2012 Mugello MotoGP Friday Round Up: Lorenzo's Speed, Stoner's Attitude, And Bridgestone's Tires

"I don't really want to look at the timesheet," Cal Crutchlow said at the end of the first day of practice at Mugello, "because Lorenzo's run was an absolute joke." Crutchlow is well-known for his colorful language - in every sense of that phrase - and his words are easy to misinterpret. But a glance at the consistency of Lorenzo's times soon makes you understand exactly what Crutchlow meant. On the hard rear tire, Lorenzo was running mid to low 1'48s, with many laps within a few hundredths of each other. On the evidence of Friday, Lorenzo is not just going to win this race, he is going to embarrass the entire field.

Just where does this speed come from? Crutchlow had told an Italian journalist previously that looking at Lorenzo's data, he leans the bike over further than it has any business being leaned over. Whenever any other rider uses that much lean angle, they crash. Lorenzo was reluctant at first to divulge his secrets, joking that he treated his tires with Rockstar, the brand of energy drink that is his personal sponsor, but later he explained the key to carrying so much lean angle was mainly smoothness. "It's a combination of things, it's the way you brake, the way you enter the corner, the way you move on the bike, if you are smooth or you are aggressive. If you are more aggressive, you can enter faster but then if you want to make the same angle you can crash. It's not easy to change your riding style to get more lean angle."

Though several riders got close to Lorenzo's time, most were on soft tires at the time, and none had the spirit-sapping consistency of the Factory Yamaha man. For example, despite posting the third-fastest time of the afternoon session, Nicky Hayden was fairly downbeat after practice. His pace on hard tires had been around a 1'48.9, he said, but the Factory Ducati rider had struggled with corner entry. That is a long way from Lorenzo's pace. Hayden's teammate Valentino Rossi was well down the timesheets, but the Italian had never bothered fitting a soft tire. There was little point, as racing on the soft is not an option: the prototype riders have been advised that the soft won't last the race distance, though it could be possible for the CRT riders to race the soft, the CRT bikes not loading the tires as much as the prototypes.

But it was not just the soft not being a race option: Rossi had suffered chatter for most of both sessions, he said, and his first priority was trying to fix that. The problem seemed to be a setting with the front fork, and his crew appeared to have solved the issue by the end of the day. Rossi was losing his time in the second half of the track, and if the chatter was fixed, then he felt he was not too far from the group at the front, he said. Tomorrow would see whether the problem really was solved or not.

The Hondas were in deeper trouble, however. Both riders struggled with the hard tire, though Dani Pedrosa's crew had found some solutions in the afternoon, which Pedrosa described as "a big step forward". Stoner, however, had had a very tough day indeed. They were a long way off the pace, Stoner said, explaining that they simply could not get the hard tire to work, in much the same way as they had at Assen. They were not getting enough temperature into the normal hard tire - never mind the additional hard tire, with the extra rubber layer to dissipate the heat. They can't get any feeling from it, especially on the left side, and that made the bike very nervous, Stoner said.

Stoner had not just struggled with the tires, however, he had also had a spot of bother with a CRT bike. On the TV feed, all we saw was Stoner nearly running into the back of Danilo Petrucci on the IODA CRT machine, and then putting a rather hard move on the Italian. But there was more to it than that, Stoner explained. After Stoner had passed him going into one corner, Petrucci had outbraked the Australian and tried to go around the outside. Petrucci had then hit the limiter and Stoner had nearly run into the back of him. "He destroyed my lap," Stoner told the press, and that had prompted Stoner to make it clear to Petrucci that he was not happy with the chain of events. He had not actually touched Petrucci, he said. "I didn't push him off track. I just didn't give him a lot of room and needed him to back off and give me my space," Stoner said, before launching an attack on the CRT bikes, and the danger of the speed differential between the CRTs and the factory prototypes.

After Stoner's media debrief, debate raged hotly between journalists over the wrongs and rights of the move. A part of the press - probably the majority - believed there was nothing much wrong with Stoner's move: there had been no contact, and Stoner was the faster rider by far. Another part said that though the move was on the edge of acceptability, it was not a good example to the younger riders which Stoner had been so vocal about wanting better behavior from. Race Direction more or less agreed: both Stoner and Petrucci were hauled in to have a conversation about the incident. No action was taken against either rider, but the very fact that they were hauled up before the beak should have been enough to inform the pair to take it a little easy.

