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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - The new MotoGP title favourites?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


The new MotoGP title favourites?

Many people thought the secret to MotoGP 2016 would be smoothness, but Sunday’s Argentine GP completely trashed that theory

So much for all the preseason theories that the secret to 2016 would be riding nice and smoothly to get the best out of the lower-tech control electronics and lower-grip Michelin tyres.

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Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 22 - Looking Forward To Argentina And Aragon

In the midst of a massive software upgrade for MotoMatters.com, David Emmett took time out to record another episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast with Stephen English. Despite the absence of Neil Morrison, who is on his way to Argentina, and Tony Goldsmith, who was taking photos of other kinds of motorcycles, Steve and David managed to fill three quarters of an hour of chat about the upcoming racing this weekend.

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Major Site Infrastructure Upgrades Coming - Normal Service Will Resume Thursday

If you thought the site had been a bit quiet recently, you are right. I seized the Easter holiday to embark on a major upgrade of the software which runs the website. As this requires a switch between major versions, this turns out to be about four times as much work as I expected. Which is almost always the way with any software upgrade.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Farewell to winglets?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Farewell to winglets?

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Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 21 - Racing Again! A Review of Qatar

The Paddock Pass Podcast reaches another milestone. If its twenty-one podcast episodes were years, then the Paddock Pass Podcast would be old enough to buy a drink once it hits town in Austin.

In this, the podcast of its majority, Neil Morrison, Steve English and David Emmett gather to discuss the events of the opening round of the 2016 Grand Prix season at Qatar. There was plenty to talk about, of course, so we cover a fair amount of ground. First, we go through the results of the MotoGP race, and discuss how the switch to Michelins and spec electronics have affected the racing. Then we take a look at Silly Season, and talk about the signings of Valentino Rossi, Bradley Smith and Johann Zarco, and how they affect the rest of the market.

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2016 Qatar MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Moto2 Madness, and the Dawning of a New Era

May you live in interesting times, runs an apocryphal Chinese curse. The first Grand Prix of 2016 certainly provided us with plenty of events which might be termed interesting, in both the common sense of the word and the apocryphal curse. The three races at Qatar were thrilling, tense, intriguing, and mind-bogglingly bizarre.

It is hard to know where to start. The first race of the day proved to be the most conventional, Moto3 serving up its usual treat. A very strong group of eight riders, including all of the championship favorites bar Fabio Quartararo, battled all race long for victory, Niccolo Antonelli finally coming out on top by just 0.007 seconds, beating Brad Binder into second.

The Moto3 draft lottery

Binder had controlled the group along with Romano Fenati for much of the race, and spent the last laps trying to convert that control into a win. The long run from the final corner to the line leaves two equally risky options: try to follow another rider through the final corner, and use their slipstream to slingshot yourself to victory; or try to push early in the lap and build just enough of a gap to hold off any attempts by others at using the draft. Binder settled on the latter, and nearly pulled it off.

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Silly Season Officially Open: Analyzing Valentino Rossi's Two-Year Deal with Yamaha

So the first shoe has dropped. Valentino Rossi is to remain at Yamaha for two more seasons after this, signing on to compete for 2017 and 2018. The signing of Rossi will have major repercussions for the rest of the MotoGP rider market, and has made it all a little more unpredictable.

That Rossi would renew his contract with Yamaha is hardly a surprise. The Italian has a long and storied history with the Japanese manufacturer, from his triumphant and daring switch to Yamaha at the start of the 2004 season, in which he won both a memorable first race on the YZR-M1, going on to become champion, through a total of four world titles and a seemingly endless string of wins. Rossi was welcomed back into the fold, suitably chastened, after his failed adventure with Ducati, and after a slow start, returned to being competitive in 2014, and especially in 2015. Even the bitter aftermath of the 2015 season, when Rossi lost the title to his Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo could not sour the relationship.

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