Month: January 2013

MotoGP: Ready for the new season? Changes to qualifying explained!

Dorna are looking to spice up MotoGP a little for 2013 and qualifying now has a new structure to get used to!

More similar in style to Formula 1, a shoot-out style format is replacing the style of qualifying we have been used to for years, there will still be three 45 minute free practice sessions to kick the weekend off over Friday and Saturday but now these sessions contribute towards qualifying with the time set dictating whether the rider will be included in QP1 or QP2.

QP1 is a fifteen minute session for riders who enter placed 11th or below, the two fastest in this session are promoted to QP2 to battle it out for another fifteen minutes for the top grid places, everyone else is allocated their grid position based on the time they set during QP1.

The top ten riders from free practice and the two fastest from QP1 then race it out to set the top 12 positions on the grid.

This only applies to the MotoGP class, Moto2 and Moto3 will be qualifying in the usual way from previous seasons.

Here’s’s example breakdown for how a race weekend will now work:


Free Practice 1 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation

Free Practice 2 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation


Free Practice 3 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation

Free Practice 4 – 30 Minutes, NOT Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation

Break – 10 Minutes

Qualifying Practice 1 – 15 minutes

Break – 10 Minutes

Qualifying Practice 2 – 15 minutes





Video:Dani Pedrosa trains a tortoise for charity?!

Dani Pedrosa goes against the norm by showing his sense of humour for charity.

MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa has become the latest celebrity to give up their time to raise money for Spanish bank La Caixa’s Obra Social la Caixa campaign (for Save the Children).More at their website, La Caixa Foundation –

Pedrosa’s video clip gives us his take on Aesop’s fable ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ and sees the often serious racer in a comic role as the trainer to the tortoise.

Fellow countryman and MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo has also made a short for the campaign – Jorge and the Dragon – viewable here:

Here’s Pedrosa’s extremely entertaining clip in full:

MotoGP: New bike here too! Karel Abraham unveils new Cardion AB CRT

Yamaha have been teasing us with Rossi and Lorenzo pictures, Ducati had their massive snow covered press event Wrooom and Honda had us all live streaming to see that new-but-not-THAT-different paintwork.

So, what about the others?

Flying the flag for the smaller teams is Cardion AB,with Karel Abraham proudly showing off their shiny, new CRT bike after parting ways with Ducati:

Karel Abraham and Cardion AB CRT ART

Abraham meets his CRT future
Image via

Abraham who already has some letters after his name after passing his Law degree after last years Brno GP, will now be riding the Cardion AB ART CRT ! The bike certainly looks the part, for those of you who like the technical side or are just curious as to what makes a claiming rules bike work here’s the official specifications:

Weight:  165 kg
Top speed: more than 330 km/h
Power: more than 230 HP

Water-cooled four-stroke engine with four cylinders and four valves per cylinder
The cylinders are formed in an angle of 65 degrees.
Capacity: 999 ccm
Electronics: Aprilia Racing ECU

Six-speed, with the possibility to adjust the ratio of degrees.
Clutch: Oil-immersed, multi-plate
Chain: Regina

ART aluminium frame
Fronf fork: Öhlins with a diameter of 48 mm
Rear suspension: Öhlins
Brakes: front four-piston Brembo calipers, 2x disc Brembo with a diameter of 320 mm, rear two-piston Brembo caliper, Brembo steel disc
Discs: 16,5“ magnesium OZ
Tyres: Bridgestone

Fuel tank: 24 litres
Fuel: Eni

MotoGP: First look at the Honda Factory Team 2013 livery

After a whole half an hour build up from BBC reporter Matt Roberts and an interesting chat with HRC riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez the main event arrived – the unveiling of the 2013 Honda bike.

Not as drastic a change as was promised, less blue, more white, but still plenty of orange! A noticable difference given how hard it is to work a new scheme around a major sponsors set colours, and still looks traditionally Repsol Honda enough for the fans.

Here’s the official picture from @hrc_motogp :

Photo by hrc_motogp“We are very proud to present our 2013 riders and new livery!”

MotoGP pre-season test calendar for all classes

As we now enter the part of the year where excitement is building for the fast approaching new season of racing there is starting to be many thing to get excited about from promo events and videos to the unveiling of the new bikes and their 2013 paint jobs.

Now we just need to see those bikes in action, which means pre-season testing!

Here’s some dates to keep an eye out for to see how your favourite teams and riders are shaping up:

3-4th February  MotoGP CRT – Sepang

5-6th February MotoGP  – Sepang

12-14 February Moto2/Moto3 – Valencia

19-21 February Moto2/Moto3 – Jerez

26-28 February MotoGP – Sepang

12-14 March HRC MotoGP – Austin

18-21 March Moto2/Moto3 – Jerez

23-25 March MotoGP Jerez

Interesting points of note: CRT test first to allow time to work on new ECU specifications for the season, Honda elected to have a private test at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of the inaugural grand prix, weekend of 19-21 April.

The opening round of the 2013 season kicks of with the night race in Qatar, 5-7 April.

MotoGP: AGV announce new ‘Corsa Winter’ Rossi helmet for sale!

AGV announce limited edition run of Valentino Rossi’s helmet from his November Yamaha test – priced £599 and available from April.

