2014 Barcelona MotoGP Test Round Up: Yamaha's Busy Schedule, Ducati's Shortcomings, And An Alternative Track Layout

It should hardly come as a surprise that Marc Marquez should be fastest man on the day at the post-race test at Barcelona. The Spaniard has been the standout of the season, and for him to be fastest, even at a track where he has not dominated like at others, is starting to become par for the course. More of a surprise is the name of the man in second. Bradley Smith came up just four hundredths short of Marquez, making up for a mediocre race on Sunday, caused by a tire which was not performing as expected. The first thing Smith did when he started testing in earnest this morning was to try the same tire he used in the race. It was a tire which had already been used on Saturday, yet he was immediately as fast as he was in the race, and ended up going four tenths of a second faster on the same tire. Smith had something to prove, and matching Marquez' time did just that. Now he just needs to replicate it in a race.

Smith's improvement came mainly from a better engine braking strategy. All of the Yamahas have been trying to match the braking performance of the Hondas, with the Tech 3 Yamahas a step behind having only the first version of the seamless gearbox, not the 2014 version which allows clutchless downshifts. Smith found a big improvement in engine braking which allowed him to brake deeper and later, and match both Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl when he rode behind them.

Jorge Lorenzo was third fastest, and the factory Yamaha was the garage which saw the most action. Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi both tried a preliminary version of the 2015 engine, with more power to attempt to take on the Hondas. That extra power came at a price: the engine was more aggressive, making it more difficult to control, and causing the bike to move more. Neither man particularly liked it, but there is still another nine months before the 2015 season kicks off to fix it.

The two Yamaha men also tried a new exhaust from Akrapovic. The new exhaust is shorter and carried lower, exiting from the belly pan more like a Yamaha YZF-R6. It provides a little better throttle response off the bottom of the rev range, which both Rossi and Lorenzo felt was a positive. The good news is that they can use the new exhaust from the next race at Assen, where it will help provide more drive out of corners. Though they did not say so, no doubt the position of the exhaust is also significant, moving weight more towards the center of the bike. The sound is also different, a little deeper.

The Movistar Yamaha team have now moved on to Aragon, where they have a private test. That test will be conducted completely behind closed doors, where it is believe that Lorenzo and Rossi will test the initial version of the 2015 bike. That is in itself slightly remarkable, as neither man has a contract with Yamaha for next season. Rossi is on the verge of a new two-year deal with Yamaha, likely to be announced at the next round. Talks with Lorenzo have only just begun, and it may be that the test is an attempt by Yamaha to show the Spaniard that his best option is to remain where he is, despite the promise of a big money contract elsewhere. Better to have a bike he can win on, rather than collect a pay check on an uncompetitive machine.

Which brings us, ironically, to Ducati. The factory Ducati riders did not have much to test, just some minor electronic upgrades. Both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow will have to wait until the Valencia test – and signal their commitment to continuing with Ducati first – before they get a glimpse of the new bike being built by Gigi Dall'Igna. That leaves both men resigned to their fate, Dovizioso more easily accepting of it that Crutchlow. But then again, he's had a year's experience with the Bologna factory to get used to the situation.

Their alternative, should either one or both decide to leave, is Suzuki, but it is a not a choice which is free of risk. Randy De Puniet finished the test two and a half seconds off the time of Marquez. There were mitigating factors, as Andrea Dovizioso pointed out. The MotoGP regulars had already spent three days on track and had a race, while Suzuki have only just turned up, and De Puniet was on his first day of riding at Barcelona. De Puniet was also what Dovizioso called 'a strange rider'. 'I think Randy is a really fast rider, but also difficult to analyze,' Dovizioso said.

Watching from track side, you would be forced to agree. I stood watching at Turn 7, a point where you can watch the riders arrive through Turn 5, flow downhill toward 7, then up and through the kink of Turn 8. It is a complicated section where riders hold the line, then brake, turn hard and then flick the bike right up the hill. Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Stefan Bradl were all consistent, hitting the same points lap after lap. De Puniet was much less consistent, seemingly taking a different line every lap. This was a complaint aimed at the Frenchman when he was still riding, but it makes it hard to judge the level of the Suzuki. The bike appears to be able to turn, but whether it can hold a line or not is open to question. With De Puniet not racing, it is also conceivable that he has lost a little speed, the kind of speed that only the adrenalin rush of racing can provide. Suzuki were testing a new engine, and continuing to work on the electronics.