From my perspective, certainly from the initial viewing, the move appeared way over the top from Stoner. His explanation of what happened prior to that incident - events that Race Direction would have seen, having access to every camera shot at the track, not just the few shown on the live feed - mitigates Stoner's behavior a little, and certainly goes a long way towards explaining it. It was certainly a lapse of judgment, however, and a move which Stoner would have been wiser not to make. The biggest problem is that at a stroke, Stoner has undone all the good he has attempted to do in improving rider safety. Any criticism he now makes of other riders will be thrown back in his face, with charges of hypocrisy. He will find it hard to be taken seriously in his criticisms in the future.

The reality of the situation was summed up by several journalists after the event. Stoner is just like Mick Doohan, they said: like Doohan, Stoner really just wants the track to himself. Anyone else having the temerity to use the track is a mere irritation, impinging on what Stoner and Doohan believed was their territory. Arguing the point with them was impossible, for as one journalist pointed out, "Mick was right even when he was wrong." That self-belief, that utter conviction is what allows them to scale the giddy heights they do. There is no room for nuance, or debate, or shades of opinion in their world: if they stopped to contemplate situations, they would lose a couple of seconds a lap. What the rest of the world thinks is irrelevant: it won't make them any faster on the track, so it is not even worth thinking about. Riders are extraordinary individuals, so it is perhaps churlish to expect them to be open to the kind of reason which might persuade ordinary people.

On Thursday, there had been much complaining about the tire situation, and the fact that Bridgestone had asked all of the MotoGP riders to put in a run of 12 consecutive laps on the normal hard tire - the original construction, not the new 'safety' construction with the extra heat dissipation layer - before allowing them to race on it. The red flag that came halfway through the afternoon session of practice - a result of a Hector Barbera crash that required cleaning the track of the gravel and dust thrown on to it - meant that was impossible for most of the riders, but almost everyone had put more than enough laps on the tire. The preliminary results of the examination looked positive, though I asked before the examination was complete. No damage was found, and no anomalies which point to the tires disintegrating in the heat. The hard tire, the version which Bridgestone had originally planned as the harder of the two options, will be the one that almost all the prototype riders, at least, will race. The safety tire is still an option, but the original hard gave fractionally better edge grip, though they both felt almost identical.

And so the tire situation at Mugello looks like ending not with a bang, but with a whimper. Bridgestone's original allocation turned out to be a pretty good fit to Mugello's hot and high-speed track. The problems at Assen were just that, problems in very specific conditions, with temperatures much higher than expected causing unforeseen problems. That is in itself a fundamental flaw of the spec tire system: the allocation is decided at the start of the season, and tires manufactured a very long way in advance, then shipped from Japan to Europe by surface freight. A larger allocation with an extra tire choice might fix the problem, as would requiring the tires to be manufactured in Europe, to allow tires to be built especially much closer to the event, when the tire manufacturer has a clearer idea of the weather conditions likely to prevail.

Change, at least in the short and medium term, is unlikely. Cost is key, and until MotoGP can start to generate massive income from sponsorship, the keeping costs down will be the most important factor in the rules. On any given Sunday, MotoGP should be about the very best riders on the very best bikes featuring the very best components that money can buy. But MotoGP simply does not have the money to do that, and so we have the very best riders on some extraordinary machines, on top flight components. It is better than no championship at all.

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I think journalists should only tell the competition story. Instead they bait competitors to make fools of themselves. If I were in charge, I'd ban journalist from the paddock completely. Maybe give them a few audiences with selected riders or drivers periodically. Basically, they hurt the sport with all their fabrication and the shaping of public perceptions. Disgusting to me. Worse in recent years than ever. All sports too. Just bullshit.

journalist <=> commentator (?) ... bla ... bla bla ... bla bla bla ...

=> human beings (= endocrinological/biophysical/-chemical, spiritual "programms") ...


=> body, mind(, soul) ...
=> atoms, quarks, frequencies ...
=> inFORMA(RE)tion | consciousness ...

hmm ... it's hard (but possible) to let go of one's FALSE EGO ... good luck ...

But that is freedom of speech to ask and not be told, its a fine line governing speech this web site provides very insightful articles that quench the readers thirst for inside knowledge and yes personal opinions from the writers. but we are all fans, that is why we are here, to get an insiders perspective. David has produce many fine articles on this sport because he is a fan, so please keep it up David. I for one would hate to have to come on here everyday and read post like this, from people who watch on TV and have a very conservative and sometimes communistic attitude bashing my work. freedom is freedom so suck it up butter cup. 20 people voted and give this comment 3 stars? so sad so very sad.

