Month: June 2013

Image of the GP 2 : Rossi strikes back!

Rossi fans got what they had been waiting for in Assen on Saturday, Valentino Rossi back on winning form for his 80th premier class victory .It is also his 106 career win and eighth at Assen.

The Yamaha rider looked extremely happy to be back on the podium for his first win since Malaysia 2010 in a race he described as “one of the best races of my career”.

Nothing says ‘Rossi win’ like a silly face and a whole heap of yellow, so here it is:

Rossi assen win 2013

Rossi back on winning form, now all we need is a crazy celebration!
Image via Yamaha Motor Italia, editorial use only

Rossi continued :“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time,” reflecting on his two tough years at Ducati, adding “I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. “

Image of the GP, Assen: Lorenzo Returns (plus quotes!)

Okay, so he’s not the winner but Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo showed this weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix what being a racer means to him and how much he values his team and fans by returning to race after being operated on for the broken collarbone he sustained in practice.

Clearly both physically and mentally drained after his heroics when he raced, not just rode to fifth saying   “This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany; I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here.”

 

Lorenzo returns

Lorenzo exhausted after the race, where he finished a hard earned fifth
image via Lorenzo’s official Twitter account @lorenzo99

The reigning title holder even tooknthe time to congratulate team-mate and race winner Valentino Rossi adding “I am happy for Valentino. More than two years without winning has been hard for him, so I’m happy for my garage partner.”

It was however his reaction to being called a ‘hero’ for his achievements which lead to the best Lorenzo quote of the day :

“No, heroes are those who work hard just to reach the end of each month. I get paid to do these things.”

 

 

Moto2/Moto3 Assen round-up: Late wins for Salom and Espargaro

Here’s a brief account of the Moto3 and Moto2 action in Assen, as usual for more visit the full round-up at Paddockchatter.com or my individual Moto2 and Moto3 race reports for crash.net, just click on the orange links!

Pons Tuent HP 40 Pol Espargaro

Pons rider Pol Espargaro in action
Image by Pons Tuent HP 40

Moto3 kicked off an exciting day of action in Assen with an action packed race which started as a five-way fight for victory until Maverick Vinales and Luis Salom were left to battle it out on the last lap.

Salom’s late well-timed move aboard his Red Bull KTM Ajo made the difference and gave him three wins in a row and a ten point lead in the championship. Team Calvo’s Vinales had to settle for second, with both riders keeping the championship battle tense by maintaining their perfect podium records.

One-time leader Alex Rins fought back for the final podium spot for the Estrella Galicia team ahead of pole-sitter Miguel Oliveira for the ever improving Mahindra outfit and his team-mate Alex Marquez in fifth, the final finisher in the leading group.

John McPhee finished 21st for Caretta while Danny Webb crashed out on his 100th Grand Prix start, leaving him with a suspected broken wrist.

Moto2 was, as expected a battle to the end between championship rivals Pol Espargaro and leader Scott Redding.

After swapping position and stalking each other for the duration it came down to the last lap move made by Tuenti HP 40 rider Espargaro to seal the win for the Spaniard, giving him back to back wins and victory for every race he has started on pole. It takes the championship gap between himself and Redding down to 30 points as the Marc VDS man secured second after a solid race.

Dominique took his second career podium after being one-time race leader for the Technomag carXpert team after a dramatic last lap fightback where he passed the leaders team mates Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat who finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Contender Johann Zarco had to settle for sixth for Ioda Racing just ahead of Xavier Simeon for the Desguaces La Torre Maptaq team. Eight spot went to Interwetten rider Tom Luthi with Aspar’s Jordi Torres the top Aspar bike in ninth. Ant West completed a strong weekend with a tenth for QMMF, he was also the best placed Speed Up rider.

Danny Kent was 20th for Tech3 while wild-card rider Gino Rea finished in 25th in just his second race this season.

