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MotoGP Features. Page 12
MotoGP milestones 1949-2003.
22 May 2003:
This Sunday at Le Mans the MotoGP competitors will be competing for the honour of winning the landmark 600th premier-class Motorcycle Grand Prix. The pinnacle of two-wheeled racing was limited to 500cc machines from the beginning of the World Championship series back in 1949 until the start of last year, when four-strokes of up to 990cc were allowed to enter. A selection of Grand Prix milestones in the premier-class are given below (GP number in brackets):
320 million welcomed on board...
21 May 2003:
Tohru Ukawa might knows he's popular, but even the mild mannered Japanese rider would be surprised to learn that around 320 million people cheered as he suddenly appeared underneath the elbow of Brazilian Alex Barros in Jerez. As Barros prepared to throw his Yamaha into the right hand bend at the top of the start-finish straight in the closing stages of the Spanish Grand Prix, a yellow Camel Pramac Pons RCV suddenly appeared in the gap between his elbow and body - and 320 million people sat u
Yamaha set-up report - Le Mans.
19 May 2003:
Le Mans is a circuit made up of a number of first or second gear hairpins linked together by a series of long straights, with only the occasional chicane breaking up the run to the next hairpin. A design of the past, the French circuit causes little concern for engineers regarding set-up. Turns three and five are the most likely passing points and all efforts will be focused towards finding stability under brakes in these areas.
Spanish GP – Have your say... the response.
17 May 2003:
After losing out to Sete Gibernau in Africa two weeks previously, World Champion Valentino Rossi proved his doubters wrong with a dominate display in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, beating nearest rival Max Biaggi by 6secs. But the story of the weekend was arguably the continued rise of Ducati, who took not only their first ever MotoGP pole position, courtesy of Loris Capirossi, but also a one-two on the starting grid.
Biggest show in motorsport hits Europe.
8 May 2003:
As Formula One moved out of Barcelona on Monday, something requiring a paddock three times as large was travelling close by on route to Jerez...
Yamaha set-up report – Jerez.
5 May 2003:
After an intense opening two rounds the 2003 MotoGP World Championship moves to Jerez, Spain, for the first of ten rounds to be held in Europe. A circuit that pulls in the largest crowd by far during the 16 round championship, over 200,000 last year during the three day event, Jerez has a reputation for some hard and close racing.
Africa's GP – have your say... the response.
2 May 2003:
Following the tragic events at Suzuka three weeks previously, MotoGP regrouped in Africa with the loss of Daijiro Kato at the forefront of everyone's minds. Sunday's race would see fairytale finish, when Kato's team-mate Sete Gibernau took a emotional victory, to provided an uplifting finale to a difficult few weeks. We asked you, the
viewers, to share your opinions with the rest of the motorcycling world on a number of issues arising from Africa.
Clear and present danger.
24 April 2003:
It's easy to forget just what grand prix motorcycle riders are all about. You can become very blasé while enjoying the usual banter in a busy media centre, or watching on television from thousands of miles away. That is until tragic accidents, such as Daijiro Kato's at Suzuka, jolt you back into reality. Racing a motorcycle capable of speeds approaching 330 kph is one of the toughest and most demanding professions in the world and the domain of only a few talented and extremely brave individ
Yamaha set-up report – Welkom.
22 April 2003:
The Phakisa circuit has developed a notorious reputation for being both bumpy and slippery - the latter a side effect of the area's flat and dusty surroundings. Combined, these two elements make setting up a 210 plus horsepower MotoGP machine uniquely difficult...
Yamaha set-up report – Suzuka.
3 April 2003:
Yamaha is now entering the 2003 season with its latest generation YZR-M1, which will make its competitive debut at the opening round of the 2003 championship in Suzuka, Japan, April 6.
Any more questions to be answered at Suzuka?
2 April 2003:
Remember the build-up to the race in Suzuka last year? It was the first grand prix for the new 990cc four-strokes, and questions flowed throughout the weeks before the historic race....
Sito gets 'that championship feeling' again.
25 March 2003:
Only those who have the talent and desire to have achieved world championship success know that feeling of ultimate triumph never leaves you - just ask Sito Pons.
MotoGP greats – Eddie Lawson.
27 December 2002:
Eddie Lawson was undoubtedly one of the greatest motorcycle racers of modern times, claiming four 500cc world titles and 31 Grand Prix victories while racing for three different manufacturers. Lawson bridged the gap: At the start of his 500cc career he lined up as Kenny Roberts' team-mate and in his final season was racing with Alex Barros and future world champion Alex Criville.
MotoGP greats – Wayne Rainey.
