Moto GP

24th June 2007: As the riders lined up for the warm up lap of this exciting Grand Prix, there must have been a conference going on to decide the conditions of the track – and it was declared a Wet Race. No kidding, the track was flooded.

“New Kid on The Block” Anthony West made a fantastic start. In his debut race for Kawasaki the 25 year old Australian rider stormed past the pack passing all the “big” names in the sport of Moto Gp to get as high up the order as fourth. Excitement must have got the better of him because soon after getting into fourth place (by passing no less than Valentino Rossi) he succumbed to the treacherous conditions and came off his bike. He jumped up and was soon racing again, trying to recover as best he could and still coming a credible 11th. Enough about him, we’ll have to see what else he can do under “normal” conditions…

The day clearly belonged to one driver and one driver only – Casey Stoner. The main Aussie of the Moto GP show silenced all his critics. Unusually for the 21 year old team Ducati rider he had a bad start. Slipping down the order to seventh position. This never seemed to phase the guy aptly described as “a genius” by his project manager Livio Suppo. Instead of tip-toeing around the drenched circuit and waiting for things to unfold ahead of him, Stoner went ahead and in the next 3 laps worked his way up to third place. By halfway through the race he’d passed the race leader Colin Edwards (who had led the race from pole position up to that point) and from there on in he never looked in the slightest discomfort with riding in the changing conditions, changing conditions because the track had started drying out to the point that a clear dry racing line had formed on the track.

Chris Vermeulen (are the Aussies taking over?) had to repay his team because he had crashed his bike 3 times over the weekend, so finishing 3rd was good enough for him. Having started way back in 12th position he had an excellent start and managed to pass Valentino Rossi in the closing stages of the race. Rossi brought his bike in to 4th place to at least keep the fight for the championship between himself and Stoner more than alive. Rossi had a difficult race firstly not having the pace of Casey Stoner and also tearing his tyres up in the latter half of the race due to the track drying out.

John Hopkins caught Rossi at the end but couldn’t put in a decent passing move on the 7 times Donington winner so had to settle for 5th.

The rest of the top 10 finishers were Randy de Puniet on his Kawasaki in 6th, still recovering from his knee surgery. Alex Barros passed Dani Pedrosa for 7th place on the last lap of the race. Pedrosa started well on his Honda but slipped down the order and seemed a bit easy for the other riders to get past. Behind Dani Pedrosa were Alex Hoffman and Marco Melandri, with Melandri seeming to have made an incorrect tyre choice since he came to the party in the latter stages as the track dried out.

As mentioned above Anthony West did extremely well to end up in 11th place.

Moto GP Valencia!

Hay-day for Nicky, Rossi down and out

Curtailing a seven point deficit Nicky Hayden looked down and out in terms of gaining the championship, and it now seemed that Valentino Rossi would go onto retain an eight World Championship title! In qualifying Rossi planted his Camel Yamaha on pole position, spreading a pair of ducati’s in Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi between himself and championship rival Nicky Hayden who lay fourth on the grid.

Brolly Dollies, generators and tyre warmers where whisked off the grid as it was time for the final 990cc Moto-GP EVER to get underway! Bayliss blasted off the line to lead the pack through turn one having blitzed opposition in this years World Superbike Championship to take the crown. Interestingly this was Bayliss’s first weekend back in Moto-GP for 2006, having only stepped on the bike for the first time two days prior to racing!

Caption for pic “In order for Hayden to clinch the title, Rossi would have to finish 3rd, and he, win the race.”

Rossi suffered a mediocre start dropping down into 5th position, and gradually down to 7th through a few corners more. Blasting from the docks was Nicky Hayden, who held an advantage in fourth place though would have to catch the Ducati Duo of Bayliss and Capirossi, who held the One-Two positions in any attempt at reeling in the world title.

Unforeseen was Championship Leader Rossi’s huge error on lap five whilst leant over mid corner. The young Italian lost the front end of his Camel Yamaha, sending his 2006 title hopes into the gravel and out of contention. Despite the off a desperate Rossi remounted in hope of retaining some points, it was not yet over by Rossi’s standards. Uncharacteristically the Italian had seemed edgy throughout morning warm-up, having only posted an eleventh quickest time in the untimed practice. Turned on its Heels, the advantage now lay with Hayden how rode amazingly, even under the serious pressure of having the world title within immediate reach.

