. That he could put a sat yam that close to a factory/HRC bike and be that close to the front says something for his skills. IF, and this is a big IF, Spies doesn't get it together.....

And Ducati.........Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........

Can't wait for next week!!!

Are you sure YOU watch WSBK, motogpmd?!
Aside from the obvious remarks I assumed I did not feel the need to express on this site such as, "MotoGp has the best riders in the world", "it's F1 on two wheels", "the wow factor", "WSBK has old MotoGp refugees". yada yada yada, we all know the same old lame comments all too well!
Thanks for getting the gist of what I was saying Swiftnick...
Don't get me wrong, I love MotoGp just as much as the next guy, and always will, but in the end it's about fighting close battles for first place that makes my love for the sport flow through my veins!
Just give me some good old tight and scrappy motorcycle racing!

David how can you leave a little tidbit about Marc Marques with out expanding???

I have glanced over all the comments in this thread and it is all about Rossi Stoner blah blah blah. only one other comment about Marques.

So what is the murmurs in the paddock?
is it all just about his now second questionable pass where he push a rider almost off track?

I cannot see how him sitting up is against rules .... I mean it's unusual that anyone would do it in the first place, because your speed suffers, not typically what any racer wants. On the other hand if he's playing games with the others (sizing them up by letting them know .."hey I am here, I could have easily passed you."), which will force them into an error.

Not exactly something one would find in gentleman's text book, but who cares could one say at this point. Unless Repsol or his team will say ... "Hey you make us look bad! Stop now.", I doubt he gives a damn.

Sitting up: The Moto2 engines are all spec engines prepared by Geo Tech. They should be identical, or very nearly so, and only have 1 or 2 HP difference between each unit. If Marquez is sitting up, the paddock gossips believe, then his bike is more powerful than it is supposed to be. Whether this is true or not is unknown.

Arm pump: Stoner was doing his best to deflect talk of his arm pump, and saying nothing about the issue all weekend. It was much better than at Qatar during the race, good enough for him to manage at Jerez. At Qatar, he said his arm was "destroyed", but after Jerez, he said he already had some feeling back in it.

How do the Spec ECU rules work? They are allowed to remap it and that's it? The engines are identical save for Exhaust, Ram Air intake, and ecu mapping? Anything else that would account for a difference of a few HP?

I could see perfecting the mapping and exhaust to gain a tiny bit of an advantage, the rest is ???

is out of the equasion i guess, since many of riders use the akrapovic package

Jerez wasn't overly grippy Casey needs to sort out the arm pump quickly for the grippy tracks where it will more likely rear it's head. That aside I think he has enough in the tank over Lorenzo to put 10 wins on the board again this season.. I think Rossi and his squad would get more out of the yam and if jorge is in the 3 wins retirement home( enough for everyone to consider getting rid of Dani!) again I don't think either he(would want a honda) nor Yamaha will be chomping at the bit for another heavy defeat... If jorge does go that wouldn't leave much for Yam outside Rossi and Dani as a number one rider... Of course that depends on honda but back in the 990s they had the top 5 all on the same motorcycle.. Now that would be fun..

Lorenzo isn't going anywhere. There is no-one better available for Yamaha, nor likely to be any time soon. Stoner is likely to stay at Honda, as he indicated, and Yamaha knows that Lorenzo is a better option than Rossi or Pedrosa. Yamaha's problem is Stoner, not their lead rider and not Honda. If Stoner is too good, he's too good. Yamaha needs to build a better bike than the Honda, and that's a tough ask. Yamaha has done it before, but Honda has raised their game in the last couple of years. And the Honda is likely to get significantly better very soon if their new frame resolves the chatter problem.

I cannot imagine, that if indeed the team found either a legal or illegal loop they would not instruct Marquez to stay in the bubble and just throttle down a tiny bit, instead of sitting up like a hooligan ... LOL and draw undesired attention.

