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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Predictions for this race?

I'm hoping for a re-make of the 2009 race at the front (with different riders maybe).

My prediction is Marquez, Rossi, and Lorenzo on the podium (not necessarily in that order).
 
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No predictions other than it will be business as usual if there are no mishaps. Pressure is on Crutchlow. I knew he had a clause to get out of his contract after a year if things didn't go well. Turns out that's reciprocal and Corse can dump him if they are not happy. He needs to finish.
I know there is a lot of speculation around Dovizioso and a new contract. All I can add is that I was told that he's actually very happy where he is.


Ducati Team back on track for Catalan GP at Montmelò

With exactly one third of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship behind them, the Ducati Team are about to tackle the next event this weekend in Spain, at the Montmelò circuit near Barcelona. The long straight and many overtaking points of the Catalan circuit make it one of the most spectacular races on the calendar and the GP de Catalunya always attracts massive crowds to the grandstands.

In 2013 Andrea Dovizoso was unable to obtain the desired results in both qualifying and the races, but in any case the Montmelò track, where he won in 250 GP in 2006, remains one of the Italian rider’s favourites. After an unfortunate part of the season, his team-mate Cal Crutchlow is still searching for his best form. Last year he qualified second on the grid but DNF’ed in the race after a crash while in fourth place.

For the second successive race, the two Ducati Team men will be joined by Test Team rider Michele Pirro, who will be competing in the Catalan round as a wild-card.

Immediately after the weekend Dovizioso and Crutchlow, as well as Pirro, will take part in Monday’s IRTA test, during which they will continue development work on the Desmosedici GP14. Pirro will remain at Montmelò for a further two days’ testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“I hope to do well at Montmelò with my Desmosedici GP14: it’s a very strange track, with lots of fast corners and one long straight. Last year was quite bad, with ninth on the grid and seventh in the race, but it is one of my favourite tracks. The bike is a little bit better than last year, and we have to try and get the maximum as always.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“After my unfortunate crash at Mugello, now we have to go to Barcelona and improve. I think it’s going to be a tough circuit for us, because the long corners come back on themselves quite a lot, which could make things a bit more difficult. As always we will try and be competitive: we are definitely very strong in the braking area and also in the straight line and we go to Barcelona with a new attitude again.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51)

“It’s good to do this second race on the run at Barcelona, which is a track that I like and I hope to find the conditions that will enable us to carry out our work. I will also be staying behind for three more days next week, so we’ll use the race weekend to establish a good basis and then continue the work over the next three days.”

Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya
In 1998, through joint collaboration between the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmelò Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on giving one of Europe’s most beautiful cities a state-of-the-art circuit to match. Located 20 km north of Barcelona, it was inaugurated in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event the same month, the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the GP de Catalunya. The Catalan circuit is one of the best designed modern-day circuits and can accommodate up to 104,000 spectators.

Fastest lap: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1’42.358 (166.2 km/h)
Qualifying: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2013), 1’40.893 (168.6 km/h)
Track length: 4.727 km
Race length: 25 laps (118.2 km)
Race start: 14:00 Italian time (GMT +2)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 04
Age: 28 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 210 (112 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Cal Crutchlow
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 35
Age: 28 (born on 29 October 1985 in Coventry, UK)
Residence: Isle of Man
Races: 57 (57 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2011 Qatar
Poles: 2
First pole: 2013 Assen TT

Michele Pirro
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 51
Age: 27 (born of 5 July, 1986 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy)
Residence: Cesena
Races: 78 (31 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
First GP: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
 

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I am looking forward to this race..
And Zoot, I am sure that there will be a certain amount of business as usual as you mentioned, but business as usual for '14 has not been with Jorge up there...

So, I also think that Marci's the man to beat... Of course.
But I am also interested to see how Jorge goes this round?
As with the second half of last season, the fighting Jorge seems to show up when he seems to be out of the title chase. Last year, there were a few instances that brought the title back towards him.. Especially P.I...