Almost overlooking the battle for honours at front having witnessed the title drama unfold, Troy Bayliss had extended his lead to an incredible two-seconds over part-time team mate Loris Cappirossi. In search of his first ever Moto GP victory, Bayliss a man on a mission, held his own to the line and braced a superb win. Capirossi followed home in second place making it a one two for Marlboro Ducati, whilst we all waited in awe for that #69 Honda of Nicky Hayden to blast out onto home straight. A glimpse in the distance of the orange and blue Repsol livery through the final curve ensured it was finally here, the dawn of a new World Moto GP champion! Bracing the chequered flag, Kentucky Kid Hayden raised his arms in disbelief, having earlier almost accepted Rossi’s title retaining yet again. Followed by an emphatic display of emotion, Hayden pursued to smoke the back tyre, wheelie and celebrate in true championship winning style!

Fourth went to Hayden’s Team-mate Dani Pedrosa, with Marco Melandri and Toni Elias rounding out the top six finishers.

Championship Table Result:

1*Nicky Hayden* 252 Repsol Honda

2Valentino Rossi 247 Camel Yamaha

3Loris Capirossi 229 Marlboro Ducati

4Marco Melandri 228 Fortuna Honda

5Dani Pedrosa 215 Repsol Honda

6Kenny Roberts Jnr 134 KR Honda

-Paddock Gossip

-Casey Stoner will replace Sete Gibernau at Marlboro Ducati for 2007. The 21 year-old Aussie will ride in Marlboro dress alongside Loris Capirossi for the 2007 Moto GP season.

-In a recent 800cc test at Valencia where all riders tried their 2007 machines, Dani Pedrosa came out on top of the time sheets onboard the Repsol Honda RC212V 800cc. Second place went to a flying Chris Vermeuelen with John Hopkins in third place! Suzuki title contender next year? World champ Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi lay 6th an 7th within the overall standings.

9 Random Facts About Andorra

Andorra is a principality located between France and Spain. It is also a favorite among Lithuanian tourist seeking really good cuisine and Ukrainian tourists (very recently) who went there thinking that Andorra was really Pandora from the Movie, Avatar. Ultimately the Lithuanians were happy, but the Ukrainians were bitterly disappointed.

Interestingly enough, only until very recently, Andorra was completely unknown until a U.S. spy satellite spotted a very large billboard, written in Catalan describing the largest shoe store, Andorra Footwear selling Andorran running sneakers, which are manufactured entirely out of cobra snake skin. Needless to say, once the bill board was translated, hoards of sneaker hungry European and US tourists flooded into Andorra to buy these unusual sneakers.

It’s Not Just About Snake Shoes!

Outside of their sneakers, Andorra has much more to offer vacation hungry tourists or displaced terrorists seeking an out of the way place to hunker down. For one thing, they have much more to offer than anyone could ever imagine. What follows are the ten most interesting things about Andorra that most everyone would like to know.

1. The language is Kind of Like Spanish, but… The language of Andorra is very similar to Spanish, but was modified in 1342 by Prince Zebacula to confuse the Spanish. It resembles Spanish in some ways, however, a few extra letters were added to totally confuse Spanish nobleman during their epic Scrabble tournaments, which are a favorite among both Andorrans and the Spanish. This gave the edge to the Andorrans who had bet heavily and won large tracts of land in Greenland, which Spain had conquered and claimed as their own. Of course, everyone living in Greenland (maybe 11 people and 10 stranded caribou) knew that no one really wants to live there, anyway.

2. Andorran had no Native Snakes, Until 1994. Andorra had no reptiles of any kind, but one fateful day, an airliner flying low during the filming of the snake/plane movie over the Andorran countryside accidentally dropped 2,123 king cobras onto the sleepy mountain towns of Andorra. The residents awoke and to their horror, saw that they were overrun with large venomous cobras. Everyone hid, except one famous Andorran herpetologist who figured out a way to solve the snake problem and fix their teetering economy which was almost insolvent because the country purchased pre-Castro Cuban bearer bonds in bulk. At any rate, Dr. Frederic Limon, convinced the townspeople to make cobra moccasins which were eventually called Snake Shoes which became an instant hit among the few tourists they had. Andorran Snake Shoes are famous the world over.

