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Discussion Starter #1
So, has everyone seen the racing from earlier today?

Personally I thought all three televised races were great, even if Bayliss did his best to show that the 1098R F08 is overpowered by just running away with both races.

It was great to see the Ten Kate guys in both WSB and WSS back up where they belong, and I'm not surprised to see Checa being the first of them to get up there. Watching Kiyo towards the end of race 2 I couldn't help but think that he was missing loads of opportunities to pass, including at the Honda Hairpin.

Biaggi's second race crash had me cringing until I saw that he was gonna slide into the biggest gravel trap I've ever seen, though how close did his bike come to landing on his foot? Wow. The perils of a single sided swing arm were also evident as his was wrenched backwards and twisted over 90 degrees back. How it didn't snap I do not know.

I was amazed that Whitham didn't comment on the four riders who jumpstarted race two though by saying that when you see one go out of the corner of your eye that you tend to go yourself. I've heard it said loads of times and he's more than experienced enough to know that excuse :p

Anyway, good racing, and good to see the Triumph 675 challenging in WSS. Hopefully that first win won't be too far away. Just goes to show that developing a new bike every two years isn't always necessary!

Bring on the next race!
 

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I have to agree, the racing down the field was good. Biaggi showed just how close to the limit he's having to ride the Sterilgarda bike just to get close to the factory Ducati and it was good to see the Ten Kate guys giving it some. It's important to remember that the Fireblade is virtually an all new bike and the Ten Kate team are still working a lot on development, it will no dount improve.

Saying that it is in danger of becoming the Ducati Cup all over again. Why have they bent over backwards to give Ducati what they want? They already have a 4 cyclinder bike developed in the MotoGP bike, which is available to buy albeit for a ridiculous sum, so homologation wouldn't be a problem. It has diluted the racing at the sharp end to an extent and they might as well give the World Championship to Bayliss now rather than wait until the end of the season. I didn't notice the Ducati being that far off the pace last season despite Ducatis whinging, but they complain and get another 200cc's to play with! What is that all about, "it's my ball and I'm going home", syndrome? If I can't win I'm not playing!

It's good to see the spirit of racing is still alive and well in Italy! So they have to spend a shitload of money to develop a better 1000cc bike, so what, that's what racing at the top of the tree is all about? What is Honda's budget for WSB? Okay, they're a bigger company, but if you can't piss with the big dogs stay out of the park!

Haga clearly isn't the man he was last year, either that or his tyre choices are simply shite. The bike's no slower as Troy "There's life in the Old Dog" Corser is proving. Xaus is a revelation this year, back to his best since he duelled with Toseland for the title at Ducati. Fonsinieto looks quality on the Suzuki which is clearly the fastest bike on the grid in a straight line, and, after the Fireblade, probably the ugliest, (just goes to show that Stoner didn't win last years MotoGP title because the Ducati had so much power, although it undoubtedly helped). Kawasaki still can't seem to build a competitive bike so no change there then, great road bikes, shite race bikes.

Looking forward to the next race but hoping to see whether Ducati will be handicapped to try to make the season more interesting.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually think that Ducati were within their rights to request extra capacity, but whether 200cc was the right figure or not I don't know. They did pretty well in Superstock last year on the 1099cc bike, a 1197cc seems a little overkill.

What you've got to remember is that the 999 had to be tuned so much that it was practically a GP bike. The costs prevented all but the richest of teams racing them. In increasing the capacity, the amount of tuning is lowered to less than the 4 cylinder 1000s have which makes them more affordable to race. And the thing to remember is that if the 1098R is at the front all the time then they will receive further restrictions to help level the field. These first few races will surely have teething problems sorting that bit out :D
 

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Interestingly in Michael Guys column in this mornings MCN he reckons that if they do the same at Valencia they'll attract a 3kg handicap. Valencia will also play into Ducatis hands being a tight twisty circuit, more torque, less gear changes, smoother acceleration which all adds up to longer tyre life! He does also point out that it's not really fair to call it a Ducati cup yet as there were 4 Jap fours in the top 6. I just can't see why the rules should be changed for them, as I said, If you can't piss with the big dogs stay out of the park. Is it the other manufacturers fault that Ducati have gone with an expensive engine to develop? The problem lies with the need to attract more manufacturers to the series so they have to bend over backwards for them. I'm really looking forward to next year when BMW join in, apparently their bike is already on the pace, MV may be coming back too and what about Triumph? Surely they must be looking at the potential, especially with the 675 looking good in the hands of Gary McCoy. They need to produce a replacement for the 955 Daytona so will they come in? Let's hope so.

Theres also an interesting article about Ten Kate where they back up what I posted about the Blade being an all new bike and needing a shedload of development but they reckon that it'll be a weapon in a while. Just hope Bayliss isn't too far out of sight by then!!

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I've had a quick scan through MCN when I got home from work. I still can't believe Checa put that bike on the podium, even though I did tip him for success this season.

Yes, if the 1200cc twins are winning then they incur a penalty which starts with weight limit increases, through to reducing the gap in the air restricters on them if they still have an unfair advantage after the weight increases.

One thing to bear in mind though is that between Bayliss, Biaggi and Xaus, you have three of the best riders in the class, already on that bike, so you'd expect them to by up at the front, which could be a curse for the 1098 as these three being at the front will result in these added penalties. If, however, the fours start winning then yes, the penalties come down. They're reviewed every three races.