Something tells me that, it's a combo of a) him being very light weight b) the bike has the best aero package in the paddock. That enables him to play games with others. You have to admit, it must be frustrating for the others to know that he's coming and it's fully on his own terms ...

Just wondering about the RCV's chatter issue and how the new tires are the root cause. So Honda the spec of the tires, yet they failed to successfully account for them when they designed 2012 frame? I presume it must be fairly big issue which cannot be overcome by available range of bike settings.

Can someone explain how exactly the frame needs to be different for the new grippier Bridgestones? Rake, squat .... ?

Also, Casey's arm pump ... David says it has been there the whole weekend again, yet I haven't heard the Eurosport guys mention it once ... I mean they were calling it into question few times, but clearly concluded that by him winning, the arm pump is no issue. So is it really an issue, or rather an easy point of discussion without really knowing at this point?

Casey talked briefly (after much prodding) about his armpump issues during the post-race conference. In summary, he spoke on how the issue was still concerning, but, was being resolved.

Which makes me curious. Besides the terrible scar that it leaves, and the necessity to undergo a possibly avoidable operation, any one have any ideas on why Casey would be so absolutely opposed to the surgery? Perhaps I answered my own question. However, considering his secretive nature about his methods of repair.. one may find it difficult to stray far from conspiracy.. !

Arm pump surgery only brings temporary relief. Only works for about 6 months, then it can come back again. So it's a risky operation that won't necessarily help.

Didn't he have it in 2008 and then had an operation? IIRC, it was right before China and people dropped the issue because it was when he started to crash and injure himself.

I never heard a word of it again so I guess he found a way to cure himself.

How does Spies go from Top-4 in testing to being behind the mid-pack riders??? Spies is sinking badly right now. Yamaha has taken something or someone (maybe both) from Ben's side of the garage that was helping set the bike up! His crew better get it together and fast. And Marc is swimming for the gold? It was rumored in 2011 that he was receiving 1-off new parts to test and use during races before other riders on the same chassis. Obviously he's fast but damn, to be able to sit-up on the straights to take a peek at will got everybody's attention. He didn't even need to use the draft out of the last corner during the Qatar race to win! Once Marc stood the bike up, he twisted the throttle and was gone! Can't wait for David to confirm his inside info.

Here we go again with lorenzo, or he is too conservative or he dont like competition by the other yamahas, dovi and crutchlow have clear intentions to ascend to the official factory team and if the things continues as is going the possible guy being sended out will be spies, i'll guess than Lorenzo is starting to feeling some pressure not by stoner or pedrosa, it's now thanks by yamaha pals from tech3.

Stoner finally has break is bad luck in Jerez, now its turn to estoril, let see, for pedrosa, is good be cautious and going secure, but maybe be too cautious will cost him the championship and also Pedrosa dont have his seat secure now, its possible than marquez will send pedrosa out from factory team.

Hayden as showed than the Gp12 can work, Rossi needs to adapt to it, if rossi fails then that will leave a negative mark.

Lorenzo mentioned this specifically (Jerez Post-Race conference).

More Yamahas in front, means more Yamahas in front of Casey and Dani. and in turn equates to less pressure for him, and less points for his competitors.

of the year award for his comments on the CRT / saving money / Blusens hospitality farce. He needs to be a press conference fixture....


Absolutely fcuking brilliant !!! On a serious note , that is probably the reason that CRT will never reach its potential, the bikes are just a prop.

GPweek doesn't understand the internet! Uuuuuuuuuum weeeeeeeeell ... it is a net mag.

I bet there's plenty of truth in that, isn't Paris Hilton something to do with Blusens? no wonder the hospitality come 1st!

Cal's a character, my missus thought he was great when she met him on a paddock walk.

The performances of Fenati, Marquez and Bradl, to name a few prominent ones in their respective classes suggest to me some established heroes need to be jettisoned in the interest of the health of MGP.
At the top of pile , MGP, is a bottleneck.
I sincerely hope all the GP1 teams lock down contracts and rider commitment as soon as yesterday.
Club 30+, fame and fortune, is not what the pinnacle of two wheel sport on tarmac is about.
Sadly,money does make the MGP world go around, so the idealism and Rising Stars have to sit in the closet until the elder statesmen decide to give them a break.