3. Andorra invented golf almost 1,300 years ago. Because the economy of Andorra was so heavily dependent upon ranching and because most of the cattle pastures were located on the tops of hills and mountains in the Pyrenees, the towns which were located in the valleys beneath the pastures suffered from the manure rolling into large clumps and landing in the middle of their towns. This caused a great deal of upset, until one of the townspeople dug holes all around the hills and throughout the country side. The manure then rolled harmlessly into the holes and the problem was solved.

The Andorrans celebrated and on one inspired evening in 711 AD, they held a party and reenacted the solution to their manure problems. This turned into the game of golf and the idea was quickly and shamelessly stolen by the Scottish aristocracy, which over time has become mistakenly associated with Scotland. However, everyone in Andorra knows who really invented the game They have a saying in their language about that, “Ells poden creure que ells, els escocesos, va inventar el golf, però al final, l’únic que va fer va ser robar aquest joc Bol merda de nosaltres!” This would really be quite clever if you understood Catalan.

4. Andorra invented skydiving in 1781. Juanito Megalora, an Andorran, was credited with having invented skydiving in 1781. He made one fateful jump from the tallest peak in Andorra, Coma Pedrosa which is roughly 9,650 feet high. It was formerly called Muntanya Pedrosa, until Megalora jumped off the mountain to his sad destiny. He languished in a coma, hence the name, for 237 days until his death. The irony of the whole thing is that he might have survived the jump, if he only waited until a working parachute was actually invented, which occurred in 1783 by Louis-Sébastien Lenormand, a Frenchman.

5. Turkish Taffy is not really Turkish at all. What we know of Turkish taffy originally has its roots in the Andorran plumbing industry. The so-called taffy is made from a root that actually grows in abundance in Andorra, called “Plomero massilla de tafeta”. It had been used for centuries by Andorran plumbers to fix leaky pipes. Some out of work Turkish plumbers who were in Andorra ate some in desperation to stave off dying of hunger. It was surprisingly tasty, nutritious and the rest, of course, is now Andorran history.

6. There is poor hunting in Andorra, except for the Andorran Weasel Snipe? Maybe. Andorra instituted a weasel snipe season in an underhanded attempt to attract hunters from America who watched the online gun and knife auctions that are aired during the wee hours of the morning on cable TV. Surprisingly, it exploded with over 175,000 hunters yearly who hunt for non existent snipe-weasel. This brings in over $500,000,000 in hard currency yearly in tourist expenditures to the struggling economy of Andorra. While no one has ever seen or heard of a snipe-weasel actually being captured or killed, the hunters like UFO hunters, vainly seek this prize.

7. The Soil in Andorra is poor, yet the volcanic rocks are edible. Like Andorran/Turkish taffy, some of the volcanic rocks in Andorra are edible. Many of the volcanic rocks are the primary food of the Andorran Otter Goat which inhabits some of the tidal pools in the Pyrenees Mountains. The earliest inhabitants of Andorra were the Frankish Tribes who observed the Andorran goat’s love for the volcanic rock and incorporated the rocks into their meager diets which prior to this epic discovery, consisted mainly of boiled hummingbird eggs. Interestingly, the Scottish noblemen that stole the game of golf also incorporated the edible volcanic rocks into their diets and renamed them scones. To this day, only the Andorrans are aware of the perfidious acts of treachery visited upon them by the Scots. In fact, their national anthem is entitled, “El nostre Llegat Perdut de golf i Scones”, which translates roughly to “Our lost scone legacy”.

8. There are Three Supreme Rulers of Andorra. Until 2010, Andorra had two traditional leaders: the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell. However, in 2010, a Belorussian convenience store entrepreneur, Stashkoff “Stash” Ruvel, proposed to open 1,500 convenience stores in Andorra providing that he could be named the Duke of Andorra and share the head of state Andorra title with Sarkozy and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell. Because of the enormous positive economic impact the chain of stores would generate on this tiny nation, Andorra held a plebiscite and most everyone (albeit reluctantly) agreed.

9. Andorra sits on one of the largest pools of oil in the world. Like most nations, Andorra would love to be energy independent. Their primary source of power, other than motor bike has been the wind. Most Andorrans who can not afford a motor bike travel by roller skates holding a large sail to get from place to place. In the fall of 2002, a noted geologist discovered that there were large heretofore unknown deposits of petroleum in Andorra. However impressive the deposits were, it was also sadly revealed that they were 800 miles beneath the surface of the earth, well out of range of any drilling technology known to man. So while the Andorrans are potentially rich, they still cling to their sails and skate unhappily around Andorra, awaiting a breakthrough in oil extraction technology.

