MotoGP 2014

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MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Thu Feb 06 2014, 21:08

Testing may have kicked off for F1, but who cares! The MotoGP teams have been to Sepang this week for the first tests of the year, and looking at the time sheets it is going to be one hell of a season!!

Top of the list we have Marc Marquez. If anything, he has been even more impressive than last year, and has broken the track record held by Stoner. Consistently the fastest over the last three days, he was not the only rider to go under 2 minutes, as there were three more to do so, and not necessarily the ones you think.

Second fastest was Rossi. He starts off the season testing showing everybody that even at his age he still has it. For me the best news is that he was faster than Jorge who came third. For me the huge surprise (well, I have always thought he was fast) is Aleix Espargaro in fourth place on an open Yamaha. That is truly amazing, and it is great to see him on a proper bike even if it is not a factory bike.

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by PLAYLIFE on Sat Feb 22 2014, 08:07

Marquez broken leg, should be out of action for about 2-4 weeks.

The boys are testing downunder soon - are tests usually open to public?
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Sun Feb 23 2014, 02:01

I have no idea if the tests are open to the public.

Otherwise, the WSBK kicks off today at Philip Island. I'm in Hong Kong on business so I hope to get a chance to check out the racing tonight. Oh yeah, there is also that little issue of the hockey finals between Sweden and Canada that I might need to check out too...

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by TopContender on Sun Feb 23 2014, 19:46

Wow he di it in a dirt bike race. Didn't Hayden break an ankle in a dirt bike race a few years ago?

Also, it look like this other class might be a strong option for smaller teams.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Mon Feb 24 2014, 00:38

Indeed, Marquez broke his leg, and will not get any more practice before Qatar. I suppose that might give the other riders a hint of a chance for that first race, but from then on...

As for the "other class" we shall see. Certainly Aleix Espargaro is looking better on one of those bikes than he ever did last year on the CRT bike, so perhaps. But don't expect to see them on the podium come race day.

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by H8R on Tue Mar 04 2014, 05:48

WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!

MotoGP!

WOOOO!
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Tue Mar 04 2014, 07:41

You are still around! Good to see.

Looks like Yamaha are struggling with the new tires. Hopefully it will not hurt the GOAT too much as I really would like to see him on the top of the podium a few more times...

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by TopContender on Wed Mar 05 2014, 01:27

This is what I was wondering about. Ducati can basically pull a big screw you to the prototype machines if they develop something nice.

Ducati moving to OPEN CLASS

Repsol Honda team manager Livio Suppo 'understands' Ducati's decision to switch to the Open MotoGP category, but insists it goes against the 'aim' of the new class.

Ducati - without a podium last season - officially announced it was leaving the Factory class on the final day of last week's Sepang test, the deadline for submitting 2014 entries.

Open machines will continue to enjoy the fuel, engine and tyre perks on offer to the previous privateer CRT category.

However with the claiming rule dropped and the MSMA (Manufacturers' Association) having no say in the granting of Open status, the door is now 'open' to full specification prototypes run directly by a manufacturer team - something that appears to have surprised remaining Factory class participants, Honda and Yamaha.

The only condition for entry to the Open class is use of the standard ECU software, supplied by Dorna and being continuously developed by Magneti Marelli. Factory entries are allowed to develop ECU software for their own exclusive use, but face a range of penalties.

Ducati stated that the main reason for going Open was to avoid the new in-season engine development ban. "I think they [Honda and Yamaha] can understand and we don't want to create a problem with anybody. We need to develop the bike. That's it," new Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna stated at Sepang.

Responding to the decision on the official MotoGP website, Suppo said: "As Honda, the position is clear. We understand Ducati is behind, so they are trying everything to recover. Sure the Open class rules allow them to work on the engine during the season; this is important for them, I understand.

"On the other side, we are not so happy that - just a few days before the announcement of Ducati going Open - there was the introduction from Magneti Marelli of new software, which is much more complicated than the standard one of the Open class. So I think this is something we need to speak about.

"At the end of the day if Open class is with the factory bike, very sophisticated software, more fuel, more tests, more engines - then it is not a cheaper class compared with the Factory bikes. And I think this was the aim of the rule. To create a cheaper class."

Words like 'aim' and 'understanding' are not often associated with black-and-white technical regulations, but Suppo was adamant:

"We need to understand - together with Dorna and the MSMA - if it was clear to everybody what the aim of this class was. Our understanding - and I think it was the understanding of everybody - was the idea of the organiser was a class that was cheaper than the Factory bikes.

"Now, with the interpretation of Ducati, it is not."

Costs may be the public concern, but some will question if Honda is equally worried by the potential competitiveness of the Ducati in Open trim - especially if significant elements of Ducati's advanced Factory software are (or have already been) transferred to the shared Open ECU.

In addition to the complete Ducati MotoGP programme, Yamaha is supplying Factory specification engines, chassis and swing-arms to the Open class via Forward Racing.

