malaysia

Just Up? Catch up on the Sepang races here!

Moto2 saw the title decided and Moto3 was a thriller so here’s some links to help you catch up if you could only just about make it out of bed for the main event (extra tricky with the clocks changing!)

My main Moto3 and Moto2 race reports are done as-live and can be found at crash.net, click here for Moto3 and here for Moto2.

They also have very comprehensive coverage of MotoGP so worth a click whatever your interests to comment, like, tweet and get involved, the more the merrier!

For a round up of both the support classes here’s a combined summary for Paddock Chatter.

 

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Not an early bird? get your Sepang reports here!

The flyaway rounds are coming to a close but if an early morning qualifying wasn’t for you here’s some catch up reports before race day for the Malaysian Grand Prix rounds!

My early morning detailed race reports for crash.net are the most comprehensive way to catch up on events, you can check out Moto2 here and Moto3 here. The site also carries all the info on the main race so why not comment, like tweet and get involved!

For a briefer digest of the morning in the support classes you can also check out my Moto2 and Moto3 round -up for Paddock Chatter here.

MotoGP: Marquez leaves Sepang test with a new record time

Marc Marquez continued to improve at the Sepang MotoGP test.

Instead of resting on his laurels after topping the first two days of action Honda rider Marquez took things to a whole new level on the final day in Malaysia setting a new record time at the track with a 1m 59.533 lap – just inside Casey Stoner’s unofficial benchmark lap of 1m 59.607 from 2012.

This apparently left him “pretty happy”.

After the young Spaniard the trio with the next best times were all Yamaha riders and all worthy of a mention.

Valentino Rossi looks like he might be in for a good season after coming in second again and just 0.194 shy of the top time of current champion Marquez. The Italians lap was also his own best around Sepang ever. A good sign for a feisty championship ahead (hopefully!)

2014 marquez test helmet

Keeping it subtle, a nice, understated version of the Marquez ‘ant’ theme for the Sepang test, with a couple of little additions to remind everyone who the reigning champion is!
Image via Marc Marquez own Twitter account @marcmarquez93 and reproduced here under the fair use act.

Jorge Lorenzo clocked in third as he continued to succeed in his mission to iron out bike issues but this time also working on race pace, something he found very quickly.

Impressing so much that accusations are already flying as they did in CRT, Aleix Espargaro was not only fourth quickest while working on a full race distance on his Open Class Forward Yamaha entry but also went sub 2 minutes!

Understandably “thrilled” the FTR M1 rider concluded his sensational test in style finishing ahead of many riders who you could reasonably have expected to see above him on the timesheets -factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl and the whole Ducati outfit.

2014 A Espargaro Sepang helmet

Hola Forward, hello world! Once again commanding attention (and not just from all the pink on him) Aleix uses his helmet to say hello to his new team while making a mark on MotoGP for 2014 before the season has begun.
Image by Aleix Espargaro @AleixEspargaro on twitter and also shared via Instagram, other details as above.

Full list of final times for the third and final day below:

1. Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 59.533 (Lap 10/40)
2. Valentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 59.727 +0.194 (11/55)
3. Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 59.866 +0.333 (2/65)
4. Aleix Espargaro  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 1m 59.998 +0.465 (7/43)
5. Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 0.112 +0.579 (11/38)
6. Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.223 +0.690 (29/55)
7. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 0.370 +0.837 (10/40)
8. Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.655 +1.122 (8/65)
9. Andrea Iannone  Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 0.725 +1.192 (13/57)
10. Alvaro Bautista  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 0.788| +1.255 (3/63)
11. Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.896 +1.363 (10/65)
12. Cal Crutchlow  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.057 +1.524 (58/58)
13. Nicky Hayden  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 1.514 +1.981 (21/59)
14. Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 1.731 +2.198 (41/47)
15. Michele Pirro  Ducati Test Rider (Desmosedici) 2m 1.782 +2.249 (12/67)
16. Hiroshi Aoyama  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.383 +2.850 (61/66)
17. Randy De Puniet  Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 2.486 +2.953 (17/67)
18. Yonny Hernandez  Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.556 +3.023 (31/65)
19. Kosuke Akiyoshi  Honda Test Rider 2m 2.619 +3.086 (3/58)
20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.788 +3.255 (13/38)
21. Scott Redding  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 2m 2.833 +3.300 (42/60)
22. Michael Laverty  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 3.187 +3.654 (12/41)
23. Hector Barbera  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 3.204 +3.671 (49/54)
24. Broc Parkes  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 3.402 +3.869 (40/43)
25. Mike Di Meglio  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 4.516| +4.983 (28/58)
26. Nobuatsu Aoki  Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 5.686 +6.153 (10/12)
27. Karel Abraham  Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 5.974 +6.441 (6/12)

MotoGP: Marquez remains on top for day two and Iannone’s follow friendly helmet

Day two in Sepang for the MotoGP riders saw Marc Marquez go sub two minutes in Malaysia, the first rider to do so.

The top three times of the day were all set by Honda riders with the Spaniards factory team-mate second and LCR rider Stefan Bradl improving to third.

