Category Archives: Racing

Fast learner Quintana makes immediate Tour impact

PARIS (Reuters) – Watch and learn – that was the directive Nairo Quintana received when he was included in his Movistar team’sTour de France roster.

The diminutive, swarthy-faced Colombian climber did more than just that on his Tour debut, surpassing expectations with a brilliant three-week display to secure second place overall.

Quintana, 23, reached the Champs Elysees in Paris having won a stage and claimed both white and polka-dot jerseys for the best young rider and the best climber.

On Saturday, he won the 20th stage at the top of Semnoz after a final 11-km ascent – nothing intimidating for a rider who would descend 16 kilometers every day to go to school on a 20-kilo mountain bike.

“And I had to come back every evening,” he says with a smile.

 He caught the eye of Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue when, aged 20, he won the Tour de l’Avenir – the most prestigious young riders’ race.

Unzue was looking for Colombian riders for his Spain-based team.

“Finding a Colombian rider who climbs well is easy,” said Unzue, referring to the ‘Beetles’, the Colombian climbers of the 1980s.

“But finding one who climbs well and who is also a good time-trialist is more rare.”

Quintana, however, is not just a physically talented rider. He is also a clever one.

“The other thing that struck me is his character,” said Unzue.

“He’s got a lot of self-confidence and he analyses a race very well. When you listen to him debrief his day, you understand right away that he is not just a fast rider.”

Quintana showed during the Tour that he is a fast learner.

 Starting the race with the task of helping team leader Alejandro Valverde secure a podium finish, the Colombian found himself thrust into the role of leader after the Spaniard lost considerable time on a flat stage following a mechanical problem.

“Everybody in the team believed in me. Everyone helped me, especially psychologically, to achieve this. At 23, I was not prepared for that,” he said on Saturday, sobbing between sentences.

“When they asked me if I was up for it (after Valverde’s hopes were dashed), I said ‘yes, sure, I’m ready to be team leader but I hope you will forgive me if my legs don’t respond at some point’.”

 His legs responded well as Quintana finished second behind Tour champion Chris Froome of Britain in the stage finishing up the iconic Mont Ventoux, although he briefly lost consciousness after crossing the line.

That day, he probably attacked too early. On Saturday, he showed that he had learned his lesson, waiting for Froome to attack on the slopes of the Semnoz before countering him in the final kilometer to take the stage.

The win capped years of hard work, Quintana said, still shaking his head in disbelief.

“I worked very hard and I had the support of my parents, my team. A year ago, when I turned professional, it was difficult to imagine that I would be here today,” he said.

“As a kid I didn’t dream this could happen to me. I was taking things on a daily basis.”

Quintana has emulated compatriot Luis Herrera, who won the King of the Mountains title in 1985 and 1987, but he is setting his sights higher than the polka dot jersey.

“These performances give me a lot of confidence for the following years. In 2015 I could be gunning for yellow. I will continue to work every day to achieve that,” he said.

Ben Spies Pessimistic Can Go Faster

Ben Spies. (Foto: Daylife)

BOLOGNA – Ben Spies said that he would come back down to race with Pramac Ducati at Indianapolis MotoGP series on 16-18 August, Spies admitted that his condition was in good condition.

Spies has indeed been absent long enough after a severe shoulder injury since the accident at the Malaysian MotoGP series 2012. Spies who had been absent for seven series this season admitted injury had recovered.

“For the first time in months, I felt very happy because my shoulder in a very good condition. Decision is best right back in the moment. Doctors say that my recovery goes according to plan, so I wanted to get back at Indy with conditions 100 percent, “he said.

Spies who resigned from the Yamaha Factory Racing at the end of last year, not sure I can achieve good results in his debut later. The reason, he has gone through a lot of races this season.

“I missed so many races, and I do not ever be 100 percent. Now I am more confident about my recovery. However I am not sure I can directly go fast, since I had not been driving,” he said as reported by MCN.

About his future, Spies admits she still has a contract until 2014 with the Ducati satellite team. He also just want to focus and not think about the race will move to gossip today.

“There are so many rumors about what I would do in the future, but I just laugh to read it all on the internet. Obviously, I was ready to back away,” he concluded.