Available soon! New Rossi test helmet from AGV
image via

As their own (no doubt profitable) celebration of Rossi’s return to Yamaha AGV are releasing a limited edition helmet for retail based on his test helmet from when he had access to the 2012 championship winning bike from the November test in Valencia.

Here’s a reminder of how the test went:

In the grey/black testing colours and the bright, flourescent yellow associated with ‘The Doctor ‘ the Pista GP helmet features his ever-present sun and moon graphic and also has a symbol on the back for the Japanese word “kando”, usually used to show intense emotion and excitement.

The word was first used by Masao Furusawa when Valentino arrived at Yamaha in 2004 and the version seen on the helmet was designed by Masao’s wife.

Image via

The photos show the actual helmet worn by Rossi during the tests at Valencia in 2012. The sponsor logos, components and visor accessories are not included on the limited edition model.

You can reserve one now by ordering from your nearest Team AGV dealer. The link to do and more images of the helmet can be found on AGV’s webpage here:

Valentino Rossi Test Yamaha Valencia

That new helmet in action at Valencia


Moto3: Caretta Technology become TascaRacing from 2013 season

New sponsor means a change of name for the Moto3 outfit.


The name Caretta Technology will no longer be present on the Moto3 grid in 2013 as Team Techno Racing, the people behind the Caretta branding have acquired a new title sponsor and shall now be known as TascaRacing Moto3 Team.


Tasca & Partners are a consultancy company in Italy and their CEO will also be taking an active role at the motorsport team with the aim of using his communication agency to achieve growth for the team commercially and financially.


Despite the name change TascaRacing will still be using FTR Honda machinery and will field signed riders Alessandro Tonucci who joins from Team Italia FMI, for whom he scored a podium at the Japanese Grand Prix, alongside Hyuga Watanabe who was a regular rider in the Spanish Championship’s Moto3 class last season and made wild-card appearance last year, also at Motegi, where he finished just out of the points.



The Italian team will be looking to build on a successful 2012 where as Caretta they ran Australian Jack Miller who finished as high as fourth in a successful season, Alexis Masbou who despite being injured was still 13th overall in the final championship standings and they also gave a chance to his replacement, young British hopeful John McPhee.

Paddock Chatter guest blog on the ‘leg dangle’

Paddock Chatter are a fairly young but very awesome source on motorsport related news, with a smattering of opinion and article led content thrown in for good measure. The website was created by motorcycle fans for motorcycle fans and have a huge presence on twitter, where they initially started out, the highlight of which is their ‘Twinterview’ where they fire a few questions at a well known rider (Shane Byrne, Eugene Laverty, Gino Rea and James Toseland included) over the social media platform.

They were also nice enough to let me write a guest blog for them!

It’s called ‘The leg dangle – An analysis’ and you can read it here:

Would be lovely if you could show it and, of course, Paddock Chatter some love with some comments or tweets!

(In case you haven’t guessed it’s about the Rossi originated leg waving and how it has taken off as a MotoGP tactic!)

Blake Young to ride Attack Performance’s CRT Kawasaki bike at U.S. MotoGP rounds in 2013

Attack Performance have decided that for their return wildcard appearances at the three American races on the MotoGP calendar in Austin,Indianapolis and Laguna Seca that they will field two-time AMA Superbike runner-up Blake Young.

The 25 year old American takes over the role from Steve Rapp, who rode the Kawasaki CRT entry for the team in 2012 but failed to make the qualifying time limit in Laguna Seca. Rapp then placed 14th in Indianapolis after a protest by the team, claiming James Ellison and his Paul Bird Motorsports bike had gained an advantage from his gearbox issues.

Rapp also came in for criticism post race from Jorge Lorenzo, who accused him of “riding like he was defending first position” as he attempted to lap the American.

Young told“I think they did a really good job last year and Steve Rapp rode the bike really well…They gave me a call and asked if I’d be interested…at this point I’m pretty much interested in anything and I think this is a good opportunity.”

“To be in the paddock and learn from those guys…I’m fairly young and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Maybe CRT is the future and I’d like to be on an American team at the American rounds”.

Young found himself unemployed when after four years with Yoshimura Suzuki his contract wasn’t renewed. The American had finished second in the AMA Superbike championship in both 2011 and 2012 chalking up 13 race wins while with the team.

GP Tech also plan to race at the American Rounds this season, Aaron Yates rode their debut CRT effort to 16th at the Indianapolis grand prix in 2012.

Other wild card rides to look forward to in 2013 include Martin Bauer for the Austrian team Schwarz & Bronnen and Michele Pirro who returns to MotoGP action for Jerez, Mugello and Misano in addition to his regular role as Ducati test rider.

MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo shows off his new helmet!

Lorenzo leaves x-lite and Rockstar behind – and his new helmet is no black mamba!

Jorge Lorenzo took to social network Twitter to reveal his new helmet design for 2013, the first to be made for him by his new helmet manufacturer HJC and the first to feature new sponsor Monster Energy.

It’s not his most exciting effort to date, so here’s hoping he’ll spruce it up with some special designs during the season!

He posted the following image to Twitter with the message “Yes! New helmet! Do you like it?”

I’m not really sure at all but it’s not a favourite, here’s his picture so you can decide for yourself:

Jorge Lorenzo reveals new HJC Monster Energy lid

Jorge with his new helmet!
Image by Jorge Lorenzo – @Lorenzo99 via Twitter