Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Saturday Summary at Assen: How Legends Were Born & How History Was Made

06/29/2013 @ 5:55 pm, by David Emmett27 COMMENTS

Saturday Summary at Assen: How Legends Were Born & How History Was Made jorge lorenzo pit box yamaha racing 635x423

This was a day when legends were born. After race after race of watching clinical perfection, savored mainly by the Grand Prix connoisseur, the 83rd Dutch TT at Assen was a shot of raw, unfiltered passion, emotion, will, strength and determination. It was a day which will live in the memories of everyone there for many years to come, for more reasons than there is space to mention.

It is partially a tale of how a great circuit helps produce great racing, but it is mostly about the way that logic does not always triumph in sport. And that the will to win can drive elite athletes to go beyond themselves, and explore limits they didn’t know they had.

What will we remember most? Valentino Rossi’s return to victory, after two barren years at Ducati and the fear that he had lost his edge with age? The exhilarating battles that took place for the top five, with passes being made despite the risks?

With another chapter in the fierce rivalry that is building in Moto2, between Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding? With Luis Salom’s mature and calculated last lap lunge to take the win in Moto3? Or the story of Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone on Thursday, flew back and forth to Barcelona to have a plate fitted, and then raced despite the pain, 36 hours after his operation?

Rossi’s win was one for the record books. His 80th premier class win, making a total of 106 in Grand Prix. It moved him into second place behind Loris Capirossi in the list of all-time longest winning careers, with nearly 17 years between Rossi’s first GP win, at Brno in August 1996, and his latest, here in Assen, at the end of June 2013. But it also put an end to the question marks over whether he was still capable of winning, or whether he has lost his chance in his time at Ducati.

Asked if he had thought this day would come again, he answered “Sincerely, I don’t know.” His return to Yamaha had not been as easy as he had hoped. The bike had changed since he had left, made better he admitted at the Sepang tests, but requiring a change to both the set up and his style to make it work for him. It had taken him a long time, so long that he had started to doubt again.

But a modification at the Aragon test after Barcelona had given him the confidence in braking that he had been missing. Trailing the Hondas in the first few laps, the RC213V of Dani Pedrosa at least working better early in the race, Rossi had pushed past Marc Marquez and then Pedrosa to take the lead on lap six, at Assen’s famous GT chicane.

The crowd erupted. A wave went up every time he went by, but at the two thirds mark, they started to get nervous. Marc Marquez had made his way past Dani Pedrosa, and Cal Crutchlow was closing on the Hondas, and Rossi’s lead was slowly starting to shrink. But it held, and at the end, Rossi started pulling a gap again.

An emotional Rossi, his body language a mixture of elation and relief, crossed the line to take the win. This was what he needed, what the crowd needed, and what a legion of fans around the world needed. It was one of his most special victories, he said, at a very special track.

Rossi was effusive in his gratitude, thanking Yamaha many times for having him back and giving him another chance on the M1. Most of all, he was grateful to his team, and his friends, and the people who had stood by him for the past two difficult years. Can he do it again? Rossi was confident that the fix found would work at most circuits, but he also admitted that the level of riding had been raised.

The riders he was up against now are at a much higher level than he faced when he came into the class. Rossi told the press conference that he knew he had to take advantage of the fact that Lorenzo was not fully fit, and try to get ahead of the Hondas. Rossi is clearly still capable of winning, but against a fit Lorenzo, and Hondas which are not struggling with a lack of grip in the cold temperatures, the Italian veteran will find it much, much harder. At least he is back on the pace once again.

The race behind Rossi was thrilling too, with Marc Marquez holding off Cal Crutchlow on the last lap to finish ahead of the British rider on the podium. Holding on to second had partly been down to Marquez’ injured finger, his hand getting caught on the brake as he grew tired and the injury grew more painful.

That meant he stopped the bike in the middle of the corner, just where Crutchlow hadn’t expected it. Crutchlow clipped the back of the Marquez’ bike, nearly ran off track, and rejoined to come home in third.

