Dec 31st 2010
2011 MotoGp winter test schedule

February 1-3 Sepang, Malaysia
February 22-24 Sepang, Malaysia
March 13-14 Losail, Qatar*
* Night

February 10-12 Valencia, Spain
February 15-16 Estoril, Portugal
March 4-6 Jerez, Spain*
* Series Engines (Moto2)

Dec 30th 2010
Nadal tops PAP poll

Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal has won this year’s edition of the PAP (Polish Press Agency) European Sportsman of the Year award.  

In its 53rd year, the poll is conducted with the participation of 25 European press agencies, including ANADOLUAJANSI (Turkey), APA (Austria), AFP (France), AGERPRES (Romania), ANP (Netherland), Azer Tac (Azerbaijan), BELTA (Belarus), BNS (Latvia), FENA (Bosna and Hercegovina), BTA (Bulgaria), CTK (Czech Republic), DPA (Germany), EFE (Spain), ELTA (Lithuania), HINA (Croatia), ITAR-TASS (Russia), MTI (Hungary), NTB (Norway), SITA (Slovakia), STT (Finland), STA (Slovenia), TANJUG (Serbia), TT (Sweden), UKRINFORM (Ukraine) and PAP S.A. (Poland)

The top twenty sportsmen and woman according to results of the Polish Press Agency  S.A. poll:
        1.Rafael Nadal (Spain) tennis                         179 points

        2.Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Formula 1         155

        3.Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) athletics                   114

        4.Marit Bjoergen (Norway) nordic skiing          93

        5.Anders Iniesta (Spain) football                     85

        6.Xavi Hernandez (Spain) football                   81

        7.Christophe Lemaitre (France) athletics         62

        8.Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) tennis           51

        9.Simon Ammann (Switzerland) nordic skiing  46

        10.Sebastian Loeb (France) rally                     45        

       11.Wesley  Snijder (Netherland) football           35

       12.Kim Clijsters (Belgium) tennis                     25

       13.Andreas Thordkildsen (Norway) athletics      23   

       14.Carlo Janka (Switzerland) alpine skiing        18

          Maria Riesch (Germany) alpine skiing            18

       16.Alberto Contador (Spain) cycling                 17

       17.Martin Kaymer (Germany) golf                    16

          Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland) nordic skiing       16

          Witalij Kliczko (Ukraine) boxing                     16

          Magdalena Neuner (Germany) biathlon          16  

   Previous winners:

1958 Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak (Poland) athletics

1959 Vassiliy Kuznietsov (USSR)    athletics

1960 Yuriy Vlasov (USSR)  weightlifting

1961 Valeriy Brumel (USSR) athletics

1962 Valeriy Brumel

1963 Valeriy  Brumel

1964 Lidia Skoblikova (USSR) speed skating

1965 Michael Jazy (France)   athletics

1966 Irena Szewinska (Poland) athletics

1967 Jean-Claude Killy (France) alpine skiing

1968 Jean-Claude Killy

1969 Eddy Merckx (Belgium) cycling

1970 Eddy Merckx

1971 Juhani Vaatainen (Finland) athletics

1972 Lasse Viren (Finland) athletics

1973 Kornelia Ender (GDR) swimming

1974 Irena Szewinska (Poland) athletics

1975 Kornelia Ender

1976 Nadia Comaneci (Romania) gymnastics

1977 Rosemarie Ackermann (Germany) athletics

1978 Vladimir Yashchenko (USSR) athletics

1979 Sebastian Coe (Great Nritain) athletics

1980 Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) swimming

1981 Sebastian Coe

1982 Daley Thompson (Great Britain) athletics

1983 Jarmila Kratochvilova (CSRS) athletics

1984 Michel Gross (Germany) swimming

1985 Siergey Bubka (USSR) athletics

1986 Heike Drechsler (Germany) athletics

1987 Stephen Roche (Ireland) cycling

1988 Steffi Graf (Germany) tennis

1989  Steffi Graf

1990 Stefan Edberg (Sweden) tennis

1991 Katrin Krabbe (Germany) athletics

1992 Nigel Mansell (Great Britain) Formula 1

1993 Linford Christie (Great Britain) athletics

1994 Johan Olav Koss (Norway) speed skating

1995 Jonathan Edwards (Great Britain) athletics

1996 Svetlana Masterkova (Russia) athletics

1997 Martina Hingis (Switzerland) tennis

1998 Mika Haekkinen (Finland) Formula 1

1999 Gabriela Szabo (Romania) athletics

2000 Inge de Bruijn (Netherland) swimming

2001 Michael  Schumacher (Germany) Formula 1

2002 Michael Schumacher

2003 Michael Schumacher

2004 Roger Federer (Switzerland) tennis

2005 Roger Federer and Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia) athletics

2006 Roger Federer

2007 Roger Federer

2008 Rafael Nadal (Spain) tennis

2009 Roger Federer

2010 Rafael Nadal (Spain)tennis

Dec 29th 2010
Sport Event: Four Hills Tournament (Skijumping)

Tournament hills

December 30th
Oberstdorf, Germany
January 1st Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
January 4th Innsbruck, Austria
January 6th Bischofshofen, Austria

Dec 28th 2010
Petrov confirmed at Renault until 2012

Renault have announced they will retain Vitaly Petrov for the next two seasons. It means the Russian driver will again partner Robert Kubica in 2011.
"I am very happy to continue with the team and proud to be representing Lotus Renault GP for the 2011 and 2012 seasons,” said Petrov, who has just completed his rookie F1 campaign with the team. “I learned a lot about the sport, the circuits and the car this year. That will help me improve even more in the future.
“I am very excited about working with this great team once more, and I'm confident that I will deliver. In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing. Today, I feel I am ready to rise to this challenge."
Gerard Lopez, team chairman, commented: "We're delighted to have Vitaly on board for another two years. Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver. It was just a matter of putting everything together during the same weekend, race after race, and this will be his target for 2011.
“Also, thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula One. Over the past few months, we've established close links with this country and with some of its strongest companies. We're looking forward to building on this special relationship and turning it into a very successful adventure over the next two seasons."
Eric Boullier, team principal, added: "We are very pleased to confirm that Vitaly will be staying with us for 2011 and 2012, in order that both he and the team can build on a promising 2010 campaign. The entire team has been working flat out over the past months to improve our competitiveness, and a stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets. Robert Kubica provides a remarkable benchmark for both speed and consistency, and we are certain that Vitaly will move closer to this level of performance next year."
Petrov experienced mixed fortunes in 2010, finishing 13th in the standings to Kubica’s eighth, with his best result a fifth place in Hungary.

Dec 27th 2010
Newcomers elect against KERS

F1 newcomers Virgin and Hispania have elected not to use KERS when it returns to the sport for the 2011 season.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery system was previously used in 2009 before being dropped this year on cost grounds, but will make a return next season as part of new regulations aimed at improving overtaking.
Allied to a moveable rear wing, it is hoped that the reintroduction of KERS will make it easier for drivers to fight for position but neither Virgin or Hispania are set to use the system.
“At the moment, Williams are the only one of our customers who are going to be using KERS in 2011,” Cosworth F1 operations general manager Mark Gallagher revealed in an interview with F1 Fanatic. “Virgin and HRT are not.
“Both those teams have expressed an interest in KERS for 2012.”
In the case of Hispania in particular, the lack of KERS will come as no surprise given the battle being faced by the team in preparing for the new season.

Dec 26th 2010
Hilton Racing's Survey Winners in F1

Coolest Driver
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Jenson Button
3. Sebastian Vettel

Rookie of the Year
1. Nico Hulkenberg
2. Kamui Kobayashi
3. Vitaly Petrov

Overtaker of the Year
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Kamui Kobayashi
3. Mark Webber

Best New Team
1. Lotus Racing
2. BMW Sauber
3. Virgin

Best Dressed
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Jenson Button
3. Nico Rosberg

Most Like to Have a Drink With
1. Jenson Button
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Michael Schumacher

WAG of the Year
1. Nicole Scherzinger
2. Jessica Michibata
3. Raquel del Rosario

Best Race of the Year
1. Abu Dhabi
2. Belgium
3. Great Britain

Most Like to See a New Race
1. London
2. New York
3. Paris

Dec 25th 2010
February launch for Torro Rosso's 2011 car

Toro Rosso have announced that their new car, the STR6, will make its track debut at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit on February 1 - the first day of 2011 Formula One testing for the new season. The launch will take place in the pit lane at the Spanish venue before the on-track action, expected to feature all 12 teams, gets underway.
Although not yet confirmed in the FIA's 2011 entry list, Toro Rosso are expected to retain their 2010 diver line-up of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, who took eight and five points respectively over the course of the 2010 season to secure Toro Rosso ninth place in the constructors’ standings.
Sauber are the only other team to have officially announced when they will unveil their 2011 car. They will take the wraps off the new C30 the day before Toro Rosso - on January 31 - also at the Valencia circuit.

Dec 24th 2010
Top 10 Most Insane "Sports" in the World

Click here to see them.

Dec 23rd 2010
Top 10 World Cup Goals

Click here to see them.

Dec 22nd 2010
Top 12 Pro Athletes Turned Actors

Click here to see them.

Dec 21st 2010
Top 10 Martial Arts for Self Defense

Click here to see them and find out more about them.

Dec 20th 2010
15 Great Sports Moments

Click here to see them.

Dec 19th 2010
Formula One's 10 Most Beautiful Cars

Click here to see the slideshow.

Dec 18th 2010
7 Athletes Who Had More Crazy Than Talent

Click here to see them.

Dec 17th 2010
Workout: P90X

Click here to find out more about it.



Dec 16th 2010
2011 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar

01 2011 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir) 11 - 13 Mar
02 2011 FORMULA 1 QANTAS AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne) 25 - 27 Mar
03 2011 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur) 08 - 10 Apr
04 2011 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX (Shanghai) * 15 - 17 Apr
05 2011 FORMULA 1 TURKISH GRAND PRIX (Istanbul) 06 - 08 May
06 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2011 (Catalunya) 20 - 22 May
07 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2011 (Monte Carlo) 26 - 29 May
08 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2011 (Montreal) 10 - 12 Jun
09 2011 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE (Valencia) 24 - 26 Jun
10 2011 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Silverstone) 08 - 10 Jul
12 FORMULA 1 ENI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2011 (Budapest) 29 - 31 Jul
13 2011 FORMULA 1 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX (Spa-Francorchamps) 26 - 28 Aug
15 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Singapore) 23 - 25 Sep
16 2011 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka) 07 - 09 Oct
17 2011 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX (Yeongam) 14 - 16 Oct
18 2011 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF INDIA (New Delhi) * 28 - 30 Oct
19 2011 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (Yas Marina Circuit) 11 - 13 Nov
20 FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2011 (Sao Paulo) 25 - 27 Nov

Dec 15th 2010

2011 MotoGP Season Calendar

March 20th Qatar* (Losail)
April 3rd Spain (Jerez)
April 24th Japan (Motegi)
May 1st Portugal (Estoril)
May 15th France (Le Mans)
June 5th Catalunya (Catalunya)
June 12th Great Britain (Silverstone)
June 25th Netherlands** (Assen)
July 3rd Italy (Mugello)
July 17th Germany (Sachsenring)
July 24th United States*** (Laguna Seca)
August 14th Czech Republic (Brno)
August 28th Indianapolis (Indianapolis)
September 4th San Marino & Riviera di Rimini (Misano)
September 18th Aragón (MotorLand)
October 16th Australia (Phillip Island)
October 23rd Malaysia (Sepang)
November 6th Valencia (Ricardo Tormo – Valencia)

Ferrari: Finally, an end to pointless hypocrisy

Friday's announcement that the rules surrounding team orders are to be struck from the F1 regulations from 2011 have been welcomed, unsurprisingly, by the team thought most likely to use them.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed the Scuderia's delight during the weekend's Bologna Motor Show, calling the old rules 'an hypocrisy' and insisting that F1 has been, and always will be, 'a team sport'.
The rule change was among a series of changes announced by the governing body following the final 2010 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, with Article 39.1 - which forbids the use of team orders in the top flight - being abolished ahead of next season, although provision remains to punish any team thought to be using the new-found freedom to the detriment of F1.
"Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions," the FIA governing body announced in an official statement, "Team communications will be made available to broadcasters."
Ferrari made the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the German Grand Prix when it denied Felipe Massa an emotional victory on the anniversary of his 2009 crash at the Hungaroring and ordered him to allow team-mate Fernando Alonso through into the lead of a race the Scuderia appeared unbeatable in. The Italians were only fined $100,000 for the switch - which was obvious to viewers thanks to the poorly-disguised information given to Massa, and engineer Rob Smedley's subsequent apology to the Brazilian - and escaped further sanction at a WMSC hearing as it could not be definitively proved that team orders had been used.
"Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy,” Domenicali told reporters, “For us, F1 is a team sport - we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such. The regulations already include points that prevent certain situations being managed in an extreme manner. The decision taken yesterday is very important.”
Ferrari's controversial decision split observers, with many accepting that the sport is one for teams, and others hoping that, if Alonso won then title, he did so by more than the seven points he gained at Massa's expense at Hockenheim. In the end, and somewhat ironically, 'team' cost the Spaniard the crown by deciding to cover supposed main rival Mark Webber at the season finale, allowing Sebastian Vettel to triumph by two points.

Dec 14th 2010
Greener engines to be introduced from 2013

The FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has approved new regulations which will see the 2.4 litre V8s currently used by Formula One teams replaced by four cylinder 1.6 litre engines from 2013. The decision to give the go-ahead to the changes follows lengthy discussions between the FIA, engine manufacturers and specialists.
The more environmentally-friendly units are expected to deliver a 35 percent reduction in fuel consumption, whilst providing the same level of performance enjoyed by today's F1 drivers. Energy recovery systems and additional energy management will be utilised to ensure this is possible.
“The WMSC approved the introduction of a new specification engine from 2013, underlining the FIA’s commitment to improving sustainability and addressing the needs of the automotive industry,” explained the FIA. “Following dialogue with the engine manufacturers and experts in this field, the power units will be four cylinders, 1.6 litre with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar.”
Rev limits on the new engines will be reduced from the current 18,000 rpm to a maximum of 12,000 rpm.
An additional revision to the 2013 regulations will see a drop in the number of engines at drivers' disposal. Currently they can use eight units a season without penalty, but this will be limited to five in 2013 and reduced to four for subsequent seasons.

John Higgins beats Mark Williams to win UK title

Scot John Higgins produced a stunning fightback to beat Mark Williams 10-9 and win a third UK Championship title.

The Welshman resumed the evening 6-2 up and looked set for victory at 9-7 but Higgins got the required snooker to hit back and set up the dramatic finale.
Higgins struggled in the first session as his opponent knocked in an 82 and 85 but the Scot roared back with two centuries to get him sniffing victory.
Both had chances at 9-9 but Higgins bagged his fifth frame in a row to win.
Amazingly, the triumph - his 22nd ranking title - was secured with a stunning double on the brown and it was a tearful Telford as wife Denise celebrated her husband securing a third UK Championship crown in his first major tournament since a six-month ban.
John Higgins It has been an emotional period for the 35-year-old, who returned to the game in November after his suspension for failing to report a match-fixing approach came to an end. He has also had to cope with an ill father.
The 'Wizard of Wishaw' is well known for his gritty style and dogged determination but few would have expected him to overhaul his old rival from Wales after looking down and out at 5-9.
"I was a man on a mission. I was really determined to try and stop anything which prevented me from winning it," said Higgins, who reclaimed his world number one spot with victory.
"Given everything that surrounds it, this is my finest hour on the table. It means everything, just to be back playing and winning. It means a great deal. I just never gave up. 
"I thought 9-5 was too big a mountain but each frame was going past and I was still in it. It is an unbelievable feeling."
The defeat will be hard to swallow for Williams who had one hand on the trophy when his opponent needed a snooker in the 17th frame, but after missing the decisive yellow and seeing the cue-ball end up in the pocket, you sensed he had missed his moment.
It had all started so promisingly for Williams, fresh from his nail-biting last-frame victory over Shaun Murphy on Saturday, who rattled in an opening 83 break and despite losing the next, soon led 3-1 after stealing the fourth.

Emotional Higgins dedicates title to family

Signs of what might follow later on were evident in the fifth frame as Higgins, trailing 60-0, cleared impeccably with six reds left to reduce the deficit to one.
Williams has made a habit in an 18-year career of shutting out these setbacks and he came back in dominant fashion to end the first session with a break of 85 - his highest of the tournament - to take a 6-2 lead.
Williams extended his lead to five frames after the interval and it all looked rather bleak for the Scot, who won his previous two UK crowns in 1998 and 2000.
But Higgins, who was at his battling best in previous rounds to see off practice partners Graeme Dott (9-8) and Stephen Maguire (9-7), was at it again with a nerveless 90 break in the 10th frame and a 94 in the next to give Williams plenty to think about at 7-4.
The Welshman, cruising after a 70 break, was given a huge scare in the 12th as the gutsy Higgins potted blacks with the five remaining reds before narrowly failing in the chase for the required snooker.
The Scot then turned on the style and a 105 - his first century of the match and fourth of the tournament - made it 8-5.
Williams soon had his opponent needing a miracle though by taking the next but Higgins stuck at it and his comeback was soon taking shape.
Click to play

Williams 'threw UK final away'

A break of 76 got him to within two frames at 9-7 and a miraculous recovery after needing a snooker took him to within one.
Williams became increasingly twitchy as chances arrived and disappeared. He led in the 18th frame but, after getting a required snooker, his limp to the finish line was curtailed yet again with a bad kick.
Barely 24 hours after coming through a last-frame decider against Murphy, Williams looked good again, despite Higgins knocking in an early break of 68. But, after a doubled brown, it was the Scot who stayed composed to emerge victorious, punching the air in delight.
Williams may take a while to recover from this painful defeat, but he can still take great pride in battling to the final after a fairly patchy tournament and will enter the new year as world number three - not bad for a man who pondered quitting the sport in 2007.
"It was a great game and the way I have been playing this week, I am more than happy with what I have achieved," the Welshman said. "But I am a bit disappointed, I probably threw it away at the end."
Meanwhile Higgins, whose career was in the balance as he fought the match-fixing allegations earlier in the year, has his eye on more major trophies, having already overhauled world champion Neil Robertson at the top of the world rankings just a month into his comeback.

Dec 13th 2010
FIA confirms 2011 regulations, team orders allowed

Following 2010’s final meeting of its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Monaco on Friday, Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has outlined regulation changes that will come into force over the next three seasons.
Among the major revisions for next season are the removal of the ban on team orders, the introduction of driver-adjustable rear wings, the effective outlawing of double diffusers, stricter bodywork deflection tests and a requirement for gearboxes to last five rather than four Grand Prix weekends. The 2011 regulations are expected to be published by the FIA in their entirety soon.
Technical changes for 2012 will include the use of biomass-derived fuels and tighter suspension regulations. The biggest changes, however, will come in 2013 with the introduction of a new engine formula (see related story), replacing the current 2.4 litre V8s with 1.6 litre four-cylinder units.