De Angelis Replace Spies at Laguna Seca

De Angelis Replace Spies at Laguna Seca
Siena – Alex de Angelis will get the chance to perform again in the MotoGP class. Not yet recovered Ben Spies made ​​De Angelis will race for Pramac Ducati in MotoGP United States.

Spies is still struggling with a shoulder injury after a severe accident at Malaysian MotoGP, in October last year. He can follow the race in Qatar and Austin this year, but then absent.

In the last five series, Spies position was replaced by a Ducati test rider, Michele Pirro. Pirro appeared tolerable and able to get 30 points from the five series.

But, Pirro will not be able to fill the position of U.S. Spies in MotoGP, July 21. The reason, he should follow the test session with Ducati at the Misano Circuit, July 23 to 25.

Therefore, the Pramac Ducati rider pointing De Angelis as a substitute at Laguna Seca. Incidentally, De Angelis also had no agenda on July 21 for the Moto2 class was contested at Laguna Seca.

De Angelis is now competing in the Moto2 and defend the Forward Racing team. Previously, it appeared San Marino rider in the MotoGP class with the Honda Gresini in 2008 and 2009. She also appeared in three series with Interwetten Honda in 2010 to replace the injured Hiroshi Aoyama.

Meanwhile, Spies is still undergoing treatment is expected to comeback in MotoGP Indianapolis, 18 August. The next MotoGP series is the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring circuit, July 14.

Button find rise of MCLaren

Jenson Button melihat tanda-tanda bangkitnya McLaren (Foto: Crash)

BUDAPEST – The signs of revival McLaren seems to be felt by the rider, Jenson Button. British rider feels his team work has improved over time.

In the last series, the series rather Nurburgring Germany, Button is able to finish in sixth. While Button’s teammate, Sergio Perez slightly lagging behind the eighth.

The result is much better when compared with the results in the next two series, namely Canada and the UK series. In Canada, Button only able to finish the race in 12th position, while currently performing in his hometown, he actually performed poorly with finishing in thirteenth place.

This is what made ​​him optimistic about his team’s success in the next series. “I really think the team is working very well now. In Germany, the tires that we use, strategy and management of the race that I think is the best ever, “said Button, Crash was quoted on Monday (22/07/2013).

Furthermore, 33-year-old racer also provide commentary for the venue to be passed later, the Hungaroring circuit, Hungary. Racing will be held on 26 to 28 July 2013.

“Circuits great, great great. I have so many positive memories of racing at the Hungaroring. I won my first grand prix in 2006 and still feels very emotional. And I also won my 200th race there back in 2011, “Gomez said.

NASCAR plans to simplify rulebook, focus on technology

With an emphasis on efficiency, innovation and transparency, NASCAR unveiled a restructuring of its competition department philosophies Monday that’s scheduled to be completed by 2015.

In a wide-ranging series of initiatives, the sanctioning body plans to simplify its dense rulebook (and possibly make it available online to fans) with more graphical examples and computer-animated drawings, re-examine its appeals process for penalties and streamline its officiating while adding technology in the pits.

The responsibility for designing and developing future models of race cars also will fall under the purview of Gene Stefanshyn, who recently took over as the head of NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. This will allow vice president of competition Robin Pemberton and Sprint Cup director John Darby to focus on rules enforcement with enhanced deterrence and a revamping of the inspection process.

Stefanshyn and senior vice president Steve O’Donnell both hinted NASCAR, whose Sprint Cup cars employ mostly outdated engine architecture, would move toward its race cars being more relevant under the hood to street models. The Gen 6 car was introduced this year with exterior features more comparable to its showroom counterparts.

“We want to position NASCAR ultimately for the future,” O’Donnell said. “The goal for us would be that as cars come off the manufacturing line in the near future, they certainly look like NASCAR from an aesthetic standpoint when you look at those on track, but just as importantly the technology that’s in those cars mirrors what’s on track, and we really become that proving ground from a technology standpoint.

“We want to be more nimble in what we do from a technology standpoint, be able to quickly react to the emerging technologies. We feel like no better sport is better positioned to really take technology (and) showcase it in front of some of the toughest conditions that exist in the world.

In trying to reduce the “gray area” from its rules, O’Donnell said the sanctioning body will spell out what the specific punishements are for infractions, a la a 5-yard penalty for being offsides in the NFL. Throughout its 65-year history, NASCAR has meted out justice on a case-by-case manner.

