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MotoGP Features. Page 8
Slicks in wet scary, but flag-to-flag passes test.
18 April 2005:
The first test of the new MotoGP 'flag-to-flag' racing rule, which means dry races will no longer be stopped due to rain and riders instead have the chance to change bikes, passed without major problem at Estoril on Sunday – although nobody enjoyed riding on slick tyres in the rain.
Yamaha set-up report: Estoril.
14 April 2005:
Estoril is a technically challenging venue, due to a combination of its design and geography. The 4182m circuit is situated 32km west of Lisbon on the western coast of Portugal, 7km from the beach resorts of Cascais.
Who peaked when?
7 April 2005:
A quick look at when each rider set their fastest race laps were distributed during the 2004 MotoGP season contains some interesting figures.
Yamaha set-up report: Jerez.
7 April 2005:
For some time Jerez has signified the beginning of the European leg of the MotoGP World Championship, but for 2005 it is the first leg of the 17 round season.
Pons chasing Puig anniversary repeat.
7 April 2005:
Ten-years is a long period of time in any walk of life, but was it really a decade ago that Alberto Puig brought Sito Pons one of his greatest triumphs since swapping the saddle to the safer side of the pit wall?
Ellison: I got a job on a building site...
7 April 2005:
MotoGP riders may live a lifestyle envied by many, but for Blata WCM's James Ellison at least, the off-season meant the chance for a second job - working on a building site.
'Saint' Byrne seeks KTM aggression, thanks Aprilia
6 April 2005:
Former British Superbike champion Shane Byrne will get his second bite at the MotoGP cherry this season, after signing an eleventh hour contract to ride a Team Roberts run Proton KR-KTM in the 2005 world championship.
Hopkins 'expects' home wins, Hayden first target.
5 April 2005:
There comes a time in every rider's career where they must cross the line from potential star to proven performer - and Team Suzuki's John Hopkins needs, and expects, 2005 to be the year in which he takes that step.
3 April 2005:
Blata WCM rider James Ellison has revealed there is a slight chance that the team's new V6 machine, which wasn't completed in time for pre-season testing, could make an appearance at this weekend's season-opening Spanish Grand Prix.
Brits unsure of flag-to-flag, loophole available?
2 April 2005:
Despite the recent 'bike swap' compromise, the new for 2005 'flag-to-flag' racing rule - which spells an end to dry MotoGP races being stopped for rain - continues to cause some concern, and appears to contain a potential loophole.
Troy talks team change, testing and new rules.
28 February 2005:
This season will see former World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss break his long time Ducati links with a move to the satellite Camel Honda team for the 2005 MotoGP World Championship.
Wheel changes expected in MotoGP rain stops.
22 February 2005:
One of the most significant rule changes ahead of the 2005 MotoGP season has been the new 'no stopping for rain' directive, which means that dry premier-class races will no longer be stopped should rain fall.
7 February 2005:
At a time when new MotoGP bikes - with ever increasing technical complexity - are being seen in public for the first time, it's worth remembering that the most important formula in motorsport engineering is actually quite simple.
Press Snoop: Bike champions test Super Karts.
14 January 2005:
The latest news from around the world courtesy of Press Snoop Lynne Huntting...
Hopper '100% fit and raring to go'.
10 January 2005:
Suzuki's John Hopkins looks set to start pre-season testing '100% fit' after a speedy recovery from surgery to remove a rod from his femur and pins from each of his ankles.
Zanardi: I enjoy MotoGP more than F1.
21 December 2004:
Former Formula One, CART and IndyCar star Alex Zanardi has revealed he enjoys watching MotoGP more than F1 these days.
Blata V6 'making great progress'.
17 December 2004:
It was on July 19 of this year that WCM announced they would join forces with Czech company Blata, to develop a brand new V6 machine for the 2005 MotoGP world championship.
Surtees: Rossi could match my F1 achievements.
9 December 2004:
John Surtees, the only man to win world titles in both Formula One and the 500cc World Championship, believes that Valentino Rossi could be the man to emulate his success - and rule both the two and four-wheeled worlds.
