by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
consistent tyres play a part in making the rider's task more exacting and less creative, but the single factor picked out by riders and engineers is the relative lack of torque of the 800 compared with a 990. Chris Vermeulen: "From a rider's point of view going to 1000cc, taking off the rider aids, would make it more fun, make the racing more exciting, and more fun for the fans. "Now it looks like anyone can get on the bikes and ride them. Because we're always in line, it looks smooth. You watch F1 and from the outside you think, that looks easy. But then you see the cockpit action to see what the driver is doing, it's different." But not all riders agree. Colin Edwards is more of a fan of the 800s, as well as the electronics. "In all honesty I probably had let's say more of a 250 riding style my whole life. The smoother it is the faster I am. Always been that way. "I think actually the 800s helped me, my style. Better than the 990s." But Pedrosa, a former double 250 champion who never had the chance to try the 990s, thinks the electronics combined with the revvy 800 engines have combined to spoil the competition. "Everything comes more to the limit now. Before the first ten laps were like -- looking, warming up. And then start the fight. "Now from the start to the finish it's full, and you are always fighting for tenths of a second. That is why all the races -- you can't see so many fights. I preferred the old way. Now it's like you start the race, it's set, and then ... [shows a procession]. It's not really good." Rossi has spanned all the generations: learning his craft on 125 and 250 two-strokes and then relearning it all over again for 500cc two-strokes. It makes his assessment of the reduced rider input of the current 800s all the more telling. "I am a one of the riders who spent seven or eight years between 500 and 990 that are different way to ride than a 250, then come to these 800s, with Bridgestone tyres and a lot of electronics I have had to come back in riding style to like 250. What I learned and the way to ride of the last years I have to throw away, and start to modify another time the style for use this type of bike at the maximum." And that is inevitably less exciting for rider, and the spectators. "You have to ride a lot more cleanly. Not sliding, and especially a lot more on the edge compared to the past, because the grip on the edge is a lot better and the electronic on the bike help a lot to open the throttle also on the edge." And, as he said before, "there is less for the rider to do to make a difference." He and all the riders would like that chance restored to them. And the easiest way to do it would be to restore the lost mid- range torque and horsepower, by increasing engine size back to a litre. From a rider s point of view going to 1000cc, taking off the rider aids, would make it more fun CHRIS VERMEULEN 30