crash

Image of the GP, Germany: a fight, a fire and a frenzy!

13/07/2014

There was a lot going on in all the classes over the course of the German Grand Prix races aside from the wins, you can read about those in my earlier post here.

So what made the most spectacular viewing away from the actual race battles and results? Here’s a class-by-class breakdown!

Moto3 had a dominant winner, a podium debut, some great performances by the Brits and not a Spaniard in sight on the podium.

Away from all that excellence the Dutch pair of Scott Deroue and Bryan Schouten collided resulting in this:

Schouten was awarded two penalty points for hitting Deroue, while the incident recieved both broadsheet and tabliod attention around the world, which is great if they reported on the rest, but a bit of a skewed view of the sport if you don’t even carry a motorsport section. (Hello, Daily Mail. )

Moto2 decided it needed to top that and came up with… a moving fireball!

 

‘Following a positive warm-up’ is usually an innocuous statement in a press release but the AirAsia Caterham was about to get a whole lot warmer when Johann Zarco pushed too hard and it spectacularly caught fire as the Suter tumbled through the gravel.

The whole Moto2 race was excellent with a new winner in the class and a great race to the line and battles all down the field. There was again not a single Spanish rider inside the top three, very unusual.

So MotoGP had to give something extra. Something not seen before. PIT LANE START!

 

And if you think that image is amazing check out the grid.

 

 

The rain came for the start of MotoGP at the Sachsenring, as it did in Assen, and left everyone in a confused frenzy. Normal service was restored when Marc Marquez found his way to the front, though Michael LAverty got the pleasure of second for a short while.

Image of the GP – Qatar: Riding through the pain

25/03/2014

Sandro Cortese picked up the first penalty point of the season for crashing into Aspar’s Jordi Torres – his pilot-less bike then crossing the track and taking out Marc VDS man Mika Kallio.

Though both Torres and Kallio walked away relatively unscathed, the German number 11 has been diagnosed with a broken heel having spent much of his race weekend in a wheelchair.

Cortese, eager to make up for his moment of madness, rode Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix with a borrowed larger boot and pain killing injections and finished an impressive sixth in the race – and moved up to fifth when Taka Nakagami was disqualified for his Idemitsu teams use of an illegal air filter on his bike.

Here’s his bike as the mess that is his foot is still a little too graphic:

Intact Dynavlot GP released the following statement clarifying the news on Cortese’s injury:

Intact GP

Diagnosis: Broken heel bone!

Right after Sandro Cortese had arrived in Germany from Qatar today, he went to his sports physician Dr. Armin Schupp in Memmingen to check his injured left foot. A CT scan revealed the diagnosis: a fractured heel bone and numerous internal hemorrhages in the entire left foot. To stop the bleeding @Sandrissimo11 has to keep the foot 3 to 4 days completely immobilised. Otherwise he feels topfit and until the team travels to Austin to attack in the second race of the season, the 24-year-old has two weeks time to recover.

MotoGP: An Open Class Ducati, fast Rossi and Entry lists finalised

First up Ducati have finally put to bed the Factory vs Open debate after the Jerez test…and picked Open Class.

I was early on this rumour and covered the ins and outs of the decision in my original story for crash.net, available here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/199360/1/ducati-switching-to-open-class-for-motogp-2014.html

I think after Ducati’s news a sit down with a nice strong cup of tea is in order!
Ducati cups image by e-supreme available via Flickr and used under the creative commons agreement.

For everyone who’s still here, here’s the breakdown:

In an interview posted by Italian based website GPOne.com (link to site available in Crash.net article) Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso is quoted as saying that when testing resumes in February in Sepang that the ‘Factory’ team riders will be testing both the prototype GP14 they were expecting to be riding next season… and the ‘Open’ class Ducati that will be used by Pramac rider Yonny Hernandez.

Ducati seem keen to reveal that they have found little difference in the performance of the two bikes in the testing done so far. The plan therefore seems to be to run an as close to ‘Factory’ effort as possible while exploiting the benefits which come from being an ‘Open’ class entry – more fuel allowance, less engine restriction and as it stands, softer tyre options.