NASCAR also will consider an overhaul of its appeals process, which has drawn plenty of scrutiny this season as Penske Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing have had penalties reduced after challenging them.

There currently is a two-tiered appeals process that starts with a hearing before a three-member panel that is chosen from 48 members of the racing industry. Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook hears any final appeals.

O’Donnell said NASCAR would consider matching the expertise of its appeals board with the case.

“We probably put people in some tough positions,” O’Donnell said. “And when you look at track promoters who maybe need to work with a race team or a race owner or a team owner in future weeks, and you’re asking them to come in and make a ruling on a carburetor or something new that they have never heard about, and they’re not experts in that, it puts them in a tough position.

“If we can make that a better process with industry experts, still to be determined how we do that, that’s one area we really felt like we could bring in people who have a better understanding of the emerging technology that’s in the race cars.”

Rossi: Marquez Could Be the Best of All Time

Laguna Seca – MotoGP victory at the U.S. makes Marc Marquez has collected three titles in his debut season. With great potential you had, Valentino Rossi said Marc could be the best of all time.

Marquez not only touched the finish line in pole position in the race at Laguna Seca, Monday (22/07/2013) pm dawn. He did it with a great action when overtaking Valentino Rossi in corkscrew twists.

Centipede podium at Laguna Seca Marquez became the third victory in the debut season. Rider 20 years before it was finished champions in Austin and the Sachsenring circuit.

“He’s got all the potential to be a (rider) of all time, or better than me, or to win more than me,” said Rossi flattering Marquez.

“He’s got great talent, great skill, and is still very young. But it is too early to tell right now because the road is still long. But he has a 100% chance to make it happen,” said Rossi in Crash.

Than when he was undergoing his debut in the 500cc class, Rossi said Marquez has much better capabilities. The Spanish rider was very rarely makes mistakes, which makes him very rarely fell from his mount.

In fact, except when an accident in Italy, Marquez always completed the race on the podium. Currently he is on top of the standings with 163 points.

“I was very fast in the 500 class in 2000, but I made ​​a lot of mistakes and fall in the first two races, and perhaps for that reason I failed to become champion. So Marc same as me, but already-upgraded – new model!” Rossi continued.

There’s no reason Alonso Leave Ferrari

Fernando Alonso Diaz (Foto: Reuters)

MARANELLO – At Scuderia Ferrari, Felipe Massa was not only exposed to the issue who leave. Fernando Alonso did not escape from a similar rumor. In contrast to Massa, Alonso reportedly frustrated by the performance of the car is still difficult to compete with rivals – Sebastian Vettel.

If the mass is said to be resigned or was sacked because of his own performance, Alonso gossip factor is more to car problems. Of the nine series that has been passed, the Spanish driver was still struggling for a consistent set-up on his F138 car.

You could say, the achievements of the podium five times, including two times the main podium, more due to his own skill as Alonso winning two world titles in 2005 and 2006 seasons. When asked of his manager, Luis Garcia Abad, the rumors were brushed away.

“(Rumor) was unprovoked. I would suggest a change in the team just because (Alonso) failed to win a title (since joining Ferrari), “said Abad, as cited Formula1FanCast, Tuesday (23/07/2013).

“Alonso is the fourth most widely rider won the Grand Prix. He also won two consecutive seasons. Some riders even retired from Formula One without winning any of the series, “he concluded.
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Though cleared, Redskins will go easy with RG3

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III put on his knee brace and passed the perfunctory Washington Redskins conditioning test on the eve of training camp, then declared he has ”nothing left to prove” – at least physically – in his return from major knee surgery.

That’s doesn’t mean he’s all the way back.

Griffin said Wednesday he won’t participate in 11-on-11 drills in the early days of camp and likely won’t play in any preseason games. The quarterback who likes to keep the throttle wide open is going to have to exercise a bit more patience as he and coach Mike Shanahan – who have shared blame for how Griffin got hurt – try to work together to get him on the field for the regular season opener Sept. 9.

”They want to make sure we’re not doing anything too soon that we don’t have to do,” Griffin said. ”Let some of these other guys get ready for the preseason. If it comes around that I’m ready to go, then maybe in the third preseason game, but as far as my understanding goes, preseason’s really not even in the air. … I think Coach feels like I can play without any preseason, so there no need really for that. Patience is the key.”