Moto3 Assen Race Result Top 15:

1. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 20.086
2. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 38m 20.208
3. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 38m 20.368
4. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 38m 20.464
5. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 38m 20.502
6. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 38m 39.732
7. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 38m 47.77s
8. Arthur Sissis AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 47.897
9. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 38m 54.883
10. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno (KTM) 38m 54.909
11. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 38m 55.216
12. Efren Vazquez SPA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 38m 55.447
13. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Go&Fun Gresini Moto3 (FTR Honda) 38m 55.609
14. Romano Fenati ITA San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 38m 55.714
15. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 38m 55.972

Moto2 Assen Race result Top 15:

1. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 39m 51.883
2. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 39m 52.000
3. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 39m 55.392
4. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 39m 55.539
5. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 39m 55.876
6. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 39m 55.956
7. Xavier Simeon BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 40m 0.978
8. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock (Suter) 40m 4.154
9. Jordi Torres SPA Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 40m 5.628
10. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 40m 8.171
11. Julian Simon SPA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 8.195
12. Randy Krummenache SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 40m 8.656
13. Louis Rossi FRA Tech 3 (Tech 3) 40m 9.130
14. Marcel Schrotter GER Desguaces La Torre SAG (Kalex) 40m 9.863
15. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 40m 14.179

Moto2/Moto3 Round-up: Debut pole for Oliveira and Mahindra, back to business for Espargaro

Mahindra Oliveira 2013

Oliveira takes his first pole for Mahindra, their maiden pole too!
image via Mahindra Racing, for editorial use only

Here’s a brief rundown for the top qualifiers in Moto2 and Moto3, for more check the full news at paddockchatter.com

The damp Moto3 session kicked off the qualifying proceedings for the Assen TT weekend with a qualifying tie – Both Estrella Galicia’s Alex Marquez and Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira setting an identical time – 1m 43.588 – with Oliveira being handed his maiden pole, and also a first for his Mahindra team in Moto3, after having a faster second best lap.

This edged title contender Maverick Vinales down to third for Team Calvo, leaving the Spanish teen visibly frustrated.

The second row is lead off by Red Bull Ajo rider Luis Salom. The Spaniard looked to be in charge of the session with some well time laps late on but then fell in the closing minutes, his only option remaining was to watch from the garage as he lost the top spot, which caused him to walk away.

Jasper Iwema was the highest place home rider for the Assen GP in 11th for RW Racing.

Brits John McPhee and Danny Webb start 24th and 29th respectively.

Pol Espargaro took his third pole of the season despite having his fastest lap cancelled for cutting the track. The field remains wide open for Saturday’s race with the top three separated by just 0.188 seconds and the entire top 20 all within 1 second of the Tuenti HP 40 riders top time.

Also making the front row of the grid were Frenchman Johann Zarco for Ioda, the first of just two Suter machines inside the top ten and the championship leader, Marc VDS man Scott Redding.

Wild-card Gino Rea had a great qualifying on his FTR and starts 24th for just his second race of the year, outqualifying fellow Brits and championship regulars Danny Kent (25th for Tech3) and Kyle Smith (30th for Avintia Blusens)

Moto3 Assen Qualifying Top Ten:

1.Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 43.588
2. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 43.588
3. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 1m 43.649
4. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 43.671
5. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 43.673
6. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 1m 43.901
7. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno (KTM) 1m 44.330
8. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 1m 44.424
9. Arthur Sissis AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 44.470
10. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Go&Fun Gresini Moto3 (FTR Honda) 1m 44.769

Moto2 Assen Qualifying Top Ten:

1.Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 38.734
2. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 38.833
3. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 38.879
4. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 38.973
5. Xavier Simeon BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq (Kalex) 1m 39.096
6. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 39.272
7. Mattia Pasini ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 1m 39.279
8. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 39.294
9. Mike Di Meglio FRA JiR Moto2 (Motobi) 1m 39.297
10. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 1m 39.300

MotoGP: Suzuki are back – but not until 2015

noo suzuki

The new Suzuki, ready for testing but not for racing until 2015
Image via MotoGP.com

After leaving MotoGP at the end of the 2011 season, the paddock had been full of rumours of Suzuki’s immenent and expected return next season, with plenty of speculation on who would be running the team and which riders had been approached to ride the blue machines.

An official press statement released today (Monday 17 June) instead confirmed that Suzuki will not return until the 2015 season.

The Japanese factory still arrived on Sunday for the post Catalunya Grand Prix testing as scheduled.

The delay, according to Suzuki, is to allow for more development – to come back as competitive as possible, however it also ties in with Dorna’s announcement of no funding help in 2014 for new entries, including flights and tyres where the 2015 season will be supplemented based on performance.

What they did reveal was that Valentino Rossi’s manager Davide Brivio will be managing the project, leading to wild speculation regarding the Italian as his contract with Yamaha only runs until 2014, and their development rider will be Randy De Puniet, who will be testing the bike today.