Honda itself has built a Production Racer for the Open class, based on its world championship winning RC213V prototype, which it offers for sale. But to limit costs, the Honda does not feature the same pneumatic-valve system or seamless gearbox as the Factory specification bike and was a best of 15th (Nicky Hayden) at Sepang II.

Honda is opposed to limits on Factory software development, believing it is vital R&D for future road bikes and therefore justifies the expense of racing in MotoGP.

By contrast, Dorna's long term goal is for an Open-style control ECU system to be used by all competitors. This would not only help cap electronic costs, but allow for restrictions on show-stopping rider aids such as traction control.

Dorna's present tactic appears to be to tempt as many teams as possible onto the Open system, by showing that the new class offers superior track performance.

That ironically means that to eventually clamp down on electronics, Dorna/Magneti Marelli must create Open ECU software that is very close to the best used by the Factories (the Open class concessions will do the rest).

But once an overwhelming majority of MotoGP entries have moved to the Open software, it will be a small step to make the system mandatory for all. Hence Ducati's arrival will have been welcomed with 'open' arms.

Ducati's defection means there are now only eight Factory class entries, divided equally between Honda and Yamaha. The other 15 machines on this year's grid will race under the Open rules.

Suzuki is returning to MotoGP in 2015 and, so far, is planning a Factory class entry.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Wed Mar 05 2014, 02:41

Indeed, I think this is a smart move from Ducati. Let's face it, Gigi knows his stuff as he proved with Aprilia in WSBK. Also, this shows that instead of following and trying to catch up, Ducati is now trying to play by new rules.

The problem with all this though is that the Dorna has really gone and messed things up for this year. The way it looks at the moment is that by next year, there will be no more Factory class as they will all have moved to the Open class. Having just two brands racing in the Factory class this year is quite sad, and totally takes away from the interest of it all. Judging by the performance of Aleix Espargaro, Yamaha seem to have hedged their bets by trying to be competitive in both classes, and it will be very interesting to see how this all evolves during the course of the season.

At the end of the day, I think Suppo is right though. The idea behind the Open class was to bring down costs. Looks like that is not going to happen now...

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by TopContender on Tue Mar 11 2014, 04:35

Talk about screwing over Ducati. They made a slick move per the rules, and now they get re-classed because a few folks bitched. Reminds me of the Push Rod Mercedes Engine Roger Penske Ran in 1994.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Tue Mar 11 2014, 19:05

Man, are they making a mess of things! Ducati basically finds a loophole that they decide to exploit. Honda, having already lost out in Moto3 after pushing Dorna to move to 4 strokes, suddenly get scared that they might now loose to Ducati in MotoGP. So they go crying to Dorna as usual, and yet another category is invented a couple of days before the first race.

Sounds more and more like F1 to me.

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by PLAYLIFE on Sun Mar 23 2014, 12:07

Found it very difficult to wrap my ahead around what's happened while watching Quali last night, crazy stuff.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Sun Mar 23 2014, 16:01

At least at the end of the day the Factory bikes are back on top. Aleix really screwed up the qualifying, showing perhaps a lack of experience.

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by TopContender on Sun Mar 23 2014, 20:51

Well that was a hell of a race. Nice to see Vale coming through really strong.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Mon Mar 24 2014, 05:23

It does look like Vale has some new found youth! Marquez looked a bit ragged there in trying to keep Vale behind him, while Vale seemed very much in control. Great stuff!

I was disappointed by Fenati in the Moto3 though. He is my favourite for the season, after Maverick going to Moto2, but yesterday he just did not seem to be at all on it.

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by PLAYLIFE on Mon Mar 24 2014, 13:10

What an exciting MotoGP race, full of big surprises.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like we're getting Moto2 or Moto3 coverage down here in Oz. I'll have to 'acquire' it through other means.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Mon Mar 24 2014, 20:53

You need help to get the races?

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by H8R on Fri Mar 28 2014, 14:23

That was good fun!

I broke down and bought the MotoGP Pass. What a joy the coverage and being able to watch things when convenient.
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Fri Mar 28 2014, 16:08

Good to see you are happy! I thought the races were great, and I was particularly happy to see Lorenzo do a rookie mistake and have Rossi take the Yamaha to the podium. Let's hope for more during the rest of the season.

I actually wish I was going to the Austin race. Would have been cool to meet up some other Shamuists for that event like Pabs and racerX...

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by H8R on Fri Mar 28 2014, 16:55

Ursula and I chatted about making the trip. We spent the $130USD instead on the TV package. LOL
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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by Henrik on Fri Mar 28 2014, 20:29

Maybe next year...

Actually, next year I was considering doing a track school at Salt Lake City for my 50th. I did Phillip Island for my 40th so... Meet up there?

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Re: MotoGP 2014

Post by H8R on Sat Mar 29 2014, 21:06

Possible. It would be fun!
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