Cormac Shoots COTA: Riders And Tech From Texas

The tower/diving board: visually stunning, and for those of us with vertigo, terrifying.

The second best thing about the tower is way it lends itself to artistic photos

But the best thing about the tower is the view it gives you of just how far riders like Jack Miller hang off the bike

Even Valentino Rossi, nearing retirement, is way, way off the bike

It was a hard weekend for Rossi, however.

Marc Marquez won over fans by carrying a Nicky Hayden flag on his victory lap and into parc ferme

Franco Morbidelli, the most picturesque helmet in the paddock, now in a darker blue

Austin was where Pecco Bagnaia saw the 2021 championship slip out of his hands...

And into the hands of Fabio Quartararo. Quartararo's secret? Getting the Yamaha M1 stopped faster than anyone else

Stopping is something Jack Miller likes to practice. Reaching Toprak levels of efficiency

Takaaki Nakagami switched to the 2021 aero package on his LCR Honda, and had real pace, before throwing it away by crashing

Austin was a weekend where Andrea Dovizioso made a lot of progress

Eyes on the prize

High mass discs on the KTM RC16. And on forks and tires, all the info you need: a 12/70 Michelin Power Slick Evo front, and WP Apex Pro closed cartridge cone valve carbon forks

Different ride-height/holeshot device setups for the Suzuki riders. Alex Rins has a thumb lever for the ride height, and a finger lever for the holeshot

By contrast, Joan Mir has two thumb levers

Prominently visible is also the tank extension with knee grips extending further over the frame, providing more purchase for Mir's knees

At the top, the teardrop-shaped fork covers to reduce drag on the Ducati GP21. Below it, the fork extension sensor rod is connected to the brake mount, just behind the fork canister

The right shoulder of Marc Marquez' Alpinestars leathers has been extended to make it a little roomier, and a little more comfortable

The first thing the mechanics do when putting the bike up on paddock stands in pit lane is turn the handlebars, to prevent nosey souls from taking photos and figuring out rake and trail

Hommage to Kevin Schwantz: Joan Mir used the legendary American's font for his racing number on Sunday

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I love the shot of Rins with the "Mullet" in the background. There were some great super slow-mo shots there over the weekend, especially when there were 3-4 riders nose to tail. I think that must be turn 10? The bump coming out of there there was really upsetting the Suzukis, but the Ducatis looked good over it.  I also love the shots straight down from the tower, and the one with the reflection, as well! 

Super cool close up shots of the riders and bikes. On the Ducati, I see the brake disc temperature sensor on the leading edge of the fork tube. Are there also infrared temperature sensors for the tire inside the mudguard, and any sort of display on the dash for these temps, or is it up to the rider to determine the right temperature by feel? I ask because Miller mentioned (without explicitly saying) after qualifying that maybe he had a bad rear tire, while I think I read in the subscriber notes that Michelin said his outlap was maybe too slow (though Nakagami's was slower).

I'm curious about all the buttons on the handlebars of the Suzukis. For example, on the left handlebar, there's a yellow button, and Rins has a yellow arrow pointing up, but Mir has a yellow arrow pointing down. Any idea of what the knob by the blue button does? I see that Rins' left side thumb paddle is zip-tied so it can't be pressed. I wonder why--maybe to compare lap times without the squat device?

Cool photos! 

The knob and the arrow, are front brake lever span adjustment, the compensate for pad wear during the race. The arrow indicate which way to turn the knob, which I guess is different due to rider preference

Great photos! Took some time staring at centerfolds.

Going to leave this here. Anyone else rewatching additional coverage notice the odd lines Miller was on in the bunch of corners before Mir hit him grabbing a dive bomb line? No, it doesn't justify Mir, and Mir was in the wrong on the pass. And, trying to pass a Duc on the Suzuki or Yamaha can leave very little available, AND Jack was on unpredictable odd lines for a few sets of corners there which also prompts the same in battle. Is it just me that sees this? Am I wrong?

If I get time, will seek out video of the several corners prior to contact from Mir's on board. Had it a few days ago. Truth in advertising, I like Jack but think he has zenithed. I like Mir, more, and see them as in an interesting contest. And I may be wrong about the incident.