Ban Journalists and only allow selected riders to speak to the press? - move to North Korea, they only allow 'selected people' to have a voice.
Criticising Stoner is brave, especially for a Journo as we can see on here today.

Like it or not, the readership/viewership isn't just interested in the standings, scores, times, etc. They want the soap opera, and the more, the dirtier, the nastier it is the more the masses eat it up. Obviously, this is one hell of a commentary on society.

Stoner's ability is undeniable but his attitude continues to baffle me. Instead of handling himself with just a little restraint he seems to want to burn every bridge in the paddock. At 26 it's very possible he'll live another 60+ years. I hope he's invested wisely since he seems to want to make a return to Motogp impossible if he decides retirement isn't what he really wants.


At Assen, he didn't suffer tire chunking like Spies or Rossi.. He WON the race.. and was STILL complaining the most of anybody. Sheeesh!

The guy is just not happy. Retiring and removing himself from the situation really is the best decision.

His talent will be missed.. the attitude, not so much.

It's really simple. Petrucci is slower by seconds a lap on his CRT bike. He should not have tried to re-pass Stoner - just a completely daft thing to do, with the consequences more or less inevitable.

If this had happened between Stoner and a rider who could match him for speed, Stoner's behaviour would be more questionable, but it sounds like Petrucci never had a hope of doing anything other than screwing up Stoner's lap and then nearly causing a crash.

David describes Stoner's response as a 'rather hard move' but doesn't elaborate on what it actually involved, so it's difficult to judge the proportionality. Having said that, in the past whenever Valentino Rossi has leaned hard on someone – even in a race, and at the risk of losing his team the championship and/or knocking the other rider off – he seemed to get unending praise for his determination and fire.

Sounds like Petrucci was trying to impress his home crowd by repassing Stoner or something, which is not smart in a practice session especially if you're on the slowest bike in the field.

David, I think your comments are a little over the top regarding this. Stoner didn't give Petrucci much room but he didn't run him off track or barge into him, despite whatever was being said in the Italian dominated press room though.

Actually, I recommend you review the MotoGP FP2 video highlights and go to the 1:05 mark.

Although 2D, it sure looks to me like a Sofuoglu'esqe move

"Deserves it", "had it coming", "in the right"....pick your comment

Bottom-line in my book is a World Champion, Safety lead, role model just shouldn't be acting like this

The reality is that was two races, actually just one, with Sete. One single race. I wouldn't even count Laguna because Casey put just as hard passes on Valentino, was there on the track and saw it with my own eyes. So anyway, one race with Sete never practice so please don't try to pass off fiction as truth.

This is repeated behavior for Casey. Last year he physically punched Randy Depiniet in the arm whilst on track.


He has a history of flipping people off in practice as well as Julian Ryder talked about it last year.

These incidents for Casey seem to happen at a steady pace. It's not if it's when.

Lorenzo in 2010, when Rossi nearly ran him off the track, which could have cost Yamaha the championship if it ended badly. Questionable doing that to any rider - unthinkable doing it to a teammate who's almost certain to the title when you haven't got a hope yourself.

lorenzo didn't have to try to pass Rossi if he was so concerned about his championship. He could of rode for points. Instead he passed Rossi. What did you expect Rossi to do? There were no team orders. Granted Lin Jarvis seemed peeved but Furusawa was smiling.

Care to elaborate what you had seen with your own eyes regarding the hard passes Casey tried to put on Rossi? Wasn't Rossi leading most of the time during the race? How about the sayings that Rossi was brake checking Stoner?

A barge is a barge. Race or practise. Valentino hitting Sete @ Jerez is truth, not fiction. It actually happened. Stoner's coming together with Petrucci is weak sauce comparing to Rossi's with Sete. But yeah, when the man says "It's racing", the whole world echoes.

Valentino didn't "hit" Sete. Sete left an opening and Valentino went for it. It was a questionable move but he wanted to win . If you think I'm wrong about the way it went down, watch the race again....

Not even the same thing. Petrucci said if that happened in a race then he'd understand, but it's practice. You can defend stupid behavior all you want. Forest said it, stupid is as stupid does. This isn't the first time and this wasn't a race. Go ask one of these guys what the difference is between fp2 and a race and get back to us.