Crutchlow was mildly annoyed after the race, happy to be on the podium but frustrated because he believed he could have won the race. He lost ground in the early laps, as he always does, then made a couple of mistakes when he was passed by Jorge Lorenzo – the word he used himself was ‘embarrassed’, a phrase he then used to make a pointed attack on Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista, two ‘riders on factory bikes’ who had also finished behind the injured Lorenzo – and by then it was too late for him to catch Rossi at the front, despite the fact he had the pace to match him.

It was a popular podium, and also an important one. It marked the return of the battlers, the three men who do not focus on perfection, but instead trust in their skills in a dogfight to come out on top. All three made impertinent passes on their opponents, and tried passes that weren’t really there, risking failure.

It put the show at the heart of racing once again, not the contrived show of a rigged contest, but the pure competition between men who do not fear failure, and are prepared to gamble.

While the front three thrilled the crowd, they were in awe at the achievement of Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard made a point with a display of almost brutal determination at Assen, racing just 36 hours after having a collarbone plated. Directly after the crash, he had not intended racing, but his team manager Wilco Zeelenberg had coaxed him down a path which led almost inevitably to his return to race.

It was Zeelenberg who had persuaded Lorenzo to get the collarbone plated as soon as possible, arguing that whether he raced on Saturday or not, he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting the surgery done sooner rather than later. It was Zeelenberg who had accompanied Lorenzo to Barcelona, after the operating theater at Assen had been occupied by someone else with a life-threatening condition.

It was Zeelenberg who discussed returning to Assen with Lorenzo after surgery, and then helped get him ready to take the medical test. It was Zeelenberg who had soothed Lorenzo’s fears when conditions during warm up were most treacherous, a drying track and gusting winds.

But it was Lorenzo who had taken the decision to race. And what a race: charging forward in the early laps, then hunting down Crutchlow and looking like he might take Marc Marquez, and even Dani Pedrosa. Though he faded in the latter stages, he had a huge gap back to sixth position, and saw with satisfaction that first Marc Marquez and then Cal Crutchlow got past Dani Pedrosa.

When rumors of Lorenzo’s return to Assen first surfaced, there was speculation that it was just a ruse to get an extra engine. After warm up, when it became clear he would be using an engine from his existing allocation, it seemed like a plan to try to salvage a few points from whatever he could get.

After the race, he had lost only two points to Dani Pedrosa, assisted by the fact that the Repsol Honda man had struggled in the low temperature, low grip conditions. His decision to race had been more than vindicated, and his courage, determination, and willingness to accept pain had been established beyond question.

Lorenzo’s status as semi-legend and man of steel is now unquestioned, but he has also achieved something else. He has made it very clear to any who doubt him just how far he will go in order to defend his world title. That display must have struck fear into the hearts of HRC, with Dani Pedrosa wondering just what he has to do to stop the Yamaha man.

Lorenzo’s performance at Assen must have made him seem like Schwarzenegger’s Terminator in the minds of the men at Honda: a machine that nothing can stop.

Assen is a special circuit, and this was a special race. A special win for Rossi, and a special performance for Lorenzo. There are weekends when you want to give it all up and go and do something more sensible. Then there are weekends like this, that remind you of the passion that motorcycle racing generates, in those that practice it, in those that watch it, and in everyone involved in it.

This is a wonderful sport, and the 2013 Assen MotoGP round was a reminder of just how good it can be.

Photo: Yamaha Racing

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Michael says:

    Awesome summary!

  2. Norm G. says:

    re: “That display must have struck fear into the hearts of HRC, with Dani Pedrosa wondering just what he has to do to stop the Yamaha man.”

    go after him with a stick, while he sleeps.

  3. Paul McM says:

    If you have any doubt as to the courageous effort Lorenzo put into this 5th-place finish, racing with a broken collarbone, watch the video (free if you provide an email) on motogp.com: http://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2013/Man+of+Steel+triumphs+against+pain+at+Assen

    Look at Jorge’s face after his helmet is removed (1’10″). I have never seen a rider look more completely drained. Jorge himself put his performance in perspective, saying: “This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career.” Lorenzo earned an inestimable amount of respect in my book. Give the man credit. How many athletes would compete with that kind of injury — much less in a sport where a single mistake could be fatal….