Related statement from the WMSC:
A number of changes were made to the Sporting and Technical Regulations for 2011, including:
- The article forbidding team orders (39.1) is deleted. Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions
- Amendments to the list of penalties Stewards are permitted to apply
- Revisions to driving and driver conduct
- A limit on the width of the fast lane in the pits
- The introduction of a regulation permitting the Race Director to close the pit lane during a race for safety reasons
- The re-introduction of intermediate tyres for 2011
- Penalties to be applied to any driver who fails to use both specification of dry weather tyre during the race
- An amendment requiring gearboxes to be used for five consecutive races, instead of four
- Clarification on when cars can overtake the safety car
- A refinement to the principles of the regulations already agreed concerning moveable rear wings
- A better definition of the reference plane, and reinforcement of bodywork deflection tests, especially at the front of the reference plane
- The allowance for anti-intrusion panels to protect drivers’ legs

Amendments to the 2012 Technical Regulations were made in the following areas:
- Team communications will be made available to broadcasters
- The inclusion of fuel compounds produced from biomass
- A limitation on suspension uprights

Dec 12th 2010
Trophy time for Vettel and Red Bull

Monaco was the venue for this year’s FIA Prize Giving Gala on Friday, where FIA President Jean Todt presented Sebastian Vettel, the youngest-ever Formula One world champion with the driver’s trophy.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner collected the constructor’s trophy from Formula One Management (FOM) CEO Bernie Ecclestone, while Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Mark Webber of Red Bull picked up awards for second and third place in this year’s championship.
“This is an amazing evening for me and for the Red Bull Racing team,” said Vettel. “I'm thrilled to be here to collect the driver's championship trophy, something I have dreamt of since I started racing. Winning the championship is unbelievable; it marks an incredible season for us, with many ups and downs. We kept believing in our team, in our car and enjoyed every race.
“I would really like to thank all the Red Bull Racing team and Renault Engines for their efforts and dedication in ensuring we had such an amazing car this year. I am extremely proud of the success we have achieved together."
It was a memorable season for the Red Bull team, taking a total of 15 pole positions throughout the championship. This season also saw the team achieve six of the fastest laps with Vettel and Webber each scoring three respectively.
“This has been a tough but incredible year for Red Bull Racing. Being presented with the constructors’ championship trophy is the perfect end to what has been an outstanding season for us,” said Horner. “I would like to thank Sebastian and Mark for their hard work and dedication this year. Seb is the youngest ever Formula One world champion and a very deserving one at that. His success is down to what he has done on the circuit and the team is immensely proud of what he has achieved.
“Mark has also done an incredible job this year. He took four Grand Prix victories and drove superbly this season. Both men are incredibly skilled drivers and it is a great pleasure to have them as part of our team. I want to thank all of our staff and in particular Dietrich Mateschitz for his support this year.”
Alongside the FIA champions, two trophies were presented for best promoter and best race broadcaster. The Korean Grand Prix received the race promoters’ trophy. The award recognises the state-of-the-art Korean International Circuit which hosted its inaugural Grand Prix this year.
The award was collected by the Korea Automobile Racing Association’s Yung Cho Chung, who said: “It is a great honour to receive this award on behalf of all of those involved in the first Korean Grand Prix. I sincerely thank all of the people who helped to make the event such a success, leading to us receiving this wonderful trophy this evening.”
The race broadcaster’s trophy was presented jointly to Abu Dhabi Media Company and FOM for their outstanding coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The twilight concept and magnificent setting of the event proved popular with television viewers. The award was presented to Dean Locke of Formula One Management.

Dec 11th 2010
Badoer bids emotional farewell to Ferrari

Luca Badoer made his last appearance as an official Ferrari test driver at the Bologna Motor Show on Wednesday. Badoer, who has been with the Italian team since 1998, took charge of a 2009-spec F60 for a demonstration run at the event, which is held annually in the Italian city.
“Even after so many years of doing it, driving a Formula One car here, so close to the spectators, so as to let them get a close up feel for the power of these cars is a feeling one never gets used to,” said the 39 year-old. “Plus, today’s experience was more emotional than usual, because it is my last appearance in my role as official Ferrari test driver.
“The thing I will miss most is driving the Formula One car. I have never been one for the bright lights, as the one and only thing I wanted centred on my job of taking a car to its limits, working out where there was room for improvement. Although this is something I have missed for quite a while now, as testing has been cut back and there is not much for a test driver to do.”
Although he had last raced for Minardi in the nineties, Ferrari chose Badoer to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa for two Grands Prix in 2009 at Valencia and Spa. The Italian, however, failed to shine at either venue, finishing 17th and 14th, and he was replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella for the rest of the season.
“The only regret is that I was only able to do two races,” said Badoer. “The team had confidence in me at that time and that is something I will always be grateful for. Unfortunately, at the time, I had not been driving for 10 months and found myself at the wheel of a car that was difficult to adapt to and so I could not show what I could do.”
Last month Ferrari confirmed that 21 year-old Jules Bianchi will take on the role of test driver for the 2011 season. Bianchi, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, finished third in the 2010 GP2 Series and took part in the recent young driver test at Abu Dhabi for the team.

Dec 10th 2010
Film Recommendation of the Day


The Fighter (2010) - go to the official website

Watch trailer here.

Movie description on Yahoo Movies

Life story of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward and his trainer brother Dick Eklund, chronicling the brothers' early days on the rough streets of Lowell, Massachusetts through Eklund's battle with drugs and Ward's eventual world championship in London.

IMDB Rating

Dec 9th 2010
Forbes' Best Dressed Athletes

Click here to see them.

Dec 8th 2010
Webber ended season with fractured shoulder

Red Bull’s Mark Webber drove the last four rounds of the 2010 season with a fractured shoulder, the Australian driver has revealed. Webber sustained the injury in a cycling accident prior to October’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Webber chose not to divulge what had happened to Red Bull team bosses and details have only just emerged in a new book published in Australia. It was the first time he had been back on a mountain bike since breaking his leg in late 2008.
"I was riding with a great friend of mine,” explained Webber in ‘Mark Webber, Up Front’. “Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier's fracture to my right shoulder.”
With the fracture too fine to be treated, Webber, who was leading the championship at the time, received pre-race injections to cope with the pain. Only his physio Roger Cleary and FIA medic Gary Harstein are believed to have known about the injury.
Webber narrowly lost the Japanese race to team mate Sebastian Vettel, after which his championship challenge faded, and many will now question whether the fracture effectively cost him the title, even if Webber himself disagrees.
He broke his right leg in November 2008 after being hit by a car while cycling in training for his Tasmania charity challenge. What wasn’t known by his team or the public at the time was that Webber also broke his shoulder in that incident.

Dec 7th 2010

January launch for 2011 Sauber

Sauber have become the first team to confirm a launch date for their 2011 car. The Ferrari-powered C30 will be unveiled at Valencia on January 31, the day before the first pre-season test of the New Year gets underway at the Spanish circuit.
The C30 will be piloted by Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi, who scored 32 of the team’s 42 points in 2010, along with Mexican newcomer Sergio Perez, this year’s GP2 Series runner-up.

Dec 1st-6th 2010
No Sports News.

Nov 30th 2010
Albuquerque corwned Champion of Champions

Filipe Albuquerque delivered a thrilling performance to eclipse 15 superstars of motorsport and win The Race of Champions at his first attempt on an exciting afternoon in Düsseldorf.
In front of a packed ESPRIT arena the Portuguese driver overcame World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb 2-1 in the best-of-three Grand Final on the specially-constructed parallel track to earn the title of Champion of Champions.
Following Team Germany's win last night in the ROC Nations Cup, The Race of Champions pitted 16 of the biggest names in motorsport against each other in head-to-head combat in a variety of different cars.
ROC South Europe winner Albuquerque's route to the final took him past Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in a very tight semi-final following his quarter-final triumph against fellow Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente.
Loeb reached the Grand Final courtesy of a quarter-final win over eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen followed by victory against would touring car star Andy Priaulx in the powerful Audi R8 LMS.
In another quarter-final, an epic clash saw home favourites, and F1 rivals, Vettel and Schumacher clash in KTM X-Bows. Victory went to the younger man by just over half a second. Priaulx beat Bertrand Baguette in the other last-eight tie.
Earlier today, the action began with a bang in the round-robin group stage, which featured four groups of four drivers fighting it out for the right to line up in the knock-out quarter-finals.
In the very first race of the day, Heikki Kovalainen suffered a huge accident after the chequered flag when his Audi R8 LMS ploughed through the barriers and hit the concrete wall hard.
The F1 driver escaped injury but needed a precautionary visit to a local hospital for checks which prevented him taking any further part. He and Jeroen Bleekemolen were eliminated from Group A as Loeb and Baguette progressed.
Group B saw motorcycling hero Mick Doohan miss out along with Travis Pastrana, who suffered a stall, a last-corner defeat and a spin in his three races. Priaulx won all three races while Kristensen also went through.
It was close too in Group C, where Albuquerque and Vettel took the top two spots, knocking out NASCAR front-runner Carl Edwards and X-Games gold medallist Travis Foust.
The final group of the first round featured an incredible combined 11 F1 world championships and Schumacher beat Alain Prost by just over a second in a closely-fought contest in the ROC Car.
Schumacher won all three first-round races with Parente going through as runner-up. Current British touring car number one Jason Plato missed out, as did Prost, who spun out of his last race in the KTM X-Bow.
A total of 64,052 fans attended The Race of Champions during the course of the weekend.

Team Germany celebrate 4th ROC Nations Cup win

Formula 1 superstars Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher both hailed Team Germany's incredible fourth successive victory in the ROC Nations Cup after a rollercoaster evening in front of their home crowd.
In a repeat of the last two ROC Nations Cup finals, Team Germany lined up against Team GB, represented in the ESPRIT arena by Andy Priaulx and Jason Plato.
The two teams were extremely closely matched and needed a sudden-death shoot-out to decide the result, with Schumacher beating Priaulx by a fraction.
Local heroes Team Germany defeated Team GB in the final tonight to win the ROC Nations Cup in Düsseldorf after a thrilling contest featuring the world's top motorsport stars.
Legends from all aspects of motorsport did battle for national pride in the ROC Nations Cup, behind the wheel of various vehicles, including the awesome Audi R8 LMS, on a purpose-built parallel track at the ESPRIT arena.
The ROC Nations Cup trophy has been won for the last three years by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher for Team Germany and they did not disappoint a big crowd tonight.
Schumacher squared up against Team GB's Plato in identical KTM X-Bows for the first race of the best-of-three final and made the perfect start, winning by just under two seconds.
The action switched to Audi R8 LMS cars for the second race, which Priaulx won to keep the contest alive and set up a head to head with Schumacher for the title.
An incredibly tight deciding race in ROC Cars saw Schumacher narrowly defeat Priaulx and clinch Team Germany's fourth ROC Nations Cup crown to the acclaim of their home fans.
Earlier in the evening, Team GB as group winners and runners-up Team France progressed through the round-robin Group A to line up a best-of-three semi-final.
Team Nordic, featuring Tom Kristensen and Heikki Kovalainen were eliminated on the tie-breaker of combined times while Alvaro Parente hit a wall in a KTM X-Bow as he and Team Portugal team-mate Filipe Albuquerque were knocked out.
In the first semi-final, Team GB prevailed in two races, with Plato beating Alain Prost in a VW Scirocco before Priaulx just finished of Loeb in a Porsche 911 to eliminate Team France.
In the other group, Team All Stars (Mick Doohan & Tanner Foust) and Team USA (Carl Edwards & Travis Pastrana) were knocked out as Team Germany and Team Benelux set a semi-final date.
In that contest, the home fans were given a performance to remember as Schumacher beat Bertrand Baguette in a ROC Car while Vettel followed that up with an immensely popular win over Jeroen Bleekemolen in a KTM X-Bow.

Roger Federer beats Nadal in final of ATP finals

Roger Federer turned his high-profile, season-ending match against Rafael Nadal into little more than an exhbition. Federer gave his rival little chance to mount a challenge in the 22nd meeting between two of the greatest players of all time, winning his fifth season-ending title 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 at the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday.
Federer won an incredible 92 percent of the points played on his first serve in the final, and lost only 13 points on serve in the entire match.
Nadal, the top-ranked Spaniard who won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year, was able to break Federer once in the second set, but he appeared to tire as the match wore on. On Saturday, Nadal spent more then three hours and three sets beating Andy Murray to reach the final of the tournament for the first time in his career.
The win cut Nadal's career record to 14-8 against the second-ranked Swiss player. In Grand Slam finals, Nadal is 5-2 against Federer, but Federer has now beaten Nadal all three times they have faced each other in the final tournament of the season.

Nov 29th 2010
Top Figure Skaters: Ladies

Kim (Yun-Na)

Nov 28th 2010
Top Figure Skaters: Men


Nov 27th 2010
Top Figure Skaters: Ice Dancing (1990-2010)


Nov 26th 2010
Top Figure Skaters: Pairs (1990-2010)


Nov 25th 2010
Sports Check: Decathlon

The decathlon is an athletic event consisting of ten track and field events. The word decathlon is of Greek origin (from δέκα deka [ten] and αθλος athlos [contest]). Events are held over two consecutive days and the winners are determined by the combined performance in all. Performance is judged on a points system in each event, not by the position achieved. The decathlon is contested mainly by male athletes, while female athletes contest the heptathlon.
Traditionally, the title of "World's Greatest Athlete" has been given to the man who wins the decathlon. This began when King Gustav V of Sweden told Jim Thorpe, "You, sir, are the world's greatest athlete" after Thorpe won the decathlon at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. The current holder of the title is American Bryan Clay, the gold medal winner of the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, who took the title from Athens Olympics Czech champion Roman Šebrle.
The modern event is a set combination of athletic disciplines, testing an individual's strength, speed, stamina, endurance and perseverance; it includes five events on each of two successive days. The emphasis of the first day is on speed, explosive power, and jumping ability; the second emphasizes technique and endurance.

Day 1 Day 2
World record
9026 Roman Šebrle  CZE 2001-05-27 Götzis

Nov 24th 2010
50 Greatest NBA Players
In alphabetical order


Nov 23rd 2010
2010 Season Review
For pictures click

Nov 22nd 2010
2010 Season Review - A rollercoaster to the end

The 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship was touted as one of the greatest seasons ever. And as Abu Dhabi marked the only time in the sport’s long and glorious history that the battle for the title went down to the wire between four drivers, it more than lived up to expectations.
Through a brutal 19-race season, from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi via Australia, Malaysia, China, Spain, Monaco, Turkey, Canada, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Brazil, nobody established dominance.
The lead see-sawed back and forth between Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull’s Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, with eventual champion Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel dogging their every move. It was often impossible to predict form in a year of twists and turns, as evidenced by the fact that the only time the man who became the sport’s youngest-ever champion led the series was on the day that he clinched the crown.
Incredibly, the only major political issue concerned Ferrari’s clear deployment of team orders to help Alonso past fast team mate Felipe Massa in Germany, with the minor asides of grumbles about whether Red Bull treated its drivers the same, and which team - Lotus Racing or Renault - will have the right to use the Lotus name in 2011.
The rest of the time the focus was on one thing - the racing. The most competitive season in decades thus distilled to its essence: a sporting contest fought out between teams and drivers who never let up for a moment.
Red Bull dominated from the start - at least as far as performance was concerned. Adrian Newey and Rob Marshall did a fabulous job on the RB6, especially on the aero but also with the unique pull-rod rear suspension which endowed it with great traction - much better, for example, than McLaren’s MP4-25 (or the Force India which used the same back end).
Indeed, for a long while rivals thought that there had to be some sort of secret ride height control, or that the car’s wings were flexing excessively to create extra downforce. The rules on the latter were tightened up as the season progressed, without ever reining in the RB6’s performance.
Its reliability left something to be desired initially, however, and cost Vettel dear. He set the pace in Bahrain until, of all things, a spark plug malfunctioned - they just don’t cause problems these days. Alonso inherited that win, as Vettel dropped to fourth behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Hamilton.
Vettel was away again in Melbourne until a brake failure. This was said to be a result of Newey lightening the discs too much, so that they could not cope with a track which is notoriously hard on braking. That time it was McLaren’s new boy Jenson Button who won, after a canny tyre change choice when the rain came.

Nov 21st 2010
Pirelli tyre test, day two - Alonso keeps Ferrari in front

Unofficial Saturday times from Abu Dhabi:
1. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:40.529, 105 laps
2. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP, 1:40.685, 74
3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:40.825, 66
4. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:41.294, 101
5. Robert Kubica, Renault, 1:41.614, 90
6. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:41.622, 46
7. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:41.740, 30
8. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:41.869, 35
9. Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber, 1:42.110, 43
10. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:42.145, 98
11. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:42.416, 46
12. Sergio Perez, BMW Sauber, 1:42.777, 46
13. Jarno Trulli, Lotus, 1:44.521, 83
14. Pastor Maldonado, HRT, 1:44.768, 65
15. Timo Glock, Virgin, 1:44.783, 82

Nov 20th 2010
Pirelli tyre test, day one - Massa ahead in Abu Dhabi

Unofficial Friday times from Abu Dhabi:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:40.170, 94 laps
2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:40.500, 78 laps
3. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:40.874, 94
4. Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber, 1:40.950, 83
5. Robert Kubica, Renault, 1:41.032, 39
6. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:41.425, 91
7. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:41.615, 21
8. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:41.778, 81
9. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 1:42.019, 71
10. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:42.859, 20
11. Timo Glock, Virgin, 1:44.124, 78
12. Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, 1:44.686, 88
13. Pastor Maldonado, HRT, 1:45.728, 83's Top 10 MotoGP riders of 2010

1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Casey Stoner
5. Ben Spies
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Marco Simoncelli
9. Randy de Puniet
10. Alvaro Bautista

Nov 19th 2010

Top 10 Biathlon Athletes

Ole Einar Bjorndalen
Rafael Poiree
Magdalena Forsberg
Frank Ullrich
Ricco Groß
Sven Fischer
Liv Grete Poiree
Ushi Disl
Kati Wilhelm
Michael Greis

Nov 18th 2010
Ricciardo stays top for Red Bull

Unofficial Wednesday times from Yas Marina:
1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:38.102
2. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Renault, 1:38.802
3. Sam Bird, Mercedes GP, 1:39.220
4. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:39.760
5. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:39.916
6. Sergio Perez, BMW Sauber, 1:40.543
7. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:40.901
8. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:40.944
9. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:40.974
10. Yelmer Buurman, Force India, 1:41.178
11. Davide Valsecchi, HRT, 1:43.013
12. Luiz Razia, Virgin, 1:43.525
13. Josef Kral, HRT, 1:44.143
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Lotus, 1:44.312
15. Vladimir Arabadzhiev, Lotus, 1:45.723

Nov 17th 2010
Ricciardo sets young driver pace

Unofficial Tuesday times from Yas Marina:
1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:39.616
2. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1:40.725
3. Antonio Felix da Costa, Force India, 1:41.381
4. Esteban Gutierrez, BMW Sauber, 1:41.432
5. Dean Stoneman, Williams, 1:41.522
6. Mikhail Aleshin, Renault, 1:42.073
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:42.489
8. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:42.736
9. Sam Bird, Mercedes GP, 1:42.985
10. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Virgin, 1:43.518
11. Pastor Maldonado, HRT, 1:43.750
12. Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, 1:43.894
13. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Lotus, 1:44.924
14. Rio Haryanto, Virgin, 1:49.439

Nov 16th 2010
Rossi has shoulder operation

The Italian underwent surgery Sunday, November 14th, with a rehabilitation period of 90 days the expected length for an injury of his type.

