Monthly Archives: December 2019

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

Best Wishes,

Nick and Martin
Nick Harris Media Communications

 

We are not sending out Christmas cards this year and instead are donating to Homeless Oxfordshire.

By | December 20th, 2019|Uncategorised|Comments Off on HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

Changing of the Guard

With the retirement at the end of 2018 of Dani Pedrosa, and Jorge Lorenzo recently calling an end to his MotoGP career, the makeup of the MotoGP podium is undergoing a serious change. Dani Pedrosa made his MotoGP at the opening race of 2006 at Jerez and immediately made an impact with a second place finish behind Loris Capirossi and in front of his more experienced Honda team mate Nicky Hayden. In the subsequent years, up to his final podium appearance at Valencia in 2017, he made a total of 112 podium appearances; averaging more than 9 top three finishes per year. 

Jorge Lorenzo also made an immediate impact with his move to MotoGP, finishing second in his debut race at Qatar in 2008, behind Casey Stoner. His final podium count was 114 over 11 years, averaging more than ten podium appearances per year. With Pedrosa gone, and Lorenzo not making the top three in the 2019 season wrecked by injury, there has been opportunity for new faces to appear more regularly on the podium, in particular Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller. 

The table below illustrates how the average age of the riders finishing on the MotoGP podium in 2019 was at the lowest level since 2014. Also shown in the table are the number of podium appearances each year of the MotoGP series by riders aged 30 or over. In 2003, 2004 & 2005 the podiums were dominated by riders aged 30 and over, with as many as eight riders of this age finishing on the podium during the season. In 2019 only three riders 30 or over managed to finish on the podium: Rossi, Dovizioso and Crutchlow. Also worth noting is that the last time that Marc Marquez was the youngest rider on the podium was back in Mugello.

Although the current “changing of the guard” is not as dramatic as the one that took place over the years 2006 to 2008, when Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo took over from the likes of Barros, Biaggi, Gibernau and Checa, perhaps the full transition will be complete at the end of 2020 with the futures of Rossi, Dovizioso and Crutchlow yet to be decided.

As always in Grand Prix motorcycle racing the arrival of new faces keeps it healthy and exciting. There are always great riders of seasons past, great riders of the present, and great riders of seasons yet to come.

Year

Average age of podium finishers

Number of podiums by riders aged 30 or over

Rider aged 30 or over finishing on the podium

2002

28 years 22 days

15

Ryo, Biaggi, Barros

2003

28 years 228 days

29

Biaggi, Capirossi, Gibernau, Bayliss, Barros

2004

29 years 173 days

28

Biaggi, Capirossi, Gibernau, Bayliss, Barros, Checa, Edwards

2005

28 years 133 days

21

Gibernau, Barros, Biaggi, Jacque, Edwards, Capirossi, Checa, Roberts

2006

26 years 212 days

12

Capirossi, Edwards, Roberts, Bayliss

2007

25 years 141 days

7

Edwards, Capirossi, Barros

2008

25 years 210 days

3

Edwards, Capirossi

2009

25 years 238 days

14

Edwards, Rossi

2010

25 years 239 days

10

Rossi

2011

25 years 322 days

2

Edwards, Rossi

2012

26 years 216 days

2

Rossi

2013

25 years 322 days

6

Rossi

2014

26 years 312 days

13

Rossi

2015

29 years 175 days

19

Rossi, Pedrosa

2016

28 years 286 days

22

Rossi, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Crutchlow

2017

28 years 281 days

27

Rossi, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Crutchlow, Lorenzo

2018

28 years 285 days

21

Rossi, Dovizioso, Crutchlow, Lorenzo

2019

27 years 142 days

14

Rossi, Dovizioso, Crutchlow
By | December 18th, 2019|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|1 Comment

The MotoGP SENIOR School 2019 end of term report

Andrea Dovizioso – After such a brilliant last couple of terms this current term was a slight disappointment despite some highlights. Needs some new motivation to keep near the top of the class next year.

Johann Zarco – A very disappointing term for Johann who seemed to lose confidence after such a bright couple of terms in the top class. Hopefully next  term confidence and motivation will return.

Danilo Petrucci – Danilo promised so much after some brilliant early term exam results but faded after that. He needs to study hard and get back to leading the way in the exams next term.

Maverick Vinales – Maverick is a real conundrum. Top of the class some days but nowhere in sight on others. He has the ability to become head boy and I hope he does not waste it.

Karel Abraham – A model pupil who never gives up trying and learning against more gifted pupils.

Fabio Quartararo – A fantastic term for the newcomer to the top class. Fabio never really shone in primary school but has stepped up brilliantly and will be seeking some top exam results next term.

