Archive for January, 2012

Pedrosa starts in a good shape, Stoner unable to ride

31 Jan

The Repsol Honda Team officially kicked off the 2012 MotoGP™ season with the first of three days testing at the Sepang International Circuit. Due to early morning rain, track conditions were not good enough to go out on track until midday when HRC test rider, Kosuke Akiyoshi performed the first 10 laps on Dani Pedrosa’s bike and then jumped onto Casey Stoner’s machine to complete a further 4 laps and confirm that everything was working well.

Pedrosa set the second fastest lap of the day with a 2’02.003 and completed a total of 48 laps on a bike similar to the one he tested in Valencia in November. Pedrosa was the only Repsol Honda rider on track with the new RC213V as current World Champion Stoner pulled his back while warming up and preparing to go on track for the first time this season. The Australian received treatment from a physiotherapist and after resting he hopes to begin his testing program tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa: “Today was good, for the first laps I think it was important for me to come back and just ride again. Of course, the first day I was a little bit stiff, not totally smooth on the bike, but we completed some laps and they were good. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. The whole day I stayed with the same bike that I tested in Valencia in November and tomorrow the real test will start for us, we will work on the set up and probably try a modified chassis that Honda has brought here according to our requests after Valencia.”

Casey Stoner: “I was stretching this morning for a good twenty minutes preparing to go out on track for the first time and then all of a sudden, my back just locked up on me. I couldn’t move or do anything. I had to call someone to come and help me move into a position that was less painful! Then I had some physio on it straight away, trying to get it better for this afternoon, but it wasn’t feeling good. I had some more physio after lunch but it still wasn’t easing up, I felt I could have gone out on the bike in the afternoon but we all agreed it would probably make it worse for tomorrow. We have two more days testing here in Sepang, we know the track well and we are getting to know the bike, we just need some time to test the new parts we have here to give feedback to HRC. I think tomorrow the track conditions will be better and as long as my back improves overnight we should get back on schedule with our testing tomorrow.”

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Posted in Motorcycling


Bridgestone geared up for 2012 MotoGP tests

31 Jan

Following an intensive development programme over the winter break, Bridgestone is geared up for the first MotoGP group tests of 2012 as evaluation of the tyres that will be used for the upcoming season continues. With six lap records set on Bridgestone rubber in 2011 and race times at ten of the rounds faster than in 2010, Bridgestone analysed tyre performance data and rider feedback throughout last year to develop tyres for the 2012 season that offer improved warm-up performance, enhanced rider feel and extended operating temperature range.

While the majority of teams take to Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit for their first test, some teams fielding Claiming Rule Team (CRT) bikes this year have already commenced their first shake-down of the year at Spain’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Riders at the first Sepang test will have access to newly developed front tyres featuring revisions to rubber compounds and construction that were specifically developed to boost warm-up performance. Evaluation of the new front tyre will take place alongside ongoing assessment of the 2012 specification tyres that were well received by riders when debuted at last November’s Valencia post-season test.

The following Bridgestone tyre compounds will be available at the Sepang and Valencia tests:  Sepang – Front: Hard & Extra-Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard; Rain: Hard Valencia – Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Medium & Hard (asymmetric); Rain: Soft

To provide on-site support at each of the tests, Bridgestone has sent technical engineers to both Spain and Malaysia. Aside from providing technical support, the engineers will focus on the acquisition of tyre data and rider feedback, all of which will be compiled and sent back to Bridgestone’s Technical Centre in Japan for further analysis.

At Sepang, Bridgestone will also meet with newly appointed Safety Advisor to Dorna, Loris Capirossi, to continue their collaboration to improve rider safety. During the test, Bridgestone and Capriossi will monitor rider reaction to the 2012 specification tyres and establish a working plan for the upcoming season.

Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Though we achieved our key objectives and numerous lap records were broken in 2011, for the upcoming season we have focused our development on further enhancing the safety aspects of our MotoGP tyres.


“To achieve this target, our technical aim for the new specification tyres was to make their grip characteristics easier to manage, improve warm-up performance and increase their operating temperature range. The positive reception our new tyres received at the Valencia post-season test showed we are well on track with development, and we have continued our progress over the winter break.