What they really need is a seamless gearbox, which judging by the shift noises it does not have. This is also a problem for the Open class Forward Yamaha, and something which left Aleix Espargaro a little despondent. He had tested the Forward Yamaha chassis, and had been pleasantly surprised. The frame was better in turning in slow corners, allowing him to brake later than with the Yamaha chassis. In faster corners, the Forward chassis could not quite match the Yamaha chassis, however. The new electronics were an improvement, but the problem remained the same: from 0-200 km/h, acceleration was suffering because the Open Yamaha does not have a seamless gearbox.

The riders also tested a couple of items that did not come from their factories. Almost everyone tried a new front tire, which sits between the medium and hard in compound. It was universally well received, a big improvement on the hard front which was too stiff. It gave sufficient support in braking, and also helped the bike to turn. The tire is meant for Sepang, but there were calls for it to be introduced as soon as possible.

A select group of riders – selected on the basis of being bothered to test it – tried out the Formula One layout at Turn 10, or as the riders refer to it, Turn 9, the teams regarding the kink between Seat and Wurth as just that, rather than a corner requiring a number. The La Caixa corner is exemplary of the corners around circuit, and is the scene of much overtaking. However, it also has too little run off, and no room to make more, as the wall abuts the inside of the section between the final two corners. Too many riders are hitting the wall when they crash there, and there is little the track can do about it. The only option is to run the Formula One layout, which features a much slower corner many yards before the current La Caixa corner.

Reception was mixed. Everyone agreed it was much safer, the argument was over whether it was an improvement. Marc Marquez liked it, saying that it added to the variety of corners on the track, but he was clearly in the minority. Most did not like it, saying it was too tight to be fun. Valentino Rossi refused to test it, describing it with four-letter, excrement-related word after having tried it in a Formula 1 car several years ago. However, everyone agreed that it might produce more overtaking, as the harder braking meant riders had more of a chance to attempt a pass. Whether this will be implemented next year remains to be seen, but it is clearly a sign that things will change in years to come. 

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F1's alternative layout is horrendous. I hope they never race it.

I'm so disappointed by Crutchlow's constant whining about just about everything. Suck it up, dude. You need to show a lot more speed and better results, compared to teammates Dovi and Iannone. And even Hernandez. It's a pity Hayden had to lose his Ducati ride to this, as Hayden would have better results and less bad-mouthing the team, the teammates, and the Ducati brand. Shame!

He knew what he was getting into, but now has trouble dealing with it. He went with the money, and it would serve him well to remember that if he wants another team to give him any in the future! You have a job to do for the team and sponsors.

Sure, Ducati has had problems, but Crutchlow has behaved in an ungentlemanly manner toward journalists too many times for anyone
who has been paying attention to forgive. The sooner Crutchlow is
demoted to some position outside MotoGP, the better for the sport,
for Ducati, and for Audi who are paying the bills at Ducati these days.

Then #35 would have no reason to moan about it. Sure, he knew the bike was rubbish but signed up hoping, I guess, to see some kind of development over the year. That's not happened and the bike he's been given to ride has been an unreliable shitter. In that situation, I'd be moaning too. Although, in the interviews I've read, he hasn't actually bad mouthed anybody, merely expressed disappointment. Dovi did plenty of moaning last year, as did #46 when he was shackled to the thing and I seem to remember #27 doing a fair amount before eventually jumping the ship to sign for Big Red. Spotting a pattern here?

It's not called the Ducati Of Death for nothing.

"Dovi did plenty of moaning last year, as did #46 when he was shackled to the thing and I seem to remember #27 doing a fair amount before eventually jumping the ship to sign for Big Red. Spotting a pattern here?"

Everybody spotted the pattern there, and has seen it for years. Except Cal, apparently. Did he somehow think it would be different for him, after a 9-time world champ, a 2-time world champ, a 1-time world champ, and a guy who at least won a GP race couldn't get the bike to go? It's had the same problems for the past half-decade at least. But he still talked his way into the ride, and now that he got what he wanted, and it's not magically better, he moans and whines about it.

The Ducati is what it is, and it is what it has been. He needs to STFU and ride the bike.

He's not a media trained robot, `looking for positives' when things go wrong. Cal wears his heart on his sleeve and if he bridles when asked an ill informed or provocative journalist's question, well, wouldn't you? By contrast, it's well known that he reads all David's pieces, follows him on Twitter, often tweets a positive response and never complains about David's analysis. The season's not going well, he knows that and is not disguising his disappointment. Disappointment with a bike that's not been reliable electronically or mechanically. Disappointment with results that have so far not been good enough. Disappointment because he hasn't delivered for his fans. But never doubt his ambition, his commitment, his determination or his bravery. The man's obsessed with the sport, he's been through a lot to get to MotoGP (a lot more than most others on the grid) and he's not about to throw it away. Herve Poncharal loved him as a son and he's no mean judge of character. So should we.