The major negative is the requirement to run the spec ECU package.

On the face of it, if all goes to plan this could be a shrewd move by Ducati.

The Desmosedici has not won a race since 2010 and struggled to a best of fourth last season. It was previously a championship winner under the control of Casey Stoner.

It is clear that after drafting in some of the worlds best mechanics, riders and developers with, for whatever reason, no improvement, that something must be done.

There is a level of expertise to the idea too – Ducati’s new General Manager, Gigi Dall’Igna, was in control at Aprilla last year instead, spearheading the performance of the only CRT bike entries to challenge the Factory and Satellite teams, with CRT champion Aleix Espargaro aboard the most successful of the bikes and often finding his skills mixed with the performance more than a match for the Satellite Ducati’s and even tangling with their Factory entries for final position.

The Open class has been brought in to replace the CRT category.

Though it looks to be a smart move, and certain to put Honda’s backs up (they had threatened to pull out of the championship over future electrical changes and restrictions so another GOOD thing to come from this if it goes ahead) it was until yesterday, until it was said, unthinkable. A step backwards for some of the red machines fans. A step away from a coveted ‘Factory’ bike for the riders.

If you are a casual bike follower perhaps it is easiest to consider it in terms of another sport, lets try F1 for an example:

The equivalent would be telling Vettel he was going to ride out 2014 in a new, improved Torro Rosso instead of the Red Bull but it will still be competitive as he has more fuel to play with and can hopefully use some really soft tyres, as long as the rules aren’t changed before the start of the season. And he doesn’t have to have his engine sealed.

Now this is confirmed news, Ducati have pointed out that Dovizioso’s improvements in Jerez told them what they needed to know, that further testing is vital for Ducati and allowed under Open rules.

Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager added: “We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation. This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs”.

The final day of the Jerez test also saw Valentino Rossi iron out his Yamaha and tyre issues to go top, pleasing as he was consistent and one of few to touch Marquez pre-injury. He was matched by one fast lap by Dani Pedrosa late in the final day, registering exactly the same time, Rossi had long gone home after a satisfying day of improvements.

The finalised entry lists are available and not only show that Ducati are an open class entry but also bring confirmation of the sad news that Leon Camier is out of a ride for the season as the Iodaracing team drop to just one rider.

Also troubling news coming from the MotoGP.com Twitter feed is that after crashing at a private test

“As of Saturday at 8pm, confirms that remains in a medically induced coma”.

Marinelarena has been in a similar place last season after a race crash, so here’s hoping he can pull through again.

Full entry lists available here.

MotoGP- Moto2/Moto3: Rabat and Antonelli leave Valencia test on top

Looks like this seasons support classes will offer some extremely closing racing if testing is anything to go by.

Marc VDS 2014 Valencia Moto2 test Tito Esteve Rabat

Different team…still fast. Tito Rabat finished with the fastest time during the test, he is no longer tied to his Spanish Radio Sponsor number 80 now at Marc VDS, choosing 53 for 2014.
Image:Marc VDS

 

There was action before the test even began.

In Moto2 Xavier Simeon lost his teeth in a big crash at a private test in Almueria:

www.crash.net – Simeon set to miss Valencia test (my report, click link for more)

In Moto3 Eric Granado moved from Aspar to Team Calvo (who last year were home to championship winner Maverick Vinales) as sponsorship came before talent. He’s a Red Bull rider and then Aspar signed a big deal with another brand…(though to be fair they did help him find somewhere else to ride and not filling their vacated seat suggests to me they maybe helped foot the bill too…):

www.crash.net – Granado makes transfer from Aspar to Calvo (again, by me – click link for more)

Times were close at the top over the three day test with Moto2 seeing the whole top ten under 1m 36s. Maverick Vinales who moves up to Moto2 as the reigning Moto3 champion, has been quickly on the pace at the Pons team and his time on the final day was just slower than the overall fastest posted by Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat:

“I’m very happy for the feeling with the bike and with the team during these three days in Valencia. We worked very well, trying many different things on the bike – suspension, swinging arm and fairings – and we learnt a lot. We made improvements to the bike and also found a good rhythm during our race simulation today. Now we need to head down to Jerez to confirm everything at a different track, under different conditions and, hopefully, make one step more.”

