Month: December 2012

MotoGP: Lukas Pesek needs more funds despite MotoGP contract!

Lukas Pesek

Pesek in action back in 2007
Photo by teliko82 via Flickr and used under creative commons license.

One of the final pieces of the 2013 MotoGP puzzle centered on who would take the final seat on the grid at IodaRacing on their CRT bike, with Roberto Rolfo and former MotoGP race winner Chris Vermeulen both in the frame before Lukas Pesek was announced by the team just before Christmas. It appears that his contract is not as simple as all that as he needs to raise more capital to actually make the grid, having become a part of the growing number of riders very publicly paying to ride.

An interview with local Czech motorsport press at motogpnews.cz revealed that he still needs more money to keep his team happy quoting Pesek saying “I still do not have it all, but we’re working on it.”

Also available in full at crash.net where you can comment and use social media to keep involved:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/187030/1/pesek_working_on_ioda_funds.html

 

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Female Riders Q&A

Over at the excellent motorsport blog Riding Fast and Flying low you can currently find an excellent Q&A with British Superbike rider Jenny Tinmouth called Carpe Diem.

After an excellent read there and with women in motorsport a hot topic again after it was announced that Ana Carrasco will be partnering Maverick Vinales in Moto3 (more here:http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/186269/1/moto3_ana_carrasco_to_become_first_female_moto3_rider.html) it made me want to revisit an interview I was lucky enough to have with the super talented Melissa Paris last December after her MotoGP ride, she was wonderfully honest and open and comes from a very interesting point of view as her husband is a rider too!

The Q&A was printed on crash.net (with my old surname!)and is worth a look to see the comments and reaction a female rider gets from the general public!  Link here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/175382/1/melissa_paris_-_qa.html

Here is the interview content in full:

Melissa Paris is one of a handful of high-profile female racers and despite only taking up racing at 21, her natural talent has led her to wild-card rides in World Supersport and British Supersport, complimenting her career in the AMA Sportbike series.

Then, in November, the 28-year old American was given the dream opportunity to test a Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP bike at Valencia (pictured) – which her husband Josh Hayes had raced, as a stand-in for the injured Colin Edwards, just days earlier.

Here Paris talks about how it feels to ride a factory-built MotoGP bike, what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated sport, and her hopes for next season…

Q:
You were originally meant to be testing the Tech 3 Moto2 bike, how did feel to be offered to ride the M1 instead?

Melissa Paris:
It was really surprising to be honest! People have been giving me a hard time when they read that maybe I was just a little disappointed at first. Trust me, I was ecstatic for the chance to ride the M1. I was just a touch sad about not getting to ride the Moto2 bike. I’m greedy! I want to try them all!

Q:
Did seeing Josh ride the M1 to 7th place during the Valencia Grand Prix make you more nervous or more determined to do well when you got the chance to ride?

Melissa Paris:
Watching Josh didn’t really change anything for me. His situation is always going to be different than mine and this was no exception. I can’t imagine the pressure he must have felt, although to be fair, he heaped most of it on himself.

Q:
How did riding a MotoGP bike compare to the production bikes you are more familiar with racing?

Melissa Paris:
The M1 is pretty different to the R6 I usually ride. There is definitely the trickle down of technology, which is why grand prix racing is so important to the development of consumer bikes, but at the end of the day, they are two different animals. I used to race 125 and 250 and it was definitely closer to that. When I think of riding any sort of grand prix bike I can’t help but smile. They just feel ‘right’.

Q:
How did you find your time with the Tech 3 team? How much work did you have to put in to get to test for them and did you get to give much input from your time on the M1?

Melissa Paris:
I don’t know all of the details of how the opportunity came together, except that Yamaha US worked really hard to put it all together. The Yamaha Tech 3 squad was amazing. Every single member of the team was so friendly and awesome. They were so generous with everything.

