MotoGP Grand Prix Commission Add 355mm Discs, Tighten Up Aero Rules, Injury Assessment

With Christmas nearly upon us, MotoGP's rule-making body, the Grand Prix Commission, met to adjust a few rules for the 2022 season and beyond. Among a host of confirmations and minor adjustments, there were one or two small but significant changes, tightening up important parts of the rules for MotoGP.

First the minor matters. The changes in age limits were confirmed, ahead of the shift to having a minimum age of 18 across all three grand prix classes in 2023, and the qualification limit was tightened from 107% to 105%. Given how much more competitive all three classes are, and how tight the fields are, this will have very little effect, though it will put higher demands on substitute riders.

To give an idea of just how much 105% is, the average lap time for the vast majority of circuits is between 1'30 and 1'50, so the average lap is around 1'40, or 100 seconds. So the qualification limit has been cut from 7 seconds behind the fastest rider to 5 seconds behind the fastest rider. It has been a very long time since anyone fell foul of the 107% rule, and had the rule been 105% for qualifying, the last victim it would have claimed would have been replacement rider Christophe Ponsson, who substituted for the injured Tito Rabat at Misano back in 2018.

Anchors away

There are new rules on brakes, which point to the increasing importance of braking in grand prix motorcycle racing. In MotoGP, the largest available disc size has been increased from 340mm to 355mm. That means there will now be three permitted sizes of front brake discs: 320, 340, and 355mm.

The larger maximum disc size is clearly a response to the braking issues bikes have shown at circuits like the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg. The memory of Maverick Viñales' horrendous crash at Turn 1 in Austria in 2020 is still fresh in many minds. Brembo's new calipers went some way to addressing that, but as riders demand more of braking, more energy needs to be dissipated, and the only solution is to use larger discs and more carbon.

This underlines just how important braking has become in motorcycle racing. In the pursuit of performance, braking and corner entry are the points where real gains are being made. The 800 years taught factories a lot about acceleration, and how to control it with electronics, and the introduction of aerodynamics and ride height devices have taken the place of electronics in assisting acceleration. The focus of most MotoGP manufacturers is now on corner entry, and improved chassis dynamics is putting more stress on Michelin's front tire, and allowing the riders to brake harder. Braking comes from friction, and the energy generated by that friction needs to be absorbed and dissipated, if brake fluids and braking materials are to remain within their operating temperature ranges.

It's not just MotoGP either: the rules have now also been changed to allow cooling ducts to be added to the Moto2 machines. There, too, corner entry is a battle ground, and brake calipers and discs need cooling.

Cracking down

In addition to the brakes, there is a general tightening of the rules, as the GPC attempt to close loopholes. From 2022, factories will have to included 3D CAD drawings or samples of their aero packages to the Technical Director. Previously, detailed drawings or samples were sufficient. 3D CAD drawings contain far more information beyond just the dimensions of the aerodynamic wings and protuberances. That should allow Dorna's technical staff to assess whether or not materials will deflect under wind pressure, for example, an issue which was at one time prevalent in F1.

Ride-height devices are another innovation where the scrutineers needed to catch up. The GPC also approved a new process for evaluating whether a ride-height device is legal or not. As more and more manufacturers have ride-height devices which operate automatically on corner exit, there have been questions raised over what exactly is legal and what is not. The new procedure is aimed at cracking down on attempts to circumvent the ban on devices which do not operate using only the changing attitude of the bike as a trigger.

There is also an intriguing entry in the Moto3 regulations. From 2022, the wiring loom, fuel pump assembly, and pressure regulator have been designated as a performance part. This means they must be homologated by the Technical Director, and made available to all teams once approved. Though we cannot know for certain, this may be connected to the remarkable speed of the Leopard Hondas. There were many question marks over where their superior speed came from, over both the KTMs and the other Honda Moto3 machines. This change could point to where Leopard had found an advantage.

Injury assessment

Perhaps the most significant part of the rule changes announced by the GPC concerns the changes to the way in which injury is assessed. Once again engendered by Marc Marquez, perhaps, the assessment of riders returning from injury will be far stricter. Though the details were not included in the press release, it explicitly named head injuries, concussion, abdominal and chest injuries, and fractures and breaks of a more complex character than just simple breaks.

Directly related to this, the GPC has decided that the helmets of riders who are taken to the medical center following a crash will also be more thoroughly examined, while any rider assessed with concussion or another head injury will have their helmets sent to the FIM laboratory at the University of Zaragoza for further study.

Both of these changes are aimed both at understanding how injuries affect riders, and how protective equipment affects the injuries received. There have been several recent instances of riders coming back from injury more quickly than some thought was sensible, with questions over a rider's ability to control a MotoGP machine. The fitness tests seem to be arbitrary and too easy to pass.

By making the medical assessments harsher and more thorough, this takes some of the decision away from  the riders and the teams, and puts more emphasis on the medical side. This should make it harder for riders to just grit their teeth through a quick fitness test and handle a brief flash of pain, which is an unrealistic way of assessing how an injured rider will hold up over a 45 minute race.

No more alternative facts

Finally, the GPC introduced a new type of official, called a Judge of Facts. The idea is to hand the assessment of certain infringements such as jump starts and exceeding track limits to these Judges of Facts, and make their judgment final and put it beyond appeal. The job of the Judge of Fact is to assess the evidence from the high-speed cameras and track limit sensors to judge whether an infraction has occurred, and impose a penalty where needed. Teams and riders will not be able to appeal their judgments. That may not put an end to the complaining, but it will put the result of any decision beyond question.

The press release containing the minutes of the Grand Prix Commission appears below:

FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA), Lin Jarvis (Yamaha – MSMA) and Paolo Ciabatti (Ducati – MSMA) in electronic meetings held during November and December 2021, made the following decisions:

Sporting Regulations


Qualification for the Race

In all classes the rider must achieve a time at least equal to 105% of the time recorded by the fastest rider in the same session in any of the FP or QP sessions. (Previously 107%).

Minimum Ages

The Commission ratified the previously announced changes to minimum ages for participation. Licences for riders are issued only when the minimum age has been attained as below:

  • Moto3: 16 years (18 years in 2023)
  • Moto2: 16 years (18 years in 2023)
  • MotoGP: 18 years

In the Moto3 class, an exemption applies to the winner of the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship or the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup to compete in the Moto3 class of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix as a contracted, wild card or substitute/replacement rider even if the rider has not reached the minimum age for the class (however a minimum age of 15 years in 2022, 16 years in 2023, then 17 years in 2024 will apply). In order to ensure a smooth transition, an exception will be granted to the riders who started in the 2022 Moto3 World Championship at the age of 16 so that they can continue with the 2023 Moto3 World Championship. For Moto2 and Moto3 substitute or wild card riders in 2022, the minimum age is 17 years.

Technical Regulations


MotoGP Class

A procedure for checking machines equipped with passive ride height systems was approved.

Previously teams were required to deliver to the Technical Director, at the first event of the season, samples or detailed drawings of their aero body parts. For 2022 machines teams will now be required to provide samples or full 3D CAD models of these parts. Homologated aero body parts from 2021 machines, still used in 2022, will continue to be checked as per current procedures.

Following a request from Brembo, supported by MSMA, the following regulations will now apply to brake dimensions and packages.

Carbon brake discs must be one of the permitted sizes for outside diameter, which are: 320mm, 340mm and 355mm.

At certain circuits, for safety reasons, the use of 340mm or 355mm carbon brake discs is mandatory for the race, if declared Dry by the Race Director.

The circuits currently listed for mandatory minimum size 340mm brake discs are: Motegi (Japan), Spielberg (Austria) and Buriram (Thailand).

At these circuits either 340mm or 355mm discs may be used.

There are no restrictions on brakes disc sizes in a race declared Wet.

To reflect these changes there will now be two alternative brake packages defined in the regulations which must be supplied at a maximum cost of €80,000.

  Option 1 (Current) Option 2 (New)
Calipers 3 left + 3 right 2 left + 2 right
Master Cylinder 3 3
Carbon Disc 10 10
Pads 28 32

Moto2 Class

It will be permitted to add ducts to the front fender for the sole purpose of cooling the brake system and discs. All ducts must be pre-approved before being used on track and the decision of the Technical Director will be final.

Moto3 Class

The following items will now be designated as Performance Parts and must be homologated:

Complete motorcycle wiring loom (including wiring connections to airbox, dashboard, throttle body, handlebar switch panel and kill switch).

Complete fuel pump assembly from fuel pump to throttle body (including all connectors and hoses).

Pressure Regulator.