If that article is true,it seems that what's happening in Ducati is a battle of egos. In one side, Preziosi and his creature, the GPxx vs. The GOAT, and they're both Italians, with latin red hot blood, and instead of working together, they're clinched in a finger pointing match.

If Rossi ever get out of this and wins again, I'll be the first in line to wait for the next Rossi biography!

No wonder Rossi looks so beaten and dismotivated, he keeps asking for specific things and they give him the same crap in a different color, must be depressing if Rossi is right. From looking at the race, it's clear that NH rode the bejesus out of the bike, he Q'ed well because the bike can be ridden fast, but when the dynamics of a race with other people enter the equation, the bike cannot be made to response quick enough because whatever reason, that's why NH was able to dice it out for the first part of the race but then he faded of course. Of course thats my opinion and I can be wrong.

Haveing been a Rossi fan since 97 but moreso a Hayden fan (being from the US and watching him here from his dirttrack days to now). It really pi$$es a guy off when Rossi says he will use the "Ducati Settings" and go from there rather then saying they learned/found something that Nicky and Martinez are using that seems to work. Nickeys set-up is low, long and flat, where Rossi prefers to be pitched. But it does'nt work. Just admit that Juan and Nicky found a way to make the Ducati work.

Low, Long, and Flat, almost like a dirt tracker.......I think it was David who had the comparison pic of the rear swingwarms at Qatar where Haydens rear axle was shoved all the way back and Rossi's all the way forward.

Will there be a company (Honda when developing the 800 or Ducati now) When they let Nicky develop a bike?

Sidenote: 5min with Crutchlow on GPWEEK is F#@&*@g GREAT. Did anyone else catch the interview with him after the race where he called out Nick Harris saying " maybe he'll shut his mouth about me losing my ride" when they went back to Gavin and Nick, Nick goes "I never said that"!!! Dovi this and Dovi that, Cal don't give a F$@K and this is what we need in MotoGP!!

I'm pretty sure Rossi said he changed to using settings similar to NH in the race?

And to be fair... NH can make the bike work for QP but obviously still not working in a race situation, he was only 6s and 1 position up on Rossi in the end.

If the Duc was up to scratch then Rossi and Hayden would both be regularly fighting for podiums and Barbera and Abraham would be mixing it with the satellite Hondas.

“A lot of the problems come from the engine power delivery, and not just when you open the throttle on corner exit it, but also when you close it in braking. When you close the gas the engine keeps going, the reaction is not smooth and this is critical to the understeer of this bike. You want to put the bike in the corner but the bike always goes out of the corner.” VR

Which is what I said in my previous post. A 90 degree engine will keep on spinning. You have to adapt your riding style or bin the engine. An inline 4 wants to stop turning when you get off the gas. They have exacerbated the problem with this stupid big bang idea. From the moment the big bang was used, understeer became a major issue.

Yes that was a great post, deep and meaningful, and I don't recall anyone else had even alluded to the phenomenon at that point. It really piqued my interest - it provided a possible reason for what Rossi was articulating, and most likely aligned with what CS had said at times, and maybe was part of the reason Loris Capirossi said the Duc was the worst race bike he's ever ridden.

Something else: a while back 'The Baron' (I think) said we (or they, I don't recall) should stop all this baloney about chassis materials and engine position, they've (Ducati) got the steering axis in the wrong place.
A major statement with no forthcoming discussion that I recall !

Anyone able to give meaningful input on that?

I have already covered this at length in the past. We all know that Rossi tested the 'screamer' for 5 minutes before dismissing it. My point is that he was wrong to do so.
http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/MotoGP/2010/Novembe... If you have something new to bring to the table then by all means do so, but don't assume that we are all ignorant.
I have made a point of following this for a long time because a 90 degree V four does not need more traction at the rear, it needs less, so the big bang notion is fundamentally flawed. It was never likely that Rossi would be able to come to grips with this simple fact because he saw himself as the white knight of the cross plane big bang Yamaha success. With the benefit of hindsight he might be able to do so now. Hayden enjoyed the screamer and missed a great opportunity by not exploring its potential further.