Valentino Rossi completed another solid day of testing with the fourth fastest time, just ahead of the rider of the test for me so far, Aleix Espargaro – who was the fifth best on day two, easily the best of the Open Class entries and one place faster than Rossi’s Yamaha colleague Jorge Lorenzo. Impressive.

Andrea Iannone saw off the factory Ducati riders once again with his Pramac machine, so to celebrate here’s his ‘follow me’ social media inspired helmet as the image for todays blog, Day two times listed below the picture:

2014 at andreaiannone29 sepang test

Still Crazy… The self styled ‘Maniac Joe’ wants you to follow him – just like Crutchlow and Dovizioso at the moment!
Image via Iannone himself initially posted on his Twitter feed – @andreaiannone29 and used under the fair use act

Sepang Test 2014 Day Two Times:

1. Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 59.926s (Lap 38/65)
2. Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.336s | +0.410s (12/62)
3. Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 0.339s | +0.413s (13/52)
4. Valentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.464s | +0.538s (18/61)
5. Aleix Espargaro  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 0.547s | +0.621s (16/42)
6. Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.573s | +0.647s (27/49)
7. Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.603s | +0.677s (27/66)
8. Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 0.855s | +0.929s (9/49)
9. Alvaro Bautista  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 0.897s | +0.971s (51/55)
10. Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.061s | +1.135s (4/49)
11. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.146s | +1.220s (8/45)
12. Cal Crutchlow  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.396s | +1.470s (11/48)
13. Michele Pirro  Ducati Test Rider (Desmosedici) 2m 2.177s | +2.251s (6/56)
14. Nicky Hayden  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.287s | +2.361s (25/58)
15. Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 2.545s | +2.619s (8/35)
16. Yonny Hernandez  Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.675s | +2.749s (13/45)
17. Kosuke Akiyoshi  Honda Test Rider 2m 2.692s | +2.766s (8/68)
18. Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.825s | +2.899s (65/66)
19. Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.970s | +3.044s (49/56)
20. Randy De Puniet  Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 3.064s | +3.138s (73/96)
21. Scott Redding  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 2m 3.117s | +3.191s (39/53)
22. Michael Laverty  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 3.528s | +3.602s (37/41)
23. Hector Barbera  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 4.551s | +4.625s (2/37)
24. Broc Parkes  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 4.619s | +4.693s (42/43)
25. Karel Abraham  Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 5.261s | +5.335s (21/32)
26. Mike Di Meglio  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 5.355s | +5.429s (4/34)

MotoGP: Valentino Rossi’s helmet for the Sepang 2014 test

MotoGP’s winter break is finally over (as is mine, with plenty of great blog reading for me to catch up on!) and to celebrate here is a picture of Rossi’s helmet for the Sepeng test as seen on Twitter and originally shared by MotoGP.com, hopefully for all his fans it will be the only view his rivals get of his face on track this season!

2014 Rossi Sepang test 1 helmet

Rossi’s helmet will look best if you are behind it! (So far that’s everyone EXCEPT Marquez!)
Image originally shared on twitter by @MotoGP reposted here under the fair use act

So far the helmet has served him well, finishing the first day in Sepang in second behind current World Champion Marc Marquez.

Here is a list of times from day 1:

1. Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.286s (52/62)
2. Valentino Rossi  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 0.804s | +0.518s (58/61)
3. Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 0.906s | +0.620s (73/75)
4. Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 1.082s | +0.796s (26/47)
5. Alvaro Bautista  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.240s | +0.954s (48/52)
6. Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.320s | +1.034s (10/25)
7. Aleix Espargaro  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 1.419s | +1.133s (19/26)
8. Andrea Iannone  Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 1.538s | +1.252s (38/44)
9. Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.634s | +1.348s (42/48)
10. Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.876s | +1.590s (54/55)
11. Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 2.483s | +2.197s (25/26)
12. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 2.497s | +2.211s (21/27)
13. Michele Pirro  Ducati Test Rider (Desmosedici) 2m 2.552s | +2.266s (47/48)
14. Cal Crutchlow  Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 2.860s | +2.574s (16/38)
15. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.891s | +2.605s (28/49)
16. Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 3.126s | +2.840s (14/35)
17. Nicky Hayden  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 3.319s | +3.033s (53/56)
18. Hiroshi Aoyama  Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 3.328s | +3.042s (49/51)
19. Randy de Puniet  Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 3.893s | +3.607s (47/75)
20. Kosuke Akiyoshi  Honda Test Rider 2m 4.267s | +3.981s (27/64)
21. Scott Redding  Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 2m 4.431s | +4.145s (41/48)
22. Hector Barbera  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 4.922s | +4.636s (34/44)
23. Mike di Meglio  Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 5.825s | +5.539s (50/51)
24. Broc Parkes  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 5.889s | +5.603s (32/40)
25. Michael Laverty  Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 2m 6.070s | +5.784s (14/14)
26. Karel Abraham  Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 6.755s | +6.469s (21/41)

Early indications from day 1 give the impression that a competitive season between Marquez/Rossi/Lorenzo and Pedrosa could be on the cards with Aleix Espargaro giving a star turn once again – impressing in the Open class, as he did as a CRT rider. Ducati still seem to have work to do…

Moto2: Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin heads to Moto2 for 2014?