Riders Safety Equipment

The only purpose of any part of the rider’s race suit, boots and gloves should be to ensure that the rider is protected in an incident. Therefore, any part of the equipment that is deemed to be purely for the purpose of aiding rider’s aero effect is not permitted. The decision of the Technical Director will be final when determining what constitutes aero only.

Medical Regulations

Medical Fitness to Race

The Commission approved a number of new regulations concerning the medical assessment conducted to permit return to competition.

Specifically, there are new requirements on evidence that must be considered when reviewing recovery from head injury and concussion, abdominal/thoracic injury and musculoskeletal injuries, (such as fractures requiring surgery, compound or complex fractures).

In case of doubt, the CMO, the MotoGP Medical Director and the FIM Medical Officer can request further opinion on the reports and evidence provided to determine the status of the rider (fit or unfit).

Rider Helmets

The helmets of all riders taken to the medical centre for assessment following a crash must be retained by the medical personnel or CMO for control by the Technical Director or Technical Stewards before being returned to the rider or the team manager.

In cases of head injury including concussion or loss of consciousness, unless a specific provision of a national law advises otherwise, the helmet must be forwarded to the FIM Laboratory at the University of Zaragoza for expert examination and non-destructive analysis.

The helmet manufacturer will be notified of the exact tests and has the right to approve or refuse. They will be able to attend the analysis carried out in this laboratory. After inspection, the helmet can be returned to the rider, team, or manufacturer.

Disciplinary Regulations

A new position was approved for those persons involved in the assessment of regulation infractions, for example, jump starts, track limits, etc. Such persons will henceforth be referred to as Judges of Facts. No appeal may be lodged against a decision of the Judges of Facts on matters within their competence.

It was confirmed that information on protests and appeals plus Decisions of the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel taken during track activities (practice and races), may be communicated on monitors as well as on official notice boards. Such communications on public screens are considered valid notification.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed on:


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Ban aero. Ban ride height devices. Ban carbon brakes (so they have to brake earlier, who cares?). Better competition and whacks of money saved.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and hoping for a happy and healthy New Year for everyone here and in the paddock.

Thanks, I will always find entertainment in the fact there are still people who think banning innovation saves money.

... money will just get spent elsewhere? I suppose you're right. Okay, forget the saving money bit ... enlightened

I've always liked Formula 1's approach to new and ingenious doohickeys. They let the teams have their clever doohickey for a year or two, then when every team has one and it's no longer an advantage they ban it. Now the teams have to invent a goober to make up for the loss of the doohickey.


As you point out the teams will spend whatever amount they can get a hold of. That's fine, but since everyone's got a shapeshifter and wings on the bike it's time to make them spend money on something else. I want to see what Gigi can dream up next.

... is ridiculous.  It's a completely useless tactic, brought into existence only because Race Direction and the FIM Stewards can't be bothered to do their jobs.  Exactly how is this new position going to "fix" anything?  And since when did having a completely unassailable, unaccountable authority figure ever lead to anything good? 

I disagree.. creating a seperate channel to address infractions that do not require discretion makes sense. Taking "fact" judegements our of the hands of RD/the Stewards allows them to concentrate on items that require discretionary judgement, hopefully resulting in both quicker reactions to factual infractions and better decisions in situations when more reasoned judgement is needed.

Not sure I trust the FIM to implement it correctly, but if they concentrate on "factual" infractions then there shouldn't be much latitude for appeal anyways. Whenever there is an edge case it can always still be sent to RD.

Judge of Fact? What an absolute crock of rubbish and shit. "We have RD and a host of people who are supposed to do these jobs but they won't. Can we just let them continue to float along in the ether without a care in the world and hire someone else who may or may not feel like doing the job either?"

Is that about it? What a crock of shit.

Make Freddie attend the post race press conference at every race and explain his decisions and answer questions from the media. FFS, Dorna do something right in regards to enforcing rules for once in my life. I'm only going to live another 50 or so years so I expect you will be able to figure it out in that time frame FFS. What a crock of shit.

The cure for the problems that Race Direction and the FIM Stewards present is not more bureaucracy, it's visibility.  Make Race Direction and "Farce Freddie" Spencer attend every post-race press conference and give an accounting for every decision they did OR didn't make. 

Nothing good comes out of zero accountability and no visibility.  This won't go well. 

Accountable to who ?

Why would he need to be in a press conference to explain to the FIM, Dorna and the teams ?

RD is now accountable to the public and need to explain themselves to the public ? When RD has explained their decisions half the world thinks they made the right choice and the other half thinks they are stupid, inconsistent, cheating, corrupt, blind and useless. When RD has not explained their decisions half the world thinks they made the right choice and the other half thinks they are stupid, inconsistent, cheating, corrupt, blind and useless. Which half any individual falls into varies on the event. If RD attends the press conference to explain their decisions half the world will think they did a good job and the other half will think they are stupid, inconsistent, cheating, corrupt, blind and useless.

The rules will always be about what makes the most money for the FIM and DORNA , that they sometimes " fix " things ...

Hey, get your own imaginary lifespan. I've read that the first person to live 150 years has already been born. I suspect it's me. Cheers, fellow traveller, Happy Everything! May Santa slide down your chimney while you dream of the smell of Castrol in the morning.

2022 Top 5 + Rookie 

Motoshrink: 1. M.Marquez 2. Bagnaia 3. Quartararo 4. Mir 5. Martin 6. Bezzecchi

Brian: 1. Bagnaia 2. Quartararo 3. Mir 4. Martin 5. Miller 6. Gardner

Ibis117: 1: Bagnaia; 2: Martin; 3: M.Marquez M; 4: Mir; 5: Morbidelli, 6: Fernandez

Apical; 1. Bagnaia 2. Quartararo 3. M. Marquez 4. Miller 5. Martin 6. Gardner

Cloverleaf "#1 plate": 1. Bagnaia 2. Martin 3. Quartararo 4. Mir  5. B.Binder 6.Bezzechi

Curly: 1 Bagnaia, 2 M.Marquez, 3 Quartararo, 4 Miller, 5 Martin, 6 Fernandez

WW: 1. Quartararo. 2. Bagnaia 3. M.Marquez 4. Miller 5. Mir 6. Fernandez

D999: 1: M.Marquez 2: Bagnaia 3: Quartararo 4: Miller 5: Mir 6: Fernandez

Powervalve58: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Mir, 3. Bastianini, 4. Marini, 5. A.Espargaro, 6. Bezzecchi

Peterday: 1. Bagnaia 2. Quartararo 3. Mir 4. Martin 5. Morbidelli 6. Di Giannantonio

Ivanhoe: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Quartararo, 3. Mir, 4. Miller, 5. Morbidelli, 6. Fernandez

Highside Specialist: 1. Bagnaia 2. M.Marquez 3. Quartararo 4. Mir 5. Miller 6. Fernandez

Poole Pirate: 1. Bagnaia  2. M.Marquez  3. Martin  4. Miller  5. Dovi 6. Fernandez

Yud77: 1. Quartararo 2. Bagnaia 3. M.Marquez 4. Mir 5. Morbidelli 6. Gardner

St. Stephen: 1) Quartararo, 2. Bagnaia, 3. Mir, 4. Martin, 5. Dovisioso, 6. Fernandez

KN58: 1. M.Marquez 2. Bagnaia 3. Miller 4. Quartararo 5. Zarco 6. Bezzecchi

SP_won: 1 Bagnaia, 2 Quartararo, 3 Miller, 4 Martin, 5 M.Marquez, 6 Gardner

WaveyD1974: 1: M.Marquez. 2: Bastianini. 3: Morbidelli. 4: Bagnaia. 5: Quartararo. 6: D.Binder.

TZnRDracer: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Quartararo, 3. Bastianini, 4. Miller, 5. Morbidelli, 6. Fernandez

TheBoss: 1. Quartararo, 2. Mir, 3. Miller, 4. Bagnaia, 5. Zarco, 6. Gardner

Gerrycollins: 1) Miller, 2) Bagnaia, 3) Mir, 4) Quartararo, 5) Martin, 6) Gardner 

daddyrat: 1. M Marquez, 2. Bagnaia, 3. Quartararo 4. Martin, 5.Morbidelli 6. Gardner

Rockhen: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Miller, 3. Quartararo, 4. Morbidelli, 5. M.Marquez, 6. Gardner 

oldholla: 1) Bagnaia 2) M.Marquez 3) Quartararo 4) Mir 5) Miller 6) Gardner

Emlupi: 1. Bagnaia 2. Marquez 3. Quartararo 4. Mir 5. Martin 6. Di Giannantonio 

stumo: 1. Bagnia  2. M.Marquez  3. Bastianini 4. Quartararo 5. Mir 6. Fernandez

Dman904: 1. Bagnaia  2. Miller  3. Quartararo  4. M.Marquez  5. Rins  6. Fernandez

Isoia: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Martin, 3. Quartararo, 4. M. Marquez, 5. Mir, 6. Gardner

Riesjart: 1. Bagnaia 2. Martin 3. M.Marquez 4. Quartararo 5. Bastianini 6. Bezzecchi

Wolferl123: 1. Bagnaia 2. Oliveira 3. Quartararo 4. Martin 5. Miller  6. Fernandez

BJ-Neilson: 1. Bagnaia, 2. Miller, 3. Martin, 4. Marquez, 5. Quartararo, 6. Gardner.