Valentino Rossi underwent surgery at the Cervesi di Cattolica hospital with a procedure performed by Doctor Alex Castagna from the Milan Humanitas Institute and shoulder specialist Dr Giuseppe Porcellini.
The focus of the arthroscopic procedure on Rossi, who suffered cartilage and joint damage to his shoulder in a motocross training accident back in April, was on the supraspinatus tendon and glenoid ligament.
"The condition of the shoulder was really critical: Valentino really had to be tough to keep racing with that kind of injury,” said the surgeons. “The intervention went well, without any complications. For rehabilitation, you'd usually need 90 days for that kind of injury but we'll do our best in order to meet the requirements of the rider."
The surgery lasted for two hours from 11.30am to 1.30pm and the surgeons were assisted by Doctors Fabrizio Campi and Paolo Paladini. Rossi will now remain in hospital overnight before beginning his rehabilitation in the coming days.

Nov 15th 2010

F1 Drivers' Championship Standings 2010

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 256
2 Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 252
3 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 242
4 Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 240
5 Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 214
6 Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 144
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas 142
8 Robert Kubica Renault F1 Team 136
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP Petronas 72
10 Rubens Barrichello AT&T Williams 47
= Adrian Sutil Force India F1 Team 47
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 32
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault F1 Team 27
14 Nico Hulkenberg AT&T Williams 22
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India F1 Team 21
16 Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 8
17 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber 6
= Nick Heidfeld Sauber 6
19 Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 5
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus F1 Racing 0
= Heikki Kovalainen Lotus F1 Racing 0
= Karun Chandhok Hispania Racing Team 0
= Bruno Senna Hispania Racing Team 0
= Timo Glock Virgin Racing 0
= Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 0
= Christian Klien Hispania Racing Team 0
= Sakon Yamamoto Hispania Racing Team 0

F1 Constructors' Championship Standings 2010

1 Red Bull Racing 498
2 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 454
3 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 396
4 Mercedes GP Petronas 214
5 Renault F1 Team 163
6 AT&T Williams 69
7 Force India F1 Team 68
8 Sauber 44
9 Scuderia Toro Rosso 13
10 Lotus F1 Racing 0
= Hispania Racing Team 0
= Virgin Racing 0

Nov 14th 2010

Vettel grabs title with Abu Dhabi win

Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is the new world champion, and the youngest in history, after a gripping Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Vettel led from the start and only surrendered the lead after his tyre stop, but the outcome of the championship was effectively decided on the opening lap when Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher spun and was mounted by an unsighted Tonio Liuzzi. As the safety car came out, Renault crucially pitted Vitaly Petrov, as did Mercedes Nico Rosberg. Both stops would later play key roles.
When the racing resumed, Vettel opened a lead over McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who had beaten Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso off the line. Red Bull’s Mark Webber chased the Spaniard, but would be destined to spend a cheerless afternoon struggling in the Ferrari’s slipstream.
As Vettel controlled things, Webber pitted for Bridgestone’s harder rubber as early as the 11th lap, with Alonso following suit four laps later. But as they fell into the midfield behind Petrov, Hamilton did not stop until the 23rd lap, Vettel the 24th. That put Button into the lead, but as Vettel resumed behind the man he replaces as champion, Hamilton was crucially trapped behind the ever-quick Robert Kubica who was on a long opening stint for Renault on the harder tyres.
Alonso, meanwhile, was still trapped behind Kubica’s team mate Petrov as BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, Kubica, Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi, Rosberg and Williams' Nico Hulkenberg duked it out ahead of them. Kobayashi, Sutil, Buemi and Hulkenberg all fell way back when they finally changed tyres, but Button only dropped to fourth when he finally pitted on the 39th lap, and that became third when Kubica eventually did likewise on the 46th in the most crucial stop of the race.
Neither Rosberg nor Petrov, of course, needed to stop again, so by now it was clear that Alonso’s hopes were doomed even if he managed to pass Petrov, because he needed fourth overall if he was to avoid losing the title on fourth place countbacks if he finished fifth. Even that was not a realistic hope, as he failed to dislodge the Russian.
Going into the final eight laps the order was Vettel, around 10 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Button a couple more seconds back, then came Rosberg after a great but unobstrusive performance, Kubica, who got away with momentarily crossing the white line on the pit-lane exit, and… Petrov. Try as he might, Alonso just could not pass the Renault, and the frustrated Spaniard exchanged a few uncomplimentary hand signals with its driver on the slowdown lap, although later said the Russian had driven a good race.
Thus the final tally showed Vettel with 256 points, Alonso with 252, Webber with 242 and Hamilton with 240. In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull of course had already wrapped things up but finished a brilliant season with 498 points to McLaren’s 454 and Ferrari’s 396.
It barely mattered that Jaime Alguersuari took ninth for Toro Rosso, not having helped his Red Bull stablemate Webber at all in the laps immediately after the Australian’s stop, then came a disgruntled Felipe Massa for Ferrari in 10th from Nick Heidfeld’s BMW Sauber, Rubens Barrichello’s Williams, Sutil, Kobayashi, Buemi and Hulkenberg.
Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen won the newbie stakes for Tony Fernandes’s team, ahead of Lucas di Grassi’s Virgin and the HRTs of Bruno Senna and Christian Klien. Jarno Trulli’s Lotus was the final classified finisher after both his front and rear wings suffered failures at different parts of the race.
Joining Force India’s Liuzzi and Schumacher as a non-fnisher was Timo Glock’s Virgin, which stopped late in the race.
And so the most dramatic season of Formula One racing in many years draws to its close, and as Bridgestone bid farewell, the era of Sebastian Vettel dawns. One has to feel sorry for his team mate Webber, for whom things just didn’t go to plan, and for Alonso, but with 10 pole positions the young German has laid just claim to the title, and the joy at Red Bull literally knew no bounds.

Nov 13th 2010
Qualifying - Vettel takes Yas Marina pole

Sebastian Vettel will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just where he wants, on pole position after lapping his Red Bull in 1m 39.394s. But the most important qualifying session of the year was a major disappointment for team mate Mark Webber who managed only fifth place in 1m 39.925s and will be separated from Vettel by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Earlier, Hamilton had been fortunate to avoid contact with Felipe Massa when, after a big slide on his first lap in Q2, he’d had to back off the pace and resumed just as the Ferrari was alongside. The former champion walloped a camera pole, but his McLaren did not sustain any damage and he recovered his momentum brilliantly to lap second quickest before his time eventually left him fifth in that session.
He already held second place as Q3 drew to its close, but trimmed his time down to 1m 39.425s to demonstrate to Vettel that he may yet have a race on his hands on Sunday. Alonso’s late improvement was bad news for Webber. The Spaniard lapped in 1m 39.792s to jump to third, ahead of Button on 1m 39.823s.
Webber will share row three with Massa, who lapped his F10 in 1m 40.202s, while Williams’ Rubens Barrichello’s 1m 40.203s left him seventh ahead of the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg on 1m 40.516s and 1m 40.589s respectively. Like Massa, both suffered in late-session traffic. Vitaly Petrov was 10th for Renault, with 1m 40.901s.
Vettel redefined the ante in Q2 with the fastest lap of the weekend thus far in 1m 39.874s, ahead of the revitalised Button, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton. Further back, Robert Kubica surprisingly failed to make Q3, taking 11th place behind team mate Petrov with 1m 40.780s in a Renault that still seemed not to be running as well as it did on Friday.
Kamui Kobayashi improved late on but still didn’t make it beyond 12th on 1m 40.783s for BMW Sauber, ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil on 1m 40.914s, BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld on 1m 41.113s, Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 41.418s, Tonio Liuzzi whose Force India didn’t look as good as it had on Friday on 1m 41.642s and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 41.738s.
As the sun began to set, Alonso headed Q1 with 1m 40.170s as Sebastien Buemi led those who failed to make the cut after lapping his Toro Rosso in 1m 41.824s. Behind him, Lotus took the new team honours with Jarno Trulli 19th on 1m 43.516s ahead of team mate Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 43.712s.
Timo Glock was close for Virgin but not close enough on 1m 44.095s, which put him ahead of team mate Lucas di Grassi who lapped in 1m 44.510s. Bruno Senna won the intra-team battle at HRT, with 1m 45.085s to Christian Klien’s 1m 45.296s.

Nov 12th 2010
Ferrari confirm Bianchi as official 2011 tester

Ferrari have announced Jules Bianchi will take on the role of test driver for the 2011 season. Bianchi, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, will be in action for the Italian team at next week’s two-day young driver test, which takes place at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit from Tuesday following this weekend’s Grand Prix.
The 21 year-old Frenchman competed in GP2 this season, scoring four podiums and three pole positions on his way to third in the championship. In 2009 he juggled drives in GP2 Asia and British Formula Three, as well as winning the Formula Three Euroseries.
Ferrari also revealed that the top three finishers in this season’s Italian Formula Three championship - Brazil’s Cesar Ramos, Monaco’s Stephane Richelmi and Italy’s Andrea Caldarelli - will get to drive a Formula One car. The trio will be in action in an F2008 on December 2 at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome.

Nov 11th 2010

Valencia Test ends with Stoner fastest on second day

The second and final day of the Official MotoGP Test at Valencia on Wednesday ended with Casey Stoner top of the timesheet courtesy of a lap of 1’32.066 towards the end of the session. The new HRC addition, who reported a highly satisfying first ride on the RC212V the day before, was just 0.054s off Jorge Lorenzo’s day one effort, which remained the fastest of both days.
Stoner, whose main focus of the Test was settling in on the Honda machine, did so in style as he improved by 0.709s on his previous day’s time and completed 62 laps throughout the second day as the majority of the riders tried to make up for the lost morning the day before due to wet conditions.
“We tried a few different things today with the electronics and the chassis, trying to get it feeling a little better and we managed to,” said Stoner. “There were a couple of new parts we tried for 2011 and everything has been very positive. We tried some tyres for Bridgestone and we got a lot done so we’re very happy.”
Factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo, whose M1 was adorned with the number 1 in celebration of his 2010 title, set a best lap of 1’32.179 as he wrapped up his day just after 1pm local time having completed 30 turns of the Ricardo Tormo track. He rode both the new M1 and an updated version of his 2010 machine whilst new team-mate Ben Spies concentrated on chassis settings on his new 2011 bike. The American, who also ended his day early having ridden 49 laps, was just 0.143s behind his colleague as he completed the top three.
Lorenzo said: “When you see the official Yamaha team bikes both going fast it’s good because it confirms the new bike is that little bit better, but we still have a lot of work to do before 2011 gets underway.”
A brace of Honda riders followed in the order of lap times with San Carlo Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa completing the top five. The Italian – who had a fall during the early part of the day which resulted in nothing more than an interruption – ended with a total of 63 laps and a best time just under four-tenths of a second off Stoner’s. Pedrosa, who was working on the new evolution of the RC212V having ridden his 2010 machine for comparison purposes, was 0.431s off Stoner.
Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati rider on track with a time of 1’32.583 as the Bologna factory contrasted the screamer and big bang engines, between which they will choose for development for the Desmosedici GP11. The American’s 91 laps was the highest total of the day. Meanwhile Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista was seventh as he rode a GSV-R with a number of redesigned aspects, with Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) the last two riders to get within a second of Stoner.
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was another rider operating with a new team as he set the tenth best time of the day, Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) improved significantly on his time ending in 11th, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards continued evaluating an updated M1 engine. His rookie team-mate Cal Crutchlow’s MotoGP experience developed further with another valuable day on track and 74 more laps.
A trio of Ducatis followed on the timesheet with Loris Capirossi, Valentino Rossi and Karel Abraham. Factory man Rossi, ending in 15th position, concluded his second day on the Desmosedici having ridden a sizeable 87 laps as he combined the same engine agenda as team-mate Hayden with a continuation of his adjustment to the bike. He was 1.695s off Stoner’s leading time by the close of play at 5pm local time. Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías also completed his first Test with a new team, LCR Honda.

Nov 10th 2010

AFI's 10 Top 10*: Sports 
*honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres

Nov 9th 2010

Top 10 Bizarre Sports

10 Canine Freestyle
9 Swamp Soccer
8 Tractor Pulling
7 Bun Climbing
6 Mountain Unicycle
5 Chess Boxing
4 Punkin Chunkin
3 Outhouse Racing
2 Air Sex
1 Mind Ball

For more information and videos click here.

Nov 8th 2010

125 cc World Championship Classification 2010

1 MARQUEZ Marc SPA 310
2 TEROL Nicolas
SPA 296
SPA 281
4 SMITH Bradley
GBR 223
SPA 152
6 RABAT Esteve SPA 147
7 CORTESE Sandro
GER 143
8 KOYAMA Tomoyoshi
JPN 127
SWI 113
10 WEBB Danny
GBR 93

Moto2 World Championship Classification 2010

1 ELIAS Toni SPA 271
2 SIMON Julian
SPA 201
3 IANNONE Andrea ITA 199
4 LUTHI Thomas SWI 156
5 CORSI Simone ITA 138
HUN 109
7 CLUZEL Jules FRA 106
8 REDDING Scott GBR 102
9 BRADL Stefan
GER 97
10 ABRAHAM Karel
CZE 96
13 TOMIZAWA Shoya JPN 82
14 ROLFO Roberto
ITA 75
15 AEGERTER Dominique
SWI 74

MotoGp World Championship Classification 2010

1 LORENZO Jorge SPA 383
2 PEDROSA Dani SPA 245
3 ROSSI Valentino ITA 233
4 STONER Casey AUS 225
5 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 206
6 SPIES Ben USA 176
7 HAYDEN Nicky USA 163
ITA 125 
9 DE PUNIET Randy FRA 116
10 MELANDRI Marco ITA 103
11 EDWARDS Colin USA 103
12 BARBERA Hector SPA 90
13 BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA 85
15 AOYAMA Hiroshi JPN 53
17 KALLIO Mika FIN 43
19 HAYDEN Roger Lee USA 5
20 AKIYOSHI Kousuke JPN 4
21 CHECA Carlos SPA 1

Nov 7th 2010

Red Bull crowned 2010 F1 constructors’ champions

We will have to keep guessing until next weekend about who will emerge as the 2010 drivers’ champion, but in Brazil on Sunday Red Bull answered one of this season’s burning questions, clinching their maiden constructors’ crown in brilliant style - and with one race in hand - with a dominant one-two result.
Although with the dream car they had at their disposal, it’s felt like a long time coming, it’s a phenomenal achievement for a team built from the remnants of Jaguar just six short years ago.
After coming closer than anyone had thought possible to beating Brawn GP in the 2009 title chase, Red Bull always had high expectations for the 2010 season. The Adrian Newey-designed RB6 set the pace during much of winter testing and Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber - a perfect combination of youth and experience - represented a strong, stable driver line-up for the year ahead.
But then came Fernando Alonso’s dominant win for Ferrari at the season opener in Bahrain, where Red Bull’s reliability issues rendered their storming qualifying pace void, as Vettel finished fourth with spark plug problems, and a disappointed Webber only eighth. At round two in Australia they clinched the front row of the grid with ease, but in the race a DNF - a wheel issue for Vettel - and ninth for a poor-starting Webber were the best they could manage. They had the fastest car, but already they looked to be throwing away the championship.
In Malaysia they looked to have put to bed the reliability issues with a one-two result that re-entrenched them in the title fight. But at a rain-hot Chinese Grand Prix all didn’t go quite to plan, as a wrong call on tyre strategy and the strength of their rivals saw them finish well out of reach of the podium. Webber did win at the next round in Spain, but a brake failure for Vettel ruined what should have been a one-two. In terms of pace Red Bull seemed unstoppable, but reliability remained an all too obvious chink in their armour.
Webber took a second consecutive victory at the blue ribbon Monaco event, firmly establishing himself as a championship contender, but in Turkey the celebrations quickly dampened as he and Vettel collided as they fought for the lead of the Istanbul Park race. Instead of 43 points they went home with 15 (Webber finished third) and lost the lead in the constructors’ table. McLaren had Red Bull on the run - and that was before the added distraction of a growing rift between their two ambitious drivers.
Matters seemed to worsen in Canada where McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finally ousted Red Bull from the front of the grid, breaking their run of seven pole positions, and then went on to win the race. Not only were Red Bull beaten fair and square by the British team, Ferrari also reasserted themselves. Vettel and Webber had to be content with fourth and fifth. Was the team’s performance advantage finally on the slide, or was the RB6 simply not suited to the low-downforce Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve?
It proved to be the latter. At the European Grand Prix, the Red Bull was uncatchable once more and Vettel finally took his second win of the year. From four pole positions, it wasn’t the best conversion rate, but it was a victory he desperately needed to boost his title hopes. And at the next round at Silverstone it was advantage Webber, the Australian clinching his third triumph of the season.
Ferrari claimed victory in Germany, but the Red Bulls remained dangerously fast. Making the best of a bad situation, the team moved closer to standings’ leaders McLaren, and few were surprised when they struck back to reign supreme in Hungary, with Webber claiming victory and Vettel taking third. It put them on top of the constructors’ table, 312 points to McLaren’s 304.
Even when McLaren won at Spa, and Ferrari at Monza and Singapore - both circuits not expected to suit the RB6 - Red Bull did a good job of limiting the damage, gleaning 71 points. And fans didn’t have to wait long to see the Milton-Keynes team back on winning form, thanks to a dominant one-two at the Japanese Grand Prix, further extending their lead in the constructors’ championship.
But just as it seemed time to put the champagne on ice, a calamitous Korean Grand Prix disrupted Red Bull’s expected celebrations. Starting from the front row, the title looked in the bag, but all they gleaned from the sodden Yeongam race was their first double DNF of the season, as Webber crashed out and Vettel’s engine gave out. They retained their championship lead, though by a much reduced margin.
However, any doubts quickly fell by the wayside once the paddock arrived in Brazil. The RB6 looked unnervingly quick in practice, and bar the spectacular performance of Nico Hulkenberg which gifted the young German a surprise pole position, Red Bull were the team to beat. In the race, Vettel and then Webber made short work of Hulkenberg, and Vettel led all the way to the finish line to clinch the constructors’ title, ahead of second-placed Webber.
Red Bull certainly can’t claim a faultless report card for the 2010 season, but they still more than deserve their championship. Fourteen pole positions, eight wins and 19 podiums from 18 races is reason enough and it’s important to remember that this is still a relatively young team. While Ferrari celebrate 60 years in the sport, Red Bull are only six seasons old.

Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel kept himself in the hunt for a first world championship crown with victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but Red Bull Racing may have handed rivals Ferrari the initiative after allowing the German to head team-mate Mark Webber across the line.
The Australian continues to be RBR's better bet for the title, but will now go to the finale in Abu Dhabi eight points adrift of Fernando Alonso instead of potentially just one behind.
Vettel led from the opening corner, having barged his way past rookie polesitter Nico Hulkenberg, while the handful of corners Webber spent behind the young German - and again working through traffic after a mid-race safety car - effectively cost him the chance to take destiny into his own hands by challenging Vettel on the road.
Alonso lost even more time behind Hulkenberg, having also had to work his way past Lewis Hamilton, and was never close enough to threaten the Red Bulls, but retained a significant championship advantage thanks to third place - and RBR's intransigence over equality between its drivers. Red Bull, meanwhile, claimed the constructors' title.
Hamilton and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button rounded out the top five, despite both making second tyre stops under the safety car, but while Button's performance was notable, - not only because he came form eleventh on the grid, but having also suffered a robbery attempt on the streets of Sao Paulo after qualifying - he can no longer win the title. Hamilton, meanwhile, needs victory in Abu Dhabi with none of his rivals finishing.
Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher claimed sixth and seventh for Mercedes, having also got ahead of poleman Hulkenberg during the initial pit-stop phase, while Robert Kubica and Kamui Kobayashi filled the final points-paying positions.

Lorenzo ends title-winning 2010 on victorious note at Valencia

Jorge Lorenzo signed off a hugely successful 2010 campaign with a ninth win of the year on Sunday, taking victory at Valencia in front of a delighted home crowd. The MotoGP World Champion, who before this weekend had never won at the circuit in any of the three classes in which he had competed there, eventually crossed the finish line 4.576s clear of Casey Stoner, who was followed onto the podium by Valentino Rossi.
Despite the margin of victory it was far from a straightforward win for the 23 year-old Spaniard, who did magnificently to avoid crashing when he touched bikes with Marco Simoncelli early on. Motivated even further by the moment Lorenzo determinedly pushed on and rode brilliantly to end his season in the perfect manner.
In second place and ending his four-year partnership with Ducati Stoner had led the race for much of the contest, but with eight of the 30 laps remaining he was unable to prevent Lorenzo taking over. The Australian, who had displayed blistering pace in practice and qualifying to take pole, selected the harder rear compound tyre for the race whilst his fellow podium finishers both went with the medium option.
A further four seconds back Rossi, who was also ending a chapter in his illustrious career with his final race for Fiat Yamaha after seven success-laden years, placed third having engaged in a great scrap with Lorenzo in the earlier stages of the race. The Italian also secured third in the final Championship standings ahead of Stoner.
The fight for fourth was another great encounter in which Ben Spies came out on top as he rode his final race with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 before moving up the factory team. The American had been locked in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and San Carlo Honda Gresini rookie Simoncelli to the end with the Italian pair completing the top six.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) – who sealed runner-up spot in the Championship with seventh – Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) ended their 2010 seasons with top-ten finishes, with Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) and Carlos Checa (Pramac Racing) completing the 15 finishers.There was disappointment for Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) who crashed out at the start having risen to second position, whilst Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) retired from the race with 17 laps remaining.
Lorenzo’s final points tally of 383 is also a new record for the most points scored in a single season in the MotoGP class. His win was also the first at Valencia for Yamaha in the 800cc era.

Smith wins in Valencia as Márquez seals 125cc title

Marc Marquez
Fourth position for Marc Márquez was more than enough for the 17 year-old to be confirmed as the deserved 2010 125cc World Champion after a mature ride from the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider in the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana on Sunday. Victory was taken by Bradley Smith as he won his first race of the season in the final round, cruising across the finish line 2.786s clear in his last 125cc ride before graduating to the Moto2 class next season.
Taking a 17-point lead into the race Márquez knew that a calm and measured approach would be the key to wrapping up his first title, and immediately after the start of the race the order settled. Smith took the lead, with Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar) – Márquez’s only title rival in the final round – and Márquez following behind.
A poor start from Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) was recovered well by the Spaniard as he slowly climbed back up the order having dropped as low as 11th on the opening lap, and as the race progressed Márquez allowed him through and into third, avoiding any potential mishaps to his title hopes.
With two laps to go Espargaró went through on Terol and the duo swapped positions once again, all the while Smith leading comfortably at the front.
The Brit took the chequered flag almost three seconds clear for his first win of 2010, thus breaking what had stretched to a 26-race winning streak in the category for Spanish riders. Espargaró signed off from the class with second position – his 12th podium of the year – with Terol crossing the line in third.
Márquez, at just over five seconds back, took fourth position to end the year on 310 points having won ten races, taken 12 podiums and 12 poles in the process.
Completing the top ten were Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) – in his 100th GP – Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing) and Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing).
Riders suffering final-race disappointment in not finishing included Johann Zarco (WTR San Marino Team) who crashed out, whilst young Brit Danny Kent (Lambretta Reparto Corse) was forced to retire with a mechanical problem. Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol) lost an exhaust towards the end and finished 16th.

Nov 6th 2010

Hulkenberg rises to the challenge in F1 Qualifying

Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg stunned the Formula One fraternity in the changeable conditions at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon as he fought and beat the Red Bulls, Ferraris and Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren to take pole position for Williams.
As the weather showed signs of improving for Q3, the question arose whether anyone might get around to a run on slicks… Sure enough, after Hamilton set the pace with 1m 17.212s on intermediate Bridgestones ahead of Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso and Webber, they ventured out on slicks for their final runs.
Hulkenberg was fast all through, and pasted everyone with a final lap of 1m 14.470s to put pole well beyond doubt. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber crucially start second and third for Red Bull, in 1m 15.519s and 1m 15.637s respectively, and with Hamilton fourth on 1m 15.747s, Fernando Alonso is only fifth for Ferrari on 1m 15.989s.
Rubens Barrichello put the second Williams sixth with 1m 16.203s ahead of Renault’s Robert Kubica on 1m 16.552s, Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher on 1m 16.925s, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 17.101s and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 17.656s. It was the qualifying session of the year!
The rain held off for Q2, in which Webber was fastest in 1m 18.516s as a tremendous scrap finally weeded out McLaren’s Jenson Button on 1m 19.288s as Massa’s 1m 19.200s in the final seconds bumped the reigning champion. Behind the McLaren, BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi was 12th on 1m 19.385s from Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on 1m 19.486s, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rossos on 1m 19.581s and 1m 19.847s apiece, Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW Sauber on 1m 19.899s and Tonio Liuzzi in 1m 20.357s for Force India.
Heavy rain was expected soon after the start of Q1, so the session was a major league shoot-out as everyone went for times on the intermediate Bridgestones while light rain fell. As Alonso set the pace with 1m 18.987s from Webber and Vettel (1m 19.025s and 1m 19.160s), Adrian Sutil failed to beat Force India team mate Tonio Liuzzi and thus had to settle for 18th on 1m 20.830s to the Italian’s 1m 20.592s.
Joining the German among the first fallers were Timo Glock, who was the fastest of the new team runners for Virgin on 1m 22.130s, then the Lotus duo of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen (1m 22.250s and 1m 22.378s) and Lucas di Grassi in the second Virgin on 1m 22.810s. At the back, Christian Klien beat HRT team mate Bruno Senna, 1m 23.083s to 1m 23.796s after the Brazilian spun.
With Buemi and Sutil both getting five-place penalties from Korea, the order from 15th downwards becomes: Heidfeld, Liuzzi; Glock, Trulli; Buemi, Kovalainen; Di Grassi, Sutil; Klien, Senna.

Stoner storms to pole at Valencia

Casey Stoner put on a stunning display in his final qualifying session with Ducati to take pole position for the last race of the 2010 season at Valencia, posting the only sub-1’32” lap of the weekend so far in a strong 45-minute run. The Australian’s hot lap of 1’31.799 left him 0.331s clear at the top of the timesheet, and came after he had dealt with an early run-off as he pushed hard for his fourth pole of the campaign.
World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, sporting a special edition helmet for the final-round occasion, followed Stoner onto the front row with a best effort of 1’32.130 on his Fiat Yamaha M1 having led for a large portion of the session.
Carrying his progress from the practice sessions into qualifying was Marco Simoncelli and the Italian rookie’s display was rewarded with his first front-row start in the premier class. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was just over a tenth of a second off Lorenzo.
A late surge from Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) placed the Italian fourth (+0.531s on Stoner) as he battled to find enough pace to challenge near the top end, with American duo Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also taking places on the second row of the grid.
Completing the top ten in the session were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini).

Nov 5th 2010

Sports Films...that I have seen (IV)


Martial Arts

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)

Never Back Down (2008)

Kung Fu Panda (2008)


Lords of Dogtown (2005)


Point Break (1991)

Surf's Up (2007)

Nov 4th 2010

Race of Champions - Düsseldorf, November 27-28 2010

Sports Films...that I have seen (III)



Happy Gilmore (1996)

Ice Hockey

The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Tooth Fairy (2010)


A Knight's Tale (2001)

Nov 3rd 2010

Sports Films...that I have seen (II)


Figure Skating

The Cutting Edge (1992)

Ice Princess (2005)

The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold (2006)

The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream (2008)

The Cutting Edge 4: Fire and Ice (2009)

Football (Soccer)

Escape to Victory (1981)

Goal! (2005)

Goal! 2 (2006)

Goal! 3 (2009)

She's the Man (2006)

The Damned United (2009)

Nov 2nd 2010

Sports Films...that I have seen (I)


American Football

Jerry Maguire (1996)

The Replacements (2000)


Pumpkin (2002)

Auto Racing

Days of Thunder (1990)

Driven (2000)

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004)

Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)

Cars (2006)


A League of Their Own (1992)


Ali (2001)

Tyson (2008)

Nov 1st 2010

Kim Clijsters wins WTA Championships

Kim Clijsters shook off six weeks on the sideline, a car accident and top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki to win the season-ending WTA Championships on Sunday. Clijsters used the same focus and concentration a day after escaping unscathed from a fender-bender to defeat Wozniacki 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 for her third WTA Championships title.

Oct 31st 2010

Victory for Lorenzo at Estoril

Jorge Lorenzo won from pole position for the third year in succession at Estoril as he took victory at the bwin Grande Premio de Portugal on Sunday, finishing ahead of Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, for whom this was an eighth win in his title-winning 2010 campaign, got the better of his rival and team-mate Rossi as they battled early on and when he took the lead on the 17th of 28 laps he did not look back, eventually taking the chequered flag 8.629s clear of the Italian. It was Lorenzo’s first win since the Brno round, and leaves him on course to still be able to beat Rossi’s 2008 record points haul (373) in a single season in MotoGP with one round to go.
The Italian brought home his factory M1 in a lonely second position for his tenth podium at Estoril in 11 visits as he finished almost 18 seconds ahead of Dovizioso, who had engaged in a thrilling battle to the very finish with Marco Simoncelli for the final podium position. It was the Repsol Honda rider who edged it – by just 0.059s – to take his seventh podium of the season and leave the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider still looking for his first rostrum in the premier class. Simoncelli will not be disappointed with a season’s best finish of fourth however.
Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden placed fifth after coming close to the podium, the American just 0.620s behind Simoncelli, whilst Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed the top seven, both within three seconds of Hayden.
On his return to racing after missing the past three Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) came in eighth, with Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) inside the top ten. Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) were the final three riders to finish the race.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) suffered the bitter disappointment of crashing out at turn 13 on lap five as he pushed hard while in third position, whilst Pramac Racing pair Aleix Espargaró and Carlos Checa both failed to finish too, the former crashing on lap one and the latter pitting in with an arm pump problem with 15 laps remaining.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was unable to take his starting grid position of fifth after crashing on the sighting lap and dislocating his left ankle. The American is hopeful however of being fit to race in the final round of the season at Valencia next weekend.
The battle for the runner-up spot in the Championship will now be determined next weekend, with Pedrosa on 236 points and Rossi on 217 and the only two who can now possibly end the campaign in second.

Oct 30th 2010

Qualifying Cancelled at Estoril

The continuation of the poor weather conditions at the bwin Grande Premio de Portugal at Estoril meant that the qualifying sessions for the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc categories were cancelled on Saturday.
With excessive water on the track surface, continual high winds and rain and after attempts to reschedule the qualifying programme, Race Direction was eventually forced to decide at 2.30pm local time to call off the qualifying sessions, meaning that the starting grids for each race will be based on the combined times from the three practice sessions.
In MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) will start from pole position, his seventh of the season, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) completing the front row. The Italian himself started from pole at Motegi in 2009 after the qualification session was cancelled in similar circumstances.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team), Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will comprise the second line, with the top six all taking their positions on the starting grid courtesy of their FP2 times. The returning Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) will start from 12th and Carlos Checa (Pramac Racing) from 17th in his first GP since Valencia 2007.
In the Moto2 class Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up) will start from pole for the first time this season, ahead of Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), Toni Elías (Gresini Racing) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP), meaning the Turkish rider will start his first World Championship GP from the front row. Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up), who is battling Simón for runner-up spot in the Championship, will start from down in 35th.
In the 125cc class Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) will head up the grid for the third time this year, with fellow Brit Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol), rookie Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol) and one of the three riders still able to win the 2010 title – Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar) – on the front row. Championship leader Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) – who could claim the title this weekend – and the third rider still in the fight for the 125cc crown Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) will start from 11th and 12th respectively.

Caroline Wozniacki secures year-end No. 1 ranking in Doha

Caroline Wozniacki secured the year-end number one spot in the world ranking on Thursday, becoming the first ever Dane to do so, but only after suffering an early fright at the WTA Tour Championships.


Top 10 Female Tennis Players of All Time

Martina Navratilova
Steffi Graf
Chris Evert
Margaret Court
Billie Jean King
Serena Williams
Monica Seles
Martina Hingis
Venus Williams
Justine Henin

Oct 29th 2010


Top 10 Male Tennis Players of All Time

Pete Sampras
Roger Federer
Björn Borg
Rod Laver
John McEnroe
Boris Becker
Rafael Nadal
Ivan Lendl
Jimmy Connors
Andre Agassi

Oct 28th 2010

The best Formula One corners

Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka’s 130R
The list had to include at least one corner from Suzuka, the famous figure-of-eight track that many drivers cite as their favourite on the calendar, and narrowing it down to the high-speed 130R proved tough, with the famous Spoon Curve a very close second. Named after the corner’s radius, the 130R is one of the fastest in Formula One racing. Although modifications made in 2003 mean taking it at full throttle is not quite the challenge it once was, jinking left in seventh gear at speeds in excess of 310 km/h remains a supreme test of both car and driver, with a lateral cornering force of up to 6G. 130R’s unforgiving nature is why the drivers love it. Precision is key, even when taken at relatively low speed, as Lucas di Grassi found to his cost recently when he trashed his Virgin there on his out-lap to the grid.
“130R is one of the fastest corners in Formula One and you really have to think about how you approach it.” McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Italian Grand Prix - Monza’s Parabolica
Monza may be known as the ‘temple of speed’, but sprinkled amongst its epically long straights are some equally legendary corners - including the majestic Parabolica. It’s the track’s final turn and at 180 degrees, cars can experience apex speeds in excess of 200km/h and lateral acceleration for close to 450 metres. It leads onto Monza’s 1.3-km main straight, so it’s paramount for drivers to make a good exit in order to maximise their top speed before they brake for Turn One, the Rettifilo chicane, which is the best spot on the circuit for overtaking. The challenge of Parabolica is to brake as late as possible but then also get back on the power before the apex. Guaranteed to sort the men from the boys.
“Parabolica, is quite special. It's a difficult one to get right. You can always go faster there than you actually do.” 1997 world champion, Jacques Villeneuve.

Turkish Grand Prix - Istanbul Park’s Turn Eight
It may be part of one of the newest tracks - Istanbul Park - but Turn Eight punches well above its weight, and is already challenging the establishment thanks to its fearsome reputation. It boasts top speeds of 270 km/h, four apices (though the drivers treat it as two), bumps, and is one of the longest on the calendar, meaning cars (and therefore drivers) pull up to 5G for over seven seconds through this left-hander, which makes it one of the most physical corners to race in the world. It seems they are a masochistic lot, Formula One drivers. If they get it right, they can make up a lot of ground, but thanks to the bumpy surface it’s very easy to get it wrong. A true test of driver skill and precision - Turn Eight’s name clearly doesn’t do this corner justice.
“It’s a real rollercoaster and is awesome.” Force India driver, Adrian Sutil.

Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps’ Eau Rouge
Arguably the most famous corner of them all. The whole Belgian track is dictated by its natural surroundings, and nowhere is this more apparent than at Eau Rouge. Drivers switch left to right and go up and down through this legendary stretch of tarmac. Even though modern downforce levels have made it easier to handle in recent years - it’s now pretty much flat-out for those in front-running cars - it remains just as thrilling and just as critical to a fast lap. Grip and a sympathetic suspension set-up are essential, as is nerve - the sheer scale and gradient of the thing (something television pictures struggle to convey) is enough to test even the most bold.
“The drivers love the fast sweeping corners, including the legendary Eau Rouge.” Mercedes GP team principal, Ross Brawn.

British Grand Prix - Silverstone’s Becketts
If you’re looking for great corners, Silverstone provides a veritable smorgasbord, and Becketts is just one that has stood the test of time through the UK circuits various transitions. Midway through the lap, it’s a multi-turn complex, which boasts high speeds and demands skilful handling. Drivers try not to touch their brakes throughout this slalom ride, and instead simply lift the throttle as they swerve through. They can experience loads of about 4G as they progress. Quite a rollercoaster ride!
“I always liked the old track layout with the high-speed sections, particularly the Becketts complex that is a real challenge as you need to keep the momentum all the way through the corners.” Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Brazilian Grand Prix - Interlagos’s Mergulho
Extremes rule at Interlagos, with one of the calendar’s longest straights, some of its slowest hairpins and multiple gradient changes just some of its unique features. One part that stands out is the fifth-gear left-hander of Mergulho. It’s the lowest part of the circuit, and is a thrilling ride on the limit, made all the more exciting by the characteristic bumps on its apex. Another firm favourite at the track, deserving an honourable mention, is the Curva Do Laranjinha.
“You need to have total confidence in your car and a good mechanical set-up with a high ride-height to manage the bumpy surface.” Williams’ Rubens Barrichello.

Monaco Grand Prix - Monte Carlo’s Grand Hotel Hairpin
It’s tough to single out just one corner on this legendary street track, but we’ve narrowed it down to Turn Six, more commonly known as the Grand Hotel Hairpin (formerly Loews). Although it must be the slowest (and is certainly the tightest) corner on the calendar, this hairpin presents its own unique challenge. Taken at under 50 km/h in first gear, before it sends you plunging downwards towards Portier and the tunnel, it requires full steering lock - some teams even have to modify their steering racks to make the corner - and as much concentration as a driver can muster. It distils the very essence of Monaco. And believe it or not, you even see overtaking here, especially on the opening lap when tyres, brakes (and brains) may not be quite up to temperature.
“It's quite a technical corner. It's important to hit the apex so you don't lose too much time through this part of the lap." Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Canadian Grand Prix - Montreal’s ‘Wall of Champions’
Turn 12 in Montreal achieved legendary status in 1999 when a trio of former world champions - Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve - all lost control on the exit and crashed into the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve’s unforgiving concrete walls during the race. There’s no doubt the track’s fierce speed has something to do with it. After spending over 15 seconds flat out along its longest straight, drivers must then brake from well over 300km/h for this final, critical chicane. Of course it’s a case of the later the better, but because there’s such a slim margin for error, running ‘on the edge’ rarely means more than it does here.
“You have to be careful because things can go wrong very quickly. A small mistake and you'll be in the 'Wall of Champions' before you know it.” Former F1 driver, now FIA stewards’ advisor, Alex Wurz.

Oct 27th 2010


History of Porsche Cars in Pictures

Oct 26th 2010

History of Lamborghini Cars in Pictures

Oct 25th 2010

History of Ferrari Road Cars in Pictures

Oct 24th 2010

Alonso wins, double DNF for Red Bull

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso scored one of the biggest wins of his career in a rain-affected Korean Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, and a day of total disaster saw neither Red Bull driver finish. Mark Webber crashed out early while running second, and Sebastian Vettel’s engine blew up as he was leading on the 46th lap.
The result puts Alonso into an 11-point championship lead over Webber, 231 to 220, with just two races left.
As dusk fell and the race was just completed before the two-hour cut-off point, what had begun as impending disaster for Korean race organisers turned instead into a brilliant triumph. But it was edgy. After the rain got heavier just before the start, the race was red-flagged after just two laps had been run behind the safety car. That led to a lengthy delay until it was resumed as conditions got marginally better, but after the restart at 16.05 the safety car continued to lead the field for another 15 laps before racing finally began on the 18th.
Vettel sprinted into the lead from Webber with Alonso third and Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg deposing McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for fourth. But then Webber spun and hit the wall in Turn 13 on the 19th lap, collecting Rosberg. Out came the safety car again until Lap 24, whereupon Vettel resumed control ahead of Alonso and Hamilton.
After their pit stops between Laps 31 and 32, Hamilton jumped Alonso for second as the Spaniard had a minor delay due to arriving slightly sideways and making it difficult for mechanics to reach the right front wheel, but they were racing under the safety car again after Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi had taken out Virgin’s Timo Glock on the 31st under braking for Turn Three.
As racing resumed on the 35th lap, Hamilton ran wide in Turn One as his front wheels were locking, handing second back to Alonso. And that’s how it seemed likely to stay as Vettel built a lead of 2.7s by Lap 41. But then Alonso and Hamilton began to move in, and going into Turn One on Lap 46 the Ferrari dived inside the Red Bull to take the lead. On the exit to the corner Vettel’s engine blew, and as Mark Webber breathed a sigh of some relief, Red Bull had their head in their hands.
Now it was Alonso’s race to lose, but though Hamilton gave it everything he had, annihilating the Ferrari in the first two sectors, Alonso was able to make it all back in the final one. Towards the end Hamilton dropped back, keeping a badly worn right front intermediate tyre alive, and was 14.9s adrift as a delighted Alonso took his fifth win of the year and his 26th overall.
The day was also a disaster for the fifth title contender Jenson Button, who lacked Hamilton’s pace as he suffered brake problems and was taken off the road at one stage by Force India’s Adrian Sutil, who was involved in five other incidents in an adventurous afternoon. Button’s McLaren sustained some damage, and that and his brake problems limited him to a 12th place finish. With 189 points he is almost out of the title fight.
Felipe Massa made it a great day for Ferrari and boosted their once flagging hopes in the constructors’ championship, by taking a distant third place ahead of Michael Schumacher, who had his best race of the year to fourth place in the second Mercedes. Red Bull still lead that, with 426 points, but McLaren now have 399 and Ferrari are back in the hunt with 374.
The race was also a disaster for Williams, who had Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg running fifth and sixth with five laps to go, but then the latter had to pit for fresh tyres on Lap 51, and the former got sideways and lost places to Renault’s Robert Kubica and Tonio Liuzzi on Lap 52. The Brazilian’s moment ruined the Italian’s chances of fighting the Pole, on whom he had been closing in his Force India after a superb drive, but sixth place was a great fillip for a man who is frequently underrated.
Barrichello recovered to take seventh, ahead of the BMW Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld, and Hulkenberg recovered to snatch the final point from Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari on the last lap. Force India thus have 68 points, with Williams right behind on 65.
Behind Button, Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen survived a bruising race, having initially fought Glock’s speedy Virgin until Buemi tapped him into a spin. His was the first new team car home, in a valuable 13th place, ahead of the HRTs of Bruno Senna (who was hit early on by Jarno Trulli’s Lotus) and Sakon Yamamoto.
Sutil was the first non-finisher, having spun on Lap 29, then had incidents with Button and Kobayashi, run wide in Turn One and lost a place to Alguersuari, then hit Kobayashi and brought about his own retirement on the 47th lap with damaged front suspension. Behind Vettel, Vitaly Petrov went off in a sizeable accident on the 40th lap, trashing another Renault R30, while Glock looked a likely new team winner until Buemi’s assault eliminated them both. With Di Grassi getting short-braked by an HRT and crashing into a tyre wall, what at one time looked like a promising race for Virgin as Glock ran 13th early on soon became a major disappointment.
The world championship fight is still raging, but now the odds are beginning to swing in Ferrari’s favour.

Oct 23rd 2010

Vettel flies to Korean pole for Red Bull

We expected a fabulous fight for pole position after Saturday morning’s practice, and the inaugural Korean Grand Prix qualifying session did not disappoint as Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber vaulted ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at the very last moment to wrap up the front row of the grid.
Alonso had set the pace on his first run, and then a second run of 1m 35.766s seemed to have settled the issue in Ferrari’s favour. But then Vettel slammed his RB6 round in 1m 35.585s to snatch pole position away, and seconds later a third lap by Webber saw the Australian demote the Spaniard with 1m 35.659s.
McLaren didn’t quite have the pace to compete in this frenetic battle, and after one error which sent him into the pit lane, Lewis Hamilton had to be content with fourth place for McLaren with 1m 36.062s to complete row two.
Nico Rosberg confirmed Mercedes GP’s resurgence as he took fifth place with 1m 36.535s, and he will share the third row with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who got there on the strength of his 1m 36.571s first run. Jenson Button never looked comfortable throughout qualifying and was seventh in the other McLaren on 1m 36.731s, and will share row four with Robert Kubica, who took his Renault round in 1m 36.824s.
Michael Schumacher was ninth on 1m 36.950s in the second Mercedes, with Rubens Barrichello 10th for Williams on 1m 36.998s.
The times really tumbled in Q2 as Webber and Vettel set the pace with 1m 36.039s and 1m 36.074s respectively. Further back, Nico Hulkenberg just lost out on Q3 with 1m 37.620s in the second Williams but just kept ahead of the BMW Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld, which lapped in 1m 37.643s and 1m 37.715s respectively.
Adrian Sutil took his Force India to 14th with 1m 37.783s, closely followed by Renault’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 37.799s. The Russian had a half spin, and in any case gets a five-place grid penalty because of his shunt at the start in Suzuka, so he drops to 20th on the grid. Jaime Alguersuari continued to head Toro Rosso team mate Sebastien Buemi, with 1m 37.853s to the Swiss driver’s 1m 38.594s.
Q1 saw Hamilton fastest in 1m 37.113s from Vettel and Alonso on 1m 37.123s and 1m 37.144s apiece, and weeded out the expected runners apart from Tonio Liuzzi. The Italian looked quick all through Friday but his VJM03 lost some pace this morning. On his final run in Q1 he set a time only two-tenths of a second off fastest man Hamilton in Sector One, but failed to improve sufficiently in Sectors Two and Three to move up. His 1m 38.955s left him in a disappointed 18th place, behind even the Toro Rossos.
Jarno Trulli really got going for Lotus to set the best new team time with 1m 40.521s, but again spinner Timo Glock kept him honest as he lapped his Virgin in 1m 40.748s. Heikki Kovalainen was 21st in the second Lotus with 1m 41.768s, comfortably ahead of Lucas di Grassi’s Virgin. The Brazilian posted 1m 42.325s, which left him only just ahead of the HRTs, with Sakon Yamamoto on 1m 42.444s and Bruno Senna on 1m 43.283s.
With Petrov’s penalty taken into account, Alguersuari starts 15th from Buemi, Liuzzi, Trulli and Glock, leaving the Russian 20th on the grid.

Top 10 Dangerous Sports  
In random order

Base Jumping
Big-Wave Surfing
Rock Climbing
Motorcycle Racing
Cliff Diving
Rugby/ American Football
Bull Riding

Oct 22nd 2010 

Top 8 Famous Bald People in Sport

Andre Agassi - tennis player
Michael Jordan - basketball player
Mike Tyson - boxer
George Foreman - boxer
Evander Holyfield - boxer
Zinedine Zidane - football player
Fabien Barthez - goalkeeper
Pierluigi Collina - football referee

Oct 21st 2010  

Top 6 Famous Redheads in Sport

Marina Anissina - ice dancer
Boris Becker - tennis player
Richard Burns - rally driver
Steve Davis - snooker player
Wayne Rooney - football player
Jan Ullrich - cyclist

Oct 20th 2010 

Top 10 Sports Cars of All Time
For more information and pictures click on the names of the cars.

Oct 19th 2010 

Top 10 Cheerleading Films

Oct 18th 2010

Rossi to test with Ducati at Valencia 

Valentino Rossi had indicated that he has been given permission by Yamaha’s Executive Officer for Engineering Operations, Masao Furusawa, to test with Ducati in Valencia next month. The question of whether the 31 year-old would be allowed by Yamaha to ride the Desmosedici for the team with which he has signed for the 2011 season remained a matter of great interest amongst the media, and in an interview with Italian MotoGP broadcaster Italia 1 Rossi said he had finally received clearance from Furusawa after speaking with him on Saturday evening.
“Furusawa called me and told me it was a way of saying thanks for what I have done for Yamaha,” Rossi told Italia 1. “I think it’s a nice gesture and it shows that Yamaha has valued the things done over these years.”
Upon hearing the news MotoGP Project Manager for Ducati Alessandro Cicognani told in an interview: “I haven’t heard what Rossi or Yamaha have said exactly, but I was told about this so I am really happy. I think in a way it’s like a present from Yamaha to Valentino after what he has done for them.”
“We can be happy with this and I would like to thank, in a way, Yamaha. I have good relations with Lin Jarvis and I take this chance to thank him because he has always been fair and open to discussion. It’s not easy and it’s great. So we will work now and finish the season, and then start again for 2011 just after the Valencia race.”
Cicognani continued: “I think for everybody that this test is important because, due to the testing restrictions, I think it’s fair that every rider has the chance to test the bike he is going to ride the following year. So for everybody it would be important. He will test the 2011 bike for sure, and we will see. We are working on it!”
The news came after Rossi finished third in the Iveco Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, having risen from eighth on the starting grid to make a last-lap overtake on Nicky Hayden and secure his eighth podium of the season.
"To start eighth and finish third is not a bad result and, considering the trouble we had this weekend, we can be happy,” said Rossi of his race. “Today Casey was riding in a different sport and I want to say congratulations to him. The podium was the maximum for us but it was still a hard fight to get there.”
“I had great fun with Nicky at the end because in some places he was faster than me and I really had to push, but the podium here is so important for me and I couldn't give it up easily. We have had three podiums in a row, including one win, and after this difficult season I am happy about this. Today we won the Team title and I am happy for us all and for Yamaha."

Mika Kallio confirms MotoGP exit

Mika Kallio has confirmed that Sunday's Australian Grand Prix was his last event in MotoGP for the foreseeable future.
The Finn, who has been with Pramac Ducati since his MotoGP debut at the start of 2009, has struggled with a shoulder injury since round three at Le Mans.
Kallio will be replaced by Carlos Checa for the last two rounds of the year, although Pramac will wait before confirming their new rider.
"It is since Japan's race that the pain in my left shoulder, injured in Le Mans race, has become too intense," said Kallio. "I immediately talked to the team who understood my situation and agreed that I would try to race in Malaysia and Australia and then decide to continue or not in the last two races.
"Unfortunately, despite the good race today [11th], the pain didn't allow me to perform in the best way, and together with the Team, we decided to conclude our partnership today. It has been a hard choice for me, but in this way I'll be able to find the best physical condition and think about my future.
"I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti that was very helpful in managing this situation. I would like to also thank all the technical staff of the Pramac Racing Team with which I have found myself very well in this two years and I'll always remember them with great affection."
During his debut 2009 season in MotoGP, Kallio took a best finish of seventh - whilst substituting for Casey Stoner at the factory Ducati team - and two eighth places on the Pramac bike.
15th in the championship - as the top rookie - with 71 points, the former 125 and 250cc title contender has scored just 43 points during the first 16 races of this year, with a best of seventh once again.
Pramac team principal Paolo Campinoti made clear it had been Kallio's decision to stop.
"I would never like to find myself in these situation, but when a rider asks you to not run because he cannot give 100% for the Team, you don't think to do any more than accept his gesture of sincerity," he said.
"We had accepted his request and I would like, on behalf of the Pramac Racing Team and our partners, to thank Mika and wish him a wonderful future full of happiness and success. 
 "In this two years, Mika has always demonstrated great honesty, giving always the best he can for our Team and colours. Is also for this reason that we'll always consider him one member of our family.
In this moment we are thinking about a substitute for the last two races of the year in Portugal and Spain, but just in the following days, after we sign our agreement, we'll officially announce him."
Kallio is expected to ride in Moto2 next year.
Rookie team-mate Aleix Espargaro could also leave Pramac, at the end of the season. Loris Capirossi is expected to join the satellite Ducati team for 2011 but the identity of the second rider is unknown.

Top 10 Football Club Rivalries of all Time

10 Corinthians vs Palmeiras

Derby Paulista is a name that is known among the traditional São Paulo football clubs, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista and Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras. It is the rivalry between two football clubs still active in the oldest city of São Paulo. The Derby Paulista is among the 10 greatest classics of the world. Corinthians and Palmeiras have already decided state championships (Campeonato Paulista), regional (Torneio Rio-São Paulo), national (Campeonato Brasileiro) and wave to the end of continental competition (Libertadores Cup of America). No other classic has decided so many major championships.

Nacional vs Penarol

One of football’s classic derbies, since the late 19th century, the Uruguayan Clásico is the confrontation between the two greatest teams of Montevideo: Nacional and Peñarol. Both teams have played a big part in developing South American football, and are respected in the Americas and worldwide, despite their recent lack of international success. Together they make up 8 Copa Libertadores and 6 Intercontinental Cups.

Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray

Fenerbahçe SK versus Galatasaray SK is a Turkish football rivalry involving two of the most successful clubs in the Süper Lig. It is also a local derby, one of many involving Istanbul clubs. The rivalry is more than a century in existence, and has developed into an intense and often bitter one, traditionally attracting large attendances. Both clubs compete against each other for the title of the most successful football club in Turkey, as well as the greatest Turkish sports club overall. Their football departments have always been the most attractive among their fans, but the rivalry also extends into other team sports such as basketball, volleyball, athletics, rowing. Galatasaray SK is the more successful of the two, having won 68 official titles compared to Fenerbahçe SK’s 66 titles. Fenerbahe SK is the most successful in their head-to-head fixtures, while Galatasaray SK boasts of their achievement in winning the 2000 UEFA Cup Final and the 2000 UEFA Super Cup, being the only Turkish side to have won them so far.

7 Internazionale vs Milan

Derby della Madonnina, or the Milan Derby as it is sometimes known, is a football match between the Italian clubs Associazione Calcio Milan and Football Club Internazionale Milano. It is a hotly contested local derby and is one of the most followed derbies in the football world. Along with the Rome and Turin derbies, it is widely considered one of the major cross-town derbies in the Serie A, so much so that only selected referees may officiate whenever these teams meet. It is a biannual fixture in the Italian football league Serie A; however, the derby has also taken place in the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League. It is the only derby in Europe played by two teams which have been champions of Europe and the world. It is called “Derby della Madonnina” in honor of one of the main sights of the city of Milan, the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the Duomo, which is usually called “Madonnina”.

6 Liverpool vs Manchester United

The history between Liverpool and Manchester United is one of the most significant sporting rivalries in football, sometimes referred to as the North West derby. Both clubs hail from the North West of England, they are also the two most successful teams in England, and between them they have won 115 honors. With Manchester United’s victory in the Premier League season 2008-09, the two clubs are tied with 18 league titles in England. Despite Liverpool’s success in England, they have failed to win the Premier League, since its founding in 1992. Winning the League Cup in 2010, Manchester United set a new English record of 33 domestic honors – moving one clear of the Merseysiders for the first time. As well as competing on the football pitch, both teams are also two of the biggest-earning, and widely-supported, football clubs in the world. The rivalry has extended to the players as well.

5 Internazionale vs Juventus

The name Derby d’Italia (Italian for “Derby of Italy”) was coined back in 1967, by the famous Italian sports journalist Gianni Brera, as the biannual football fixture in Italian football between Internazionale of Milan and Juventus of Turin. The name was also given to this fixture as Inter and Juventus were (as in 1967) the two teams with the highest number of international (the first) and national (the latter) honors.

Boca Juniors vs River Plate

Superclásico is the name used to describe the football match in Argentina between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. It derives from the Spanish usage of “clásico” to mean derby, with the prefix “super” used as the two clubs are the most popular and successful clubs in Argentine football. Due to their huge fan bases (Boca has 40% of the Argentine population and River 33%), and remarkable success, the enmity encompasses a major part of the country’s populace. Known worldwide for the passion of the fans, the stands of both teams are loaded with passionate songs (often based on popular Argentine rock band tunes) against their rivals, fireworks, flags and rolls of paper, and sometimes end in riots between the most ardent supporters of both sides, or against the police. Tourists from around the globe come to Argentina to watch the match, sometimes even with packages that include a ticket to the Superclásico.

Celtic vs Rangers

One of the biggest and most intense derbies in the world, the Old Firm derby between Scottish teams Celtic and Rangers, is more than a football match – it pits religion, politics and opposing social attitudes against each other. Both clubs play in Glasgow, Scotland, and the match is one of the oldest derbies in the world, dating back to 1888. The Old Firm derby is also one of the most contested matches in the world, with over 370 games having been played. The matches are played at either Ibrox Stadium with 51,000 fans, or Celtic Park in front of 60,000. In some cases, the match is played at Hampden Park, if the tie happens to be a Scottish Cup or Scottish League Cup final or semi-final. Both teams have won many titles, but currently Rangers are ahead of Celtic with 53 league titles to 42. The most recent Old Firm ended Celtic 2-1 Rangers.

Lazio vs Roma

The Derby della Capitale (English: Derby of the capital) is the local football derby in Rome, Italy, between the two major teams of the city, Lazio and Roma. It is considered to be the fiercest derby in the country ahead of the other major local derbies, Derby della Madonnina (Milan derby) and Derby della Mole (Turin derby), and one of the greatest and hotly contested capital derbies in Europe. The derby has been historically marked by massive crowds, excitement, violence and – recently – racist banners in the crowd.

Real Madrid vs Barca

The rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, in Spain, is generally considered to be the biggest in football, and is similar in context to Celtic – Rangers. From the start the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival regions in Spain, Catalonia and Castile respectively, as well as the two cities themselves. In the 1950s, the rivalry was intensified further when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo Di Stéfano, who finally played for Real Madrid and was key in the subsequent success achieved by the club.
As Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two biggest, and most successful, clubs in Spain, the rivalry impacts the league championship on an almost annual basis. The flash-points of this rivalry are the twice-a-season clásicos, which draw vast audiences from around the world. Real has won more La Liga and Champions League titles than Barça, but Barça has won more Spanish Cups, Cup Winners Cups and UEFA Cups. Also Barça became the first Spanish team to win the treble (2008–2009). In 2009, they won six competitions, becoming the first team to win all competitions they entered in a calendar year. The rivalry has also been strengthened throughout time by Real Madrid and Barcelona top players who have defected to their arch-rival. Notable Barcelona players who have later played for Real Madrid include Bernd Schuster (1988), Michael Laudrup (1994) and Luís Figo (2000). Luis Enrique switched from Real Madrid to Barcelona in 1996 and went on to captain the Blaugrana.

Oct 17th 2010

Vitali Klitschko retains WBC title after beating Briggs

Ukraine's Vitali Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title in Hamburg on Saturday, beating American challenger Shannon Briggs on points

Klitschko, 39, won 120-107, 120-107, 120-105, in his fifth successful defence since claiming the title in 2008 following a four-year break.
Klitschko dominated Briggs to extend his record to 41 wins, 38 by knockout, with just two defeats in his career.
For New Yorker Briggs, 38, it was his sixth defeat from 58 fights.
With Klitschko's brother Wladimir holding the IBF and WBO titles the only belt the brothers are missing is the WBA title held by Britain's David Haye, who one of the Klitschkos hopes to meet in 2011.
In the lead-up to Saturday's fight, Vitali Klitschko had scotched reports he was intending to announce his retirement from boxing.
Klitschko could face Britain's David Haye in 2011 The muscular and dreadlocked Briggs was never able to live up to his pre-bout bragging when he had claimed he had never prepared so well for a fight.
Klitschko set out to tire Briggs with a mix of right hooks to his face and blows to his body.
From the fourth round, the older of the two champion Ukrainians took command as he showcased his accuracy and mobility, unfazed by the odd verbal blow from his opponent.
In both the seventh and 10th rounds Klitschko appeared to have done enough to stop Briggs, only for the big American to pick himself up for more punishment, and he hung on grimly until the end.
"I gave everything, my hand is really sore, but his ability to take punches was impressive," said Klitschko.
Briggs said: "I've boxed against Lewis and Foreman, I put up my best fight of my career tonight. But Vitali is too quick, he hits hard, harder than all the others, he's a great boxer."

Stoner continues home dominance with victory in Australia

Casey Stoner’s authority on his home Phillip Island track continued in style on Sunday as the Ducati rider won at the circuit for the fourth year in a row. Starting from pole position – his third of the season – the 25 year-old led the Iveco Australian Grand Prix from start to finish as he made it a third win of 2010 in front of a partisan crowd.
Eventually crossing the finish line 8.598s ahead of 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo it was the perfect end to a strong weekend from Stoner, who had demonstrated his pace throughout the practice and qualifying sessions.
Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) rode a lonely race in second position as he finished almost ten seconds ahead of third-placed Valentino Rossi. For the Spaniard it was a 14th podium finish in his title-winning campaign – his 32nd top-three result in the MotoGP category in what was his 50th premier class start.
The fight for third place went right down to the final lap and Fiat Yamaha man Rossi edged out Nicky Hayden in what was a fantastically close battle. The Ducati rider appeared to have got one over on his Italian rival with three laps to go when he overtook at Honda Corner, but Rossi returned the move at the same place on the final lap to beat the American to the final podium spot by a margin of just 0.038s.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies achieved his eighth top-five finish of his maiden MotoGP campaign and with it secured Rookie of the Year, with fellow premier class debutant Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) just under three seconds further back in sixth position.
There were top-ten finishes also for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing), Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda). Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) was the only rider who failed to finish the race after he experienced technical problems early on.
Absent due to injuries were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) – who rode in qualifying but opted not to race as he continues his recovery from a broken collarbone – and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), who sustained a groin injury in a qualifying session crash. The pair both expect to be fit to return at Estoril in a fortnight.
The result lifted Stoner into third in the Championship standings ahead of Rossi, and with the Italian and his Spanish team-mate’s podium finishes Fiat Yamaha also secured the Team Championship for 2010 with two rounds remaining.

Sport Debate: Cheerleading

Cheerleading is a physical activity, sometimes a competitive sport, using organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, which contain the components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate in competitions. The person involved is called a cheerleader. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains a predominantly American activity, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The growing presentation of the sport to a global audience has been led by the 1997 start of broadcasts of cheerleading competition by ESPN International and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring it On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the rest of the world in countries including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

There has been debate on whether or not cheerleading truly is a sport. Supporters consider cheerleading, as a whole, a sport, citing the heavy use of athletic talents while critics do not see it as deserving of that status since sport implies a competition among squads and not all squads compete, along with subjectivity of competitions where - as with gymnastics, diving, and figure skating - scores are assessed based on human judgment and not an objective goal or measurement of time.
On January 27, 2009, in a lawsuit involving an accidental injury sustained during a cheerleading practice, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that cheerleading is a full-contact sport in that state. In contrast, on July 21, 2010, in a lawsuit involving whether college cheerleading qualified as a sport for purposes of Title IX, a federal court, citing a current lack of program development and organization, ruled that it does not, but may in the future.

Oct 16th 2010

Dani Pedrosa pulls out of Australian MotoGP

The former 2010 title contender made a questionable attempt to return just two weeks after suffering multiple collarbone fractures at Motegi.
Pedrosa qualified just 15th out of the 17 riders and simply doesn't have the strength to last a race distance.
“After the operation in Spain my target was to come back in Australia," began Pedrosa.
"But having ridden in the three practice sessions here it's clear that it is really impossible for me to maintain a high pace because I lose strength in my arm lap-by-lap and controlling the bike gets increasingly difficult - even more so with the strong winds here.
"Phillip Island is a very fast circuit, I have to grip the handlebars very tightly, and this makes me very tired and gives me a lot of pain."
Pedrosa, who lapped 3.2sec from pole, holds second in the world championship by 47 points over Valentino Rossi with 75 points remaining.
The Spaniard insisted it had been worth making the long journey to Australia. "To ride around three seconds off the pace in the race tomorrow and maybe collect just a few points wouldn't make much sense. But I think it has been worth it to at least try to ride here because we really didn't know how I would be on the bike until we tried," he explained.
"Now, though, I don't want to take more risks so that I can recover in time for Estoril. I discussed the situation with HRC Team Director Kazuhiko Yamano and we have the same opinion.”
"Unfortunately for Dani his physical condition is such that we have decided together that the best course of action is for him not to attempt to race tomorrow and instead to aim for a return in Portugal in two weeks' time," confirmed Yamano.
"It was worth Dani coming here and trying to ride because it was the only way to find out the real situation. But we have decided that a 27-lap race in conditions that have been very difficult all weekend would be too risky."
Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start ninth on the grid for Sunday's Australian MotoGP, the runner-up at the last two rounds qualifying almost two-seconds from pole man Casey Stoner and as only the third best Honda.
"I struggled to ride in the high winds today and actually my body position on the bike was making things difficult in these conditions," he said.
"The main reason for my grid position is that with the gusty wind I cannot control the bike as I want and hold the racing line, and we also need to find some more grip as well."

Stoner strength on home soil underlined with Phillip Island pole

Casey Stoner took his third pole position of the season with the best time in qualification for the Iveco Australian Grand Prix of 1’30.107 on Saturday, as he secured top spot on the starting grid at Phillip Island for the third consecutive season. The Australian, who has won his home GP for the last three years, was an impressive 0.668s clear of the rest of the field by the end of the session. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) was the only rider able to get within a second of Stoner, as the Spaniard joined his rival under the 1’31” barrier. Lorenzo briefly led the session with his time of 1’30.775 but eventually had to settle for second on the grid.
Achieving his third front-row starting position of the season Ben Spies set the third best time of the session, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider closing out the 60-minute run at 1.279s off the pole time of Stoner.
Hot on the heels of the American and registering a best qualification of the season to date was rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini), at just 16-thousandths of a second behind in fourth. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was a similar distance (0.013s) further back in fifth, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) taking sixth position in the session and crashing at turn four towards the end.
Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) will head up the third row after setting the seventh fastest time, with Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) failing to overcome the issues he experienced in both practice sessions and qualifying in eighth, which is his worst starting grid position of the season to date. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completed the top ten.
The recovering Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) qualified in 15th position as he prepares for his first race back after missing the last two rounds, whilst Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) both crashed during the session and qualified in 16th and 17th positions respectively. Capirossi sustained a pulled adductor of the left leg in his fall which has placed his participation in the race in doubt.
Inside the final five minutes spots of rain were significant enough to effectively mark the end of the session, as the riders abandoned any further attempts at improving their times. Sunday’s MotoGP race is scheduled to start at 4pm local time.

Top 8 Female Gymnasts

Nadia Comaneci
Larissa Latynina
Daniela Silivas
Lavinia Milosovici
Simona Amanar
Svetlana Khorkina
Ecaterina Szabo
Gina Gogean

Oct 15th 2010

Russia set for 2014 F1 debut

Bernie Ecclestone's dream of an F1 event on Russian soil appears to have become reality after the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin revealed that a seven-year deal has been agreed for a race in Sochi.
Ecclestone said back in July that Russia and South Africa were priorities when it came to future F1 events, with the Eastern European country having taken a greater interest in the sport following Vitaly Petrov's graduation to a race seat with Renault.
Moscow had been mooted as a possible home for a Russian race, but Putin has now revealed to Reuters that the event will instead take place at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The first event is due to take place in Sochi in 2014, although that could be delayed due to the fact that that Winter Olympics is being held in the same venue later that year.
“We have reached an agreement with the principal owner of Formula One,” Putin was quoted as telling Russian business leaders, whilst Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone told the BBC: “It can be a super circuit; it's all the things we need, and we are very happy.”
Russia would become the latest addition to the F1 schedule in recent years with the likes of Singapore and Abu Dhabi having joined the calendar, with Korea hosting its first race next weekend and India set to follow suit in 2011.

Pedrosa taking it “step by step”

Dani Pedrosa took the next step in his recovery from his fractured collarbone on Friday when he made his return to action in the opening practice session at Phillip Island. The Repsol Honda rider completed just seven laps as he took an understandably cautious approach to testing his comfort level on his factory RC212V in wet conditions.
“The plan today was simply to check my condition on the bike – in these conditions I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. What I can say is that I had some strength to move on the bike and put pressure on the handlebars which is good,” explained the 25 year-old.
“However, I didn’t feel very comfortable with the leathers because they were tight and there was pressure but even with that I could do some laps and tomorrow I will try again – we will go step-by-step. Now it’s quite painful but we will see how the pain goes through the night and tomorrow we will take another step. We knew it wouldn’t be easy but I just hope that the effort is worth it in the end.”
Adverse weather conditions overnight made the first practice on Friday a wet affair and Pedrosa is hoping for an improved physical feeling in Saturday’s second session before qualifying.
“To ride in wet conditions is more smooth than in the dry, but also more risky. The asphalt today was very, very cold and here it’s a problem because on the right hand turns you don’t have any grip at all,” continued Pedrosa. “The hardest point was braking, changing direction and in the right hand corners because I have to stretch my arms a lot, but I hope we can work a little bit on the leathers to make it more comfortable for tomorrow. Afterwards I went to the Clinica Mobile and they told me that now I need to relax the muscles. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Pedrosa secured his first Phillip Island premier class podium with third place in last year’s race.

Lorenzo leads off at Phillip Island

After a delayed start due to wet weather conditions the MotoGP class completed the opening practice of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Friday, and newly-crowned World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was the quickest rider around the circuit. Setting the standard with a time of 1’41.146 the Fiat Yamaha rider underlined his pre-stated determination to round off his title-winning 2010 campaign in winning style.
Casey Stoner was next up at 0.334s down on Lorenzo’s time as the Australian, who has won at his home circuit for the past three seasons, brought his factory Desmosedici GP10 home ahead of Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden. The American was 0.151s off Stoner as the riders began to see a dry line forming towards the end of the hour-long session..
Marco Simoncelli was fourth in the order as the San Carlo Honda Gresini rookie battled rear grip to set a best time of 1’41.881, with his team-mate Marco Melandri fifth and the final rider to get within a second of Lorenzo. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) completed the top six.
Coming in seventh fastest was Valentino Rossi on his Fiat Yamaha M1, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) all in the top ten.
Back on track for the first time since he fractured his collarbone in Japan exactly two weeks ago Dani Pedrosa completed seven laps, before concluding his session just before the half-hour mark having posted a best time of 1’51.210.
Completing just three laps in the session and opting to avoid any unnecessary risks on a track on which he won a WSBK race last season was Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).


Top Ski Jumpers


Czech Republic










Oct 14th 2010

Top 15 Swimmers

Mark Spitz
Michael Phelps
Ian Thorpe
Pieter van den Hoogenband
Alexander Popov
Johnny Weissmuller
Grant Hackett
Debbie Meyer
Kristin Otto
Krisztina Egerszegi
Janet Evans
Franziska van Almsick
Inge de Brujin
Therese Alshammar
Laure Manaudou

Oct 13th 2010


Top 10 Tour de France Winners

Lance Armstrong
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Jacques Anquetil
1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964

Bernard Hinault
1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985

Miguel Indurain
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995

Eddy Merckx
1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974

Louison Bobet

1953, 1954, 1955

Alberto Contador
2007, 2009, 2010

Greg LeMond
1986, 1989, 1990

Philippe Thys
1913, 1914, 1920

Oct 12th 2010

Pedrosa prepared for Australia return

Dani Pedrosa will be back in action this weekend as the Repsol Honda rider makes his return to riding following an injury-enforced lay off. The Spaniard has missed the last two races in Japan and Malaysia after fracturing his collarbone in a practice session crash at Motegi ten days ago.
After a successful operation the day after the fall Pedrosa has continued with a course of physiotherapy, which he will continue upon his arrival in Australia, and is now prepared to try and defend second position in the Championship standings after Jorge Lorenzo clinched the 2010 title at Sepang on Sunday.
Pedrosa, who holds a 47-point advantage over third-placed Valentino Rossi in the Championship, said: “It was hard to take the decision to not go to Malaysia, but after another week I feel it was the right thing to do because during these days my condition has improved quite a lot. So I’m looking forward to getting to Australia and finding out how I feel on the bike.”
“I will arrive at Phillip Island on Wednesday to have some time to recover from the flight and rest a little bit. I know it will be tough because Phillip Island is a very demanding track and also the weather conditions can play a big part, but I really believe it’s time to come back with my team and try to return to the high level of performance we had before the crash in Japan.”
“The Championship is decided, but for us it’s still not over. The target now is to retain second place in the standings and continue working on the bike so that we arrive in good shape for the winter tests, when we will start working for next year."

Top 10 Fastest Sprinters

Usain Bolt 9.58
Tyson Gay 9.69
Asafa Powell 9.72
Nesta Carter 9.78
Maurice Green 9.79
Donovan Bailey 9.84
Brunny Surin 9.84
Leroy Burrell 9.85
Justin Gatlin 9.85
Olusoji Fasuba 9.85

Oct 11th 2010


Top 15 Football Players

G. Müller
Van der Saar
Luis Figo

Oct 10th 2010

Pedrosa: Congratulations to Lorenzo

Dani Pedrosa has congratulated countryman Jorge Lorenzo on becoming Spain's first 500cc/MotoGp champion since Alex Criville in 1999.
Pedrosa was the only rider that could mathematically prevent Lorenzo winning the 2010 crown.
But his slim hopes effectively ended when he broke his collarbone last weekend in Japan, after a throttle problem in practice.
“I think it's very good for Spain to have another world champion in the top class after Alex Crivillé's first title back in 1999. That was a long time ago... too long. So I'd like to say congratulations to Lorenzo today," said the Repsol Honda rider, speaking from his home.
"He rode very well this year right from the beginning of the season and made very few mistakes - so he deserves the title.
"Of course, I would like to have been there today to try and keep the championship alive for a bit longer - even if we only had a very small chance of catching him. But it wasn't to be."
Pedrosa, who has won four races this year compared with seven for Lorenzo, is aiming to return to action next weekend in Australia.
"My recovery and physiotherapy after the operation is continuing to go well, and I hope to feel good enough for Australia and to get back to the level we achieved recently for the last races of the season," he said.
Toni Elias

Rolfo wins in Malaysia as Elías takes Moto2 title

Toni Elías was crowned the first-ever Moto2 World Champion at Sepang on Sunday after the Spaniard took fourth place in the 14th round of the 2010 campaign. Roberto Rolfo was also celebrating as he took his first World Championship victory since triumphing in the 250cc class at Jerez in 2004 after a fantastic race that saw both Rolfo and Elías involved in separate battles. Stepping onto the podium for the first time this season was Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who challenged Rolfo for the win late on, with Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) completing the rostrum after a marvellous duel with Gresini Racing’s Elías.
A number of riders displayed good early pace as Elías, Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Racing) and Iannone all rode at the front. Pole man Julián Simón, who was the only man who could prevent Elías from confirming the title, did not enjoy a good start as he dropped to seventh and his race got tougher.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) was another rider who had a good early push as he challenged amongst the leading pack, whilst Simón managed to make ground back up to begin a fight with Elías.
The Mapfre Aspar rider had a moment on lap six however that saw him lose positions, and on the following lap a crash for Simón saw him drop out of the running for a point-scoring result as Elías was all but assured of the title. Immediately after Lüthi also crashed out as he suffered a disappointing end to his race when pushing at the front.
Meanwhile at the front of the race Rolfo emerged as the leader with eight laps to go, with De Angelis in close pursuit. Redding’s race was ended early however as the Brit pitted in after struggling with the heat.
Elías and Iannone were by now scrapping it out for third in a great encounter, and as Rolfo held off De Angelis to cross the line 0.040s ahead of him Iannone managed to beat Elías to third by four-tenths, as the Gresini rider took the title on board his Moriwaki machine to jubilant scenes of celebration.
Completing the top five was Alex Debón (Aeroport de Castelló-Ajo), with top-ten results for Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) and Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2).

Rossi wins Sepang thriller as Lorenzo secures 2010 title

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo was confirmed as the 2010 MotoGP World Champion on Sunday at Sepang, as the 23 year-old Fiat Yamaha rider rode to a third place finish in the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. It was a thrilling race which Valentino Rossi won as the Italian took his first victory since the season opener in Qatar, on a day on which his great rival and current team-mate celebrated his first premier class title. Pole holder Lorenzo got off to a fantastic start and led into turn one as the race got underway, but Rossi’s getaway from the starting grid was not so swift and he had dropped as low as 11th on the opening lap. A candidate for the race victory Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) suffered a huge disappointment when he crashed out on the opening lap, bringing to an end his race.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) stuck with Lorenzo and the pair established a slight gap at the front, but by only the third lap Rossi had recovered to fourth position as he set his sights on the leaders. Soon he was into third and closing in further on Dovizioso.
Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) were both unfortunate crashers, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also experienced difficulties that meant he failed to finish .
Meanwhile Rossi was repeatedly laying down fast laps as he homed in and just past the midway point of the race the Italian took the lead, having first passed Lorenzo and then Dovizioso. The two Italians swapped first position again in what was a thrilling fight to the end.
Rossi was not to be denied his second win of the season however and crossed the line 0.224s ahead of Dovizioso, with Lorenzo in third and cementing the 2010 title with his 13th podium of the season as the celebrations started.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took fourth position with rookie Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) equalling his season’s best result in fifth. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) followed, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) eighth having battled closely with former 250cc rival Aoyama. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) completed the top ten.

Vettel cruises to victory in Japan

As expected, nobody could hold a candle to the Red Bulls in Suzuka on Sunday afternoon as Sebastian Vettel led home team mate Mark Webber by nine-tenths of a second in a gripping race in which the five title contenders finished in the top five places. Vettel’s third triumph of the season, and Fernando Alonso’s third place for Ferrari, 1.8s behind Webber, moves the German into joint second place with the Spaniard, each on 206 points, as Webber moved out to 220 to extend his lead to 14.
Jenson Button’s bold decision to qualify on the harder Bridgestone tyre paid off with fourth place, after the Briton had run longer before pitting than his main rivals and led from Lap 26 until his stop on Lap 38. But fortune favoured him as he was able to catch and pass McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton when the latter’s MP4-25 lost third gear around the 40-lap mark. Hamilton finished fifth and lies fourth overall with 192 points, Button fifth with 189.
In the constructors’ stakes Red Bull moved even further ahead, with 426 points to McLaren’s 381 and Ferrari’s 334.
The race began with a bang - several of them, actually. Vitaly Petrov didn’t quite clear slow-starting Nico Hulkenberg as they raced off the line, and the Renault was pitched into the wall to the left as he cut across the Williams. Then in the first corner Ferrari’s Felipe Massa made a wild run down the inside of Hulkenberg, before spearing across the road to crash into and take off very fast-starting Force India of Vitantonio Liuzzi on the outside of Turn One. Hulkenberg was also involved, so at a stroke four cars joined non-starter Lucas di Grassi, who had a huge shunt in 130R in his Virgin during his out lap on the way to the grid.
Then, while the safety car controlled the race for the first six laps, Robert Kubica’s brilliant start to run second, ahead of Webber, came to naught when he dropped out at the hairpin on the second lap when his Renault threw its right-rear wheel.
Apart from Button’s intervention due to McLaren’s different strategy, Vettel had complete control of the race, keeping Webber’s challenge under control as the Australian in turn kept Alonso at bay. The two McLarens ran close behind them, and until Hamilton’s transmission problem the five title contenders were all closing up for what seemed like a dramatic finish. As Hamilton slowed, however, he let Button by at the Hairpin.
Michael Schumacher inherited sixth place from Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, who stopped early because of an accident damage-induced pit stop and then lost the left-rear wheel on the 48th lap. The two of them had been battling, nose to tail, for many laps.
One of the heroes of the race was BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who did his usual energetic overtaking, mainly in the Hairpin, pit-stopped late, then caught and passed team mate Nick Heidfeld to take seventh ahead of the German despite sustaining damage wheel-rubbing his way past Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari. Heidfeld finished eighth, making it a fruitful day for BMW Sauber, having just fended off Rubens Barrichello’s Williams.
Tenth seemed destined for Adrian Sutil until his Force India blew its Mercedes engine on Lap 44; he half spun in 130R on his way back to the pits. Thus Sebastien Buemi came through for the final point after Toro Rosso team mate Alguersuari had to make a late pit stop. The Spaniard finished 11th, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen who led Jarno Trulli home for a Lotus one-two in the newbie stakes.
Virgin’s Timo Glock came through to third eventually, and 14th overall. But for a long time Sakon Yamamoto was another hero with a gutsy drive where he stayed ahead of Trulli for a long while and Glock even longer until his tyre stop on Lap 32. Bruno Senna ultimately beat him, having made an early tyre stop, but Yamamoto brought his HRT home an honourable 16th behind him.

Qualifying - Vettel on pole at sunny Suzuka

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber annihilated their opposition in Sunday morning’s delayed qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, their stunning pace through the Esses in the first sector giving them a conclusive advantage over opposition that proved very closely matched.
Vettel lapped in 1m 30.785s to set himself up for a repeat of his success here last year, but Webber got very close on his final run with 1m 30.853s.
Behind them, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton more than made up for Friday’s gaffe with a brilliant run to 1m 31.169s, as Renault’s Robert Kubica bounced into contention in fourth place on 1m 31.231s to see off Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (1m 31.352s) and McLaren’s Jenson Button (1m 31.378s). Button was the only top-ten runner to opt for the harder, prime tyre for Q3 (and hence the start of the race).
The Williams drivers showed great pace all through qualifying, but in the end they had to be happy with eighth and ninth fastest times as Nico Rosberg shoved his Mercedes into seventh with 1m 31.494s. Rubens Barrichello just aced Nico Hulkenberg, with 1m 31.535s to 1m 31.559s, as Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher brought up the rear on 1m 31.846s.
Hamilton, however, drops to eighth because of Sunday’s gearbox change, leaving the top 10 as: Vettel and Webber; Kubica and Alonso; Button and Rosberg; Barrichello and Hamilton; Hulkenberg and Schumacher.
As Vettel continued to set the pace with 1m 31.184s, the big news of Q2 was Michael Schumacher improving right at the end to make Q3 and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa failing to get through. To make things worse, the Brazilian wasn’t even the fastest faller. That was his old BMW Sauber team mate Nick Heidfeld, who tucked up local hero Kamui Kobayashi. The German lapped in 1m 32.187s for 11th, ahead of the Brazilian on 1m 32.321s, Renault’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 32.422s and then Kobayashi on 1m 32.427s.
Adrian Sutil was 15th in his Force €ndia on 1m 32.659s, ahead of Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso on 1m 33.071s and Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force €ndia on 1m 33.154s.
Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso was the first car to fail to make it through Q1, which began with sufficient damp patches to warrant initial runs on intermediate Bridgestones before slicks became the order of the day.
As Vettel set the pace with 1m 32.035s from Hulkenberg on 1m 32.211s and Rosberg on 1m 32.238s, the Swiss lapped in 1m 33.568s, then came the Lotuses of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 35.346s and 1m 35.464s and the Virgins of Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock on 1m 36.265s and 1m 36.332s. At the back, Bruno Senna lapped his HRT in 1m 37.270s to head team mate Sakon Yamamoto on 1m 37.365s.

Top 10 Snooker Players

Stephen Hendry
Steve Davis
Ronnie O’Sullivan
John Higgins
Mark Williams
Jimmy White
John Parrott
Ray Reardon
Paul Hunter
Alex Higgins

Oct 9th 2010

F1 Qualifying postponed until Sunday at Suzuka

Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix will now take place on Sunday morning after persistent heavy rain forced the session to be abandoned on Saturday afternoon.
Final practice had been a near washout in the morning, with only two drivers recording times, and with conditions worsening, the beginning of qualifying was delayed several times from its scheduled start of 14.00 local time.
The safety car was sent out periodically to check the state of the track, but with weather forecasts showing no sign of the rain easing - and with the afternoon light rapidly fading - stewards finally decided to call it a day at 15.18.
Sunday's qualifying session will start at 10.00 hours local time, 01.00 hours GMT, by which time conditions are expected to have improved.

Lorenzo soars to significant Malaysian pole

Jorge Lorenzo will start the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from pole position – his sixth of the season – after topping qualifying at Sepang on Saturday. The Fiat Yamaha rider can secure the 2010 title with a finish of at least ninth place in Sunday’s race, and placed himself in prime position to do so with a best lap of 2’01.537.
Nicky Hayden appeared close to securing his first pole in three years when he took the lead of the session towards the end, but the Ducati rider will not be disappointed with his second front-row start of the season after eventually losing out to Lorenzo by exactly one-tenth of a second.
Following up his first premier class pole last time out at Motegi, Andrea Dovizioso secured third position on the grid with another impressive qualifying display. The sole Repsol Honda representative this weekend was 0.292s off Lorenzo’s marker by the conclusion of the hour-long session.
Just missing out on a front-row start by a margin of 0.164s, and also the final rider under the 2’02” barrier in the session, Ben Spies took fourth spot having led the timings with ten minutes remaining. Casey Stoner of the Ducati Team ended the session in fifth position, just seven-thousandths ahead of Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) who took the final slot on row two.
Completing the top ten in the session were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Rizla Suzuki duo Álvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi, and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini). Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) had a fall at the very end of the session and qualified in 15th.
The MotoGP race is scheduled to get underway at 4pm local time on Sunday.

Remembering Paul Hunter (14 October 1978 – 9 October 2006)

Top 8 Rally Drivers

Sebastien Loeb
Tommi Mäkinen
Juha Kankkunen
Carlos Sainz
Marcus Grönholm
Richard Burns
Colin McRae
Petter Solberg

Oct 8th 2010

Croatia’s Vlašić voted 2010 European Athlete of the Year

Vlašić has become only the third women to win the top European honour for a second time. Following in the footsteps of the other two-time winners Yelena Isinbayeva and Carolina Kluft, the Croatian high jumper was voted as Europe’s top female athlete after a two year hiatus from the top spot.
The story behind her success in the polls is that this summer Vlašić filled one of the few remaining gaps in her trophy cabinet when she won at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.
Her triumph in Barcelona followed on from an unbeaten indoor season during which she won at the World Indoor Championships in Doha in March and also improved her indoor best, which is inevitably a Croatian record, to 2.06m. The height was not been bettered by anyone in the world in 2010.
Outdoors, she won 12 out of her 14 competitions including all seven of the IAAF Diamond League meetings at which her event was contested and at the IAAF Continental Cup, which was held in her home city of Split.
Vlašić will be presented with her award at the European Athletics Awards Night presented by MONDO on Saturday 16 October in Belgrade, Serbia. French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre, named as the men’s winner of the European Athlete of the Year award earlier this week, will also be recognised along with European Athletics Rising Star of the Year winners Teddy Tamgho and Sandra Perković.
Fans, media and European Athletics Member Federations were invited to vote for the European Athlete of the Year on the European Athletics website. Along with the votes from a panel of experts, each group of voters' results count for one quarter of the athlete's final score.
The shortlist for the award was compiled by selecting the top European athlete in each event, based largely on performances at the European Athletics Championships, World Indoor Championships, European Athletics events and the series of Diamond League and European Athletics meetings. Only in very exceptional cases were two athletes from one event nominated.
No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for European Athlete of the Year.

Women's European Athlete of the Year presented by MONDO final rankings:
1.    Blanka Vlasic (CRO)
2.    Jessica Ennis (GBR)
3.    Verena Sailer (GER)
4.    Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
5.    Myriam Soumare (FRA)
6.    Nevin Yanit (TUR)
7.    Tatyana Firova (RUS)
8.    Natalya Antyukh (RUS)
9.    Mariya Savinova (RUS)
10.    Nadzeya Ostapchuk (BLR)
11.    Nuria Fernandez (ESP)
12.    Ineta Radevica (LAT)
13.    Yuliya Zarudneva (RUS)
14.    Alemitu Bekele (TUR)
15.    Olga Kaniskina (RUS)
16.    Liliya Shobukhova (RUS)
17.    Svetlana Feofanova (RUS)
18.    Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
19.    Hayley Yelling (GBR) 

Top 20 Motorcycle Riders

Giacomo Agostini
Valentino Rossi
Mick Doohan
Angel Nieto
Kevin Schwantz
Mike Hailwood
John Surtees
Eddie Lawson
Kenny Roberts
Wayne Rainey
Freddie Spencer
Wayne Gardner
Max Biaggi
Jorge Martinez
Anton Mang
Carlo Ubbiali
Phil Reed
Geoff Duke
Dani Pedrosa
Daijiro Kato

Oct 7th 2010

Pedrosa absence confirmed for Malaysia round

It has been confirmed today that Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa will not take part in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Pedrosa underwent surgery on Saturday to fix a titanium plate to the collarbone he broke during practice for last weekend’s Grand Prix of Japan. After the successful operation, there was a very slim chance that the Spaniard would be fit enough to make the journey from Barcelona to Malaysia and attempt to take part in this weekend’s MotoGP race. However, after careful consideration, Pedrosa has made the understandable decision to stay at home to continue his recovery. The target for his return remains the Australian Grand Prix, practice for which begins on October 15. In Pedrosa’s absence, the Repsol Honda Team will not field a replacement rider this weekend, and so Andrea Dovizioso will fly the flag alone for the factory Honda squad in Malaysia.

Top 10 F1 Drivers

Michael Schumacher
Ayrton Senna
Juan Manuel Fangio
Alain Prost
Jackie Stewart
Niki Lauda
Jim Clark
Stirling Moss
Gilles Villeneuve

Oct 6th 2010

Frenchman Lemaitre voted 2010 European Athlete of the Year

Christophe Lemaître of France has been voted the 2010 winner of the men's European Athlete of the Year Award presented by MONDO.
Still just 20, the French sprint prodigy has followed a rapid trajectory after being named as the winner of the European Athletics Rising Star of the Year 12 months ago.
He made history at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona by becoming the first man to win three gold medals – 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay – at a single championships.
He was the fastest man in Europe over both the 100m and 200m in 2010, clocking national records of 9.97 and 20.16 during the summer.
Lemaitre will be recognised for his feats at the European Athletics Awards Night presented by MONDO on Saturday 16 October in Belgrade, Serbia, alongside the women's European Athlete of the Year winner, who will be announced later this week, and the European Athletics Rising Star of the Year winners Teddy Tamgho and Sandra Perković.
Fans, media and European Athletics Member Federations were invited to vote for the European Athlete of the Year on the European Athletics website. Along with the votes from a panel of experts, each group of voters' results count for one quarter of the athlete's final score.
The shortlist for the award was compiled by selecting the top European athlete in each event, based largely on performances at the European Athletics Championships, World Indoor Championships, European Athletics events and the series of Diamond League and European Athletics meetings. Only in very exceptional cases were two athletes from one event nominated.
No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for European Athlete of the Year.

Men's European Athlete of the Year presented by MONDO final rankings 

1. Christophe Lemaitre (FRA)
2. Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR)
3. Mo Farah (GBR)
4. Teddy Tamgho (FRA)
5. David Greene (GBR)
6. Christian Reif (GER)
7. Aleksandr Shustov (RUS)
8. Piotr Malachowski (POL)
9. Marcin Lewandowski (POL)
10. Renaud Lavillenie (FRA)
11. Romain Barras (FRA)
12. Viktor Roethlin (SUI)
13. Phillips Idowu (GBR)
14. Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA)
15. Yohann Diniz (FRA)
16. Alemayehu Bezabeh (ESP)
17. Libor Charfreitag (SVK)

Oct 5th 2010

Top 30 Athletes of All Time
In random order

Oct 4th 2010

Pedrosa leaves hospital following operation

Dani Pedrosa was discharged from the USP Dexeus in Barcelona this morning at 10am, two days after he had a successful operation to insert a titanium plate in his left collarbone which he fractured in a crash during the opening practice session of the Grand Prix of Japan last Friday.
Head of the Hand Surgery Unit, Dr. Xavier Mir, was happy with the start of Pedrosa's recovery and deemed the 25 year-old Spaniard ready to leave the hospital. On Sunday Pedrosa began passive monitoring of his left shoulder and will today commence an 'active-passive' rehabilitation under the supervision of his physiotherapist. On Wednesday he will return to the clinic to visit Dr. Mir for necessary follow-up treatment and to assess the progress of the injury following the operation.
Dr. Mir said: “48 hours after operating on Dani Pedrosa’s fractured left collarbone, which we fixed using a titanium plate, the post-operation process is correct and yesterday he started to make small passive movements of his shoulder and elbow."
"We have discharged him and today he will start active-passive rehabilitation with his trusted physiotherapist. We will meet again next Wednesday to treat him again and check how the injury is evolving.”
Pedrosa was admitted to the A&E department of the USP Dexeus in Barcelona at 10am on Saturday morning as soon as he landed from Japan, and at lunchtime underwent surgery on the fragmented fracture of his left collarbone in which he received a fixation with a titanium plate with eight holes, made especially for the collarbone, and a fixation of the intermediate fragments with two compression screws.

Sébastien Loeb claims record seventh crown

Sébastien Loeb claimed an unprecedented seventh consecutive world rally championship

The Citroen driver took charge over the first two days in slippery conditions and then drove cautiously to take his sixth win of the season and 60th of his career as his team also secured the manufacturers’ title for the sixth time.
Petter Solberg and Daniel Sordo won the first two stages on Sunday, while rally organisers cancelled the penultimate stage fearing spectator safety as about 40,000 people lined up to get a glimpse their local hero.
After Sebastien Ogier had crashed out on Saturday, 36-year-old Loeb needed only to finish to claim the crown with two rounds of the season remaining.
“I didn’t expect so many people here, but to win here is a great feeling,” Loeb said after coming seventh in the final stage, won by BP Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala.

Andrea Pirlo makes golazos look easy

Andrea Pirlo has long been known for his masterful touch and incredible accuracy, but just in case you thought the 31-year-old was slipping, he provides this as evidence to the contrary. In AC Milan's match against Parma on Saturday, Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho all started for the Rossoneri, yet it was Pirlo who scored the lone goal of the match in the 25th minute. Pinning the ball to the top corner from distance, Pirlo made it look easy. Even Ronaldinho was left in awe as he could only wag a limp hand and smile.  

Alberto Contador says he may quit cycling if banned for doping

Alberto Contador says he may retire from cycling if he’s handed down a racing ban and disqualified from the 2010 Tour de France after he tested positive for traces of clenbuterol en route to winning July’s Tour.
Speaking to Spanish television TeleCinco on primetime over the weekend, the beleaguered Contador hinted he may walk away for good from cycling if anti-doping officials deliver a racing ban and take away his 2010 Tour victory.
“If this is not resolved favorably and in a just fashion, then I would have to reconsider or not I would ever come back to the bike,” Contador said on La Noria. “I am very optimistic and I think things will be resolved favorably.”
Contador tested positive for clenbuterol on a rest-day control a day ahead of the decisive Tourmalet climbing stage en route to his narrow, hard-fought third Tour victory just ahead of Andy Schleck.
The Spanish rider made a big media push over the weekend, speaking on various national television stations to promote his version of events. A poll found that nearly 80 percent of all Spaniards believe Contador’s account.
Contador is defiant in claiming traces of the banned product came from contaminated steaks that were purchased in nearby Spain in the coastal town of Irun. He says they were brought into France by the organizer of the Vuelta a Castilla y León and eaten during a rest-day dinner “to not be rude.”
Contador’s claims have caused quite a stir in the Spanish beef industry, however, which insists the drug is also banned for use in cattle and has not been used in years.
Spanish officials closely regulate the origin of beef, in part to combat an outbreak of mad cow disease 10 years ago, so there is some effort under way to try to find out where the animals were raised in an attempt to discover if they were fed products that might contain clenbuterol.
Skeptics, however, have suggested that Contador may have transfused his own blood and that the traces of clenbuterol could have come from tainted blood extracted earlier in the season.
The French sports daily L’Equipe also reported that the same lab in Cologne, Germany, has found other residue in Contador’s blood sample that could suggest an auto-transfusion of blood. The paper reported that the lab has detected evidence of DEHP, which some say is released into blood stored in plastic bags.
Contador strongly denied transfusing blood.
“If they want to analyze every sample that I gave during the Tour in as many labs as they want or if they prefer, they can freeze them and test them again in three or five years with whatever future methods of testing they might have,” Contador said. “They can do what they want. I have nothing to hide.”
Contador’s cycling future certainly hangs in the balance. He could face up to a two-year ban and be disqualified from the 2010 Tour.
The UCI seems to be giving Contador the benefit of the doubt and has said that the case warranted “further scientific investigation” because the Cologne laboratory which detected the clenbuterol is known to be able to detect the tiniest traces of drugs.
“The concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms which is 40 (sic) times less than what the anti-doping laboratories accredited by WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) must be able to detect,” the UCI said Friday, adding that analysis of a B sample “confirmed the first.”

Oct 3rd 2010

Stoner seals second straight win with Motegi victory

Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second victory of 2010 in the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, with pole man Andrea Dovizioso second and Valentino Rossi third. It was another strong win from Ducati rider Stoner as he slowly pulled away from Dovizioso throughout the 24-lap race, but the real excitement was drawn from team-mates Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s intense battle for the final spot on the podium.
As he did last time out at Aragón Stoner got a fast start and took the lead on the opening lap, and as he settled into his rhythm and consistently posted fast laps Dovizioso – starting from pole for the first time in the premier class – stuck with him for the early stages. Lorenzo hinted at what was to come as he passed Rossi to assume third, and that was just the start of the duo’s enthralling contest.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) ran off at turn five together on only the second lap as they dropped down the order, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) pitted their wits against one another in the push for fifth.
Stoner began to open up a slender lead over Dovizioso which grew to a second with seven laps remaining, while further down the order Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) was forced to retire when his bike stalled as he ran wide alongside team-mate Álvaro Bautista in the chase for seventh place.
With Stoner now assured of victory and Dovizioso a return to the podium after an eight-race stint without a top-three finish, Rossi and Lorenzo locked horns. Repeatedly pushing one another the pair touched bikes with two laps to go as they fought side by side in a rousing finale to the race.
Victory for Stoner came by a margin of 3.868s and Dovizioso’s fifth podium of the season – his first since Silverstone – was also confirmed. Rossi managed to hold his own in third place and score a seventh rostrum result of 2010, and in the process ensure that Lorenzo finished outside the top three for the second successive race.
Edwards posted a season’s best result of fifth, with Simoncelli sixth and Bautista seventh. Spies Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
In the absence of the injured Dani Pedrosa, Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the Championship was extended to 69 points. Stoner remains in third, with Dovizioso leapfrogging Rossi into fourth.

