Month: August 2018

MotoGP – Silverstone ends in shambles as rains stops British MotoGP

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Raceday at the British GP at Silverstone was a shambles as rain cancelled the race. Yes, the most obvious of British weather conditions brought the MotoGP Championship to a standstill. Yet, it took Race Direction some five and a half hours to finally bring the curtain down on a truly miserable day in every sense of the word.

The circuit owners blamed the cancellation on the riders and teams refusing to race, the teams blamed the standing water and the lack of drainage and the riders blamed safety – standing water was an issue during Saturday’s sessions (a major crash in the water during FP4 sent Tito Rabat to the hospital via helicopter, while four other riders ploughed into the gravel traps).

It is clear that Silverstone’s owners have fudged the recent multi-million fund resurfacing, which it boasted had removed the many bumps which had plagued the track for years. Standing water could be seen at much of the circuit, seemingly unable to cope with the most likely of weather conditions at this race track.

In an effort to beat the weather conditions, race organisers announced that the MotoGP race would be moved forward in the schedule to 11:15am in an effort to get the big bikes on the track before the rain was again expected to hit the circuit.

However, while the MotoGP warm-up session was held during dry conditions, rain began falling during the Moto3 warm-up and this quickly turned into a steady stream of rain.

With the Dorna and the track’s officials delaying Sunday’s races for as long as possible, Dorna, IRTA, and the MotoGP riders, bar Jack Miller and Johan Zarco, finally decided to cancel the race late in the afternoon, just before 4pm, as the rain showed no chance of stopping, and the track surface was clearly not safe enough to race upon when it was wet.

So, that was that…a shambolic end to a truly miserable day for British racing.

Tested: Arai RX-7V

Arai

This is my fourth RX-7V and I have nothing but praise for it.

This is my sole lid, and it’s the exact same helmet that you see top racers such as Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Vinales and Rea wearing each weekend.

I love this helmet and with good reason too – it’s truly all-day comfortable, and the non-itch lining does a good job of keeping my scalp dry and sweat free. Its performed faultlessly on the roads and the brilliant combination of powerful and effective visor vents and Pinlock means you’ll never suffer with misting, and the retractable chin spoiler is a neat, well-thought out touch.

This lid features Arai’s new visor change mechanism, which is far easier to master than the old system, and I know this lid will look after me in the worst case scenario – I threw my old GP down the road when I came off at speed and slid some 110m down the road, smacking my head hard in three different places. The shell took a proper battering but everything worked as it should and I didn’t get so much as a headache. This new lid features a new, smoother outer shell, a longer diffuser, a new, bigger visor tab and a new interior.

The new outer shell is a result of Arai’s philosophy that a smoother shell offers the best protection through its enhanced ‘glancing off’ properties – the theory is that a smoother shape spreads the impact load across the whole helmet and thus helps reduce the amount of energy transferred to a rider’s brain in a spill. The shell itself is 30g lighter than the outgoing model, thanks a mainly to the new resins used, and there is now 3mm extra space around the rider’s mouth and chin.

This focus on ‘glancing off’ has seen the RX-7’s visor pivot lowered by 24mm to allow Arai to keep the shell of the RX-7V completely smooth above the test line of the Snell standard, further improving impact performance.

The new helmet also sports a prominent visor tab, which Arai has carried over from its F1 programme. The system is much chunkier than its predecessor, which makes it easier to use with gloved fingers.

Arai’s slogan is ‘there is a difference’ and they’re right. This is very much a top of the range lid, and it’s worth every penny of its hefty price tag.

MotoGP – ‘racy’ Lorenzo takes gritty win in Austria

fileDucati’s Jorge Lorenzo deep to take a gritty  victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at thee Red Bull Ring.

The rider from Mallorca, who started from the front row of the grid following yesterday’s third place in qualifying, opted to begin the race with ‘soft’ tyres both front and rear, and after leading over the line at the end of the opening lap, he was then passed by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso looked to be falling behind, but on Lap 18 the race sprang into life.

After Lorenzo reclaimed the lead on the next lap, both he and Marquez battled it out until the end, with Lorenzo eventually crossing the line with an advantage of just 130 thousandths of a second.

Lorenzo said: “It was an incredible race, maybe one of the best of my career, quite simply spectacular! Winning with Ducati on this circuit, where I had never won before, after a close quarters battle with Marquez, has a really special taste. Before the race I had thought about which strategy to use, and I decided to do like Brno, administering the tyre wear well and then attacking in the final part of the race, especially because I was one of the few riders who had chosen ‘soft’ tyres and my riding style allowed me to conserve them until the end.

“When I found myself fighting against Marquez I knew that it was going to be difficult to pass him, so I decided to improvise by making the best use of the Desmosedici GP’s acceleration and it worked perfectly. Now we’re third in the championship standings, but above all I’m proud and very pleased with the way we’re working because the feeling with the bike is better and better all the time and I believe we can fight for the win in many other races.”

The next round of the championship will be the British Grand Prix, scheduled for the Silverstone circuit from 24th to 26th August.