Friday, March 9, 2007

MotoGP 2007 Preview MouthoftheMersey

The preview that didn't make it - by OBO king and mimitig collaberator MouthoftheMersey

Nicky Hayden starts his defence of the MotoGP title in the desert of Qatar’s Doha circuit and, lest we forget, in the desert of the BBC’s live sport roster (11.30am Sunday BBC2, since you ask). But of course nobody is too interested in the Number 1 bike when there’s a Number 46 bike on the grid.

After his sensational late season charge to (what seemed) yet another fairytale MotoGP Championship, Valentino Rossi was (for once) unable to write the final chapter. The Doctor fell off in the last round of MotoGP 2006 and handed the title to the consistent young American who had accumulated points steadily over the season.

Having spent the close season flirting with Ferrari and rallying, Valentino, to the huge relief of TV companies and sponsors, is as hungry as ever for motorcycling, as his fastest lap in last month’s official testing at Jerez proves. Having won well over half of all MotoGP races, the Doctor will be looking to win in Qatar and stay ahead of the field through the 18 race season, with the British round scheduled for Donington Park on June 24. Like Woods and Federer, Rossi thrives on the pressure favouritism brings and can look forward to another season basking in the adoration of his worldwide tifosi.

As ever, the new season comes with a new rulebook, 2007’s stipulating that bike capacity come down from last season’s 990cc to this season’s 800cc. But, inevitably, the bikes are going faster. We can expect close racing, drafting then overtaking (as Formula One cars did before the boffins got a grip) and plenty of thrills and spills (though not many serious ones please).

To the uninitiated, channelling over 220 bhp through the few square centimetres of rubber in contact with the road seems completely crazy, but to the initiated… well, we think it’s pretty crazy too. Having said that, a great joy of motorcycle racing, as compared to Formula 1 or WRC, is that the bikes look like our own bikes – they go quite a bit faster and stop astonishingly more abruptly, but it’s still two wheels with an engine in between and a rider struggling to control it. Of all top-end motorsport competitors, it is probably bike riders who are closest to their public in every way but salary..

Joining Hayden and Rossi on the grid are old favourites like Alex Barros and Kenny Roberts (not so) Jnr and young guns Casey Stoner (real name!) and pocket-rocket Dani Pedrosa. Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams will fly the Union Jack, but at 42 is old enough to be Casey Stoner’s father. With Rossi a long-term London resident, many British fans consider the Italian genius as one of their own.

Will Hayden repeat his feat of 2005 and hold on to the title? You can get 10/1 about the Kentucky Kid if you think so. Rossi, on the other hand, is odds-on.


acwo said...

Nice blog, I like it :)
Keep it up.

MotM said...

And it didn't make it because JonnyBoy's is much better! And before anyone accuses me of just saying that, I entered another piece with which I am much more pleased, and I hope Ebren will do me the kindess of posting and others will do me the kindness of reading.

Not sure about this OBO king stuff - it is fun though!

Ebren said...

I'll put it on when I'm good and ready ;-)

Actually - I was saving it for later on, good stuff gets lost in the rush on a friday.

Not that the stuff I've put on today sin't good - but I like to have something in reserve for later.

andrewm said...

Mouth, I don't know who these people are, but nice writing anyway your highness (exits room backwards, head bowed).

mimi said...

No no no! Have only got as far as first para but correction desperately needed. 1st round from Doha is on SATURDAY Beeb 2 at 11.30. Do not, chaps and chapesses, set the vid for sunday. Or is this just cos I'm working from the Scottish RT?
Right back to the article now.

jonnyboy71 said...

mimi, if you watch the BBC, you'll miss Toby and Julian - but nice one for checking the schedules!

MotM, I liked it, you obviously know your shit - better than I do, I would guess. I think our articles were fine bits of opportunistic features writing, but then again, this is about winning a competition, not a demonstration of the abstract art of writing.

Whether you get your piece up there or not, I think the main point about the Big Blogger thing for me is that I'm getting more critical of my own stuff and appreciating other peoples' more.

Zeph said...

I can't relate to vrroom vrroom sports, but I liked the writing in this piece - thanks M & M.

MotM said...

Sorry about the gaffe re Sunday (and I checked!)

Jonny - thanks for the comment. Yours is much, much better (and far and away the best this week)
but I'm pleased to see kind words here and I certainly enjoyed writing it.