And, HOW ABOUT THAT BASTIANNINI!?! This kid, Rookie, taking the 2019 Duc places it shouldn't get. Kicking the crap out of expectations. The change of direction demands at COTA are not congruent with what the old bike offers. Really impressed. Someone should sign him from under VR46 when he is limited by a second tier customer bike but still beating Marini. He is showing that he has the goods. More interested in him than the clash he passed.


:45 to 1:30 shows some but not all?

They were both doing their jobs..  Joan trying to gain a place and Jack was being ultra defensive and protecting his position which he has a right to do. You can see from Mirs on board video that the lunge wasn't going to work wayyy before they even got to the corner. 

Jack and Joan remind me of that scene from the movie Heat  where Pacino and De Niro have that conversation, paraphrasing here (sorry to muck it up) - I gotta do what I gotta do and if you're in the way, Brother you are going down..! Except they didn't...but boy if they did, Jack would be grabbing a lot more than Joan's chin bar!!  🤣 😂 

I agree. I think Jack should get a penalty for his histrionics. He didn't even get knocked off, it was the last lap and he had to know Mir would attempt a pass in a corner as it had just happened. Jack made threats about seeing Mir on track later, too. I'd make Jack start from pit lane. They get a penalty for the one-finger salute but not for grabbing a chin bar and making threats??? Ludicrous.

Self-policing. Why no penalty earlier this year for when Miller hunted down and bumped Mir after Mir had run him off? Why no sanction for Millers action after COTA? RD understands the concept of riders policing themselves. Spencer would understand this. Incredibly effective system where offenders are punted into the tires and learn the hard way. Old school. I expect this is underlying a lot of these non-actions by RD.

I can't believe what i'm reading here. Mir rams into miller and that costs miller 2 places. After the race it gets decided he only lost one because the penalty. But on the cool down lap he doesn't know that. I can understand that he was very angry. I was angry myself. I think Mir is the dirtiest rider in motogp. Don't forget that in the race before the same thing happend. Mir goes for moves where he knows hes ramming opponents out of the way. I like a good block pass but this is nothing like a block pass. I can't believe people think grabbing a helmet after the race is worse than basicly tboning a rider in the race. It's a matter of time before mir knocks someone off or injures someone with his desperate moves. Rins passed miller super clean so it can be done.

The 'odd lines' talk is a red herring. It's Mir saying...'Miller must share the blame'.

Also, what happened on previous corners matters zero. If a rider is using lines which appear to be strange then more caution is needed...or is more risk needed ? Short of weaving a rider can use any line they like.

I think it's one of two things...Mir took a punt and put himself in a situation he couldn't get out of or it was a deliberate collision. I hope the first.

That's all good and fine, mistake, we all make mistakes. Binder at Aragon last year, rode into Miller and Miller was the first to say...'these things happen'. However, Mir has made this same mistake on several occasions this year. Mir says they are not the same but they turn out very similar.

Blue bike heading for apex, blue bike not really alongside the other rider, blue bike not coming near making the apex and blue bike hits other rider (Worth watching Fabio's cat like reflexes in Qatar on that occasion).

In Qatar he made this mistake with Fabio and with Miller he made it several times in that one race. Marc in Austria and  there's been a few others i can't remember in detail now.

This mistake is always joined by the 'I'm sorry but it's difficult for us to overtake so i have to take big risks'. In many ways that's fine too. His bike isn't up to the job in some areas and he's having to take big risks. However, when you take those risks and it comes out have to accept responsibility for your actions.

When you keep repeating the same mistake and that mistake keeps benefiting you then I think it's fair to assume it is not a mistake.

We read about the tires all the time, but frankly I had lost track of modern MotoGP sizing. I can't believe the Michelin fronts are the same size as the tires on my 22 year old Monster!

How wide are these rears now? I remember 180's being the norm. They have crept out wider. 

Wider wasn't always better/faster, turnability could suffer. The profile shape of a nice race tire is delicious for direction change. If we could back to back the tires from earlier eras, it would be quite enlightening - dramatic changes. Could you imagine, even on a Supersport, running tires from 1990, then moving up 8 to 10 yrs at a time to now? Those old tires are like a sport-touring road tire at best these days. Creepy! Trying to throw you, difficult to get turned in. Slidey slides. I did this once on a CBR600. It was BAD enough to be scary.