Let’s just say that Yamaha’s concepts are a bit…ambitious. Take the Yamaha 07GEN concept, for example – a three-wheeler from the Tokyo Motor Show that we seemingly overlooked.
What a colleague called like a “tribute to Miyazaki“, this oddly styled electric three-wheeled motorcycle for urban travel is a interesting mix of new-world technology with old-world aesthetics. It might even be too hippy for the hippest of hipsters…maybe.
In a season which has been rammed to the rafters with drama, it is entirely appropriate that the final round of the year should be just as dramatic. It was partly to be expected, of course, with a championship at stake.
Sure, Marc Márquez entered the weekend with a nigh insurmountable 21-point lead. But he still had to finish at least eleventh or else hope that Andrea Dovizioso did not win the race.
Things were looking good after qualifying: Márquez would be starting from pole, while Dovizioso would have to line up on the third row of the grid.
Between the two, a host of fast rivals capable of getting in the way of Dovizioso’s charge to the front, and perhaps even depriving him of the race win by taking victory in their own right.
By the time the checkered flag fell at the end of the race, enough had happened to fill a Greek epic. Team orders and betrayal, crashes and near crashes, deceit and disguise, secret swapping of bikes, and a bunch or people finishing much higher than any had a right to expect.
An intriguing winner, a rider deprived of victory, and at last, a champion crowned. If the 17 races before Valencia had generated plenty to talk about, the final race of the year topped it all.
A bit of a surprise comes from the MotoGP paddock today, as it has been announced that Livio Suppo has resigned from Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).
A staple of MotoGP racing, Suppo started in MotoGP with Ducati Corse back in 1999, as the Italian brand’s racing Marketing Director. Moving on from Ducati in 2010, he joined Honda at HRC, where he has been the MotoGP Team Principal at the Repsol Honda squad since 2013.
The 2017 MotoGP Championship has finally come to a close, and it took racing under the Valencian sun for us to crown a victor.
Though he was easily the pre-season favorite, this year was a long season for Marc Marquez to claim his sixth world championship, and his victory seemed far from certain as the races ticked by.
A DNF for three races this season, Marquez left the door open for a number of would-be usurpers, with Andrea Dovizioso rising to the top of that list. With the pair fighting head-to-head on a number of occasions, the Ducati rider put up a strong fight against the Spaniard.
Though Marquez’s three race scratches – one due to a mechanical failure – showed a return to his old ways of aggressive riding, when Marquez did finish a race, he was able to grab crucial points, with 12 podium finishes and 6 race wins.
This consistency was vital to his championship success, and it should be noted that he finished the season with the same number of points as last year’s more “conservative” championship bid.
Episode 65 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we cover the recent Tokyo Motor Show, as well as the unveiling of the new Honda Gold Wing.
Finally getting to see the venerable tourer up-close in California, Jensen reports back on the new features that have come to the Gold Wing, which is much lighter and more compact than the outgoing model.
We also briefly discuss Suzuki’s recent decision to halt its MXGP and All-Japan motocross racing programs, which is curious considering that the Suzuki RM-Z450 got a significant update for the 2017 model year.
Turning to the Tokyo Motor Show, there were a bevy of significant releases making an appearance in Japan, which we discussed in detail: Honda Neo Sports Café Concept, Kawasaki Ninja 400, Kawasaki Z900RS, Suzuki SV650X, Yamaha Niken, and Yamaha MOTOROiD.
There’s plenty for everyone in this show, and we think you’ll enjoy it, but beep an eye out next week for our coverage of the EICMA show in Milan.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
In a somewhat surprising development, Silverstone has signed up to host the British round of MotoGP for three more years. The Northamptonshire circuit is to hold the race through 2020.
Since the British round was held earlier this year, it looked like the race would go to Donington Park. The Leicestershire track had shown renewed interest in the race, after the circuit had been bought by MSV, who also run the BSB series and own several other British tracks.
Hosting the series at Donington would have required upgrades in a number of areas, however, and making those in time for August next year would have been difficult.
It is a quote I have used so often that it has become a cliché. When I asked the now sorely-missed Nicky Hayden what motivated him after a difficult day, he replied “That’s why we line up on Sunday; you never know what’s gonna happen.”
That is as true now as it was then, but you cannot escape the law of probabilities. Of course you never know what’s going to happen on any given Sunday. But if you want to hang on to your money, it is wise not to bet against the most likely course of events.
As of Saturday night, Andrea Dovizioso can still become 2017 MotoGP champion. But he trails Marc Márquez by 21 points in the championship. He has to win the race to even have a chance. Márquez has to finish no better than twelfth.
Dovizioso starts the race from ninth on the grid. Márquez starts from pole. And Márquez, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Johann Zarco all have (slightly) better race pace than Dovizioso.
The chances that Dovizioso becomes champion in this timeline are rather slim. Bookies have the odds of the Factory Ducati rider winning the 2017 title at 14/1.
They have Márquez at 1/50: even when interest rates are at a record low, you would make more money by putting your cash into a savings account rather than having a flutter on the Spaniard wrapping up his fourth MotoGP title on Sunday.