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 : Issue 177a
23 GPWEEK.com // 23 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: That was the year, that was. And it was quite a good one, all things considered. Several ailments that had been constricting MotoGP’s easy breathing were addressed, improved, and offered future full recovery. The big new thousands proved that when it comes to four-strokes, there’s no substitute for cubes. The bikes were that much more wayward, the racing that much better. We have one more year of this before new regulations kick in, and against the backdrop of the grid-filler CRTs 2013 it promises much. Marquez is breezing in to take the place of Stoner at Honda, where Dani is on a winning streak, but needs to fight to avoid being supplanted by the new kid. And Rossi is blowing back into Yamaha, where anything could happen. Unhappy team- mate Lorenzo’s is fast, but his greatest strength may be his unflappability. Rossi is good at making rivals flap. But will Valentino, turning 34 in February, be fast enough. There’s enough personal animosity between those four alone to suggest hard fighting up front. Plus Crutchlow, Bautista, and maybe even Dovizioso and pals, if Ducati make the great leap forward. Best enjoy it while we can, for one more year. The new tech regs due for 2014 appear to promise even closer racing – slowing down the factory bikes and speeding up the privateers. But there are worrying elements about how they are going to do it. The main problem in the 800 era was that riders were obliged to ride on a narrow edge. Being good riders, they could do so for lap after lap to the limit of the bike’s ability. Which meant they would qualify in a certain order then race in that same order. The 1000s did not eliminate this tendency, but with more torque and less corner speed they blurred the edges; handed something back to the riders. It was better. We some fights, and the riders enjoyed them too. The next generation factory bikes will have to do so on five percent less fuel and five rather than six engines. This is a fascinating and valuable challenge to the engineers, both mechanical and electronic, which in turn helps the factory departments to maintain their budgets. But it will inevitably make racing more of an economy run than it already is. As we saw at Motegi, where Cal Crutchlow managed to ride so hard he even overcame the electronic fuel-saver programme, and ran out of petrol on the final lap, losing a possible third place. So the new rules bring the spectre of a return to inch- perfect riding, increasingly sophisticated fuel-saving electronics ... and processional factory-bike racing up front. The hope is that the private bikes, with 20 percent more fuel to burn and more than double the number of engines (12 to five) may be able to get in among them. If the proposed proddie-racers are good enough, that is. And if we can find riders good enough, too. Is the best yet to come? Or have we just seen it? AN ECONOMY WITH THE TRUTH? OPINION OPINION MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor Image: Bridgestone Motorsport