Month: May 2013

Image of the GP part two: The Great Escape

Image of the GP part two: The Great Escape

Nicky Hayden narrowly avoids being taken out by a falling Valentino Rossi in Le Mans
Image via Hayden’s official Twitter @NickyHayden

Nicky Hayden just posted his best result of the season so far with a fifth place in the wet at Le Mans, but he came close to not finishing at all!

Unlike Niklas Ajo who could do little about Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s crash in front of him in Moto3, Hayden got lucky and had the chance to get clear of the tumbling Valentino Rossi, his team-mate last season at Ducati.

After Dovizioso’s efforts to mix it up at the front – he lead at one stage- it seems the Ducati still runs really well in the damp.

now if they could just find a dry set up…


Image of the GP – a popular victory!

Redding win in Le Mans

A well deserved and long awaited win for Scott Redding!
Image : Marc VDS

Not an image from the MotoGP race this time – for me the image of the day came via Moto2 this week.

And it’s an image to cheer my home nation for sure – British rider Scott Redding’s first Moto2 win and Marc VDS’ first race victory!

So what if we can’t win Eurovision! With Redding’s win and a second for Crutchlow in Le Mans the future of British racing seems to be held in very able, confident hands – at last.

For more on why Redding’s victory is so special see my post on all the firsts it achieved.



Moto2: At a glance – Scott Redding a man of many firsts.

Scott Redding and Mr. Marc VDS himself celebrate in Le Mans
Image: Marc VDS


Scott Redding is no stranger to holding a few records – he is the youngest rider ever to win a Grand Prix race after his victory in Donington in 2008, aged just 15, and he was also the youngest rider to reach 50 race starts.

Today may have been the first Moto2 win For Scott Redding and the first victory in any Grand Prix class for his Marc VDS Team but the firsts didn’t stop there here’s a quick breakdown

  • First British winner in the intermediate class since Jeremy McWilliams in Assen (2001)

  • Redding’s win in Le Mans is the first non-Spanish GP win in any class since Danny Kent won last Moto3 race of last year at Valencia

  • It is 30 years ago since the last British GP win at Le Mans – Alan Carter in the 250cc race (1983)

Surely a case for a competitive ride for the Gloucester born rider in MotoGP next year?



Round-up: Moto2 & Moto3 – Redding storms to first Moto2 win, Vinales controls Moto3.

