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MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:45 am

Rossi switches to four wheels
Champ to do rally again

Odoursome MotoGP World Champion is once again set don his flat cap, put the Golden Retriever on the back seat and drive a family saloon car through the woods in December by entering the Wales Rally.

"It's a race car". No it's not, it's a family car covered in garish stickers.

Despite a growing reputation on four wheels Rossi's only other Welsh rally ended before a single cheese sandwich was unwrapped when the yellow Italian wrote off his car by colliding into a fossilised leek on the way to the startline of the opening stage.
Since then, thankfully, Rossi's had more successful ventures in rallying and thus proven that it's mainly more a sport for enthusiast amateurs rather than real racers - a bit like the AMA championship.

"I can't wait to see him [Rossi] blur past me in an indistinguishable cloud of dust" enthused one keen rally fan "It will no doubt be the highlight of my long and utterly miserable life…I may even upgrade the cheddar in my sandwiches from 'extra mild' to 'mild' on that day too."

Rossi's four wheeled venture will be in support of the BBC charity 'Children in Need' - a charity that every single UK resident would happily contribute handsomely to if the BBC were to promise not to show the crappy accompanying TV program all night.

Although not invited Rossi's ex-enemy Max Biaggi was rumoured to have wanted to also race in the rally to promote his own personal charity that advocates the planting of landmines in orphanages.

Sadly for all rally fans the sport's proud accolade of being 'the dullest form of any motorsport' was officially lost last month to MotoGP.

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:46 am

Hayden is tops
Valencia Test: Day 2

On only his second outing on a Ducati the inbred yokel American Nicky Hayden topped the timesheets in utterly piss-wet conditions on the final test day at Valencia.

Unlike his chronically depressed arch rival Pedrosa the education shy Hayden wasn't planning on allowing a borderline cyclone stop him riding a million laps.
"He just kept going!" Proclaimed a crew member from behind a badger stolen from Paul Denning's illegal collection. "Round and bastard round all day long! I've never known anything like it. I woke up this morning, opened my Gucci curtains, saw the rain and thought we were all in for a day off slacking and swigging litres of olive oil. But not so. Nicky just got on the bike and started riding. We saw him occasionally when he came in for fuel or his eyes re-aligning but that was it. I've heard of riders wearing out tyres in testing but Nicky wore out the rims ….how is that actually possible?"

Eventually Hayden was forced to end his test due to the strict nocturnal wildlife protection laws governed in the area but did enough to end up the fastest rider a fraction ahead of his successor Andrea Dovizioso.

Italian donkey Marco Melandri, sensing a depleted field, finished a 'stunning for him' third less than half a second off the fastest time set by Hayden on his eight millionth lap.
"Today I am very happy" beamed the horse faced Melandri in between licking the peppermint off a sugarcube "I no longer feel the urge to write whiny, sulky entries on my blog anymore."

Sandwich boy Canepa headed home his new team mate and all-round Ikea fan Mika Kallio for the Junior Ducati team honours leaving the tiny pairing of Elias and Capirossi to bring home the Ellison slots.

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:49 am

MotoGP Race Report, Valencia
Stoner stoned

The phone call came in the middle of the night. At least I thought it was the night. But it wasn’t. It was 7:30am in the morning on Sunday 19th October and despite three cups of coffee, I was slumped, unconscious in my comfy chair. It was Stuey.
”I can’t take much more of this, Gareth. You have to help me. It was sooo dull. It was like a film by Al Gore, or a BBC period drama. I can’t write about MotoGP anymore you will have to do it for Valencia. I’ll do anything.”
”Anything? Ok – you do the 250s and I’ll do the MotoGP.” What was I letting myself in to? After being a scribe for these hallowed pages for many years, I’ve smiled to myself dipping in and out of the MotoGP races wondering how I can describe Beaker or Bautista. Now I was faced with the real possibility of having to watch and report and not fall asleep in front of the MotoGP masters.

Was I hopeful? Well, qualifying and the lovely (we used to hate him, but now think he’s a good sort) Haystacks who did all the running up the front. How we all cheered with the thought that he was going to shove that Honda right up Pedrosa’s widened orifice.

Hayden, who is looking forward to wrecking his career with the Marlboro mafia next year, and was looking forward to getting his gene pool to have all three thumbs and two index fingers, just missed out on putting one over the Repsol reeker and lined up third. Danni, as called by his friends, was in second place.

I used to like Pedrosa, I really did. But man, after turning his back on his tyre company and being and acting like Albert ‘Funny Bit On Lip’ Puig’s sultry glove puppet he’s lost his only Brit fan. Will the Tiny Tit make it three Donkey wins in a row? Possibly.

Pole position though went to weak-wristed Stoner. Moaning about the rain, the fact that it’s October and Christmas decorations are being put up in BHS and Littlewoods, he nabbed number one.

But hang-on, where was our pin up and World Champion? Well, Rossi, who made Uccio nervous last week by replacing his old dog 15 seconds after losing it with a younger, firmer model, was down in 10th place. He called his bike unrideable. Funny. We all saw him riding it. The Valencian curse struck the gangly champion once again.

Anyone else interesting about? Well Lorenzo, that modest skin head decided that he’d paint his bike in the flags of all the races he’d won at.

The team had painted his fairing in lead paint. But, Lorenzo, the nutty Chuppa Chupp he is started to feel ill as he secretly licks his bike in the evenings when everyone’s gone home, to ‘bond’ with his machine.

The lead was getting him down and he was just straight infront of Rossi in 7th place. I was expecting a good race. I had visions of Haystacks hitting both Pedrosa and Stoner, Rossi coming through and Lorenzo taking the win from Dozy, Pedrosa and Rossi by 0.00000045 of a second I was hopeful.

