The Word On...

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November 12, 2015 3:30pm

KTM Race Ready for MotoGP

KTM is gearing up for their first season in MotoGP in 2017 and recently rolled out their new bike, the KTM RC16, which as you’ll see in the pictures below, looks fantastic. It’s a huge project for the Austrian brand, and one that has taken a lot of time and patience to work through. Recently, KTM Blog spoke with KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer about the decision to start a MotoGP team.

From all of what you have achieved in the past five years – the 350 SX-F, Dakar dominance, Tony Cairoli, Moto3, Supercross, AMA titles – is this the biggest challenge?
“Yes, the other disciplines were growing in-house over the years and we could already analyze what went wrong and how to make them better. Here [for MotoGP] we had to start from zero because we didn’t have the people. Moto3 was already a good schooling for that. The next step is huge and I’m very respectful of the challenge that is in front of us. We have to see where we are now that we are on the track but we don’t have big expectations yet. I’m sure we will need a long-term brief to arrive at the top because it is the highest level of motorcycle racing and also all the other manufacturers are taking this as their most important and serious class. The knowledge, investment and technology from our competitors is huge. We need to work hard. It is the biggest project so far but I want to tell you that KTM Motorsport was already growing strong over the last years so it is not like we are doubling the department. There is already a wide and cosmopolitan network of people … of course it is not easy then to manage another huge group on top!”

Read the full interview here.

Drama Not Over

While one of the most exciting MotoGP seasons on record ended in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday, the drama between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez has yet to subside. First, a quick refresher. Rossi, looking for a tenth world title, accused Marquez of helping title rival, and Rossi's Yamaha teammate, Jorge Lorenzo win at Phillip Island in Australia. At the next race in Malaysia, Rossi was penalized after an incident where he ran Marquez wide (and maybe kicked him, depending on which team you ask), forcing the two-time world champion to crash. He was forced to start from the back row at the finale and while he put in an amazing ride to fourth, Lorenzo won the race and the championship.

BUT. Of course drama followed the race, as Marquez tailed Lorenzo for nearly the entire race, but didn’t make a move. Late in the race, Dani Pedrosa, Marquez’s Honda teammate, made a late run at the lead, passed Marquez, only to have Marquez finally make a move on someone and pass him back. (Deep breath.) And…of course Rossi (and a lot of others) think Marquez has been protecting fellow Spaniard Lorenzo. Let’s just say Rossi and Marquez won’t be riding together at Rossi’s ranch again anytime soon. Here is what Rossi said after the race to MotoGP.com:

“We build this season from the first race, and at the end it was anyway a great season. I was always competitive and never make any mistakes. I think that after Motegi I have the potential to win the championship but unfortunately from the race in Phillip Island something changed and in these last three races we saw something that we never saw before in our sport.

“I think that the situation was already bad, but today was embarrassing for everybody because it was unbelievable, the behaviour of Marquez is something very bad for everything, especially for the sport. It is something that nobody expects, because a Honda rider that made a Yamaha rider win and give the maximum just to push out his teammate is something that nobody expect and I think it is very, very bad news. Anyway, it is like this, we have to accept.

“I am happy because now everybody see what I said in Australia and I don’t understand the behaviour of Marquez but sincerely for me it is very difficult to say something to him because I hope that he will understand what he did in these last three races in the future of his career.

“For sure the Hondas were faster. We know that in the second part of the race Honda have a better potential but Marquez just protect Lorenzo like he did in Phillip Island and also Sepang. At the end I think that also Lorenzo have to not be very happy, as it is not a Championship that was won on track. But anyway is memories.”

