Four days from now, we should know who has won the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. I say “should" since protests and ongoing legal wrangling might delay the official results.
This type of behavior is rare in bike racing, more likely in automotive competition. However the days following October 25 and the penultimate 2015 season round in Malaysia have confirmed that we live in interesting times.
Thursday, 05 November 2015 11:57 Published in Colin Fraser
The long road to recovery: endless doctor appointments, scans, tests, and readjusting life to allow for as much recovery as quickly as possible. With a head injury, the recovery time varies and it is near impossible to predict how long you will be unfit to ride. I spent days and days inside a hyperbaric chamber to increase the oxygen flow in my body and speed up recovery.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:27 Published in Dan Kruger
Watch any road race practice session and you will see riders trying different lines almost every lap, as they search for the quickest way around the track. By race time the experimentation is done and the top riders rarely stray more than a few inches from their chosen lines, but sometimes you will still see significant differences between riders. The best line through a particular corner or sequence of corners is not always the obvious choice, and depends on a number of factors.
Friday, 23 October 2015 15:20 Published in Andrew Trevitt
By now, most people know I had a serious accident at the Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Event in Japan back in July. I high-sided my Superbike coming onto the front straightaway, which was targeted to be my fastest lap ever around the Suzuka Circuit. I was pushing hard and still had a heavy fuel load, with tires that were still not fully up to temp. Although I don’t remember any part of the accident, a photo sequence (see later in the story) along with onboard data allowed my team to piece it all together.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:38 Published in Dan Kruger
This is the time of year supermoto clubs in Canada bid farewell to 2015 and start planning for 2016. We reflect on some of the best times of the season and those standout moments. Supermoto is about the people and not just the cool bikes/quads.
Friday, 09 October 2015 16:05 Published in Supermoto blog with Keith Fowler
With just a handful of rounds remaining in this year's MotoGP World Championship, it's almost certain that the championship will go to either Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo. The two Movistar Yamaha riders are atop the standings, both with more than a race worth of points in hand over Marc Marquez in third place. It's an enviable position for Yamaha to be in, but at the same time I'm sure it's causing plenty of angst in the team and at company headquarters.
Update after the Aragon round on September 27: It is even more certain the championship will go to Rossi or Lorenzo, as Marquez crashed at Aragon and dropped even further behind in the points but remains in third.
Obviously, sitting 1-2 in the standings with such a lead is good for Yamaha and the team because, almost no matter what happens, a Yamaha rider will win the title. All eyes are on the title chase, there's plenty of drama, and the company and team sponsors get plenty of TV time and exposure out of it. From now to the end of the season, more people will be concerned with where Rossi and Lorenzo finish in each race, rather than who wins or is on the podium.
On the downside, because it's a two-horse race now, it's a safe bet that the two riders are not working together as you would expect from teammates - no sharing of setup notes, data, thoughts on tire selection or the track surface, and so on. This makes it very difficult for Yamaha and the team to move forward with development or testing, as the workload cannot be shared between the two riders: each will be trying to find the best solutions, and keeping the results to himself. At Misano, for example, Lorenzo tested small winglets on the side of his M1 during the first day's practice, whereas Rossi tested them at a private test earlier.
In the last few rounds, it's clear that the focus in the Movistar Yamaha garage has been the riders' personal battle. At Misano, both riders were so concerned with what the other was doing in the tricky dry/wet/dry conditions that both suffered as a result, mistiming their bike changes to match the changing track. At the end of the day, Rossi finished fifth while Lorenzo crashed out. Rossi even confessed after that he was more concerned with beating Lorenzo than anything else: "It’s true that the championship is a lot more important that winning this race, it’s the main target." Yamaha cannot be happy that a potential race win for the brand was forfeit.
None of this is atypical for a race team. It's all wine and roses when there is an obvious No. 1 and No. 2 rider: plenty of information is shared between the riders, the development work carries on at a steady pace, and there is no secrecy. But when the two riders end up battling for the championship title (or position), the walls go up fast. A similar situation came to a head last year in World Superbike, with team orders being issued in both the Kawasaki and Aprilia camps and riders on both teams unhappy.
Hopefully Rossi and Lorenzo will not have any more miscues as they did in Misano, and that the title fight continues on to the finale in Valencia to close out a fantastic season. While their points lead over Marquez is comfortable, it is not unassailable by any means, and they cannot afford many more similar errors as a team.
Saturday, 26 September 2015 17:22 Published in Andrew Trevitt
In a recent Touring Essentials blog we looked at some pointers for being able to enjoy riding in the rain. One point was to ensure you have a good rain suit to wear over your gear or rain liners to put on inside your gear. This isn’t always necessary.
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 12:00 Published in Touring Essentials with R. Bruce Thomas
Thanks to the popularity of NASCAR, most people are familiar with drafting and how it works. Obviously it plays a big part in stock car racing, but it's also important in motorcycle racing - especially at tracks with long, fast straights.
Friday, 21 August 2015 15:17 Published in Andrew Trevitt
"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"
Thursday, 06 August 2015 14:51 Published in Touring Essentials with R. Bruce Thomas
Competitive supermoto racing is a huge part of the reason there are so many clubs across our provinces and states, but not every rider who shows up has the desire to compete in the form of competition.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015 16:38 Published in Supermoto blog with Keith Fowler