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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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MotoGP: 2016 Round 01 - Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar

Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar
Losail International Circuit, Qatar

LENGTH: 5.4 km / 3.34 miles
CORNERS: 6 left - 10 right
WIDTH: 12 m. / 39.37 ft.
LONGEST STRAIGHT: 1068 m. / 3503.94 ft.
Laps: 22
2/3 of laps: -
Total distance: 118.4 km / 73.5 miles

Weather courtesy of

[tr][td]FRI Mar 18[/td][td]79°F / 66°[/td][td]Mostly Sunny[/td][td]0%[/td][td]N 17 mph[/td][td]37%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]SAT Mar 19[/td][td]80° / 68°[/td][td]Sunny[/td][td]0%[/td][td]N 16 mph[/td][td]34%[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]SUN Mar 20[/td][td]81° / 71°[/td][td]Sunny[/td][td]0%[/td][td]NE 9 mph[/td][td]36%[/td][/tr]

Season Opener Press Conference (Director's Cut)

MODERATOR: Thank you to everyone for joining us today as we get ready to start the 2016 season. Thank you also all of riders who were able to join us today [pause]... this time. Jorge Lorenzo, as the reigning champion why don't we start with you? Can you speak to some of the preparations that you have done during the off season?

JORGE: Yes. Every season, we get harder....

IANNONE: [snickers and pokes Rossi]

JORGE: [pause] Yes, it get harder to the physical. They have the new bike, and so I want to get best out of it. So I train really hard, and now I can do solo flights. So I think I am more ready now.

MODERATOR: I'm sorry, did you say solo flights?

LORENZO: Yes. Is this not the word? I do the ground school, the flying with instructor.

MODERATOR: I don't see how....

LORENZO: I do not have enough hour for full license, but they say since M1 now has so many wings it counts as solo flight hours. So end of season I get my license.

MODERATOR: I see. That's not quite... Ok, then. Do you have any concerns about Sunday's race?

LORENZO: Yes. I think I take the hole shot, then when I get to pit lane I exit and whole field follows me.

ROSSI: [quietly] It just got real!

MODERATOR: [hurriedly] So we'll switch now to Honda factory rider Marc Marquez. Marc you seemed to have been struggling a little early in the test but seemed to have found something that allowed you to stay with Lorenzo.

ROSSI: [quietly] A tow hook?

MODERATOR: [hurriedly] Can you tell us a little, MARC, about that?

MARQUEZ: Yes we have some of the trouble with the electronics. It is new, the one size electronics, and the bike is not good with it yet. We have some troubles, but the team works hard and we find something. I try to stay with Lorenzo and then I am able to so this is good.

MODERATOR: Cal Crutchlow has said that this year's bike is more physical to ride, and in fact finished less than 2 tenths behind you at the end of testing.

MARQUEZ: For sure, is harder. We understanding that there are plenty of changes. First is switch to Michelin. Then we have the new software, is not so good as last year. Then they mandate wings and landing gear....

MODERATOR: I'm sorry, Marc, to interrupt but the wings were not part of the technical updates for this year.

MARQUEZ: If we find something that they help then maybe...

SUPPO: [grabs mike] What Marc means to say is that Honda is investigating appropriate use of technologies already in evidence on other teams. And any decisions from the MotoGP governance concerning wings or ECUs or electronics has had no influence by Honda corporate, Repsol Honda or their subsidiaries.

MODERATOR: Er, okay. On that....

SUPPO: Ever. Just saying. Ever.

MODERATOR: Right. Ever. Moving on the the runner up last year. Valentino you came really close to wrapping up your 10th title but fell just short. How are you feeling going into this season after practice?

ROSSI: Yes, ah, is elephant in room with Marquez but I....

LORENZO: He call you fat.

MARQUEZ: You call me...

ROSSI: What? No, I say... look, is okay. We ride and we see Marquez behind Lorenzo. And Marquez push and Lorenzo push, but Marquez not trying to overtake Lorenzo.

MARQUEZ: I did not give Lorenzo race win!

ROSSI: I am, ah, talking about the practice.


ROSSI: Yes, I was saying. The tires, they are the new. But in practice we do the good laps. We are close over race distance. So I get close and then I have the chance.

MODERATOR: With new tires and electronics mandated for 2016 there has been a lot of talk about a level playing field to start the season. What's your strategy going into the first race.

ROSSI: Yes, for sure I think it is more even. Now we have to make improvement. I work with my trainer, Chun Li, and, ah, I think for sure we have something for the next race.

MARQUEZ: Chun Li... she is....

MODERATOR: Thank you everyone. Good luck in Qatar.

IANNONE: There are more people here you know.

MODERATOR: [turns off lights]

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Last edited by ShadeTree; 03-18-2016 at 06:57 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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I see you guys lurking, but nobody's commenting. Sigh.

With all of the drama from last season, it's going to be interesting to see who of the top three will show up on Sunday with their head screwed on straight. All 3 have won in the past 3 years, but of them also have a bit of egg on their face because of the others as well. Rossi insists that Marc interfered with his run and he had Lorenzo actively rooting against him. Marquez had that tangle with Rossi on top of the Rossi accusations. Lorenzo had Rossi claiming he was being helped by the Spanish armada, and the bad blood between them from the visit to race direction. So which one can put all (or most) of that behind them and get on with business?

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:33 PM
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I'll jump in--after the fact, of course, but, FWIW, I did correctly predict the winner . Anyway, no major tire dramas materialized, so Michelin ultimately escaped the weekend relatively unscathed, and the step down/back to common electronics didn't seem to be visible to the naked eye; no question Lorenzo's the guy to beat every round; after their poor showing in preseason testing, Honda's quick turnaround to competitiveness with Marquez was impressive and bodes well for future race action; even more impressive is Ducati's straightline speed: looks like the "Ducati lane" that Stoner first made use of to win his 1st c'ship has been reopened for Ianonne and Dovi--at least until the rear tire seemingly starts to fade and they lose some drive onto the straight; had high hopes for Vinales and Suzuki, but preseason, practice, and qualifying form didn't translate to race day performance--appears they still have work to do with full fuel tank and full race distances.

As for the rest, Crutchlow did what Crutchlow does, although none of the satellite Honda riders seem to be getting on with the bike; since I can't understand why he has *any* ride in MotoGP, I certainly can't fathom why KTM signed Smith to a 2 year deal for their new factory team; I have to think Laverty is looking at (former teammate) Nicky Hayden's return to competitiveness/relevance in WSBK with some envy; and speaking of relevance, despite his unflagging popularity and new 2-year deal with Yamaha, Rossi's relevance continues to slip away as his position as the #2 rider on the team further solidifies, and he's now besieged on multiple fronts by guys who aren't the least bit intimidated by him.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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I should have checked this earlier.

I don't think that Michelin was just unscathed in this race. I think that they knocked it out of the park, as did Magneti Marinelli. Not only was everything controlled enough to re-open Ducati lane, but Lorenzo broke the track record on their very first race. That's seriously impressive, especially considering all of the flack that was thrown their way.

All in all a surprising race for me in many ways. I was really surprised with how well Ducati went, and even Aprilia. They are estimating that they are only about 70% of the potential of the current bike, and are turning it up little by little as they continue to test and learn.

Crutchlow's crash didn't appear to be his fault. Apparently the electronics on his bike had a fault and got out of sync, so it was adjusting for the wrong corners almost from lap 1. When he crashed the telemetry showed that he actually braked earlier than the previous lap but entered the corner 60 kph faster because the engine braking wasn't in play like it should have been because of where the bike thought it was.

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