Yamaha MotoGP Seal Double Podium at San Marino Grand Prix


Thousands of passionate Italian fans at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli were on the edge of their seats as they cheered on their Movistar Yamaha MotoGP hero. Valentino Rossi delivered a strong performance and led for most of the race to ultimately take second place in the 'Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini'. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also held a fast pace throughout the 28 laps, to take third place.

Starting from second on the grid, Rossi entered the first corner side-by-side with Maverick Viñales, but was quick to leave the Spaniard behind when he flicked his bike left into turn 2 as he wanted to prevent his teammate from clearing off at the front. After the first lap there was just 0.202s between them and only a lap later the Doctor leaped past Lorenzo in turn 14, reversing the order. He followed it up with two fastest laps of the race that far, 1'33.672s on lap three, and a 1'33.384s on lap five, increasing his lead to over 0.8s.

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Asia-Supermoto Thunder Down Under


The first round of the 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Championship drew to a close on the back of some of the best racing with each competitor vying for the spot as Asia’s best all-round rider.

Local boy, Luke George (#101), who grabbed pole during qualifying and went on to win on Saturday, continued on his winning streak by securing victory today. Malaysian Mohd. Habibullah – better known as Gabit (#27) – secured an emphatic runner’s up position after fighting tooth and nail against another Australian, Andrew McLiesh (#217).

The day began with many new promises with bright sunshine and softer breeze, compared to Saturday’s balmy skies and high winds off the sea. The sunny weather drew in spectators by the droves. Families – no doubt celebrating Fathers’ Day – lined the scenic Newcastle Foreshore trackside. The sweet aroma of BBQ hung in the air, replacing the exhaust fumes. The hillside adjacent to the dirt section was packed. A moderate estimate put the attendance between 25,000 to 28,000.

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MotoGP - Suzuki Wins British Grand-Prix


Maverick Viñales dominated today’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone in the UK with a spectacular start-to-finish victory aboard his Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR, winning by more than three seconds!

It was the 21-year-old Spaniard’s first ever victory in the premier class and Suzuki’s first in the modern-day MotoGP™ format since Chris Vermuelen at a ‘wet’ Le Mans race in France in 2007.

Viñales led on the opening lap of the red-flagged first part following a crash at Turn 2, but then repeated it in the restarted and shortened 19-lap race in dry conditions at the Northamptonshire venue. Team-mate Aleix Espargaró put in a strong performance aboard his GSX-RR to finish in seventh position.

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Valentino Rossi Going For Second Place


Valentino Rossi has conceded that his bid to win an eighth premier class world championship in 2016 is now all but over. The salvage job required to close the current 53-point deficit over the remaining seven races appears too much, and Valentino Rossi admits that his unforgiving rival Marc Marquez is now on target for the MotoGP title.

Even after finishing a strong second and edging Marc Marquez to third at the Czech Grand-Prix, Valentino Rossi admits that his primary job now is the fight for second place against his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo. ‘No, seven races is not enough because I have made too many mistakes and also been a little unlucky so far,’ said Valentino Rossi of the points gap. ‘And this year Marc Marquez is fast in all conditions and always makes the right choice, so it is very difficult to recover 53 points.

‘There are seven races in which I can be strong but for sure it is very difficult.

The fight with Jorge Lorenzo for second place is very open and it was very important to gain points on him in Brno. Jorge Lorenzo is very fast; he always tries to win. So I think the fight is with him, even if it is for second place.

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MotoGP - Michelin vs Bridgestone


The story of the 2016 MotoGP season revolves round one major factor: how riders and teams have adapted from Bridgestone’s front slick to Michelin’s front slick. Against all predictions, the man who has adapted best is Marc Marquez. And against all predictions, the man who has adapted worst is Jorge Lorenzo. Marc Marquez is crashing no more than he didn’t last year, while Jorge Lorenzo’s crash rate has increased five-fold.

