Duncan Bishop

  • Rosell return reignites female debate

    Elena Rosell gets another chance on the
    Aspar Moto2 bike this weekend at Aragon in Spain.

    It is a second opportunity after a disastrous
    debut appearance at Assen earlier this season - as a stand-in for Julian Simon -
    and will be a lower-key affair for both parties, although the Spaniard's latest
    appearance in the World Championship brings the subject of female riders back
    into the spotlight.

    The 25-year-old is not by any means the
    first female participant in grand prix racing, but Jorge Martinez's choice of
    substitute earlier this season raised eyebrows in the paddock. Decades spent
    covering

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  • Directionless Ducati development hurting Hayden

    If we learned anything at Motorland this weekend, it is that electricity can cut out at any moment.

    So, in the spirit of the 'Power's Gone GP', this blog will not use up any more wattage on describing Valentino Rossi's Ducati woes. The Italian's form has already blown quite enough fuses - as his helmet design at Misano illustrated.

    Rossi's problems have everyone stumped... imagine, then, being part of the same team and given a Frankenstein's monster of a machine to test out, race and master against that backdrop. That is the situation of former world champion Nicky Hayden.

    The American

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  • Suzuki’s indecision threatens to undermine hard work

    In MotoGP,
    almost everything is decided in advance. A clear direction, a clear commitment
    and a clear idea put into practice are key components in an overtaking manoeuvre, a successful race
    strategy and an entire MotoGP season.

    Unfortunately for some, in the current economic
    climate long-term forward planning just isn't possible.

    This is the position in which Suzuki find
    themselves now, with uncertainty surrounding their plans for 2012. The season
    has just over a month to run, and the MotoGP team are waiting on word from Japan.

    MotoGP's off-seasons have consistently been winters
    of discontent

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  • Japan puts demons to bed

    Folklore and mythology are often as
    baffling as they are fascinating, yet at times they offer us an unparalleled
    insight into a country's culture and attitude.

    Japan has some of the most confusing
    examples of folk legends, but one was particularly apt this weekend as Motegi
    put some MotoGP demons to bed.

    Tsukumogami are Japanese spirits - everyday objects that come to life once they
    reach 100 years of age. They show personality and a friendly nature upon assuming
    their spirit form.

    Now, Motegi is just under 15 years old, but
    the track assumed a personality of its own during the most recent

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  • Phillip Island’s greatest races

    It is nigh on impossible to find something that MotoGP riders all agree on, but that Phillip Island is one of the best tracks on the calendar is one of those things, so here are our top three races on the circuit.

    Ask them about their favourite circuits on the calendar, and most will name that of their home round, Mugello and the breezy Australian venue.

    The riders aren't the only ones who circle the visit to Cowes in their diary though. Phillip Island has an enviable record of thrilling races to its name, and I've picked three of the best to review ahead of this year's Aussie round.

    Got

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  • CRT gives riders another crack at MotoGP

    "If I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor," sang indie shoegazers James way back in 1989. While they sadly never released a MotoGP concept album, the phrase holds a certain relevance for the past week of developments in preparation for the 2012 season.

    James Ellison announced his return to the World Championship with Paul Bird Motorsport, in a move that came from left-field and took the paddock by surprise. The same James Ellison who last raced in MotoGP in 2006? The same James Ellison who rollerbladed every track on the calendar at a speed probably not too far off that of an

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  • From champions to changes

    As Casey Stoner and Ben Spies flew down the straight
    for the final time in the 2011 season, it was almost as if both of them were
    racing to bring the 800cc era to a close as quickly as possible.

    The much-maligned white elephant of the MotoGP World
    Championship was bid a fond 'good riddance', at Valencia, ironically with one
    of the closest duels for victory of its lifetime.

    An experiment gone wrong, a case of technology
    outpacing regulations or an unpredicted cure for insomnia - depending on your
    opinion and level of tact - it is hard to find anyone with anything positive to
    say about the past

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  • Questions and answers in Valencia

    There are one
    hell of a lot of loose ends to be tied up this weekend at the last round of the
    2011 season, but the 17-race world tour is crawling to its chequered flag - run
    down, out of gas, battered and bruised- rather than crossing the line with a
    triumphant wheelie.

    Team line-ups
    unannounced, the lower cylinder category titles to be decided and a premier
    class swansong to come, there are still questions that will go unanswered for
    the time being.

    The ambience at
    Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit will be a sombre one after the events of
    October 23rd, and the racing will serve as a coping

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  • Addio, Marco Simoncelli

    CRT, team changes, 1000cc testing and world title run-ins seemed highly important last week. It turns out that they really aren't.

    The Malaysian Grand Prix really takes it out of those in MotoGP, with its place towards the end of the calendar and role as part of three flyaway races - often on consecutive weekends. There is an air of tension between travellers, inevitable after three weeks living in each others' pockets, whilst those with family back in Europe or in the United States are ready to hop on the next plane back to see their loved ones.

    It is so very sad that Marco Simoncelli will

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  • Casey Stoner: Mr 800cc

    So, on Sunday
    morning what we all expected came to pass: Pope Benedict XVI announced that he
    was partial to a good Mass and a bear owned up to a rather unsightly mess in
    local forestry. Alright, that may be slight embellishment on this column's
    part, but what was confirmed at Phillip Island was equally unsurprising: Casey
    Stoner became the new MotoGP World Champion.

    Jorge Lorenzo's
    crash-induced absence from the main event made life easier for the Australian,
    but Stoner was never going to settle for second place anyway. In 2007 he had to
    be convinced by the event organisers and his Ducati team

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