9 December 2002:
Wayne Rainey will forever be remembered as the three times world champion whose career was brought to a tragically early end by a paralysing crash at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix - while chasing his fourth world crown. All this at a time when MotoGP contained such legends as Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Gardner, Eddie Lawson and Randy Mamola. Rainey was the rider they all needed to beat, despite riding an often underpowered Yamaha.
MotoGP greats – Mick Doohan.
29 November 2002:
With the off-season well and truly upon us,
felt it was time to look back on the careers of some of the Motorcycle Grand Prix greats – and where better to start than with multiple World Champion Mick Doohan, still involved in the sport as General Manager of Racing for Honda. In a ten year career, Doohan would claim an amazing 54 500cc victories and five
World Championships – all on Honda NSR's. However his success came at a high price and he had to have a f
Last chance saloon for two-strokes.
30 October 2002:
This weekend, the 500cc two-strokes open the door of the last chance saloon in Valencia, as the final MotoGP race of the season gives them one more chance to beat the swanky new four-strokes.
Yamaha set-up report - Phillip Island.
17 October 2002:
The fast flowing nature of Phillip Island is a favourite of many riders, often lending itself to close racing while allowing the rider the rare opportunity to be truly aggressive on those 180 two-strokes and 200-plus horsepower four-strokes they attempt to tame each weekend...
Phillip Island - Penguins and motorcycles.
16 October 2002:
For many years the island 130km west of Melbourne in Australia was know throughout the world as the home of the Penguin Parade.
Yamaha set-up report – Sepang.
10 October 2002:
Because of its hairpins, and numerous hard braking areas, a fast lap and any hope of making a pass at the Sepang circuit comes down to braking stability and the bike's turn-in characteristics...
Nowhere to hide.
8 October 2002:
For the last two grands prix, the movers and shakers in MotoGP have been dodging behind travel boxes, meeting behind drawn blinds in porta-cabins and trying to look inconspicuous in hotel lobby's.
All smiles as Pons join 4-stroke party.
30 September 2002:
No wonder Antonio Cobas is smiling - at last his West Honda Pons team are starting a grand prix on a level playing field. On Sunday at Motegi in Japan, they join the four-stroke brigade for the first time when Alex Barros rides the RCV Honda four-stroke after 12 previous races attempting to stay with the 990cc five-cylinder flyers that have dominated the first year of the new MotoGP World Championship.
Yamaha set-up report – Motegi.
27 September 2002:
Like many things designed and built by the Japanese the attention to detail at Motegi is unsurpassed - the surface is seamlessly smooth, offering high levels of grip, and the facilities are exceptional.
Yamaha set-up report – Rio de Janeiro.
18 September 2002:
It was a thrilling two-part Brazilian race that concluded not only the 16 round 2001 MotoGP 500 World Championship, on November 3, but the era of the two-stroke only GP500s as well - with the MotoGP premier class opening up to 990cc four-strokes for 2002.
Not just hand luggage as Pons pack up and go.
18 September 2002:
The West Honda Pons team members yesterday travelled to South America for the twelfth race of the MotoGP season, which is taking place in the homeland of Alex Barros, the only Brazilian rider competing in the World Championship.
It's raining men as Estoril sets crash record.
13 September 2002:
It was certainly raining men at Estoril on Sunday - men on motorcycles. No less than 90 riders crashed during Friday, Saturday and the soaking Sunday race day which puts the Portuguese circuit on top of the crashing list, since the Fallers Register was introduced seven years ago.
Bike fans vote with their feet.
4 September 2002:
The star letter in one of the world's leading car racing magazines last week was from a fan singing the praises of excitement generated watching the Czech Republic MotoGP Grand Prix on television.
Yamaha set-up report – Estoril.
2 September 2002:
At Estoril 2001, Pole-sitter Biaggi timed the start to perfection and led the opening lap before the Honda's of Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi forced their way past. The Italian fought back but could only manage to hold onto the lead pair until he lost the front of the Marlboro machine. Yamaha will be looking to avoid such an early exit by capitalising on a strong set-up this weekend.
Brno: A modern classic.
20 August 2002:
As MotoGP races into the 21st century, many famous road circuits have disappeared while others, such as Brno, have flourished after realising that a new era was approaching. For ex-GP stars Randy Mamola and Sito Pons, strong memories of the old track have become complimented by the 'fantastic' new Czech circuit.
'Extreme' crossover for Capirossi.
19 August 2002:
On a blisteringly hot summers day in Spain two passionate sportsmen met to compare notes and have some fun. Two men consumed by the same desire for perfection in their chosen dangerous professions and the tools of their trade, two very different motorcycles. The meeting between West Honda Pons MotoGP star Loris Capirossi and French Motocross and Extreme Sports perfectionist Manu Troux ended in a spectacular cross over that even had their respective battle weary technicians on their feet, chee
Yamaha set-up report – Brno.
