Posts Tagged ‘MotoGP’

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Azhar talks about the Wiki

June 1, 2010

TTXGP CEO, Azhar Hussain, recently gave an interview to the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Assoaciations (FEMA) and, among other subjects, had some comments to make about the Technical Rules Wiki:

Azhar Hussain: Because the space for innovations is so incredibly huge, we also decided to rely on a Wiki to come up with the rules for the TTXGP 2011.

FEMA: Who makes the rules for the TTXGP races?

A.H.: Usually within a racing organization there is a committee setting the rules. In popular racing series, like MotoGP and Formula 1 the rules serve to keep the races exciting but also to tap development costs. The more sophisticated the rules, the smaller the space for innovation. A small space for innovation in turn leads to a reduced risk of spending money for research and development as well as reducing the goals for wider applicability.

High recognition within the racing community is usually an important condition to become part of the rule setting committing. The result is insiders making the rules for insiders, output from outside is not captured and new ideas can hardly take form and the series becomes remote from wider social, commercial and technical objectives. In order to avoid such phenomena we came up with the idea to create a Wiki to decide on the rules for the TTXGP in 2011. We invite contributions atwiki.egrandprix.com.

FEMA: A Wiki is an online platform that allows people to post and to edit and to comment texts or ideas on certain topics, just like Wikipedia. Does that mean that the rules for the TTXGP next year will be decided upon by whoever gives his or her input?

A.H.: In our sector, development and innovation takes place incredibly fast. In order to not miss anything, we invite everybody to participate setting the rules for the TTXGP 2011. Everybody who is interested in motorcycles, battery technology, electronics and mechanics is invited to join. We think this is the best way to keep track with recent developments. Finally a committee of experts will evaluate all the suggestions made and tailor manageable rules and standards. That’s how we try to keep our room for innovation as open as possible.

The rest of the article is filled with great information and insights on the world of electric motorcycles and electric motorcycle racing, as well.

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Azhar Hussain on MotoGPod

February 1, 2010

I was not picked as moderator for the TTXGP Technical Rules Wiki because of my expertise in the finer points of motorcycle racing history or because of my intricate knowledge of the inner workings of a motorcycle drivetrain. Azhar picked me precisely because of my “outsiders eyes” and the fresh viewpoint I brought into a sport that is filled with strong opinions and well-set ways.

Because of my involvement in this project, however, I have been diving into some of the history of motorsports and trying to get familiar with some of the knowledge that comes naturally to those of you who have followed the sport your entire lives.

When I want a good long look into the vastness of my own ignorance about motorcycle racing, I tune into MotoGPod, a podcast of motorcycle racing news and discussion moderated by Jim Race, Jules Cisek, and Bob Hayes, three guys who could probably talk for hours in my presence without me interrupting them with anything constructive to add to the conversation.  Last week’s show, however, was a rare exception to that rule.  Jules Cisek interviewed Azhar Hussain about the Wiki project.

His interview begins at 1:10:00 into the podcast.  “We encourage anybody who knows anything to come and be a part of it.”

Give it a listen, if for no other reason than to hear him say that I have “a legal mind” and that I’m looking through the rules and keeping them “intellectually credible.”   It’s my new ring tone.

Azhar makes some great points on this podcast, including:

  • if it’s a good idea and we can put it in, we will.
  • what’s really driven this is that technology is moving too fast for any single individual or any group of individuals to know what’s going on.
  • we want to include the people and countries who have been excluded from the motorcycle racing rules creation process
  • TTXGP can only exist if we stay at the leading edge of technology

Lots more in the 12 minute interview.

Find the podcast here:

Thanks, also to Jim Race and Jules Cisek for registering as users on the Wiki.  Looking forward to your contributions to the project.

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“Charge”

January 21, 2010

What more does a headline need to say?

A friend shared a link with me to the official website for “Charge”, a movie (in production) about the first TTXGP Race at the Isle of Man in June 2009.  It looks downright amazing, but, as I’ve confessed before, the subject of motorcycle racing is pretty new to me.  Furthermore, when I found out that the movie was directed by Mark Neale, the director of “Faster,” I missed the significance.

I actually watched “Faster” last night and learned that MotoGP racing is a sport filled with homicidal/suicidal maniacs who ride unbelievably powerful motorcycles around twisting, curving tracks designed to make the riders’ wishes (be they homicidal or suicidal) come true.  I also learned that when you watch a rider exit his bike in slow motion, (and by “exit” I mean “get thrown from”), you actually flinch as his body bounces and slides and smashes into the track barrier.

As the film opens, Valentino Rossi, six-time MotoGP champion, is interviewed as he drives (in a car) around what looks to be a race track.  He is describing the power of the 500cc bikes.  “At the beginning when you try the first time the 500, Ahh F@ck!”  And that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

But this movie is not some travelogue about a racing season.  No, this movie includes history, drama (Rossi and his chief rival, Max Biaggi, have a tension between them that is palpable and compelling), action (the track footage is simply amazing) and humor.

The movie recently received the “Best Movie Of the Decade” accolade from RoadRacerX magazine.

Having watched “Faster,” I’m comforted in knowing that the TTXGP film, “Charge,” is in capable hands.

Below is the trailer for “Charge” but be sure to go to the official site to sign up for email updates on the progress of this significant film.