      Redding on his way to his Maiden Moto2 win          Image: Marc VDS
For more on this story visit Paddock Chatter or for in depth coverage check out my full race reports for Moto2 and Moto3 at, just click the links for more…
Moto3 had the best of the weather in Le Mans and got their race under way in officially dry conditions though the track was still damp and the sky poised for rain.
The championship leaders made a break at the front with Maverick Vinales, Jonas Folger, Alex Rins and Luis Salom moving away at the front.
It was Vinales who would time his move to perfection, picking the right moment to up the pace and gain his second win of the season in back to back races.
The victory at the scene of his first ever career win makes him the first rider to take two wins in moto3 this year, giving the Team Calvo rider a strong 13 point lead in the championship over Luis Salom.
Also making the French podium was Alex Rins who held his nerve to take second for Estrella Galicia, while the all-Spanish, all-KTM top podium was completed by Red Bull Ajo rider Salom.
Taking a chance on the softer option tyre proved a bad gamble for Mapfre Aspar’s Jonas Folger, it caused a few small errors meaning he had to settle for fourth.
Alex Marquez rode a steady race to put both the Estrella Galicia riders in the top five, he was followed across the line by Redox RW Racing’s Jakub Kornfeil who posted some of the fastest laps of the race to push forward to sixth.
Romano Fenati found some of his old form with a series of strong moves making him the highest placed Honda powered finisher in seventh for San Carlo Team Italia.
British rider John McPhee was just outside the top ten again for the Caretta Technology outfit, one place ahead of team-mate Jack Miller. Fellow Brit Danny Webb, who broke his foot in Saturday’s qualifying crash was not fit to race due to a concussion sustained in the accident.
Moto2 followed and was hit by the change of weather bringing the scheduled downpour and ending the race with 22 laps completed.
It was an excellent day for the Marc VDS team with Scott Redding taking his first ever Moto2 win, a first victory for the team.
The 20 year old Brit was joined on the all Kalex podium by his team-mate Mika Kallio, giving the Belgian team a one-two finish.
Belgian fans had even more to celebrate as Xavier Simeon scored the final podium spot for his Desguaces La Torre Maptaq team, beating home rider Johann Zarco, who at one point had lead the race, into fourth for the Came Iodaracing Project. The Frenchman was also the highest placing Suter rider.
Redding the only non-Spanish Grand Prix winner this season, and the first since Danny Kent won in 2012, now leads the championship by a hefty 24 points from Tito Rabat.
Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter had also been in with a podium shout but finished in fifth for the Technomag carXpert team.
Mike Di Meglio also faired well at home, the sole Motobi user finishing seventh for the Jir team.
The crashes in Moto2 were as notable as the excellent overtaking manoeuvres employed by Redding to hit the front.
After just a handful of laps the Tuenti HP 40 team riders Pol Espargaro, the championship favourite, and Tito Rabat, who entered the race leading the championship, both slid out simultaneously at the same corner. They were soon followed by Takaaki Nakagami, who was leading the race by more than three seconds at the time for the Italtrans team.
There were also crashes for Aspar’s Nico Terol and Interwetten Paddock man Tom Luthi.
British rider Danny Kent was just outside the points in 16th one place behind his Tech3 team-mate Louis Rossi. Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith didn’t go the distance while Gino Rea appeared to have technical issues with his FTR bike, though was able to go back out and gain some experience finishing 26th and ten laps adrift after having been as high as 12th place.

Moto3 Le Mans Race Top 15:

1.Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 42m 5.448
2. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 42m 6.712
3. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 42m 6.835
4. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 42m 20.041
5. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 42m 43.397
6. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Redox RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 42m 45.743
7. Romano Fenati ITA San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 42m 48.773
8. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 42m 48.985
9. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 42m 50.959
10. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 42m 51.122
11. John McPhee GBR Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 42m 56.900
12. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 42m 57.040
13. Arthur Sissis AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 43m 4.161
14. Alessandro Tonucci ITA La Fonte Tascaracing (FTR Honda) 43m 4.418
15. Philipp Oettl GER Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing (Kalex KTM) 43m 23.475

Moto2 Le Mans Race Top 15:

  • 1.Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 36m 43.583s
    2. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 36m 44.673s
    3. Xavier Simeon BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 36m 44.817s
    4. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 36m 45.284s
    5. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 36m 45.442s
    6. Mattia Pasini ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 36m 55.855s
    7. Mike Di Meglio FRA JiR Moto2 (MotoBI) 36m 55.961s
    8. Julian Simon SPA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 37m 13.295s
    9. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 37m 14.062s
    10. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 37m 14.818s
    11. Randy Krummenache SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 37m 15.118s
    12. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 37m 15.258s
    13. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 37m 15.500s
    14. Marcel Schrotter GER Desguaces La Torre SAG (Kalex) 37m 19.361s
    15. Louis Rossi FRA Tech 3 (Tech 3) 37m 28.628s

Moto3: Danny Webb breaks foot in qualifying fall

British rider Danny Webb breaks his foot in qualifying crash and will not race in Le Mans on Sunday.

Danny Webb Broken foot Le MAns

Danny Webb with his foot in plaster
Image via Twitter

Kent based rider Webb has been resurgent since leaving the Mahindra team, who unfortunately for him have also found their feet this season as their rider Miguel Oliveira places second on the grid for tomorrows race a new high for them in Moto3, with their only previous front row start being delivered by Webb in his first year for the team back in 125cc racing in the Valencia rain.