I really went into it expecting them to give me maybe 5 laps or something, but instead they basically filled it with fuel and told me to have fun with it. They seemed genuinely interested in what I thought of it as well.

It made me realise that with all of their experience a lot of those guys hadn’t lost any of their passion for what they do. They seemed genuinely happy for me to have the chance, which was just awesome.

Q:
You have raced against Josh at the Daytona 200, what’s it like to be in the same race as your husband?

Melissa Paris:
The Daytona 200 in 2009 was my first race and is still the only time I have ever gridded up with Josh. We had a lot of talks beforehand about some of the possible implications. I think his team had a lot of concerns over situations that could come up. I think they were all worried about what might happen if he were to see me laying on the side of the track or something.

In the end, it went the other way with him falling off with just a few laps to go. I could see he was fine, thank God! It’s really not an ideal situation I think to race against your spouse in that kind of capacity. It’s one thing if we are banging bars on the supermoto track or something, but when careers are on the line, it can get sticky. We joke all the time that we’d have no problem knocking one another down if necessary… but I think it might only be half joking!

Q:
While being a woman can help open doors to some amazing opportunities (MotoGP test, British Supersport/World Supersport wild-cards), do you find that it makes it harder to get long term financing and sponsors for a full season of racing ?

Melissa Paris:
There is no denying that being a woman in a male dominated sport opens doors. I’d be kidding myself if I tried to say otherwise. Given my very late entry into this sport and our current economy, I know it would be a lot harder if I didn’t have something unique to sell. In some points it definitely makes me feel like people might not take me seriously… luckily for me, I have been able to partner up with some amazing companies that have stood behind me.

Q:
How did you find Brands Hatch when you raced in a very experienced field there in the British Supersport class in 2011?

Melissa Paris:
The experience at Brands Hatch was very difficult. Although I had a great group of people in the Motodex team and a great bike to ride, time was not on our side. We got one day of testing at a very crowded track day at Donington and then it was straight into racing at Brands.

Brands is a pretty difficult track to pick up and I could have definitely used some more laps ahead of time. I tried not to get discouraged thinking that the rest of the field had just raced there very recently. Then you add the fact that they ran on a different configuration Friday due to noise problems.

In the end that didn’t matter as we had an engine failure on my second lap which sat me out the rest of the day. I compounded every problem with a highside Sunday morning in the wet that damaged the bike for the race… I was so grateful for the opportunity, but I just wish I could have had a better chance to show what I was capable of.

Q:
You have had some amazing achievements in your career as a female rider, despite being a late starter in motorcycle racing. Do you think it is possible that a woman will make it all the way to MotoGP in the near future?

Melissa Paris:

I definitely think it is possible. It is for sure hard for someone like me with a late start to progress to that point, but it can’t be ruled out. I think there are more and more young girls coming up like boys have been doing, and they will have an even better shot at it.

There is talk that maybe women should race in a separate class, but I think that’s unnecessary. This is one of the few sports where we have a chance to compete on a level playing field.

Q:
Your race number is 13, it seems to have been fairly lucky for you so far! Why did you choose to race with a number many consider to be unlucky?

Melissa Paris:
13 has always been my number. Even as a little kid playing baseball it was my number. My big brother raced dirt track cars for a bit and it was his number as well… If it’s unlucky for everyone else, then it must hold a lot of luck for me… As well, I’ve raced with 413 which corresponds to one of my favourite Bible passages.

Q:
Finally, what do you have planned for next year? Any more overseas racing lined up?

Melissa Paris:
Right now I’m still working on next year. I will for sure be racing the full AMA Daytona Sportbike series again, one way or the other. So far it’s been a pretty serious privateer effort, but I’m working to put something together to find myself on a better supported program. It looks like I might have another opportunity to do a few British Supersport rounds as well, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that!

Your GP needs you! – Circuit of the Americas need volunteer marshals for MotoGP

Earlier this week the newly built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas announced they are looking for volunteer marshals for when they host the second round of the MotoGP championship in 2013 on the weekend of 19-21 April.