Bridgestone’s front slick was an astonishing front tire. Riders talked of its servo effect: the harder they braked into corners, the more tire gripped because the extra load expanded its contact patch, delivering more grip. No one who used that tire has ridden anything like it

Michelin’s front is more like a normal front slick: if a rider overloads the tire into a corner, it will lose grip and he will likely crash. During first tests at the end of 2015 and at the start of 2016 there were far too many riders crashing going into corners. The complained of too little front grip and also of too much rear grip, which would multiply their front-end woes by causing the front to push mid-corner and then wash away. But now Michelin’s front is much improved, so much so that some riders say they can use the same corner-entry technique they used with the Birdgestone.

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30-Years ago the Last Push-Start Grand-Prix


30-years ago on 24 August 1986 the Misano, San Marino Grand Prix made history worth to remember. It was the last premier-class Grand-Prix to feature a push start.

That was remarkable when you consider that some sidecar Grand-Prixs in the mid-1950s had clutch starts and an over-due safety improvement. Wayne Gardner had been hit on the grid at Monza in May 1986 when his Honda NSR500 was slow to fire and a rider flying through from the last row of the grid clipped his left leg. He sustained a knee injury that left him unable to run for a month, but fortunately nothing more serious.

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The 2016 Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP Bike


Suzuki for their return to the top fight of MotoGP motorcycle racing in 2015 after leaving at the end of 2011, Suzuki stayed true to their heritage with a 16-valve DOHC 1000cc inline four engine. It was variable valve timing and now boats a reported 240 horsepower.

But where most manufacturers in MotoGP racing have been chasing power, Suzuki have concentrated on getting a well-balanced, fine-handling motorcycle with an innovative chassis that provides flex while leant over but is stiff for braking.

After modest run of results in 2015 for Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, Vinales has had an impressive 2016, getting on the podium in France.

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Valentino Rossi 20-Years Grand Prix Anniversary


Valentino Rossi 20-years on the Grand-Prix grid. On 18 August 1996, a skinny Italian teenager, a fast but crash-prone rookie at the time, recorded his first Grand Prix victory. Valentino Rossi won the Czech 125 GP on an Aprilia by 0.245 seconds, toughing it out against vastly experienced Spaniard Jorge Martinez.

For he record, Alex Criville downed Honda team mate Mick Doohan by two thousands of a second that day and swashbuckling Max Biaggi won the 250cc race by five seconds.

Barry Sheene had been singing Valentino Rossi’s praises all season. He’d raced against Valentino Rossi’s father Graziano Rossi in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Rossi Junior would soon show some of the Barry Sheene flair drawing a general audience to racing, as well as the dash of his hero Kevin Schwantz.

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MotoGP - Ducati Takes 1 and 2 at Austrian Grand Prix


The Ducati Team put in an outstanding performance at the Austrian Grand Prix, round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship, held at Zeltweg’s Red Bull Ring.
 
Andrea Iannone took the chequered flag to notch up his first-ever MotoGP victory, ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who finished runner-up nine-tenths of a second behind, in his 250th grand prix race.

The two Ducati riders dominated the 28-lap race, holding off attacks from Rossi and Lorenzo in the early stages: Iannone moved into the lead on lap 2 and was then passed by Dovizioso on the tenth lap. Dovi kept the lead until lap 20, but next time around was passed by Iannone who held onto first place until the flag.

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Tobacco Sponsoring and MotoGP Racing


There aren’t many good things for which you can thank tobacco, but close racing in MotoGP is one of them. From the dawn of Grand Prix racing in 1949 until the late 1980s, the racing was dominated by a handful of factory riders on cutting-edge motorcycles, while improverised privateers followed along at a respectful distance, struggling on inferior machinery.

Cigarette sponsorship first arrived in the 1970s, when a discreet Marlboro logo adorned the leathers of racer and sometime matinee idol Giacomo Agostini. Within a decade or so, Grand Prix grids resembled a tobacconist’s: Marlboro, Gauloises, Lucky Strike, Rothmans, Fortuna, HB, Ducados, Cabin and the rest.

Most significantly for the racing, this flood of money allowed more teams than ever before to afford factory machines. Instead of Honda and Yamaha building factory race motorcycles for two, perhaps three riders, they now built many more machines, which they leased out to eager teams grown fat on tobacco advertising money.

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