Kanemoto leaves Suzuki, V4 will stay.
3 December 2004:
Suzuki has told
that legendary race engineer and team manager Erv Kanemoto will not be working for the factory MotoGP team next season.
Vermeulen test delayed again.
1 December 2004:
World Superbike star Chris Vermeulen has missed his second chance to test a Honda MotoGP machine, due to a recovering wrist injury, but HRC are still planning to give the young Australian his RCV debut in the near future.
Montiron: We'll probably take an existing entry.
30 November 2004:
Luca Montiron, formerly of Pramac and now managing director of the Konica Minolta Honda team, has revealed that he expects his new team to occupy an existing grid place next season – but will be able to find a new entry if needed.
Where will Abe go?
25 November 2004:
Following Wednesday's announcement that Ruben Xaus and Toni Elias will ride for the Tech 3 Yamaha team next season, the future of Norick Abe – one of the team's 2004 riders – remains uncertain.
Nakano: Next goal is title top six.
19 November 2004:
Kawasaki were arguably the revelation of the 2004 MotoGP season, advancing from the rear of the field the previous season to become regularly features in the top ten – and leading the team green attack was star rider Shinya Nakano, recruited from d'Antin Yamaha at the end of 2003.
Tamada, Michelin and the seventh Honda...
17 November 2004:
believes it is increasingly likely that Makoto Tamada will, as rumoured, leave the Pramac/Camel Honda team to ride a seventh Honda RC211V next season – on Michelin tyres.
Another Bridgestone team in 2005?
12 November 2004:
Bridgestone, who won their first two MotoGP races with Camel Honda's Makoto Tamada this season, look set to expand their premier-class line-up further for 2005.
Michael Jordan makes MotoGP debut!
30 October 2004:
Basketball legend Michael Jordan made his MotoGP debut at the Valencia Grand Prix today - riding the Ducati Desmosedici two-seater!
Yamaha set-up report: Valencia.
26 October 2004:
Valencia is a circuit that offers good camber combined with an abrasive surface, but on a slightly undulating layout. It sports many stop-and-go 90-degree corners, bumps and a tight design which has claimed its fair share of victims via front-end loses.
Rossi: 'Big bang' then 'big three' were decisive.
22 October 2004:
Newly crowned 2004 world champion Valentino Rossi has highlighted Yamaha's introduction of a 'big bang' engine, plus his three-race win streak from Mugello to Assen, as the most significant moments in his title winning season – and credited Sete Gibernau as perhaps his greatest on track rival.
Mladin rules out MotoGP, WSBK.
22 October 2004:
Newly crowned five-times AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin has stated that he's unlikely to return to premier-class GP racing - and has no interest in World Superbikes.
2005 MotoGP calendar confirmed.
21 October 2004:
The FIM has confirmed that the 17 round 2005 MotoGP World Championship season will feature two news events – in China and America – but will not return to South Africa.
14 October 2004:
As the usual end of season rumours spread through the paddock like a forest fire in recent weeks, the wheelers and dealers in the business of putting bums on saddles all sought the answer to a very important question - where will the next MotoGP talent emerge from?
Could a one tyre rule work in MotoGP?
13 October 2004:
With the first year of a one make tyre rule completed in World Superbikes with considerable success, the question is now being asked if such a rule could benefit other championships.
Yamaha set-up report - Phillip Island.
12 October 2004:
With considerably more than 200bhp at their command from their Yamaha YZR-M1s, Valentino Rossi, Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri and Norick Abe will have the tools to compete with their peers at the fast Phillip Island circuit.
Dovizioso: The making of a champion.
11 October 2004:
Italian Andrea Dovizioso raced to his first 125cc World Championship title at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on Sunday, with two rounds of the championship left to be run.
Rumours from Sepang...
9 October 2004:
Here are some of the latest credible rumours passed on to
by sources within the Sepang paddock:
Biaggi vs. jet lag.