Webb, who has been back in the points and showing his class once again at Ambrogio Racing, unfortunately won’t get the chance to keep his perfect record for scoring points in every round so far as his highside crash at museum corner as the checkered flag went out resulted in a broken foot for the 22 year old from Kent. The concussion from the same crash was bad enough for the medics to declare him unfit to race.

Get well soon!

Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying – Le Mans Vinales dominant in Moto3 as Nakagami gains his maiden career pole from the rain in Moto2.

vinales es numero uno en le mans

Vinales dominates to seal the top spot.
Image Via Team Laglisse/Team Calvo.


Team Calvo’s Maverick Vinales broke his own lap record to secure pole in Moto3, in a session which he ruled from start to finish.

Le Mans was the track where the Spanish teenager took his first career win, in only his fourth Grand Prix and his confidence around the circuit clearly showed.

His nearest rival was the Mahindra of Miguel Oliveira, equalling the Portuguese riders personal best qualifying performance, while setting a new high for the Indian team.

The Mahindra was also the only bike in the top five not to be a KTM. The third and the final spot on the front row was filled by Aspar’s Kalex KTM piloted by Jonas Folger.

He nudged back Alex Rins who had to settle for heading up the second row for Estrella Galicia. He is joined by Luis Salom, who was still recovering from a massive crash in practice on his Red Bull KTM and Caretta’s Jack Miller who was the highest placed Honda rider in sixth, making the most of the team’s new fairing.

Ambrogio Racing’s Danny Webb qualified 18th but will not race after his hospital scan revealed he has a broken foot. Fellow Brit John McPhee starts 19th for Caretta Technology.

Moto2 got the worst of the day’s weather with their session being scheduled last, causing scenes akin to racing in the opening minutes after pitlane opened as the pack all attempted to bank a quick lap.

Takaaki Nakagami finally scored his debut pole as he was fortunate enough to be in pole position when the heavens opened.

Nakagami pole

Nakagami on his way to his debut pole in Le Mans
Image via Italtrans team

The Italtrans rider has been on the front row for every round so far this year but is yet to translate his qualifying success into solid race performances.

Though looking on course to mount a serious challenge for the top spot a mature session from Scott Redding sees him start from second for Marc VDS. The Gloucester man was one of only a handful of riders to take advantage of the conditions and go out to work on a wet weather set-up.

Third went to local hopeful Johann Zarco for the Came Ioda Racing Project, the only Suter bike in a Kalex dominated top five.

Fourth place on the grid was filled by Jerez winner Tito Rabat. He is joined on the second row by an improving Xavier Simeon in fifth and Aspar rider Nico terol in sixth.

Pol Espargaro and Tom Luthi were the biggest losers in the weather stakes, both had run within the top five over the weekend with title favourite Tuenti Pons rider Espargaro insventh and Interwetten’s Luthi settling for eighth.

The other Moto2 Brits struggled in Le Mans with a crash leaving Blusens Avintia rider Kyle Smith in 22nd, Danny Kent wrestled the Tech3 into 26th and wild-card Gino Rea, with his own team and the only FTR in the field, appeared to have technical issues early on and only had any real track time in the wet, leaving him down in 31st.

For more qualifying news visit my paddock chatter news or my detailed Moto3 and Moto2 reports at

Le Mans Moto3 Qualifying Top 10:

1.Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 1m 43.696
2. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 43.806
3. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 1m 43.969
4. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 44.123
5. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 44.178
6. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 1m 44.278
7. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 44.320
8. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 1m 44.548
9. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno (KTM) 1m 44.560
10. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 1m 44.600

Le Mans Moto2 Qualifying Top 10:

1.Takaaki Nakagami JPN Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 38.508
2. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 38.858
3. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 39.187
4. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 39.193
5. Xavier Simeon BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 1m 39.296
6. Nicolas Terol SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 39.333
7. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 39.355
8. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac (Suter) 1m 39.437
9. Mattia Pasini ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 1m 39.543
10. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 39.558

Lorenzo V Olive – the internet never forgets!