    Ben Spies take note — witness a rider who truly has the “heart of a champion”.

  4. schmuzz says:

    HA! good point. Spies. That is an entry in Ducati’s accounting books that is an utter waste.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “It was Zeelenberg who had persuaded Lorenzo to get the collarbone plated as soon as possible, arguing that whether he raced on Saturday or not, he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting the surgery done sooner rather than later.”

    re: “It was Zeelenberg who had accompanied Lorenzo to Barcelona, after the operating theater at Assen had been occupied by someone else with a life-threatening condition.”

    re: “It was Zeelenberg who discussed returning to Assen with Lorenzo after surgery, and then helped get him ready to take the medical test.”

    re: “It was Zeelenberg who had soothed Lorenzo’s fears when conditions during warm up were most treacherous, a drying track and gusting winds.”

    bully for Zeelenberg. but if we step out of the moment for a second, we should hopefully see it was the ADVANCED skills of a GA pilot/pilots (general aviation) that flew that aircraft and pulled a turnaround in Barcelona, and it was the ADVANCED skills of an orthopedic surgeon who successfully performed that operation… both on short notice.

    these aren’t mean feats. these aren’t the skills/education you find say… standing around in Tesco’s…? or order off Amazon…? some could argue either one of these efforts by itself SUPERSEDES anything else that took place, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    so with things now in perspective, somebody might wanna get the names of these “best supporting actors” so as to acknowledge the critical roles THEY played (for without which) we in BIKE WORLD wouldn’t have a “lorenzo drama” to talk about.

    just a thought.

  6. good dog says:

    How soon some forget or didn’t realize how invasive Spies surgey was http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2013/May/13052911.htm “Generally, when a surgeon looks at your injury and feels the best course of action is to harvest tissue from a dead guy–Spies now has ropes of cadaver ligament in his shoulder–its a clear sign of a major injury and repair. Additionally Spies’ surgeon installed several new anchor points in his arm to blend the old and new muscle together”. A fractured collar-bone is doesn’t even come close to the rehab spies will have to endure.

  7. TexusTim says:

    ok so he is a man who can deal with a large amount of pain and he is determined…holding up crutchlow pissed me off..shows the flaw in his character….by then crutchlow didnt have much left to pass marquez…and you can look at that last try and size it up two different ways…yea it could have been as marquez say’s with his braking hand and all, but that is also a defensive tactic..tap the brakes when a rider is close and he goes off line, it’s less than 50.50 if it takes you out too but it can save you a podium.it’s done more than once during a race weekend, dont think its beyond marquez to use every euro trick in the book…the kids a natural and knows all the tricks comming up thru the classes…right down to sandbagging….just sayin theres alot going on but no one touches on these facts but belive everything a riders says about a moment in a race ? to me crutchlow is still the man of the moment…he is managing all this on a satalite bike and at 27 he doesnt have many years to waste…just like ben spies they need to make it happen in the next few years if ever its going too cuz this new “electronic” generation is going to fill the grid in moto gp by then…Im pulling for crutchlow to win a race this year I hope assen wasnt his best chance to do that.

  8. JW says:

    Lorenzo has always bugged me from day one, I never respected him until now

    Not many riders in this class who would dare replicate his performance today

    I watched Hayden’s post race interview and have never seen him so disgruntled. I would like to see him on a good bike but the chances for 14 look slim, too bad, we need one USA rider in moto gp that can be in the top 5

  9. Westward says:

    Lorenzo’s circumstances are different than Spies. First off, Spies doesn’t necessarily have a Zeelenberg type to persuade him, also he is not in contention for the title, so what would be the point of that. To prove that he can finish in the top ten?

    As for Pedrosa, what a way to choke on an opportunity yet again. Even if Lorenzo were to be out for the season, Pedrosa would find a way to lose the title to Marquez, Rossi, or Crutchlow.