I hope that Jorge is again at the pointy end..
I would LOVE to see Rossi up there again...
And I would also like to see Pedrosa have a good go..

We could be in for another great race.. Even if I do think that Marc will take the victory. I would love to be wrong.

I would like to see Rossi get a victory..
I would like to see Jorge find some pace to give a run with Marc as well.. And Dani needs to show up and battle in my eyes.. It would be exciting..

As far as the Ducati?
I have enjoyed watching "Crazy Joe" this year... And I think that his efforts are something that I can appreciate...

Say see you later to Cal.. And see how Dovi and "Crazy Joe" do on the all new bike next year...

Sooner, or later... I look forward to the Ducati forgetting to a point where their tires don't drop off after the first third of the race...

And I would love to see Hayden get a shot at Bautista's bike...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FP1 done and Marquez only in 7th??? Aleix Espargaro fastest, almost 3/4 of a second faster than Lorenzo in 2nd. I know it's just FP1 and doesn't mean much, but still....this could be interesting
 

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I am looking forward to this race..
And Zoot, I am sure that there will be a certain amount of business as usual as you mentioned, but business as usual for '14 has not been with Jorge up there... /snip
I missed these sensible discussions :)

Jorge has been a bit of an enigma this season. It's not the bike. Other results clearly show that. However the yamaha has had issues with this year's tyre but they tend to have issues every year due to their high cornering speed causing edge grip falloff. There is some whispering, and I think it's quite obvious, that the problem with the 99 bike is in the rider's head. he's not been used to being beat up so much in recent years and I think it's clearly crushed him. However those things are temporary and fixable.

The Yamaha's should be quick here but watching the FP2 live now I still can't decide what the tyre choice will be. Wear will be an issue ( more than at other tracks ) I expect.

Ducati will struggle here. Even in the past with totally different bikes, Big Red never do well on the twisty stuff. There is a lot going on with engine development but I'd not expect the bike or the results to change much this year.
There is a brand new bike already in development for 2015 designed to be much more adjustable in a race weekend. It won't be as radical a jump as the GP12 was and probably will not be visibly much different but it's what the boss wants. I'm concerned it's a lot of money and resources on a machine which is designed for the outgoing Bridgestone tyre and may well need replacing for 2016. I'd rather resources went into the GP16 and Ducati just limp along again next year. But that's Audi's decision.

Iannone has been doing well but it's why he was hired. Corse have put a lot of faith and effort into him and he's only recently been paying that back. He's been considered a long term investment and should not be looking elsewhere. If he's happy with his team at Pramac ( many are from Corse ) then there is no reason to want the Ducati ride. The entry he is on now is already a full factory effort. Some praise should go to Hernadez as it's easy to forget that whilst he has some Corse support that is essentially a private entry from the Pramac team and the bike is last year's GP13.

Crutchlow is another one who is baffling. Promised so much but failed to deliver. There is a thinking that he's used a number of technical issues as excuses for what are essentially him being unable to ride the bike. He's an incredible talent, no doubt. But he's an angry kid and when he's not happy it shows in his riding. And he's not happy. I truly don't think he would walk unless for a ride with the big boys as it would be financially crippling but I'm not sure that Corse will put up with another season like this first part when there are such enticing options. That move would have to be made now of course as Crutchlow's contract is out of kilter with the rest of the paddock and there will be no obvious replacement at the end of next season.

That's my two cents for now :)

let me know if you want pictures. I don't want to piss anyone off.
 

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^^ Photos are always welcome!!!!
 
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I'm not going to be Pissed.
 

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MotoGP 2014 - Round 7 - Catalunya

Difficult day 1 for Ducati Team riders in Catalunya GP free practice
The two Ducati Team riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, and test-rider Michele Pirro, entered in the Spanish race as a wild-card, struggled more than expected today at the Montmeló circuit, where the first two free practice sessions for the GP of Catalunya were held.