There you have it. Nine incredible things about Andorra you never would have thought about. Often when we’re flying to Europe to visit Paris or London, we just fly over and never realize the richness of beauty and the culture that lies within the tiny principality of Andorra.

Pele Is The Greatest Soccer Player Of All Time

With another world cup looming on the horizon the debate as to who is the greatest soccer player of all time has heated up again.

Each generation has had its own “great”, so we had Puskas (Hungary) in the 1950’s, Pele (Brazil) in the 1960’s, Maradona (Argentina) in the 1980’s and now we have Messi (Argentina).

In my opinion, the debate so far has failed to focus on one important factor which is that in deciding who is the greatest it is not sufficient to look at who could play the game well but you also have to look at what they achieved. The measure of greatness is not only how you play but largely what you achieve. Lots of players were excellent but never achieved anything or set any records.

Comparing players with each other is largely a matter of opinion which is always open to argument and counter-argument. Also, opinions are always laced with speculation and value-judgments and each generation claims ownership of the greatest.

On the other hand, the question of achievements and records are a matter of fact and is not open to argument or contradiction. You are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts. It is from these facts that one can decide who is the greatest.

For the purpose of the ‘who is the greatest?’ debate it is necessary to look at players across generation lines and match up their achievements against each other and compare them.

PELE
When you look at the record of achievements of one player, he will never be equaled and all great soccer players are measured against the Brazilian who once made the world stop to watch his mesmerizing play.

His name is Edison Arantes do Nascimento (Pele). He was born in 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He grew up in poverty and could not afford a soccer ball so he would use a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string or grapefruit to practice his skills (Pele Biography -Soccer Maniak, by Armin Serdarevic).

A look at Pele’s remarkable record of achievements will not end the debate about the greatest but should leave no doubt that Pele’s status as the King of soccer is unchallenged.

In (Pele Biography etc.), his records are first highlighted and then his domestic and international achievements are listed as follows:-

PELE’S ACHIEVEMENTS

1. Pele scored his first international goal in his first match against Argentina at the Maracana stadium on July 7, 1957 at the age of 16 to become the youngest player to score in international soccer.
2. In his first World Cup game against the USSR in 1958 he became the youngest player to play in the World Cup at 17 and with his goal against Wales the youngest player to score a goal during a World Cup.
3. In the semi-final against France in 1958 he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick (3 goals in one match) and the youngest player to play in the World Cup final match.
4. In the final he scored 2 goals, one of which was selected as one of the best goals in the history of the World Cup. He lobbed the ball over the defender and then followed up with a volley shot and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
5. He finished the tournament tied for second place in most goals scored (6) in 4 matches and was named young player of the tournament. He won the Silver Ball as the second best player behind Didi (another Brazilian).
6. In the 1970 World Cup he was named Player of the tournament.
7. Pele is considered by FIFA as the most prolific scorer in history with 1281 goals in 1363 matches in all competitions.
8. He scored in two different World Cup finals.
9. After the 1958 World Cup he was declared by the Brazilian government an “official national treasure” to ward off offers from European clubs and prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
10. Which other player could cause the Nigerian Civil War in 1967 to be put on a 48 hour ceasefire so that they could watch him play an exhibition game in Lagos?

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS

1) Achievements with Santos- Copa Libertadores (twice), Campeonato Paulista (10 times), Taça Brazil (5 times), Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa (once), Torneio Rio-São Paulo ( 4 times), Intercontinental Cup (twice) and Recopa Intercontinental: (once).
2) Achievements with New York Cosmos- North American Soccer League, Soccer Bowl (once).

INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS WITH BRAZIL

• Roca Cup- (twice) and FIFA World Cup (three times).

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS

1) Santos – Copa Libertadores top scorer: (once) and Campeonato Paulista top scorer: (11 times).

2) Brazil National Team:-

• Copa América top scorer: 1959;
• BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Winner: 1970;
• FIFA World Cup (Best Young Player) Winner: 1958-;
• FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 1958;
• FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 1958;
• FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (Best Player) Winner: 1970;
• Athlete of the Century, elected by world wide journalists, poll by French daily L’Equipe: 1981;
• South American Footballer of the Year: 1973;
• Inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993;
• Knight Commander of the British Empire: 1997;
• In 1989 DPR Korea issued a postage stamp depicting Pelé;
• Athlete of the Century, by Reuters News Agency: 1999;
• Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999;
• UNICEF Football Player of the Century: 1999;
• TIME One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century: 1999;
• FIFA Player of the Century: 2000 (shared with Maradona);
• Football Player of the Century, elected by France Football’s Golden Ball Winners: 1999;
• Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999;
• South America Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999;
• Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela: 2000.

