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Discussion in 'Motorcycle Racing' started by Julian Bond, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Julian Bond

    Julian Bond Guest

    Well not a great race but interesting to watch. And a masterful race
    from Ben's Pies. 2 out of 3 is a great start for him. It's beginning to
    shape up like Edwards-Bayliss except this time it's Spies-Haga. It's
    going to be a long old battle.

    That Aprilia is *fast*. Really good to see them get their first podium.
    Julian Bond, Mar 14, 2009
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  2. Julian Bond

    Julian Bond Guest

    Cracking WSS race again. Nothing much to choose between Laverty, Pitt,
    Sofuoglu and Crutchlow. Amazing to see the Parkalgar Honda be faster
    than the Ten Kate Hondas. Perfect high corner speed in the last turn
    and a drag past Pitt for Laverty's first win.
    Julian Bond, Mar 14, 2009
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  3. Julian Bond

    Julian Bond Guest

    I see their serving rocket fuel over at Ben's Pies. Getting the full
    house of Superpole, fastest lap and the double win is pretty damn
    impressive. Perhaps more impressive is just how he got those wins. Once
    he hit the front with some safe and opportunistic passes and took off,
    nobody had any answer.

    Inevitably the Brit commentators were all saying "wait till we get to
    the Euro circuits (that suit the Ducati more)" but I suspect Spies and
    the Yamaha will be just as dominant there as well.

    So is the Yamaha R1 as good as everyone is saying it is and Haga should
    be kicking himself for switching just as they produce a bike that is a
    real winner? And/or is Spies really as exceptional as promised? Or both?
    Julian Bond, Mar 15, 2009
  4. Julian Bond

    Dirt Guest

    I suspect its a bit of both. Ben is very, very good but if you look
    at Sykes' results, I think that indicates Yamaha has produced one hell
    of a bike. I'm not trying to take anything away from Sykes, but when
    you compare how he finished in BSB against Haslam, Byrn, etc who are
    in WSB now, he seems to have jumped up a notch or two.

    This week's MCN compares the R1, Blade, GSXR, ZX10 and 1098. The
    Yamaha ate the rest of them for breakfast in track testing despite
    being the least powerful of the inline fours and having the least
    amount of torque of all the bikes (I think. I'm going from memory.).

    Dirt, Mar 15, 2009
  5. Julian Bond

    T3 Guest

    3 days after seeing the circuit for the first time? Pretty damn
    impressive I'd say..
    We've been seeing him do that for years now, though usually there was 2
    of them that vaporized..
    I dunno, the Yam looked a little down on the straight compared to the
    V-4 and the Duc..
    let's review, Haga dumps Yam and inherits The Bayliss throne, new guy
    takes Haga's ride and rips the field. Remarkable, extraordinary,
    exceptional, ayup, sounds about right and sounds familiar too...
    T3, Mar 15, 2009
  6. Julian Bond

    Dave Guest

    I agree. Spies was unable to even pull up on Haga and Biaggi down the
    straight even with a double draft. I don't know if they were running
    out of revs or running low on HP. Spies did say he was slow getting
    out of the last corner so maybe it was just him.

    That Aprilia was damn fast though! Their accomplishment shouldn't be
    overlooked either.

    It is extraordinary. However, to be fair to Haga this definitely
    isn't the bike he was riding the past couple years. On the other
    hand, the bike he has now should be at *least* as good as Bayliss'.
    He ought to be doing as well as Troy did. Funny how everyone talks
    about Haga like he's sucking ass but in fact he is leading the

    If I have one complaint about Spies, it's that he has the personality
    of a rock. He also needs to loosen up a bit in the interviews. In
    the AMA the Speed TV crew always asked inane questions and expected
    the same canned answers. In WSBK they usually give a little more than
    just, "it was good. I put my head down and we got there in the end."
    Dave, Mar 15, 2009
  7. Julian Bond

    Julian Bond Guest

    And yet that was what he did to pass both of them. However, you're
    right, on most laps he was a little down on top end.
    That seems to be the key to the straight at Qatar. And was Laverty's
    real strength that got him the win in WSS. It could also mean that
    Yamaha haven't got the traction control on the new motor completely
    sorted yet.
    Yes, indeedy.
    I don't think the Ducati is Haga's bike yet. It's still Bayliss' bike.
    Haga really only made a couple of his signature moves (to pass Biaggi)
    and his front tyre was shot at the end of the first race. But equally I
    don't think he's riding the traction control the way Bayliss did.