The tracks webpage holds all the information on how to apply and states that no previous experience is needed. If you fancy the chance to get that bit closer to a race (while carrying out the important duties of a marshal, of course!) here’s all you need to know:

Press Release:

Circuit of The Americas will host the Red Bull MotoGP™ of The Americas event April 19-21, 2013, and the new purpose-built Grand Prix facility in Central Texas is seeking volunteer race marshals for the three-day program that is part of the premier motorcycle racing World Championship. Interested parties should complete the Circuit of The Americas’ Preliminary Volunteer Application Form located at http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer-motogp. Applications will be reviewed when received and applicants will be notified as soon as possible. Additional information about the event and responsibilities will be distributed as it becomes available. Previous race marshal experience is preferred, but not required.

Link to the circuit website: http://circuitoftheamericas.com/media-center

MotoGP image of 2012 – Valentino Rossi WANTING the Ducati

All motorsport seasons have their defining moments and images and while 2012 wasn’t a classic year for MotoGP it still produced some excellent individual moments and races.

Below is the image I will associate with the 2012 season long after it’s gone as it is an image that had interest on more than one level. Rossi taking on the marshals to get his bike back after others had argued and lost was fairly iconic in it’s own right, but impose on that that he was just biding his time before heading back to Yamaha and his reality was more likely to involve wanting to be rid of his Ducati and the picture is less about determination and more a humorous look at his time in red. It could well be the only time Rossi actually wanted that bike all season!

Image by Gigi Soldano  via Twitter at @GigiSoldano where you can find a photogallry link to the rest of his work:

Valentino Rossi Ducati

Valentino Rossi wants his Ducati back!

Simoncelli News Round Up – Marco’s Museum,Sic Supermoto, auction,helmet and even a mastercard!

The character that was Marco Simoncelli is still rarely out of the news as his fans, family and friends continue to keep his memory  alive through a whole host of events for their charity foundation, here is a round up of Supersic happenings since the end of the season.

The 8th of December saw the opening of the Marco Simoncelli monument and museum in hometown of Coriano, Italy, with a huge attendance considering there was a snowstorm. The museum gives a detailed history of Simoncelli and  is a permanent reminder of his desire to race containing his bikes, leathers and a photographic history of his time on two wheels.

Marco Simoncelli Monument at the Coriano Museum


Marco Simoncelli Monument at the Coriano Museum
picture via twitter from a selection at the website http://www.motociclismo.it/

During the final race of the 2012 season at Valencia Alvaro Bautista’s Gresini Honda fairing had a special livery containing messages from fans sent to San Carlo who ran a ‘Super Message Sic’ text message promotion with each SMS donating two Euros to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation to help with their project to build a centre for disabled children in Coriano. One half of the fairing now resides in the museum while the other half was auctioned on ebay.it, with the entire winning bid of EUR 2,520.00 going to the foundation too.

Bautista's auctioned Honda Gresini Simoncelli fairing Valencia 2012

Bautista’s auctioned Honda Gresini Simoncelli fairing Valencia 2012
picture from the listing at ebay.it

The opening days of December saw Simoncelli’s rider friends salute his memory in the most suitable manner- by fighting it out to the line during Sic Supermoto day – the two day event raising over 90,000 euros for the Simoncelli Foundation and had over 5,000 people attend.

The 58 lap endurance race was won by Simoncelli’s biggest rival Andrea Dovizioso and his partner Mauno Hermunen, second across the line by just half a second was the pairing of Wintanley and Iddon and eternal crowd favourite Valentino Rossi and his partner Theirry Van Den Bosch were third.

Marco’s father Paolo handed out the trophies during an emotional podium celebration.

AGV have also announced a new Simoncelli tribute GP Tech helmet now available in the USA direct from agv.com at http://store.agv.com/p/gp-tech-replica-marco-simoncelli.