After the many comparisons between Sunday’s most talked about Jerez MotoGP moment and that of Rossi/Gibernau another was to come via YouTube – featuring Lorenzo himself!

The old 1997 footage of Lorenzo not exactly putting the cleanest move on Jean Olive at what is now Lorenzo Corner has come back to haunt the Spanish World Champion, looks like the internet doesn’t forget if you chose to say ‘it wasn’t very correct, but this is racing” only to not accept the same from a young rider years later.

Lorenzo, who has also missed a race and been handed a disqualification  for a move he used on De Angelis back in 2005, has come a long way since then and morphed into a controlled rider who looks to the long game to secure world titles as much as he races. Maybe for now Marquez, despite all his previous form in Moto2 can be allowed the time to mature and know when a pass can be too hard (though it does make for a much more exciting race when you have someone a little unpredictable, so maybe everyone else can race a little harder and meet in the middle!)

Video below, so you can judge for yourself:

MotoGP:Le Mans – Spies out, Pirro stands in at Pramac

Pramac racing have confirmed that Ben Spies will be replaced by Ducati Test rider Michele Pirro at the next MotoGP round in Le Mans.

Ignite Pramac released a statement today which confirmed that as well as skipping the Jerez round the Texas rider will also be missing from the grid in France.

The American has already undergone treatment for the nerve pain which hampered his progress in his home Grand Prix, though it appears the ongoing therapy has not yet done enough to allow doctors to declare Spies fit.

Spies’ team-mate Andrea Iannone is also struggling with injury and will have surgery for arm pump before the next round.

Pirro enjoyed his first scheduled wild-card ride over the weekend at Jerez on the Ducati test bike and finished in the points in a credible 11th while concentrating on his testing objectives.

Pramac’s statement in full:

“Following today’s additional medical check in Dallas, the doctor supervising Ben Spies recommended that the Texan undergo a period of extended rehabilitation.
Despite his wish to return to the track as soon as possible, Spies will miss the French Grand Prix and will join the team again at the end of May, at Mugello.
At Le Mans, Ducati Test Team rider, Michele Pirro, will ride the Ignite Pramac Racing Team Desmosedici GP13”.

Moto3 and Moto2 races: Vinales wins another red-flagged round,Rabat takes first win of his career

For more on the following story visit or for a detailed report on each class check out my Moto2 and Moto3 race reports at by clicking on the links

Vinales had taken the lead by the time of Alan Techer’s accident and was awarded first for Team Calvo ahead of a frustrated Luis Salom, who had broken away with his fellow Spaniard after Estrella Galicia rider Alex Rins fell earlier in the race, and had been waiting for the right moment to make a break for the front aboard his Red Bull Ajo KTM.

Mapfre Aspar rider Jonas Folger was the first rider not of Spanish origin to grace the podium this season, though the rostrum remained an all KTM affair.

Vinales now leads the championship by four points for Salom.

Initial reports confirmed Techer to be conscious and have no breaks but was stuggling with his memory of the event.

The top finishing Honda was Bred Binder for the Ambrogio team, he had a huge gap when both Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira and Caretta’s Jack Miller crashed while racing just behind him.

Fifth went to Jakub Kornfeil for RW Racing despite only arriving on Saturday as he had exam commitments in the Czech republic.

Brit John McPhee narrowly missed out on his first top ten finish, having taken the position from Alexis Masbou he only missed out when the race was taken back to the last full lap for the result.

Fellow countryman Danny Webb wasn’t far behind, securing a twelfth place finish for the Ambrogio Racing team.

Jasper Iwema returned after being the rider who’s crash ended the Austin round with a red flag for 14th.

Sixteen year old Livio Loi scored a point on his debut ride for Marc VDS, previously he had not met the minimum age to race.