Stoner Back

Now, for some good news from the MotoGP world. Two-time world champion Casey Stoner is reportedly leaving Honda and going back to Ducati in a test rider role and maybe one or more wildcard rides. Stoner, who retired from racing in 2012, won a world championship for the Italian brand in 2007. Since Stoner is under contract with Honda through 2015, the deal can’t be officially announced until at least January 1. More from Moto Matters:

The news comes after a series of rumors and stories, starting with the German language website Speedweek, and culminating with unofficial confirmation from Israeli TV MotoGP commentator Tammy Gorali. Ducati's Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti spoke officially to journalists at Valencia, but refused to confirm the deal. "Casey is a hero of Ducati fans, he won so many races and was a world champion for Ducati in 2007," Ciabatti said. "We will see what the future brings but we know that his contract with Honda will expire at the end of this year and obviously if there's a chance to do something together we would love to do it."

Read more here.

GoPro MotoGP

Okay, okay, this is the last of MotoGP news, I promise. Television just doesn’t do the speeds MotoGP riders are reaching justice. Similar to supercross or motocross, where riders make the impossible look possible with relative ease, it’s hard to appreciate MotoGP through the tube. Lucky for us it’s 2015 and there is a company called GoPro and they release super cool stuff like the Best of MotoGP 2015—FOR FREE.

MotoGP Breaks Records

Okay, we kind of lied, but we swear, this is the last thing. The final in Spain last weekend broke numerous television records across the world, per MotoGP.com. Check out some of the numbers below from the site:

In Italy the Valencia GP attracted an average audience of 9,673,699 across Cielo, Sky Sports MotoGP and MTV. This audience is over three times the amount of viewers who tuned into the final race of the season last year. The most watched race in Italy before had been the 2006 Valencia GP, where Rossi also missed out on the title in the season decider against Nicky Hayden.

In Spain it was a similar story as 6,089,000 tuned in to watch Lorenzo take victory on Tele 5 and Movistar +MotoGP, making it the most watched race since Alex Criville took the first premier class (500cc) title for a Spanish rider at the Brazilian GP in Rio in 1999. This more than doubled the amount of people who watched the Valencia GP on Spanish TV in 2014.

In the UK the race attracted the largest audience on the day for BT Sport and broke their record for the most viewers for MotoGP™ race. For Eurosport in Germany there was a peak audience in for the final round of the season.

On Fox Sports Malaysia it was one of the most watched GP’s of the year along with the amazing races in Jerez, Assen and Sepang while in the US FOX Sports saw a 53% increase year on year from last season’s GP.

It wasn’t just on TV that records were broken as 2015 also saw the attendance record at the circuits themselves smashed. In fact 2,717,314 watched the action live from trackside in 2015, smashing the previous record of 2,473, 624 from last season.

More on the numbers in the US.

You can now return to your regularly scheduled Word On…

History of SCOTT

SCOTT has been one of the leaders in motocross goggles since entering the market in 1970. This week, they released a video documenting the changes eyewear has gone through over the last forty-five years and the intricate process through which the goggles are made. We contacted SCOTT to get more details on the video.

We put together this short video to show how we want our commitment to innovation to result in more than just good products, we want it to change the way athletes perform. There is no doubt that vision is a key paramount to performance, that's why for over 45 years, we have continued to drive our eyewear category forward. As a result, our heritage is more than a history, it's a compass that guides our business, design, products, and culture for the future.

From design to assembly, our "Vision for the Future" campaign explains the entire process of how a SCOTT Goggle is made.

For more information, visit scott-sports.com.

What does Yamaha Have Up Their Sleeve?

Yamaha is set to unveil… well, something at the EICMA show in Milan on November 16. But what? Well, that’s not known at this time. They released a crazy teaser, with the following text:

“A big bang is imminent. And from it will emerge an explosive new breed of dark energy that is destined to reshape the MT world. Inspired by the dynamic forces coming out of the Dark Side of Japan, this forceful new creation redefines torque emotion. Nothing can prepare you for the changes that are about to happen. MT will never stand still.” 

Any guesses?

