Monday, December 31, 2012
For years Phillip Island has been a track I'd planned to go to, but for one reason or another, it was a trip I'd not been able to make happen. I was ticking off other top locations such as Catalunya, Mugello, Assen, places that were Bucket List items for me both as a race fan and a photographer. But PI wouldn't cooperate.
As soon as Casey issued his surprise announcement that he was retiring, I knew I had to make it to Phillip Island. This time there could be no excuse: I had to see Casey ride at his home track, and this was my last chance. Fortunately for me, there was still some money in the bank from the Elbow Down edition to pay for airfare and expenses. And my wife, whose patience and kindness seem to know no bounds, agreed to manage the childcare without my help yet again this season. I booked the trip and held my breath.
In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton's 2013 car passes its FIA crash test ? Zanardi rules out DTM switch
Sunday, December 30, 2012
In the round-up: Di Resta "disappointed" to miss out on promotion ? Barrichello won't return to IndyCar in 2013
Jorge Lorenzo insists there will be no repeat of the acrimony that divided Yamaha the last time he and Valentino Rossi were team-mates.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
In the round-up: Lotus expect more from their drivers ? Merry Christmas from F1 Fanatic!
MotoMatters.com has won the MotoGP Blogger of the Year awared in Silverstone's annual media awards for the second consecutive year. After more than 3,500 votes had been counted, we were voted best MotoGP blogger for the second year running.
Firstly, we'd like to thank everyone who voted for us. It is a truly humbling experience to have so many people make the effort to show their appreciation with their votes. And thanks to the people who help to make the site what it is: Scott Jones, one of the very, very best photographers in the MotoGP paddock, Jared Earle, who has taken on coverage of World Superbikes and made it far better than I could ever have hoped to on my own, Venancio Luis Nieto for adding so much insight into the Moto2 class, and the other contributors who help to make the site what it is, Andrew Gosling, Ben Davies, Jules Cisek, and Russ, Joe, Dave, Len and many others for help behind the scenes. The encouragement we receive is what keeps us going, through both hard times and good times.
Back by popular demand, and bigger and better. The MotoMatters.com 2013 Motorcycle Racing Calendar is on the presses and getting ready for delivery. The highlight of the calendar is, as always, the fantastic photos taken by Scott Jones, and to give them the room they deserve, we have increased the size of the calendar by 10%. The larger size means the calendar will make an even more dynamic impact on your wall. If the calendar was great in previous years, it's absolutely fantastic in 2013.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga finished in a shock second, while Casey Stoner hunted down Alvaro Bautista to snatch a podium place in his final MotoGP appearance before retirement.
Lorenzo had been one of the few riders to correctly choose slick tyres for the drying conditions, alongside Nakasuga and Stefan Bradl.
Pole sitter Pedrosa realised his wet tyre error on the warm-up lap and was joined by Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautistato in pulling into the pits to change bikes, meaning an end of pitlane start.
Slick tyres soon began to pay off with Lorenzo rising from eighth to first in the space of four laps, as more and more wet-tyre riders peeled into pitlane.
Once all were on dry bikes, Lorenzo was leading by three seconds from title runner-up Pedrosa, with Bradl third, Nakasuga fourth and Cal Crutchlow fifth. Bradl crashed out soon after.
Pedrosa caught Lorenzo after ten laps, but then ran wide and lost five-seconds.
However Lorenzo then got into a tank-slapper while trying to lap James Ellison, just before the halfway mark of the 30 laps - which turned into a massive highside on corner exit.
The Yamaha star was left fuming but lucky not to be hurt as he trudged through the gravel to only his second non-score of the year.
The incident left Pedrosa with a huge lead over Crutchlow - who also started from pit lane - but the Englishman then crashed with seven laps to go, ending his hopes of rising higher than seventh in the standings.
Nakasuga, who impressed with sixth in last year's damp Valencia race, thus secured a shock second place in only his sixth grand prix appearance!
Meanwhile Stoner - well outside the top ten early in the grand prix ? got ever faster and passed Gresini Honda's Bautista to claim the final podium place with two laps to go.
27-year-old double champion Stoner waved to his Repsol Honda team, who were hanging off the pit wall and holding a pit board saying "Going Fishing", as he took the flag for the final time in MotoGP.
Stoner was the highest ranked rider to swap bikes during the actual race.
Fifth for Gresini's Michele Pirro was the best ever result for a CRT rider, while Andrea Dovizioso (Tech 3), Karel Abraham (Cardion), Danilo Petrucci (Ioda) and Ellison (PBM) followed.
Valentino Rossi's last Ducati ride ended in tenth place and one lap down, while team-mate Hayden was an early faller.
Pedrosa concluded the season 18 points behind Lorenzo and with a best ever seven wins, one more than Lorenzo this year. Third in the standings Stoner took five wins, but missed three races due to ankle surgery.
Dovizioso was the top satellite rider with fourth overall in this year's championship, with Bautista's Valencia performance confirming a career-best fifth from Rossi and Crutchlow.
Riders and teams now have just one day off to celebrate before preparations for the 2013 season begin in earnest with a post-race test at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday - without Casey Stoner.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
The FIM today announced a raft of new rules for 2013, 2014 and 2015. The press release appears below, analysis will be published later today:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission
The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), Paul Duparc (FIM) and Mike Webb (Race Director), in a meeting held on 13 December 2012 in Madrid, made the following decisions. (Note: Some decisions were made at the previous meeting on 10 November at Valencia but not announced at that time).
Sporting and Disciplinary Regulations