After a difficult first session, both Dovizioso and Crutchlow slightly improved their times in the afternoon: the Italian finished the day in tenth place with a time of 1’42.812, while his British team-mate lapped in 1’43.725 to finish back in fifteenth place.

Michele Pirro was unable to improve in the warmer afternoon conditions, and he ended up in 14th place, with a time slightly quicker than that of Crutchlow.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 10th (1’42.812)
“I am quite happy because we managed to improve on this morning’s set-up. This afternoon the conditions were more difficult because there was less grip with the hot weather (50° C track), but we got a bit closer to the leaders. I didn’t do a great lap with the soft tyre, because at the front I had fitted a harder used one. But I managed to get into the top 10 and that’s positive.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 15th (1’43.725)
“Obviously today I’m not very happy with the situation, we’ve made hardly any improvement and my Desmosedici GP14 had very little grip. We need to improve tomorrow, but for the moment it’s difficult because we still have the same problem in that we cannot turn the bike the way we want to. I think Dovi is in the same boat, but he is just able to do a faster lap time than me at the moment.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 14th (1’43.624)

“Today we tried various things with my GP14, but in the end I was not able to improve on this morning’s time with the warmer track. Tomorrow we’ll try and work on the set-up and make another step, and I feel sure we can make some progress.”


Copyright © 2014 Ducati Motor Holding spa
 

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^^^ Great stuff Zoot!!! Nice to see some good info in the race section. Thank you for your contributions. Superb photos!!!
 

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Crutchlow is another one who is baffling. Promised so much but failed to deliver. There is a thinking that he's used a number of technical issues as excuses for what are essentially him being unable to ride the bike. He's an incredible talent, no doubt. But he's an angry kid and when he's not happy it shows in his riding. And he's not happy. I truly don't think he would walk unless for a ride with the big boys as it would be financially crippling but I'm not sure that Corse will put up with another season like this first part when there are such enticing options. That move would have to be made now of course as Crutchlow's contract is out of kilter with the rest of the paddock and there will be no obvious replacement at the end of next season.
I don't know that I'd say Crutchlow's performance is baffling; I sort of expected it. But then I've never been all that high on Crutchlow. He had some good races, sure, but he didn't impress in the back half of the season last year on a fast bike. It does take some time to get used to the Duc, so he may get better. But with Iannone waiting in the wings for a factory ride, and proving he's willing to take the necessary risks to move the bike up, if I was Ducati I'd be tempted to make the swap. Add in the fact that Iannone will be much more PC about the state of the bike than Crutchlow, and Italian to boot, and it's an intriguing switch.

What's off-putting to me about Cal is how he complains to get what he wants, then complains again when what he wanted he can't make work. He did it with the factory gas tank last year - complained and complained that was the problem with his slow race starts, then he got it, and couldn't make it work, and it was because the new tank was crap. Ditto Ducati; talked his way into the ride, and now complains that the bike isn't good. I'm sure Ducati tried it because they seem to suffer from this delusion (Stoner fever?) that if they just find the right rider again, the bike will magically be fast. So they took a shot with Cal, who to me is mid-pack at best, and always has been.

Maybe Ducati will dump Cal (or vice versa), Suzuki will pick him up, and Iannone will move to factory.
 

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I don't know that I'd say Crutchlow's performance is baffling; I sort of expected it. But then I've never been all that high on Crutchlow. He had some good races, sure, but he didn't impress in the back half of the season last year on a fast bike. It does take some time to get used to the Duc, so he may get better. But with Iannone waiting in the wings for a factory ride, and proving he's willing to take the necessary risks to move the bike up, if I was Ducati I'd be tempted to make the swap. Add in the fact that Iannone will be much more PC about the state of the bike than Crutchlow, and Italian to boot, and it's an intriguing switch.