Last year after an amazing result at his home race, I asked :

What next for Malaysian wild-card Hafizh Syahrin? Click on the link to see just how much promise he showed in his wild-card world championship appearances and a brief look at his history.

We know know what is next for the talented young rider. After a smattering appearances in this years championship Malaysian fans were given something to shout about as Syahrin appears to have landed himself a seat in Moto2 for 2014.

The team hinted at this in the quote from the Petronas Team Manager Barry Leong in the previous story, but asiaroadracing.com confirms the move seems to be done.

Hafizh Syahrin as a wild-card in Moto2. Image via asiaroadracing.com and Petronas Raceline Malaysia, editorial use only, under the fair use act

Hafizh Syahrin as a wild-card in Moto2. Image via asiaroadracing.com and Petronas Raceline Malaysia, editorial use only, under the fair use act.

 

 

 Team Petronas Raceline Malaysia announce in the article that they should be entering the Moto2 class of the 2014 World Motorcycle Grand Prix with  Syahrin . The announcement is made “pursuant to a written confirmation from Dorna and IRTA to Team Petronas Raceline Malaysia manager, Barry Leong”.

The move would continue the strong relationship that the Malaysian rider and team have forged; since Syahrin was twelve they have raced together; taking titles in the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship before moving on to the Asia Road Racing championship and the Spanish Championship together, where the Malaysian has been competing this year with a win in the Moto2 class of the CEV at the Navarra Circuit in September leaving him currently third in the riders overall standings.

It has been ten years since Malaysia has had a home based team in the the world championship. when Team Petronas Sprinta Yamaha rode in the 250cc class for 3 seasons.

Petronas were pleased with the move and what it does for malaysian motorsport as well as the progression of thier young charge Syahrin:

“Petronas is extremely happy with this announcement. Our commitment to Malaysian motor sports remains focused”.

“Through structured motorsports sponsorship and talent development programmes,  Petronas has played an instrumental role in providing right platforms for racing talents like Hafizh Syahrin and team management talents like Barry Leong and his Malaysian crew in the Team Petronas Raceline Malaysia to grow and flourish professionally.”

It means that Malaysia will have at least two riders to follow every race as Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin looks set to move to the secondary Ajo team. There could yet be more to come as a whole host of talented young Malaysian riders have impressed in wild-card and replacement rides this season, getting one foot in the door for a World Championship seat.

Image of the GP: Rossi Remembers in Sepang

There were many images of note over the three races held in Sepang, from the joy of Pedrosa winning, the battle between Marquez and Lorenzo with the gloves off, to the massive pile up that started Moto2.

With all these news making images and all the racing, it was the action of one rider which caused me to pick this for my Image of the GP:

Rossi remembers in Sepang

Rossi remebers in Sepang with a touching tribute to Simoncelli
Image via Twitter and the VR/46 official website, for editorial use only under the fair use act.

I know the world moves on but it was incredibly moving to see Rossi unexpectedly carry the flag for Marc Simoncelli, who sadly passed away at the circuit just two years ago on his warm down lap, it made me wish he had made the podium where no doubt he would have continued to celebrate the life of his fallen colleague and friend.

Sepang race reports online now!

Okay, MotoGP kind of fizzled out a little after the battle between Marquez and Lorenzo died down but what of the support classes?

Moto3 and Moto2 both saw their pole-sitters go on to win their respective races, plus there’s that massive Moto2 crash to consider!

For a quick briefing on events in both classes can be found at PaddockChatter.

For more detailed analysis my Moto2 and Moto3 reports written live this morning are at crash.net along with a detailed analysis of the Moto2 title battle between Brit Scott Redding and his main title rival Pol Espargaro here:

http://www.crash.net/motogp/news/196996/1/moto2_redding_reflects_on_race_restart_woes_in_sepang.html

Rabat Sepang

In control, rabat at Sepang
image via Pons Tuenti HP 40

Why not visit and comment, like and tweet to get more involved with the sport!

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!

Moto2: Marc VDS reveal new cooling system for riders in Sepang…

It gets hot a humid in Sepang. Then it rains, usually when it’s time for racing on Sunday.

This means it is essential for the MotoGP paddocks racers to be given new and innovative ways to keep cool amid the troublesome heat.

Marc VDS have come up with the perfect solution and here it is in action, being demonstrated by championship title contender Scott Redding, who has had problems in the humidity in the past…

 

Redding in a Bin

It’s Scott Redding on ice!
Image via the excellent @ianwheeler on Twitter

It’s a bin!

But it’s full of ice!

It’s simple and clever and hysterical to look at all at once, and what’s better than that as the season draws to a tense conclusion in Moto2! Thanks for the funnies Marc VDS, and kudos for being as resourceful as MacGuyver (If you need to look that up, congratulations on being young, wanna swap?!)