Archive for June, 2007
As Australia is gripped with the effects of a drought, it is interesting that the Australians competing in the 2007 MotoGP are reveling in the wet conditions that have been presented to them in the 2007 season.
Once again, Casey Stoner (Ducati) and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) showed that they feel right at home in the wet conditions. In his 2007 debut race Anthony West (Kawasaki) showed that he can mix it with the front runners. Unfortunately for Ant he ran wide in a corner, and after a valiant fight to keep the bike moving and upright, had a small fall. He was in 5th position at the time, even overtaking Rossi to get there. He was able to salvage a credible 11th in the race.
After some thrilling races this year, this years Donnington round was a little more pedestrian. The Texan Tornado (Colin Edwards) on the Fiat M1 Yamaha, raced to an early lead, followed closely by the pack, including Dani Pedrosa on the factory Honda. Both Stoner and Rossi mysteriously dropped well back in the pack after lackluster starts.
Edwards held on to get a solid second place, and once again Vermeulen showed his class in the wet with a great 3rd place, in what is becoming a good championship season for him.
This race proved two things…
- Casey Stoner continues to defy his critics – I hope that this race finally puts to rest the opinion that he is only winning due to the horsepower advantage of the Ducati
- Valentino Rossi is human – This year (Donnington included) has seen Valentino make mistakes and suffer the consequences.
All through the beginning of this season pundits have expressed that Stoners victories have been simply due to the speed of the Ducati. It implies that he is not as good as the other riders in the field, but his recent strong performances in the wet and on the tighter European tracks show that it is not just the bike. The Kurri Kurri Kid has undeniable talent. The powers to be at Ducati must be rubbing there hands with glee after they literally ‘stole’ Casey’s signature late last year.
And yes Valentino is human. He has made many little mistakes this year. More often than not this has seen other riders take advantage of these mistakes. At Donnington he looked to make a wrong tyre choice. Whilst it performed well in the mid part of the race, he faded quickly towards the end. So much so that when Vermeulen out braked him to take 3rd place it showed the importance of getting the choice right especially with the new tyre rules in 2007.
Rossi is not making huge mistakes and is still only 26 point behind Stoner in the championship race, but what is doing is showing the other riders that he is beatable. Last year people put his loss in the championship down to Hayden down to equipment failure, this may be correct. Maybe it also planted the seed in his (Rossi’s) mind that he is not infallible. It has also planted the seed in other racers mind that he can be beaten.
Full race results where:
1. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team
2. Colin Edwards USA Fiat Yamaha Team
3. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team
5. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
6. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team
7. Alex Barros BRA Pramac d’Antin MotoGP
8. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team
9. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d’Antin MotoGP
10. Marco Melandri ITA Gresini Honda
11. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team
12. Toni Elias SPA Gresini Honda
13. Kurtis Roberts USA Team Roberts
14. Shinya Nakano JPN Konica Minolta Honda
15. Makoto Tamada JPN Dunlop Tech 3 Yamaha
16. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Dunlop Tech 3 Yamaha
17. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team
Stay tuned for my report on the next round…the Dutch TT next week
For fans of the Aussie racer Anthony West, good news has just come in that he will be riding for Team Kawasaki for the rest of the 2007 MotoGP season.
Ant tested with the team in Spain after the recent MotoGP round and obviously impressed all with his riding abilitites. Team Green seem to like Aussies, as Andrew Pitt rode for them a few years ago, so they obvioulsy see Asutralia as a great breeding ground for talent.
Westy has continually struggled for a fair go in the 250cc class despite some solid perfomances in the wet. He even recently raced in World Supersport and won the round at Silverstone, so it was always difficult for fans to understand why he was treated roughly in the 2500cc GP class. Anthony himself has said a number of times it is because he simply cannot bring the cash other riders can.
That is all behind him now as he replaces Olivier Jacque at Kawasaki.
Now all us Aussie fans want is to see an all Australian podium in 2007 and if all goes well and Ant gets to ride for Kawasaki in 2008 an all Aussie championship for 2008.
A late news update: In practice for this weekends MotoGP, Ant West has just clocked the 5th fastest time in Free Practice #2, out doing Casey Stoner and even Valentino Rossi. Stay tuned for my race report for the Donnigton round soon… Dave
In what undoubtedly will go down as one of this years great races, Casey Stoner (Ducati), deflected an incredible amount of pressure from the second best rider in the history of the sport – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). Stoner now leads Rossi by 14 points in the championship race.
The record books will simply show, Stoner 1st place, Rossi 2nd but this will tell only a fraction of the story. The lead changed between the two racers and incredible 14 times. For anyone who might be bored with the F1 procession, I guarantee thrills aplenty if you start to follow MotoGP.
As I have said in previous articles, Stoner has matured incredibly this season. He was able to absorb the pressure tactics of Rossi continually throughout the race.
Dani Pedrosa lead from the race start, however it was clear early on that this would be a race between the cunning Italian and the super-fast Aussie. Stoner took the lead after the first lap and Pedrosa was delegated to third, behind Rossi not long after.
His 3rd place performance seemed better than it was. He never really put Stoner or Rossi under any real pressure, he seemed to be content in letting them scrap it out and maybe take each other out to hand him an easy win.
Stoner really shone. Last year he would have buckled under the pressure exuded by Rossi, but this year he was able to give back to Rossi as much as he was handed.