GSP: 1. Marquez 2. Martin 3. Quartararo 4. Bagnaia 5. Miller 6. Fernandez

1 Bagnaia 2 Martin 3 M. Marquez 4 Quartararo 5 Bastanini 6  Bezzecchi

... with my pick.

1. Bagnaia - 2. Oliveira - 3. Quartararo - 4. Martin - 5. Miller  Rookie: R. Fernandez

This is the universe were Marquez isn't coming back, if there is a multiverse and he'll be back ... I'm f*****  ;)

Picked the KTM's for patriotic reasons without any substantial knowledge about motorcycle racing.

I should have been checking back. I would have gone: 

1. Marquez 2. Martin 3. Quartararo 4. Bagnaia 5. Miller 6. Fernandez

15 of our experts here pick Pecco! The majority. Only two of the whole group didn't pick him 1 or 2.

I hope so (although I picked FQ for first), but this may mean he is cursed!

Ivanhoe and Peterday were worried they were curse tippers last season! Poor Morbidelli deserves an apology, Rins some advil. We couldn't ask for a more gracious backmarker, Ivanhoe proffered doing the spreadsheet and post updates! 

Glad you included Dovisioso. I am having a tough time seeing him do well on the old A Spec Yamaha, but would love to be wrong. Glad he is around. Good luck!

The picks up there are telling, interesting. We sure do favor Bagnaia eh? The rookies pick is favorable towards the KTM. I like my Red pick. And then there is the DOUBLE mystery: recovering Marquez on a recovering Honda, whatever will we get? (I am telling you, Quartararo is leaving Blue and Toprak is getting on. I bet FQ20-->Honda).

Hope this all makes for fun and discussion.

This is tough....cheers 'shrink

1. Bagnia  2. M.Marquez  3. Bastianini    4. Quatararo   5. Mir     6. Fernandez

1. Bagnaia, 2. Martin, 3. Quartararo, 4. M. Marquez, 5. Mir, 6. Gardner

Great to have you Stumo, dman and isoia! Nice to see Rins included. We have a good bit of Bastianini tips! Great. The Ducati Cup within the grid will be fierce and on high display. Lots of expectation and opportunity both. Three or four riders all with blades drawn for #2 there. Martin and Bastiannini are on the gas. Zarco and Miller both at risk of seeing tail sections. And back behind them could arise yet another? Cooool.

Look up there, just 2 readers w Zarco, neither up high. Some Bastianini (4). A good bit of Martin (15). Barely bested by Miller (16). Miller and Martin placing a bit forward of the other two. Not a single late bloomer vote for Halfrossi#10. Are you surprised about Marini? Bet not.

I am w isoia's penny on Gardner over Fernandez. Equal bikes I have Gardner as best of the new kids, but KTM vs Ducati? Bezz! 

So glad we added Rookie, (great idea not mine) may end up being well contested and good thought fodder.

Looks like we have plenty of punters.

I've heard from far ancestral voices prophesying war, or at least some serious competition.

Many of you Nostrodamuses have picked Pecco Bagnaia. I hope you are correct. I'd rather Bagnaia's team mate, we'll see.

FQ20 may do the business despite the M1 having a percieved lack of awesomeness.

All the best for the new year my fellow MotoNutters.

Can you ask the Aboriginal Elders if the war is mid corner contact? Can they see the color of paint? Some Red on Red sparks may fly. We know about Red on Silver/Blue. Do they have a word for the no-longer-polite era Ape? 


Would be easier to ask some emerging leaders. Think the Elders have gone bush to avoid the hordes of tourists.

As have I.

I asked my spirit guide, the stainless steel rat, for some tips. Is this; Yes contact on the straight, some contact around cnr entry, slap happy side swipping at cnr exit.

But, biggest biggie of them all, there is some mid-corner action in the smoke. A Suzi may strike a blow at the 1st phase of mid-corner. The bike with the lower minimum corner speed will then lean on Alex Rins. As power is applied one bike will attempt to restrict the options of the other. Apparently buy trying to push the other bike & rider onto some green paint.


But there is a new tactic, seen in a vision through the smoke haze. When they want to bang bars now we just move away so as to be put them off target. Dueling Shapeshifters. If you go up I go down. When your bike comes up again, mine squats, up, down, up, down. Or so the voices tell me.

Colour.............Oh WOW man the colors! Yeah there is colour all right, claret red with a smudge of... blue?

Acres and acres of green paint.

Bluish black possibly. Bruised blue? the chicken guts are rather unhelpful. Criptic in fact.

Thes are The Days, the days to enjoy and savour like a fine vintage. Get a bottle of Philip Island 2007 out & let it breathe.

I haven't actualy consulted but I have to say "Deadly"  'Deadly' is an Aboriginal English word for 'fantastic', 'great' or ...

So yes, this is the Deadly Era of motorcycle racing.

I hate to say it but one day they won't let us take such risks. Nothing potentially lethal. Then nothing that might damage a person permantly. Before or even after motorcycle racing is all electric, they will make it illegal. Too risky! they will say. Too dangerous! Nobody will be allowed to do that any more.

Polite definition; well mannered, civil, courteous, respectful, deferential, well behaved, well bred, gentlemanly, ladylike, chivalrous, gallant, genteel.

So I'm thinking that in some ways they will still be "polite" to some extent. Corse they are all individuals.

Will they be well mannered? NO! Not on track. When in dinner suits etc. at functions & public events yes. Not AI29.

Civil YES we can all be civil, surely.

Courteous yes and no depending on the context.

Respectful, Just as respectful as they have always been.

Deferential NO! Except for Kings, Queens, royalty and Carmelo E.

Well behaved sometimes. Childish tantrums at other times. Don't be too harsh on thes hothouse flowers.

Well bred, gentlemanly, ladylike, are all bulldust. Fictional terms! I'm proud to be a mongrel. Screw "well bred"!

Gents & Ladies are all different. Riders too.

Chivalrous, gallant, yes maybe, more romantic froth and aether.

Genteel. No definitely not. More BS made up by prats who thought they were sooo much better than the hoi polloi. For an example of who I am talking about Boris J. would do for now. Genteel could mean anything we like. If genteel overtakes and awesomely genteel out-braking moves are all over the interwebs from now on. Published and all. Then next year it will be in a dictionary as MotoGp slang.

I see a headline forming in my 3rd eye...!!! Johann Zarco takes his first GENTEEL MotoGP win!!!! JZ the first, King of Le Mans.

Have a beaut New Year


Huh! I put that in a Apical Aussie to English translator: 

"There will be varied and expressive collisions. I love MotoGP! But Jack Miller will be 3rd best Ducati and out of the Top 5 in the Championship. So I am drinking red wine."

Isn't Google translator handy?!


Happy New Year mate of mine!

Apical just gave me an idea - monthly MotoGP rants on 3.5g of Psilocybin mushrooms and a red wine off to the side.

I'm in.

Happy NY, Gentlemen.

Now that was funny. Sadly, probably not far from the truth. Last I heard of him the poor bugger was in quod for robbing some old lady on a beach.

You too D9's! Enjoy. ^ Right Deadhead Steve? Lessee, five big inhales on the race gas, wee toot of amphetamines, and Go-show. (Booze and cocaine wasn't it? I wish Barry Sheene was here).

(Hey, MotoSanta brought me a new bike!) - mini retro street legal pit bike. Customizing into a scrambler. Kymco Spade 150. A bit like a Honda Monkey but a tad bigger and faster.. Looks a bit like the old 70's Honda CB550 Cafe I had but put in the dryer on high too long. It's fun! 

David got a new red BMW adventure tourer. Anyone else get a visit from MotoSanta? Still early enough for a belated one? 

Got a Tamiya 1/12 scale first-year Yamaha R1 to join the other 19 similar models. Oh well, it's a way to help pass the winter until riding season is back.

That bike was fantastic! The 2nd gear roll on wheelies would just go and go. Lovely motor. Handled great, looked great (had a blue 2001). 

(A teensy Repsol #69 MotoGP model is by the kitchen sink). Are you painting white w the red seat? It looked great in red w the black seat. There was a "Champion's Edition" w a cool white tail like a race one and some tank stripes. Swapped mine out for them. 