I don't to want to laugh on Cal's bad performance on Ducati//but i surely want to laugh on all those fans who believed that he will be better on Ducati than Rossi or Dovi....I do not know people these days are ignorant or they just act like ignorants....

Agree totally with you, I remember ppl saying his riding style is similar to Stoner, who we all know able to tame Duck once, well I think this all about the Duck, even Stoner wouldn't want to ride it no more, coz he knows it will kill his reputation just like all other riders after him.

Well, if we remember back about a year ago, it was Cal who was saying his style was similar to Stoner's, and he reckoned he could ride the Ducati well. So count him among the number of people to laugh at.

I find it interesting when people opine that Stoner wouldn't do as well on the current Ducati, what on earth do they base that argument on? Dovi has never been a title contender, yet he managed a legit dry podium this year. That doesn't make me think Stoner would fail to be competitive on the current Duc, rather the contrary.

I always laugh when I hear X rider has a similiar style to X rider and so should do well on X bike. It's obviously not that easy as has been proven by umpteen riders on the Ducati, not just Crutchlow, who doesn't look at all similiar to Stoner when he riders IMO. It's not about style anyway, it comes down to feel, setup and commitment in that order. Stoner obviously had enormous feel for the bike and his and his crews setup skill was only really recognised once Rossi got on the bike. At the end of the day you also had to ride the Ducati at a stratospheric performance envelope to make it work. The only guy I see that rides with the same super committed lines Stoner used to take is Marquez, who takes on kerbs and deals with the resulting bike language. Thats the only 'Style' comparison that has any meaning and maybe only Marquez of the current riders could take take the Ducati back to being a regular contender.

When I am agreeing with your post I perhaps am committing the same error of judgement that you say that people who discount Stoner on the present Ducati are committing, since if I am asked as to what I am basing my optimism regarding Stoner doing well on the current Ducati, I guess I will not be able to give an irrefutable answer. But that said I would only say that in a season disrupted by illness, Stoner was able to take three wins and other podium positions on the Ducati and some 4th place positions in 2010. When Rossi inherited the same motorcycle, he could not achieve whatever Stoner achieved. This is not to bait any Rossi supporters, but just to point out that what Stoner achieved with the Ducati over 4 seasons (on a motorcycle which had a trellis frame and the next model which was a carbon fibre monocoque like construction) was incredible. I think that the only other rider who came anywhere near Stoner's achievement was Loris Capirossi whose exploits on the Ducati are hardly ever are taken into consideration.

If Casey did as well on the current ducati( a huge assumption given he went backwards every season over 4 years, just how far back would he be after another 4?) he would still be outside the top 4 on it at best, putting him one place ahead of where Rossi finished on it, at best....

The Laguna race had just ended. We stuck around in the paddock and walked into the motorhome area (Rider's passes) to chat with Colin. We didn't stay long and headed home, the whole 15 minute drive to Carmel. We are driving right along the coast, on the 1, and we pass Cal on his pedalbike, getting after it. There were 3 of us in the car and we all said "Shit, that was Cal".

Talk about determination. He did his post race interview, changed into his pedal bike getup, and went and trained. Must have been 1 hour after the race. These guys are freaks. I'd be ready for a cold beer and a hot shower.

I can see that there is a quite a bit of contention about Crutchlow's abilities (not just on motomatters.com). While I can see that he has only appeared pedestrian at best on the Ducati, there is something with the cavalier and gunslinger like attitude that Crutchlow presents. I remember last year, I truly became his fan when I saw that never say die attitude in him while riding the Tech3 Yamaha. I think he has had his share of bad luck this season so maybe we shouldn't be writing him off yet.

Cloverleaf, the people who are tired of Crutchlow's whining and bitching are not asking for a "robot" who puts up a false facade of happiness and sunshine. But we are asking for a professional attitude that displays fundamental respect for Ducati as a company, a brand, and a racing team staffed by professionals who are working hard to improve the bike despite limited resources. Crutchlow would do well to study how Rossi acted during his two years on the team. Rossi was quite candid about the situation, and his disappointment with it, but he always delivered his comments in a professional, respectful manner. In contrast, Crutchlow is more like a childish spoiled brat having yet another tantrum.

