Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lorenzo/Yamaha in 2011 Uncertainty?

Valentino Rossi recently found himself embroiled in contoversy about speculation that he will race for Ducati’s MotoGP team in 2011. Rossi recently shied away from comments attributed to him that “Yamaha would have to choose between Jorge Lorenzo and him for 2011.”

Now Jorge Lorenzo has added further fuel to the controversy saying that his initial plan is to stay with the Japanese manufacturer, but hinted that he “can’t guarantee anything” for the future. Lorenzo was runner up to Rossi in the 2009 Moto GP championship, pushing Rossi hard throughout the season. Rossi recorded the fewest number of wins he has ever recorded in a title season, achieving six victories during 2009, just two more than Jorge and Casey Stoner.

The Spaniard who attended a recent press engagement in Barcelona, said that he sees his future – as least as far as the 2011 season is concerned – with Yamaha but couldn’t put his finger on anything just yet. Despite his most successful season in Moto GP, attempts to sign a contract with Yamaha beyond 2010 were unsuccessful with both Lorenzo and Rossi’s contracts running out at the end of next year.

Rossi has publicly asked Yamaha to take their pick for the 2011 season, or else there are other teams (i.e. Ducati) that would be happy to sign him. We expect this story to boil over during 2010, especially if Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa push Rossi as hard as they did in 2009.

Then of course World Superbike champion Ben Spies joins the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha team next year and he’s already shown how quickly he can adapt from his performance in the final race of the season in Valencia.

With Honda’s Dani Pedrosa also reaching the end of his current contract in 2010, Lorenzo might also have a few more options to choose from himself in 2011. 

Lorenzo/Yamaha in 2011 Uncertainty over Valention Rossi?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gotta Be the Best 800 CC motorcycle

Motorcycling fans savor 4-cylinder 800-cc symphony

It may be deafening for some, but the engine roar from a MotoGP race is an addictive melody of thundering sound for racing aficionados.
“The loud sound from the race engine drives me to the circuit here every year,” Malaysian Azmie Mustafa told The Jakarta Post during the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang over the weekend.
Mustafa says he has never missed a race, be it Formula One or MotoGP, since the races were first brought to the Sepang International Circuit in 1999.
“On television, we can only watch the race, but to feel the soul of the race, we have to watch it live,” said the 40-something insurance worker, an avid supporter of Formula One’s Ferrari team.He said he was once a wannabe-racer 20-odd years back.
Mustafa might not be aware that a typical Formula One car or MotoGP bike can produce sounds with the audibility level ranging between 110 and 130 decibels (dB), while according to, sounds of 85 dB or stronger can cause permanent damage to the hearing, depending on the length of time one is exposed to the sound.
The site suggests, for instance, the permissible exposure time to a continuous 115-dB sound, the equivalent of a rock concert, leaf blower or chain saw, is only 30 seconds. A MotoGP race usually lasts around 50 minutes.
Besides the health risks it might pose, the sound delights fans such as Mustafa. All the seats at the Main Grand Stand of the Sepang track, which can accommodate 32,000 spectators, appeared full during race day on Sunday.
Mustafa, a supporter of Ducati’s Casey Stoner, acknowledged that more people came to watch the MotoGP race every year.

“Today’s race is more crowded than the previous years,” he said.
“It’s not just men, but also women and foreigners who are coming.”

Singaporean Ayub Abubakar, who drove the 330 kilometers from the city-state, said the sound of the roaring 800-cc motorbike engines was like music to his ears.

“I come here every year, since the first race. The sound of the race engine is fantastic,” he said.
“The sound of the engine makes a lot of difference as you can’t get the sound from an ordinary bike,” added Abubakar, who joined a motorbike tour from Singapore to Thailand last year.
Abubakar, who was eager to see Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi seal the MotoGP world championship, said before the race began, “This is an exciting race where you can conclude now who will be the champion.

“I don’t want to miss it.”

Rossi finished third, but the podium spot was enough to give him an unassailable lead — ahead of the last race in Valencia — and the championship title.

A motorcycling hobbyist, Abubakar said he even video-taped races back in Singapore to enhance his riding skills.
“You can see how the rider rides. You can see the technique,” the hotel-line businessman said.
“You need to know that ... the upgrading of the engine and all that come from MotoGP.”

First-time spectator Wayne Greenwood from Australia, who made the five-hour flight to Malaysia with four of his friends, said he was not irritated at all by the high-decibel din.

“The boys all had earplugs when watching yesterday’s trials,” she said. “But I find the noise okay. I find it fine.”

Greenwood added he would return to Sepang for next year’s MotoGP.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Valentino Rossi all fired up

Plans For Next Season Have To Wait - Rossi

Plans For Next Season Have To Wait - Rossi

Although the championship title for the 2009 MotoGP season is not far from the sights of the Fiat Yamaha Team, its plans for the next season have to wait until the race season ends.

"The feeling is great, right now. We are on top of the championship. It is a great season and we will try to make good results.

"We would not think about our plan for the next season, yet. Right now, we have to focus for this weekend's race," said the team's rider, Valentino Rossi, when approched by the media on Wednesday.

Fresh from his 11th podium of the season in last Sunday's Australia Grand Prix at Phillip Island, Rossi made a pit stop at the Petronas MotoGP Showcase at KLCC Esplanade here.

Joining him was team-mate Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, who is also the title contender for the 2009 FIM World Championship.

