“I’m pleased, because it was a positive test – Rossi commented – We took full advantage of the time we had, because the track and weather conditions were perfect. I liked the new asphalt a lot. The surface is smooth, those holes that I knew so well are now gone, and the grip is fantastic. I must say they’ve done a great job, because if it’s possible, riding here at Mugello is now even better than before. I’m happy to have come back here to test after my injury last year, because it was a nice feeling and a good day. We started around 11:00 this morning, and we completed sixty laps in all—many kilometers without any problems, either physical or with the GP12. We tested everything that Filippo had planned to try, and we’re satisfied because, although we’re still at a pretty early stage, we’re going in the right direction.”
Ex-Kanemoto mechanic Burgess is renowned for his forthright manner and an inability to give deceptive answers when asked direct questions. He lived up to this reputation in the interview with Beattie.
Regarding the progress of the Ducati GP11 as ridden by Casey Stoner, Beattie asked if he foresees a time in 2011 when the team won’t be playing catch up to the other teams. Burgess answered, “We’ll be playing catch-up until we get ahead of them, I guess.”
Having been on the inside of several GP teams, Beattie realizes that all development work on the current GP11 made during the 2011 season could hurt development on the GP12. Burgess agreed, saying that the constant development of the 800 at some point could hurt the development of the 1000, saying “There are certain things we can do this year to carry on and improve and certain things we can do to accelerate our bike for next year.” Burgess inferred that at some point a decision will have to be made as to which direction the team will make.
2011 marks a very special moment in two wheeled motorsport as the 50th Anniversary of World Championship Grand Prix racing for Yamaha. As part of a series of ongoing activities to celebrate this landmark Yamaha Factory Racing will run a special livery, the ‘YZR-M1 WGP50th Anniversary Edition’ for the Assen TT and Laguna Seca races.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo and 2010 Rookie of the Year Ben Spies will unveil the livery at a special event on Wednesday 22nd June close to the Assen circuit
The unique red and white livery design pays homage to the iconic Yamaha Factory Racing liveries of the past with a modern twist. The red and white livery will be used by Yamaha Factory Racing team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies. The colours will also appear on all Yamaha staff and team crew as well as the Yamaha Factory Racing team’s pit box.
A special 50th Anniversary logo is also being used this season. The logo is proudly displayed on the 2011 YZR-M1 fuel tank, on all Yamaha Factory Racing Team uniforms, within the pit garage of riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and also on the Yamaha Factory Racing trucks.
The Yamaha World GP 50th Anniversary is also celebrated online with a special dedicated website www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/race/wgp-50th/ (English). The website features an impressive archive tracking the history of Yamaha’s involvement with racing along with detailed historical information. Throughout the season the site will be regularly updated with columns and videos along with exclusive messages and interviews of key people involved in the World Championship Grand Prix racing story of Yamaha.
The Spanish manager gave an interview to RTVE.com, during which he called the Italian rider “a complete moron.”
“We all saw what happened – Puig said – and there is nothing more to say. It was a disaster, and the images speak for themselves. We have been saying for a while now that this guy (Simoncelli, ed) is dangerous. I really believe that he is a complete moron, and he doesn’t understand anything that’s going on around him. I hope his team realizes who they are dealing with, because this guy needs to be locked away. I hope the Safety Commission realizes who Simoncelli really is. He was already warned at Estoril, when Lorenzo said something to him, but it seems like he doesn’t care at all. And this is serious.”
Alberto then added: “First off, Dani was right because he was ahead, and Simoncelli forced the move. A guy broke a bone today, and this fact cannot be forgiven. Now I’m only interested in how Dani is doing, and taking him home. But this problem only exists with Simoncelli, who is completely ignorant.”
“Pedrosa tried to overtake me on the straight,” explained the Italian. “When we were braking I did it normally, like in the other laps, but I was faster than him so I tried to overtake him round the outside and when I was a little bit in front of him I started to take the corner. I tried to leave him space to make his own corner.”
“I saw in the video that his bike was hopping a little bit and he lost the line, he touched me, when I saw he couldn’t make the corner I picked the bike up but it was too late. He touched me on the back and he crashed.”
“I am so sorry about his crash and about his injury, especially. For me I haven’t done anything incorrect, so for me this is a race ‘action’ (incident).”
Simoncelli concluded: “For me the punishment from Race Direction was because of all the controversy of the last few days, and from Estoril. For me if the same thing happened without me they would penalise nobody. This is my point of view.”
The rider’s Team Manager, Fausto Gresini, commented: “We can only accept the punishment and Race Direction have only done their job. We are very sorry about the incident. Marco tried to have his race but unfortunately contact happens and we are very sorry about what happened.”
“Of course all riders want to get their results without harming other riders. Now it’s time to stop with all the controversy so that the season can continue and the show can improve.”
Gresini added: “Marco is still confused and very sorry about what happened. It’s a racing incident, there is contact that results in nothing and there are occasions when it produces unsavoury consequences. Marco is an athlete and is very sad about what has happened to Dani.”
“I’m so happy – the first podium with Ducati is a great emotion, especially because I arrived there after a difficult period when we were struggling a lot with my physical condition, and also to understand the bike more,” he said.