It was not always plain sailing for Pele. He missed most of the 1962 World Cup through injury. And being the best player in the world was not without its risks.

In the1966 World Cup in England, with Brazil poised to win their third consecutive World Cup including their second on European soil, Pele’s pre-eminence in world soccer did not go unnoticed. To his opponents he had to be stopped even by foul means and so he was at the end of some of the most brutal tackles ever seen in the World Cup by Bulgaria and Portugal. He got no protection from the referees and no one was red-carded for hacking him down.

But the objective was achieved as Pele missed most of Brazil’s matches and Brazil got eliminated early. After the tournament Pele said that he would never play in the World Cup again.

He did play again and eventually retired in 1977 and since then he has been a worldwide ambassador for soccer and a leading contributor to charity all over the world.

In order to put Pele’s playing career (1956-1977) in its proper perspective it is useful to match it against the achievements of his two main rivals for greatest player, Maradona (1976-1997) and Messi (2004-present) and compare the results.
Sportsmail gathered the facts and put them together a 3 way comparison (see Mail Online- Magic Messi stakes his claim to be the greatest ever but is he better than Pele and Maradona? by Gerard Brand, March 13, 2013).

THE ULTIMATE COMPARISON: MESSI, MARADONA AND PELE

The results were:-
1. Pele romps both in average goals per game (0.94) to Messi (0.69) and Maradona (0.52).
2. As regards international caps (goals), Pele 92 (77) has more than twice Maradona’s goals in almost the same amount of games 91 (34) while Messi 77 (31) fares better than his compatriot but is a long way behind Pele.
3. Pele has 12 World Cup goals in 14 games while Maradona only has 8 goals in much more games (21) with Messi is far behind with only 1 goal in 8 games.
4. Messi has the same amount of major honors (10) as Pele but Pele has three World Cups and Messi has none. Maradona has the least amount of major honors (6) but has one World Cup.

Messi is only twenty five and still playing and the question is whether he will ever be able to beat Pele’s records. The answer seems to be no. Even if he catches Pele’s international goals it will take him much more games and his chances of winning three World Cups trophies are nil since they are only played every four years.

Like every other sport, the circumstances and conditions of soccer have improved from generation to generation. For example, today’s players wear lighter boots, are better trained and have better diets. But despite these improvements, no one has been able to match let alone surpass Pele’s record of achievements which testifies to the enormity of his success.
It is for this reason that I think Pele is the greatest of all time.

MotoGP Build Up to Sachsenring

The weekend is nearly upon us and as such it is nearly the time for the MotoGP calendar to get underway at Sachsenring. The riders will be looking to get the set ups right for the weekend as the weather is to be nice up until Sunday.

There will be no doubt that Jorge Lorenzo will want to get off to the best possible start at the Sachsenring following his race win at Mugello a fortnight ago after taking over Dovizioso and Stoner. He will be looking to cut the MotoGP 2011 cahmpionship lead that Stoner has at the minute. The battle this weekend will be between these two. i think that Simoncelli will carry on with his form and crash after doing well last time out. Or has he finally got rid of his demons? Will he finish the race and maybe get the podium that he deserves.

The Yamahas have become strong in the past two races with Spies winning at Assen and Lorenzo at Mugello. They have brought a few little bit of extra tech to help them out in the battle with Repsol Honda. The Ducati’s have not been on the pace even though Rossi has been running the GP11.1 bike (next years chassis with an 800cc engine in). Hayden has not been able to do this as he had already used too many of his engines for the season. The riders get a limit fo six engines for the season, averaging three races each. Rossi is on to his fifth engine of the season.

Another team that is doing well in the face of adversity is the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. Both of its riders had suffered collarbone breakages but getting back on the bikes the following race. Crutchlow will be wanting to get the issues of tyre pressures sorted for the race on Sunday. Edwards will be looking to bag himself some more points with his collarbone hopefully fully healed now.