That period of time was marked by speeding tickets. One was 170mph, just commuting to work. Oh the good old days.

(Hey, they have Mir's 2020 beauty!). Larry, when you look at bikes, is there one that stands out as a favorite to own and ride? Ever craft a conceptual "dream bike?"

Dream bike #529: latest R6 gets pushed out to 749cc, minimal TC or none (ala GSXR750). Usual sorting, plus composite wheels. 2022 R7

Dream bike #530: same dealio, Triumph 675R triple pushed out to 899cc. Goldilocks handles like a dream, light and sweet, but has power midway between Superbike and Supersport that can be fully utilized without rider aids by sane mortals.

(Dream bike #3 was a last gen Yamaha TZ250 or Honda RS250 with a built Kawasaki parallel 650 twin engine in it. Was looking around for one to start into for a while, race Twins. Sort of an Aprilia RS660 on race steroids and a diet? There was no joy in the handling of the SV650s everyone was racing but the class was huge, cheap and fun).

Anyone else catch a bit of the Guy Coulon spirit?

Fantastic bike indeed. I rode one of the first ones in Canada when I was a magazine writer and loved it; as you said, the second-gear power wheelies were amazing. Yeah, I'm going to paint it the white/red with the red seat because that's the colour of the one I rode. If I could find one laying around I'd be sorely tempted.

170 mph speeding ticket? Yikes. Here in Ontario you'd be in jail for years. I do have a "Ton-up Pirates"  t-shirt from Great Bay Motorcycles in New Hampshire; any of their clients who got a 100 mph ticket got a shirt, lol. At the time I worked for a dealer who sold Triumphs and when I told the NH shop I was commuting on a Speed Triple and did the ton every day to and from work they agreed I could be in the club.  devil

Dream bike? Probably whatever I'm riding currently, lol. I'd love to have some of my old bikes back now that I'm too old to care much about high performance. I know where my '73 Honda 750 is but the bugger won't give it back to me! I'd also like my Yamaha 650 Seca and Suzuki GS1100 back and would also enjoy my Bandit. Oh well. Not enough garage space, not enough money, not enough time to ride everything.

I guess if I'm collecting I'd take a Speed Triple, too, one of the earlier ones. Remember the Nuclear Red colour? Like a stick in the eye, that was. I used to ride past a couple of school bus stops with it on the way to work (not at 100 mph) and the kids loved it.

I suppose my current "dream bike" is the '88 Honda GT650 Hawk I recently picked up. It's a little scruffy but excellent mechanically, lots of fun to ride. Always wanted one since I rode a couple of race versions years ago, so it's a bit of a dream fulfilled, I guess.

Enjoying learning about you, thanks! Was JUST this week admiring the Hawk perhaps for the first time (unusual bike). Also noticed an older Speed Triple (those dual round headlights look great) for sale here quite cheap. 

Re the speeding ticket, got fortunate and had a good rapport with the police. They had been pursuing topped out at 130mph in their car and thought I was running from them. In fact, just unaware they were there. Chatted them up, including that I was the public health clinician in their small rural town, they saw me as on their side. "Just" wrote me up for 130mph. It was a bargain, only $220 as I recall. Times have changed. 



Less regulations makes for closer racing  not more reguations . Look at F1 , hundreds of regulations and itsas exciting as watching paint dry.Performance is like water, it finds its own level . One team findsa new tech advance the others soon follow .Let the engineers/manufactures beas innovativeas possible and let the best team win ...thats racing 

Surprised by how many still rate Jack Miller so highly! I feel he had a couple of seasons already on a current spec Duc and at least the last season was out raced by Bagnaia. There does not seem to be any room or potential for growth anymore. But hey, we'll see. It's going to be an exciting season. 

^ Might be now or never too for Miller, his seat is in the window. 

Hey, so your picks...

daddyrat: 1. M Marquez, 2. Bagnaia, 3. Quartararo 4. Martin, 5.Morbidelli 6. Gardner

Me and you both are taking Martin over Miller by a good margin. We are extrapolating a bit on Martin's best, eh? He might not be consistent. But it just LOOKS like Jack has plateaued, and that Martin is rising strong. And what is Bastiannini about to do on the new ish bike? 

Of yours, Morbidelli is the one that sticks out. His knee, yeah. The Yamaha lately too, for sure. But even his riding - I would put Jack and likely another rider or even two ahead of (likeable strong!) Morbidelli. B.Binder and Bastiannini may be my two. P.Espargaro, if the Honda is what we think it is, I put Pol ahead of Morbidelli too! Glad he is getting picked. How solid/confident are you there?

Gardner, wow that kid looks great! If you are right on the rookie I will be happy to be wrong.

Jack is still only 26 and still has plenty of room for growth. I wouldn't count him out just yet and his raw talent and charisma will see him in the paddock for a lot longer yet.

I see Gardner as the better long term bet on the rookie front. His ability to control a race and pick his moments set him apart imho. He's a future factory rider.

I like Jack and hope you're right. Wayne's kid's trajectory? Highest. More promising than Quarty was. Much like a Bagnaia. Who got on a difficult Ducati and stagnated a good bit before the tinder was dry. Hate to say it, but this KTM might be a bit like that Duc?

D999: 1: M.Marquez 2: Bagnaia 3: Quartararo 4: Miller 5: Mir 6: Fernandez

Me and you are super akin in picks! So here we go, "my" Martin against "your" Miller. And  Fernandez/Bezzecchi. Looking fwd to keeping up w you about it!

Another reference, last season's #1 finisher Cloverleaf: 1. Bagnaia 2. Martin 3. Quatararo 4. Mir  5. B.Binder 6.Bezzechi

^ NO Marquez, Orange Brad, but with me on Martin (up in 2nd no less!) and Bezz. Huh! Brazen. Last yr he pulled the Red heavy roster for the win. I think I have him this go. You?

People have Miller and Martin about even up there. It is interesting. Looking at riding styles, and just good old "If you have this trajectory line, what dotted line do you draw to predict the future?" I for sure get Miller moving a bit on a plateau that Martin is rapidly approaching. Wet and changing conditions? Jack. 

Miller just got BLASTED by in 2021 by Pecco. He started the Pedrosa tone. It isn't a harbinger of anything promising. It is crushing to the spirit. And another couple riders may be barging through too. It may prompt the second "shoulder" end of a zenith. Prove me wrong Jack Miller, I will toast you.

That KTM, hardest bike on the grid to predict now. Their lineup looks great though eh?


Right back at you, my friend. We shall see about that. As I see it, your top pick is an aging rider making no more than satisfactory progress in recovering from a recurrent injury that may prevent him racing at all next season. Even if it doesn't, the limitations of its treatment won't have helped the off-season programme of recovery from the injury to his upper body that ruined last season. And may mean he will be riding a brand new bike that he's had little or no input to. But that isn't my only reason for excluding Marc. If ever there was a manufacturer living on past glory its Honda. Look at the results in MotoGP and WSB. Honda has lost its way. And maybe even its interest in big bikes. Why, when did Honda last produce even a road bike of more than 250cc that's the best available? Meanwhile, the other bikes on the grid have got better and their riders younger, more agile, better at using them to the full. Marc overtook Honda several seasons ago and now he has been overtaken. He may well win races when conditions really suit but I think his time as champion is over. I hope he returns fully fit - and the Honda is competitive - although I very much doubt either let alone both will transpire. Because no matter what, he won't beat the Ducatis. And Quartararo is plain faster. Mir too. And KTM, with what I think is their first all Dani bike, will have the beating of the Honda. There, I've said it. 

And so it begins. Glove thrown. This is war Cloverleaf. Sending Marc eyeball vitamins. (I think we are on to something w Martin. Same for Bezzecchi. I really really want Brad and Orange to excel. If you win I will be happy. I can't believe you are making me a damn Honda supporter, yuck). 

I hereby give Cloverleaf the Sete Gibernau curse - "you will never win again." You filthy uncleaned grid spot. Watch your shoulder when I come through.

I like Jack and would love to see him lift the crown. His charisma isn't in doubt, but I can't help but think there are others that take it far more seriously. For me, it's an ominous sign that rookie Martin scored just one less podium in 2021, despite missing races.

Sure, he is still only 26 but for the last couple of years he does not seem to have made any major step foward, no berakthrough or enlightened moments. I beleive if he would not have won that race with Quarties arm pump issues Ducati might not have even extended his contract. Charisma is not the thing that wins races so does not really count in his favour. Jorge Martin will serve him on a platter to Duc management this year and where he goes from there is anyones guess.  I see Bagnaia and Martin as Factory riders in the future.