Even more important, Crutchlow has been outperformed by his teammates pretty consistently. He needs to be accountable for his own shortcomings on the track, rather than pointing only at the bike (and frequently downplaying the accomplishments of Dovi and Crazy Joe).

Frankly, if I ran Suzuki's MotoGP team, I wouldn't consider Crutchlow for one minute for a Suzuki seat. I'd figure it's not even remotely worth it to have Cal blasting Suzuki like he does Ducati.

. . . . . . but when Nicky's career riding the bike is over, he's: 1. Probably going to be remembered more for his good attitude than his one championship, and 2. Most likely going to have some kind of gig broadcasting races if he wants to. That kind of personality is golden in front of the camera.

And I have a feeling that attitude will keep getting him rides (one lower tier teams, of course) as long as he still wants to throw his leg over a motorcycle.

Nicely summed up sir. Too many people putting words in Cals mouth here.

The only thing I would encourage Cal to do is to use that softer tire if possible.. I get his notion of not using it out of respect or honor or whatever. The playing field will NEVER be level Cal. Use what you can.. when you can.. and keep that good humour you've always had. You are one of the best personalities in MotoGP right now

I don't see how sanitation and removing character will improve the sport. Do we really want our dear riders turned into glasses of milk like the F1 boys?

I am consistently amazed at the beating Nicky takes in these comments and the lack of respect it appears by some of the other riders that do not have his record. His results of wins, podiums, and championships certainly aren't satisfying to him or his fans but they are there and if Crutchlow, Smith and Redding just equal Hayden in their careers they would call it a triumph. I get it we're looking for the next great Brit but come on and be fair. All of these guys are amazing but Crutchlow needs to shut his yap and beat Dovi and Iannone before I will pay anymore attention to him.

I read elsewhere that Smith had first tested with the tyre he ran during practice, (rather than the race tyre), and concluded that he had a bad race tyre, because he could match/better his practice times without making any other changes. David is generally on the money, but I'm not so sure this time.

Anyway, I'd probably conclude that rather than an exceptionally bad race tyre, he had an exceptionally good practice tyre, but either way he did well in practice and testing. Shame for him the race wasn't so good... If he could have ran with the top guys in the best race for years, he'd have won huge admiration.

I think that may have just been worded poorly. (rare for David)

My understanding is that during the test he used the same TYPE of tire (albeit one with a few laps on it already), not the same actual tire he ran the race on.

Another note re Bradley..

He is starting to remind me of Colin Edwards. Quick, but maybe a tenth or so off the 'aliens', but one helluva development rider.. And a damn nice kid too. I hope he has a long career

'The first thing Smith did when he started testing in earnest this morning was to try the same tire he used in the race."

Are you sure you don't mean a tire of the same type as the one he used in the race (but not the same actual tire)?

Yes, that's exactly what I meant, I worded it badly. What Smith did was take a tire of the same type, one which he had already used in practice, and go out and do some laps on it. He was immediately much quicker. The race tire will have been taken away after the racee by Bridgestone for examination. Sorry for the confusion.

Crutchlow believes his own press far too much. "Factory rider"
Herve would have thrown out of the team the first year, remember he was scared of the bike (Mugello) and pulled in, Bless.
His 3 team mates are now showing him the way round and the slow proddy Hondas are on his tail.
In Tech 3, Dovi beat him hands down on the same bike.
He should be hanging his head in shame. Not complaining.
Really, who would sign him.
Next year, Dovi, Crazy and Tito........ Yonny too

Dovi and Cal were extremely closely matched during his second season at Tech 3. I don't think you'll find many readers here agreeing with you on that statement.

Cal still needs some more time to adjust to the duc.. I have faith~!

I think Marco would have had the best shot at success on the duck. Sadley, we'll never know.

Maybe I'm way less sensitive than a lot of contributors on here, but I don't see any top level rider wanting a bike to work every weekend and have confidence in the package underneath him as being whiney.

In terms of equipment failure the poor bloke must have been sitting under the unlucky tree and Ben Spies fell out of it and landed on his head!

Never mind GiGi fixing the package, which will happen, just getting a bike that doesn't breakdown or do weird things with tyre pressures would be a starting point.

Anyway, to my main point and the bit thats going to earn me lots of 1 star reviews;

There seems to be a lot of 'Brit bashing' on here at the moment.

Bradley Smith is doing exactly what he's being paid to do and doing it well, he's undeservedly underestimated, yes its his second year at Tech 3, however everyone forgets he had a lash up 4th string bike last year which wasn't on a par with Crutchlow's bike never mind factory kit.