What's off-putting to me about Cal is how he complains to get what he wants, then complains again when what he wanted he can't make work. He did it with the factory gas tank last year - complained and complained that was the problem with his slow race starts, then he got it, and couldn't make it work, and it was because the new tank was crap. Ditto Ducati; talked his way into the ride, and now complains that the bike isn't good. I'm sure Ducati tried it because they seem to suffer from this delusion (Stoner fever?) that if they just find the right rider again, the bike will magically be fast. So they took a shot with Cal, who to me is mid-pack at best, and always has been.

Maybe Ducati will dump Cal (or vice versa), Suzuki will pick him up, and Iannone will move to factory.

You make some interesting points. I'm always loathe to discuss Cal in too much detail as it always seems to get back to him. He seems to take everything I say as a criticism rather than an observation. It's gone on a long time since I called him a crasher a few years back. He was furious. But it wasn't intended as an insult. Amongst people who write about and discuss racing the term is quite often used to describe a rider who goes down a lot. Casey Stoner was a crasher, didn't harm him too much.
If i say too much it ends up in another slanging match on twitter where 100's of his sycophantic fans get on my case and call me the anti-christ ;). And yet Cal openly ( on twitter ) invited me to Qatar earlier in the year at his expense. it was almost an apology ;)

There is merit in what you say though. He does tend to use bully tactics to get things he wants and when he doesn't get his way he uses the press to paint it like he's being somehow short changed. But Valentino was the master at this and did it a lot at Ducati. There is so much to come out when the right people feel free to talk about him.

I genuinely wish Cal well but time is running out. He's had some bad luck with the bike but it's not all down to that. He needs to start impressing fast.

As for Iannone? He's most definitely earmarked as the future for Ducati. Has been for some time now. The important thing to remember right now is that a move to Ducati would change nothing but the garage and a few personnel for him. He is already on a full factory ride with Corse technicians and staff. He is salaried to Ducati and costs Pramac nothing. That's very much a Corse team factory effort. ( Hernandez is not, Pramac get a GP13 and some more help for their running in this way this year )

I won't wave any crystal balls because things could change a lot this season, big money will be waved at people, new seats will be available and I'm no mind-reader. It's going to be interesting, for sure.
 

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There is merit in what you say though. He does tend to use bully tactics to get things he wants and when he doesn't get his way he uses the press to paint it like he's being somehow short changed. But Valentino was the master at this and did it a lot at Ducati. There is so much to come out when the right people feel free to talk about him.
True, but Vale was a 9-time world champion already. And I wouldn't say Cal really tries bullying tactics, but I always get the impression that he just sorta throws wild-ass guesses out there just to get something, anything. I try to like Cal, but for some reason just can't.

With Iannone I was thinking more put him on the factory squad as he's obviously been earmarked, and look to put some young talent in Pramac.

I think both Bradl and Bautista should be on the hotseat this year.

I'm sure Pedrosa will end up taking whatever Honda are willing to give him. So unless Honda feels like throwing crazy money at Lorenzo Pedrosa stays where he is. And as long as they have Marquez, Honda don't really need Lorenzo, do they?

My guess is that at the end of the day (silly season-wise) we'll be pretty much back to the status quo.
 

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Yeah bull tactics was too strong a term. He's manipulative with the press though as was evident when he was trying to engineer his move to Ducati the previous season. That puts people on the spot at times when "quiet down" was the better option.
 

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FP3 showing just how much odf a struggle the Ducatis are finding it with Crutchlow, Iannone and Pirro failing to make the cut for QP2. Dovi only managed it with a last gasp lap but the revelation was Hernandez. What a ride from him.

Sector times surprise me showing that apart from sector 2 this track appears to be favouring the Honda bikes. I did not expect that. Bradl monstered the final lap to go top in FP3.