As far as Laguna, yeah I was there. Turn 3 paddock suite, 20 ft. Above the track and can see them come out of turn 2, ingress/egress of turn 3, the short straight under the bridge and into turn 4. And I had the live monitor feed on 2 monitors so I could see every pass. Casey rode a beautiful race that race. He put in every bit as hard passes on Vale as Vale did on him. A Scottish friend took photos and he has one coming through turn 3 and they were so close the photo looks like one bike not two. Casey's passes that race earned me as a fan. He fought tooth and nail and his passes back on Vale were every bit as impressive. He lost but he fought admired that. Then he went into parc ferme and whined and cried about passes when he put in every bit as hard of passes. He rode a race that will be remembered always and what did he do, whine, whine, whine. Just like today he acted out because he want #1 on the board.. Biggest sore loser I've ever seen in any sport.

Recently he got beat by his team mate fair and square, chatter and all, and it's the marshals fault. Oh wait a minute it's Dorna's fault for engine rules that the MSMA made, specifically your mfr. you are riding for.

Quit deflecting his behavior on anyone else, Rossi or otherwise.

I watched Doohan ride. DE's article is factual. To Mick it was an insult that you were on his track. The only other rider I've seen act like this in practice in a decade is The Roman Emperor.

And you have been whining ever since and we all get to read your and all the other whiners whining about Stoner whining every time we read comments on this site and every other site that is infected by your and your likes whining.

Do agree that Stoner has a history of showing his temper during practises, but what actually happened between himself and Petrucci really seem to be blown out of proportion. You would like me to "Go ask one of these guys what the difference is between fp2 and a race" and get back to you, what do you mean by that? Look, you're the one who get to enjoy the US GP T3 paddock suite while I'm the common folk at T3 grandstand under the hot sun ;)

I also agree that Stoner has no business to point fingers at the marshals during Assen race but hey, during one US GP, Alex De'Angelis blamed the marshals confused him on the last lap, causing him to lose his position to Roger Lee Hayden...

Your distaste for Stoner seems very personal as you tends to take a negative view in everything he says. Like you, Stoner is exercising his freedom of speech I guess :) Maybe we should, as you suggested, compare Stoner to Max and Sete to make the whole world peaceful again!


... a very informative and enjoyable report David - hats off to you.

I was disturbed by Stoners actions today in free practice, and considered them to be excessive and unnecessary - I'm just glad that no-one was injured as a result, and look forward to a good, clean race this weekend.

Jorge Lorenzo appears to be from a different planet again at Mugello.

is unlikely to come back, that's all there is to it. He's made up his mind he wants to do something else, and even if he did come back, it would be completely on his terms, and no cap in hand for him. That's what makes him the prototypical Aussie racer - cast in the mould of Campbell, Phillis, Gardner, Doohan and so many others who came before. Just enjoy him now, and wait a while till the next one comes along.

Despite the haters' opinions, the stuff about 'burning bridges' etc., a returning Casey could probably pick up a ride wherever he wanted. He had a long factory career with Ducati, he's had 2 years with Honda and this year if he'd wanted Honda probably would have given him an open cheque to extend his contract for as long as he desired. The idea that no one would sign him because he's 'burnt his bridges' by expressing his opinions and failing to bow down to Dorna and the race officials doesn't stack up to scrutiny when you consider his extraordinary achievements and how attractive he would be to ANY team.

But Stoner is a knob....always complaining about something, and today's move was just dumb, and could have ended up much worse. I'd hate to see a great rider retire, but I'm glad he's gone after this year....I get the feeling he's pretty toxic to everyone around him....except his wife, of course, who can't tear herself away for 10 minutes and feels the need to hold the umbrella for him at every race while toting their daughter all over the race calendar.

Soon Mixedup, Stoner will be gone, yippee! Then you'll be able to celebrate the next best rider in the world winning championships. Perhap we should call it "the motogp world champion but one"...

So much space devoted to one incident with Stoner. How Emmett loves a good beat up. Maybe you should look more into the story before posting this thinly disguised hate mail. Read your twitter feed and you will see tweets from both riders saying discussed, we're good, get on with it. But Emmett waxes on, fanning the flames. Don't confuse your opinions with fact, you tend to write as if your word is gospel, and that is far from the facts of the matter. Get over it and get on with reporting facts and not beat up, blown up opinion.

At times I do think David has a tendency at times to wax lyrical and write wordy pieces couched as analysis that are really just a longwinded account of what has been succinctly covered elsewhere and, as you put it 'writes as if his word is gospel'. I'm not saying he does this all the time.

I don't think he's done anything wrong in writing this piece, though I DO think it is a little unfair to Stoner. It shouldn't surprise anyone that a blindingly fast rider wants the slower riders out of his way. That's how you win races. But David has at least taken time to try and analyse the situation, which is something you won't really find anywhere else. And it was the biggest talking point of the day, after all.

