Duncan Bishop

  • Testing is back – and not just in Sepang

    Randy De Puniet at the Valencia test

    You may have noticed that pre-season testing resumes this week at the Sepang International Circuit. If you are anything like me, you've no doubt been counting down the days between fly-tipping the Christmas tree (Disclaimer: No fly tipping actually took place) and having some actual, bona fide MotoGP action to mull over. Just knowing that most of the main players in the premier class will be back on track with their 1000cc bikes is an exciting prospect.

    So exciting, in fact, that you'll probably have tracked down at least the first day's timesheet to see what happened in Malaysia by the time

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  • Season review part 4: From Sic to Stoner

    Here is the final part of our review of 2011. Next week we take a look ahead to the resumption of testing for the premier class.

    Marco Simoncelli

    Three months on from his untimely death, it is still hard to believe that Marco Simoncelli is gone. The fact that riders typically keep a low profile during the testing ban adds to the surreal nature of the situation. The Valencia GP was undertaken in a state of shock and it will only be when testing resumes and the season kicks off at Qatar that it will really sink in. Marco is definitely going to be missed.

    His 2011 was a season of potential and

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  • Season review part 3: From Aoyama to Rossi

    Let's take a look at the 2011 seasons of Hiroshi Aoyama, Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi.

    Hiroshi Aoyama

    For Honda, having a Japanese rider in the premier class has always been important. It's an unspoken rule that had a lot to do with prolonging the presence in MotoGP of Shinya Nakano and Makoto Tamada, brought Yuki Takahashi up to the premier class and kept some satellite teams as two-rider outfits with Honda providing most — if not all — the Hiroshi Aoyama and his 2011 bikemoney for wages.

    Aoyama was undoubtedly the best man to represent Japan in 2011, considering that he brought the final 250cc title back

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  • Season review part 1: From Capirossi to Elias

    January 2012. A new year and a new start for all, although the MotoGP World Championship isn't moving forward just yet. A testing ban is still in place and 2011 is still more recent than the coming season is close.

    We can, however, learn from the past and use it to make predictions for the future. Thus, following in the footsteps of Eurosport F1 expert Will Gray, the next few weeks before the Sepang test will be dedicated to putting the class of 2011 under the microscope. We start at the back and move our way forward, like a rider on slicks taking on a wet-but-drying track...

    Loris Capirossi

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  • Italy’s shallow talent pool for 2012

    Valentino Rossi

    Italy does Christmas a little differently to the British Isles: There is a similar tradition of overindulgence, extravagance and consumerism, but they celebrate the 'Corteo dei Re Magi' (Three Kings Procession) and don't have the Eastenders special to look forward to.

    Perhaps to fill the void left by Phil Mitchell and his merry band of cockney troublemakers, Italy's top MotoGP riders have been having a verbal tussle of sorts via that most dignified of mediums: Twitter.

    "You only see people's true character when they win. The problem is, he hasn't won yet," was Valentino Rossi's stinging

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  • The 2011 MotoGP ‘Full Gas Awards’

    Paris Hilton and Maverick ViñalesParis Hilton and Maverick Viñales

    With a testing ban in place and a chance to rest after a long season, the FIM Gala held in Estoril last weekend was more than a little inconvenient for the MotoGP riders.

    So much so, in fact, that world champion Casey Stoner elected to skip the backslapping ceremony altogether, leaving the federation to hold their grand prize-giving event without the title winner of their most prestigious series.

    So, in time-honoured minor awards ceremony fashion, allow me to introduce the unofficial 'Full Gas Awards'.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, Casey Stoner cannot be here this evening - and he won't even be

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  • Safety Thirst: Making MotoGP safer

    crashI'm going to open with a trivia question:
    Q: What do the grids at the 2011 MotoGP races at Le Mans, Estoril, Indianapolis, Aragon and Misano have in common?

    A: They were the only five races of the year in which all scheduled participants made the start.

    That's less than a third of the season with full attendance.

    As of 2012 there will be more bikes on the grid, which tackles the problem of a depleted field on Sundays. Maybe, however, the issue could be approached from another angle.

    Racing at high speed, accidents will happen. If they didn't, then we'd see the premier class grid packed with

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  • Will Suzuki be back?

    One of the longest running paddock sagas finally reached its conclusion last week as Suzuki pulled out of MotoGP, with a stated intention of a 2014 return. In the words of Bob Dylan: "It's all over now, baby blue."

    Deadlines set, only to be moved back; uncertainty about the future of the factory team even at the very last race of the season. Alvaro Bautista's crash on the opening corner at Valencia might have been going out with a bang in the most literal interpretation of the phrase, but this was an exit through the back door for the Hamamatsu outfit.

    In my opinion, a sabbatical is almost

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