I have already covered this at length in the past. We all know that Rossi tested the 'screamer' for 5 minutes before dismissing it. My point is that he was wrong to do so.
http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/MotoGP/2010/Novembe... If you have something new to bring to the table then by all means do so, but don't assume that we are all ignorant.
I have made a point of following this for a long time because a 90 degree V four does not need more traction at the rear, it needs less, so the big bang notion is fundamentally flawed. It was never likely that Rossi would be able to come to grips with this simple fact because he saw himself as the white knight of the cross plane big bang Yamaha success. With the benefit of hindsight he might be able to do so now. Hayden enjoyed the screamer and missed a great opportunity by not exploring its potential further.

I'm not sure if it was for commercial/tradition or familiarity reasons, but the L4-Desmo engine was built from the very start to act as much as possible as the traditional (and winning) L2-Desmo, just with double the cilinders, so with a "big-bang" firing order.
The "screamer" was used at the times when the "big-bang" had reliabity issues (caused by excessive vibration and stress) or when it didn't manage to achieve the same competitive max power figures. When all that was sorted, the "screamer" was never used again, and it's not like that configuration basis wasn't explored either.

Every single Ducati rider that ran both configs always choosed the big-bang for the D16 MotoGP when given the choice (for better driveability), be it in the 990cc or 800cc (ok, the screamer wasn't tested on the 1000cc so far I think, but then it evolved from the 800cc engine).
From memory the only single rider that seemed to prefer otherwise was Casey Stoner (?... awaiting possible correction).

I don't think anyone is assuming you're ignorant (and sometimes it seems at Ducati Corse they've lost their way) but I've got genuine curiosity to know on what basis/concept are you getting that theory, and why it makes sense to be applied(?).

Painless: I most certainly DO want to hear what you are thinking - I 'arrive' at the subject open minded but am confused when I read your given link >>

Casey Stoner ""They brought an evolution of the Screamer to the Valencia test last year but it was ridiculous, it wanted to rip my arms out and try and spin up and buck and weave. I did a few laps and didn't want anything to do with it."

Interestingly, the RC45 also used a 90 degree V4, and it was well known for pushing the front at the limit - much like the D16.

I had mentioned the RC45 in a previous post hoping that someone could shed some light on it. I have only found one vague reference to its handling, so I was hoping someone else had more information. The comparison will not be identical because the desmo has even more tendency to keep spinning due to the lack of valve springs, but it should show the same tendency.
Preziosi has reported that the D16 was not originally designed as a big bang. In any case, if the only complaint about the screamer is that the power delivery is too violent, it should not be difficult to detune the engine. The key point here is that Rossi has clearly identified that the engine keeps on spinning when he is off the throttle and this causes the oversteer.
Obviously the perfect primary balance implies that the engine will continue to spin but the effect of this on the steering is not something that has been discussed at length. I have spent a large part of my working life as a Ducati shop owner/mechanic/racer and rider. The urban myths that only certain people can ride a Ducati were all based on the 90 degree V-Twins. My first Ducati was a 450 Desmo and it would turn on a dime. My first V twin was a 1975 750SS which I crashed multiple times, all by losing the front end or running wide. I finally mastered a brake early, turn and slide style to get the pig to go around corners. I raced this bike in the open class against against TZ350 Yamahas. I had to choose tyres that would slide predictably. On high speed bends the Ducati is a piece of art, but on tight winding roads it is terrible. In the past, I thought that the Ducati's problem was the lack of weight on the front and the huge trail. However, after following the history of the D16 and recently purchasing a Japanese 4 cylinder bike, which reminded me of the neutral entry to corners that they enjoy, it occurred to me that it was the engine that is the most significant factor when it comes to this specific problem. I have no engineering data or facts to support this 'theory' but I think Rossi has already proved it.
I do not accept that weight distribution is the primary problem here. It may add to the problem but it won't push the bike forward when you are off the gas.