The Repsol Honda riders of Stoner and Dovizioso will be looking to be near to the front of the pack come Sunday as they are most weekends. Pedrosa will be looking to get higher up the order than he did in Mugello now that he is back from his double collarbone break.

Simoncelli and Aoyama, will be racing hard for the Gresini Honda team as Simoncelli will be pushing for his first podium finish of the MotoGP 2011 season. Aoyama will be looking to improve as he finished down the order last time out at Mugello after starting well.

The Rizla Suzuki of Alvaro Bautista will be looking to maintain the pace that he started with at Mugello, although later fading down the running as the race went by due to issues with his tyres. Toni Elias has been given a few Motogp races to prove to his LCR Honda team that he is not just there to sit at the back of the field getting beaten by everyone. He has to improve or he will be out of the team and looking for a new job.

The Arai RX7 GP Motorcycle Helmet

The Arai RX7 GP helmet is used by Dani Pedrosa, Noriyuki Haga and Nicky Hayden to name but a few!

As a motorcycle rider I’m sure you follow the MotoGP, if not where have you been? Arai released the RX7 GP replica range so that fans can wear their favourite racer’s motorcycle helmet. It’s available in many different colours including replicas of each Moto GP team and rider designs.

This helmet is one of the most advanced available from Arai and has protected many riders in MotoGP crashes. If you want to buy a safe motorcycle helmet that you know has been extensively tested then the RX-7 GP is the perfect buy.

Venting

Developed for high speed racing, these vents have to expel large amounts of heat so you can expect to get the same venting system in your RX7 as Nicky Hayden does on his.

Rear Spoiler

Included on the back of the RX7 GP is a moveable spoiler that can change the airflow over the back of the helmet depending on the riding style.

Weight

This helmet weighs 1,758 grams which considering the structure (it has a reinforced peripheral belt), is quite light. Compared to the average helmet it is somewhere in the middle, not feather weight but not really heavy either.

Why go for an Arai helmet?

Arai are well known for their commitment to producing safe motorcycle helmets, when buying one of their award winning helmets you can be sure that you are buying one of the safest helmets available to use on the road today.

Bridgestone Prior to the Czech Moto GP

Czech Republic hosts the Grand Prix of Motorcycles this year post the summer holidays while the Automotodrom Brno circuit, situated 200 kilometres South-West of the city of Prague receives MotoGP. Large changes in altitude typify the Brno circuit, the difference between the highest and lowest points in the circuit being 73 metres approximately.

This makes for challenges in terms of tyres handling the driving. This circuit also causes extreme average speed levels, as much as 166 kmph – a record made by Jorge Lorenzo the previous year. Lorenzo owns a 72 point lead in the 10th round of the previous season. He finished ahead of Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, and finally Valentino Rossi, who missed his previous four races due to injuries.

On this track, asymmetric slicks are not mandatory when the same load is given on both the left and right shoulders of rear tyres of the bike. Harder front tyres become of necessity to endure the extremely abrasive nature of the circuit tarmac.

Brno’s height elevation makes the weight transferring of critical importance, because of the increase in pressure the tyres have to endure. Again, the importance of quality front tyres is underlined by how when going downhill on this track, the entire weight of the bike is thrown forward – especially when brakes are pulled. This is the reason why Bridgestone have chosen especially hardened compound front slicks for the Brno track, otherwise something chosen for only a few races throughout the season.

The corner exit speed plays a greater importance on this track than elsewhere for the reason that it is possible for the bikes to attain high levels of speed and driving ease when on the sudden and steep uphill rising parts of the track. This translates directly into reasonably good traction in the rear for the riders to open the throttle as promptly as they can. Uphill elevation variation helps the tyres in the rear grip better by transferring the load towards the back.

A Crash Course on Buying an Arai Helmet

Your search for cheap Arai motorcycle helmets may seem something akin to looking for needles in a haystack – and grant it, considering the quality of the material used to make them, as well as their expert craftsmanship, finding an inexpensive Aria may be hard, but it is not impossible. Established in 1926 by Japanese hat maker, Hirotake Arai, the tradition of this small company to make every helmet by hand has consistently placed both the company and its products at the top of every list from J.D. Power and Associates to MotoGP racers, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa.