Stoner. Winning no fans with this display of brilliance

But in the end, we didn’t get much. Stoner led from lap 1 and won. Pedrosa was second and second. Rossi came through to finish third. Marco, incredibly did something and started to push through the pack, but finished in 16th in the end after missing a gear. What else can we write about to make the chuckle? Well, I discovered that all of these MotoGP riders are obsessed with Facebook. And update their profiles straight after all of their sessions. So at 4pm, I became friends with them all to show you all what sort of people they are:

Casey Stoner is wrist hurts
Danni Pedrosa is looking forward to a holiday without his dad in tow
Valentino Rossi is trying to find the number for female dates direct for tonight
Andrea Dovizioso is looking forward to flicking Danni in the eye tomorrow
Nicky Hayden is now wearing red ;-)
Colin Edwards is relieved that he’s got another year with the minimum effort
Shinya Nakano is looking for a new job. Sushi cutter would do
Jorge Lorenzo is sad ☹
Loris Capirossi is set your status here (he’s too old to figure this all out)
Alex DeAngelis is flaming!!
James Toseland is wishing Suzi Perry would leave him alone
Slyvain Guintolii is not looking forward to a paycut and the British weather
Chris Vermulen’s mole hurts
John Hopkins is hungover
Randy DePuniet is shocked he didn’t crash
Marco Melandri thinks 16th place is dignified
Anthony West is peeved
Toni Elias gfsgasfghjadflhjdlh (Toni hasn’t figured out a computer yet)

So there you have it. The season’s over. We’ve had highs and we’ve had lows. We’ve had Dozy’s hats, Hayden being everyone’s fav and Rossi winning.

We’ve had Stoner being booed and Toseland being cheered. But we’ve also had Edwards poking his tounge out everytime he’s on camera and wobbling about in 5th place and Rossi winning.

The more that changes, the more stays the same. Next year, we’ve got control tyres and Gibbers. We’ve got Kallio and Canepe on their Ducatis and Marco ‘Career Rebuilding’ Melandri on the Kawasaki.

Who knows what will happen? Perhaps, once, it’ll be interesting.

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:52 am

Randy's big race big up
Over and out!

Straighten down the howdy hollers Santa Cruisaway fans! It's time to froth up the Buds, wedge pack the Chevy, cherry horn the loop, maximise the holeshot, richen up the bagel dough, full tilt the camber, re-dunk the coffee, filter out the immigrants, draft up the shoehorm, sparkle shoe the trailing leg, compound rub the barge boards, overclick the throttle, ride the short chute, light the Sasquatch fuse, hyper-forge the knucklehead, capture the flag, pollute the inner hemisphere and deep fry the read meat…and by that for surely away fans I negative mean it's time to drip feed the olive oil, party pack the Pierre, upgrade the Renault, shave the horse, free up the commies, skin graft the anus, water down the noodle mix, polish up the anti-camber, relegate the offence line, corrupt the back door, steam up the couscous or ban the freedom fries as I, the righteous line Reverend Randy Mamola, hit the upper kerb for my final, last in the world series epic big up of America's 2008 season.

Now by surely I predicted this outcome. It was way back then, but namely now, when before I speak of lately that I claimed the then future but now past and sometime then then that all three American players, then and now and now to be, would feature strongly. Back then I knew that now, and lesser 'thens' that were then nows but now are of course 'thens', that the then future of our boys, and I s'pose the now future of our boys but back then I was only quoting now nows - not the future nows or passive thens, would dominate the series like in the past. Then, as in the past, and the past from the past from which I am quoting myself from the past, the future (as in the future that was then still to come but has now past) had always looked promising. So my quote back then, as in after the promising past but before now (i.e. the present or future then if you'd now like to think of it) was then, and now, nothing new. But still now, knowing the future of the past back then, it's gratifying to now know that then, when now was then and the current then was the past and the future now and then, that the right outcome right now has passed.

Now for sure I'm dead sure that if there are a couple of lazy bums I'd like to square off the noses of then it's that flag-burning, cress eating Mexican Alberto Plug. The Reverend Randy's never been afraid to shine up the cranium as a liberty beacon of my alliance but this spangleless coward has installed a peasant woven kilim over his penthouse - matting out the sparkle and de-illuminating the honey pot. Offensive enough you'll agree, but when he emits anti-de-un-propaganda against all of God's very own America, and by that I mean young Nicky 'hot shoe' Hayden, then he's entering our spangled restricted flyzone in a defenceless dingy.
I for two, to name but three of the aforementioned singularity, will be targeting out Plug this weekend and ramming, courtesy of Lady Liberty, a plutonium centred Fat Man down his greasy oriental blow-hole for surely.

Onto the race and I know that this weekend will be the ticker taped victory parade of old, Armstrong style, to salute our brave muffin boys for once again, in the plural, bringing home the bagels and cement back filling our country as the greatest land mass of all time. Caption Hoppers, Colonel Colin, and Commander and Conqueror Nicky Hayden - I salute you boys for never turning Welsh in the face of adversity and for showing the world that by acting alone as a team the tyranny of the Axels of Diesel can be turned then overthrown and democracy on track, off track and on track restored.
It's a proud day for me, my countrymen and myself.

Onto the seasonaway and away from the season I fear for the foreigners it's set to be another podium lock-out by Team 'USA' America. I don't know where we are, and frankly I couldn't give bloated Frankensnitzle, but I do know for surely I'm sure that sure I surely know for sure that if we haven't installed the fists democracy here before we will for sure now.

Giving the reverend the slipknot last time, Madagascan style, was that front pushing, over-square Euro-belch Valentino 'organic waste seepage' Rossi - a player to whom I hate with a passion but have nothing, for sure, against. I've read a lot of talk on the radio that the Portugan detainee Rossi, the filthy cheat, thinks he is the world champion - not on my watch. We, the American legends, know a thing or three about numbers - cracking the enigma code in time to save Pearl Harbour from the Armada to name but two examples - and if my Kansas calcs are correct, and they are for sure, then Whirlpool Colin comes out on top with Hayden clinching the championship just behind Hoppers.

