Ryder Notes: Things To Ponder Before Jerez
by julian ryder, on the ground in the uk
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Inevitably, the first subject has to be Valentino Rossi and Ducati. Things haven't improved on-track but they've definitely got worse off it. Valentino's post-race pronouncements, especially to Italian TV, were earth-shakingly pessimistic, undiplomatic and, frankly, shocking. They mark the end of the truce between the Italian champion, the iconic Italian manufacturer, the Italian public and the Italian media. Voices are already being raised, and not all of them critical of Ducati. It is very difficult to see how a relationship of trust can be re-established for the European season.

Honda have not cured the chatter from Winter testing completely, although they went pretty fast anyway. The new front tyre that will arrive at Silverstone, if not before, is even less to HRC's taste so Casey and Dani are not going to have an easy time. The rear-wheel chatter, as Casey said, was obviously generated by the electronics package and was all but tuned out by the start of the race; that was not the case with the front. Interestingly, the seriously impressive Stefan Bradl on the satellite Honda didn't have chatter all weekend. Anyone who thought Dani Pedrosa wouldn't figure this season also had a surprise; he could have won if he'd been quicker to follow Lorenzo past Stoner - "It was there for me." Casey has never had fun at Jerez, so prepare for the two Spaniards to resume hostilities in front of their home crowd.

With Rossi a long way from the rostrum, Jorge, Dani and Casey give every impression of getting on well with each other, saying lots of compiimentary things about each other's riding. When Jorge said that Casey had gone slowly the Aussie's eyebrows shot up, and Lorenzo immediately added that he was talking about the high level of riding the trio were at. Not quite the same as Valentino slagging off Hector Barbera for only wanting to beat him as opposed to winning anything and commenting sourly that he can't even beat Nicky Hayden on the same bike. Nicky, by the way, also reported chatter plus understeer on the flat corners towards the end of the Losail lap.

In CRT land, Colin Edwards rules. Consider that most people were pointing and laughing at the Suter BMW at the tests last year, yet Colin was on the heels of Ben Spies by the end of the race, although still a considerable distance from the next prototype - Rossi's Ducati. The presence of nine CRT bikes on the grid also exceeded most people's pre-season predictions. The Aprilias can clearly be made quick enough given time, the surprise was the pace of the Gresini 'Blade, although it had problems in the race, and Yonny Hernandez's race on the unconsidered FTR Kawasaki was a splendidly heroic little cameo.

I suggest you tune your Google Translate to Italian and keep an eye on the furor over The Doc and the Duke over the next couple of weeks.


Share |

Return to News


©1997-2016 Hardscrabble Media LLC