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MotoGP

MotoGP night race testing begins

February 28, 2008 For all the thrill of attending a Formula One (F1) or MotoGP event, the majority of the live spectators view the races on TV, and the majority of both sports’ income comes from television rights. F1 and MotoGP are both broadcast to more than 200 countries with Formula One attracting television fees of around US$380 million annually for a cumulative season audience of around 580 million unique viewers. In order to “optimize” television rights revenues, both sports are now moving to night Grands Prix in some time zones so the races can be broadcast live in prime time in the key European markets. The first night “test” begins today in Qatar and presents some interesting logistical problems for the teams.  Read More

Yamaha unveils Rossi’s 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine

January 19, 2008 Yamaha unveiled its 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine this week in a large event held in conjunction with sponsors Fiat in Turin, Italy. Last year the M1 was one of the slowest machines on the grid and played a major role in Valentino Rossi’s worst season for a decade, prompting Rossi to roundly criticise the machine publicly and Yamaha to test a V4 configuration and pneumatic valves in the hope of closing the horsepower gap to Ducati’s desmodromic valve system. With Honda employing a pneumatic valve system in its 2008 machine, Yamaha will be the only contender relying on traditional valve springs to close its valves this year. Despite this, Yamaha’s frightfully expensive throttle control system (Rossi) shares favouritism for the title with Ducati’s Casey Stoner (both 6/4).  Read More

Guareschi rides the Desmosedici onto the ice floor

Ducati this week unveiled its 2008 MotoGP machine at its annual Wrooom - MotoGP Press Ski Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio. The new GP8 Desmosedici is understandably based on the GP7 which won the 2007 MotoGP title, with small but important changes in the area of the frame, rear suspension geometry, motor and electronic system. The Desmosedici is equipped with exactly the same traction control system used on the new 1098 R road bike which swept all before it in motorcycle magazine awards around the world. No doubt Ducati’s test rider Vittoriano Guareschi was thankful for the traction control as he rode the new machine before the press for the first time – the ice floor he had to contend with could easily have caught out any rider.  Read More

Ducati's Desmosedid RR, on show in Paris.

October 12, 2007 Ducati didn’t believe punters would jump at their US$70,000 MotoGP replica motorcycle – how wrong they were. With production still yet to begin, less than 250 units remain to be pre-ordered of what is surely the most extreme production motorcycle on the planet, the Desmosedici RR. If you want one, you’d better move fast.  Read More

World Champion Casey Stoner will be joined at Ducati by Marco Melandri in 2008

October 10, 2007 This year's World Champion Casey Stoner, as well as Rossi, Vermeulen and the Honda team are staying where they are for season 2008 – but beyond that, MotoGP has been a huge game of musical chairs as riders jump from team to team hoping to secure the best bikes for next year. With teams finally settling, here’s what we know.  Read More

Aprilia's V4 superbike engine

October 8, 2007 Aprilia tell us their much-anticipated V4 engine is currently undergoing durability testing in four states of tune – from a huge 185 horsepower up to an eye-watering 220 horsepower. Which one will we see in the road-going superbike they’re building?  Read More

Rossi during the 2006 test

September 4, 2007 Whispers of a night-time MotoGP event first reached Gizmag in early 2006 and now it’s official – the season opening Grand Prix of Qatar on March 9th next year will be held under lights to allow for better synchronization with European television schedules. The staging of the unprecedented night race will involve what is believed to be the biggest lighting project in the world for any sporting event – almost four thousand lights will be used to ensure visibility and remove shadowing from the track.  Read More

Casey Stoner

March 10, 2007 Ducati drew first blood in the 2007 version of MotoGP with 800cc engines at the first round of the 18-race series in Qatar today. Australian 21 year-old rising star Casey Stoner made a perfect start with the Ducati Marlboro Team, riding to a magnificent victory aboard his Desmosedici GP7. Stoner rode a perfectly judged race, leading the first lap and then battling with former World Champion Valentino Rossi throughout. The pair swapped positions several times, separated by just a few tenths for most of the 22 laps, Stoner crossing the finish line 2.8 seconds ahead after setting a new track record on the final lap. One of the highlights of the race was the speed of the four Ducati-engined machines in the field, sometimes with a margin of 20 km/h over the fastest of the others at the end of the kilometre-long Qatar front straight. Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha M1 was a clear second and Dani Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda RC212V was a narrow third ahead of the Rizla Suzuki of John Hopkins, indicating at least four different makes of machinery will be capable of winning a race this season. Stoner's odds dropped from 0/1 to 5/1 overnight on world betting markets.  Read More

800 MotoGP bikes already faster than last year’s 1000s

February 26, 2007 It’s ironic indeed that the premier motorcycle roadracing class MotoGP decided to cut its engine capacities to 800cc from 1000cc for safety reasons. The need to develop new machinery for the 2007 season has seen manufacturers dig deep into their technological bag of tricks, and culminated yesterday when the first shots were fired under the new 800cc engine format. Each year the riders finish testing and are given one 40 minute session to post the fastest time, with the fastest walking away with the BMW M award, in this case in the form of vehicle. This year testing finale was held yesterday at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. In the closing stages of the session Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi lapped in 1’38.394, almost seven-tenths of a second faster than Capirossi’s 2006 pole time on the Ducati 1000cc Desmosedici with both Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Colin Edwards bettering Caprirossi’s time too. Lap records can only be set in a race, not in practice, but the lap record on a 1000cc MotoGP bike was set in 2005 when Rossi lapped in 1’40.596 – yesterday, 15 riders on six different makes of 800cc machines lapped faster than the 1000cc lap record.  Read More

MotoGP Season underway for Ducati at Wrooom

January 16, 2007 The Wrooom - MotoGP Press Ski Meeting 2007 starts each new racing year at Madonna di Campiglio in the beautiful Trentino region of Italy. Every year this traditional appointment sees the Ducati Marlboro Team riders get their season underway in the Italian mountains and it’s happening right now for a week, with the highlight being the unveiling of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP7 built for the new era of 800cc MotoGP tomorrow. The week is the first appearance in Ducati colours for new rider and newlywed Casey Stoner, alongside his new ontrack teammate, three time World Champion Loris Capirossi. One obvious component of the Ducati week was the Superbike team - while the MotoGP team is in the snow, the Ducati Superbike team is topping the leaderboards in Australia in roasting heat. The bookies rate Valentino Rossi as an odds-on favourite to reclaim his crown in 2007 with Hayden, Pedrosa and Capirossi as the most likely to stand in his way, with Stoner on the next rung of betting. Bayliss is odds-on favourite to take the crown for Ducati again in 2007.  Read More

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