Randy's final time big up '08

1st: 'Mad Dog' Hoppers the Third - Gunning it down the centre
2nd: 'Deep set' Colin and his flux capacitor army
3rd: 'Sparkin' Nicky boy Hayden

MVP: Dr. Emmett 'Doc' Brown
Constructor: 'Spilling' Chevron Phillips
Team leader: Robert 'Outer arc' Zubrin

Well by surely it's time to wave a one finger salute to my former employers at Eurosport. It has long been a Randy double hotdog standard that I've had work for a company who's base-zero HQ are out of State in a country that harbours and breeds (using a series of pulleys) terrorists and front pushers - Europe. So with my former employers losing the TV live-feed constitution - which I believe was fundamentalaway reasoned to an over-bored emphasis on the 125 and 250 classes whilst blatantly disregarding the Barbour Haircut KR Pontiac Pro-Am events and steel-shoe scrape-outs.

Anyway contract or not, nobody bakes the Candy Canes in my Boulevard except me, and possibly Fast Freddie. So Eurosport may not be invited, but you can post back your guarantee forms that the good guys, namely me Randy Mamola Esquire, will be sticking my bald patch in where it doesn't concern me in 2009 and if anyone (such as aubergine sniffing Paul Denning) thinks I'll be turning over victory lane, and relinquishing sovereignty to that Swiss KTM loving Charlie Cox then you'd be negative-correct.

Okay cruising fans, we've run up the clock to 'over and lock out' time here in my boulevard so, for the post-penultimate time, it's time I timed out and closed this spangled chapter of 2008 with my final big up big up.
I'd like to thank all AOL users for feeding me my cheese to my rear throughout the five quarters and wish you all, even the Canadians but of course not the French Canadians, a block scuffing off-season packed with tri-oval treats.

Keep it Stateside folks

Randy # 2

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:22 am

MotoGP »'s MotoGP season review - Pt 1.
Tuesday, 23rd December 2008 looks back over the 2008 MotoGP season.

The 2008 MotoGP season began with a step into the unknown in the form of the first ever grand prix night race, but - despite the shock of a rookie qualifying one-two by Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland - the end result was exactly the same as the year before, victory for Casey Stoner and Ducati at Qatar.

The Australian and his Bridgestone-shod Desmosedici had destroyed the 2007 opposition and a second MotoGP title was already looking a distinct possibility, especially with lead rival Valentino Rossi only fifth on his Bridgestone debut.

Few doubted that Rossi would reach race-winning speed eventually on his new tyres, but would it be too late to stop Stoner - a rider who finished every race in 2007, winning ten of them and never finished lower than sixth?
But the Stoner/Ducati invincibility hit an unexpected stumble next time out in Jerez, when - for the first time since throwing a leg over a Ducati - Stoner appeared to be in genuine difficulty.

With new team-mate Marco Melandri never looking comfortable on the GP8, the Jerez handling problems weren't a complete surprise - but this was the first time that Stoner's talent and determination had been unable to rise above them.

The #1 qualified seventh, but ran off track on lap three, leaving him at the back of the field. Stoner went on to finish eleventh, after suffering a further moment late in the race. Rossi wasn't the main beneficiary of Stoner's woes, although the Italian did claim his first Bridgestone podium at Jerez, instead it was Dani Pedrosa who stood on the top step of the rostrum, in front of his home fans.

Pedrosa had missed much of pre-season testing due to injury and, like team-mate Nicky Hayden, had begun the year using last year's valve-spring Honda engine, but the Spaniard raced from eighth to third at Qatar, then qualified behind only Lorenzo at Jerez en route to his first win of the year - and the world championship lead.
Lorenzo finished behind Pedrosa and Rossi to prove that his Qatar debut was no fluke, and the 20-year-old - the youngest rider on the MotoGP grid - completed a stunning start to his premier-class career next time out at Estoril, when he converted his third pole in a row into his first ever MotoGP victory, by 1.8sec over arch-rival Pedrosa, and took the world championship lead.

"I feel like I'm in heaven!" beamed Lorenzo, who planted his trademark 'Lorenzo's Land' victory flag for the first time as a MotoGP rider.

But the next time Lorenzo rode his M1, during Friday free practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, he was catapulted into the air during a vicious highside that left him with fractures to both ankles. Incredibly, Lorenzo returned to the track on Saturday and qualified fourth on the grid, then repeated that position on race day.
Nevertheless, Fiat Yamaha team-mate Rossi stole the Sunday Shanghai headlines by winning his first race of the season and first ever with Bridgestone tyres. The victory also marked the end of a seven-race losing streak, Rossi's longest since his debut 2000 season, and put The Doctor within nine points of Pedrosa.

Rossi's title challenge was galvanised with victory next time out in Le Mans - a race that saw Stoner fail to score points for the first time as a Ducati rider, after a technical problem in the closing stages - while the injured Lorenzo and Colin Edwards completed an all-M1 podium. In claiming third Edwards, who had taken pole at Shanghai, handed Tech 3 its first MotoGP podium since 2004 - at the team's home event - while Rossi and Lorenzo now held first and second in the world championship.

Rossi then took his third win in a row with a record-breaking seventh successive home win at Mugello, before Pedrosa rose to the occasion for his second home victory of the season at Catalunya. Like Rossi, the Repsol Honda rider had finished off the podium just once during the first seven rounds and was now ranked ahead of Lorenzo in the championship and just seven points from Rossi.
But it was fourth in the championship Stoner, without a win since Qatar, who was soon to re-emerge as Rossi's toughest challenger - thanks to an electronic breakthrough at the post Catalunya test.

"In the past few rounds we've had trouble getting power to the ground - every time I opened the throttle the bike wanted to buck and that made the chassis look a lot worse than it really was," said Stoner, after dominating Friday practice at the following British GP. "In the Barcelona test we tried something with the electronics that both [test rider] Vitto and myself really liked straight away. It is great to see that the improvement has transferred to Donington and I believe there is still more to come…"

Stoner went on to win from pole at not only the British Grand Prix, but also the following Dutch TT at Assen and German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring - each victory increasing the pressure on Rossi and Yamaha, who knew they couldn't afford to keep being beaten by Stoner indefinitely.
Rossi began the British GP 48 points ahead of Stoner, but the Australian's triple victory meant he left Germany just 20 points from the Italian. During this period, Rossi also suffered what proved to be his worst result of the season, when he fell on lap one at Assen. It was Rossi's only race mistake of the season and he still managed to salvage eleventh.

Pedrosa's mistake at a soaking Sachsenring was more costly; the Spaniard had stunned his opponents by charging to a 7.4sec lead after just five laps, but then fell at high speed as he braked for turn one. Pedrosa had been leading the championship at the time, but his title hopes effectively ended in the Sachsenring gravel - hand and ankle injuries ruled Dani out of the following US and he wouldn't return to the podium until round 15 of 18.

Laguna Seca, the last race before the summer break, was expected to see the seemingly unstoppable Stoner repeat his runaway 2007 victory and thereby close to within striking distance of Rossi - especially after claiming his fifth pole in a row by 0.447sec over the Yamaha rider.
"Casey is very fast and I don't know exactly how to beat him - maybe I need to start 30 seconds earlier!" confessed Rossi on Saturday in California. "Whatever happens a good start is going to be very important and then I will just try to stay with him and keep pushing."

What followed was arguably the best MotoGP race since 2006. When the red lights went out Rossi launched a relentless barrage against the Australian - retaliating whenever Stoner took the lead to prevent the #1 using his superior speed to disappear into the distance.

Stoner's frustration eventually got the better of him and he ran off-track with eight laps to go, allowing Rossi to cruise to his fourth victory of the year and deliver a major psychological blow to Stoner. Stoner initially refused to shake Rossi's hand after the race, but had calmed down a little by the podium ceremony.
Rossi, by contrast, was consumed by a mixture of relief and elation: "What a race! I knew I had to try and stay in front of Casey and it was impossible to relax. I don't know how many times we changed the lead but it was a lot and it was great, great racing. I am sorry Casey thinks some of the passes were a bit strong but I really don't agree; I passed only on the brakes, I braked in the same places every time and we never touched. Of course this was an aggressive race, but it was definitely a fair one."

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:29 am

MotoGP »'s MotoGP season review - Pt 2.
Tuesday, 23rd December 2008 looks back over the 2008 MotoGP season.

Despite the epic nature of his Laguna Seca victory, Valentino Rossi had only gained five points over Stoner. But when MotoGP returned to action after the summer break, at Brno, Rossi was able to instantly double his advantage to 50 points when Stoner fell from the lead, gifting victory to the Italian.

Whether or not the mistake was a direct result of what happened at Laguna playing on Stoner's mind, or simply the kind of thing that can happen when riding at the limit, was open to debate, but few doubted that the thought of battling Rossi at close quarters was starting to have an effect.

When Stoner disastrously repeated the mistake next time out at Misano, it effectively marked the end of his 2008 title hopes, although Casey was keen to point out that the points lost at the start of the season were just as important.
This time, Stoner's early exit handed Rossi his 68th premier-class victory, matching countryman Giacomo Agostini's all time record.

"Today is a truly fantastic day and I can't believe that I have matched Agostini's record! He was one of my heroes so it's quite incredible to have made it to 68 wins," said Rossi, now 75 points clear of Stoner with five rounds and 125 points remaining. "Once I was past Dani I could see Casey, although I wasn't as confident as I was in Brno that I could win. Anyway I kept pushing and I think it still could have been a battle. Then I saw Casey slide out. I'm sorry for him once again but this is very good for our championship."

Joining Rossi on the Misano podium was Toni Elias, who took his second podium in succession for the satellite Alice Ducati team, and Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo - who claimed his first rostrum since round five at Le Mans.

After the French Grand Prix, Lorenzo's confidence had been shattered by further accidents and injuries to add to his Shanghai ankle fractures, culminating in his withdraw from Catalunya and then another huge highside on lap one of the US GP at Laguna Seca.
The summer break had finally provided Lorenzo's battered body with a chance to heal and, once Michelin's mid-season tyre woes had passed, the exciting young Spaniard began to feature at the front once again.

Rossi beat Agostini's win record next time out, during MotoGP's debut at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in a storm-shortened race that saw Nicky Hayden return to the head of a MotoGP race and Lorenzo take his first wet podium - ever!

Hayden led Rossi until lap 14 of 20, and his runner-up finish marked his first podium of the year and the first ever for the pneumatic-valve Honda. Problems with the pneumatic during testing meant that it couldn't be used from the start of the season but Hayden, desperate to revive his 990cc form, took a calculated gamble and race-developed the pneumatic as soon as HRC would allow him; from round eight at Donington (two rounds after test rider Tady Okada took the machine to 14th at Mugello).
Hayden's team-mate Pedrosa decided to remain on the spring-valve powerplant until Indy, six rounds after Donington, but a new engine wasn't his only novelty at The Brickyard - Pedrosa was also making his debut on Bridgestone tyres.

Despite eight podiums from the first nine rounds, Pedrosa had lost faith in Michelin by round 13 at Misano - fuelled by ill-suited rubber supplied by the once dominant French manufacturer at the previous Laguna Seca and Brno events.