    And Rossi, the wall of ice has broken, let the good times flow like water…

  10. L2C says:

    ”Lorenzo’s status as semi-legend and man of steel is now unquestioned, but he has also achieved something else. He has made it very clear to any who doubt him just how far he will go in order to defend his world title. That display must have struck fear into the hearts of HRC, with Dani Pedrosa wondering just what he has to do to stop the Yamaha man.
    Lorenzo’s performance at Assen must have made him seem like Schwarzenegger’s Terminator in the minds of the men at Honda: a machine that nothing can stop.”

    LOL! Not even close. Dani Pedrosa knows better than anyone else on the grid how to stop Jorge Lorenzo. It’s not a matter of Pedrosa delivering a death blow, it’s a question of whether Pedrosa will continue to slowly suffocate Lorenzo throughout the rest of the season. Because that’s what Pedrosa is currently doing.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, David, Pedrosa is winning. He beat Lorenzo today. He didn’t stop the injured Majorcan, but he sure did beat him by two points. You don’t hear journalists knocking victories by one or two points in soccer, why wasn’t Pedrosa accorded the same respect today?

    Everybody wants to see the death blow because it’s both immediate and exciting. But asphyxiation is more deliberate and far more dramatic. A drawn out violent struggle against foe and lack of oxygen – giving up the ghost only at the very end.

    Ironically, this is Lorenzo’s specialization. Perhaps this is the main reason why he identifies with predators; the serpent, the viper, the constrictor. He deprives his opponents of oxygen until they wither away by the end of the season. However, if we are to continue with the “Man of Steel” metaphor, Pedrosa possesses the Kryptonite to Lorenzo’s would-be superhuman abilities.

    Pedrosa has beaten Lorenzo decisively time and time again. And unless Lorenzo can successfully subdue Pedrosa, over the duration of the rest of the season, Pedrosa will be the death of Lorenzo’s title defense. The slightest exposure – every single point of strength that Pedrosa can extract from Lorenzo matters. It may not seem like much, “only 7 points; only 9 points; only 2 points,” but Pedrosa grows stronger with each and every advance, and Lorenzo grows weak.

    But then maybe it’s not as melodramatic as all of that. Maybe instead of Lorenzo, Pedrosa draws inspiration from Valentino Rossi, the proverbial tortoise. “Slow and steady wins the race.”

    Either way you look at it, David, Lorenzo is on the defensive. He is injured. He is losing ground to all of his opponents, not just to Pedrosa. This is not a good situation for a predator to be in.

    A willingness to accept pain is never in the best interest of any predator. Because to a predator, to accept pain is to be preyed upon. Predators attempt to avoid pain, (textbook Lorenzo), so while today’s events at Assen might turn out to be the stuff of legend many years from now, they have also served to highlight the precarious position that Lorenzo has found himself in.

    Today, Lorenzo was attacked from every conceivable direction – in as visible and visceral a way as possible, and he will continue to be mercilessly attacked in the future.

    Sure, all players had good things to say about Lorenzo’s effort. Politeness being the first thing listed on the Politically Correct menu. Who wants to be seen kicking a man while he’s down? Nobody. But don’t delude yourself, they are all licking their chops and will be lining up for more in two weeks’ time. They have tasted the blood of a champion, and there is no better taste.

  11. BBQdog says:

    @L2C: “Dani Pedrosa knows better than anyone else on the grid how to stop Jorge Lorenzo.”

    It’s about time then. Why didn’t he do so the last years ???

  12. Gutterslob says:

    Monumental effort by Lorenzo. He needed to end his day with a press statement that included “I dedicate this 5th place to all the armchair racers of the world” to make it truly perfect, but I’m just nitpicking here.

    I guess there’s still life after the TT this year after all. Good race today. Not sure if Vale would’ve won against a fit J-Lo, but he difinitely would’ve been closer. Cal was very British today, shooting himself in the foot at the start and then clawing back. MM did good with what he had, while D-Ped got double penetrated like always. Couldn’t spot any difference between Brembo Bradl and Nissin Bradl.