Of course, saving money is always an important consideration, which pushes many riders to seek the somewhat elusive cheap Arai motorcycle helmets that we all know must be out there – somewhere. It is a worthy quest because safety starts with comfort and comfort is a quality that not all helmets possess. Every rider knows that the helmet must fit well in order to work effectively. Arai helmets are designed in three distinct “head shape” categories; Long Oval, Intermediate Oval and Round Oval. Starting with this basic array, the helmet designers at Arai can assure a perfect fit for the largest majority of riders in the world.

However, the question remains, what is a good price for quality? It is not unusual to see a price tag hanging from an Arai that reaches upward toward $1,000. However, some Internet research and a little patience will result in the reward of an Arai for less than half that price when some dealers put them on sale. Of course, you can find them even cheaper, because you are bound to come across one that is for sale by an individual. This may appear to be the solution for buying a classic motorcycle helmet for a great price, but be careful.

If the helmet has been dropped, especially if it has happened more than a few times, the shock absorbing material inside may have been compromised. It also may fail to provide adequate protection in the event of a motorcycle crash. Look at the helmet carefully, checking for even the smallest scratches that may indicate that it had slipped from someone’s hand or from the seat of a biker and landed on rock, concrete or some other hard surface. That close inspection when searching for cheap arai motorcycle helmets, could end up saving your life someday.

Breaking the Clavicle (Collar) Bone

Racing a motor bike is a high speed sport with many dangers; one of those dangers is always the problem of breaking a clavicle bone due to a high speed crash and the rider hitting the track surface. It’s not very often that the rider has time to put an arm out in the hope it will break his fall.

Unlike most common breaks to the collar bone, when a racer breaks his clavicle this is more often due to the impact of the shoulder hitting the track at speed. This results in the clavicle suffering a number of breaks and fractures along its length.

What is a Broken Collar Bone?

There are 4 basic types of bone in the human body, long, short, irregular and flat. The collar bone is a flat bone and attaches at the Sternum and the Scapula. The Clavicle is one of the most frequently broken bones in the body. A broken Collar bone is an extremely common shoulder injury for Moto GP riders, World Super Bikes and most other forms of bike racing. A broken Collar bone usually occurs during a fall from the bike when the rider falls at speed when entering a corner or exiting a corner. More often than not this is due to the rider being thrown from his bike in what is called a High Side. The rider is thrown into the air or slammed onto the tarmac. The force transmitted through the shoulder is enough to cause the collar bone to break in many places.

What can you do to prevent a Broken Collar Bone?

It would be too easy to say “don’t fall off” or “slow down” but the very nature of the sport is to be the first rider into the corner and the fastest out of it. Tyre technology has advanced very quickly over the past 10 years and with it the electrics that control sliding (Traction Control) and breaking forces (ABS). The one area that hasn’t changed over the years is the protection offered to riders and very little improvements have been made to leathers compared to the advancements made in motor bike technology. The majority of all riders now wear chest and back protectors and air bags are being slowly introduced. When tyres do let go and high tech electrics fail, it all goes wrong very quickly and before the rider can react he is on the floor and more often than not it is usually a High Side that is the cause of the fall. As tyres improve and technology improves, corner speed is going to get faster, entry speed is going to improve and the riders will be carrying more speed through the corners.

There was an attempt to slow riders down in Moto GP by officials when they reduced the size of Moto GP engines and they went from 1000cc to 800cc, the problem with that is a smaller bike is quicker through the corners and most track records (fastest lap) have been broken this year. The decision has been made to go back to the 1000cc engines at the end of this year. Will this slow down Moto GP riders into corners and will it reduce the amount of broken clavicles that we have seen this year? Time will tell.

What should you do if you suffer a Broken Collar Bone?

The clavicle is an “S” shaped bone that connects the shoulder (Scapula) to the breastplate (sternum). The clavicle is very near the skin, and it can be seen and felt very easily in most people. The joint between the clavicle and the part of the shoulder blade called the acromioclavicular is known as the A/C joint. The joint between the sternum and the clavicle is known as the sternoclavicular or S/C joint. The clavicle is designed to support the shoulder, acting like a strut that helps to align the shoulder with the rest of the chest. It also acts as a fixing point for many of the muscles in the shoulder girdle such as the Trapezius, Deltoid and the Pectoralis major muscles. The clavicle is one of the bones that do not produce marrow in the human body.

After a high side incident and a broken clavicle are suspected a rider will always be referred to hospital for treatment and x-rays. The x-ray will show how the bone has been broken. The result of the x-ray determines what kind of treatment is best suited for the rider.