Those mistakes - which resulted in cut slicks being seen in dry morning practice at Laguna Seca, and world champions Lorenzo and Toseland unable to lap inside the 107% qualifying time at a wet Brno - left many Michelin riders furious and ultimately contributed to the new single tyre rule for 2009.

Nevertheless, most of the paddock was stunned when Repsol and Honda announced on Sunday evening at Misano that Pedrosa - who had just finished fourth in the San Marino GP - would change to Bridgestone tyres with immediate effect. Hayden, heading for Ducati in 2009, was not given the chance to change.
Despite the poor weather at Indianapolis, Pedrosa qualified and finished eighth on his pneumatic/Bridgestone debut, then reassured HRC by claiming his first Bridgestone podium next time out at Motegi.

But the Japanese Grand Prix belonged to Rossi and Yamaha, as The Doctor became only the second rider in history (alongside Agostini) to recapture the premier-class title after two successive defeats, by wrapping up the 2008 world championship in perfect style, with victory in Yamaha's home race at Motegi.

"It's a great victory and a great achievement; I think it's at the same level as the first title in 2004 with Yamaha, maybe even better!" said Rossi. "We have lost for two years and I don't think I was the favourite this season, but we have shown that we are a great team and that we never give up," added Rossi, who celebrated with a t-shirt saying 'sorry for the delay'. "I am so happy that I have now won three titles with Yamaha because this is how many I won with [Honda]. I hope we will have more together! Now I have to get used to being world champion again!"
Stoner, by now diagnosed with a wrist injury that would require a post-season bone graft to fix, may have lost the title, but the young Australian reminded MotoGP of his talents with a home victory at Phillip Island, before Rossi - who had charged from 12th on the grid to second in Australia - claimed his ninth and final victory of the season at the penultimate round in Malaysia.

Sepang was a landmark race for rookie Andrea Dovizioso, who absorbed intense pressure from Hayden - the rider he will replace next season - to claim his very first MotoGP podium.

With Rossi, Yamaha and Fiat Yamaha having already secured the three 2008 MotoGP titles, there was little at stake by the Valencia season finale - although the battle between Ducati and Honda for second in the constructors' championship provided a notable sideshow to what was ultimately one of the dullest races of the year.
Ducati arrived at Valencia just one point ahead of Honda, effectively meaning whichever machine finished ahead of the other would claim the runner-up position. Stoner, the cornerstone of Ducati's extraordinary success since 2007, delivered for the Italian factory once again by winning the final round by a comfortable 3.4sec from Pedrosa with Rossi, who had qualified just ninth, a further 8.8sec back in third.

Rossi's 16th podium from 18 races gave him a final victory margin of 93 points over Stoner, who had secured second position over Pedrosa before the final round.

Dani, although unable to achieve his goal of a debut Bridgestone victory during the tail end of 2008, did claim three podiums and one pole on the Japanese rubber and remains the only Honda rider to have won an 800cc grand prix. Pedrosa finished 31 points behind Stoner and 59 in front of Lorenzo, who - despite his accidents and injuries - still claimed the rookie of the year title and was also the highest placed (full time) Michelin rider.
Lorenzo's 2008 performance was the best by a rookie since Rossi in 2000 and the Spaniard will have high expectations under equal tyre conditions in 2009, as will Dovizioso - who will ride alongside Pedrosa at Repsol Honda next season. Dovizioso was the highest ranked satellite rider in the 2008 world championship.

Outgoing Repsol rider Hayden scored 28 points more than last year - even though he missed both Misano and Brno due to a foot injury sustained at the X Games - and was ranked sixth in the championship, two places better than his 2007 ranking. However, the #69 was only the third highest Honda, 19 points behind Dovizioso and 94 from Pedrosa.

Despite his early season heroics, which yielded two podiums and five front row starts from the first ten rounds, Edwards suffered a disappointing second half of the season, with a best race finish of sixth. Nevertheless, seventh place in the final standings was two places higher than he'd managed as a full factory Yamaha rider in 2007.
2008 was a disappointing season for Rizla Suzuki, which lost ground relative to its 2007 results in terms of wins, poles, podiums and points. Chris Vermeulen finished the year in eighth position, 16 points from Edwards, with the highlight of his season being consecutive third places at Sachsenring and Laguna Seca.

New team-mate Loris Capirossi qualified second on the grid at Mugello and took a solitary rostrum at Brno, but also missed two rounds due to injury and his eventual tenth place in the championship was three places (and three podiums) less than he'd achieved at Ducati in 2007.

Shinya Nakano bowed out of grand prix racing at the end of 2008. The Japanese made a quiet, if consistent, start to the season with points at each of the first eleven rounds - and was suddenly handed a (spring-valve) factory-spec RCV from Brno onwards. The Gresini rider claimed a season's best fourth on his factory debut, then took fifth place at both Phillip Island and Sepang on his way to ninth in the championship. Nakano will ride for Aprilia in WSBK next year.
Of the four 2008 MotoGP rookies, Toseland was the only one not to have raced in either 125 or 250GP, but the reigning double World Superbike champion had instantly raised expectations by qualifying his Tech 3 Yamaha second on the grid at Qatar.

Toseland finished the race in sixth, a position he repeated five further times in 2008, with his highlight of the year a thrilling ride at the Australian Grand Prix, when he became one of the few riders to fight back and re-pass Valentino Rossi this season.

A turn one accident at his home British GP marked the start of a difficult run of races and Toseland finished the year eleventh in the championship. Toseland, aware of the need for results to stay in MotoGP, will expect to be a podium contender in 2009.

Elias was the only rider other than Stoner to take the Ducati Desmosedici to a podium finish this season and, although his next best race result was only seventh place, the Spaniard finished the season with almost double the points of Stoner's factory team-mate Marco Melandri.
The combination of Melandri and the Desmosedici was like mixing oil and water. A fifth place at round four in China proved a false dawn and the former MotoGP World Championship runner-up was left just 17th in the championship, one place behind John Hopkins, whom he will join at Kawasaki next season.

With Elias heading back to Gresini Honda, with factory support, next season, team-mate Sylvain Guintoli is the only 2008 Desmosedici rider not returning to MotoGP next year. The amiable Frenchman also faced a tough challenge in attempting to tame the Desmosedici, but finished every single race - scoring points in all but one event - with his highlight of the year a sixth place in the wet at Sachsenring without the aid of traction control!

Guintoli, who claimed 13th in the championship, moves to BSB in 2009, when Pramac will field an all-rookie line-up of Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa. A new fifth Ducati will also be present next year, ridden by former MotoGP World Championship runner-up Sete Gibernau, raising the MotoGP grid to 19.
Nakano's team-mate Alex de Angelis was the lowest ranked of the four 2008 MotoGP rookies, in 14th position, but could point towards an impressive charge from last to fourth at Mugello - and a repeat of that position on his wet MotoGP race debut in Germany - as proof of his future potential.

Having taken his first MotoGP podium with Kawasaki in 2007, and impressed in pre-season testing for Honda LCR, 2008 turned out to be a major disappointment for Randy de Puniet, who was the lowest ranked Honda rider in the championship (15th) with a best race finish of sixth and six non-scores.

The manufacturer that suffered the most in 2008 was undoubtedly Kawasaki, which scored less than half the points of the next lowest MotoGP manufacturer (Suzuki) and failed to finish higher than fifth in a race.

What seemed like a safe decision to evolve the promising 2007 ZX-RR somehow resulted in a machine with fundamental performances flaws that were never cured, while injuries for new star-signing Hopkins inflicted a further body blow.
Anthony West, starting his first - and ultimately last - full MotoGP season with Kawasaki, battled chronic rear traction problems and has since suggested that he wasn't listened to by the team until it was too late. West will switch to World Supersport in 2009, where he is a former race winner.

The top four riders in the 2008 world championship have all remained with the same factory teams for the 2009 season, which Valentino Rossi - who now needs just three more wins to reach a landmark 100 grand prix victories - will start as the undisputed favourite.

However, the new single tyre rule could produce some surprises, while much is expected of Dovizioso's Repsol Honda move and Nicky Hayden's switch to Ducati Marlboro.

MotoGP 2008 - final standings:

1. Valentino Rossi – 373
2. Casey Stoner – 280
3. Dani Pedrosa – 249
4. Jorge Lorenzo – 190*
5. Andrea Dovizioso – 174*
6. Nicky Hayden – 155
7. Colin Edwards – 144
8. Chris Vermeulen – 128
9. Shinya Nakano – 126
10. Loris Capirossi – 118
11. James Toseland – 105 *
12. Toni Elias – 92
13. Sylvain Guintoli – 67
14. Alex de Angelis – 63 *
15. Randy de Puniet – 61
16. John Hopkins – 57
17. Marco Melandri – 51
18. Anthony West – 50
19. Ben Spies – 20 **
20. Jamie Hacking – 5 **
21. Tadayuki Okada – 2 **
* Rookie
** Wild-card

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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Re: MotoGP Columns

Post by tammerz on Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:39 am

MotoGP »'s MotoGP season review - Stats.
Wednesday, 24th December 2008

You've seen's written review of the 2008 MotoGP season, now here's some statistics...

Wins, Podiums, Poles and Fastest Laps.
The stats that matter most. Ranking by championship order.

1. Valentino Rossi: 9 (wins) 16 (podiums) 2 (poles) 5 ('laps)
2. Casey Stoner: 6 (wins) 11 (podiums) 9 (poles) 9 ('laps)
3. Dani Pedrosa: 2 (wins) 11 (podiums) 2 (poles) 2 ('laps)
4. Jorge Lorenzo: 1 (wins) 6 (podiums) 4 (poles) 1 ('laps)
5. Andrea Dovizioso: 0 (wins) 1 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
6. Nicky Hayden: 0 (wins) 2 (podiums) 0 (poles) 1 ('laps)
7. Colin Edwards: 0 (wins) 2 (podiums) 1 (poles) 0 ('laps)
8. Chris Vermeulen: 0 (wins) 2 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
9. Shinya Nakano: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
10. Loris Capirossi: 0 (wins) 1 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
11. James Toseland: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
12. Toni Elias: 0 (wins) 2 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
13. Sylvain Guintoli: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
14. Alex de Angelis: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
15. Randy de Puniet: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
16. John Hopkins: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
17. Marco Melandri: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
18. Anthony West: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)

Most race wins: Valentino Rossi (9)
Most podiums: Valentino Rossi (16)
Most poles: Casey Stoner (9)
Most fastest laps: Casey Stoner (9)
Number of different race winners: 4
Number of different podium finishers: 10
Number of different pole position qualifiers: 5
Number of different riders with a fastest lap: 5
How close was the competition?
Closest, largest and average figures for pole position, race victory, top 3 and top 10.

Closest 2008 pole position: 0.032sec (Stoner - Assen)
Largest 2008 pole position: 1.189sec (Stoner - Brno)
Average 2008 pole margin: 0.328sec
Average 2007 pole margin: 0.215sec
Closest 2008 race victory: 1.817sec (Lorenzo - Estoril)
Largest 2008 race victory: 15.004sec (Rossi - Brno)
Average 2008 victory margin: 5.428sec
Average 2007 victory margin: 5.748sec

Closest 2008 top 3 finish: 3.343sec (Pedrosa, Rossi, Stoner - Catalunya)
Largest 2008 top 3 finish: 26.609sec (Rossi, Stoner, Vermeulen - Laguna Seca)
Average 2008 top 3 finish: 11.041sec
Average 2007 top 3 finish: 11.041sec (the same!)