7 October 2004:
It just falls short of
Around the World in Eighty Days
but it's very close: In just 47 days the MotoGP riders will travel approximately 55,000 kilometres, visit five countries in three separate continents and unlike those characters in the book, they are not doing it for a bet.
Press Snoop: Yamaha funds Laguna MotoGP update.
7 October 2004:
the latest news from around the world, courtesy of press snoop Lynne Huntting
Most people reckoned that Red Bull would be underwriting the estimated $2million cost for safety upgrades to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in order for FIM approval of the 2005 Moto GP. But not so. Red Bull will be the title sponsor for the 2005 US Grand Prix, but the cost for improvements will be borne by Yamaha, which is pleased to do so and celebrate its 50th anniversary with 100,000 fans.
FIM calls for sportsmanship, respect.
6 October 2004:
The following is 'an open letter from FIM president Francesco Zerbi to all riders of all disciplines and to the FIM officials in charge of enforcing the rules'.
Yamaha set-up report – Sepang
6 October 2004:
Due to the Sepang circuit's hairpins and numerous hard braking areas a fast lap comes down to braking stability and the bike's turn-in characteristics. Two such areas include the combination of long straights and hairpins that make up the final sequence of the 5542m layout.
Updated: McCoy gets Aprilia ride!
1 October 2004:
Aprilia has now confirmed that Garry McCoy will make a surprise MotoGP return, by replacing the injured Shane Byrne in the three remaining rounds that follow this weekend's inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.
Rossi rejects F1 rumours.
29 September 2004:
Valentino Rossi has rejected rumours that he is set to switch to Formula One next season - by confirming that he'll stay in MotoGP, with Yamaha, until at least the end of 2005.
Yamaha set-up report – Losail.
28 September 2004:
The Losail circuit will boast the most cutting-edge facilities ever enjoyed by MotoGP but the track itself is the only part that will make any impact on the result of the race and the overall championship battle.
McWilliams: WSBK becoming reality.
24 September 2004:
Aprilia MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams was an interested observer at the Imola World Superbike round today (Friday), where he admitted that a switch to WSBK was 'getting more like reality' and that while he could stay in MotoGP next season he 'quite fancies a change' in the near future.
F1 talks Rossi...
24 September 2004:
"If (Rossi) could do in a car what he does on a bike, he would beat all of us" - Rubens Barrichello.
'No stopping for rain' debate continues...
16 September 2004:
The recent announcement that, from next year, there will be no stopping for rain in premier-class racing has resulted in considerable debate throughout the MotoGP world - not least among the participants of the
MotoGP forum - with a great deal of uncertainty raised by the following brief statement released by the FIM:
Motegi 2001: The birth of a Honda dream.
15 September 2004:
It gets dark pretty early at this time of year in Japan, and dusk was already settling in the wooded hillsides surrounding the Motegi circuit in 2001 when the peace and tranquillity was suddenly shattered by a roar that sent the MotoGP fraternity running to the pit wall to witness history in the making.
Yamaha set-up report – Motegi.
14 September 2004:
Like many things designed and built in Japan, Motegi is exceptional in its design and circuit quality - the surface is seamlessly smooth, offering high levels of grip, and the facilities are exceptional.
No stopping for rain from 2005.
13 September 2004:
Two rule amendments have been agreed by the Grand Prix Commission ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix; the first involves yellow flag infringements and will be effective immediately, while a more significant change sees the end of race stoppages due to rain in the MotoGP class and will be effective from the start of next season.
How Michelin will stay neutral...
10 September 2004:
Outside of the pit lane, the importance of tyres is often overlooked, but while they may look relatively modest - being less eye-catching than aerodynamic bodywork and much quieter than a high revving engine - the rest of a racing motorcycle is largely useless without them.
When to stop.
1 September 2004:
Hindsight is a wonderful word. The Concise Oxford Dictionary sums it up perfectly - 'Wisdom after the event'. How many times in your life would a little wisdom after the event pushed you down a different path?
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