Disagree. 2020 was a good year for Jack. Previously Jack had always been fast at times and very consistent at throwing it down the road whenever he was fast. If you look across 2020 he had 4 DNF's...not so good. However, Le Mans was wet and Aragon he was taken out by the Binder. Jack started the year as same old, wild and had every excuse in the book down rote. Jack improved across 2020 to become a more consistent, professional performer and I think started to race with the bike he had rather than a bike he was busy trying to bend into shape on track. The last two races of 2020 were very good. Old Jack would have done something mad and ended up in the litter.

I think he's struggled a bit this year but that's only when compared to the expectations placed on him by virtue of being a factory Ducati rider and the performance of his team mates. Silly to say he struggled more with 2 wins.

This sport is very fickle and has a very short memory. If you are bored, jump back to the end of 2020, just for fun. Compare the certainties.

post you virtually confirmed my predictions re Jack. I agree, 2020 , particularly the end of the season was great for Jack. Regular results, thoughtful riding ect.

And then your middle paragraph explains beautifully why he mgiht have platuaed and that's it for him. When I read it I could virtually feel his anguish, the pressure he must have felt being considered the lead rider and how serious everything had gotten. How being the larrikin would not quite cut i tanymore and a reinvention of his persona might be needed. It's hard at the top, finding this balance between enjoyment and work, having to motivate people, maybe having now a sense of responsibility to achieve something.But for Le Mans it always felt laboured to me, not natural or intuitive. But hey, maybe I am wrong. Would give us Aussie underdog lovers something to cheer for!!!wink

Very hard to say either way. Very fickle sport. KTM factory boys are a good example. At one point in 2020 it was stated in some quarters that this was just the beginning. They had produced genius and with that extra little help they had before the concessions vanished they would rule (WP omg! omg! omg!)....sorry I meant RULE ! However, without the race day heroics of Mr Binder and a 3 race spike in form from Oli, 2021 would have been awful for KTM. Oli spent a lot of the season finishing in the teens or the litter. Brad couldn't crack into any form with qually but ran some serious races.

Now that was a serious drop (+/- bike/tyres/riders who knows the end tally ?) but up and down the field bikes/tyres/riders are having very small murmurs in performance which drops them to the bottom of the top ten or even out of the top ten. 10th is not twice as bad as 5th. These days it's a couple of hundredths worse on a very regular basis. Jack murmured, Peco had less deviation. I don't think it's about peaks or plateaus of a career. I think it was just the form in late 2021 and as with all sports Jack has the opportunity to turn things around next season (does turning around involve 180 degrees ? Or is it just a couple of degrees in 2022 ?)...luck has that opportunity too. Good example in Franco 2019-2020. However, it does work both ways and i don't see anything certain which points to Peco NOT having a murmur or two next season.

Fabio isn't King of Qually because he's a very fast rider, that just gets him an invite to the game. He's King of Qually because he produces 'very fast' with incredible consistency. Marc Marquez dominated because from one race to the next he was there, same with Rossi. Mir won in 2020 because he was always there. In Rossi's early career 'always there' meant within a few tenths, maybe half a second. Jack is fast enough, he has all the tools needed to be invited, he just needs a little more consistency because these days 'always there' means a few hundredths maybe.

I've been good enough to score a Lego Ducati  V4R from my old m/c courier buddy Smithers.

Smithers let me ride the Triumph triple in Tasmania, good fun.

Picture on the box looks OK. I have read the instructions and put the box on the shelf.

 Maybe one day. Even when it's raining I have better things to do.

Are we there yet?

Legos, yes. But can we please be clear? What was this Triumph?

Far cry between the old street triple and the 675R mate. Do tell! Have you had your proper serving of entheogens and red wine?

Just came in from taking a SNOW/ICE ride at 2AM on the new mini. Broke the rear end loose every damn where. Life is fun.

There's a few tricks in the instructions from memory. Anyone would think it was printed in China.



Just the ordinary 675 street thing. Gave my wife a double through the suburbs of Launceston to the bke shop. Ride back was a little more spirited without a pillion. The good ones are impressive on the track.  Quite popular with racers in Oz & NZ.

I'm still hoping JM43 will improve. Remy Gardner 87 has learned a few things in Moto2. Stuff that Jack didn't experience. The Triumph Moto2 bike probably more suitable as a race bike than the Honda version.

RG87 may do well. Has no preconceptions of what a MotoGp bike should be. I'm thinking the KTM will be better in 2022. Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki will improve too.

What has been on your mind?

* End of this month MotoGP bikes hit the track again. Test riders, Rookies. SO focused on where several bikes are going to be. 

* M.Marquez, eye ok to ride? I bet yes, anyone's guess though eh? No one knows.

* Silly season is trying to start before the actual season. It is an unusually big one. This time it can be expected to be one of more change.

* Quartararo AND Mir, both hot commodities and both putting themselves out competition with each other. Both Inline 4 employers wish to keep them. Yamaha isn't bringing sufficient motor to the era of grunt, so...? Honda wants one of them. Ducati, bizarre for 2 reasons, is being courted by both. (Ducati is top bike?! Yes. Ducati could/would want to add yet another rider to their great lineup?! Yes). 

* Yamaha w no Quarty AND Suzuki w no Mir? How bad and odd would that be? (Bad). It could possibly happen? (Yes).

* Oliveira to Suzuki. For some reason the crystal ball just says so. He wants to try something else, and Orange has both a baby Alien flood and Brad as top rider.

* Covid pandemic, like any other, has a beginning/middle/end. Where are we? I say between middle and end. It will become "endemic," just part of a variable flu season and in a form with lesser impact. So buy 2023 tickets! (But, it will be regionally disparate for a while, so be selective). The trends should be emerging. 

* Just two grid spots avail for 2022 Top 5, grab them. If you haven't tried to think through the grid, it is a rewarding process and we can connect about it here. For instance, Cloverleaf #1 plateholder is now in a viscious personal rivalry and under immense pressure (does a wink need to be here?). Bagnaia is BY FAR the favored rider, will he experience pressure too? Seems he should, right?! How will this effect him? (Very little I bet, the guy has a very solid mentality).

* Custom parts ordered for my "Mini vintage scrambler" project. Paint and decals too. Just sharing. What are you doing? It's Winter, we've got to stick together here. 

* With an Italian sponsor (Mooney) and my tipped Rookie (Bezz) it looks like personal sentiment towards Yellocati VR46 has turned the bend. I find myself wholeheartedly supporting all the funny B named Italian kids in the Ducati Cup. Can you easily keep them straight in your head? Viva VR46 and the pipeline.

* Are you sure you should say that Valentino has not been successful at Ducati? Bagnaia, Bastiannini and Bezzecchi beg to differ. Leave a legacy to end with peace and contentment they say. Conversely, has Yamaha been successful with Rossi? Could they have kept his program in their fold? Fight to get him what they offer the Malaysian Team? Land all those kids? Italian based Euro Test Team links? By appearances they had a shot at it. They put the same effort into it as they did engine development the last couple of years. Hope your ham pile buys you an Acosta, or you may be in for a rough 2023-2024. 

* Wishing Gresini a great launch with Red. (It is interesting what is going on for staffing within them and Aprilia). Gresini? Fighting with Ducs? Think about it. They have had history fielding top independent bike. History says good things. "FLEX BOX GRESINI and BASTIANNINI" (has a great ring to it eh?). Podium. I see it on a podium.

* We are in a new era. Aero, shapeshifter, no single Alien, and high tech V4's on top. Michelins took Honda out of the "short braking zone buckaroo bike" and placed stacked cards in the hands of Yam and Suzuki at the end of last era. Which they recently discarded? The game has changed.

* Honda has answered. This bike will do the business. If I am wrong? Great, disliking Honda has been a hobby. Right? In Ducati's draft. Then, savor that they just signed Quartararo or Mir and feel their momentum build.

* 2022 at KTM: _____?

* Pedro Acosta and 2022 Moto2 Season? He might win it. Watch.

* Pedro Acosta and MotoGP silly season? He might win it, watch. Acosta, Quartararo and Mir are on brass brains for a LOT of hams.

* Related, Toprak Razmatazzglue to Blue MotoGP, coming to a silly season near you!

* At APRILIA, there is some renewed vigor. The new bike is better sorted and a big step forward. It is a good bike! Going from 72 degrees to 90 degrees is huge, everything has improved around that. Reliability needed to improve. At the latter part of the season a significant engine improvement arrived. Another step is expected. Marco De Luca had lots more aero development time in a wind tunnel in Cologne. Mass dampener salad box? Check. Shape shifter? Check. Cool female Italian data engineer? Check. 

