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Stoner and Honda Dominate Final Practice Session at Qatar

The show is about to begin with the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP championship being held this Sunday at Qatar. Practice is already underway, and after three practice sessions earlier today, Casey Stoner dominated, along with his Repsol Honda teammates. Stoner had the quickest time in each practice session, and in the final practice session the three Repsol Honda riders, Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, posted the three quickest times. The Yamaha factory riders followed close behind Dovizioso, but well off Stoner’s pace. Defending champ Jorge Lorenzo notched the fourth quickest time on his factory Yamaha, while teammate Ben Spies was fifth quickest. The Ducatis, meanwhile, are still well off the pace as we enter the opening round of the series.

9 Comments

  1. brinskee says:

    About to head over to Losail. 6 hours of sleep in the past 36+ of travel. I’ve never been this excited in my life…

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  2. martin says:

    Honda has the field by a second or so mechanically, but that’s without the chess match of the race. Bring on the fight! :)

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  3. Mickey says:

    I can’t wait until Sunday. 3 PM on Speed.

    Lots of info now surfacing about Honda’s “Seamless Transmission” that Norm G has been alluding to for weeks now. Hat tip to Norm for being on top of this one.

    I can’t wait until Sunday…oops already said that. LOL

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    • Norm G. says:

      thank you sir. for your kind words (and as a nod to NZ) i will now reveal to you all the complete secret behind honda’s gearbox. :) and yes, i have been deliberately vague. :) the company and technology is called ZEROSHIFT. the inventor is not japanese but an ex-pat Kiwi based in the UK. xtrac (also UK) is but a licensee. as are likely honda (they i’m sure respect intellectual property). there is no need to analyze sound files (same technique boffins have used in the past to determine a competitor’s firing order). if understanding is what you seek, then everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask can be found at the website… :)

      http://www.zeroshift.com

      if you look under the trans tech heading you will find animations showing you exactly how it works (revel in the simplicity) and live video (modded ford mustangs) showing the potential if it ever were to be used in a racing application. it should make it pretty clear now why honda would strangely decide to go all-in (during a recession) with a 3-rider team…? LOL it should also explain how hondas could suddenly out accelerate everybody from one season to the next, while running the HARDEST compound tires, under the LIGHTEST riders (body weight), in conditions with the LEAST amount of grip…? it did not add up…? at indy last year, while stoner was once again “spittin’ the dummy” :(, and fiat and tech 3 where scratching their heads (WTF?), i was having an epiphany.

      also, click on the press articles heading and scroll down. there you will find an article from MCN where the technology was discussed (on moto side) back in ’08. but car side discussions go back even further to like ’05/’04. pretty sure i’ve been going to the website since at least ’05…? so the information has been readily available and out there, honda is simply the first to capitalize on it. :) like the proliferation of TC, my guess is in a few short years all motorcycle transmissions (at least at the GP level) will be built this way. the genie is now out the bottle.

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  4. Old town hick says:

    Perhaps Ducati is already looking toward next season’s full litre engine rule change…?

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    • Stinky says:

      It’s sure be a shame to write off this year, but without some breaks that’s what it’s looking like. I sure wish they’d eliminate the electronics, Stoner would still be fast but the rest of the field would be settled by talent instead of engineers.

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    • Norm G. says:

      no perhaps about it. unknowingly, they’ve all (yamaha included) brought “knives to a gunfight”. it happens.

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      • e-bob says:

        Seems a little premature to concede the season to Honda before the 1st race, no? Maybe Norm was just talkin about Qatar. At any rate, I’m hoping you’re all wrong, for the fans’ sake.

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        • Norm G. says:

          correct. no technical advantage in the world can help a rider if they screw the pooch on their tire choice, or they find themselves cartwheeling through the gravel and the bike is upside down with gas pouring out the filler. this ALSO happens. :)

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