“At Sepang we will introduce new specification tyres for testing, while for the Valencia test we will continue to evaluate the tyres we debuted there last November. Apart from examining performance data during the tests, we will work closely with Safety Advisor Loris Capirossi and the riders to gauge their perception of the new tyres. This is all part of our goal to ensure optimal tyre performance for all motorcycles on the grid in 2012.”

The complete MotoGP test schedule for 2012 is as follows:

  • Valencia (Private test), January 30-31
  • Sepang (IRTA official test), January 31 – February 2
  • Jerez (Private test), February 20-22
  • Sepang (IRTA official test), February 28 – March 1
  • Aragon (Private test), March 8-9
  • Jerez (IRTA official test), March 23-25
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Posted in Motorcycling


Repsol Honda Team Presentation in Malaysia

30 Jan

The Repsol Honda Team, 2011 Triple Crown Champions, hosted the media at a Team Presentation in the Pan Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur tonight with a press conference and welcome party.

Photo: Repsol Honda

After the winter break, team riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa returned to the media spotlight refreshed and eager to start the new season. Alongside them were HRC team bosses, Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC Executive Vice President), Hideki Iwano (Director, Assistant to Team Principal), Shinichi Kokubu (Technical Director) and Livio Suppo (Communications and Marketing Director). This was also the first opportunity for the media to see the new RC213V bike complete with 2011 World Champion, Casey Stoner’s number ‘1’ emblazoned on the front.

The team arrived in Malaysia on Saturday and returned to the Sepang track on Sunday for the first time since Marco Simoncelli’s tragic accident in the race on 23rd October. As a mark of respect, the whole team visited the corner where Marco lost his life, laid a wreath of flowers and held a minutes silence.

This season the MotoGP world returns to 1000cc bikes and HRC head into the 2012 season determined to retain the World Championship.

Casey Stoner: “The off season has been really good, we got to go back home and spend some time with family and friends in Australia over Christmas which was great. Then we came back to Switzerland to get everything in order for the baby’s arrival, Adriana’s due in just a few weeks and so we’ve been preparing, as best possible!

After such a strong season in 2011, we remain focused and don’t expect to be in top form immediately. I am sure Honda have done a fantastic job with the new 1000cc machine over the winter break and I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike and seeing what we can do, hoping to start strong again. We know there will be a lot of serious competition out there, Ducati have been putting a lot of effort in as have Yamaha so it will be interesting to get out on track and see what everyone’s got. However, it’s early days and I think we’ll have to wait until the race in Qatar before we really know our competitors true pace and the package they have for 2012, but we’re ready for it.”

Dani Pedrosa: “It’s nice to be back with the team for the first Sepang test. I’m really excited to get on the bike again after the test we did in Valencia in November. Sepang is a good track for testing and we have still many things to discover out about the new bike. It’s been a long time since we were last riding and at the first test it’s always important to get the feeling back, the first sensations. We will have three long days here to work with the team and HRC and it’s necessary to be very focused in order to get good information to move forward for the second test. I guess the main target in this test will be to know the bike and the new Bridgestone tyres.”

Shuhei Nakamoto – HRC Executive Vice President: “We start this new 2012 season with a clear target: to work stronger than ever to defend our MotoGP World titles in this new 1000cc category. We finished the 800cc era winning the triple crown and we will fight to win this again in 2012. We fully trust in our riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa to deliver this big challenge and we will give them all our technical and human support.

The RC213V is an evolution of the last version of the RC212V based on the same concept. The machines we have brought here to Sepang are basically the same machines we tested in Valencia back in November with only a few differences. In fact, Casey and Dani will have one machine the same as Valencia, and the other one with a slightly different chassis, based on their own requests. This is the first time back to Sepang since we lost Marco Simoncelli last October, on Sunday we visited the scene of his accident and laid some flowers and said a final ‘Ciao’ to him. I believe by starting this season strong will be a fitting tribute to Marco.”

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Posted in Motorcycling


Sepang Test to kick start 2012 season

30 Jan

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012, will see the majority of the premier class converge on track aboard 1000cc bikes at the Sepang International Circuit for the first Official MotoGP Test of 2012.

The 3 day pre-season test will offer a first glimpse of the new 1000cc MotoGP bikes as manufacturers initiate their first official test of the year on the 2012 machinery. Teams will make the most of the first outing on their new equipment they have been evolving since last November, as testing commences tomorrow, January 31st, and continues until the 2nd of February.