Because Russia

Bercy Google Translate

In anticipation of the upcoming Bercy-Lille Supercross this weekend, we were browsing the series website (which of course is written entirely in French), and quickly figured out we 1) Don’t know French and 2) We had no idea what anything said. So, we decided to use trusty ole Google Translate and the results are pretty funny. These two stuck out:

Gautier Paulin Injury

Gautier Paulin just had surgery at the knee and the surgeon's verdict unfortunately not let the pilot HRC choice but to put to rest ...

Before the operation, the clan GP21, there was hope that it would be as a "cleansing" meniscus driving two weeks of recovery, which would have required him to give up but Monster Cup would still be allowed to participate in the SX Lille.

There is therefore nothing and Gautier is to close out his 2015 season, despite this concern that handicaps the knee for months, saw him finish runner-up and won the World Nations with Team France.

JS7 GoPro

The hallucinatory "GoPro" by James Stewart ... It was there eighteen months, the second in a series of ébourriffante three straight victories in World Championship SX and since then has more ...

Calendar Oops

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is easily the most distinguishable ballpark in all of America. It literally has a giant wall in left field. So, when the Washington Nationals, who do not play at Fenway, released their 2016 calendar with Fenway Park in it, it didn’t go so well.

According to Major League Baseball, the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the calendar maker (via Boston.com)

“Our licensee used an incorrect photo in its 2016 Nationals calendar, a product that the Nationals were not involved in producing. We are working quickly to rectify the situation including recalling the calendars from retail.”

X-Fighters DONE

According to the Australian website, Transmoto, Red Bull has cancelled X-Fighters World Tour after eight years. Per the report, one highlighted event will take place in 2016 at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid on June 24. This is awful news for freestyle athletes, as X-Fighters was one of the marquee series still on the calendar.

We will have more information as it becomes available.

Global Beer Company

The on again, off again, talks between Anheuser Busch-InBev and SABMiller are apparently back on and a deal has been made to create what they say will be the world’s “first truly global beer company,” according to Time. Per the report, they have formalized the terms of the proposed $105 billion dollar deal. From Time:

After weeks of talks, the boards of Anheuser Busch-InBev and SABMiller Plc. jumped the biggest stumbling block to their plans by agreeing to sell SABMiller’s 58% stake in MillerCoors to its partner in the joint venture, Molson Coors Inc. for $12 billion in cash.

ABI and MillerCoors control over 70% of the U.S. market between them with their current operations, a situation that made a combination of the two politically impossible. Molson Coors will now take over in its own right the position of number 2 in the U.S. market, with a share of over 25%.

Check out the full report here.

Is Ducati Releasing an Adventure Bike?

Is the Italian brand set to release an adventure bike? Maybe. The Ducati Multistrada (pictured below) in its present form certainly isn’t an adventure bike. According to Lane Splitter, an off-road Multistrada could be on its way. From the report:

A source close to the company told me about a new model set for release this year that he was calling the off-road Multistrada. I’m sure many of you thought the top photo was a spy pic of the new bike but (haha, I got you good!) it’s an incredibly sneaky rendering of the Multi mixed with my favorite big off road adventure bike, the KTM 1190 R. Watch the video above and see just how awesome a big bike can be in the dirt when set up properly.

The video he was referring to is below. Check out the entire article here.

MXGP in Australia?

Is the FIM World Motocross Championship headed Down Under? One track is certainly making a play to attract the race.

Seven Local News can reveal exclusively tonight, Toowoomba's Mayor is in talks with Echo Valley club members to host an international motocross event. It would bring an estimated 50-thousand visitors to the city, and ensure the future of the once-financially strained club.#7LocalNews

Posted by 7 Local News Toowoomba on Monday, November 9, 2015

A Nod to the Old-School

Kenny Powers (no, not the one from East Bound and Down, the popular HBO show), is a former American stuntman who passed away in 2009. Powers is most well-known for his 1979 attempt to jump the Saint Lawrence River in a rocket-powered Lincoln. We found the video, and it’s awesome. Long live, Kenny.