Moto2 was dominated by Tito Rabat, the Tuenti HP 40 Pons rider leading from the lights to the chequered pole in his 113th race start.

The pole-sitter pulled away from an equally solo Scott Redding who in his own words was “on the limit” as he said in parc ferme trying to keep up. The Gloucester man rode maturely with consistant lap times to finish easily ahead of Rabat’s team-mate Pol Espargaro.

Espargaro provided the main racing action as he caught and passed Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami, managing the feat twice after Sucipto let the Japanese rider through when being lapped but held the Pons rider up.

The first four positions were filled by Kalex machines with Austin winner Nico Terol the first Suter to cross the line for Mapfre Aspar.

Other finishers of note include Tom Luthi, who finished 11th on his first full race weekend following his testing injury for Interwetten and Top Speed Up rider QMMF’s Ant West who took 12th.

British Riders Kyle Smith and Danny Kent both had offs over the race duration. Tech3’s Kent registered a 27th place finished with Blusens man Smith suffering a DNF.

Jerez Moto3 Race Result Top 15:

1.Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 26m 57.338
2. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 26m 57.601
3. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 27m 1.813
4. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 27m 12.442
5. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Redox RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 27m 15.750
6. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno (KTM) 27m 16.402
7. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 27m 16.542
8. Efren Vazquez SPA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 27m 17.018
9. Romano Fenati ITA San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 27m 20.101
10. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 27m 20.476
11. John McPhee GBR Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 27m 20.527
12. Arthur Sissis AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 27m 21.134
13. Danny Webb GBR Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 27m 25.235
14. Jasper Iwema NED RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 27m 26.924
15. Livio Loi BEL Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex KTM) 27m 27.114

Jerez Moto2 Race Result Top 15:

1.Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 45m 4.450
2. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 45m 8.711
3. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 45m 11.967
4. Takaaki Nakagami JPN Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 45m 12.171
5. Nicolas Terol SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 45m 15.985
6. Xavier Simeon BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 45m 17.714
7. Jordi Torres SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 45m 18.212
8. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 45m 25.555
9. Toni Elias SPA Blusens Avintia (Kalex) 45m 28.671
10. Marcel Schrotter GER Desguaces La Torre SAG (Kalex) 45m 28.869
11. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac (Suter) 45m 30.976
12. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 45m 31.455s
13. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 45m 40.009
14. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 45m 40.106
15. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 45m 40.283

Image of the GP: Jerez – Lorenzo and Marquez

To take nothing away from the amazing ride by Dani Pedrosa and the awesome move he used to take the lead I’m fairly sure the moment that will be the hot topic until the paddock reconvenes in Le Mans in two weeks is illustrated in this image:

Lorenzo and Marquez jerez

Jorge Lorenzo greets Marc Marquez with a shake of the finger -as seen on t.v.

The picture is from the television coverage of parc ferme after the Spanish Grand Prix and illustrates Lorenzo’s view on Marquez’s move for second, which was hard enough to break his own fairing, and although Lorenzo has pretty much refused to be drawn to comment on the matter gives a good indication as to what he really thinks.

Marquez’s post race interviews made it clear that he thought he was only doing what was necessary to take position and race direction decided to take no further action as no-one crashed out (though they chose to speak with Moto3 rider Livio Loi for hitting John McPhee after Techer’s crash on his racing debut).

Who was right, Lorenzo or Marquez?

Would Lorenzo have been less bothered if he hadn’t been passed in his very own corner?

Did race direction do the right thing by not even speaking with the rookie?

Where is the point in a penalty points system if it is not used?

Did race direction show favoritism by speaking with Loi and not serial offender Marquez?

Will the King of Spain need to intervene as he did to get Lorenzo talking to Pedrosa?

Was everyone thinking of Rossi/Gibernau after?

In many ways this race posed more questions on how the season panned out than it answered, but it leaves a season to look forward to and something to talk about until then!