Photo: Dorna Communications

The key factory teams will see their rider line-up’s largely unchanged, and present at the test will be current World Champion Casey Stoner alongside Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa. The two riders have starred in the official team launch on Monday, an event that was held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, near the Malaysian circuit.

The Yamaha Factory team, which today announced the addition of the Japanese company Nippon Oil & Energy JX Corporation as a new sponsor, is again represented by riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and will be joined by Yamaha test riders Waturu Yoshikawa and Katsuyuki Nakasug.

This test is also an opportunity to see Valentino Rossi at the controls of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP12, as the nine-time world champion hopes to fight again with the best in the filed after a disappointing first season with the Italian factory. At his side is American Nicky Hayden, who arrives at this first test still recovering from a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs.

Also in attendance will be Andrea Dovizioso, who will continue adapting to the Yamaha of the Tech3 team alongside current rider and MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Cal Crutchlow. Karel Abraham of the Cardion AB Racing Team will be in attendance and Alvaro Bautista will finally debut on the 1000cc Honda of the Gresini Team. Hector Barberá representing Pramac Racing Team will be in attendance as will current Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl, who makes his debut in the premier class with the LCR Honda team.

Among the new teams contesting MotoGP CRT machines will be Forward Racing with Colin Edwards onboard the Suter-BMW, and Avintia Racing who will test with Roberto Pietri and Jordi Torres in addition to test rider Ivan Silva, as team rider Yonny Hernandez continues to recover from a hand injury.

The Test schedule will see the track open from 9am-1pm and again from 2pm-6pm, with providing full coverage of each day’s activities with a report for both sessions, video highlights and video interviews at the end of the day.

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Posted in Motorcycling


Yamaha Factory Racing Enters Partnership Contract with New Official Sponsor

30 Jan

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has entered into contract with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation. The agreement welcomes the oil and energy company as a new Official Sponsor of Yamaha Factory Racing’s premier class Team competing in the MotoGP World Championship.

Yamaha Factory Racing continues in 2012 with 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (ranked 2nd in 2011), and Texan team mate Ben Spies, now starting his third season of full MotoGP competition and poised for even greater success (ranked 5th in 2011). The YZR-M1 factory machine they will compete on is newly developed with an increased 1000cc engine displacement in line with the new regulations (up from 800cc last season). The partnership with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation commences on January 31st in conjunction with the first official test session of 2012 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The test marks the start of the Team’s campaign to reclaim the MotoGP World Championship title.

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Marvel Releases Animated Poster of The Avengers Online

29 Jan

This animated GIF is one of the latest posters for Summer 2012’s The Avengers movie, has been released online by Marvel Entertainment.

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Posted in Entertainment


Kata Launches Take A Shot Competition

29 Jan

KATA has launched a photographic contest celebrating a passion for photography and a love of adventure. The “Take a Shot” contest calls for entrants to submit shots of their most important photographic companion – their KATA camera bag – in action. The photo could be of the bag itself, carried, worn, looped on a belt or slung over a shoulder, in an exotic location or an everyday environment.

The possibilities are endless and KATA wants a peek at some of the adventures that your KATA bag makes possible. The judges, a panel of photo experts employed by KATA, will be looking for images that showcase creativity and originality with KATA at the centre of the image. Technical know-how and insightful shot composition in conjunction with a passion for capturing the perfect image in an inspiration or unique setting are all key elements that the judges will be looking for when making their final decision.

“Judging a contest like this means we will have to sift through a lot of great shots”, says Bellina Israel, KATA’s Line Manager. “But when a picture is taken with real passion and a love of photography you can tell right away. Pictures like that stand out.”

To submit a photo, entrants should visit Judges will choose three photos out of all submissions, and the lucky entrants will receive one of the latest KATA bags.

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Posted in Photography


Cine-style F-Mount to EF-Mount Bayonet featuring Side Index View and Cine-Lock!

29 Jan

The trend of filming using a HDSLR is unstoppable, and the classic EF-Mount  bayonet is becoming very popular in  filmmaking field  like a serious alternative cinematography camera mount! The EF-Mount  has a successful  second life in the cinematography field, something  that no-one expected when it was designed to be the best still-camera bayonet mount, the same destiny happened to the HDSLR cameras offering motion images from a still photo camera, but still lenses are different than motion-picture lenses, just this is  the starting point of the X-Circle project.

Expensive cinematography lenses (cinema primes really cost a fortune) have one important feature that still lenses cannot offer: marking on angled surface of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from side or behind the camera. X-Circle has a smart solution (pat.pend.), a simple idea but very important….a lens ergonomics re-thought!

Every Nikon F-Mount Manual Focus lenses (including the professional  ZF.2 Series) can be modified to X-Circle cine-style  EF-Mount with a rock-solid mount  (it’s not an adapter, but a complete new mount) in five minutes with a 90° rotation of the focus/aperture marking from the original top position to the side! This is what we call SIDE INDEX VIEW (pat.pend).

Camera assistants (stressed by the bad reading of top markings on the barrel)  will appreciate the focus and aperture marks on the side of the lens barrel  exactly behind the follow-focus knob, that’s improves the performance of the focus-puller work with a simple ergonomics re-thought: a special (pat.pending) 90° rotated bayonet mount that moves the lens barrel marking from the top (photo mode) to the side (cine mode).

X-Circle is a complete bayonet mount with precise professional grade mechanical tolerances and not just and adapter with annoying mechanical play (and shot ruining) when pulling focus for video or cinema productions. X-Circle is based on a highly precision collimation ring and a stainless – steel bayonet, available in kits supplied with all the necessary screws to be easily installed by yourself following simple “step by step” instructions, and in case you’ll need to step back to F-Mount it will be really easy:  the best of two worlds, open to the future camera race!

The X-Circle stainless-steel EF Bayonet features the exclusive patent pending CineLock,  that offers a rock-solid cine-style bayonet locking, designed to keep the lens really tighted to the camera especially when stressed by follow-focus work or remote control motors on gears. There had been a long engineering work around the original EF-Mount bayonet and at the end we came out with some important improvements and the X-Circle CineLock bayonet upgrade offers a real cine-style rock-solid locking of the lens on the camera X-Circle is lens ergonomics re-thought!  Side View Index and CineLock features….for your next “Hollywood Style” shooting!

It can be ordered now, with shipment starts from end of Febraury 2012, with a list price of US$159.

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Posted in New Products


Canon has filed a patent for RAW video

28 Jan

The recording of successive frames of raw sensor data depicting a moving scene is provided. The raw sensor data comprises pixel data for an image sensor having pixels arranged in correspondence to a mosaic of plural different colors in a color filter array.

Designed for compatibility with CF cards

  • Supports 4K and 2K video (4K is 4096×2048)
  • Works with Bayer CMOS sensor (like the one in a DSLR)
  • Sensor output is 12bit
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Posted in Photography


Olympus Reaffirms Commitment to Four Thirds as New Companies Join MFT Camp

27 Jan

Olympus Imaging Corp. and Panasonic Corporation jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System standard in 2008 and have since been working together to promote the standard. Now we are pleased to announce that three more companies have recently declared their support for the standard and will be introducing products compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard.

ASTRODESIGN, Inc., a developer of advanced imaging-related equipment, such as the 4K camera system, that incorporates the latest technology; Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd., one of the world’s leading manufacturers and developers of interchangeable lenses for digital and film SLR cameras; and Tamron Co., Ltd., an internationally renowned manufacturer of precision optics who has been providing powerful, high-quality lenses for a wide variety of fields for more than half a century. With the addition of exciting new products from these companies, the Micro Four Thirds lineup will become much more diverse, further increasing the potential of this advanced digital imaging system.

As the originator of the Four Thirds System and Micro Four Thirds System standards, Olympus Imaging Corp. will continue to develop and enhance the product lineup for both standards to meet the diverse needs of our customers.


A Japanese company established in 1977 that designs and develops professional video equipment and measurement/analysis-related equipment. Well known for developing the world’s first programmable signal generator and the Ultra HDTV image processor devices used at Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan.


Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd.

A Japanese company established in 1957 that designs and develops a wide variety of photographic supplies and optical products. It is Japan’s largest manufacturer/seller of lens filters.

Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. Website

Tamron Co., Ltd.

A Japanese company established in 1950 that designs and develops interchangeable SLR camera lenses, lens units for surveillance, as well as ultra-precision optical components based on the integration of advanced optical, electronic and precision machinery engineering technologies.

Tamron Co., Ltd. Website

The outlines of the standards can be checked at the Four Thirds website

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Posted in Photography