>>At times I do think David has a tendency at times to wax lyrical

That's the main reason for coming to this site!

>>It shouldn't surprise anyone that a blindingly fast rider wants the slower riders out of his way. That's how you win races.

Yes, in FP2. Big trophies I hear. Stoner was just pissed that a bike that he doesn't even think should be on the track at the same time as a prototype bike had the gall to get in his way. Oh, and he was having tire issues too so was already not a happy camper. If the idea (which Stoner is quite vocal about) that the speed differential makes being near CRTs dangerous than why invite disaster a 2nd time by deliberately giving him a close fly-by? Didn't Sofuoglu in WSS just get a penalty for a similar move during a race?

I guess nobody's perfect but it should have been a 2 way apology.


>> Yes, in FP2. Big trophies I hear.

Yes indeed, the trophy is using precious time to the fullest extent, getting your bike set up correctly and measuring yourself against your nearest competitors. It's not just a sightseeing tootle around the track - it never is, any time someone fires up a MotoGP bike whether in practice, qualifying, racing or testing.

Was going to have a peek at your site, Chris, but the slightly belittling tone you strike ('duh' - what an eminent contribution) doesn't serve well as an advertisement for its content or the level of debate you might sponsor.

and had a look at your site. That's some cool work - not that you need me to tell you. Happy milling.

A little over done on his part, but he got his message across. No harm done and none intended.

Stoner's attitude? You gotta be kidding when compared to that Harpo Marx on the Ducati who calls others pussys etc and can't/won't (his words in print) ride to his fullest potential because he says the bike isn't up to his standards even though paid waaaaaaaay toooooo much to ride.

Lorenzo for the win, Pedrosa seconds behind and if Stoners lucky a third place seconds Pedrosa.

Anyone notice Rossi giving Hayden a tow during practice? Want's Haden as his co rider dispite his denials of wanting that.

Hmmm, saw Rossi getting a tow behind Mr Barbera in practice. Just what he does in the races for most of the races..........getting a tow from the riders in front of him til the last few laps of the race. My perspective of how Rossi rides the Ducati. Go look at past races this year and observe if in doubt.

Ducati? Not even close to being all the bikes fault. Welcome Mr Crutchlow to Ducati, please. A determined rider if ever there was one.

David's write up is dead on. This is getting coverage because it's not the first time. Stoner has a history of flipping riders the bird, shaking his fist, punching rider's in the arm, etc. when things aren't going good. He either has an incident or launches into one of his tirades and moans as loud as a lion.

It is entertaining to listen to his fans play these incidents down. If it were another rider punching someone on the track you'd have a field day.

I think Petrucci said he'd understand if it were a race, but this was practice.

The reality is Stoner wasn't doing as well as he normally does in practice so he was throwing his toys out of the pram. Petrucci was just the latest recipient.

The flipside to that is watching his haters try to make a mountain out a molehill - Stoner did not punch Petrucci, and actually no real contact was made. As an isoloted incident its hardly worth the column inches its taken up. Yes, Stoner has a history of tantrums, but that doesn't mean the pass on Petrucci was anything other than what it was. Hard but not malicious.

Contact was made, as previously pointed out, @ 1:05 mark of the FP2 highlights. As far as the punching goes, it was RDP14 that Stoner punched in the arm, while on track.

You state this was "an isolated incident". That is hardly the case. Stoner has repeatedly taken his frustration and juvenile attitude out on his fellow competitors. It requires the inches of column because it is repeated. Then you discount your self and previous statement by saying "Stoner has a history of tantrums". Tantrums by their nature are intended to be self serving, so "malicious" was the intent! I don't believe "haters" hate Stoner. They hate his uncivilized behavior. This is the pinnacle of motorsport! Hard passing in a race is the nature of the business. Silly, petulant passing in practice, isn't. Unfortunately, you are not the only one posting this kind of misguided opinion. What kind of tragedy would it take for y'alls attitude to change concerning this abhorrent behavior? The only "molehill" that can come of this type of consistently poor behavior is one that covers a casket.

@Bricktop ' If it were another rider punching someone on the track you'd have a field day.'

You mean like Luthi to Marquez?

Or do you mean like Biaggi and Rossi?

Sorry, but that barely raised a ripple on a calm pond did it not as I cannot recall many people discussing it.

As for the incident at hand the full explanation put forward in David's story is well written and quite understandable as to why Stoner acted petulantly. However, given that number of people seem to feel that Stoner did not act untoward thence it is a matter of opinion and simply because David says he felt it harsh does not make David worthy of ridicule (IMO).