In Moto3 Austrailan Jack Miller showed off his skills after joining the KTM ranks for 2014 with the fastest final day time for the Red Bull Ajo team, but it was Niccolo Antonelli, also now a KTM rider, who remained fastest overall. Britains Danny Kent and Romano Fenati at VAlentino Rossi’s Sky sponsored 46 team also went sub-1m 40s.

The top eight bikes were all KTM powered when Husqvarna and Kalex-KTM’s included, indicating that once again the riders on anything else will struggle for the top spots. Mahindra had the ninth fastest bike with the first Honda showing up in tenth, it was piloted by Alex Rins – a title contender last year- at Estrella Galicia last year before they went against the majority and swapped FROM KTM to Honda. Oh Dear.

The next official test is just next week in Jerez -from February 18-20.

 

Valencia combined Moto2 times:

1. Esteve Rabat  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.155
2. Maverick Viñales  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 35.302
3. Takaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 35.337
4. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.422
5. Sandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 35.564
6. Jordi Torres  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.643
7. Mika Kallio  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.690
8. Nico Terol  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 35.715
9. Julian Simon  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 35.725
10. Luis Salom  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 35.844
11. Alex De Angelis  Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 1m 36.033
12. Sam Lowes  Speed Up (Speed Up) 1m 36.082
13. Johann Zarco  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 36.222
14. Axel Pons  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 36.335
15. Dominique Aegerter  Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 36.384
16. Jonas Folger  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 36.439
17. Anthony West  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 36.534
18. Josh Herrin  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 36.566
19. Marcel Schrotter  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 36.684
20. Franco Morbidelli  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 36.785
21. Louis Rossi  SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 36.852
22. Hafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 1m 36.886
23. Lorenzo Baldassarri  Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 36.926
24. Azlan Shah  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 36.955
25. Alex Mariñelarena  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 37.015
26. Roman Ramos  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 37.067
27. Gino Rea  AGT-Rea Racing (Suter) 1m 37.141
28. Randy Krummenacher  Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 37.151
29. Thitipong Warokorn  A.P. Honda SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 37.867
30. Robin Mulhauser Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 37.878
31. Tetsuta Nagashima  Teluru Team JiR Webike (MotoBI) 1m 38.915

 

Valencia Moto3 combined times:

1. Niccolo Antonelli  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 39.454
2. Jack Miller  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 39.462
3. Danny Kent  Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 39.726
4. Romano Fenati  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 39.885
5. Isaac Viñales  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.060
6. Francesco Bagnaia  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 40.103
7. Juanfran Guevara  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.112
8. Enea Bastianini  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 40.166
9. Miguel Oliveira  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.206
10. Alex Rins  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 40.231
11. Livio Loi  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.394
12. Arthur Sissis  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.409
13. Jakub Kornfeil  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.444
14. Efren Vazquez  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 40.546
15. Philipp Oettl  Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 40.601
16. Alex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 40.629
17. Eric Granado  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 40.694
18. Hafiq Azmi  SIC-Ajo (KTM) 1m 40.734
19. Brad Binder  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 40.965
20. Niklas Ajo  Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 41.127
21. John McPhee  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 41.170
22. Ana Carrasco  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.214
23. Karel Hanika  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 41.258
24. Matteo Ferrari  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 41.321
25. Luca Grunwald  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.542
26. Gabriel Ramos  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.749
27. Scott Deroue  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 41.765
28. Alessandro Tonucci  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 41.840
29. Jules Danilo  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 41.962
30. Zulfahmi Khairuddin  Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 41.973
31. Andrea Locatelli  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 42.043
32. Bryan Schouten  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 42.392
33. Alexis Masbou  Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 42.404

 

MotoGP: Are Ducati planning a move into the open class for 2014?

First, a shameless plug.

This was originally going to just be news, but solid sources and some good quotes mean the news bit is now here at crash.net:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/199360/1/ducati-switching-to-open-class-for-motogp-2014.html

The website is also a great place to discuss the story with 38 comments after just a few hours in print as I type this (it currently has 123 Facebook likes, 54 re-tweets and amazingly has even amassed two whole +1 Google shares as of now!)