Personally I still hope that someone races the Desmosedici RR. I know it won't happen, but it does come (like the 1098R) with a race ECU and pipes and already has full on traction control straight from the MotoGP bike. I don't know if it meets homologation levels but it would be good to see how it holds up against the 1098R.

I'm also hoping that Honda are developing a 1200cc twin to replace the VTR1000 SP2, just in case they need the 1200 twin to compete at Ducatis level. That would be cool!
 

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So where's your money for Qatar MotoGP, Stoner or Stoner??

I'll be giving it loads of this :pray for Toseland especially after his showing at last weeks test

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh god yeah, it's got to be Stoner; only a fool would bet against him at this point on a track where real grunt is so important. I think Toseland has the potential to do well too, and for the first time ever I've set my Sky+ box ready to record tomorrows practice session, as well as the qualifying and actual racing. I'm really looking forward to MotoGP this year. We've seen all to often though that pre-season test results rarely translate into race results though and realistically I think a top 10 finish for Toseland would be a very good result
 

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SeeBeeThou said:
We've seen all to often though that pre-season test results rarely translate into race results though and realistically I think a top 10 finish for Toseland would be a very good result
Absolutely agree, if Tose is a consistent top 10 finisher that would constitute a successful season but it would certainly be cool to see a podium or two in there and a top 5 finish next season! It'll also be interesting to see if Lorenzo can live up to his own hype!!!

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You know, I don't particularly like Lorenzo, but something wants me to want him to do well. Personally I'd like to see Dovi as rookie of the year at the very least; he deserves it for the sheer effort and crap he's put up with for the past few seasons with Honda's underpowered 2 strokes. I think realistically he'll beat Toseland
 

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Fantastic effort from all 3 last night in free practice although I fully expect Toseland and Dovi to drop down the order tonight. It's bloody daft really though innit, the Ducati is 16mph faster down the straight than the Tech 3 Yams and 8mph faster than the works Yams! Personally I'd love to see Edwards win a race, I've thought he was brilliant ever since his last season in WSB when he won the last 13 races to beat Bayliss to the title.

I so hope Pedroza does nothing this season. He seems to get all the favours from Honda while Hayden, who won them a world title, gets fuck all. I'd love to see them drop the miserable Spanish git to a satellite team.

I can't understand why Hopper went to Kawasaki, unless he was forced out for Capirossi. At least the Suzuki has hope of winning, as Vermeulen proved lastg year!

I'm a big Rossi fan but for some reason I hope he blows it this year too. I think I was disappointed by his reaction to Stoner winning last year and throwing his toys to make sure he got Bridgestones for this year. How daft can the man be? Yamaha have no settings for Bridgestones and after watching last nights free practice it looks as if they're lost at the moment, Rossi only 9th! I know he can win from there, I saw him win from 11th at Donnington, but he seems to have started believing his own publicity and turned into Shumacher i.e. if he doesn't get the best equipment he's not going to play!

Roll on tomorrow evening. Young Bradley Smith to put a smile on all our faces and win the 125's for me, Stoner the big class with Toseland finishing at least top 10, Rossi's talent alone to take top 5, don't know about the 250's, it's wide open this year.

Jerry
 

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Fantastic effort from all 3 last night in free practice although I fully expect Toseland and Dovi to drop down the order tonight. It's bloody daft really though innit, the Ducati is 16mph faster down the straight than the Tech 3 Yams and 8mph faster than the works Yams! Personally I'd love to see Edwards win a race, I've thought he was brilliant ever since his last season in WSB when he won the last 13 races to beat Bayliss to the title.

I so hope Pedroza does nothing this season. He seems to get all the favours from Honda while Hayden, who won them a world title, gets fuck all. I'd love to see them drop the miserable Spanish git to a satellite team.

I can't understand why Hopper went to Kawasaki, unless he was forced out for Capirossi. At least the Suzuki has hope of winning, as Vermeulen proved lastg year!

I'm a big Rossi fan but for some reason I hope he blows it this year too. I think I was disappointed by his reaction to Stoner winning last year and throwing his toys to make sure he got Bridgestones for this year. How daft can the man be? Yamaha have no settings for Bridgestones and after watching last nights free practice it looks as if they're lost at the moment, Rossi only 9th! I know he can win from there, I saw him win from 11th at Donnington, but he seems to have started believing his own publicity and turned into Shumacher i.e. if he doesn't get the best equipment he's not going to play!

Roll on tomorrow evening. Young Bradley Smith to put a smile on all our faces and win the 125's for me, Stoner the big class with Toseland finishing at least top 10, Rossi's talent alone to take top 5, don't know about the 250's, it's wide open this year.

We need to change the title of this thread too to something like Racing Thread. Your thoughts?

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ha ha, you may be right, but I'm sure we'll have a MotoGP thread after the race to discuss further. Going down to watch the qualifying in a mo (I know it's started already; the joys of Sky+. Let it get a little ahead then fast forward through the ads).

Best of luck to all the Brits; Bradley Smith and Scott Redding (is that right?) are both fast already this year, and hopefully Eugene Laverty will do better on his 250 this year. After a drought for a few years we finally have a gaggle of Brits capable of doing well this year. Looks set to be a good year for us this time around!
 
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