That said, I do recall similar hard passes in practice this year that have gone relatively under the radar, but Stoner does have a history of complaining of the slower bikes (quite rightly when the dawdle or baulk) and as such is more open to ridicule by fandom because of this (not rightly so but still we on the internet know better than the riders as we are all keyboard warriors)

would it simply be a racing incident...


For the many haters of Stoner above? Your prayers will be answered by the end of the year, he will be gone... But, in the back of your mind, when you see whomever is crowned champion, for the next 6 or 7 years, you'll have one lingering doubt "would he have beaten Stoner?" To Lorenzo's credit he does NOT want Stoner to leave, as he wants to beat the best, he especially feels the loss of such talented competition.

For the lovers of Stoner? Well, it'll be sad... but we'll watch motogp anyway, and love the spectacle of it all...

And we will all be wondering how good the RACING could've been with that gifted flying outspoken Alien, that packed it up so young and came home... It provides us, as lovers of the sport a lot to think about, what drove him to make such a decision? Not just Dorna, but is it the booing he recieves from some at English events, is it the favourable teatment he percieves about European riders, does he feel that Vale was the one he wanted to beat, a conclusive victory over an older and but slowing champion? Does he feel the whole sport is just too ugly?

For the nasty people that drag him down (and those that do the same to Rossi, Pedrossa etc haters) think about what you do? If you see a great rider doing his best, stand and clap, if you dont like what he says 'listen/read something else'. Just don't write/say hate, these are young men with feelings.

"But, in the back of your mind, when you see whomever is crowned champion, for the next 6 or 7 years, you'll have one lingering doubt - would he have beaten Stoner?"

Actually in 3-5 years everyone will say "Yeah, Stoner, but he never raced against Marquez, Vinales, Iannone, etc. etc. etc." Don't believe me? Go back and look at what everyone was saying about Vale 5 years ago. Today he can't hold a candle to the "aliens". Same thing will happen to Stoner. Old news is old.

If Lorenzo, Pedrosa etc race against, and beat the likes of Marquez, Vinales, Iaonne etc then we will know (by simple logical deduction) that Stoner would beat them too. There will be talent that comes through that cannot be compared but that will be when none of the people Stoner raced against are competing and beating the next generation.

Also, the old news comment doesn't really seem to apply well to MotoGP as people still debate whether Ago or Doohan or Hailwood or (insert names) would have beaten (insert current riders names), rinse and repeat.

Actually, no, I won't have a lingering doubt. I've admired Stoner's talent, his willingness to speak his mind, but he's gone too far. He's obviously unhappy, and I applaud him for leaving under his own terms. The problem is he wants to burn the house down on the way out and he wants everyone else to join in. He had the opportunity to leave as at least a two time world champion and a class act. Too late for that....
As far as being booed...cry me a river. The dude has traveled the world, been paid millions and ridden the greatest bikes on the planet. There's people who'd literally die trying to get where he is. If he's really such a tough, think skinned Aussie what do some boo's matter. Pedrosa gets booed in the US every year, I don't see him whinning about it. And favoritism towards the Europeans, he's beaten Rossi fairly. Won a championship on a bike that Rossi can barely ride. He should take some pride in that...instead he walks around with a 400lb chip on his shoulder.

Well spotted imflyboy, HRC simply needs to cut that 400lb chip off of Stoner's shoulder and he'll be as quick as Gorge...

So are you condoning booing because Dani tolerates it? Is this what we've come too? That crowd acts of poor sportsmanship are dismissed out of hand? You buy a ticket and that's it, boo whoever you want too... I will NEVER boo a rider or anyone else who puts themselves out there, you should watch WWE or some other crap.

'There are people who'd literally die to get where he is'.. yeah but they couldn't for many reasons, lack of dedication etc but the most common? A lack of talent!

'cry me a river', why such talk? but you've definitely mastered the art of the 'cliche'...

Petrucci shouldn't have gone passed stoner. What an idiot he was show boating to the home crowd during a crucial practise session.. The press don't like stoner because of his bluntness, confidence and well-founded distrust of them, hence the damning opinions. Stoner was in the right, and he had to express himself to petrucci. But David is right about one thing - this is just the kind of thing we must expect from top riders. They aren't normal people, so enjoy their inhuman talents and their eccentricities. This is all part of the show. Stoner is maybe the best rider ever. He wouldn't have put a move on petrucci that hd thought would have actually endangered him. Think of it as a sniper shooting off another snipers pony tail. Looks outrageously dangerous to us, but to them there is no risk.

