Moto2: Departures – Wilairot and Smith both out before Indy

Today was a sad day in Thailand as their first ever GP class rider Ratthapark Wilairot announced his retirement, aged 25.


Riding away…Moto2 loses Wilairot
Image via Thai Honda Gresini

While anyone who follows MotoGP from the lightweight classes up probably choked on their lunch marveling at the prospect of retiring at their quarter of a century, the Thai Honda Gresini Team were already keeping his seat warm for his replacement  Thitipong “Ting Note” Warokorn, a fellow Thai racer who aged 23 will make his debut at Indianapolis later this month after the summer break ( though if he sticks to Wilairot’s timetable he can look forward to maybe making retirement in two seasons time!)

‘Feem’ as Wilairot is known at home enjoyed a seven year career in Moto2 and 250cc racing, with his best result coming in Assen in 2010, where he finished fourth after challenging race winner Andrea Iannone for the lead. He will, according to the Bangkok Post become the coach for his replacement Warokorn.

Warokorn had been racing in the Asian Road Racing Cahmpionship this season and won the 2010 Thailand Super Bike 1000cc SB1 Class title, with the AP Honda president suggesting “He could become the pride of Thailand.”


This news came hot on the heels earlier in the week of British rookie Kyle Smith’s departure from the championship.

Riding alongside Toni Elias at Blusens Avintia, the 21 year old found himself high and dry after his main sponsor Wild Wolf pulled out of all rider sponsorship, with immediate effect.

Smith posted the following statement on his personal website :

“WildWolf have announced they have to withdraw direct sponsorship from Kyle Smith and the Moto2 series.


They have committed to building a large Health and Fitness Facility and decided this will be first in there interests for the forceable future,


Kyle is more than thankful to WildWolf who have been behind him over the last few years and brought him to this level


But unfortunately this leaves Kyle without a ride for the rest of the series.

Blusens/Avintia would like to carry on with Kyle but are now short of finances, as far as I know Toni Elias will continue.”

Smith was yet to score any points for the team in a season where former Moto2 champion Elias has amassed just 19 points for the Blusens Outfit.

He has previously competed in the Spanish 125GP Championship, the Spanish Stock Extreme series where he finished runner-up in 2012 and the Spanish Kawasaki Ninja Cup, where he was champion in 2009.



Moto2:Terol just quickest at first test

Nico Terol had his Suter under control and was fastest on the opening day of testing for Moto2 for the Mapfre Aspar team at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia.

nico terol aspar Irta test day one

Nico Terol – fastest- but only just.
Image by Circuit da la Valencia Ricardo Tormo via their official facebook page

Spaniard Terol’s fastest time of the day – 1m 35.926 – was only just ahead of his fellow countryman Julian Simon who rides for Italtrans in 2013, Simon setting a time just +0.025 slower. Last seasons runner-up and favourite to take the 2013 title was third fastest overall but quickest in the afternoon session for the Pons Tuenti HP 40 team.

British title hopeful Scott Redding, who will benefit from the new 215kg combined bike and rider weight limit for the class, was the fourth fastest for Marc VDS after the Spanish dominated top three times, with very little to chose between fourth and tenth in the results.

Fellow Brits Kyle Smith (Blusens Avintia) and Danny Kent ( Tech3) were down in 27th and 28th respectively on their debuts.

Reigning Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese continues learning his new bike on his move up to Moto2 and finished the day in 24th for Dynavolt Intact GP.

Full Day 1 Moto2 result:

1- Nico Terol – Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 – 1’35.926
2- Julian Simon – Italtrans Racing Team + 0.025
3- Pol Espargaro – Tuenti HP 40 + 0.180
4- Scott Redding – Marc VDS Racing Team + 0.411
5- Takaaki Nakagami – Italtrans Racing Team + 0.517
6- Simone Corsi – NGM Mobile Racing + 0.518
7- Jordi Torres – Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 + 0.531
8- Tito Rabat – Tuenti HP 40 + 0.605
9- Thomas Luthi – Interwetten Paddock + 0.703
10- Toni Elias – Blusens Avintia + 0.926
11- Alex De Angelis – NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 1.148
12- Mika Kallio – Marc VDS Racing Team + 1.312
13- Xavier Simeon – Maptaq SAG Zelos Team + 1.413
14- Dominique Aegerter – Technomag carXpert + 1.428
15- Axel Pons – Tuenti HP 40 + 1.605
16- Mattia Pasini – NGM Mobile Racing + 1.753
17- Anthony West – QMMF Racing Team + 1.875
18- Mike Di Meglio – JiR Moto2 + 1.996
19- Johann Zarco – CAME Iodaracing Project + 2.214
20- Ricky Cardus – NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 2.403
21- Marcel Schrotter – Desguaces La Torre SAG Team + 2.465
22- Randy Krummenacher – Technomag carXpert + 2.590
23- Ratthapark Wilairot – Honda Gresini Moto2 + 2.590
24- Sandro Cortese – Dynavolt Intact GP + 2.796
25- Louis Rossi – Tech 3 Racing + 2.800
26- Yuki Takahashi – Idemitsu Honda Team Asia + 3.000
27- Kyle Smith – Blusens Avintia + 3.150
28- Danny Kent – Tech 3 Racing + 3.258
29- Doni Tata Pradita – Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 + 3.737
30- Rafid Topan Sucipto – QMMF Racing Team + 5.505

Provisional Moto2 2013 entry list announced

The FIM has released a provisional 33 rider strong entry list for the 2013 Moto2 season.

FTR, Motobi and Moriwaki, and new manufacturer Motobost all have one chassis entry each amongst the Suter and Kalex domination.
Mike di Meglio has secured himself a permanent ride at JiR after spending 2012 as a super-sub, Johann Zarco can now be found at Ioda, Indonesian Rafid Topan Sucipto who impressed in his 2012 wild card appearance rides at QMMF in place of Elena Rosell.

Gino Rea is not listed, but his 2012 team mate Ratthapark Wiliarot retains his Gresini seat.

Full list below:

Tuenti HP 40 (Pons Kalex)
40 Pol Espargaro (SPA)

49 Axel Pons (SPA)

80 Esteve Rabat (SPA)

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter)

18 Nicolas Terol (SPA)

81 Jordi Torres (SPA)

Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex)

36 Mika Kallio (FIN)

45 Scott Redding (GBR)

Tech 3 (Tech 3)

52 Danny Kent (GBR)

96 Louis Rossi (FRA)

Gresini Moto2 (Suter)

14 Ratthapark Wilairot (THA) (Honda Gresini)

7 Doni Tata Pradita (IND) (Federal Oil Gresini)

Blusens Avintia (Kalex)
24 Toni Elias (SPA)

8 Kyle Smith (GBR)

SAG (stop and go) Team (Kalex)

19 Xavier Simeon (BEL)
23 Marcel Schrotter (GER)

Arginano Y Gines Racing (Motobost)
17 Alberto Moncayo (SPA)

44 Steven Odendaal (RSA)

Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex)
30 Takaaki Nakagami (JPN)
60 Julian Simon (SPA)

Technomag Carxpert (Suter)
77 Dominique Aegerter(SWI)
4 Randy Krummenacher (SWI)

NGM Forward Racing (Speed Up)
88 Ricky Cardus (SPA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing

15 Alex de Angelis (RSM) NGM Mobile Forward Racing

3 Simone Corsi (ITA) NGM Mobile Racing

54 Mattia Pasini (ITA) NGM Mobile Racing

QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up)
95 Anthony West (AUS)

97 Rafid Topan Sucipto (IND)

JiR Moto2 (Motobi)
63 Mike Di Meglio (FRA)

Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex)

11 Sandro Cortese (GER)

Interwetten Paddock (Suter)
12 Thomas Luthi (SWI)

Came Iodaracing Project (Suter)
5 Johann Zarco (FRA)

To Be Confirmed TBC Honda Racing Asia Tady (Moriwaki)
To Be Confirmed TBC ESGP Moto2 (FTR)

Moto3: Girl Racers? Ana Carrasco set to be first female Moto3 rider at Laglisse

Ana Carrasco looks certain to become Moto3’s first female participant after talking of her deal with the JHK T-shirt Laglisse outfit for 2013.