Oct 2nd 2010

Dani Pedrosa's surgery a success

Dani Pedrosa underwent surgery on Saturday to fix a titanium plate to the fractured left collarbone he suffered in a fall yesterday, during free practice for the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi.
The two-hour operation at the Dexeus University Institute Hospital in Barcelona was a success and Pedrosa is now recuperating. Pedrosa, whose accident was caused by a throttle problem, is expected to remain in hospital for between 24 and 48 hours.
“The operation went very well," said Dr. Xavier Mir. "Dani had a four fragment chip fracture of the left collarbone and, together with Doctors Marlet and Ginebreda, we have performed a fixation with a titanium plate, made especially for the collarbone. We have fixed the two intermediate fragments with two compression screws.
"Regarding the left ankle, while in surgery, we performed another stress x-ray and saw that we were dealing with a grade 1 ankle sprain, which will heal in a short space of time.
"The rider is recently out of surgery and I think we must wait at least 48 hours, after which time, if all goes well, we may begin rehabilitation.
"At this time, it is not possible to give precise dates for recovery.”
With five races to go, Pedrosa is the only rider who can still beat Jorge Lorenzo to the title and, if Doctor Mir had confirmed that Pedrosa will definitely miss the next three races (in three weeks) then it would mean Lorenzo is now champion.
The Fiat Yamaha rider holds a 56 point lead over Pedrosa and - regardless of when Dani returns - can wrap up the title if he scores at least 20 points over the next two races.

Marc Márquez: I hope I can dedicate the victory to my idol Pedrosa

Read more here (Spanish).

Pedrosa to undergo surgery in Spain

An unfortunate fall just five minutes into the first free practice session of the Grand Prix of Japan at the Motegi circuit on Friday left Dani Pedrosa with a fractured collarbone and unable to participate in this Sunday's race.
A problem with the throttle cable of his Honda RC212V prevented the 25 year-old from closing the acceleration on his machine as he began braking for turn nine, and his impact upon falling caused his injury. Pedrosa left Japan on Friday evening to return to Spain where he is scheduled to have an operation to plate the double fracture in his left collarbone on Saturday.
"Obviously this has been a really bad day for us. It was a strange crash in only my third lap, in a slow section of the track. I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn’t avoid going down. After the crash I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful. I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track - so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results," said Pedrosa, who has finished inside the top two in the four previous rounds, including wins at Indianapolis and Misano.
"I’ve been very healthy through the pre-season and through the year and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed - I don’t feel as though I deserve it. Anyway, once the doctors had checked everything here, we decided it was best to go back to Spain for the operation. I hope it goes as well as possible and that I can return to racing soon."

Andrea Dovizioso takes first ever premier class pole

Andrea Dovizioso’s first pole position in the premier class was secured on Saturday as the Repsol Honda rider topped the qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Japan. Having taken his first-ever MotoGP front-row start at Laguna Seca earlier this season the Italian went one better at Motegi, where he won a battle for first position on the timesheet with a lap of 1’47.001.
Valentino Rossi’s final lap of the session placed the Fiat Yamaha rider in second position and gave him his first front-row starting position since he took pole at Le Mans back in May. The reigning World Champion, who has looked in good shape throughout the weekend, was just 0.054s off his fellow Italian.
Completing the front row having battled with Dovizioso for top spot in the closing stages was Casey Stoner. The Ducati Team rider, who had a minor run off at turn five early on, was a fraction over a tenth of a second off the pole position time.
Starting a race off the front row for the first time this season will be Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, after the Fiat Yamaha man placed fourth in the session. Lorenzo had led during the early stages but eventually ended the hour 0.205s off Dovizioso’s pace. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) equalled his best qualification of the season so far with fifth, with team-mate Ben Spies once again proving his aptitude at learning new tracks in an impressively quick manner and taking the final spot on row two.
Two run offs during the session failed to hold back Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) as he placed seventh, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Rizla Suzuki duo Álvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi completing the top ten. The veteran Italian had a crash early on in the session but returned to the track to set his best time, which was just over a second off pole.
Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) was the only other rider to crash, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) all having run offs.
The MotoGP race is scheduled to get underway at 3pm local time on Sunday.

Oct 1st 2010

Very Bad Luck...As Usual: 'Throttle problem' caused Pedrosa crash

Honda has revealed that a problem with the throttle cable caused the accident that left Dani Pedrosa was a broken collarbone and almost certainly ended his 2010 MotoGP title hopes.
Pedrosa fell from his factory RC212V only five minutes into Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
As Pedrosa began braking for turn nine, he lost control and fell, with his left leg at first remaining under the bike as he slid into the gravel - but it was his shoulder that suffered most.
“It was a strange crash in only my second full lap, in a slow section of the track," recalled Pedrosa. "I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn't avoid going down."
Honda subsequently found the cause of the accident - the throttle stuck open - which it claims has been solved.
'A small problem with the throttle cable didn't allow Pedrosa to close the throttle when he came to brake, an issue which has already been investigated and resolved,' said a Repsol Honda press release.
Pedrosa suffered a three-fragment fracture to his left collarbone when he slammed into the asphalt and will head home to Spain for surgery.
"After the crash I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful," said Dani, who was carried from the track on a stretcher.
"I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track - so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results.
"I've been very healthy through the pre-season and through the year and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed - I don't feel as though I deserve it.
"Anyway, once the doctors had checked everything here, we decided it was best to go back to Spain for the operation. I hope it goes as well as possible and that I can return to racing soon.”
With five rounds to go, Pedrosa is already 56 points behind Yamaha's title leader Jorge Lorenzo, who can now win the championship next weekend in Malaysia.
And if Pedrosa misses the next three races, in three weeks, then Lorenzo will be crowned without needing to score a point.
Pedrosa had been enjoying his best season in MotoGP, with four race wins. He is 73 points ahead of third placed Casey Stoner (Ducati).

How Lucky Can You Get?

Lucky man of the day: definitely Jorge Lorenzo
In the early stages of the MotoGp season, injury struck Valentino Rossi, who was out of the title battle with a broken leg, and today's victim is Dani Pedrosa (triple fracture of the collarbone), who was the only rider left to challenge Lorenzo for the World Championship.

The List is Long and Painful

Pedrosa's Injuries along the Years 
  • 2003 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix (125cc) Double fracture in the talus bone of the left foot and a fracture of the right ankle.
  • 2005 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix (250cc) Fracture of the left humeral head that affected the supraspinal tendon.
  • 2006 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Small fracture of the small left toe and loss of cutaneous matter on the right knee. 5 stitches in that vertical cut.
  • 2007 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Thoracic trauma, blow to the left gluteus and neck trauma.
  • 2007 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Post-traumatic arthritis with inflammation to the small toe of the left foot.
  • 2008 Sepang test 2008 (MotoGP) Fracture of the second metacarpal in the right hand, with three diaphyseal fragments, which are the bones that are found in the middle part of the metacarpus.
  • 2008 German motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) General inflammation of the left hand with hematomas in the veins of the extensor tendons. Displaced fracture of the distal phalanx of the left index finger. A sprain of the interphalangeal articulation next to the left middle finger. Fracture of the large bone of the left wrist. Sprain of the lateral external ligament of the right ankle.
  • 2008 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Capsular hematoma on the left knee that had to be treated two months after.
  • 2009 Qatar test (MotoGP) Fracture of the radius of the left arm and contusion on the left knee that required a skin graft, because the scar re-opened from an operation before Christmas.
  • 2009 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Incomplete fracture of the greater trochanter of the right femur. A fracture without displacement, an injury that requires absolute rest and treatment with painkillers.
  • 2009 December (MotoGP) Underwent an operation to remove a screw from his left wrist.
  • 2010 September [Japan motorcycle Grand Prix] (MotoGP) Three fragment fracture to left collarbone.

No Year without Injury

The 2010 MotoGP title fight has effectively ended after Dani Pedrosa, the only rider still capable of beating Jorge Lorenzo, suffered a "3-fragment fracture to the left collarbone" after crashing just six minutes into Friday practice at Motegi. Pedrosa is already 56 points behind Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo with five rounds (125 points) to go.
The Repsol Honda rider's injury means he will almost certainly miss the next three races, which take place in three successive weekends starting this Sunday.

P.S.: I saw that coming...

Sep 30th 2010

List of Shame

Tour de France Doping List

Alberto Contador’s positive test for the banned drug clenbuterol is the latest case in a long list of affairs involving doping and cycling at the Tour de France:
— The French anti-doping agency is in charge of drug testing following a feud between the UCI and race organizers. Several riders in the peloton including Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Italian climber Riccardo Ricco test positive for CERA, the new generation of blood-booster EPO.
— Spanish rider Iban Mayo tests positive for EPO and receives a two-year ban.
— Michael Rasmussen of Danemark is sacked by Rabobank while leading the race after the Dutch team says he lied about his training whereabouts. He eventually receives a two-year ban.
— Cofidis team pulls out of the Tour following Italian Cristian Moreni’s positive test for testosterone.
— Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan tests positive for blood doping after winning a time trial. The Kazakh’s Astana team leaves the Tour. As a result, Tour organizers decide to ban Astana from the 2008 race, meaning defending champion Contador has to stay home that year.
— Tour champion Floyd Landis tests positive for high testosterone levels following his gritty stage 17 comeback and is later stripped of his title.
— On the eve of the Tour’s start, nine riders—including pre-race favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso—are ousted, implicated in a Spanish doping investigation.
— The French sports daily L’Equipe reports that six of Lance Armstrong’s urine samples from 1999 were positive for EPO when retested in 2004. Dutch investigators clear him of the allegations the following year.
— An unidentified second-tier rider tests positive for traces of a restricted substance, norpseudoephedrine, after the fifth stage.
— Italian cyclist Dario Frigo and his wife are arrested after about 10 doses of EPO are found in her car at a toll station.
— Evgeni Petrov of Russia is kicked off the Tour before the 10th stage for failing a blood test.
— Three riders under investigation for suspected doping are banned from the race: Danilo Di Luca of Italy; David Millar of Britain; and Cedric Vasseur of France.
— Two positive tests from the Tour both belong to Belgian rider Christophe Brandt, who is expelled for using a a heroin substitute.
— Spanish cyclist Javier Pascual Llorente tests positive for EPO, the only positive test from the Tour.
— Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas is arrested in Italy on doping charges stemming from his participation in the 2002 Tour. All samples collected from cyclists during the Tour this year, however, are negative.
— Spanish cyclist Txema Del Olmo fails an EPO test, the only positive test from the Tour. His team drops him from the race.
— Three unnamed riders are expelled from the Tour hours before it begins after failing blood tests.
— Six Festina team members are kicked out of the Tour after team director Bruno Roussel and team doctor Eric Ryckaert are placed under investigation in the biggest doping scandal in the race history.
— Several teams pull out of the tour, including Dutch team TVM.
— British rider Tom Simpson dies on the slopes of the daunting Mont Ventoux after using a lethal cocktail of amphetamines and alcohol.

Today's (not unexpected) shock!

Cyclist Alberto Contador, winner of the 2010 Tour de France tested positive for banned substance


Contador's press officer Jacinto Vidarte said he had tested positive for clenbuterol during a rest on the Tour in July.
In a statement, the spokesman added that the Spanish rider was the victim of "food contamination" and would hold a news conference later on Thursday.
Cycling's governing body, UCI, later confirmed that Contador had been provisionally suspended.

Cycling has struggled with doping allegations for years.
Among a host of high-profile offenders, US cyclist Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour title for a positive drugs test.
Further investigation' In the statement on Thursday, Contador's press officer said the rider was first made aware of the test by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) on 24 August.
He said Contador would hold a news conference in his home town of Pinto, in Spain, at 1200 local time (1000 GMT) on Thursday.
The cyclist would use it "to give his version of what happened" direct to the public, the spokesman said.
The UCI followed Contador's statement with its own, confirming that the rider had been "formally and provisionally suspended as is prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code" after both his A and B urine samples tested positive in a laboratory in Cologne, Germany.
However, the UCI said the concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms - 400 times less than anti-doping laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) must be able to detect.
"This case required further scientific investigation before any conclusion could be drawn," the statement added.
Clenbuterol, a stimulant that increases breathing capacity and boosts the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream, is sometimes prescribed to treat asthma but is also often used in attempts to reduce body fat.
Contador, who was riding for the Astana team, won the world's most prestigious race for the third time on 25 July in 2010.

One question remains open: Will they ever accuse The Great Lance officially of doping? Probably not...

 Sep 29th 2010

Happy B-Day, Dani!

Birthday celebrations amid title battle for Pedrosa 

Dani Pedrosa celebrates his 25th birthday in Japan having arrived for Round 14 of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship, which takes place at Motegi this weekend.
One of the leading riders in the premier class the Spaniard is currently immersed in a fight for the 2010 title, and in the attached video Pedrosa looks back over some of the most important moments in his sporting career to date.
Ten years ago the young Repsol Honda rider made his debut in the World Championship 125cc class at just 15 years old, riding in the 2001 Japan GP. At that time the competition was held at the Suzuka circuit and on that day the World Championship journey of one of the most important figures in Spanish motorcycling began. That same year, Dani Pedrosa took his first podium, in Valencia, and one season later his first win which came at Assen.
His early promise was converted into a 125cc World Champion title in 2003, beginning a meteoric career which took him on to win two consecutive World Championships in the two subsequent seasons, this time in the 250cc class. Shattering records Pedrosa made his debut in the premier class, MotoGP, in 2006 and he is currently competing in his fifth season. This year he has achieved four wins and together with fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo is one of the two riders who can now win the 2010 title.
Over the past ten years Pedrosa has achieved 35 wins – eight in 125cc, 15 in 250cc and 12 in MotoGP – and 88 podiums in the 160 races he has contested. He has started from pole position 35 times and has set the fastest lap in 41 races. He has three World Championship titles and 2,360 points, statistics which he will continue to improve on with each GP as he fights to achieve his lifetime dream of becoming premier class World Champion.

Honda riders meet fans in Tokyo

Repsol Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were joined by Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) at the Japanese factory’s headquarters in Tokyo on Wednesday where all six riders took part in a talk show on stage in front of fans.
Two hundred fortunate guests were present to meet their heroes and were joined by the media as the sextuplet assessed their respective seasons to date and looked ahead to the final run-in of the 2010 campaign, which starts with Round 14 this weekend, the Grand Prix of Japan.
Following the on-stage talk show the riders participated in a photo session with the fans, and a prize draw then took place in which t-shirts, gloves and boots were given away to those present. Birthday boy Pedrosa, who turned 25 today, was also presented with a cake to celebrate the occasion.

Ross Brawn: Schumacher will be back in 2011

Mercedes's dream has faltered and Schumacher’s comeback is in tatters. Currently tenth in the standings, with just 46 points, the veteran German's fall from grace has led some to question whether he will last the season, let alone be back in the cockpit competing next year. But Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is confident Schumacher will race in 2011.
“Michael is disappointed, of course,” Brawn told “Still he is enjoying the challenge very much. He definitely doesn’t come to a race wishing to be somewhere else. He wants to work with the engineers, wants to find solutions and is extremely motivated. He is enjoying racing. Of course he’s also a bit frustrated that his performance isn’t better. But I tell you, Michael is a very ambitious person and he didn’t win seven titles because he’s quick to capitulate. What sense would it make at that stage of his comeback to pack in his job? He’s not going to do it - be sure of that!”
Although previously famed for his ability to get the most out of tyres, one of the major stumbling blocks for Schumacher this season has been Bridgestone’s 2010-spec rubber. Although Brawn admits the 91-time Grand Prix winner’s driving style does not suit this year’s Bridgestones, he believes the change to new tyre supplier, Pirelli, next season could help matters.
“Michael’s driving style depends on a strong front tyre that can withstand his hard braking and the steering manoeuvres that he prefers,” he explained. “I have to say that this year’s front tyre is very uncommon. Next year we expect the Pirelli tyres will work better for Michael’s driving style. In 2011 all drivers start from zero, so any disadvantage Michael might have will disappear.”
Schumacher's woes this year have been compounded by the fact his much-younger team mate Nico Rosberg has thoroughly overshadowed him, scoring three podiums and 76 more points. Brawn believes its Rosberg’s ability to better use the tyres which has made the difference. And he is confident we’ll see the ‘old Schumacher’ again next season, when he also hopes to give the German a car more worthy of him to drive.
“If you take the telemetry data in fast corners or his reaction time when the car breaks away, I don’t see any difference,” he explained. “There he’s still the old Michael. But in the slow corners he cannot make full use of the tyres as Nico can. Nico has put the bar very high in this respect. I predict that in 2011 we will again see the true Michael - when we’ve delivered him a better car.”
Preparations for an improved successor to 2010's disappointing MGP-W01’s are already well underway, and Brawn reveals Schumacher is immersed in the development of the 2011 car: “Formula One is a very competitive business,” he explained. “A few tenths can decide if a season was a success or a failure. We had decided by mid-season that we would rather concentrate on the future - meaning the 2011 car. Right now we are already 100 percent focused on next year’s car whereas those fighting for the championship have to split their resources.
"He (Schumacher) is working very intensively with the engineers and pushes the people back home in the factory. We speak a lot but he is also speaking a lot to the engineers and the aerodynamicists. On one hand to support us, on the other to see how we are progressing.”
Before he can get his hands on his new charge, however, Schumacher has another four races to go this season. He’ll be back in action at the Japanese Grand Prix from October 8-10.

I can only say: hopefully Brawn will be right.

Lewis Hamilton not changing style after Singapore crash

Lewis Hamilton will not make any changes to his driving style going into the final four races of the Formula 1 season

The McLaren driver has crashed out of the last two grands prix and has fallen 20 points behind leader Mark Webber.
But the Briton is confident he can still win the title, saying: "I'm a racer. I always race my heart out, and nothing will ever change that."  "There were different circumstances behind each incident."
Hamilton's Singapore Grand Prix came to an end after attempting to pass Webber's Red Bull on lap 36 but the McLaren driver has stated that he was not to blame for the incident.
"I've seen the replay and I was half a car-length ahead of Mark, and on the racing line.
"It's very frustrating that in Italy [the previous race where Hamilton crashed], I tapped the car in front and it broke my front suspension, and in Singapore, the car behind tapped me and punctured my tyre. I've been unlucky both times."
Despite three non-finishes in the last four races, Hamilton is still confident he can regain the title he won in 2008.
"I spoke with the team on Sunday night and we looked at things from their proper perspective: I'm still third overall in the points table and I'm 20 points off the championship leader."
"That's still less than a race win - it's easy to get disheartened by being 20 points away, because it sounds such a lot, but under last year's rules, that's only about eight points - and to be eight points off with four races left is nothing really."
McLaren team-mates Hamilton (left) and Button both remain confident And on the other side of the McLaren garage, reigning champion Jenson Button - who is 25 points adrift of the championship lead - agreed that the new scoring method introduced this season had distorted the situation:
"I think the new points system has definitely amplified what people think of the standings, but I've always imagined the points as they would have been under last year's system," stated Button.
"In old money, I'm 10 points off Mark, and Lewis is about eight or nine behind him. And, with four races to go, that's not much at all."
Button finished fourth in Singapore, and after being involved in the title chase with the Brawn team last season, he is feeling relaxed going into the final four races.
"Confident. Relaxed. Happy. Yeah. I can put it into perspective - for the second year running I'm right in the hunt for the world championship. I'm already world champion and I've still got every chance of holding on to my title.
"That's what I'm in Formula 1 to do and that's why I signed for McLaren Mercedes; to have that opportunity," Button added.