Martin Raines

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So far Martin Raines has created 77 blog entries.

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

Is it really 40 years ago?

Silverstone comes around once again and this is the 43rd successive year that I have attended the British Grand Prix – every year since it replaced the Isle of Man TT races as the British round of the world championship in 1977. Perhaps the most memorable of those 42 previous years was exactly 40 years ago and the great battle between Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts n 1979. Before giving my memories of the race, just a few words about Barry Sheene to set the scene.

My first race meeting at Oulton Park at Easter of 1972 when I saw this young guy with flowing hair and white leathers trounce everyone in the 250cc and 500cc race on his Yamahas.  At the time it was the performance of Cal Rayborn and Ray Pickrell that everyone was raving about,  but for a young lad of 16 it was the style and riding of Barry Sheene that caught the eye.

So you could say that he became my racing “hero” a few years before becoming a household name after his Daytona crash in 1975.  In fact the crash certainly increased his standing in my view as it illustrated that here was a guy worth the hero status – as not only was he a fantastic rider but also incredibly tough and determined.  Of course over the next few years he went on to win his world titles and this was a great time to follow racing as Barry Sheene appeared at many British meetings as well as the Grand Prix, where there would be 40,000 or more spectators turn up to watch.  I can recall one International meeting at Mallory where there was Barry Sheene racing against Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Kenny Roberts!!  Can you imagine that now?  I think the only way to compare the effect Sheene had on racing and the way he brought it to the notice of the ordinary guy in the street was, just imagine if Valentino Rossi was English…..someone who is not only the best rider in the world but also has style and charisma.

Now to the race in question.  To be honest when the Grand Prix series arrived at Silverstone in 1979 Barry Sheene was not having a great season and was being well beaten in the Championship by his great rival Kenny Roberts.  Of course for me, as a Sheene fan, Roberts was the arch-enemy. Even though Sheene had qualified fifth, more than 1.7 seconds down on Roberts, there was always belief that he could come good in the race.  Of course at the start of the race everyone’s attention was diverted by the embarrassing crash by Mick Grant on the NR500 at the first corner on his team-mate’s oil!!  Early in the race Wil Hartog was up front.  This was my first experience of the fanatical Dutch supporters, as I was in the Woodcote stands and there was about 50 of them in a group just behind us that went mad every time Hartog came around.  But once Sheene and Roberts got to the front it was just a great race and also great atmosphere there in the Woodcote stand.  I am sure both riders thought they had the other covered……but then it happened, right in front of where I was sitting, when a back-marker got in the way of Sheene going onto the last lap……and we though then that the race was run.  But Sheene broken the lap record on the last lap (amazingly more than one and half seconds faster than his qualifying time) to challenge Roberts right in front again of where I was sitting.  What a great finish to a fantastic race…..but of course a great disappointment to the home crowd.  I don’t think I have been more excited by a race since…..or more disappointed at the result.  

Many years later I was fortunate enough to be producing the official MotoGP statistics and now know that the record books show this as the fifth closest race finish of all time in 500cc class – but as always the record books do not give the full story. Lets hope we are in for another thriller on the 40th anniversary of that race, but this time with a British rider winning by a whisker to give the home crowd something to remember in 2059!

By | August 15th, 2019|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Is it really 40 years ago?

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 the Oxfordshire Charity for the Homeless

By | December 18th, 2018|Uncategorised|Comments Off on HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

Dani Pedrosa – a MotoGP legend?

Dani Pedrosa draws his career to a close this weekend in Valencia after a long and successful career, prompting discussion about what does a rider need to achieve to be given the designation of a legend. Well let’s look at what he has achieved:

  • This weekend he will be making his 295thGP starts. Only Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi has made more GP starts.
  • 54 grand prix wins – making him 7thin the all-time GP winners list.
  • 31 wins in the premier-class – 8thin the all-time list
  • 153 grand prix podium finishes – third on the all-time list after Rossi and Giacomo Agostini (Lorenzo is currently on 152 podium finishes, so could equal Pedrosa’s total this weekend)
  • 112 premier-class podium finishes – third on the all-time list after Rossi and Lorenzo.
  • He has won at least one grand prix every year for 16 successive years from 2002 to 2017. This is the record as the longest sequence of successive years that a rider has achieved at least one grand prix victory.
  • He won at least one race in the MotoGP class every year for twelve successive seasons. The only other rider to have achieved this in the premier-class is Giacomo Agostini.
  • He has had the fourth longest winning career in grand prix racing after Rossi, Capirossi and Angel Nieto.
  • He has the third longest winning career in the premier-class after Rossi and Alex Barros.
  • In 2003 he became the second youngest ever 125cc world champion after Loris Capirossi.
  • In his debut race in the 250cc class in South Africa in 2004 he became the youngest ever 250cc grand prix race winner.
  • Also in 2004 he became the youngest ever 250cc world champion and the youngest rider to win a title in two different classes.
  • In 2005 he retained the 250cc world title making him the youngest rider to be three times a world champion.
  • He has been runner-up in the MotoGP world championship on three occasions; in 2007 behind Casey Stoner, in 2010 & 2012 to Jorge Lorenzo.
  • Comparing to the rider some think of as the greatest of all-time: in his thirteen years in the MotoGP class he has finished ahead on Valentino Rossi in the world championship on six occasions.

Although Pedrosa never achieved that dream MotoGP title, that is perhaps due to circumstances outside his control: his small physical stature, a fragile body and being around at a time when the premier-class is more competitive than ever with such other great riders as Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo and Marquez.

Stand up and take a bow Dani – a true motorcycle grand prix racing legend!

 

By | November 17th, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Dani Pedrosa – a MotoGP legend?

Valencia Grand Prix facts and statistics

  • This year will be the 20thGrand Prix of Valencia, which has been held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit since the first visit in 1999.
  • This will be the 17thsuccessive year that Valencia has hosted the final race of the season, making it the circuit that has been the venue for the final event of the year on most occasions. It has been the final event of the year throughout the MotoGP era.
  • The Valencia circuit is named after Spanish racer Ricardo Tormo, who won the 50cc world title riding for Bultaco in 1978 and 1981. In addition to his 15 Grand Prix victories in the 50cc class he also had 4 wins in the 125cc class.  His career ended in 1984 due to leg injuries suffered in a crash whilst test riding. Tormo sadly died from leukaemia in 1998.
  • Dani Pedrosa is the most successful rider at the Valencia circuit with seven wins; four in MotoGP, two in 250cc, and one in the 125cc class. The next most successful rider is Jorge Lorenzo with four wins in Valencia, all in the MotoGP class.
  • The premier-class race at Valencia has been won ten times by Spanish riders; Sete Gibernau won the 500cc race on a Suzuki in 2001; Dani Pedrosa won the MotoGP race in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2017; Jorge Lorenzo won in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2016; Marc Marquez won four years ago.
  • The last non-Spanish rider to win the MotoGP race in Valencia was Casey Stoner in 2011.
  • Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, Honda has been the most successful manufacturer with nine victories at the Valencia circuit, including last year with Dani Pedrosa.
  • Yamaha has had five MotoGP wins at the Valencia circuit, the last of which was with Jorge Lorenzo in 2016.
  • Ducati have had two MotoGP wins in Valencia: with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.
  • Andrea Iannone’s third place finish in 2016 is the only podium at Valencia by a Ducati rider since Stoner finished second in 2010.
  • Suzuki’s only podium at Valencia in the MotoGP era is a third place finish with John Hopkins in 2007.
  • The MotoGP race at Valencia has only twice been won by a rider who has not qualified on the front row –  Marc Marquez in 2014 and Dani Pedrosa last year, on both occasions from fifth place on the grid.
  • At least one of the three classes at the Valencia Grand Prix has been won by a Spanish rider for the last nine years.
  • Valentino Rossi is the only rider to have competed at all nineteen previous grand prix events that have taken place at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
  • There has never been a year when the three world championship winners have all won their respective races at the final event of the season since it has been held in Valencia.
  • The MotoGP title has been decided on four occasions in Valencia: in 2006 in favour of Nicky Hayden, 2013 – Marc Marquez, 2015 – Jorge Lorenzo and 2017 – Marc Marquez.
  • The eight Moto2 races that have taken place in Valencia have been won by eight different riders: 2010 – Karel Abraham, 2011 – Michele Pirro, 2012 – Marc Marquez, 2013 – Nico Terol, 2014 – Tom Luthi, 2015 – Tito Rabat, 2016 – Johann Zarco and 2017 – Miguel Oliveira.
  • The Intermediate-class world championship has been decided on four occasions in Valencia: in 2003 the 250cc title in favour of Manuel Poggiali, 2006 – Jorge Lorenzo (250cc), 2009 – Hiroshi Aoyama (250cc) and 2011 – Stefan Bradl (Moto2)
  • The six Moto3 races that have taken place in Valencia have been won by six different riders: 2012 – Danny Kent, 2013 – Maverick Viñales, 2014 – Jack Miller 2015 – Miguel Oliveira, 2016 – Brad Binder and 2017 – Jorge Martin. Prior to Martin’s win last year on a Honda, all of the Moto3 races at Valencia had been won by KTM.
  • The Lightweight-class world championship has been decided on eight occasions in Valencia: in 2002 the 125 cc title in favour of Arnaud Vincent, 2005 – Tom Luthi (125cc), 2007 – Gabor Talmacsi (125cc), 2010 – Marc Marquez (125cc), 2011 – Nico Terol (125cc), 2013 – Maverick Viñales (Moto3), 2014 – Alex Marquez (Moto3) and 2015 – Danny Kent (Moto3).
By | November 14th, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Valencia Grand Prix facts and statistics