I think after Ducati’s news a sit down with a nice strong cup of tea is in order!
Ducati cups image by e-supreme available via Flickr and used under the creative commons agreement.

So for those who are still here reading instead here’s whats occurred.

In an interview posted by Italian based website GPOne.com (link to site available in Crash.net article) Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso is quoted as saying that when testing resumes in February in Sepang that the ‘Factory’ team riders will be testing both the prototype GP14 they were expecting to be riding next season… and the ‘Open’ class Ducati that will be used by Pramac rider Yonny Hernandez.

Ducati seem keen to reveal that they have found little difference in the performance of the two bikes in the testing done so far. The plan therefore seems to be to run an as close to ‘Factory’ effort as possible while exploiting the benefits which come from being an ‘Open’ class entry – more fuel allowance, less engine restriction and as it stands, softer tyre options.

The major negative is the requirement to run the spec ECU package.

On the face of it, if all goes to plan this could be a shrewd move by Ducati.

The Desmosedici has not won a race since 2010 and struggled to a best of fourth last season. It was previously a championship winner under the control of Casey Stoner.

It is clear that after drafting in some of the worlds best mechanics, riders and developers with, for whatever reason, no improvement, that something must be done.

There is a level of expertise to the idea too – Ducati’s new General Manager, Gigi Dall’Igna, was in control at Aprilla last year instead, spearheading the performance of the only CRT bike entries to challenge the Factory and Satellite teams, with CRT champion Aleix Espargaro aboard the most successful of the bikes and often finding his skills mixed with the performance more than a match for the Satellite Ducati’s and even tangling with their Factory entries for final position.

The Open class has been brought in to replace the CRT category.

Though it looks to be a smart move, and certain to put Honda’s backs up (they had threatened to pull out of the championship over future electrical changes and restrictions so another GOOD thing to come from this if it goes ahead) it was until yesterday, until it was said, unthinkable. A step backwards for some of the red machines fans. A step away from a coveted ‘Factory’ bike for the riders.

If you are a casual bike follower perhaps it is easiest to consider it in terms of another sport, lets try F1 for an example:

The equivalent would be telling Vettel he was going to ride out 2014 in a new, improved Torro Rosso instead of the Red Bull but it will still be competitive as he has more fuel to play with and can hopefully use some really soft tyres, as long as the rules aren’t changed before the start of the season. And he doesn’t have to have his engine sealed.

Exactly.

Dovizioso is currently putting a brave face on his ride into/onto the unknown next month.

His very honest and vocal new team-mate Cal Crutchlow is a newlywed. when he returns from his honeymoon it will be interesting to see where he stands on the idea as, though he had little option in the end, he had always backed up his move to Ducati with the argument that he wanted to be at a ‘Factory Team’ to be able to win races…

Personally I hope the test goes well and the move works in their favour, competition is needed to make MotoGP a great spectacle again, and if this gives Ducati the ability to mix it up with the Yamaha and Honda riders, then that can only be a positive, for the championship and viewers alike.

 

MotoGP Valencia race reports online now!

What a race weekend! It was a pleasure to be able to report on the whole of the 2013 season and Valencia saw the year end with a flourish.

Moto3 surely has to go down as one of the best race ever in any class, race report available at crash.net here.

Moto2 sure proved that it had racing left in it even with the title decided, race report for that also on crash here.

For a briefer digest there’s always my race round-up for Paddock Chatter.

This is also my final summary of the Redding/Espargaro title battle, plus I also have news on where Moto3 Brit John McPhee will be riding in 2013!

Click the links for more on any of the above or just to connect to fellow fans and tweet, like and comment with other race fans!

Valencia qualifying reports online now!

It’s the final race weekend of 2013 and Valencia is buzzing. The t.v. shows that the Ricardo Tormo circuit was filled – and it’s only qualifying day!

Moto3 delivered with it’s qualifying session, perfectly setting up the three way battle for the title to decide who wins the championship, while Espargaro looked easy as the pressure was off and the title in his hands in Moto2.

Want more?