Compared to the other rookie of 2013 he's never had the funding behind him that MM93 has benefited from, thats not a gripe but an observation - which you could apply to any British rider compared to a spanish rider.

Nobody's fault, the UK isn't as popular a market for GP riders as Spain is. BS has done well to get where he is and is working continually hard to improve, I'd like to see him prove everybody who is continually down on him wrong......

The British lads who are in MotoGP have arrived on merit, Scott Redding not only deserves his seat I'd like to see him on Bautista's bike or be the 'anointed' one who gets the customer pneumatic valved bike. No offence to NH69, but its time to build for the future.

Said my piece, so you can flame me all you want now. :)

I agree, so many know better than Herve, who is a professional running a multi-million dollar and very good team. He is not in the business of doing favours, he sees that Bradley is a smart bloke capable of doing well, as the test proves.

When Cal started with Tech 3 they were saying he was 'rubbish', then he won podiums the following year.

So many certainties here from so many 'experts'.

Very concise and accurate assessment. The good thing about motomatters readers compared to other sites is that we are reasonable, passionate and know our MotoGP, you'll never get flamed for a well thought out post, even by those that might not agree

i agree with you anteater
People just write whatever comes to their mind instead of thinking before what they are writing
Bradley had to ride the tech 3's shit bikes in moto2, he never had the bike to go as fast as marc or pol, had a 4th string bike last year as u said, i m not saying he is the best n all, but his route hasnt been as easy as of some other riders, Cruthlow too, he has been bashed by everyone, but his struggle at ducati, specially in comparision to his teammate, is down his wieght and height, and of course, a lot of bad luck, but people dont understand, they just write whatever they want to without even thinking

The problem for Cal is he expected to be at least as good as Dovi but Dovi is a fantastic rider. Sure he is one tier below the Marquez, Rossis, Stoners, Pedrosas and Lorenzos of this world. But he sits right beneath them in speed. Most importantly though he is pretty much their equal in consistency and adaptability. This skill has allowed him to perform decently on a bike with as many shortcomings as the Ducati. He has managed his performance to drop very little from what he could achueve on the Tech3 Yamaha whereas Cals performance has plummeted.

All MGP riders are very fast. Many can really shine on a given day or when a bike playa to their strengths, but few have the talent to make a difference on any bike and over many years. I fear that Cal for all his strengths is not part of the latter group.

His bike doesn't work. Like, it literally has problems finishing races, and at times isn't safe to ride. His problems are unique and there was no indication it would be this bad before this season. And he is being diplomatic, just saying what the issues were that kept him from riding at 100%. Why does this anger people so much?

I used to wonder the same thing when people whinged about Stoner's honest appraisal of his bike, or the race he'd just completed.

Seems whinging is only acceptable in the first person sense ;)

They're like belly buttons
It really amuses me why some plonkers think cause you disagree with their view that, you are
A/ not thinking
B/ Angry
C/ ill informed

Distort the facts how you like, it doesn't change the results.

125 Never won a title, was on the BEST bike, in THE BEST team in 125, his team mate won the title on the identical bike
Moto 2, never did anything. Blame the bike.. yawn
MotoGP. First year learning, 10th or 12th.
Second Year, Pol Esp showing him the way, didn't take him long to learn.
Alex Esp, beating him on the bike that was apparently rubbish last year, and now that bike doesn't even have Yams super software running and it's without seamless gearbox that Smith has
Smith on at worst the 8th best bike in any race, finishes, usually 10th +
My god I can't imagine being able to ride a bike that fast, but alas he's not MotoGP class, never has been, never will be.
HIs chances of being in Tech 3 next year , ZERO
And that's not Brit bashing, I am one.
Redding has deserved his ride, indeed he's deserves a much better bike.

Smith does not "usually finish 10th +" He has had a 5th, 7th, 8th 10th, 7th, 10th.
By my reckoning that is not usually worse than 10th.

By 8 races into his debut season he had out scored Crutchlow who was rookie of the year in his. Smith would doubtless have been rookie of the year were it not for the incomparable Marquez.

And in his terrible 125 years on the best machinery he was second despite being in a three man team.

Tech 3 signed him despite your apparent distaste for his troublesome moto2 years- they are the ones who knew the real level of the machinery and signed him thus it is clearly valid.

I think you have just decided you don't rate him and selectively choose the details that support your argument. Brits so often have complained about the Spaniards getting seats in MotoGP yet when you have a Brit you criticise and demean them. Be supportive, especially as it is clearly deserved.