It has to be more than a co-incidence that Honda, the company with the longest list of racing (and road?) 90 degree V4 engines chose to tighten the angle with the V5 RC211V and continued the trend with the subsequent 800 and 1000cc V4s. There has to be very good reasons for the choice as no factory, let alone Honda, makes decisions without great analysis of the benefits and disadvantages. Honda consciously chose to move away from the balance of the 90 deg V4 when the designed the RC212V which eventually (slowly) became a winner last year.

Totally agree the bike has the same characteristics as all ducati's from what I can gather, however where it misses out is that it has no extra usable power over the japs in motogp. In WSBK against a production based jap 1000, the exotic 1200 twin has a lot of advantages(honda RC51)
can't help thinking the duke relies on the extra and usuable power that allowes it to be ridden to its strengths and the jap bikes weaknesses and still be more than competitive. The same approach in motogp is always gonna be flawed unless the yam and honda were way down on power as they were in 2007 and even 2008 to some extent but not anymore...With the same power the jap bikes turn sharper are more nimble and better on corner entry, the ducati has no big easy power certainly not low down as with the twin nor anything else in its arsenal to combat that..

Painless - Thanks V Much for your insight.
I'd really like to hear you comment further/expand your line of thinking on 90degree vs more or less traction. Would be appreciated.

"I have made a point of following this for a long time because a 90 degree V four does not need more traction at the rear, it needs less, so the big bang notion is fundamentally flawed."

1. The twin-pulse Ducati was shelved because it kept breaking.
2. The WSBK Ducatis have less power and more weight but keep winning. One assumes they turn, but they have 90° engines. So did the RC51, btw.
3. The '75 750SS has 30° rake and a flexible frame, which might also be responsible for its dodgy handling.
4. "Perfect Primary Balance" says nothing about inertia, which determines how much the engine will keep spinning after closing the throttle. Nor does it necessarily say much about overall balance, since the secondary imbalances from short rods could potentially be worse than a 75° motor with longer rods.
5. Given how highly it's tuned and the size of valves it has, I really doubt that the 1098R has much more bottom end power than the 4's. What it has is a narrow engine that is easier to put a frame around, and (along with the cross-plane R1) a low inertial-torque engine design that doesn't trash its tyres.
6. I owned a Ducati 500GTS (parallel twin). It didn't turn either...

My own feelings with "big-bang vs. screamer" come from an experiment I did with an old, now gone, Yamaha TRX850 (does anyone remember that bike?).
That one got engines swapped at some point. The stock one with 270º cranskshaft (uneven firing order, so a "big-bang", to make the Parallel-Twin work as V-twin), and another one from a '93 TDM850, which is the same engine but with 360º crankshaft (even firing order, so a "screamer").

If compared, the "screamer" was more "2 stroke-ish" and "less diesel" (if that makes any sense).
It had less vibration, felt smoother, a lot less lumpy (if at all), but with a noticeable peaky distribution of power and torque, lost a LOT of engine-braking too.
In practical results, I felt the corner entry would perhaps feel improved for someone that likes the "loose" feeling of a 2-stroke (125cc/250cc riding style), but since I'm someone that has an habit of "square-ing" the corners and actually like engine-braking, it somehow made it a lot worse for me. It had also notoriously sacrificed the driveability and traction (corner exit on the gas felt much worse).
It had completely transformed the bike (for worse with the screamer, IMHO), and if all that was with an ~85hp sportbike, I can only imagine how it is on a brutal +230hp GP bike, even if there's lots of ways to mask each firing-order type traits, be it with electronics (TC, fuel-management), different flywheel wheights, slipper-clutch, etc, etc, etc.