The duo had a 30-minute autograph session with the fans, organised by Petronas, the premium partner for the team.

Earlier, both riders were presented with the winning art work from a group of underprivileged students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Saujana Utama Sungai Buloh, who were participants of an outreach programme with the Petronas Sprinta Yamaha Team riders.

The Fiat Yamaha Team riders, Rossi and Lorenzo, have won 10 out of 15 races between them this year and there has only been one race when one of the pair has not been on the podium.

They would make the most successful season in the team's history.

The Malaysian leg of the 2009 MotoGP championship will take place this weekend at Sepang International Circuit.


Valentino Rossi hopes to avoid Valencia decider

Valentino Rossi hopes to avoid Valencia decider

Valentino Rossi has told MCN he hopes to clinch his seventh MotoGP world title in Malaysia this weekend to avoid a final race decider against Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

A ninth career world championship for the 30-year-old seems a formality with the Italian heading to the Far East for Sunday’s Malaysian GP with a commanding 38-point lead.

And Rossi, who moved to the brink of the title after Lorenzo’s first corner exit in Phillip Island last weekend, says he wants to avoid a Valencia showdown.
The last time Rossi fought for the world title at the final round was in 2006 in Valencia.

That race turned proved to be one of the biggest disappointments in Rossi’s career after a crash cost him the title that went to American Nicky Hayden.

Rossi told MCN: For sure it is better to finish it early but not because of Valencia and 2006. When it goes down to the last race and everything is to be decided in that one race, anything can happen.

"I’m not very worried about Valencia as such. I lost one world championship there but it can happen like this. It is just another track and I’m confident that in Valencia if we are concentrated we can be fast and fight for the victory.


Stoner facing key fitness test

Stoner facing key fitness test

Australian Grand Prix champion Casey Stoner faces a critical fitness test in the draining heat of Malaysia at this weekend's penultimate MotoGP round.

Stoner staggered his rivals and critics by winning last Sunday's Australian race at Phillip Island - a feat which followed his second place on return from illness in Portugal.

But doubts over the fatigue problem which has dogged him for most of the year persist and are likely to be exposed at Sepang.

Stoner out-duelled world champion Valentino Rossi last weekend but was aided by the cool conditions.

The oppressive heat in Kuala Lumpur is likely to prove whether there are any residual effects from his energy-sapping complaint, which left him exhausted near the end of races.

"In the past I used to like racing in the heat but last year in Malaysia I was racing with a wrist injury and I've had the physical problems everybody knows about," Stoner said.

"I suppose it's a combination of factors that I have suffered with in recent hot races.

"But at Phillip Island things went so well from a physical point of view that I feel reasonably confident.

"It will definitely be a tough race as being fast and consistent in those conditions is always difficult regardless.

"It is not easy to find the perfect set-up here but that's always been the case and with every day that passes I feel stronger and more confident that I can be competitive in both of the two races that remain.

"The track has become a little boring for me I suppose you could say just because we have done so many laps here in testing but the races are usually fun and I like the place."

Ducati boss Livio Suppo admits the Malaysian race could be a vital pointer to Stoner's fitness for next year's championship.

"We're coming on the back of a really positive grand prix for us in which Casey was able to ride as he knows and as he likes, and most importantly having fun," Suppo said.

"Even though he was lacking a little grip the bike was very competitive and Casey made the most of it to put on a real show.

"In Malaysia we're going to come up against temperatures that are very different to Phillip Island and it will be another test of his condition.

"At the moment he prefers cool conditions but in the past the heat has never bothered him and in fact in 2007 he won."

Stoner is third in the title standings but out of contention as Rossi seeks to seal a seventh championship on Sunday.


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Casey Stoner Holds off Valentino Rossi to Take Australian Grand Prix Win

Casey Stoner Holds off Valentino Rossi to Take Australian Grand Prix Win

Australian Casey Stoner held off world champion Valentino Rossi to win a hattrick of Australian MotoGPs here on Sunday.

The 2007 world champion, riding a Ducati, led for all but one lap of the 27-lap GP to claim victory by 1.935 seconds from championship leader Rossi on a Fiat Yamaha. AFP

He said his decision to take a 10 week break to overcome his mystery ailment was now paying off, with his win Sunday moving him into third place on the world standings.

“I think without taking that time off we wouldn’t be anywhere near the podium step today, things would have been too difficult for me and physically I wouldn’t have been able to last the race,” Stoner said.

“It’s just been fantastic to come back and get a second in Portugal and almost enough pace to win it, and here have the pace to win. I can’t ask for more,” he added. “We definitely made the right decision to take that time off and find our way.” USA Today

Rossi’s second place was achieved despite personal tragedy, the Italian hearing of his stepfather’s death before qualifying Saturday, and lifted him closer to retaining the title.

Crossing the line well clear of Dani Pedrosa in third, Rossi stretched his championship lead over nearest challenger Lorenzo to 38 points with two races remaining after the Spaniard crashed out before the first turn. New York Times

“It was the most fun second-place of my career because it was a great battle with Casey,” said Rossi.

“I tried with all my energy, all my speed, but Casey rode very well and at the end it was impossible, and I also have to think of the championship.

“With Jorge out, we had a good advantage.”

Spain’s Dani Pedrosa finished third, while Honda team-mate Alex de Angelis of San Marino came fourth. American Colin Edwards (Yamaha) took fifth spot.

Two rounds of the world championship remain - Malaysia and Valencia - with a maximum of 50 points available. BBC Sport



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