Duncan Bishop

  • 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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  • 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

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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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