14 August 2002:
After a perfect start to the 2001 Brno MotoGP, held on August 26, polesitter Max Biaggi lost the front of his Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR500, on lap 12, handing the race lead and win to Valentino Rossi. Yamaha will be hoping that an improved set-up will avoid a repeat this year...
Hofmann hopes to erase Edmund who?
16 July 2002:
When Alex Hofmann lines up on the grid at the Sachsenring riding the NSR West Honda Pons machine this Sunday, ask any German if a rider from their country has ever won a 500cc grand prix race. The answer almost certainly will be that no German rider has won a premier class race - but they would be wrong. In an era when the likes of Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Barry Sheene were making all the headlines a certain Edmund Czihak won the 1974 West German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
MotoGP - Half term report.
10 July 2002:
With the MotoGP season approaching the halfway stage at round eight of the 16-round championship at Donington Park this Sunday, it's time for the half term 'school report' for the class of 2002.
Moody's Blue: Checa on Criville.
24 April 2002:
Carlos Checa is now arguably the number one Spaniard in the Moto GP class after 1999 500cc world champion Alex Criville moved to the d'Antin Yamaha team, then failed to appear at all in 2002.
All smiles at Honda after Suzuka.
13 April 2002:
Even the most conservative of Japanese allowed themselves a little smile after the race at Suzuka - and none more so than Honda Racing Corporation President Suguru Kanazawa.
Japanese day of reckoning for MotoGP.
26 March 2002:
The day of reckoning arrives at Suzuka on Sunday with the four-strokes late-crashing the two-stroke MotoGP party that has been going on unchallenged for almost three decades.
125cc World Championship 2001 season review.
2 January 2002:
In a year that saw the championship lead change almost as many times as there were races, it is clear to see why the 125cc class is heralded the most open in the MotoGP series. After sixteen races of close fought battles, San Marino's Manuel Poggiali claimed the title. It was the eighteen-year-olds first ever World Championship and the first to be won by his team, Gilera.
500cc World Championship 2001 season review.
28 December 2001:
The 2001 season saw the continuation of Italian dominance in the 500cc World Championship. Valentino Rossi stormed his way to the title, showing little compassion for his competitors and allowing no-one to doubt his supremacy. He became only the third rider in history to score more than ten wins in a grand prix season.
Who is John Hopkins?
22 November 2001:
John Hopkins was destined to have a motorcycle-racing career when, barely out of nappies and before his third birthday, he found himself, off-road riding with his father.
Work ethic pays off for Pons.
1 November 2001:
The last time Sito Pons felt this happy about his work was back in 1989 when he won the second of his World 250cc Championships. Twelve years later, the same glow of success radiates from the face of the general manager of the West Honda Pons team, and it is no wonder, because the GP500 team have proved themselves the undisputed best in the business and that's almost as good as actually riding that 250cc Honda to a second successive championship in 1989.
Capirossi returns to scene of greatest triumph.
13 October 2001:
It was pretty obvious to the other diners that some plot was being hatched at the table in the corner. It was difficult to hear what was being discussed above the din of a typical Aussie Saturday night out, but it certainly appeared to be pretty important. One thing for certain it was an all-Italian affair with much interest focussed on a long haired Italian teenager, Loris Capirossi…
Circuit profile: Motegi, Japan
2 October 2001:
All the facts and stats about the Motegi circuit in Japan, which is to hold the next MotoGP.
World stages: same goals, different preparation.
26 September 2001:
Their respective world stages may be different, and their manner of victory achieved in very contrasting styles, but, as Alex Barros discovered, MotoGP and football have so much in common. Scoring vital goals and winning grands prix may require very different skills, but mental strength , determination and preparation are vital ingredients if you are going to be successful in either discipline.
Supply & demand: Spain's love affair with MotoGP.
19 September 2001:
For the third time in the space of five short months the MotoGP teams cross the Spanish border on Sunday to compete in the last European race of the season, just outside the delightful city of Valencia. So what is it with Spain and MotoGP? Such is this love affair that the sport is second in popularity only to football with the motorcycle mad Spanish public - even Formula One cannot compare with the two wheel stars in this part of the world.
Yamaha setup report – Valencia.
19 September 2001:
After dominating the 2000 Portuguese Grand Prix Red Bull Yamaha's Garry McCoy (pictured) followed through with the first back-to-back MotoGP win in 22 races last year, when he took victory in the final round of the European leg of the championship by five seconds over Kenny Roberts.
The dawn of a new era.
5 September 2001:
Yamaha setup report – Estoril.
31 August 2001:
Sun tan oil or Suzuka?
23 August 2001:
Yamaha setup report – Brno.
1 August 2001:
Yamaha setup report – Sachsenring.
18 July 2001:
FIM announce provisional calendar for 2002.
18 July 2001:
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