Notable differences from the previous version include his number 58, the Dainese and San Carlo logos and the addition of a small heart in the Japanese flag that Simoncelli added to his own helmet to commemorate the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

While the helmet retails at around 749 Euros/$680 a more affordable scooter helmet has also been made available for around 149 Euros.

SIMONCELLI TRIBUTE


AGV Marco Simoncelli Tribute helmet (from agv.com)

Finally and more unusually a prepaid Mastercard has also been created to help raise money for the Marco Simoncelli Foundation.

Accompanied by  the message “thanks for your visit,every time you use your Sic card you give support to projects that the foundation carries to help the most vulnerable in the name and in memory of Marco -Paolo and Rossella Simoncelli” so endorsed by his family, the card, available at www.siccard.it allows users to make a small donation to the foundations charity work while benefiting from the safety of a prepay card and  additional discounts available to holders, it is usable worldwide and on the internet.

 

SIC CARD


pay your way with Simoncelli !

For more information on the Marco Simoncelli Foundation and their work visit:

http://www.marcosimoncellifondazione.it/?IDC=5&ID=58&page=1&lang=eng

MotoGP: Who Is Bryan Staring?

Bryan Staring

Bryan Staring in his ASBK winning year, 2009
(Image by Australian Superbikes via Flickr and used under Creative Commons License)

It is safe to say that MotoGP’s newest and unexpected recruit didn’t appear from absolutely nowhere, so who exactly is the Go & Fun Gresini teams new signing?

Bryan Staring has carved out a solid career in his home Australian motorcycle scene, the 25 year old from Perth is a three time national champion across 125cc racing, Superbike and Supersport and in 2012 he contested the FIM Superstock 1000 for Pedercini Kawasaki, finishing fourth with three wins to his name (Aragon,Brno & Portmao) and it was his ability to work around the bike issues he faced on the Kawasaki ZX-10R and still achieve wins which lead him into consideration for the Gresini CRT ride from seemingly nowhere.

Staring has also been a wild card rider in WSBK at his home race at Phillip Island and sometimes trains with Superbike legend and fellow countryman Troy Bayliss.

As Casey Stoner retired last season his arrival also means there will still be an Australian presence in the MotoGP class in 2013.

Staring is ready to make the most of his new appointment, taking over from Michele Pirro, who leaves after finishing the season third in the CRT standings to become Ducati test rider:

“In all my racing years I never expected to be in the MotoGP paddock as it seemed unreachable to me. To have the opportunity to race in this championship with a team like Go&Fun Honda Gresini is something incredible. This is my biggest challenge now and I’ll approach it as I have all my other challenges, I’ll give it everything I have. I realize I have a lot to learn and I look forward to taking it all in. I’m very appreciative for Fausto Gresini and the sponsors of the Team who have contributed to the position I’m in now. I can’t wait until I’m rolling out of pit lane”.

Fausto Gresini used the team press release to detail why he thinks Staring is the man for the job:

“The young Australian will be entrusted with carrying forward the CRT project that we all have such belief in, especially after such a great result in the final round of 2012 at Valencia. Bryan shone in the Superstock 1000 series this season with three wins and he has the right approach and ability to help us achieve our objectives with the FTR-Honda. I can’t wait to see him on track and working with our guys and I am sure he will settle in well. ”

Gresini’s full squad line up as Alvaro Bautista with Staring on their CRT entry in MotoGP, Indonesian rider Doni Tata Pradita joins  Ratthapark Wilairot in Moto2 and Niccolo Antonelli remains with the team in Moto3, he is partnered by newcomer and fellow Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri.

Both the MotoGP and Moto3 squads are sponsored by Go &  Fun while Wilairot is again on a Thai Honda Gresini and Pradita on the Federal Oil sponsored bike rode by Gino Rea last year, who is rumoured to be the rider for the ESGP FTR unconfirmed entry after testing late last week.