Closest 2008 top 10 finish: 25.516sec (Sepang)
Largest 2008 top 10 finish: 89.275sec (Sachsenring)
Average 2008 top 10 finish: 40.356sec
Average 2007 top 10 finish: 44.788sec

Best and worst race finish.
Best and worst race finish of the year for each rider, not including DNFs. Ranking order decided by best race finish, then worst.

1. Jorge Lorenzo: 1st - 10th
2. Valentino Rossi: 1st - 11th
3. Dani Pedrosa: 1st - 15th
4. Casey Stoner: 1st - 16th*
5. Nicky Hayden: 2nd - 13th
6. Toni Elias: 2nd - 18th
7. Andrea Dovizioso: 3rd - 9th
8. Colin Edwards: 3rd - 15th
9. Loris Capirossi: 3rd - 16th
10. Chris Vermeulen: 3rd - 17th
=11. Shinya Nakano: 4th - 17th
=11. Alex de Angelis: 4th - 17th
13. John Hopkins: 5th - 14th
14. Anthony West: 5th - 17th
15. Marco Melandri: 5th - 19th
=16. Sylvain Guintoli: 6th - 16th
=16. Randy de Puniet: 6th - 16th
18. James Toseland: 6th - 18th
*Stoner was credited with 16th place at Le Mans, despite finishing two laps down due to a technical problem. His next worst finish was 6th position and would have placed him top of the list.

Best and worst qualifying.
Best and worst qualifying positions of the year. Ranking order decided by best qualifying, then worst.

1. Casey Stoner: 1st - 9th
=2. Valentino Rossi: 1st - 12th
=2. Dani Pedrosa: 1st - 12th
4. Colin Edwards: 1st - 15th
5. Jorge Lorenzo: 1st - 17th
6. James Toseland: 2nd - 16th
7. Loris Capirossi: 3rd - 13th
8. Chris Vermeulen: 3rd - 15th
9. Nicky Hayden: 3rd - 16th
10. John Hopkins: 3rd - 17th
=11. Andrea Dovizioso: 4th - 14th
=11. Randy de Puniet: 4th - 14th
=13. Toni Elias: 5th - 18th
=13. Alex de Angelis: 5th - 18th
15. Anthony West: 6th - 19th
16. Shinya Nakano: 8th - 17th
17. Sylvain Guintoli: 10th - 18th
18. Marco Melandri: 11th - 18th
Factory v Satellite.
Wins, podiums, poles and fastest laps for factory riders compared with satellite riders. Factory riders were classed as those riding for a factory team.

Factory riders: 18 (wins) 49 (podiums) 17 (poles) 18 ('laps)
Satellite riders: 0 (wins) 5 (podiums) 1 (poles) 0 ('laps)
Average qualifying position for the top satellite rider in a 2008 grand prix: 4th
Average race position for the top satellite rider at a 2008 grand prix: 4th

Average time difference between the top factory rider and the top satellite rider during 2008 qualifying: 0.623sec
In 2007: 0.713sec

Average time difference between the top factory rider and the top satellite rider at the end of a 2008 race: 17.611secs
In 2007: 19.462sec

Top satellite rider in 2008 qualifying:
1. Colin Edwards: 10 times
2. Randy de Puniet: 5 times
3. James Toseland: 2 times
4. Alex de Angelis: 1 time
=5. Andrea Dovizioso: 0
=5. Toni Elias: 0
=5. Shinya Nakano: 0
=5. Sylvain Guintoli: 0

Top satellite rider in 2008 races:
=1. Colin Edwards: 6 times
=1. Andrea Dovizioso: 6 times
=3. Toni Elias: 2 times
=3. Alex de Angelis: 2 times
=5. Shinya Nakano: 1 time
=5. James Toseland: 1 time
=7. Randy de Puniet: 0
=7. Sylvain Guintoli: 0
'To finish first, first you must finish'. This is the number of times a rider failed to reach the finish in 2008. 0 means a rider finished every race he started. Ranking by least DNFs, then number of race starts.

=1. Valentino Rossi: 0
=1. Shinya Nakano: 0
=1. Sylvain Guintoli: 0
=4. Andrea Dovizioso: 1
=4. Toni Elias: 1
=4. Anthony West: 1
=7. Loris Capirossi: 1*
=7. Nicky Hayden: 1*
=9. Casey Stoner: 2
=9. Colin Edwards: 2
=9. Chris Vermeulen: 2
=9. James Toseland: 2
=9. Marco Melandri: 2
=14. Dani Pedrosa: 2*
15. John Hopkins: 3*
16. Jorge Lorenzo: 4*
=17. Alex de Angelis: 5
=17. Randy de Puniet: 5
* Did not take part in all 18 rounds.

Average race v Average qualifying.
Who raced better than they qualified? Who went backwards after the red lights went out? The average qualifying position compared with the average race position (average points per race) for each rider is shown below. Ranking by race, then qualifying average.

Key: (R) = average race, (Q) = average qualifying.
1. Valentino Rossi: 2nd (R) - 4th (Q)
2. Casey Stoner: 3rd (R) - 2nd (Q)
3. Dani Pedrosa: 3rd (R) - 4th (Q)
4. Jorge Lorenzo: 5th (R) - 5th (Q)
5. Nicky Hayden: 6th (R) - 5th (Q)
6. Andrea Dovizioso: 6th (R) - 10th (Q)
7. Colin Edwards: 8th (R) - 6th (Q)
8. Chris Vermeulen: 9th (R) - 10th (Q)
9. Loris Capirossi: 9th (R) - 10th (Q)
10. Shinya Nakano: 9th (R) - 11th (Q)
11. James Toseland: 10th (R) - 9th (Q)
12. Toni Elias: 11th (R) - 13th (Q)
13. John Hopkins: 12th (R) - 12th (Q)
14. Alex de Angelis: 12th (R) - 13th (Q)
15. Sylvain Guintoli: 12th (R) - 15th (Q)
16. Randy de Puniet: 13th (R) - 7th (Q)
=17. Anthony West: 13th (R) - 16th (Q)
=17. Marco Melandri: 13th (R) - 16th (Q)

First half v Second half.
Who improved as the 18-round season went on? Whose year went downhill? Points scored by each rider during the first nine races, compared with the last nine races. Ranking by difference in points.