    One thing I noticed was that all the front runners seemed to be having
    trouble with the back end during hard changes of direction. Like the
    suspension was topping out and/or the slipper clutch needed work.
    Perhaps this is all just a Qatar thing in which case expect Haga to get
    faster and faster as we move to "Ducati" tracks and he morphs the Ducati
    into a bike that suits his riding style better.
    It's not so bad, at least he smiles. But you're right, this is not a
    Haga or Edwards. On the others, I'm always surprised by how much Biaggi
    wants to talk. He seems to be genuinely enjoying himself this year.
    Let's hope it lasts.
    Julian Bond, Mar 16, 2009
  8. Julian Bond

    Dave Guest

    Or my personal favorite...Hodgson. I always liked his interviews when
    he was with WSBK.

    So far Spies is just giving his canned answers. You probably don't
    notice it becuase you've only seen him three times thusfar. By
    mid-season it'll be obvious.

    The whole move to Superbike seems to have done wonders for Biaggi's
    personal disposition. He's looked a lot more relaxed and happy ever
    since he arrived, but you're right that it's even more noticeable this
    Dave, Mar 16, 2009
  9. Julian Bond

    Dave Guest

    I'd be more concerned about Haga and the Ducati if he hadn't already
    won a handful of races on the Renegade Ducati a few years ago. He
    proved then that he was capable of riding one with success.
    Dave, Mar 16, 2009
  10. Julian Bond

    Julian Bond Guest

    There's a lot of guesswork and perceived wisdom in all this.
    - Haga has always taken strange lines and has a reputation for turning
    inside other people on seemingly impossibly tight lines
    - Everyone who has ever tested Haga's bikes comments on how front endy
    they are.
    - Ducati had some problems with the 999 getting the weight distribution
    right. To the point where Xaus had the wheel so far back it was rubbing
    (with visible smoke) on the front cylinder head
    - Haga's Renegade days were on the 998 That's 2 generations ago
    - Bayliss was more about corner exit speed and being abusive with the
    traction control. And he lost the front more than once last year
    - Every test of the new Yamaha (stock) has said the bike is much more
    useable than last year even though it's got less power and torque all
    the way through the rev range. To the tune of 1s a lap against stock
    ZX10, Blade and GSXR.
    - The '08 Yamaha had a a problem with managing tyre wear
    - In Philip Island and in Qatar, Sykes turned in some lap times close to
    Spies but from a poor start and less consistently.
    - Haga's front tyre was completely shot after the first Qatar race.
    - Haga was riding much smoother and more neatly last weekend than we've
    seen for a while.

    There's probably some other data points as well. My guess in all this is
    - Spies is an exceptional rider
    - The Yamaha is just as fast turning as it was last year, only a little
    slower on top speed (relatively) but has more mechanical rear grip and
    makes it easier to manage tyre wear
    - Haga is also an exceptional rider.
    - Corse and Haga haven't yet worked out how to give him his front end
    feel while still getting the drive out of corners. But they're getting
    - Tardozzi has taken in him hand and drilled him in winning the
    championship, not individual races
    - The Spies Yamaha will get faster and faster as the season progresses
    and as they find more power and fine tune it.
    - The Haga Ducati will get faster as they close in on the perfect setup
    for Haga.
    Julian Bond, Mar 16, 2009
  11. Julian Bond

    Switters Guest

    Either a) I hope not, or b) I hope the others do so too. This year is/was
    destined to be a very close thing, so I don't want to see any one person
    running away with it.

    Awesome showing from Spies though, he's kicked arse so far and been quite
    modest about it. He's much more likeable than Stoner :)
    Switters, Mar 17, 2009
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