Brief support class round up as usual is available at Paddock Chatter. for Detailed Moto3 and Moto2 reports on crash.net just click and follow the links, and why not comment, share, like or tweet to connect with other motorsport fans while you are there? Ah, go on!

Moto2: Game on – Redding to ride in Motegi

He’d hoped … and hinted, with gym pictures. So we all hoped along too.

Today Scott Redding was ‘deemed fit to race’ in Japan and keep his title hopes alive with just two rounds remaining in this years Moto2 championship.

The Briton lost the lead he held just last weekend in Australia where a horrible turn of luck saw him fracture his left radius in qualifying and need a plate and six pins inserted. He was told not to use it at all for a week.

Redding want it

“If you don’t try you don’t know” – what Redding wrote on Twitter via his @reddingpower account next to this picture, looks like the positive thinking and hard work has paid off.
For editorial use only.Used for news reporting under the fair use act, image by @reddingpower

Yet after just four days of rehabilitation Redding felt fit enough to ride and after an assessment by the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit staff he was declared to be ‘fit to race’ but will be assessed again after his FP2 performance.

After missing the Australian GP entirely the 20-year-old saw a nine point lead turn into a sixteen point deficit to his main rival for the title, Pol Espargaro. Though he may not be up there fighting for the win, taking points and pressuring the Spaniard by just turning up could be enough to see the enthralling Moto2 championship fight go all the way to the final round in Valencia.

Here’s the Marc VDS team’s Redding quote from the press release in full as it illustrates his determination perfectly:

Scott Redding:
“There was no way I was going home after Australia, not when there was even an outside chance I could ride in Japan. Even after the surgery on Sunday morning I knew I was going to Japan to try and ride. The surgery was a success, Dr. Andrew Oppy and his staff did a great job, and the recovery has been exactly as expected. From Sunday morning onwards I’ve been working to restore the movement and strength in my left hand and, as the medical staff here at Motegi have now confirmed, I’m fit to ride. I have to undergo another assessment after the two free practice sessions tomorrow, but I’ll know straight away whether it’s possible to race. If I’m fit to race then the goal has to be to ensure the championship battle goes down to the final round in Valencia, for which I’ll have had more recovery time.”

#wantit Scott! (yes, I know this isn’t Twitter, but it’s exciting news!!)

Image of the GP- qualifying edition: Bad luck for Bradl

If some people didn’t have bad luck they’d have no luck at all.

This week I am unhappy to report that phrase is just for LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl.

In fact, the title should probably read ‘qualifying DAY edition’, as he managed this in FP3 and was with doctors during qualifying:

bradl injury sepang

Bradl puts on a brave face
Image via the man himself at Stefan Bradl’s twitter account @stefanbradl

It was such a small and if you can call a crash normal, ‘normal’ crash, but as his body moved away from the bike something seemed to catch hard on the astroturf, and THIS was the result.

Commenting directly via Twitter Bradl posted the following to accompany this picture :

“Sorry guys! Had lot of bad luck with a small crash. Fracture in the right leg! Will be back asap! Keep you update(d)”

Following up shortly after with: “We are ready for the operation here in Kuala Lumpur. 1hour I will be under the knife!”. Brave man, here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

This poses a very interesting question though: Will Honda/LCR replace him in Australia?

Interesting because you would normally ask your test rider to stand in at short notice and Honda’s test rider is a certain Mr. C. Stoner.

Stoner was due at the track for an exhibition ride and to be made a MotoGP legend…

It’s a long shot but it would be interesting to see how he shapes up after a year out and Stoner and Marquez on the same starting grid makes for a very interesting prospect too… plus he started out at LCR…

 

Sepang qualifying reports online now!

So you know who’s on pole in MotoGP? Ok, then how about checking out the champions of the future in Moto2 and Moto3?

As usual there are full race reports for both Moto3 and Moto2 at crash.net, just click the links to visit, then you can comment, tweet and like away (please!).

For a quicker analysis you can check out my Moto3 and Moto2 round up on Paddock Chatter. Again just click the link for more!

Salom and Rabat sure mean business this weekend so it’d be a shame to miss out!