Interesting race. It would be interesting to see the times posted by the Ducati riders throughout the race. I'm not sure if they have been posted online yet.
Frosite some questions for you:
1. Is Rossi killing time until the rumoured 75deg V-twin becomes available or is he really getting his ar$e handed to him on a plate by Hayden & Barbera (bearing in mind Barbera is on a previous incarnation of the GP12)? I.e. is he not risking injury now on a machine he does not like.
2. Has anything been said about Audi's commitment to MGp bearing in mind that Ducati's name is being trailed through the mud at the minute?
3. What is happening with Spies?
4. Are others commenting that the single tyre rule is forcing teams to design from the bottom up rather than developing tyres to suit 'prototype' machines? Or am I the only one who is gutted that Ducati have had to go down this path?
5. Following on from Q4. could a tyre war have made the carbon framed Ducati competitive or must a motorbike be conventional design?
6. Is anyone taking up the option of entering the Vyrus in Moto2? I admire the engineering and I'd love to see how it goes:
I think Friday showed Rossi's commitment is still there. In the wet session he was second fastest and probably the most consistent rider in the field. Ducati still havent found a reason why they are so much more competitive in the wet but Hayden said that they believed that the stiffness of the chassis helped them a lot.
In the dry however its hindering them. Even Hayden said that while he thinks the GP12 is the best Ducati he's ever riden he still needs it to change and give him a better front end feel.
Rossi said that the problem is that he cant get the bike to max lean angle fast enough, in effect he has ease the bike into the corner and he's pretty much in consistent fear of losing the front. He actually had two different bikes in Jerez. One was similar to what he had at the IRTA test at Jerez and one was the same as Hayden's settings.
With the wet weather over the weekend however he never got a chance to see how the Hayden settings felt but he'll use them on Friday at Estoril. He also admitted that the team went down a blind alley setup wise in Qatar and that they wont be using those settings again.
I dont think its an issue of risking injury but when Valentino was asked if Nicky was just capable of taking more risks Rossi did say that to take those risks you first need to have confidence in your equipment.
I cant see any changes being made to either Ducati or Audi for the next couple of years. Ducati has made their investment in MotoGP and they have contracts in place for the next few years that they cant walk out on. Audi know that the sporting heritage of Ducati is what makes them special so they wont want to take them from MotoGP. Down the line obviously it might change but not in the immediate future
Spies is a bit of mystery. In Qatar there was a problem with his frame and it gave him huge chatter. Spies wouldnt actually admit exactly what the problem was he said that the team had figured it out and moved on.
At Jerez he was actually using the same chassis as Qatar and he felt that in a wet race he would have been competitive. The race was dry however and he was pretty much hopeless.
He complained afterwards about not having a good feeling from the front end but he was so far off the pace-1.5s a lap slower than Lorenzo-that something clearly was wrong with the bike. He's too talented a rider for it to be anything else but with Crutchlow and Dovizioso having out performed him in both races he really needs to get his thumb out this weekend.
The questions are already being asked about his future and he said that "everyone knows Dovi's level and its 3th to 6th. He's not a Casey or Jorge. I havent ridden to their level either but Dovi has triple my experience and had his shot at a factory ride."
There's a lot of pressure on Spies to turn it around but the one thing to note is that Yamaha like him and if he can get back his form and be an occasional threat to win and a regular podium finisher they wont change him
A tyre war would have given the riders exactly the tyre they needed with the carbon frame but it wouldnt have solved the problems that exist with it. Carbon fibre has some tremendous advantages-weight saving and still incredibly strong-but whereas its perfect for a car a bike is such a different animal.
In a car you are accelerating, braking or turning. Bikes engineers and deisngers also have to factor in the lean angles and whereas the centre of gravity and weight distribution is consistent in a car it changes all the time with a bike. The rider sits up for braking, gets down for accelerating. Even the dangling of a riders leg under braking changes it never mind when you get your knee down.
Its so difficult to get all those elements right but it seems that Ducati are still hell bent on getting as much power from the engine as possible. Rossi has been trying to get them to concentrate on the chassis and while they have listened to him and given him numerous new chassis etc they still havent found the solution.
A tyre war would only be a bandaid what they need is testing and with the regulations having been opened for 2012 I think that as the year progresses Rossi will make progress. You can see in the wet that the bike is competitive so there is some potential there they just need to unlock it in the wet.
I think that the old Bridgestone tyres were especially difficult for the Ducati but the new ones should be better. They warmup quickly and the riders have said that they give good feeling. They still arent perfect for them but in a control tyre era you're never going to get exactly what you want.
Do you need a conventional design to succeed? Of course not. Look back through racing and you'll see that innovation has allowed teams to move forward....but its also cost them dearly. You need to find the right innovations and when they dont work you have to be able to move on. Ducati tried to the carbon chassis and it didnt work so they moved on but maybe in time the data they gained from it can be used for something that will work.
Thanks for the replies.
PS - what about the Vyrus Moto2 bike???
Oh sorry, I know nothing about the project other than it tested earlier in the year with superstockers at Monza or Imola
Looks like a Tesi...
Hi guys, regarding hub centre steering on race bikes; it has been tried several times before, the ELF 500 back in the 80s was a nice looking machine but the rider kept losing the front end. Even though on the drawing board the system has many advantages over forks there is a lack of feel from the tyre so a rider keeps pushing and pushing and your off. The Yamaha GTS was raced at the TT and finished OK but no real success. It would be great to see one in Moto 2. Good race at the weekend, roll on Portugal.
yea haslom sionor raced one, when i saw the above picture the elf 500 and the britten tt came to mind lovely looking bike
Nice shots Frostie500/Stephen. Can I ask what kind of kit you are using?
I've a Canon 60D and these shots were taken with a 135-300mm lens. I didnt get track access this weekend so all my shots this weekend were taken from spectator areas
Thanx, I'm trying to get into some motorsport photography myself and am just getting my gear together bit by bit. I picked up a Nikon D90 last year and got Lightroom a few weeks ago. I need to get a longer lens I only have a 18-105mm at the moment. Just trying to learn how to use it all now
Here's a few pics I've taken at the Irish Festival of Speed last year (bear in mind I'm still learning).
Crutchlow one is excellent....
You can almost see the misery in Rossi's eye(s)........
Yeah, Vale looks like he is concentrating real hard to stay on. Great shots, did you see Hernandez at the weekend doing some lovely sideways drifts?