There is a fresh push of an all in-house Factory garage. Me? Eagerly awaiting fierce competition between Aleix and Maverick. They should bring some higher compression to the whole affair, and are similar riders. Followed by a kid from Moto2 or a displaced rider like Rins wanting to sign there? Aleix Espargaro continues with crew chief Antonio Jimenez. On the other side of the garage, Maverick Viñales has Giovanni Mattarollo, Aprilia chassis engineer and smart nice guy. The Test Team gets to settle in with Savadori which isn't a bad fit. Massimo Rivola has been "doing a Gigi" with the organization. They have added engineers. The garage is "much more serious." As David pointed out in this article Aprilia have been on a several year journey of re org focused at this point...their 2022 program launch is a big deal. I personally see the group around and above Maverick Vinales as a good fit for him to succeed rather than flail about. Black has concessions with which to develop at a greater rate. F1 trained Rivola is geared to do just that, and has effectively pushed Piaggio to smell the race gas. This bike, these riders, and this Black & Tricolore program have entered "adulthood." Welcome!

* Current trends suggest a retiring GP rider goes to a Test job (Dani, Cal). Does this continue? Who might go where? Nakagami at Honda perhaps?

* (_____) What is on your mind?

... especially whne they are about the future.

@Covid: My personal opinion - we just witnessed the first third of the pandemic, but maybe - if we are lucky - from now on it is a slowly descending slide towards normality. Maybe old fat blokes  - like me - are better off getting the vaccine shots and younger gals won't even recognize that they are infected.

@TheGoldenBoy: Are no news good news or bad news. My take on it - it's rather bad and if he comes back will he adapt to the fact that he is a mere mortal or will he try to crush all other contenders again?

@Silly season: I think HRC is going after Mir ... again (but that seems to be a common prediction). After they f***** it up big time to grab him in 2018(likewise Zarco) and ended up with TheJorge.

Seems like there's another common prediction - Suzuki is blowing up its rider lineup and Rins gets booted. Is Mav a possible contender ( he has a "funny" mind and nobody knows how long he believes in the Aprilia) besides the usual suspects?

Imagine if Mir took Jack's seat at Ducati. I would hate to see it but things would be wild on track for the rest of the year.

...the RC-51 seems to have a minor coolant leak, have to sort it out. That is the focus of my thoughts at the moment. 

Good point about silly season, so many expiring contracts! A few vets may be looking at WSBK to their surprise! Maybe that Yamaha seat...

I believe that we will have a massive re-shuffling in 2022--the tires, and two years of engine development that could not appear on the track in 2021 will throw everything upside down. Happy New Year 'Shrink.

^ Inspiration for you Deadhead Steve.  Great article, cool pictures. (I've ridden a couple of 998's, yet to do more than sit on your venerable beast. Rode a Superhawk, liked it. Have a Buell 1125R to sell. Someone here has an RC8 they love, any other big twin fans? Haga is not far behind on the Aprilia, enjoyed riding that at some point. Done w big twins for now, triple fever arrived). Here's to hoping it is an easy dumb hose fitting leak.

Wintertainment: 2002 Imola Full Race (still SO good! Lovely tuba sounds you may have forgotten. These guys are throwing down!)

Very confusing to see you writing "Deadhead Steve" as I was a taper since 1980.  Saw over 300 shows by the end in 1995.  Have over 1800 shows on cassette, over 2000 digitized (over 4 terabytes) shows.  Many of those have multiple Aud and SBD sources.  Good Times ;)

^ Wow, thassalot of shows, nice! Saw just one show here. Favorite song Franklin's Tower I think. Jerry was something special, the unsung one that impresses me is Phil Lesh! St Stephen is a fan. I think Steve English plays some guitar and digs good stuff btw. And then, we had Toseland of course. I have Spotify on lots daily, nice soundsystem even in the shop (poor neighbors). 

You know the music in the ears riders do just before a race these days? What would yours be frankenhippi? 

Oh no! Sounds a "crash in second corner collision" song. Please be cautious mate.


"Street fighting man" Rolling Stones. "Jerry was a racecar driver" Primus. "Paper planes" M.I.A. "Heroes" David Bowie. "I Can't Explain" The Who. "Sure Shot" Beastie Boys. "Fire on the mountain" Grateful Dead. "Heartbreaker" into "Living lovin maid" Led Zeppelin. "Echoes (live at Pompeii)" Pink Floyd. (Wet race? "Rain" Beatles). 

(Hopefully helping David out during Winter break)

Update: Danilo Petrucci 

In the 2nd Stage of the Dakar, at 150km in, his KTM had a technical difficulty and left him stranded in need of a helicopter taxi (the tail of Jack Miller's bike is not avail).

He told a journo 1) this is definitely not my last Rally, and 2) I am going to MotoAmerica to "see a new continent" and ride a Panigale. 

Cheers friends, and Cloverleaf too!    ;)

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I'm over in Switzerland at the moment having a full Sete make over in preparation for not winning next season. It's much harder work being rich, cultured and handsome than I thought, checking my investments, being fawned over by beautiful women, zipping about in helicopters, skiing the black slopes, racing the snowmobiles, tending the fleet of bikes and cars. You know the sort of thing. Oh, and becoming younger, fitter and more cultured, including fluent in five languages, of course. But there's no doubt it's worth the effort. In fact, this 'never winning another race' is so good that if the secret gets out every rider will be competing not to win. Rossi saw it, of course, slowing in his final seasons so the curse of winning wouldn't ruin his retirement. Vinales also had a go at not winning last season, but that was different. Anyway, thanks again for the curse, it's the gift that keeps giving. Just don't tell everyone about it or they'll all want one. 

(Funny! Sete is a nice guy, met him once - he was picking up strangers' kids and swinging them around laughing. It was sincere kind playfulness).

Hey, looks like lots of people are considering Jack Miller right now in here. He's done challenging the front and losing his Factory seat right? Bagnaia is here. Red FINALLY has "a rider" after all these yrs of struggling and almost there. Dovi was GREAT, but right now they finally have their Italian Alien...Italien. Plus several more in the stable! Not knocking Jack, he has done quite well. 

Top bike, Factory seats? Everyone wants one. Even Quartararo and Mir. And Acosta. Tough to hang onto.

Hold onto your hat for silly season this yr?!

just back from some off grid camping so catching up.
1. Bagnaia, 2. Miller, 3. Martin, 4. Marquez, 5. Quateraro, rookie, Gardener.

Reckon the 22 Ducati will be special.  Marc will do well enough with 1 1/2 arms and one eye. Quateraro will have a year like Mir just endured.  Remy will be quick on the KTM often enough.

Maybe a small change needed around Jack to help adapt a little to get race distance from the tyre more often.  Might take one thing to click and he could dominate on a Gigi bullet.

Gradually working up the enthusiasm to drag a '97 Laverda 750S from the back of the farm shed.  Maybe time for a project or more likely it go to a new home as a project.  Bike Santa came to the boy with a KTM65.  Spent Xmas day following him around the farm enjoying the smell.  Miss my R1s.  They were a hoot.  Too silly for our local roads now and don't need jail time for 290kph!

Great thread @Motoshrink

Just living in hope!  Not every Aussie who's made it to GP has won championships but he's not far off.

Still in 2 minds.  Parts are hard to get.  Big project to get it back in shape.  Might let it go to an enthusiast.  I parked it, had a Fireblade then 2 R1s then back trouble that's kept me off them.  Loved the Japanese reliability but missed the soul of the Laverda handling 

A guy I worked with at the Alien Shop owned a Laverda (before we had met - I never saw it in the flesh). It may have been a 750. He went off road and dumped it after getting into a corner too hot. Instincts failed him. He went for both brakes but realized after he had been jamming on the gear shifter. Said the shifter and rear brake were opposite the traditional positioning.

Sounds like the Laverda was a very competitive bike before the Japanese bikes came into dominance in the 80s. There's a rumor that Laverda's very first engine casings were cast in a kitchen.

Good story, lol. Laverda was a mfr of tractors, so who knows? The original castings looked VERY Honda-ish, for sure. Had the chance to ride one of the three-cylinder Jotas for a couple of weeks way back when; what an absolutely glorious sound. I actually pushed it half a block from my house before starting it in the morning so I wouldn't piss off my next-door neighbours. Really. Did the same thing with a Ducati 900SS with open Contis and a turbo-charged CBX. The sound from all three was wonderful, except not in a surburban neighbourhood at breakfast time!

Larry, ever started every one of your bikes at the same time and let them run up to temp as an orchestra? My neighbors got that a few times.

Had to go look up the 1997 Laverda 750S, foreign to me. This brief video is the best thing I found.