The 15 year old currently rides for the team in the CEV Buckler Moto3 category of the Spanish championship on a Honda and ahead of the final round is 17th in the standings with 20 points and is one of three girls to compete, alongside Montserrat Costa and Repsol sponsored Maria Herrera.

The Laglisse team used a FTR Honda for the majority of the 2012 season but are expected to switch to KTM for 2013, a move mentioned by Carrassco on her Twitter feed, where her status confirms her promotion to the junior class:

“Confirmed on the IRTA list for Moto3 World Championship 2013 KTM will run with the team Laglisse.”

The teams other riders are yet to be confirmed but they are looking to change their entire line up – Vaquez has already announced his move to Mahindra – and are rumoured in the Spanish press to be the team most interested in paying the fee to release Maverick Vinales from his Blusens Avintia contract.

Carrassco will not run with her usual number 32 as that is currently used by Isaac Vinales, who remains in Moto3 after a move to the CBC Corse team where he is joined by newcomer Matteo Farrari, and will instead use 22 – the old number of team director and former 125cc race winner Pablo Nieto.

For full details and to comment or discuss further see my full article here at

Moto2; Marquez storms from last to first for Valencia victory

Perhaps he should always start from the back? In a repeat of his Motegi feat Marc Marquez once again aggressively stormed his way through the entire field to a clear and easy win.

It was the newly crowned champions ninth win of the season, and set a new points record for intermediate class racing, beating the old figures set by Daijiro Kato  during the 2001 250cc season.

Julian Simon did all he could to keep Marquez at bay for Blusens Avintia, but eventually had to settle for second, leaving him still without a Moto2 race win.

Making it an all Spanish podium and a great day at his home track where he has just officially had a corner named after him was Nico Terol, it is also his Aspar teams home race giving them something to celebrate too after Folger’s problems in Moto3. Terol’s third is his first top ten finish of the season.

All the top six finishers were Suters, the first Kalex to cross the line was Mika Kallio’s Marc VDS bike in seventh.

For a full race rundown and to comment and get involved in an active discussion community see my full report at


Moto2: Espargaro waits it out for Valencia pole after late crash

Pol Espargaro took pole in Valencia’s Moto2 qualifying session at the Ricardo Tormo circuit but a late crash meant an anxious few minutes of sweating it out in the pits were needed as the laps got faster for most as the clock ticked down.

Espargaro’s time was a new pole lap record for Moto2 at the Cheste track, his eighth pole of the season and his fourth in a row.

Marc Marquez was second fastest but starts from the back for Sunday’s race after he was penalised for his agressive collision with Ioda’s Simone Corsi in FP2. In the press conference he promised to “make something crazy” to perform well in the race, he has already shown the capability to win from last this season at Motegi.

Third was Tom Luthi who nudged out Italtrans rider Nakagami at the last second, but he will make the front row after Marquez demotion is taken into account.

Moto2 at Valencia always throws up an interesting result with Karel Abraham the surprise winner two years ago and last years rostrum consisting of winner Michele Pirro, who gave it all in memory to Simoncelli for Gresini, Mika Kallio, and Dominique Aegerter, who on getting his first podium promptly had his long hair cut off in celebration in parc ferme!

For a detailed qualifying run down and to see where you favourite riders start on Sunday see my qualifying report at, available here:

Moto3: Folger on pole for Aspar at their home race in Valencia

German rider Jonas Folger starts from pole position for Sunday’s Valencian Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, and Aspars home track. Team manager Jorge Martinez has strong links to the track, including it’s youth scheme, Cradle of Champions.

Portugal’s most successful rider ever Miguel Oliveira, who announced a move to Mahindra for next season along with Efren Vazquez earlier in the week was second for the Estrella Galicia team and Louis Salom third for RW Racing.