Last year he would have let Rossi pass and settle for a place, but in this race especially he attacked. This ability to attack has a lot to do with the improved machinery in 2007, but Casey has done a lot of hard work to get himself in this position.
With fewer than 5 laps to go Rossi made his move and blasted to the lead, but he was unable to shake Stoner who counter punched with 2 laps to go. In the end he beat his rival by 0.069 seconds. Watching the two of them trying to out brake each other was a joy to watch.
Chris Vermeulen again rued a poor qualifying performance. He began the race back in the pack but was able to salvage a 7th place. His team mate John Hopkins continued his consistent run this year with a solid fourth place. For Suzuki’s sake I really hope he sticks with them next year as they seem to be really gelling as a team (Hopkins/Vermeulen and Suzuki).
Kawasaki rider Randy De Puniet rode the race of his life to bring the normally luckless Team Green machine in 5th spot. De Puniet was still injured from an previous incident and his ride was testament to his toughness and ability. At the end of the race it was clear to spectators he was still in pain as he hobbled off the bike and limped back to the relative comfort of the pit garage.
Once again 2006 champion Nicky Hayden was relegated to outside the top 10, to come in 11th, in what is turning out to be a truly forgettable year.
So for all those naysayers who said the drop in engine capacity from 990cc to 800cc would result in boring races get a life, ‘cause if this is boring you must be dead! So what about the others…well here are the top 10 results
- 1st – Casey Stoner (Ducati)
- 2nd – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
- 3rd – Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
- 4th – John Hopkins (Suzuki)
- 5th – Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki)
- 6th – Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
- 7th – Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki)
- 8th – Alex Barros (Ducati)
- 9th – Marco Melandri (Honda)
10th – Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
In what can only be described as a coup, Dave’s World has been able to have a interview (albeit somewhat brief) with celebrity jailbird Paris Hilton (pictured above)…
Dave’s World: Hello Paris, Thanks for letting us have this chat
Paris: Hi Dave, no worries. I am a regular reader of your blog (well except for the last couple of days) and thought you would be an ideal forum for my first interview.
Dave’s World: So tell us Paris, what was is it like?
Paris: Well Dave, the orange does nothing for my complexion; it really ‘washes me out’. Also the food here has made me drastically put on weight. I have put on 50 grams since being here. It’s terrible.
Dave’s World: That’s a shame but you still look better than Lindsay Lohan.
Paris: Thanks. The people here are nice. A lot of the ‘ladies’ in here have been really kind. Offering to tuck me in at night; offering to help me bathe, it’s just like boarding school except there aren’t any nuns.
Dave’s World: So Paris, when do you hope to get out? There is lot’s of talk about you being released early.
Dave’s World: Yes
Paris: Well I am going to pretend I am a bit crazy, and see if I can get sent home early…I desperately need a facial and my nails done.
Dave’s World: So tell us Paris, what do you think this will do for your career?
Paris: Well Dave, it’s all looking good. I am getting plenty of offers from companies looking to have me as their spokesperson. Security companies, companies that make overalls to name a few and I hope to turn this experience into a book/movie deal.
Dave’s World: That sounds great. Who would play you in the movie?
Paris: Winona Ryder. We ex-cons have a secret sisterhood and I think if she losses 10 kgs; dyes her hair blonde and maybe a nip and tuck, she would be perfect. It would either her, Courtney Love or Rosie O’Donnell. Meryl Streep would be good too and I have always been a fan of Elvira.
Dave’s World: Well thanks Paris for that riveting interview
Paris: Thanks Dave, see you soon. Could you please pass me some lip gloss?
In what was one of this years best races, Valentino Rossi (pictured above) once again stamped his authority on the MotoGP championship to claw back lost ground to young Aussie Casey Stoner. Stoner riding the Ducati came in a credible 4th to still hold a slender 9 point lead in the championship.
In doing so Rossi maintained his total dominance at the Mugello track inItaly, with the Yamaha M1 rider making it his 6th win.
It was an exciting race, with the lead changing many times during the early art of the race. It saw Loris Capirossi and Stoner (Ducati) battling it out with Spanish wonder kid Dani Pedrosa (Honda) dicing for the lead.
Unfortunately Capirossi could not maintain the pace and slipped to be seventh after this great tussle.
Then the ‘Doctor’ (Rossi) stormed to the lead at lap 15 to the cheers of the estimated 85,000 parochial crowd and was able to hold off challengers to score an emphatic win. He beat home Spain’s Dani Pedrosa who was second, with MotoGP veteran Alex Barros of
Brazil scoring a well deserved third.
It was an exciting tussle between veteran Barros and young ace Stoner in the closing stages of the race, but the wily Brazilian was able to counter the pressure placed on him to keep Stoner in 4th.
Rizla Suzuki rider John Hopkins again showed his talents by finishing a solid 5th in what is looking to be a strong year for the Suzuki factory team.
Chris Vermeulen scored more point this race with again showing his class by coming in eighth in front of more fancied opponents such as Marco Melandri 9th and 2006 champion Nick Hayden who scored a 10th, in what will surely be the end of his championship defence. Hayden now must resign himself to be unable to regain his crown.
The top five finishers:
1st Valentino Rossi
2nd Dani Pedrosa 3rd Alex Barros4th Casey Stoner
5th John Hopkins