I agree about the Eurosport boys, but I liked it even more when Keith Heuwen (I think) was teamed with Julian (Keith's on Sky and amazingly confined to the studio!) Toby is a bit Murray Walkerish at times and the "it goes to 11" approach can wear, but Eurosport cuts to ads to give us a break. I like the BBC boys too, but I guess you'd have to work hard to make MotoGP dull.

mimi said...

Nothing Rossi does could ever be dull, but be still my beating heart. Any moment now and I'll veer off into my why the girls love Afridi mode!

olivier said...

offsideintahiti said...

I am one of the uninitiated and yes, I think it's crazy but I've watched a few races with a friend who's mad about it and I was quite taken with the aesthetics of it.

Mouth's and JonnyBoy's pieces have certainly piqued my interest, so who knows? I might watch a few more races this season.

I wonder if any of you know of the French (actually, could be Belgian, but French language anyway) cult comic books "Joe Bar Team"? Well, it appears they have been translated into English (quite a feat!) and can be found here:

pipita said...


My lack of knowledge on motobykes is at the same level as my ignorance concerning karate. But I really enjoyed reading this piece of yours, it helps people like my self understand why motor sports can be so attractive. Wasnt there a Spanish moto champion, not too long ago, called Nieto?? Cant remember his first name

MotM said...

Pipita - Thanks. It's so nice to think that one's words have communicated something!

I think this is your Nieto -

mimi said...

OK, I've watched the race now (had to tape cos working) and I think odds of 10-1 on Nicky retaining title are way off the mark. Poor soul. Not only can he not seem to come to terms with the new bikes, but others have leap-frogged Honda in general progress. Superb from Suzuki today and more surprising a leap than seeing the Dukes - one of them anyway - right up there. Typically mature and wise ride from the Doctor. Expect to see him as favourite with the bookies any time soon.

pipita said...


Angel Nieto, suppose he's the one Im referring to, but somehow thought he had been champ more recently, is there another recent spanish ace biker??
Just back from lunch. Had some linguini, was careful not to toss any parmesano on them...ha,ha,ha

MotM said...

Pipita - To the enduring cost of my wardrobe,and soon my health, my love for cheese knows no bounds!

Mimi - I'll catch a repeat on Eurosport, but JB had the good grace to do me a personal MBM from his salon appointment. It's game over if the Duke can generate that differential in straight line speed, but I expect the Doctor to be back on the pace very soon.

MotM said...

Ebren / Andrewm - Let's have some more stuff to read. I'm tired of this preview of yesterday's race at the top of the pile and I wrote it!

GU can be dull on Sundays, especially as there is no Amy piece this week and I need my fix.

Russell Brand wasn't on the blog yesterday, but he was in the paper. Do you think seani sacked him or he requested relief from the posts?

andrewm said...

Mouth, I noticed RB's absence from the blog as well. I don't want to celebrate just yet though.

I haven't checked the email inbox since Ebren resumed editing, but since he said he didn't mind I'll have a look now. If anything's there I'll put it on the site. Got to keep the king happy :)

andrewm said...

Mouth, there's unread mail in the sportsblog inbox but it's not clear whether the messages are submissions or emails to Ebren so I'd rather not read them.

MotM said...

Fair enough andrew. New stuff appearing now.

England or France for you this afternoon?

andrewm said...

France to win, but I don't have a clue why.

MotM said...

andrewm - there should be a post from me on Friday afternoon to the hotmail address with two pieces. The pedestrian MotoGP Preview which I'm glad has dipped down the toilet roll and a piece called "In Good Time" with which I was rather pleased but hit the spike at Big Blogger without an hon mensh.

Mind you, it's in good company!

Ebren said...


Sorry mate, I've been away from t'internet for a couple of days.

I put moto GP on to contrast JB's, as I think you mentioned it on the BB4 thread.

I was holding off on some things to try and spread them out - went on a bit of a glut of posting this morning however...

MotM said...

No problems Ebren. There's some great stuff here again and too much at once or from a single contributor is definitely worth avoiding.

Great to see the momentum maintained and thanks again.

Very tempted to write a piece about England's criminal waste of Mike Catt's brains these past three years.

Ebren said...

Right now i am in love with Geraghty, Strettle, Flood, Rees, Ellis, and - of course - Catt.

Never seen an England team offload like that, beat that many players, and against one of the WC favourites.

Some breathtaking rugby.

MotM said...

I've visions of JonnyBoy driving that motor around Glawster with a fist on the horn - he'll probably have company in that neck of the woods.

Good stuff though - reward for positive play (at last).

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to tell.

Anonymous said...

Great read! You may want to follow up to this topic =D

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