Full press release below:

Suzuki Motor Corporation will return to FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP in 2015

After two years suspension since 2012, Suzuki Motor Corporation has organised its test team to undergo more practical running tests at its advanced development stage and will participate in the official joint testing to be held at the Catalunya circuit in Spain.
Through continuing running tests at the circuits inside and outside Japan for further development and refinement, Suzuki Motor Corporation will participate again in MotoGP racing from 2015.
Suzuki Motor Corporation will feed back advanced technology to be derived through MotoGP racing activity to develop further attractive production models.

“The outline of testing team and racing machine to be developed are as follows:

Chief members of Europe testing team in 2013:
– Team manager: Davide Brivio
– Development rider: Randy De Puniet

MotoGP machine to be developed:
– 1000cc In-line four GP racer

MotoGP:More Catalunya special helmets – Aleix Espargaro celebrates his love of F.C.Barcelona

Not to be outdone this weekend top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro also had a special helmet commissioned for his home race.

The Espargaro brothers live less than a mile from the Montmelo circuit and both support Barcelona football club, so it is only natural that this was what featured on Aleix’s helmet design, especially as the brothers were so excited to play in the MotoGP football match earlier in the week, see here for more.

The lid featured the shirt numbers of Barcelona players Bartra, Muniesa, S.Roberto and a graphic of  the brothers together, image below:

barca aleix

Aleix finished in eighth and was once again the top CRT rider in Barcelona with his special helmet design.
Image via @gerardromero on Twitter

 

Image of the GP: Catalunya – a shared victory

This week saw a return to celebrations for the podium placers with Vinales drumming with his fan club despite finishing third in Moto3, Pol Espargaro took a makeshift knighthood from a marshal who used a roled up flag instead of a sword in Moto2 and Jorge Lorenzo did some strange falling down move.

Thankfully he also did something far more gracious and inclusive when he invited his helmet designer Anna Vives onto the podium to share his win, a very special moment indeed :

Lorenzo GP

Lorenzo at the Catalunya Grand Prix sharing his win with designer Anna Vives
Image via @Llorenzo99 and MotoGP.com, editorial use only.

MotoGP: Lorenzo’s special Catalunya helmet to be auctioned for charity

Jorge Lorenzo ran a special helmet for Sunday’s Catalunya Grand Prix, which is to be auctioned for charity, with a graffiti theme, designed by Anna Vives, a young woman with Downs Syndrome. Vives is fairly well known in Spain for breaking down the barriers associated with her disability and trying to achieve more with the abilities she has.

Lorenzo expanded this in his own words, stating: “The girl who designed my helmet, Anna Vives, is famous in Spain; she is a symbol that people with Down syndrome are capable of a lot more than some people think. I think it was very original and colourful so I was very proud and happy to have her on the podium to share the win with me.”

You can bid on the helmet at ebay until the 27th June by following this link : http://www.ebay.es/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251291446403#ht_1253wt_1141

Image of the helmet below:

lorenzo barca helmet

Lorenzo shows off his special graffiti helmet design for the Catalunya Grand Prix 2013
Image via @MonsterEnergy via Twitter

Moto2 & Moto3: Catalunya round-up – great tactics lead Salom to win, Espargaro victorious in battle of the team mates

 

 

 

Moto2 and Moto3 again brought some cracking race action to the Catalunya race weekend, here is a brief summary of who finished where, more can be read in my race summaries for PaddockChatter.com and my Moto3 and Moto2 race reports for crash.net, just click on the orange links!
Moto3 began the action with a well timed win by Luis Salom for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.

 

 

Once again the lightweight class was Spanish and KTM dominated as Salom picked the right moment to power away to back-to-back wins after also seizing victory in Mugello two weeks ago.

 

 

He was joined on the podium by Estrella Galicia rider Alex Rins who despite his best efforts could not pass his rival, and Team Calvo’s Maverick Vinales who had to settle for third.

 

 

Salom also leaves Spain with the championship lead, in front by five points from Vinales, with both riders making the podium at every round so far.

 

 

Alex Marquez was dropped in the closing stages and finished fourth for the Estrella Galicia team ahead of a hard battling Efren Vazquez, who was back on form on his return for Mahindra and comfortably ahead of his team-mate Miguel Oliveira who was next across the stripe.

 

 

 

 

Moto2 was a battle to the end for Tuenti HP 40 team-mates Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat, with Espargaro holding on for the win, his second from pole this year after Qatar.

 

 

Tom Luthi looked to be fully recovered from injury with an assured performance on his Interwetten Paddock machine placing him on the final spot on the podium.

