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MotoGP Features. Page 8
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?
Yamaha set-up report – Estoril.
31 August 2004:
Estoril, venue for this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, is a technically challenging venue, due to a combination of its design and geography.
China joins USA on provisional 2005 calendar.
20 August 2004:
The provisional 2005 MotoGP world championship calendar has been released by the FIM – and shows several significant changes are planned for next season.
Press Snoop: MotoGP coming to Laguna.
20 August 2004:
the latest news from around the world, courtesy of press snoop Lynne Huntting.
After weeks of rumours, Sports Car Racing Association of Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and Dorna Sports announced that they have "reached an agreement in principal to bring FIM MotoGP World Championships to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for five years, starting next season".
Yamaha set-up report - Brno.
17 August 2004:
Visually Brno appears challenging with many long radius medium-speed turns and medium-length straights which lends the Brno Automotodrom to being one of the easier circuits technically speaking – on the 16 round MotoGP calendar.
Rossi: Sete better rider, Biaggi quicker bike.
22 July 2004:
World championship leader Valentino Rossi believes Sete Gibernau is his toughest rival for the 2004 world championship – but that Max Biaggi has a quicker bike.
Shane Byrne 'ain't doin' a bad job'.
22 July 2004:
Aprilia's Shane Byrne starts the second half of a 'character building' rookie MotoGP season with his home event, the British Grand Prix, this weekend at Donington Park.
Kawaski team a popular stop in the paddock.
21 July 2004:
The Fuchs Kawasaki pit box was a popular place to visit during last weekend's Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, with the team playing host to riders from the German Red Bull Rookies Cup and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Interior and Sports, Ute Vogt.
Team Roberts radio...
15 July 2004:
With all MotoGP teams using radios in the pits due to the deafening sound of the MotoGP bikes, no-one has cottoned onto the idea of using the now legal-for-three-seasons rider to pits radio possibility... except Team Roberts: and some interesting figures have come out of it.
Unlocking the door.
14 July 2004:
With no disrespect to Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau, Makoto Tamada's Rio victory came at a perfect time - not only for the smiling Japanese, his Camel Honda team and Bridgestone tyres - but also for MotoGP in general.
Yamaha set-up report – Sachsenring.
12 July 2004:
The tight and twisty nature of Sachsenring lends itself to close racing. This is partially influenced by its rather short overall length – only just scraping in on the minimum allowed distance to host a MotoGP race – while the looping layout itself has the reputation of making passing moves on fellow competitors difficult even at the best of times.
Yamaha set-up report – Rio.
29 June 2004:
Although it was resurfaced only four years ago, the Rio de Janeiro circuit doesn't have a reputation for offering the traction one would hope for while racing a 240-plus horsepower machine...
Win Bikes Aloud Uncut DVDs!
24 June 2004:
The Men and Motors TV magazine, Bikes Aloud is now available on DVD and
has ten copies to give away.
Moving the limit.
23 June 2004:
In the English University City of Oxford they have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr Roger Bannister running one mile in under four minutes.
Yamaha set-up report – Assen.
22 June 2004:
Part of the perennial success and popularity of the Assen event is its ability to modernise its facilities and layout without losing one iota of its unique character and appeal, to riders and fans alike.
Yamaha set-up report – Catalunya.
9 June 2004:
With an average lap speed of almost 160kmph, Catalunya is another of the faster tracks on the MotoGP calendar, with a 1.047km long main straight and a fulsome 4.727km overall length.
Yamaha set-up report – Mugello.
28 May 2004:
Located in the beautiful Tuscan hills, Mugello boasts a sequence of undulating medium to high-speed corners combined with a straight where even the former 500cc two-strokes were capable of achieving 315kmh… but last year Ducati's Loris Capirossi hit 332.4kph – a mark expected to be 'easily' beaten this year.
25 May 2004:
Ducati has announced that they will produce a limited edition road legal version of their Desmosedici MotoGP prototype, ready for 2006.
BMW leads the way?
21 May 2004:
Earlier this week BMW unveiled its first Superbike, the 1157cc inline four-cylinder K1200 S (pictured) which, at 160bhp, is the most powerful motorcycle the company has ever produced.
Biaggi gets Repsol backing.
17 May 2004:
In an added twist to the thorny issue of who gets factory Honda machinery, the satellite Camel Honda team has today announced that Max Biaggi will receive Repsol backing for the rest of the season.
Tamada - the smiling samurai.
13 May 2004:
Makoto Tamada may carry the hopes of the Honda and the Japanese sporting nation on his shoulders, but it seems such pressure does little to change his positive attitude to grand prix racing and life in general.
Yamaha set-up report – Le Mans.
12 May 2004:
The 4.180 km Le Mans circuit has hosted the French GP for the past four years and has always provided a challenge to those wishing to take the ultimate prize.
Rainey, Lawson battle at Laguna!
4 May 2004:
Former 500cc world champions Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson returned to the racetrack together last weekend, when they dominated the 'World Superkart' event at Laguna Seca.
Yamaha set-up report – Jerez.