  13. Westward says:

    Brembo Bradl thinks he’s better than Nissin Bradl…

    I didn’t think Lorenzo was going to repeat as champion anyways, and now that he broke something that matters, that will actually alter the way he rides, now he will understand what Rossi and Pedrosa have gone through in the past.

    However, if Lorenzo does take the title this year, I’ll have a bit more respect for him than I’ve had…

  14. Odie says:

    @Norm G: Jorge doesn’t sleep…he just recharges.

  15. L2C says:

    @ BBQdog

    See Misano 2012.

  16. terpinator says:

    Kudos to David Emmett for this story. It is the best written article on MotoGP I’ve read in a long time. You sir, are good at your profession.

    And I agree, this is the best MotoGP season since the old Rossi/Gibernau days. Now if only Spies would get healthy and back into the mix!

  17. article dan says:

    Personally I dont think he should have been allowed to race and had he been Any other nationality that
    would be the case. Think back to when colin Edwards lost his 100% start rate with an injured collarbone.
    How can someone not take part in qualifying but still qualify, bit of a joke really.
    And also did he have general anaesthetic? Cos I have and I felt near enough drunk for the next 2 days. Ye fairplay it worked out ok but is it worth the risk?

  18. aditya says:

    @article dan – it’s been explained in probably a 100 places in the internet by now as to how the current qualifying rules allowed lorenzo to start from 12th and not 24th.. when you ponder over something that is not the most challenging or new question of the decade, try searching and reading around the websites a bit before exhibiting your negligence to find the answer to a trivial question so many hours after an event.
    stop bringing nationality into every second thing of life..

    was it worth the risk ? again, cant you see what would have been the points difference between him and pedrosa had he not taken the risk ? if he’d have crashed and injured himself more, well, he’d have been screwed and it’d not have been worth the risk..but somehow that didnt happen and he was just one position behind his title rival in the race…of course it was worth the risk..it’s called strong will and determination to try to get what you want if you think there’s even a tiny chance of that happening.. better than sitting on your ass and not doing anything even if in your mind you think theoretically there was a chance worth trying for.

  19. article dan says:

    Sorry that was not really a rhetorical question about how he qualified, I know how he qualified just doesn’t make sense to me. Keep your hair on

  20. FafPak says:

    @article dan
    The rules really are straight forward…

    1 Any rider who did not make it into Q2 starts from position 13+
    2 Once in Q2, your lowest grid position is automatically p12
    3 Lorenzo made it into Q2 via qualifying within top 10 (12 if you count Q1) with FP1,2 lap timings
    4 Timings from Q1 and FP1/2/3 dont count for Q2, thus L99 was “last” in Q2 since he didnt post a lap time.

    Why should he go back to the 24th position of the grid when he already out qualified the 13th grid position rider and those behind him?

  21. I think Assen 2013 represented possibly the best collective racing that MotoGP has seen in a very long time. Every race was stunning. Salom in Moto3 is well poised to become a world champion. He sure is making Aki Ajo proud. Dang. Pol Espargaro is once again showing his stuff after a tough period, and Scott Redding is proving his mettle is second to none, too. Outstanding.

    MotoGP, though. Wow. It was truly epic. Lorenzo had me gasping with awe and respect. Crutchlow gets HUGE props for being so careful on his approach and, finally, pass of Lorenzo so as to ensure no further injury. He also gets huge props for otherwise racing hard and fair. In fact, the whole top 5 raced hard and fair. Some great passing went on, something that is so often otherwise absent in the usual search for clinical perfection.

    It was a race of passion and skill. I was absolutely delighted for every rider in the top 5. Well and truly done.

    As for Pedrosa’s naysayers, I keep wondering whether anybody has watched his performance since, say, the last 8 races of 2012. He’s in the form of his career and is LEADING the championship. Now that we’re moving into what is traditionally the Honda-favoured part of the season, his opportunities of clinching the 2013 title will only get stronger.

    Of course, Marquez has other ideas about that. His ability to learn and adapt is just staggering. Assuming he can keep from seriously injuring himself, he just may claw his way back up towards the sharp end of the title hunt.