Griffin had reconstructive surgery on two ligaments in January after injuring his right knee multiple times in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Team doctors and coaches cleared him for practice within the last week, setting a remarkable pace for a rehab that can typically take a year or more.

”In my mind there’s nothing left to prove,” Griffin said. ”And that’s the way you have to approach the game when you’re coming off of an injury. If you pass the test, then in your mind, you feel like you’re ready to go.”

But Shanahan is determined to play it safe with his franchise quarterback, having said he wants to make sure Griffin is 100 percent before playing in a game. Shanahan will meet with reporters Thursday, but Griffin appeared to lay out the key points in the latest important conversation between player and coach.

”I think we’re on the same page,” Griffin said. ”When we sat down and talked about what I was going to do in training camp and the weeks to follow, it was a good moment for me because of all the hard work had paid off. And they’re going to allow me to get back out there and do what I do, and that’s play football and just have fun with the guys.

”We all made mistakes last season. We all understand that. We all talked about it, and it’s time to move on. … Me and Mike Shanahan‘s relationship is paramount to this team being successful.”

Shanahan was not only criticized for leaving Griffin in the Seahawks game too long, but there was also scrutiny over whether the Redskins’ offense – along with Griffin’s aggressiveness – left him too vulnerable. He led the team to its first division title in 13 years, but he missed all or parts of four games with various injuries.

”The goal is longevity in the league. You also want to win,” Griffin said. ”And so, as a quarterback, I don’t like to conform and say you can’t win outside the pocket. I think you can win outside the pocket. You’ve just to be smart about it. And that’s what I’ve learned over the past six months about myself and what we need to do to win. Maybe that’s keeping me in the pocket a little bit more. Maybe that’s throwing the ball away a little bit more.”

Griffin said he’s been an ”overachiever” his whole life, so the thought of being eased back into the practice routine and skipping the preseason isn’t part of his nature.

”If they want to me to patient right now and ramp it up later, then I’m willing to do that,” he said. ”And they know that I’m going to be – I wouldn’t say compliant – but I’m going to follow those rules, follow those guidelines, do as much as I can within that, and when it’s time to go full-go, then I’ll be ready to go.”

”If you talk to a lot of the vets, they don’t like the preseason,” he added. ”That’s a well-known fact. Even I know that – and I’ve been the league only one year.”

Crutchlow: This Season Worst

CALIFORNIA – Cal Crutchlow still regrets the MotoGP series raihannya in the United States, last week. In fact, the Tech 3 Yamaha rider feel this as his worst season.

In the last race at Laguna Seca, Sunday (07/21/2013), Crutchlow was only able to finish in seventh place. Drivers who are rumored to be moving to the Ducati was sorry to have to throw away the useless points.

“This is a very difficult situation. I feel really happy because I had to give up valuable points. This really is the worst season for me, “said Crutchlow as reported by the official MotoGP website.

The result leaves British rider finishing fifth MotoGP standings, which stood at 116 points. Therefore, Crutchlow will again focus on the race at Indianapolis after the break vacation.

“Now I have to look forward, one month is enough to rest before heading to Indianapolis” he concluded.

Second place finish, Bradl Keep Satisfied

MotoGP Laguna Seca finishing result, the United States, Sunday (21/7) seems to make Stefan Bradl happy smile. After the success of his first pole position in MotoGP, he managed to finish second and won his first podium.
German rider who defend the LCR Honda started racing in MotoGP since last year, and before the race this time, the result is the best finish a fourth place finish.
“For us, this result is very good. We do a good job over the weekend. Of course, expectations soared after I took pole. I know my speed is quite good and can go fast from the start. I have to try hard to do it since the start, “said Bradl.
Even so, in 2011 the Moto2 world champion admitted the race was quite difficult, especially after he was overtaken by Marc Marquez and must keep a distance of Valentino Rossi.
“I’m a bit of trouble. Full gas tank makes my front tire problem. When Marc overtook, I saw that he had a better grip and to expand its range. I also tried to keep a distance from Vale, and it is not easy. This race was very long and heavy, “he concluded.
Bradl has now climbed to sixth in the rider standings with 84 points, three ahead of occupants in seventh, Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati.