Duncan Bishop

  • The year in review

    World champion Jorge Lorenzo

    Best Match – Assen Moto3

    It was sad to say goodbye to the 125cc class, with all its history and prestige. The new Moto3 bikes may have sounded like a cross between a lawnmower and a spitfire, but the action on track was frequently thrilling in the new category. Assen was the best of the bunch: An exhilarating dice between Maverick Viñales and Louis Salom, decided on the final chicane, a photo finish between three riders for the final podium spot and the tight tangle between team-mates Sandro Cortese and Danny Kent. There was no more exciting race than this one in 2012.

    Best Moment – Pedrosa’s

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  • Dancing to F1′s tune in Germany

    Reading this on December 11th? Just opened the daily window on the advent calendar and pulled out a hazelnut triangle? Put that back in its pocket, seal the window back up and wait for another week, because there's been a schedule change at the last minute.

    Imagine that feeling, but on a larger, more stressful scale. That's life as of late for the organisers of the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring. The 2013 race looks set for a second change of date, reverting to the originally planned July 14th weekend via a brief rescheduling for the 7th of the same month. And it's all to do with the whim

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  • Bird’s swerve harsh but fair

    Paul Bird MotoGP rider James Ellison in action at the British MotoGP

    When the 2013 provisional MotoGP entry list was announced last week, some hint was given about plans for the British-based Paul Bird Motorsport CRT team.

    As much as James Ellison was being optimistic about his chances of staying with the team, he had been wished well in his future endeavours before the last race of 2012 and was disappointed to be ditched so soon into the project. Bird appears to have recruited riders Michael Laverty and Yonny Hernandez to his MotoGP squad, pending an official announcement from the team.

    You have to feel sorry for any rider ditched by a CRT team in the

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  • Managerial shake-up may not end Ducati’s woes

    Valentino Rossi may be shot of Ducati, but the repercussions of his nightmare two seasons on the big red bike continue to be felt inside the factory. Last week, what had been rumoured in the run-up to Valencia was confirmed in a matter-of-fact way by a Ducati press release: There's going to be a big shake-up at Borgo Panigale.

    Normally when there's a Bolognese shake-up, things get messy — ask anyone who has tried to take an Italian packed lunch to work - and this is no exception. Whilst the vacated positions have been filled and the hierarchy reshuffled, one can't help but feel that the same

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  • Marquez hype justified to an extent

    It's not often that the words 'Marc Marquez' and 'slow down' are used in close proximity to one another, but perhaps this week one would do well to place them in the same sentence.

    Not that the rider himself should be hitting the brakes, of course, but rather the reaction to his testing performance has seen people get ever-so-slightly ahead of themselves.

    It was to be expected, bearing in mind the dominance that the Spaniard has displayed in the Moto2 class over the past two years.

    Marquez may have had an advantage in terms of being able to test this season's engine before anyone else, but he

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  • Rossi’s Yamaha return seems fruitful

    In a year in which rain has been a constant feature of Grand Prix weekends, it was almost fitting that the opening day of MotoGP testing for 2013 should be such a washout.

    Tired after three days of riding plus a party, there weren't many riders cursing their luck for not being able to put in 60+ laps, and the attitude of resignation was the most prevalent.

    The track opens at 10am, it's invariably too cold to get any meaningful data, and there is more of a chance of seeing November rain than at a Guns n' Roses concert in 1992.

    "Weather is s**t, imagine that" said Colin Edwards, who has seen

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  • Say hello, wave goodbye

    By the time you read this, the countdown will be almost over. The 2012 season, a nightmare and a career all come to an end this week at Valencia. If nothing else, it will be a day to go down in history as the end of an era; the grand finale.

    On July 6th, 2001, Casey Stoner began his first Grand Prix event. 4146 days, 115 races and later, he will end his last. Needless to say, a lot has changed since the 2001 125cc British Grand Prix that he entered as a wild card and, love him or hate him, it is an undeniable shame to see the man who became perhaps the fastest racer on two wheels head off into

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  • Worthy champion Lorenzo must end 2012 in style

    There is no arguing with Jorge Lorenzo's record in 2012. Barring that one crash at Assen, for which he can be absolved of any blame, his results would have been title form in any season.

    Ok, he had won more races by the midway point of 2010 than he has all year this time around, but there have been no drastic drops in results from the newly crowned MotoGP World Champion and this has been a much smoother ride.

    You'll be aware of the stats by now. Lorenzo has not finished lower than second place all year, even when others have taken the spotlight.

    The Honda RC213V was talked up as the superior

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  • Downpours and downing tools in Malaysia

    We've become used to runaway victories in Grand Prix racing, but this past weekend we had a challenger running away when still in with a chance of the title. Maverick Viñales' decision to ditch his team and return to Spain was one of the most curious incidents of the entire season, and seems even more bizarre the more you think about it.

    You know the story by now: On the eve of the opening practice session of the weekend, the 17 year-old decides that his team is 'second division,' that continuing with them for next year is not the right move and that he must leave with immediate effect. As

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  • Qualifying shake-up not strictly necessary

    There used to be a time in which almost every big MotoGP decision was made in Japan.

    It's the event at which Honda liked to make their big rider renewal announcements, where series rights holders Dorna were brought into the closest proximity to the Japanese factories' head honchos and just far enough away from the end of the season to give time for adjustment.

    It's where we've seen announcements about the move to a single tyre manufacturer, for example.

    This past weekend, we had an official statement confirming what had been rumoured at Aragón: qualifying is getting a revamp for 2013.

    You've

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