Isle of Man Movie with Damon, Neeson?
Rumors began circulating last week that shooting for a movie based around the infamous Isle of Man race, starring Hollywood heavyweights Matt Damon and Liam Neeson, was about to begin. The original report from MoreBikes has since been disputed, with Damon and Neeson maybe not being part of the film. According to Ride Apart, the film is very much real and happening, with shooting scheduled to take place sometime next year and being directed by Ben Younger. As for Damon and Neeson, well….
Matt Damon Might Be In It - Rumor The only reason this story made news last week in the United States is because a rumor started that Matt Damon was going to star in it. I traced this back to UK motorcycle site MoreBikes, and they claim they heard that from a UK Honda employee. Since then, when the story got picked up by the entertainment news people, the producers have said Matt is not in it.
Liam Neeson Might Be In It - Rumor Another star rumored to be attached to the project is the man with a particular set of skills, Liam Neeson. If you have seen the documentary about the Dunlop family of racers, Road, you'll remember Neeson doing all the narration. So, he's a fan of the TT, familiar with the race, and knows its history. Liam also rides a bike, famously breaking his pelvis in a collision with a deer near his home in the United Kingdom in 2000.
Either way, a movie based on the Isle of Man is sure to be badass, no matter who is in it.
After a 13-year run, Sprint will no longer serve as the title sponsor of NASCAR beginning in 2017. According to Forbes, the telecommunications company was spending between $50 and $75 million annually to be the Cup series title sponsor. Not exactly chump change. So, with Sprint gone, where is NASCAR turning? Maybe to a familiar brand. Motorsport is reporting that Monster—title sponsor of AMA Supercross, the Motocross of Nations, and the FIM World Motocross Championship—could fill the gap left by Sprint.
Monster has served as a the primary sponsor on driver Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Cup car at Stewart-Haas Racing since 2015 and it served as a sponsor for his younger brother, Kyle Busch, in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series prior to its move to the Cup series.
Should Monster emerge as the new Cup sponsor, its decision is not expected to have an immediate impact on Busch’s No. 41 sponsorship, sources confirmed to Motorsport.com.
Monster Corporation is an American beverage company based in Corona, Calif. As of May 2015, Monster held nearly 39 percent of the U.S. energy drink market.
NASCAR Ratings Down
Former motocross racer and current NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson raced into the record books last weekend at Homestead, capturing a seventh championship, tying legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson, a big fan of supercross and motocross, has won seven of the last 11 championships, which is pretty spectacular. That’s the good news. The bad? NASCAR, like many other sports, has seen a decline in viewership. From Awful Announcing:
Unfortunately for Johnson and NASCAR, viewers didn’t flock to see JJ’s crowning achievement at Homestead. According to Sports Media Watch, the race received a 3.5 rating and 6.1 million viewers, both significant declines of 20% from last year when the race went into primetime thanks to a rain delay. However, in some slightly better news, the race was up over its 2014 and 2013 versions.
The final race of the season tells only part of the story of NASCAR’s continued ratings freefall. NASCAR saw declines in 25 of 36 points-paying races this year according to Jayski’s television ratings site. Some of those drops can be attributed to rain delays and network switches, but it’s certainly an overall trend that continues to be very troubling. According to SMW, the last 11 races before the season finale at Homestead were the least watched editions in at least a decade. Considering that’s basically NASCAR’s playoffs when people should be watching, that’s hugely disappointing for the sport.
Johnson’s victory was the seventh most-watched race this year with all six above the finale occurring in the first ten weeks of the NASCAR season. Imagine Game 7 of the NBA Finals or World Series being outrated by a few regular season games.
Desalle and Rea
MXGP star Clement Desalle recently had the chance to get some time in on the tarmac, riding two-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike. Rea, who spent time riding moto growing up, also had the chance to ride Desalle’s KX450F. It’s a pretty cool video from Kawasaki.
Honda HRC Interview
You may not know the name Shuhei Nakamoto, but you should. Nakamoto has been with Honda HRC since 1983 and is currently the executive vice president of the company. During his tenure with HRC, Nakamoto has served in numerous roles—from senior technical director of the Honda Racing F1 team to HRD engineering director. Next year, Nakamoto is retiring after eight years in charge of Honda’s interests in MotoGP. Sport Rider sat down with him to talk about his career.
I understand that when you took control of the GP project, you did it also as an engineer, not only as manager. Is this right?
Yes. At that time I was already vice-president of HRC. I had to manage the whole company. Because the HRC president is just a figure, it is the vice-president who really runs it. I had to learn a lot of things like management, budget-wise, legal things and all this stuff, but still my interest was the technical area. And thinking and improving the technical efficiency after my arrival, I changed the structure of HRC.
Can you explain in which way?
I created a chassis area, an engine area, a chassis test group, an engine test group and at the same time I created one group who had to concentrate in future technology. It is a group which works completely separate from the existing project. It is a group who had to think about the future.
How far in the future?
Some of them may be a half year, some of them three years, some more than ten years...
Read the entire interview here.
Learning from the Master
To me, enduro is one of the most underappreciated forms of motorcycling. The technical skill and endurance required for races such as Erzberg is incredible. Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis is one of the most accomplished extreme enduro riders in the world. The former trials champion, who, at the age of 41, won Erzberg for a third time earlier this year, recently was part of a Husqvarna film in which he trains teammate Pascal Rauchenecker, the former motocross rider, now part of the Husky enduro team.
From 2008 through 2015, MotoGP averaged 870 crashes per year between the three classes of the championship—Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP. During that span, the series reached a high of 981 crashes (2014) and a low of 642 (2009), according to data provided by Motorsport.com. This year, for the first time in history, the series has surpassed 1,000 crashes in a year, according to Motorsport.com. (Note: Data was gathered prior to final round in Valencia.) The increase is mainly due to two factors: Michelin returning as the official tire supplier and the introduction of standard electronics. More from Motorsport.com:
With just one race remaining, there have been 388 crashes in Moto3, 21 less than in 2015 (409).
The same tendency is followed by the middle category, Moto2, where 348 crashes have been seen compared to the 352 of last year.
However, in MotoGP there has been a significant increase: from the 215 accidents seen last year, there's been 275 so far in 2016, with the Valencia event yet to run.
Read the full article here.
Earlier this year Liberty Media, which owns the Atlanta Braves and SiriusXM, paid $4.4 billion to acquire 19.1 percent of Formula One, in a deal that will give it full control in 2017. Now, the company is looking into introducing a direct-to-consumer streaming service featuring F1, per Deadline. It may take a while though, as F1 already has deals in place with broadcasters—including NBC Sports Network in the U.S. More from the report:
Maffei says that Live Nation—the live entertainment company in which Liberty owns a 34% stake—“can be helpful to Formula One.” For example, it could sell tickets through its Ticketmaster subsidiary, help set up venues, and stage concerts around races.
Broadly speaking, the CEO says that streaming services are “seeing some traction” although “we don’t yet see wholesale substitution” for traditional pay TV.
All eyes are on AT&T, which is about to launch DirecTV Now—a streaming service that will have more than 100 channels and cost $35 a month, far less than most cable or satellite subscriptions.
Diesel Looks Similar to Maddo
Vin Diesel, star of such blockbusters as the Pacifier, will return to his role of Xander Cage in the xXx franchise for the third movie in the series. (He was not part of the second xXx movie.) It’s aptly titled xXx: Return of Xander Cage. In the recently released trailer, Diesel is shown in some awful fighting scenes, before riding a dirt bike into the ocean.
Wonder where they got the idea???