For all the action and full run down of events see my race report at, where you can comment and discuss too, here:

Moto3: Cortese times Phillip Island win to perfection

World champion for Moto3 Sandro Cortese calculated his ride on the Red Bull KTM Ajo to perfection to win at Phillip Isalnd, he was joined on the Podium by Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira and his Ajo team mate Arthur Sissis who scored third in his home Grand Prix.

For my full race report follow the link to where you can discuss the race in more detail too:

Moto2: Espargaro faster than a CRT in Phillip Island qualifying

Pons Kalex rider Pol Espargaro sped through the tricky conditions to storm to pole with a perfectly timed lap on the Tuenti Movil HP 40 machine, his time of  1m33.705 set before the drizzle returned was faster than the time set by Blusens CRT rider Ivan Silva during the MotoGP qualifying session. The lap was also a new record at the circuit for the Moto2 class.

Espargaro needs to win in Sundays race and for Marquez to score less than two points top take his title hopes into the final round at Valencia. Marc Marquez starts from third on his Catalunya Caixa Repsol sponsored Suter.

Between the Spanish rivals on the grid is Marc VDS racer Scott Redding who with two rounds to go has already set a new highest ever points total for a British rider in a season of intermediate class racing.

Curious where the rest of the field line up? You can find out in my full race report at , you can also comment and like on Facebook to enjoy some participation and debate:

Moto3: Mack is back! Vinales rides for Blusens after apology

Blusens Avintia’s offer for Maverick Vinales to return to race with the Team in Australia was quickly taken up by the teenager who will be attempting to secure the runner-up spot in the Moto3 championship as the season draws to a close in Phillip Island and then Valencia, see more on those events here:

Paco Sanchez, a rider adviser, has been brought in to mediate between the two parties and points out that Vinales should never have been allowed to walk away as this caused the biggest problem:

“A seventeen-year-old, who was ill-advised or misguided, who wants to be World Champion can make bad decisions. In Malaysia, with all the problems there were, on that day, mentally, for reasons I will not mention, it would not have been right to get on the bike. He could not get on the bike. The error was not that he didn’t get on the bike – the mistake was leaving.”

Personal opinion has been divided between youthful exuberance, naivety and attitude and a need for professionalism at any age, a point Vinales saw retrospectively when he chose to take the team up on their offer to return for the benefit of the sponsors, promoters and fans, while the youngster made an honest apology explaining his state of mind at the time stating that he didn’t think it wise to ride at all while so angry.

Not all the media were negative about his leaving with riders Aleix Espargaro and David Salom being supportive via Twitter, Espargaro spoke of the manager being the bigger issue, and went on to mention the many who had been in the same situation, but who were less rash in the circumstances.

“I had the same manager as mack(Vinales nickname), and I spend the same, so you … But it ended badly for me, Elias, Pablo Nieto, Pol, Simon … ALL! Anyway … ”

Salom had an interesting take posting on his @davidsalomds account:
“Not because there is so much hype with @maverickmack25, when teams throw the drivers (which are many) not such a fuss.”

His view that teams often leave riders out in the cold with little or no notice with no-one really raising an eyebrow came from a different perspective than most without agreeing or condoning the Spanish youngsters actions, while raising an interesting point.

BBC reporter Matt Roberts thought the Vinales incident was a good reason to contemplate a “official riders’ representative body” to look out for racers interests and stop massive breakdowns in communication going so far in the future.

Vinales made his original apology here to

“I made a mistake, because although I was not mentally prepared to ride the bike, I should not have left the Sepang circuit, or make such statements. And so, I apologize for the harm that has been accidentally caused, to all the fans, to the members of my Blusens Avintia team, to FTR, Honda, the championship promoters, and especially the sponsors of team (Blusens, Avintia, Repsol, Pacha and other partner companies) and personal sponsors (Alpinestars, Airoh, Wild Wolf, J. Costa etc.) that have both supported us, and without which I would not have achieved the successes to date.”

“I return with the aim to finish the season and regain second place in the overall standings, and for that, I will focus solely on sporting issues and work with my technicians to find the best set-up of the bike.”

“Finally, I want to express my strong desire to amicably resolve all the problems with the team, and to be able to concentrate on riding, which is what I really like.”