 

 

Brit Scott Redding made the best of a tough weekend, and despite topping warm-up after an engine change settled for fourth for Marc VDS. He still leads the championship, with Espargaro moving into second in the standings.

 

 

Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami and Technomag’s Randy Krummenacher had a long duel with the Japanese rider being the victor in fifth.

 

Catalunya Moto2 Race Result Top 15:

 

  1. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 41m 17.307
    2. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 41m 17.388
    3. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac (Suter) 41m 23.571
    4. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 26.368
    5. Takaaki Nakagami JPN Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 27.904
    6. Randy Krummenache SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 41m 28.884
    7. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 41m 32.876
    8. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 41m 45.587
    9. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 45.659
    10. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 41m 45.768
    11. Mattia Pasini ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 41m 46.199
    12. Mike Di Meglio FRA JiR Moto2 (MotoBI) 41m 48.522
    13. Danny Kent GBR Tech 3 (Tech 3) 41m 48.625
    14. Axel Pons SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 41m 49.064
    15. Julian Simon SPA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 50.497

 

 

Catalunya Moto3 Race Result Top 15:

 

1.Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 41m 15.331
2. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 41m 15.542
3. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 41m 15.965
4. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 41m 19.324
5. Efren Vazquez SPA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 41m 21.574
6. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 41m 24.626
7. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 41m 28.495
8. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 41m 36.505
9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 41m 36.571
10. Arthur Sissis AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 41m 36.929
11. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 41m 37.057
12. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 41m 37.087
13. Alan Techer FRA CIP Moto3 (TSR Honda) 41m 37.159
14. Danny Webb GBR Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 41m 37.210
15. Romano Fenati ITA San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 41m 37.402

 

Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying round-up: Strong Salom and dominant Espargaro take pole

 

Here’s a little update of how qualifying went for the support classes at the Catalunya Grand Prix, for more visit my weekend round-up at Paddockchatter.com or for in depth coverage see my full Moto3 and Moto2 race reports for crash.net, just click the orange links!

Moto3 got the qualifying action under way for the Catalunya Grand Prix with Maverick Vinales experiencing plenty of bike drama as Mugello race winner Salom displayed excellent timing to storm to pole.

 

Spaniard Salom timed his run on his Red Bull KTM Ajo to perfection to beat his countryman Alex Rins to pole, the Estrella Galicia rider having to settle for second.

 

 

The front row was completed by Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira, the only rider not from Spain to feature in the top seven.

 

 

Fourth went to a flying Alex Marquez,with Rins team-mate putting in a great final lap. to move up the order, while Vinales starts fifth for Team Calvo after a session filled with drama. After a heavy high-side after just eight minutes Vinales set back out with his repaired bike only to be forced to pull off track with a damaged engine, forcing him to have to wait out the remainder of the session to see where he would finish.

 

 

A returning Efren Vazquez was immediately back on form for Mahindra and completes the second row in sixth.

 

 

British riders John McPhee and Danny Webb struggled a little after their strong performances so far this year and start 20th and 21st respectively.

 

 

 

In Moto2 Pol Espargaro scored his second pole of the season with a time set early on and not beaten as the sessions seconds ticked away, he is joined on an all Kalex front row by Marc VDS rival Scott Redding in second and his team-mate Tito Rabat in third.

 

 

Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami starts off the front row for the first time in fourth, while both he and fastest Speed Up rider Alex De Angelis in fifth set their fastest times on their sixth laps, with the Forward racing rider crashing out of the session early on.

 

 

 

Brits Danny Kent and Kyle Smith once again had an improved time on their respective bikes. Their knowledge of riding in Spain pushed them up to 17th on the grid for Tech3’s Kent and 18th for Blusens rider Smith.

 

 

Moto3 Catalunya Qualifying Top Ten

 

 

1. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 50.782
2. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 51.108
3. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 51.540
4. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 1m 51.66
5. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 1m 51.802
6. Efren Vazquez SPA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 51.952
7. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 1m 51.966
8. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 1m 52.060
9. Niccolò Antonelli ITA GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 (FTR Honda) 1m 52.105
10. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 1m 52.299

 

 

Moto2 Catalunya Qualifying Top Ten

 

 

1. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 46.410
2. Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 47.029
3. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 47.076
4. Takaaki Nakagami JPN Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 47.098
5. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 1m 47.149
6. Johann Zarco FRA Came Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 47.213
7. Jordi Torres SPA Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 47.258
8. Randy Krummenacher SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 1m 47.418
9. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 47.422
10. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac (Suter) 1m 47.424