Franco Morbidelli – While being slightly overshadowed by his classmate Quartararo, Franco has got on with working hard and studying. Expect a great new term.

Andrea Iannone – Shifting subjects so often in the last few terms has never found Andrea settle. We know what he can achieve but time is running out to achieve it.

Takaaki Nakagami – Some impressive exam results but unfortunatily was forced to miss end of term exams. Hopefully when he returns to classes he can continue progress.

Cal Crutchlow – As always maximum effort throughout the term from Cal. Some good exam results especially after such a tough end of term last year.

Joan Mir – Very impressive first term in Senior class. Unfortunately forced to miss three exams but must face next term with great confidence.

Aleix Espargaro – Maximum effort throughout term that sometimes can spill over to some disciplinary problems for Aleix. Great member of the class.

Alex Rins – Breakthrough term for Alex with some great exam results. His big test will come next term when he needs to push on towards the top of the class.

Jack Miller – An impressive term by Jack. After a few disciplinary problems over the last few terms he’s developed into top class pupil who is very capable of going even higher.

Pol Espargaro – Like his older brother Aleix, Pol worked so hard throughout the term and was rewarded with some promising exam results. I hope his considerable efforts will be rewarded next term.

Miguel Oliveira – Very steady first term in Senior School. The experience gained this term will stand him in good stead when he returns to the classroom.

Valentino Rossi – This former Head Boy is an example to the rest of the school for effort and preparation. Next term could be his last at the school and Valentino will be greatly missed if he decides to leave.

Tito Rabat – One of the most popular pupils at the school. He had to miss some exams but never lost his determination and humour.

Hafizh Syahrin – He never shirked exams despite a very tough term where he learnt so much.

Francesco Bagnaia – After so much success at primary school he probably tried a little too hard when he joined the Seniors. A couple of impressive exam results that will give him confidence for the future.

Marc Marquez – Star pupil and Head boy once again after brilliant term. Just needs to keep a check on that natural exuberance to continue at the top of the class.

Jorge Lorenzo – We will very much miss Jorge who left at the end of term. He is one of the finest scholars this school has ever had and we thank him and wish him well in the future.

By | December 12th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on The MotoGP SENIOR School 2019 end of term report

RIDING OR DRIVING YOUR LUCK

Sometimes you just don’t realise just how lucky you are. Two features this week made me understand just how lucky I’ve been which I definitely did not realise at the time. The first feature was in the Times newspaper  all about the pressure on marriages and relationships for everybody and especially the teams working in the Formula One World Championship with yet another increase in the number of grands prix next year. The second on the television on Monday evening featured a Royal Navy frigate returning to Portsmouth after six months at sea. Waiting on the quayside was wives, girlfriends and children with welcome home balloons and placards, painted by the kids, to welcome back their loved ones after so long away.

Obviously I fully understood the dilemma of the Formula One teams after spending 38 years on the road working in both the MotoGP and Formula One. I’ve witnessed far too many times the gradual deterioration of a relationship with two partners constantly having to live separate lifes.Communication over the phone and later social media can wear very thin after so many years. Let’s be honest on the road doing a job you actually adore, a job that gives you so much excitement and satisfaction is a pretty good way to earn a very decent living. Of course you have to be focused but that focus can become totally obsessional and it’s so easy to lose sight of anything else and especially the more mundane but so important part of life back home. What happens if the drains are blocked, the car breaks down, the children are ill or often in my case there is a spider in the bathroom. The answer is simple when you are away around six months of the year your partner has to deal with it although in my case it was the next door neighbour who dealt with the spider. The person left at home running the show is the rock of these relationships. They keep the wheels of everyday life well-oiled while at the circuit practice and qualify performances, when and where is dinner and what time we are leaving for the circuit on Sunday morning takes over your life.

When I started covering grand prix motorcycling in 1980 there were just eight grands prix all in Europe. Next season there are 20 MotoGP events visiting 16 countries on five continents. The season with testing runs for almost 10 months which is a very long time. Of course the saving grace is coming home between races and testing which is absolutely crucial for both partners and especially the children. 

The thought of being wedged in a tiny bunk in the bowels of a Frigate in a force eight gale for six months, stuck in a desert hole with bullets flying your head in the searing heat or living underwater for brain numbing months in a submarine  does not sound a great deal of fun.

Of course we used to moan if the flight was delayed, the restaurant was closed and the bar had no draft beer. It’s only now I realise just how lucky I was.

By | December 4th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on RIDING OR DRIVING YOUR LUCK