The Times They Are A-Changin’…..

These words from the Bob Dylan song came to mind as I watched the MotoGP podium presentation in Malaysia, with all three riders having graduated from the Moto2 class; the fourth time in 2018 that this had occurred (having only once happened prior to this year, at Misano in 2015). Is the balance of power finally changing in MotoGP from the dominance of the ex-250cc riders to riders coming through from Moto2? 

Looking at the numbers of podium finishers in MotoGP by Moto2 riders for each year since 2011:

2011 – 0

2012 – 0

2013 – 17 (Marquez – 16, Bradl – 1)

2014 – 15 (Marquez – 14, Smith – 1)

2015 –  14 (Marquez – 9, Iannone – 3, Redding – 1, Smith – 1)

2016 –  21 (Marquez – 12, Iannone – 4, Vinales – 4, Redding – 1)

2017 –  23 (Marquez – 12, Vinales – 7, Zarco – 3, Folger – 1)

2018 (with one race remaining)    30 (Marquez – 14, Vinales – 5, Iannone – 4, Rins – 4, Zarco – 3)

These number show that since 2015 there has been a steady increase in both the number of MotoGP podium finishes by Moto2 graduates and the number of riders achieving these. Irrespective of what happens in Valencia, the number of podiums by ex-Moto2 riders will be more than 50% of those available in 2018 and five of the ten riders who have finished on the podium this year also come from this group.

So does this confirm that “The Times Are A-Changin”? Well with the retirement of Dani Pedrosa, and Alvaro Bautista going to WSBK, the honour of the 250cc GP graduates now depend on just five riders next year in MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso, Karel Abraham, Aleix Espargaro, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Predicting what will happen next year in MotoGP is not something I will try, I would rather taking something from these  word of wisdom from the Bob Dylan song:

“Come writers and critics, Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide, The chance won’t come again

And don’t speak too soon, For the wheel’s still in spin

And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’.

For the loser now will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin’.”

By | November 6th, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on The Times They Are A-Changin’…..