Regardless of how he arrived our if he deserved it, he's definitely under the gun now.

I have to agree I wouldn't put any money on him retaining his tech 3 seat unless he makes a very dramatic turnaround.

If only he had a rich daddy... maybe Abraham sr. could adopt him.

I would also like to see Redding have a shot with that bike.

Cal created hi's own bad situation, by moaning and shouting he needs factory kit. Cal tech3 bike was almost a factory bike and Yamaha gave him always good support.
But after he wasted hi's ride with Tech3 as we all know, And saying hi's riding style matches CS's style, Cal forgot that as the year passed CS won less and less. after came Rossi, who try to leave ducati befor the end of the first year. he knew about hayden he knew about dovi. he knew about the 30 sec distance ducati had. And still sign'd the contract. Not blaming him self but yet again others who (as cc said) didn't told him the truth! yeah right Cal!!!! At first i liked Cal but as the years gone by and the talking got more and more, and all the could would should i started to diss like him. Now all that is coming from Cal is blablabla.

And now he says : im not gonna change my style for Ducati.
I think alot of teams are realy waiting for Cal.... NOT!

>And now he says : im not gonna change my style for Ducati.

It is not clear why you would believe that he says that. In the interviews that you can watch online and also read about, he makes it quite clear that he well knows that he does have to adjust his riding (after some years working to ride like Jorge on the Yamaha) to work on the Ducati.

I stay motivated every weekend but it’s difficult knowing you can’t compete, because we can’t. This bike, over one lap, I can’t compete with the other guys, nowhere near and as soon as we lose the grip I don’t have the feel Dovi does because we ride in a different way.

“I’m not going to change my style to suit the bike

you were saying???

"I’m not going to change my style to suit the bike for one year. If I do that, and suddenly it is completely different for next year then you have to change back again. The only thing that works with this bike is in straightline braking, where I am weak. I don’t have the confidence to enter like the others as I ride in a different way."

Fair enough. I just re-reviewed some of his interview comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPgaD1Mart4 (and also of course at motogp.com). starting at around 56:00.

He does say that once the bike is fixed it'll be OK. He said that he learned to ride like Lorenzo. But he does need to change his style ("like starting all over again"). At the same time, the bike needs to change. So I suppose he is taking the view that he's OK doing what he's doing on it but he also knows that he's having to start over. I had been thinking that he'd said that he'll learn to ride it. Sort of a mixed message.

I own a Ducati and I am still a fan of Cal Crutchlow. As a business owner and manager, the one thing I expect from my employees is loyalty. Cal's attitude and his comments, as candid as they are, discredit the Ducati organization. Sure, they must be aware of it. It has to stop, otherwise I don't understand what's going on here...

Cal's first year at Ducati is starting to remind me of Spies' second year at factory Yamaha... injuries, gremlins, bad luck.

Do you folks notice that you are exclaiming "what did Cal expect?!"

What did YOU expect? Cal and a microphone to be different? The Ducati GP bike to be different? All is JUST as I expect there, what is all the hubbub about? No surprises here.

Cal is ambitious, agreed. He is funny, agreed. Talented, agreed. he's been there done that, still there trying to do the best. As i have heard he has struggled a lot and come to the GP paddock the hard way. He may have gambled on the ride, Fcurz money is also a motive for a lotta ppl. He did bag a good fortune m sure safe kept it and is enjoying it or maybe using it for a good cause too. Casey did the same bagged a lodda money, bagged two world titles, proved it & said F**K Off GP. Most of them did not like it including VR46. But of-course casey had his own issues and views. But look at it now, he has proved no SHIT on four wheels(agreed he's still a rookie on 4 wheels). Whatever..... :P :P

Cal maybe thinks some kinda magic will happen or thought might happen as some of you here say he claimed his style is/was similar to casey's. Yes i agree with the GREMLINS here bcoz not Vale or Nicky had these issues like cal is facing.

At the end The DUC has a lodda issues some will tame it some don't. The Machine also matters a lot between the legs of the Tamer eh.... :P

M a die hard VR46 fan but hey I love Cal too man, seems to be a real nice guy, funny too. Good luck CAL we do love u here, Cheerio from India m8

U guys stop whining..... Booooyaaaaaaaa :P

What a RACE Barcelona though, I really thought WE(vr46) had the win in our bag, but hey, Honda is good and the Boy himself MM93. Balls out rider. An Upgraded version of Vale from back then :) cant wait for Assen now.