28 April 2004:
For some time Jerez, Spain has signified the beginning of the European leg of the MotoGP world championship and for 2004 the state of play remains the same, despite Jerez being the second round this time round rather than the third.
Rossi proves rider greater than machine.
19 April 2004:
Valentino Rossi's superb victory at Welkom may mark the start of a new era in MotoGP, where the recent emphasis upon exotic technology is replaced by a realisation that, however great the machine, it's the rider that's most important.
Byrne: You're gonna have it this time…
15 April 2004:
This Sunday will see reigning British Superbike champion Shane Byrne make his MotoGP race debut aboard the Aprilia RS Cube – a machine which 'Shakey' admits scared him at first, despite a dedicated PlayStation programme to learn new tracks!
Hodgson: I'm over the scary period.
15 April 2004:
This weekend in South Africa, Neil Hodgson will make his return to the premier GP class, on a d'Antin run Ducati, nine years after he rode as a privateer in the then 500cc world championship.
McWilliams: That was me being stupid...
15 April 2004:
2004 will see Jeremy McWilliams return to Aprilia, after two-years at Proton Team KR, to ride the Noale based company's fearsome RS Cube – a machine that has already left the Ulsterman with two broken ribs.
Shinya backs 250, surprised by Superbike.
14 April 2004:
At a time when the importance of the 250cc world championship is being questioned, particularly as a proving ground for MotoGP, new Kawasaki signing Shinya Nakano has voiced his support for the series – but admits he was surprised by the performance of former Superbike riders.
Repsol riders play down factory advantage.
12 April 2004:
Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden have cast doubt on the assumption that, as factory Honda riders, they will have a significant machinery advantage this season – Hayden believing such comments from fellow RCV competitors could simply be 'an excuse'.
Hayden: Rossi's got my respect.
12 April 2004:
Valentino Rossi won the respect of almost the entire two-wheeled world for having the courage to walk out on the most desired seat in motorcycle racing, and Nicky Hayden, the man he left behind at Repsol Honda, has stated his own support for the Italian's 'brave' move.
Yamaha set-up report – Welkom.
12 April 2004:
The Phakisa circuit, a stand-alone facility near Welkom in the South African gold fields, is a flat and frequently dusty track, ringed by a speed bowl designed for CART-style car racing.
Barros 'not riding for second'.
8 April 2004:
2004 will see Alex Barros start his fifteenth season in motorcycling's premier-class, the most experienced man in MotoGP having joined the factory Repsol Honda team for what will surely be his best - and perhaps last - chance of a world title.
Hayden: Mladin could make it in MotoGP.
1 April 2004:
Nicky Hayden has named former rival Mat Mladin as the AMA rider most capable of 'making headlines' in MotoGP, while stating that the future could see more than one Hayden in the world championship.
Rossi: F1 just for fun.
31 March 2004:
MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has put an end to speculation that he's planning a future in Formula One, by stating that any F1 test would be purely for fun.
Nakano: Kawasaki similar to M1, better in places.
31 March 2004:
Long time Yamaha rider Shinya Nakano has revealed that his new Kawasaki isn't as far away from the former race-winning YZR-M1 as some expected, and is actually better in some areas.
Kawasaki launch 'potent' 2004 racer.
25 March 2004:
The third pre-season launch on Thursday at Barcelona, and attended by
, was by the Kawasaki Racing Team, who unveiled their new 'potent' ZX-RR racer with which Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann will carry team green honours this season.
Barcelona treated as Yamaha unveils new line-up.
25 March 2004:
Yamaha launched its 2004 MotoGP effort with an action-packed ceremony in the centre of Barcelona this afternoon [Thursday] as Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Carlos Checa were joined by Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 team-mates Marco Melandri and Norick Abe to unveil their race machines in full livery.
Repsol reflects on past glory, new future begins.
25 March 2004:
On Thursday, MotoGP team champion's Repsol Honda officially presented its 2004 line-up of Alex Barros, Nicky Hayden and the latest livery for their RC211Vs to the international media in Barcelona.
Rossi suffers F1 setback.
15 March 2004:
The Toyota Formula One team has told
that they have 'no plans' to give MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi an F1 test.
Trouble ahead for 'Gauloises Fortuna' teams?
18 January 2004:
The decision to include the names of both the Gauloises and Fortuna tobacco brands as title sponsors of the four Yamaha MotoGP machines could leave the outfits facing criticism for excessive tobacco advertising.
Friendly fire continues...
16 January 2004:
2004 is likely to see one of the most intense Honda/Yamaha battles for many seasons, but it seems that despite numerous staff and rider transfers between them, neither wants to fire the first shot.
Deadline approaching for Barros decision?
8 January 2004:
With intensive pre-season testing of the 2004 entries by Yamaha and Honda due to begin in Sepang at the end of this month, time is fast running out for Alex Barros to confirm his future.
How far is Honda ahead?
31 December 2003:
There is no doubt that Honda was the manufacturer to beat in 2003, winning all but one of the sixteen rounds while its riders took the top three positions in the championship, but exactly how far ahead was the awesome RC211V?
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