If you had bothered to read the article you might have seen that most of the press seem to be on Stoner's side.

"A part of the press - probably the majority - believed there was nothing much wrong with Stoner's move"

Gosh you Euros are a strange bunch. Valentino Rossi acdtually shoulder charges a rider off the race track, so he can win, and he is lauded far and wide. An Aussie makes a "hard move' and he is lambasted. Jeez, you lot would have hated to see Phillis, Campell and mad 'AJ' in action in the early years of Superbike racing. And ask Magee about the black tyre marks on the number boards on his Ducati. These blokes raced hard and close, but they never ran each other off the track, way too much class for that. And respect. Not like Harpo the Yellow Fellow.

Only one thing is certain:

Hordes of crash.net junkies have been migrating to this site over the past year. I'm surprised we're not debating Spies vs Toseland instead of Stoner vs Petrucci.

I cannot believe that someone has the nerve to complain on a open and free site about the commentary by the host! @rholcomb WTF?!?!

Stoner is definitely burning bridges as fast as he possibly can, but its not out of character so why be surprised.

Seems like Lorenzo has sussed out the tires better than anyone else, and these days, that is the key to mastering a MotoGP machine. If Rossi would quit dicking around with whatever he's not happy with and simply ride the tires to their limit, he'd be fine.

If an Italian or Spaniard had done what Stoner had done the cry would have been against the CRT rider. No way Lorenzo, Rossi, Pedrosa or Marquez would have been hauled before race direction. But because it was Stoner it is an outcry. Lazy tabloid journalism.

Those that hate Stoner will get the MotoGP they want next year. It will be a spanish whitewash with nothing but PR screened comments. The bikes will be one step closer to dead boring which means nothing to stay tuned in for if you like the technicality of the sport. A few non spanish/italian riders are being kept around because they sell bikes in the home country but will never be given a genuine shot at competing.

Good luck increasing revenues (the only way to save MotoGP) with all Spanish podiums and the Spanish economy in the toilet.

I am glad Stoner is leaving, he is way to good for MotoGP and neither the sport, sorry the contrived entertainment, or the fans deserve the opportunity to have him participate.

Enjoy what you asked for because you will get it in spades next year.

I have noticed over the years that Stoner causes a dramatic stirring within people, the following parts of this article perfectly illustrate the theatrics:

"The move appeared way over the top from Stoner". -- I like the way over the top outrage expressed for an incident that involved no contact.

"The biggest problem is that at a stroke, Stoner has undone all the good he has attempted to do in improving rider safety. Any criticism he now makes of other riders will be thrown back in his face, with charges of hypocrisy. He will find it hard to be taken seriously in his criticisms in the future." -- Even with a rather excellent record for clean passing and safety Stoner's comments and criticisms have never been taken seriously by many people (fans, journos etc). His comments are already regularly thrown back in his face. Many people have already called him a hypocrite, sighting quite ludicrous 'evidence' of his unsafe riding. This paragraph whilst filled with drama is not very realistic. You have to have respect to lose it and a great deal of the MotoGP community have never given Stoner or his comments any respect, so he has nothing to lose.

Simple thing is, Stoner is a straight talking, safe rider, who is quite amazing to watch, he will be gone in 10 races and we will be on to the next batch of racers. Stoner draws readers in, he encourages debate and drama, all of this carry on is just journos trying to get every last drop before they have to work harder for an audience once again... hahaha :D

I often read the comments after Davids articles because the majority are valid, balanced and insightful opinions of the sport we all love. To log on and see all this mindless vitriol and trolling appear on here is saddening. David is it finally time to restrict the comments section to subscribers?

If cost is really important they should make less tyres available.

Nowadays racing is more about conserving tyre degradation than about anything else. The 21 liter / 6 engine rule looks pretty ridiculous when you look at that huge pile of used tyres after a race weekend.

Make a longer lasting tyre, with low degradation available, it might even benifit real life road tyre development.

I really value this site and appreciate the quality (generally) of the comments, which seem to come from quite a few people with true inside 'insight'.

Mostly, I value David's jounalism, obvious passion for the sport and its characters and the fact that he can spell and punctuate and use a variety of real words to communicate the whole thing in an interesting way.

Freedom of access and speech is something I wouldn't like to lose.

I'm hoping that people will wake up and realise that respect for other peoples' views and passions, and expressing disagreement in a polite way is actually a much more intelligent and just nicer way for us all to enjoy this site and others.

Someone must be working on some software for this...........

Times are tough - can buying a T or such qualify too please?