Interestingly odd! Unusual. High end kit, must handle well? Fuel tank in the SUBFRAME?! Basic motor design. It makes me want to understand it, look at it, start it, ride it...what a neat bike! For someone else to own (I hear you on that part bj). Sensibilities win out over intrigue or "story" here usually. I talk myself out of bikes like Ducatis and into something a bit more...sensible. 

That said, looking at a bunch of bits to transform the mini into a Scrambler now in the shop. New set of 12 inch knobby "Mobber" tires. Little vintage chrome cafe racer brake light and turn signals. The whole tail/rear fender needs a lop off and re-do. Will re paint it in Spring when warmer. Re-badging it with Triumph logos (Kymco Spade means little to me). Very little sensible about it, but coolest pit bike ever. Goes 65mph and FUN. Silly. 

If we enjoy it, it is good right?

Reminds me of the big twins mention above of the Honda VTR1000, 998's, etc. I just don't much enjoy a big twin. There is a lack of excitement and interest in the way the power comes. I have one now (Buell 1125R Rotax) and detest it. They handle in a chunky riverboat manner too. Perhaps there is a continuum with them on one end, and a two stroke on the other. One side boring, the other side busy and frenetic. For me, the modern Triples that spool up fast to a high red line are the exact sweet spot. Whole Rev range and powerband is SO strong, usable and sweet. I love these current Moto2 bikes. Did I like 250GP? Yeah, but differently. I wasn't going to buy one, sort it, and ride it. Sensibly AND passionately. 

Is this contentious, or accepted as true? This Moto2 formula now is bringing forth good young racers for MotoGP. Close intense racing. Large grid of very similar bikes with similar pace. Inexpensive, accessible (cheaper than Moto3!). Easily obtainable kit. Slight electronics to learn. Weight and power a good balance and step towards GP's. More focus on the RIDER now. In the reality of current MotoGP where lots of electronics and more run-off exist, what better platform for Pre-GP bikes? 

Marc Marquez was a product of it with the Honda 600 four platform. (Jorge Lorenzo was the previous 250GP platform product). These 765 Triples have more power and handle better, narrower, a step forward from the Hondas. 

I am quite biased here. But it isn't just arbitrary subjectivity nor self referential shite. Saying that might be though? We have a few folks here (Bricktop?) that I am guessing would genuinely prefer to see 250GP's have stayed. Or for the class to be prototype only. Or several manufacturers competing with unique crafty bikes (IS that really a KTM anymore?!). Or tire wars. Legitimate perspective! Just not mine. Hey Jinx, where are you these days? Surely you have an engineering or analytical concept to call me on intuitive meanderings? Did I just say Moto2 is good because it is good for MotoGP, what crap? Curious, are there people that used to join in here a bunch still around to join in? Pitbull, motogpmd, others? After all these years you folks and contributions are still remembered. 

Perhaps go look for yourself. How does the tail end of 250GP look to you now? Exciting November 2009 Aoyama vs Simoncelli vs Beautista et al. 4 min video. (You can really see the personality/temperament, riding style of these riders in just this snippet eh?). Are these better as "real" race bikes somehow? Better racing? More interesting? I can't say they are more sensible. Personally, I can't say more passion is there now either. 12 yrs ago already!


Lovely combination of twin torque and four spin-up power. Spent some time on a Yamaha Tracer 9 (MT-09) a couple of summers ago and really liked it. The Triumph triples I've tried all had a lovely feel to them from pleasant (Sprint ST) to fricking nuts (Speed Triple).

Until the (blech) "R7" was announced we knew Yamaha was up to something. Since the MT09 my hope had been their Triple sport tuned and adapted into an R6 like platform. Nope. 

When I rode an MT-07 when they first came out it reminded me of an RZ350. Similar lightweight, quick, piss-on-everybody attitude. Now that's a good thing!

Next to an R6? I say blech. It is known to be competing for power and handling with a Suzuki SV650. Which is where the R7 is going too. Not knocking that twins class, cheap and accessible. But we have not been experiencing progress in the 600 class, it has been a funeral for a cherished friend. But right now there may be a perk up return dawning...

These were made in the town/area called Zane, hence the naming people use.  Was the 650 which went to 668, then the 750.  Essentially 80s crankcases.  The 668 bankrupted them when they had to do a recall on top ends.  750 seems a bit fragile on the needle roller main bearings.  And the electrical system of the time.  

Handling!  About the same wheelbase as an RGV.  Frame design by Nikko Bakker from memory....made plenty of GP frames. Lots and lots of fun.  Would get smashed by a modern 600 for pace but not feel. Would be a good candidate for a heart transplant.

Mir leaves, and Rins gets the boot. A kid gets a Suzuki seat for 2023.

The established rider that ends up at Suzuki for 2023 in the prime seat? Lucky bloke!

Miller, or Oliveira. Zarco. Maybe even A.Espargaro again for a one yr stint. I guess Oliveira. That seat? 2nd best bike out there. The surprise creme. Watch! It will be oddly up for grabs, and a hugely desireable spot.

(Do you have a better crystal ball? Do tell!)

Will have Toprak. Seeing Quart go to Ducati however that may still keep factory seats at Yam occupied with Morbidelli #2. Dovi and Darryn may be short lived at Aqua, making way for Raul? Or Raul to Blue and Morbidelli to Aqua, VR46?

Still have high hopes and beliefs for Morbidelli - oops there goes that jinx again...

And it will be so much more interesting, or it could be! AlexM, TakaNaka, Pol, where will they be headed?

Can't wait for the season to start - the racing and the silly!

Best wishes everyone and enjoy your bikes 😁

Having another few moments pause for reflection, the crystal ball is telling me that Mir will be headed Repsol...

^ I see that. Be sure to keep an eye on it for a hand to dart in for the handshake last minute ahead of him though. If Quartararo wants the Honda handshake, wouldn't it be his? Then Mir...stays put at Suzuki. Our head is about to spin. Rumors indicate early start on silly season may actually be occurring already! 

Cheers I-hoe, and thanks again for taking on spreadsheet duties. 


Petrucci just did REALLY well in today's Dakar stage! Like, one of the best bikes well. He won't finish high because of his previous electrical problem, but he has quickly adapted. He hooked up with two other (fastest!) bikes and stuck with them. He says he is learning about the navigation part. 

Really impressive and representing our sport well.

Addendum, Rossi has to miss the VR46 Ferrari event due to Covid exposure over the Holiday. Be careful folks. Oh, and cars are dumb anyway, public service message done. Back to your regular programming. 

Sete Gibernau was spotted in the supermarket at Cowes P.I. doing his own shopping.* Nice enough guy but never a world champion. Two times runner up on the telefonica movistar Honda.

*Circa 2004 when I was responsible for an 8 year old kid. Carlos Checa and Jeremy Burgess took the time to talk to us.

Sete took pole position and didn't win.

I thought Sete was rather good. Hoped Gibber would do well on the Ducati. Catalunya 2006 put an end to that dream.

Haven't spoken to the guy since. Loris coulda, would have, should have! Expletive!

If Sete & Loris had done well in 2006 maybe Casey would not have had the ride on the Ducati in 2007.

Summer in Oz is soggy & wet, my chrystal ball is a bit cloudy.

At different points in their careers in 2007, maybe too late for Sete to become champion, but if not for Sete's injury perhaps as a team it could have worked. Instead it was Loathsome Loris and Stoner. Sigh. Loathsome was circulating in 2011 when I was at Phillip Island watching Casey win the race and the Championship. Casey, entering Gardner Straight throttle absolutely pinned. Marco and Dovi too. Capirossi, a lap down, trailing throttle, out for a gentle Sunday tootle. Couldn't cheat his way out of that one. Sigh

Remember 2/3rds of the way through we had a light shower at T12 and Stoner came through absolutely pinged over the ripple, TC struggling, tail whipping.. did. not. back. off. one. iota.

Great race. I spent the whole weekend between his pit and the roof. I will shamelessly brag about it every chance I get.

I don't think anyone will ever forget being there that weekend.


I remember it! From afar via tele. On memory left out there was most of Lorenzo's pinky finger (ick!). I have DVD stuff, but all I could find was this brief "weekend rewind" video from Dorna.

The Ducati garage sure watched Stoner w interest. I still have Duc posters on the wall of my shop from that yr, Vale and Nicky held promise in Winter! Honda Factory ran 3 bikes, forced to add one for Dovi (cool to see it CAN happen). Stoner wiped the tarmac w everyone. What a talent!! Beautiful.

I was at the Ducati factory early 2011 after testing. No bullshit - all of the Rossi merchandise was on a table out front of the in-factory store and there was nothing but Stoner and Bayliss posters hanging up from one end of the factory to the other. Side note, the chick running the tours REALLY had a thing for "Her Superman" Troy Bayliss.