First nine rounds/Last nine rounds (Difference):
1. Valentino Rossi: 167/206 (+39)
2. Toni Elias: 33/59 (+26)
3. Sylvain Guintoli: 24/43 (+19)
4. Anthony West: 16/34 +18)
5. Randy de Puniet: 22/39 (+17)
=6. Andrea Dovizioso: 79/95 (+16)
=6. Loris Capirossi: 51/67 (+16) *
8. Nicky Hayden: 70/85 (+15) *
9. Chris Vermeulen: 57/71 (+14)
10. Alex de Angelis: 25/38 (+13)
11. Shinya Nakano: 57/69 (+12)
12. Casey Stoner: 142/138 (-4)
13. John Hopkins: 32/25 (-7) *
14. Marco Melandri: 32/19 (-13)
15. James Toseland: 60/45 (-15)
16. Jorge Lorenzo: 114/76 (-38) *
17. Colin Edwards: 98/46 (-52)
18. Dani Pedrosa: 171/78 (-93) *

* Did not take part in all 18 rounds.

Team-mate v Team-mate
Team-mate vs. team-mate in terms of who finished higher in qualifying and race results. Only events where both riders were present are included. If both riders failed to finish, both received 0. Ranking by greatest difference, shown in brackets.


1. Ducati Marlboro:
Qualifying: Stoner 18 - Melandri 0 (18)
Race: Stoner 15 - Melandri 3 (12)

2. Honda Gresini:*
Qualifying: Nakano 14 - de Angelis 4 (10)
Race: Nakano 15 - de Angelis 3 (12)

3. Kawasaki Racing:
Qualifying: Hopkins 15 - West 1 (14)
Race: Hopkins 8 - West 7 (1)

4. Repsol Honda:**
Qualifying: Pedrosa 11 - Hayden 5 (6)
Race: Pedrosa 12 - Hayden 3 (9)
5. Fiat Yamaha:***
Qualifying: Rossi 10 - Lorenzo 7 (3)
Race: Rossi 14 - Lorenzo 3 (11)

6. Alice Team:
Qualifying: Elias 14 - Guintoli 4 (10)
Race: Elias 10 - Guintoli 8 (2)

7. Tech 3 Yamaha:
Qualifying: Edwards 13 - Toseland 5 (Cool
Race: Edwards 11 - Toseland 8 (3)
8. Rizla Suzuki:
Qualifying: Capirossi 10 - Vermeulen 6 (4)
Race: Capirossi 9 - Vermeulen 7 (2)

JiR Team Scot and LCR Honda were one-rider teams

* Nakano was given a factory spec bike for the final seven rounds while de Angelis remained on a satellite spec bike.
** Pedrosa changed from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres for the final five rounds, Hayden remained on Michelin tyres.
*** Rossi used Bridgestone tyres, Lorenzo used Michelin tyres.

2008 v 2007.
Who did better this year than last? Whose 2008 team change turned bad? 2008 v 2007 for wins, podiums, champion position and points. Only includes full time riders for both seasons. Ranking by points.

Key: +1 means one more than in 2007, = means the same number as in 2007, -1 means one less than in 2007 etc

1. Valentino Rossi: +5 (wins) +8 (podiums) +2 (championship) +132 (points)
2. Shinya Nakano: = (wins) = (podiums) +8 (championship) +79 (points)
3. Nicky Hayden: = (wins) -1 (podiums) +2 (championship) +28 (points)
4. Colin Edwards: = (wins) = (podiums) +2 (championship) +20 (points)
5. Sylvain Guintoli: = (wins) = (podiums) +3 (championship) +17 (points)
6. Dani Pedrosa: = (wins) +3 (podiums) -1 (championship) +7 (points)
7. Toni Elias: = (wins) = (podiums) = (championship) -12 (points)
8. Randy de Puniet: = (wins) -1 (podiums) -4 (championship) -47 (points)
9. Loris Capirossi: -1 (wins) -3 (podiums) -3 (championship) -48 (points)
10. Chris Vermeulen:-1 (wins) -2 (podiums) -2 (championship) -51 (points)
11. Casey Stoner: -4 (wins) -3 (podiums) -1 (championship) -87 (points)
12. John Hopkins: = (wins) -4 (podiums) -12 (championship) -132 (points)
13. Marco Melandri: = (wins) -3 (podiums) -12 (championship) -136 (points)
Bike v Bike.
2008 tally of wins, podiums, poles and fastest laps for each bike

1. Yamaha YZR-M1: 10 (wins) 24 (podiums) 7 (poles) 6 ('laps)
2. Ducati Desmosedici GP8: 6 (wins) 13 (podiums) 9 (poles) 9 ('laps)
3. Honda RC212V: 2 (wins) 14 (podiums) 2 (poles) 3 ('laps)
4. Suzuki GSV-R: 0 (wins) 3 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
5. Kawasaki ZX-RR: 0 (wins) 0 (podiums) 0 (poles) 0 ('laps)
Bridgestone v Michelin.
How the 18 race wins, 54 podium finishes, 18 pole positions and 18 fastest laps were divided between the two tyre manufacturers.

Bridgestone: 15 (wins) 35 (podiums) 12 (poles) 14 ('laps)
Michelin: 3 (wins) 19 (podiums) 6 (poles) 4 ('laps)

~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~


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