BTW, the "screamer" also sounded more angry (and w/ higher pitch), which made things "feel" more dramatic to me, when there was no need for it.
I can't seem to find an old article, with an enterview of a Honda rider with a theory for the "sound-of-engine-psycological-thing-on-riding" when they introduced the big-bang for the NSR500.
I understood what he ment when experimenting this stuff on my TRX850. The mind works in misterious ways sometimes. :-) heh

Maybe someone that jumped from an '04 or '07 Yamaha R1 ("screamer") into one of the newer versions (post '09) of that bike (w/ "long-bang" engine) can better describe the differences on "big-bang vs. screamer" sensations, with closer basis for the MotoGP context, being higher specced bikes and much more powerfull.

I think it is good practice to provide a link to an article or quote in a public forum as not everyone has read all post over all time.
If you are familiar with the information - you don't have to click the link.
As to Rossi's choice, I was merely pointing out that 3 of the last 4 MotoGP world champs have ridden the latest incarnation of the Ducati screamer and dismissed it.

As for Preziosi, he states that his preference is for the engine that produces the best lap time: http://www.cyclenews.com/articles/road-racing/2010/11/08/ducati-boss-pre...

Preziosi also confirms that "the big bang has a more regular power curve whereas the screamer is more aggressive but also more powerful": http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2010/preziosi+reviews+rossi+first+day+at+v...

If Rossi is saying that the current big bang engine is still too aggresive, I can't see why he would want to consider the screamer with the current chassis and engine configuration.

However, without a doubt something does need to change. Whether it is unique tyres, engine layout or firing order.
It's also worth noting that a Jeremy Burgess has some experience of working with changes to firing order.
Some interesting and relevent observations here: http://www.superbikeplanet.com/NSR500.htm

"As for Preziosi, he states that his preference is for the engine that produces the best lap time."

This is Preziosi basically saying nothing at all - something that he has a special talent for. Everyone in the team prefers the engine that produces the best lap time, especially the rider!

"If Rossi is saying that the current big bang engine is still too aggresive, I can't see why he would want to consider the screamer with the current chassis and engine configuration."

Ahh, but what if the characteristics of the screamer engine when braking and turning in are better suited to Rossi's cornering style? From what I can see of his performances, Rossi can overcome the aggressive power delivery, but he can't overcome the D16s tendency to run on in corners.

If the screamer corners better, surely that would work in Rossi's favour... and perhaps his rather abrupt dismissal of the screamer as an option was where he went wrong? As far as I can remember he only rode it once, at the Valencia test that immediately followed the last race of 2010.

And, interestingly, Stoner suggested that the screamer might be the best choice for Rossi, well before Rossi had even thrown a leg over the D16...



Google works fine, you just have to input to Google to get results.

Arm pump was a problem for Stoner at Jerez. Go look at the footage of the podium where they handed out the trophys. Stoner ain't left handed (holds trophy in left hand) and his hand shakes were more than suspect on the podium. Plus in the MOTOGP footage after the race you can see him talking to Jorge and pointing to his right arm being very animated doing so.

I think it'll effect him in the next race. But then again I had Pedrosa winning Jerez (because of the arm pump issue only), so what do I know.

I definitely think he's playing down the arm pump for public and competitor consumption. During post race press conference he was doing all his gesturing with his left and has you say he's not known as a leftie. More telling was that his right arm was motionless with the hand down below the table. Not a conspiracy theorist by any means but I don't think we've seen the last of this. As another poster said arm pump gets worse with use. We have more races coming up and it will be more aggravating in the dry with greater braking and bike handling forces at play. Hope he sorts it as he believes.

Watching the race and now the on board race from motogp website has got my brain ticking over about riding styles.

It was very obvious in the race footage Sunday that Lorenzo was closing Stonner down on the later stadium section of the track where the corners flowed one into the other. Everyone is attributing this to the M1, but I think its more to do with Lorenzo's style, aka 250cc and 800MGP heritage of massive mid corner speed.

Watching the onboard footage now I see that both Pedrosa and Crutchlow are using a more Stoner esq line and style into and out of the corner relying less on max mid corner speed.