    Another serving of popcorn, please!

  22. crshnbrn says:

    @TexusTim

    I saw only the middle part of the race that included Crutchlow’s pass on Lorenzo for fourth place. It didn’t look to me that Lorenzo held up Crutchlow as much as Crutchlow waited for an opportunity to make a clean pass. Even if Crutchlow was held up by Lorenzo, whose fault is that? Crutchlow started from pole while Lorenzo started from 12th spot on the grid. How did Crutchlow end up behind Lorenzo?
    Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Crutchlow do well and give the Honda & Yamaha factory riders fits, but wasn’t it Crutchlow who was quoted on this very site just one week before Assen as saying the key to Yamaha winning a race is to get to the first turn first?

  23. TheSwede says:

    My comment on Saturday Summary at Le Mans:

    “Jerez was a tease IMO.. Personally I’m salivating for Assen and Germany. Both are true motorcycle tracks with a history of spectacular racing and riding. Mid season, so the championship race will really be in full tilt. Marquez will have shown everyone how they should be riding, and love him or hate him, I think the riders will embrace it. If Vale is gonna return to his form of old, this is about the time he should really start feeling it. A perfect storm of amazing racing..

    Those two races, along with Phillip Island are what I cant wait for..”

    I just wanna say I called it

  24. “It didn’t look to me that Lorenzo held up Crutchlow as much as Crutchlow waited for an opportunity to make a clean pass.”

    I completely concur with this assessment.

  25. crshnbrn says:

    I admit initially I also didn’t understand how Lorenzo was able to start the race. I had to go back through the posts on this site and re-read the MotoGP qualifying rules that took affect this year. I doubt the governing body ever envisioned the scenario that played out at Assen, but I’m sure they consulted the rule book.
    In my search for the post on the qualifying rules, I stumbled across the post about Spies being told to put forth a 100% effort or not bother showing up for Laguna Seca last year. Somehow I don’t think Lorenzo will be getting that same pep talk.

  26. frod says:

    for those hating on Ben Spies, just wait until he gets his hemorroids taken care of, Ben will be back to his usual 12th-16th position he deserves.

    People don’t undestand what Ben has gone through, he had his shares of painfull injuries including (sushi poison, diarrhea, vomiting and nauseating when going too fast on the desmo) although he has never shown the commitment JL99 showed us on Saturday, he gives 100% when all the moons aligned.

  27. a tom says:

    Crutchlow got stuck behind Lorenzo because he got passed in the 2nd or 3rd lap, can’t remember exactly. Lorenzo was doing astoundingly well during the first 8-10 laps or so (12 -> 8 -> 5 in one lap or something like that), but it was clear as it went along that he just started to feel the pain as the meds faded, and it was extremely evident as he rode back and stopped in the pits. Amazed that he got through it.

    Crutchlow might’ve had a couple of opportunities, but as already said did not want to knock Lorenzo off; Lorenzo really didn’t give him much though, even if it would’ve been the best choice strategically (there was no surety at that time that Crutchlow would’ve caught Pedrosa, and doing so likely would’ve also dropped Marquez 4 points too), but he was there to race and he was doing just that.

    Crutchlow, par the course for him this year, turned into a beast 1/3 of the way through – he went past Lorenzo with some caution, but took Pedrosa’s place without any hesitation and would’ve done the same to Marquez except for MM’s ridiculous slowdown in that first corner which almost cost both of them (by mistake? well-taken calculated risk? *shrug*). In either case, his step was well earned.

    But, at the start of the race Crutchlow was… not at his best, just can’t gel with the bike when it’s ladened with fuel. Would the factory ride be any different? Guess we’re waiting till 2015 to find out? ;)

    Which directs this post to Rossi… finally! His passes of Bradl (Mr. Lonely on Saturday), Marquez and Pedrosa were committed, clean, ballsy moves. No drama towards the end of the race, but those 3 passes, Crutchlow pulling the same and Lorenzo’s unbelievable resolve made this a great race for Yamaha fans, and I’d suggest MotoGP fans in general too. Looks like an interesting rest of the year!