Some interesting commentary from David Emmet at Motomatters regarding silly season. Will chat about that later when I have more time and you yanks are out of bed ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bradl really looks like he's got the pace this weekend. And for the first time this year we're not seeing Marquez at the top of the time sheets during practices. It'll be an interesting race I think.
 

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Q2, Marquez is not on pole, crashed..... What a run!!!
Crutchlow did not make Q2, but Hernandez did, three Ducatis in Q2!!! Dovizioso still top Ducati.
Will be a great race Sunday!!!

1 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 341.8 1'40.985
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 339.3 1'41.100 0.115 / 0.115
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 343.7 1'41.135 0.150 / 0.035
4 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 343.7 1'41.220 0.235 / 0.085
5 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 342.0 1'41.290 0.305 / 0.070
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 334.6 1'41.308 0.323 / 0.018
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 343.0 1'41.337 0.352 / 0.029
8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 340.9 1'41.491 0.506 / 0.154
9 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 344.7 1'41.671 0.686 / 0.180
10 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 336.4 1'41.677 0.692 / 0.006
11 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 341.8 1'41.751 0.766 / 0.074
12 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 342.2 1'42.024 1.039 / 0.273
 

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Just watched Cal's Interview after QP, seems like he's working hard on getting released from his contract.
 

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Any chance you could paraphrase what was said Enzo? I don't have a motogp subscription. It's a bit of a waste given all the coverage that we get included with our normal cable/satellite packages for no extra.

It does not sound far fetch. I'm only guessing but perhaps the financial penalty he would receive could be greatly reduced if Ducati exercise their option to terminate rather than vice versa. If he quit I can't see Suzuki having the money available to make up his losses and it would be reasonable that he'd expect any new team to do that if he quit for them.


MotoGP 2014 - Round 7 - Catalunya

Dovizioso seventh and Crutchlow thirteenth in today’s Catalunya GP qualifying
Andrea Dovizioso will start from row 3 of the grid for the Catalunya Grand Prix, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship which will take place tomorrow at the Montmeló circuit, after recording a best time of 1’41.337 in the decisive qualifying session.

The Italian was particular impressive in the final fifteen-minute Q2 session, just missing out on the front row by two-tenths of a second. Dovizioso also lapped just three-tenths away from the pole position mark and is confident that his pace for tomorrow’s race is quite good.

Team-mate Crutchlow was in a bit more difficulty today, missing out on a top 10 position after the three free practice sessions. He then had to take part in Q1, but he was only third quickest in that session and so was excluded from the final run. The British rider will start tomorrow’s race from row 5 with thirteenth quickest time.

Michele Pirro, test-rider of the Ducati Test Team, placed two positions behind Cal with fifteenth quickest time and will also start from row 5.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th (1’41.337)
“I am very happy with my time, because I did a really good lap. This afternoon it was really hot and it wasn’t easy to set such good times. Unfortunately I’ll be starting from the third row, I just missed out on the front row by a few tenths! Luckily we’re all pretty close together, and I don’t have such a bad race pace either. We know the race will be tough and doing 25 laps in this heat will be very tiring, but I am satisfied because together with my team, we worked really well this weekend.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 13th (1’42.578)
“Qualifying was obviously very disappointing. I was unable to make a good lap time, and I am way too far away from Andrea, but also from Yonny Hernandez, who with his GP13 made a very good time. For sure we need to improve if we want to get a good result in tomorrow’s race.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 15th (1’42.955)
“Even though the weather was a bit hotter than this morning, in the afternoon I still managed to improve my time and verify that the bike was working well with the new electronics strategies we were trying. I am quite happy because my feeling with the GP14 was much better. We have prepared as well as possible for tomorrow, hopefully we can have a good race.”

Copyright © 2014 Ducati Motor Holding spa
 

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Gr8 stuff guys!!!,... Enzo, or Zoot, I 2 would also be interested in the remarks by Crutchlow!!
 

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I'll go back and watch it again to get a few of his better comments.
 
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