Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 20 stories this month. After 30, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 50 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 30 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 50 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

The top 20 MotoGP stories of 2011

Casey Stoner wins at ValenciaThe 2011 MotoGP season saw the end of the unloved 800cc rules package, and runaway title success for Casey Stoner and Honda.

But the headlines were dominated by two Italians - one an established legend struggling for form, the other a potential future legend cut down in his prime - as the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli in Malaysia and Valentino Rossi's tribulations at Ducati became the stories for which 2011 will be remembered.

Such was the interest in Rossi and Simoncelli, big topics such as Jorge Lorenzo's unsuccessful title defence, Suzuki's departure from MotoGP and the threat of a rider boycott of the Japanese Grand Prix failed to make the end of year top 20 most-read MotoGP stories on AUTOSPORT.com.

20. Rossi ready to review riding position
20 September

With victory looking as far away as ever as the season progressed, Rossi was considering absolutely any change that might give him a hope of a breakthrough with the difficult Ducati GP11.

19. Sepang defends decision to cancel race
25 October

The Malaysian Grand Prix was abandoned after the accident that claimed the life of Simoncelli - a decision that the circuit felt it needed to justify as analysis of the crash continued.

Valentino Rossi, Ducati, Valencia testing 201118. Rossi changing riding style for Ducati
8 March

Rossi's struggles were already obvious in testing, and the seven-time MotoGP champion was soon acknowledging that with fundamental changes to the Ducati now impossible, it was up to him to try and adapt.

17. Rossi downbeat over Ducati's pace
24 February

As the second of three pre-season tests progresssed, Rossi and Ducati were outside the top 10 and nearly two seconds off the pace, leaving the Italian concerned.

16. Agostini suggests changes to tyres
24 October

Due to the unusual nature of Simoncelli's fatal accident, there were inevitably questions over whether any changes to the MotoGP package could prevent such falls. The legendary Giacomo Agostini wondered if the nature of the 2011 tyres had been a factor.

15. Ducati will not build a Yamaha 'clone'
1 January

As the year began, Ducati was confident that it would be able to produce a competitive bike for Rossi on its own terms, without having to lean too heavily on the knowledge the Italian and his crew would bring from their ultra-successful time at Yamaha.

14. Stoner threatens to leave over rules
7 November

The switch to 1000cc engines and the introduction of the lower-cost CRT rules package will change the face of MotoGP from 2012. The rulemakers believe the new era will see bigger fields and better racing, but Stoner warned that he had little interest in a 'dumbed-down' formula.

13. Malaysian GP cancelled after crash
23 October

When the Malaysian GP organisers announced that the Sepang race would have to be abandoned as medical personnel were too focused on treating Simoncelli, hopes of a miracle escape for the popular Italian began to fade.

12. Ducati unveils new MotoGP bike
12 January

Few rider moves have ever prompted as much excitement as the union of Rossi and Ducati, so there was inevitably huge interest when the MotoGP legend's 2011 challenger was unveiled in Italy in January.

Stoner and Pedrosa11. Rossi 'wasn't trying to pass Stoner'
3 April

The most read-about collision of the 2011 MotoGP season was not any of Simoncelli's incidents, but the clash between long-time arch-rivals Stoner and Rossi at a damp Jerez early in the season. A contrite Rossi admitted he had not even been trying to overtake when he slid to the ground and took Stoner with him.

10. Stoner slams 'lack of help' after crash
3 April

What really angered Stoner in the Jerez incident was not Rossi crashing into him, but the marshals' response, with the Australian claiming their enthusiasm for helping him get his bike going again was limited to say the least.

9. Gardner feels for Edwards and Rossi
24 October

One man who could particularly empathise with Colin Edwards and Rossi after their involvement in Simoncelli's fatal crash was 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner, who struck Franco Uncini in a similar incident in 1983. On that occasion there was a happier ending, as Uncini survived his severe injuries.

8. Rossi retirement talk played down
24 October

Given Rossi's close friendship with Simoncelli, his role in the accident, and his struggles this season, it was perhaps unsurprising that there were rumours that it might be the trigger for the former champion to quit the sport. But his long-time colleague Davide Brivio was quick to dismiss this suggestion.

7. 'Minute's noise' mooted for Simoncelli
31 October

Simoncelli's father Paolo had no doubt that MotoGP's tribute to his son should be noisy, spectacular and unsubtle...

6. Malaysian GP halted by crash
23 October

It was immediately clear that Simoncelli's accident was an extremely severe one, with the race instantly halted while track medics tried in vain to save his life.

Marco Simoncelli5. Simoncelli crash was 'unpreventable'
24 October

MotoGP safety representative Franco Uncini reckoned there were no changes that could be made to prevent accidents such as the one that claimed Simoncelli.

4. Tributes paid to Marco Simoncelli
23 October

The motorcycle and car racing communities were united in grief after Simoncelli's death.

3. Simoncelli died of multiple injuries
23 October

In a press conference hours after the accident, MotoGP medical director Dr Claudio Macchiagodena explained that Simoncelli sustained injuries to his head, neck and chest in the horrific Sepang crash.

2. Simoncelli's father pays tribute
25 October

In the wake of Simoncelli's death, his father Paolo's poignant words to the Italian media were an incredible tribute that struck a chord with fans and competitors the world over.

1. Simoncelli dies from injuries
23 October

Simoncelli's eventful journey towards the top had lit up the 2011 MotoGP season, but his fatal crash at Sepang meant we would never get chance to see just how good he could have become. His spectacular style and engaging personality made Simoncelli massively popular among fans, meaning his death resonated across the sporting world.

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
Haymarket