Malaysian Grand Prix 2018 – Facts and Stats

  • This is the 28thmotorcycle grand prix event to be held in Malaysia
  • The first Malaysian Grand Prix was held in 1991 and has taken place every year since, with three different venues having been used; Shah Alam, Johor and Sepang.
  • The first Malaysian Grand Prix held at the Shah Alam circuit in 1991 saw a debut win in the premier-class for John Kocinski riding a Yamaha.  Italian riders dominated the smaller classes with Luca Cadalora (Honda) winning the 250cc race and Loris Capirossi (Honda) in the 125cc class.
  • The Shah Alam circuit hosted the event for a total of seven years before the Malaysian GP went to Johor for a single year in 1998.  The first Malaysian GP to be held at Sepang was in 1999 and this will be the 20thtime that Sepang has hosted the event.
  • Honda have had five victories at the Sepang circuit in the MotoGP era, including for four successive years from 2012 to 2015 – three wins for Dani Pedrosa and one for Marc Marquez. Dani Pedrosa’s win in 2015 was the last time that a Honda rider has stood on the podium at Sepang.
  • Yamaha have also had five MotoGP wins at Sepang, the last of which was with Valentino Rossi in 2010.
  • Ducati have taken five MotoGP victories in Sepang, including last two years with Andrea Dovizioso. The win by Dovizioso in 2016 was the first podium at Sepang for Ducati since Casey Stoner won the race in 2009.
  • Sepang is Ducati’s equal most successful circuit, with the five wins prior to 2018 equalling the number of victories for Ducati at Motegi.
  • Andrea Dovizioso won in Malaysia last year by less than a second from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo; the only time in 2017 that Ducati riders filled the first two places.
  • The best result for Suzuki at Sepang in the MotoGP era is fifth in 2010 with Alvaro Bautista. Suzuki with Kenny Roberts won the 500cc race at Sepang in both 1999 and 2000.
  • The most successful rider at the Sepang circuit is Valentino Rossi with six GP wins (1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP).  The next most successful, with five wins is Dani Pedrosa (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 3 x MotoGP).
  • The MotoGP title has been decided at Sepang on four occasions: Valentino Rossi (2003, 2005 & 2009) and Jorge Lorenzo (2010).
  • The eight Moto2 races that have taken place at Sepang have been won by seven different riders: 2010 – Roberto Rolfo, 2011 – Tom Luthi, 2012 – Alex de Angelis, 2013 – Tito Rabat, 2014 – Maverick Viñales, 2015 & 2016 – Johann Zarco and 2017 – Miguel Oliveira.
  • The Moto2 World Title has been decided at Sepang on four occasions: for Toni Elias in 2010, Tito Rabat in 2014, Johann Zarco in 2016 and Franco Morbidelli last year.
  • The six Moto3 races that have taken place at Sepang have been won by six different riders: 2012 – Sandro Cortese, 2013 – Luis Salom, 2014 – Efren Vazquez, 2015 – Miguel Oliveira, 2016 – Francesco Bagnaia and 2017 – Joan Mir.

 

By | October 31st, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events, Uncategorised|Comments Off on Malaysian Grand Prix 2018 – Facts and Stats

Marc Marquez wins fifth MotoGP title

– It is the third time he has taken the MotoGP title at Motegi, along with 2014 and 2016.

– It is the fifth MotoGP world title for Marquez, the same number of premier-class titles as Mick Doohan. Only Giacomo Agostini with 8 and Valentino Rossi with 7 have won the premier-class title on more occasions.

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win five premier-class World Championship titles, at the age of 25 years 246 days, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 26 years 221 days when he won his fifth successive premier-class title in 2005.

– Marquez is also be the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of seven world championship titles across all classes, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 26 years 140 days old when he won his seventh title – the 1966 350cc world championship.

– This is his seventh world title across all classes for Marc Marquez (5 x MotoGP, 1 x Moto2, 1 x 125cc); the only Spanish rider with more world titles than Marquez is Angel Nieto who won thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).

 – This is his fifth premier-class title riding for Honda, equalling the record of Mick Doohan.

By | October 21st, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Marc Marquez wins fifth MotoGP title

Marquez targets title in Motegi

Marc Marquez arrives at Motegi with a chance of clinching the MotoGP title at the Japanese circuit for the third time, along with 2014 and 2016. 

So what does Marc Marquez need to do at Motegi to win the title? Below is a detailed list of scenarios that could see Marquez win the title this weekend:

  • In the most likely scenario Marquez will need to finish ahead of Dovizioso to take the world title in Motegi.

But in more detail:

– If he finishes anywhere in the top four and in front of Dovizioso, then Marquez will be the world champion

– If he finishes 5th then Marquez will be world champion as long as Dovizioso does not finish on the podium.

– If he finishes 6th then Marquez will be world champion as long as Dovizioso does not finish in the top four.

 – If Marquez finishes in any position from 7th to 15th he will be world champion as long as Dovizioso finishes no more than two places ahead of him.

– If Marquez fails to score any points then he will be world champion if Dovizioso finishes no higher than 14th and Rossi does not win the race.

 

It would be the fifth MotoGP world title for Marquez, the same number of premier-class titles as Mick Doohan. Only Giacomo Agostini with 8 and Valentino Rossi with 7 have won the premier-class title on more occasions. If Marquez takes the MotoGP title in 2018 he would be the youngest-ever rider to win five premier-class World Championship titles, taking the record from Valentino Rossi.

By | October 17th, 2018|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Marquez targets title in Motegi