With the extra weight and torque of the 1000cc bikes it seems we are seeing the ability for a flexibility in riding style where there really was none in the 800cc era.

Max out your corner speed may no longer be the best way around a track, and may be wearing your front tyre out as several riders have commented on. Remember this is no traction control on the front wheel, unlike the rear. If you overload your front tyre you will wear it out. Then your left to try and steer the bike on the rear wheel out of the corners...

If this is the case, I think Crutchlow given his superbike background may be faster to adapt than some of the long term 250/800 competitors. Mind you it leaves Ben Spies in a scary dark place at the moment given his racing heritage.

....I totally agree w/your assessments. Watching the race live, I noticed some stuble differences in Jorge's body position during cornering, especially mid-corner. Watching the race a second time, I saw the same thing. Stoner has always had an interesting body position and has the most pronounced body 'movement' during cornering, especially during exit. Cal is somewhat similiar to Casey and Nicky has always moved on the bike. Gonna be interesting to see how this continues as the season moves to its conclusion. The ease of which Casey went from #7 at turn 1 to the lead was scary. He almost seemed to be on a sunday ride, picking up positions as easily as I order a cup of coffee at Stars.... The 'only' thing that keeps Casey from winning WC #3 is arm pump! He was in total control at Jerez, ridding just fast enough to stay in front.

David, please, please when you get around to writing about the many stories in MotoGP at the moment and its finally the Ducati saga's turn. Use that dulcet voice, the secret stash of 200 year old scotch whiskey or the secret dirt files, whatever it takes to get Preziosi, Valentinio and JB to sit down (separately) to explain preferably in depth what they believe the problem is with the Ducati (or the Ducati designer/rider/race engineer). I suspect that the problem(s) is/are more complicated than a simple fix and a knowledgeable informed opinion on the subject would be a welcome breath of fresh air.

I have enjoyed reading the many knowledgeable people commenting on MM what they believe the problems are, however much their views are interesting reading, like my views I suspect their largely uninformed poo!.

You may wish to also include in the interview the opinions of the gentleman who posted the insightful comment about the gold sparkle anti chatter paint on the Honda. I suspect that his views might be a least as informative as the other interviewees, at least he would be willing I suspect to provide honest answers.

I live in hope and anticipation to your upcoming articles


I doubt anyone at Ducati wants to talk about it, so it can end up on the internetwaves, regardless whether the Scotch David has is 200 or 400 years old ...

How exactly would it help them to talk about it??? They need to talk to each other perhaps first, so they can improve the bike and finally pull for one side of a rope .... until then we will have to do with the parsed one-liners and often out of context stuff.

mxs, I agree with you - I doubt anyone at Ducati wants to talk about it, but that doesn't mean that they won't if suitable trust, enabling mechanisms or even the correct spin is put on the request - e.g. It would passivate the anger/frustration or renew the faith of the legions of Ducati/Rossi/MotoGP fans.

How exactly would it help? - Well when I look in he MM forums at the topic "Ducati goings on. Part 2" I see 1999 replies and 79,643 views. I assume all those people are interested in Ducati, it would help them (and me) to understand.

I assume you mean how exactly would it help Ducati?, I'm sure a little lateral thought from people who are good at relationships, team, brand building, satisfying sponsors etc can dream up a few reasons, see my suggestion in paragraph one and I'm crap at that sort of thing.

So David if you read this and it's humanly possible you know what I and a large number of viewers would love to hear.


P.S. I'm sick of endless speculation and uninformed but well meaning opinion on what is wrong with Ducati e.g. "They need to talk to each other perhaps first, so they can improve the bike". Let's ask the horses directly you might be right but is it informed opinion , great guesswork or frustration at the lack of a resolution.

You have to follow Vale to where he hangs out,bring a good looking chick and a bottle(or 3) of whatever he drinks, get him spiced up and turn on the recorder.Let the chick handle the interview. I fear there would be some unpublishable word on that interview!