“But it’s becoming better and better, and the race today was very, very fun. I did quite a good start, some overtaking, and I hooked my bike to Dovi and [Jorge] Lorenzo. We had a different setting and I was faster than the rest of the weekend.
“At the end it was great, because I did some good laps to go with Jorge and I was able to overtake him. But then Dovi arrived, so another battle with him.
“We are going in a good way but still in some places we lose a bit too much. When I tried to overtake Dovi I thought it was the last lap, but we had another one – I wasn’t sure. But anyway it was difficult and congratulations to Dovi.”
Rossi was jubilant on the podium and admitted that the feeling was almost as good as a win.
“This third place is not like a victory, but similar,” he said”
French MotoGP pole starter, Casey Stoner, has been fined 5000 Euros by Race Direction for lashing out at Randy de Puniet during morning warm-up at Le Mans.
After almost hitting the back of a slow-moving de Puniet on a straight, Stoner gave the Frenchman a ‘what are you doing?’ punch on the shoulder as he pulled alongside. The cruising de Puniet had looked back shortly before Stoner arrived, then moved to the right,
straight into the path of the fast-moving Stoner. de Puniet either didn’t see Stoner, thought he was heading to his left or that he was far enough in front of the Australian. Either way, Stoner clearly felt that de Puniet had acted dangerously, hence his anger, but Race Direction decided that taking physical action was a greater crime. de Puniet seems not to have been punished. Despite the incident, Repsol Honda rider Stoner was fastest by half a second during the warm-up session and will be chasing his second victory of the season this afternoon.
Dani Pedrosa has been diagnosed with a broken right collarbone following his collision with Marco Simoncelli in the French Grand Prix.
The pair were battling for second two thirds of the way through the race when Pedrosa fell as Simoncelli turned in across him from the outside line to try and retake the place.
Simoncelli escaped the incident but was given a ride-through penalty for causing the clash, dropping him from second place to fifth.
Pedrosa was clutching his collarbone as soon as he came to rest, and the injury was confirmed as soon as he received medical checks in the paddock.
The Spaniard had only just completed his recovery from a fracture to the other side of his collarbone, sustained in a practice crash at Motegi last year. This injury required two sets of surgery, the second only a month ago, as a plate inserted to fix the problem was causing numbness in Pedrosa’s arm.
The next MotoGP race is one of Pedrosa’s home events, the Catalunya Grand Prix, in three weeks’ time
Valentino Rossi believes it is pointless for the MotoGP rulemakers to try and legislate on overtaking etiquette in the wake of recent rows over track manners.
Marco Simoncelli has been at the centre of the controversy, with several riders complaining about his aggressive overtaking, and Jorge Lorenzo taking him to task over it in front of the media at Estoril a fortnight ago.
But Rossi said that while the riders were entitled to their opinions, he did not see any way in which the safety commission or FIM could stipulate how riders tried to overtake each other.
“I understand if the riders come to the safety commission to make a personal attack on Simoncelli,” he said. “If [Andrea] Dovizioso came to the safety commission and said ‘for me, Simoncelli is too dangerous, because of this and because of that’, okay this is one way.
“But I don’t understand in which way you can make the rules for overtaking in motorcycle racing. It’s very difficult – you can just pass on the straight, or just on the right, or left, or you have to put an arrow out… It’s something very, very stupid.”
He also criticised coverage of the recent discussions over minimum weights in the safety commission, amid suggestions that Rossi had pushed for a change in the rules to reduce the advantage smaller riders like Dani Pedrosa are alleged to get under the current regulation in which bikes are weighed separately from their riders.
“I heard some stupid polemics about the safety commission, and I heard from some journalists that the safety commission is an Italian mafia. This is very stupid,” said Rossi.
“In the safety commission we work mainly on the safety of the tracks. This is because it was formed in 2003 after Daijiro [Kato] died. I think it is very positive, because people listen to us. In Formula 1 the drivers don’t speak. If [Fernando] Alonso says something, they say ‘hey, shut up’.
“We always work for the other riders, we do a good job on the tracks. Other than that, we speak with Bridgestone about the tyres – more choice and better solutions for the riders.
“We never speak about changing the rules. Let me hear one thing that has come out of the safety commission that is an advantage for Italian riders or Valentino Rossi…?
“We spoke about the weight in Jerez, but because Dorna said to us ‘why does Honda gain half a second on the straight’. I explained to them, but I didn’t write to the safety commission and say ‘hey, we have to change the weights because my weight is more than [Casey] Stoner’s…’
“What I read in the newspapers is wrong. We didn’t say we needed more weight on the light riders. We said with 21 litres [fuel limit], the disadvantage for the heavy riders is bigger. Just that. But change the rules? No.”
Marco Simoncelli continues to go fast. Fast on the
track and fast with the press, which is starting to
annoy him with all this talk about aggressive riding.
How do you feel about all this recent
“Honestly this talking is busting my balls because
it’s all talk about nothing. People are talking about
things that never happened and I’m getting sick of
answering questions about it. Sitting here and
talking changes nothing. The MotoGP riders that
were my heroes in the 1990’s, guys like Schwantz,
Lawson, Doohan and Gardner, have nothing in
common with today’s riders. They would scratch
each others eyes out on the track, then shake hands
on the podium and go for a beer together afterward.
Now there are a million headaches over things that
still haven’t happened and it’s starting to piss me