Yamaha

MotoGPMatters Desktop Images From Laguna Seca

As promised last week, here are some of Scott Jones' fantastic photographs from Laguna Seca for download as desktop images. The images are available in three sizes to suit most desktops: 1400x1050, 1280x1024, 1280x800 and 1024x768. If you would like to see the images in other resolutions, let us know.

Laguna Seca Corkscrew

The Corkscrew: 1024x768 - 1280x1024 - 1280x800 - 1400x1050

The Corkscrew part 2 1280x800

Alex de Angelis and his rainbow helmet: 1024x768 - 1280x1024 - 1280x800 - 1400x1050


Circuits: 

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First Set Of MotoGPMatters.com Desktop Images Now Available!

As promised last week, we now have some of Scott Jones' fantastic photographs from Laguna Seca and Donington available for download as desktop images. The images are available in three sizes to suit most desktops: 1280x1024, 1280x800 and 1024x768. If you would like to see the images in other resolutions, let us know. So, here's the first few of Scott's images, with the rest of them available on this page.

Laguna Seca Corkscrew

1024x768 - 1280x1024 - 1280x800

1280x800

1024x768 - 1280x1024 - 1280x800

1024x768 - 1280x1024 - 1280x800

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Valentino Rossi To Stay With Yamaha For Two More Years

Yamaha's MotoGP line up is once again complete. The announcement that has been brewing for the past month or so was finally made officially at Yamaha's annual gala at the Monterey Aquarium: Valentino Rossi has signed a new contract with Yamaha, and will stay with the team for the 2009 and 2010 MotoGP seasons. The announcement was hardly a surprise, as both Rossi and Yamaha had stated publicly that they were close to an agreement, and just before the summer break is about to start, they got it done.

The move ends speculation that Rossi would move to Ducati - something that will disappoint legions of Ducati fans, Rossi fans and Italians, who had hoped to see the Italian win on an Italian bike. But for Rossi, the deciding factor was the influence he has inside Yamaha. The way that the Japanese factory responded when Rossi demanded more support at the end of a disastrous 2007 campaign is precisely the reason that Valentino Rossi is staying with Yamaha. Yamaha are almost certainly the only manufacturer that would allow a rider to have so much control. At Ducati, and especially at Honda, the engineering department makes the decisions about the bikes, and the job of the riders is to get on and ride it. If you get lucky and sign a rider of prodigious talent, as Ducati have with Casey Stoner, that can work out. But as Marco Melandri's troubles show, it can also go horribly wrong.

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First Images from Laguna Seca

 

I'm sitting next to Toby Moody in the Laguna Seca Media Center, and when he brought up the foggy, cool weather, I replied that it was nice compared to the scorching heat of two years ago. He disagreed. "Bring on the heat!" he said, smiling. Extremely nice guy, Mr. Moody. Some television network will do very well to secure his and Mr. Ryder's services next season.

Free Practice 1 was delayed fifteen minutes or so as the riders prepared to go out on track. Dani Pedrosa moved up about ten notches on the tough guy scale, appearing in his garage walking with a crutch on his right arm, his left heavily bandaged. He was clearly damaged, still in considerable pain from his crash in Germany. Somehow he climbed onto his bike and took to the track. He ended up last on the session timing sheet, but the fact the he went out in his condition is extremely impressive.
 

At Donington, Ben Spies sat beneath Loris Capirossi's image, but he has his own graphic panel here at Laguna. He managed 11th before crashing, making clear that while Donington was an introduction to the 800cc Suzuki, he means business here on home turf. MotoGP rookie Jamie Hacking was right behind Spies in 12th.

Both American riders had a short time to shift into AMA Superbike mode, don their local leathers, and return for the first Superbike practice session. In person, the differences between the two series' machines is dramatic, making the idea of riding one before hoping on the other pretty impressive.  More photos tonight.

 

 

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Edwards Signs With Tech 3 For 2009

After Colin Edwards got bumped off the factory Yamaha team to make way for rising star Jorge Lorenzo, it looked like the Texas Tornado's career in MotoGP was starting to wind down. Edwards himself fueled the speculation, with talk of a possible return to the US to finish his career riding for Yamaha in the AMA Superbike series.

Since then, though, two things have happened that have made Edwards change his mind.

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MotoGP in San Francisco

 

With the USGP at Laguna Seca three days away, MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Chris Vermeulen appeared at one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist areas, Pier 39, to greet fans and sign autographs. Sitting in front of the Hard Rock Café, the MotoGP duo was joined by several riders from the Red Bull Rookies series, and a bit later by popular American riders Ben and Eric Bostrom, who compete in the AMA Superbike series.

 

 

 

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Dorna Chief:"A Spec ECU Would Be Better, But It's Difficult"

Eighteen months after the MotoGP class reduced its capacity from 990 to 800cc, ostensibly in the name of safety, the number of worried faces at Dorna is increasing. It's been 29 races since a race was won thanks to a pass made on the last lap, and complaints have been growing that MotoGP has lost much of its former shine.

As always, whenever there's a problem, the search starts for a culprit - or at least a scapegoat - and the current favorite explanation is the growth in scope and power of electronics, with special scorn reserved for the role of traction control in MotoGP. The increased sophistication of electronics is almost universally blamed for the dearth of close racing over the past season and a half.

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2008 Sachsenring QP Report

After the damp morning practice, during which Dani Pedrosa finally pipped Casey Stoner to the post setting the fastest time in the dying seconds of the session, the big question in the afternoon was whether the Pedrosa could repeat this during qualifying, or whether Stoner would dominate as he had on Friday. It was a question Stoner seemed determined to answer in a hurry. He went straight to the top of the timesheets on his 2nd lap, and by lap 4, he was close to the previous pole record pace, with a time of 1'22.082, less than 7 minutes into the session.

Under normal circumstances, that time would have stood for most of qualifying, while the riders worked on their race setup, before breaking out the soft qualifiying rubber. But the possibility of showers disrupting practice meant that a number of riders took a very early qualifier, gambling that such a move could pay off if the rain started to fall for real. Alex de Angelis, Randy de Puniet and Colin Edwards all took a very early qualifier, with Edwards taking provisional pole well before the halfway mark, with a lap of 1'21.794.

Worryingly for Edwards, that time was only 0.2 seconds faster than the 1'21.996 set by Casey Stoner, in the middle of a long run on race tires. Qualifiers can generally be relied on to take close to a second off of your best time, so Edwards' 0.2 second advantage was looking more like a 0.8 second deficit, once Stoner got serious.

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