A break that does not have two ends of the bone out of alignment and overlapping would not normally need operating on and would be left to nature to take its natural course. The muscles of the shoulder girdle will massage the bone back into place along with muscle memory.

When a rider is thrown from his ride at any speed, the end result is the clavicle bone breaking or fracturing in a number of places. In recent months Collin Edwards broke his clavicle in 5 places, Cal Crutchlow broke his at Silverstone and Dani Pedrosa broke his in 4 places. For most riders at this level time is not an option and surgery is the only way ahead.

A clavicle bone will normally repair in about 8 to 12 weeks and should be in a sling or a figure 8 bandage during this time. With surgery this can be reduced to 4 weeks and a rider can be back in the saddle in less. Surgery is normally done when there is a shortening of the bone or displacement.

For whatever reason it is, doctors in the UK are reluctant to pin clavicle breaks. It is their belief that it causes problems in later years. Current research being conducted in the USA on this subject is not of this opinion. US doctors believe that this is out dated and clavicle bones should be repaired as soon as possible there is no need to be in pain for a period of 12 weeks or longer. A broken clavicle can be reset and pinned some 3-4 years later after the initial break took place.

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Home Run – Moto GP Round 16

“Stoner, fresh from his world championship win at Motegi during Round 15, was looking well-placed to take a race win at Philip Island, his home circuit.”

Intro: The story of MotoGP so far this season has been the success of Casey Stoner and his Marlboro Ducati team. This year he has taken nine victories, three podiums and, most importantly, the coveted world championship title, all with two rounds of racing left to go. In fact, he has never finished outside the top six in any race this season. This incredible consistency has denied Valentino Rossi a championship title for the second year in a row, as Stoner sealed the title after a difficult wet and dry Round 15 at Motegi.

Despite a bumpy start to the race weekend at Philip Island, which included two rough falls in Friday’s free practice session, Stoner secured a front row start, qualifying in third place behind pole-position man Dani Pedrosa. Rossi, sporting a tasty new red/white colour scheme on his FIAT Yamaha, completed the front row in second position.
Race:

Stoner, fresh from his world championship win at Motegi during Round 15, was looking well-placed to take a race win at Philip Island, his home circuit. This was to be his first race on home soil all year, making it all the more important. He did just that, taking a start-to-finish victory, some six seconds ahead of Ducati teammate Loris Capirossi when the chequered flag was raised. This Ducati one-two gave Marlboro Ducati the World Constructor’s Championship title. Stoner was the first home-grown winner of the Australian MotoGP since Mick Doohan in 1998.

Stoner was untouchable from the word go when the starting lights went out. Despite starting from third position on the grid, he was first man through turn one. 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden, who holds the outright lap record at Philip Island, was piling on the pressure in the early stages, shadowing Stoner through every turn in the hope that he would run wide or make a mistake. After a brief foray into the lead, Hayden dropped back down the order, however. He was later forced to retire due to teething problems with his Honda RC212V. Stoner was undeterred by Hayden’s early challenges, and by lap 15 had carved out a distinct advantage over the rest of the pack. All this time, Rossi, Pedrosa and Marco Melandri had been scrapping over second place, though they were soon demoted to third, fourth and fifth when Loris Capirossi zoomed by them on his Marlboro Ducati. Loris was on incredible form, though by the time he had got himself into second place he was too far behind Stoner to make an attempt at catching him. Stoner crossed the line in first place with a 6-second advantage, with Capirossi second and Rossi third. Pedrosa was a distant fourth, whilst Alex Barros and Randy de Puniet rounded out the top six.

Speaking after the race, Stoner said, “I’ve been working very hard for a lot of years trying to win here. This whole season has been magical for us, we came here with a lot less pressure after winning the title in Japan, so I could really enjoy this race. It’s definitely my best victory so far. I have to thank the Australian fans, it’s good to see so many of them here and I hope they’ve had a lot of fun, I really appreciate it.”

Race Result:

1 -Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati)

2- Loris Capirossi (Marlboro Ducati)

3 -Valentino Rossi (FIAT Yamaha)

4 – Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)

5 – Alex Barros (D’Antin Ducati)

6 – Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki Racing)

Championship Standings:

1 -Casey Stoner (322)

2- Valentino Rossi (230)

3 – Dani Pedrosa (201)

4 – John Hopkins (165)

5 – Chris Vermeulen (160)

6 – Marco Melandri (154)