I've noticed a pattern emerge on Motomatters amongst some commenters here. When someone expresses disagreement with something Emmett writes, even when it is laced with anti-stoner sentiment (as this write-up is) the peanut gallery chime in with 'oh, you're from crash.net' or 'Oh, David is always the most succinct and accurate writer on the net, how dare you disagree with him' etc etc 'troll' and so on... well, yawn me a river.

Free speech is free speech, just as the author on this site expresses his opinion on things, so too can anyone who follows MotoGP or this site express their opinion based on their take on Emmett's articles... So who is right ? I've noticed on Twitter Emmett getting into issues with other journos for the way he writes opinion in the guise of fact. One small example from this write up:

"Stoner has undone all the good he has attempted to do in improving rider safety. Any criticism he now makes of other riders will be thrown back in his face, with charges of hypocrisy. He will find it hard to be taken seriously in his criticisms in the future."

No David, he wont. That is what you think, but that is not to say what you think is correct. To say that Stoner dhas undone everything he has done to improve rider safety, and will have no effect on it in the future (when he has been one of the biggest proponents of it on, and off track) because of this one small move ? Really ? The earlier razor-sharp comment comparing Stoner's move to a sniper shooting off another snipers ponytail was beautifully expressed, and shows a far greater understanding and awareness of what happened on track, than Emmett did.

If I read baloney I'll call it, and David's reading of this incident was way off, sorry.. I wonder what Matt Oxley had to say about this incident.

It is perfectly clear what I do, and I make it perfectly clear what is my opinion, and what are the facts as I understand them. Other websites are available if this one does not meet your expectations.

Mat Oxley was one of the journalists involved in the discussion described in the piece. I'm sure he will write about the situation in Motor Sports Magazine.

As for censoring comments, or closing them off to subscribers only, it is not something I want to do. I only delete comments which contribute nothing or contain insults or trolling. I am used to getting criticism here, from Rossi fans when I praise Stoner or criticize Rossi, from Stoner fans when I criticize Stoner or praise Rossi. It is part of what happens whenever you write something in public.

If it was my site, this guy would be given his marching oders.. Wow, to call this article baloney defies belief, you give every indication of balance, fairness and the benefit of doubt to the riders - then you get this!

Gee, no wonder you're questioning your need for this - I know I havent joined yet, but the mrs has our paypal account, she does the money stuff, I get a new bike once year, one trip to a decent race and as much red I want, and she does the rest. But she's gone down the coast for a few weeks...

Just for a change in tone, and to keep up with the play, does anyone doubt that Jorge Lorenzo seems to be a dead cert for Sunday's win? Take a look at FP3 - if you can drag yourselves away from the storm in a teacup of FP2 - and pay due homage to Jorge. Twelve laps under not just the pole record, but under the lap record. Is this the first time this year that this has happened. At most of the tracks, the lap records still stand from 2008, the last year of open tyre competition. That Jorge did this in FP3, and for 12 laps, suggests he definitely is at peace with both his motorcycle and whatever tyres Bridgestone has available. Any debate on this?

Lorenzo have brutal pace and consistency. But in Q Dani is getting faster and faster. I hope he can give Lorenzo run for his money. Lorenzo is favorite for tomorrow race ... but you all know Stoner. In the last moment usually his team find something.... So lets hope that Dani can hold his speed through the race and Stoner team find something ... If not.. then we will look at Sachsenring scenario just other way around.

Pedrosa translates to 'Stoney' in the etymology of the surname.


Also, some say Dorna knew of the up and coming Aussie from his youth dirt track championships and created Dani like Frankenstien's monster out of paella in a lightning storm to compete. It worked for a while, but after feeling like their efforts failed in the top class, they created Marc Marquez out of a churro in a nuclear power plant. Marc Marquez loosely translates to Marc son of Marc. and the first name Mark is derived from Mars, the god of war. Ratthapark Wilairot my find this none too surprising. Knowing this most serious of names, some may be leaving while the getting it good. The four horsemen of the fourstrokepocalypse soon ride.

The pass was a little hard but to my eyes nothing more...by way of comparison, I think it was one of the practice sessions at Assen Lorenzo put a hard pass on a CRT? rider causing said rider to stand the bike up and slow down..that looked way harder to me yet it never got a mention.

Casey's attitude regarding slow riders is perfectly backed up by the Marquez Wilairot incident at Phillip Island last year....which totally in my opinion supports his attitude towards RDP at Le Mans.

How does torpedoing a rider after the checkered flag relate in any way to any rider making a dangerous retaliatory riding behavior?