I know that these guys are their champions and that's why they are so popular with the factory. But there was no excitement about Rossi's arrival, only celebration of their success.

I ended up with bit of a thing for Diavels after that actually (they were just about to launch) but ended up with a MS1200S from that year instead. Sexy in her own way.

That's my pride and joy. #2 of 27. My e-penis can only get so erect.

Holy Orange Petrucci Dakar Rally Shite! 

He WON Stage 5. 

He was in tears of joy. The guy has a lot of heart. And a Stage win! He broke his ankle training not long ago. He isn't even fully fit, and it is bloody grueling. Winning a Dakar Stage is like winning a MotoGP race. He has done BOTH. Big respect.

4 min video, 1st part Danilo. "My Dad gave me Dakar (toys?) as a gift as a kid. I can't stop the emotions"

Look how tough it was! Shots of the ride of the leaders...

^ Right? Tenderness is more strength when one also has good old oomph-strength. Did he fail in MotoGP? Obviously no. Race wins! But no title challenges and had to leave. This looks like a big win for the big guy with a bigger heart at this time. Makes me feel good too.

Hope you are well mtiberio! Warmth sent your way. Want to toss in a Top 5 + Rookie? Can add a 33rd for you. (No repeats, but plenty of options).


Waiting for the tickets button to go red for barber race. Danillo in the wide open / walk anywhere you want and say hi motoA pits? Yes please!

Thanks for the ask, but I'll pass. Given the new tires and the omnipresent injury risk, I think it's a near total crap shoot. 

That is simply amazing, what a guy! Is it a first, winning both a MotoGP race and a Dakar rally stage?

David around this is the most interesting MotoGP site... Thanks for the entertainment and all the best and a good (silly) season in '22

Will Marc Marquez be fit to ride before Qatar? (Yes)

At the first Test in several weeks? Does it matter? (No, and no)

Will Quartararo AND Mir stay where they are? (No). Honda gets one. Ducati could too.

Which bikes are not improving substantially such that it is a big concern? (Yamaha)

Which is improving such that it is a game changer? (Honda)

Which bike is making sufficient/noticeable improvement? (Suzuki)

Is Ducati too? (Yes). What about KTM? (__?__). Is there a single insight on that to be had? (?)

Is Bagnaia established to stay, or was 2021 a temporary exception? (Here to stay)

Which rider is on the greatest rate of growth/steepest upward trajectory right now? (Bastiannini)

Inverse, last big one was Rabat. Next one? Rins? Miller? Nakagami? Morbidelli? Vinales? (I think our next stagnant backmarker is Luca Marini, juxtaposed with Bastiannini will both display it and exacerbate it. Rins and Nakagami may be about to lose their seats, but not such a big descension in trajectory).

What is the single biggest change of diversity in a racing class in 20 yrs? (WSS right now from R6 Cup to a kitchen sink of twins, triples and will get...weird).

How long will we have such a big number of Ducatis in MotoGP? What will it be like? How does that end? (4 yrs. Not as bad for racing as feared, unless you are an inline 4 backer. Suzuki or Aprilia starts a Jr Team and/or big rule changes re aero and ride height devices).

Will any manufacturers be entering or leaving MotoGP in this next era? (No).

Is this about to be the biggest silliest silly season EVER? (Yes)

Will we all be talking about "Life At Speed" here, and will it bring interesting considerations? (Yes)

Was the "where will MotoGP be without Rossi?" concern warranted? (No)

Is the pandemic approaching its end? (Yes)

Which commentator/journalist would you most like to spend a race weekend with? (Neil Morrison, sorry Krop!)

Should you tell me I am wrong? (Yes!)

I'd say that Marc missing the 1st test could be a problem. New bike, very new bike, once accepted it is what it is for the remainder of the season. Risk.

I think Yamaha will continue to win. Champions this season ? Maybe yes maybe no but win they will. The Yamaha had the same deficit in speed throughout 2021. They'll have it this season too. They have Fabio and Franco.

As for Honda nobody can know. Development year ? Shopping trolley with a wonky wheel ? Pure gold ?

I think Suzuki will remain where they are. Interesting the idea of Mir moving to another bike. He would move to further his chances of winning. He would move because Suzuki are (and remaining) where they are.

The rider market is very hot at the moment and a rider is anywhere to stay for only 2 reasons: Setting the world alight or contract in pocket. Add in maturity of performance as in consistent and consistently not in the litter. It takes one season to undo the good work of many. Bagnaia is in the midst of a dreamy period which can turn into a nightmare depending on many things not truly expressed until round 1. The opposite can be true also. How bad does Bagnaia have to become to finish 10th every race ? Not very. How much better does he have to become to dominate and win 10+ races ? Also not much but that's the tough end of the wedge to reach.

^ Thanks, largely agreed WaveyD. And...

"I think Yamaha will continue to win. Champions this season ? Maybe yes maybe no but win they will. The Yamaha had the same deficit in speed throughout 2021. They'll have it this season too. They have Fabio and Franco."

True! But, Bagnaia arrived and stayed there. Two other Red riders are firing second rocket boosters out of orbit too. The Ducati sorted and developed further (esp shape shifter). The Suzuki made several steps forward last 2/3rds of 2021. The Honda (we think) has returned. Marc should be as well. KTM had an off season and isn't expected to stay on the back foot. 

If Yamaha has the same deficit the had for 2021, it not only got surpassed after Summer break, but spanked to close the year. And another few bike lengths are underway now. 

I think Blue is fooked. And, that it is possible that their "Burgess-Furusawa-Rossi--Lorenzo--Quartararo run may look a era closed for now. Dramatic? Maybe. I had Quarty up there last yr, and don't for 2022. And he is clearly one of the top 2-3 riders here now. He is actively trying to leave because he knows something. Morbidelli? A mortal who could maybe astronaut, possibly not out of knee injury. Dovisioso may draft through. Hopes pinned more on Toprak here.

Things change. Just did. And are more. Blue is doing too little too late and likely lose their Alien.  Ducati has arrived. Ouch!


Thanks too.

This is sort of what i mean. If we look at the last 1/4 or 1/3 of 2021 then yes we say Bagnaia is here and has stayed. If we look at the second half of the season we can also say Bagnaia had the better of it in so far as the points gap after Assen was 47 points and the season finished with a gap of 26 points...he gained 21 points on Fabio.

However, it is impossible to escape the fact that Fabio out scored Bagnaia in the first half by 47 points. Also cannot ignore that battle was concluded with a points gap of 65 points. So, in the context of the battle to become champion Bagnaia did not out score Fabio, he lost a further 18 points during the second half of the season at which point the battle was lost. Bagnaia's last two wins are post championship battle. No pressure.

I think a season of MotoGP is in some ways like a single race. Some racers always start slow, end fast. Some blaze ahead but fade. Some stay the same speed throughout. If you made a cumulative points chart of Fabios season it's a very consistent 'gradient', only two bumps...Jerez arm pump and Portimao DNF post championship win. Bagnaia also has a good start to the season before a slump, the gradient drops away before picking up at Aragon. Two DNF's and a 14th for 2 points at Silverstone. Lumpy.

Soon they start a new season, new bikes, new challenges. I don't think much continues from one season to the next. They all have to get up and do the job again. Some will hit the floor running and carry it through. Others will take some time to figure out the landscape. Others will remain lumpy.

The Yamaha had the same speed deficit in Jerez at round 4 and at Jerez post season test. I'll recycle an older post which gives a sample of Fabio's position in the speed trap rankings and speed deficit in the race.

'The speed trap numbers at Jerez...Fabio had the same deficit -10kph in the race this year and without the arm pump would have probably walked it.

17th at -10kph, Qatar, win.

20th at -13kph, Portimao, win.

20th at -13kph, Mugello, win.

21st at -11kph, Assen, win.

13th at -9kph, Silverstone, win.

23rd at -9kph, Misano1, finished 2nd hot on the heels of Peco who strangely enough had a best top speed only 4kph faster than Fabio and 5kph slower than Mr Zarco.

20th at -14kph, USA, finished 2nd as good as win in MM land.'

Things have changed, in years gone the deficit in Portimao would have been much less given the long corner leading onto the straight. The Ducati can turn these days. What hasn't changed is big bikes, big engines, tiny amounts of rubber in contact with the road and the tuning fork still winning with huge speed deficits. It's a decades long story.

KTM's 2021 is relevant because it could be Ducati in 2022 as it was in 2020 or Yamaha 2006, 2017 etc.

Oh and who can forget Fabio's riding in Austria before the heavens opened. The Ducati track of Ducati tracks if there is such a thing and the puny Yamaha right in the mix.