motorsport

Nina Prinz to wildcard at the Sachsenring & the women of the MotoGP championship

09/07/2014

 

As a visit to the Sachsenring looms for the MotoGP paddock ready for the German Grand Prix it has been revealed that 31-year old Nina Prinz will be a wildcard at the event.

She will not be the only woman in the paddock as Ana Carrasco is riding regularly in Moto3 this season and will also not be the first female to be handed a wildcard for the year as teenager Maria Herrera has run both of the Spanish rounds to date after success in her home Moto3 championship, moving her win tally in the CEV to three.

My full news style report on this can be found over at crash.net by clicking here.

It includes much more detail, including the lifting of the upper age limit at the end of last season which was also of  benefit to Sebastian Porto allowing him to ride at home in Argentina.

Writing that got me thinking about the other women of the world championship. It is easy to overlook what Carrasco is achieving in Moto3, this year she is one of a handful of riders struggling with the Kalex KTM. Her full potential on good machinery was laid bare when she finished eighth in the final round of last year.

Her points tally topples that of any other female attempting success in the male dominated sport the Spaniard so clearly enjoys.

Prinz is also not the first German woman to have a stab at championship success…

For more the full article detailing all the successes with the mention of a few other excellent female riders for good measure is at Paddock Chatter and available in full here.

 

 

 

MotoGP: The countdown to the new season – Yamaha’s 2014 livery and a new set of rules.

19/03/2014

The new season approaches and that means the time for a digest of the run in to the new season.

Yamaha got everyone whipped up by revealing their new livery for 2014….

2014 Yamaha

It’s nearly here! Yamaha got everyone hyped up for the new season with a well timed bike launch.
Image via Movistar Yamaha press release

Their bike launch may have amounted to so little change that it looked like someone had got some giant green ‘M’ stickers and added them to last seasons design effort, but not in a bad way, the 2013 bike was quite nice anyway, it just leaves the Yamaha looking a little busy. With lots of green’M’s on it (Movistar AND Monster).

The most important thing is that the bike is fast to guarantee some tight racing from Qatar and beyond. And at least Yamaha won’t have to spend too long pouring over the last minute rule changes that the paddock arrived to in Doha.

DSC_0506

Are you ready? Back under the floodlights in Qatar.
(Image by D@ly3D via Flickr used under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0)

There were a few nuggets, really important nuggets of information inside the latest rule adjustments. Ducati are now re-classed (again!) as a ‘factory’ team.

As the only factory team to have not achieved a win in the previous season the new rule change keeps them under the ‘factory’ title but with the allowances they were aiming for with the open switch intact – until they hit a certain number of top three results (which is what the quickly abandoned ‘factory 2’ was all about).

By again being listed in the Factory class, Ducati will not need to use the Open class ECU software. Bonus.

A race win, two second places or three podium places in dry conditions this season change all that – they will have their race fuel reduced from 24 to 22 litres. If Ducati go on to win three races  they will also lose the right to use the softer  rear tyre available to the Open class. It will also apply to any new factory (Suzuki if they re-enter as planned in 2015, for example).

All other Open class concessions – twelve engine changes, no development ban – will be unaffected irrespective of results.

Hopefully that clears that up….

The other big news is that MotoGP now plans to impliment a standard ECU – both hardware and software – from 2016.

Full rules as laid out by the Grand Prix Commission below:

“1. The Championship ECU and software will be mandatory for all entries with effect from 2016.
All current and prospective participants in the MotoGP class will collaborate to assist with the design and development of the Championship ECU software. During the development of the software a closed user web site will be set up to enable participants to monitor software development and to input their suggested modifications.

“2. With immediate effect, a Manufacturer with entries under the factory option who has not achieved a win in dry conditions in the previous year, or new Manufacturer entering the Championship, is entitled to use 12 engines per rider per season (no design freezing), 24 litres of fuel and the same tyres allocation and testing opportunities as the Open category. This concession is valid until the start of the 2016 season.

“3. The above concessions will be reduced under the following circumstances:
Should any rider, or combination of riders nominated by the same Manufacturer, participating under the conditions of described in clause 2 above, achieve a race win, two second places or three podium places in dry conditions during the 2014 season then for that Manufacturer the fuel tank capacity will be reduced to 22 litres. Furthermore, should the same Manufacturer achieve three race wins in the 2014 season the manufacturer would also lose the right to use the soft tyres available to Open category entries.

“In each case the reduced concessions will apply to the remaining events of the 2014 season and the whole of the 2015 season.”

A final word for Marc Marquez who went from “not 100%” for Qatar to revealing “Five days ago I was not able to walk but now it’s coming better”. That’s the words of a champion who is eager to repeat success. Hopefully Marquez, Rossi, Lorenzo and the rest of the MotoGP grid can provide the kind of edge-of-your-seat racing 2014 has been building up to.

Game on.

Moto2/3: Jerez test round-up – it’s all about numbers…

The Jerez test for Moto2 and Moto3 moves the racing focus back onto the junior classes and saw Jack Miller and Taka Nakagami top the respective combined timesheets for the classes.

Also impressing ahead of the season start in Qatar in Moto3 was Alex Marquez who has seemed to make the most of the Estrella Galicia Honda switch in second and rookie Karel Hanika; winner of the 2013 Red Bull Rookie title; who quickly adapted to post the third best time.

Hope of a strong season for the Brits was amplified by some great lapping by John McPhee and Danny Kent in sixth and seventh respectively after their day three performances.

Taka Nakagami lead the way in Moto2 with the list dominated by strong efforts from riders who have only offered a glimpse of greatness before.

All staking a claim that this could be their season were former Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese in second, uninjured Interwetten regular Tom Luthi in third and the now recovered Xavier Simeon in foruth. Johann Zarco was fifth best for the Caterham team.

Top rookie honours in Jerez went to Luis Salom in sixth. His Pons team-mate – the reigning Moto3 title holder Maverick Vinales was next best in 11th.

Speed-Up’s Sam Lowes held 13th place despite suffering from tendonitis. Fellow Brit Gino Rea put his privateer AGT Rea RAcing machine into a steady start in 22nd.

Full times at the end of the blog.

Numbers continued to be an issue as the rules on how your racing number can look in the lightweight classes have been tightened further.

After Scott Redding had to do away with his star in Moto2, rules were already fairly strict. but After Caterham tweeted out the image of a very patriotic stars and stripes design for Josh Herrin, it became clear that none of the designer fun the MotoGP boys can have with their brand was going to be seen this year in Moto2 (or 3).

Here’s the image:

2014 Caterham old

Pretty, patriotic and soon to be gone…the Caterham/Herrin number which sparked the numbers discussion.
Image originally shared via Twitter and reproduced here under the fair use act

A reply to the image was telling (from Ian Wheeler):

“Rule is single colour only. No stars, no chrome, just plain vinyl”.

This opens up the whole brand argument. The riders of today’s MotoGP championships tend to stick with their numbers through thick and thin, forsaking the #1 plate in favour of their superstitions, their character, their brand – the number emblazoned on the products the fans buy.

Moto2 and Moto3 are never dull race-wise, but red tape means that again it will be a little subdued on the graphics front.

Back to the starting board before Qatar for the sticker designers then!

Full Moto3 combined Jerez test times:

1. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 46.259s
2. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 46.359s
3. Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 46.381s
4. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 46.388s
5. Efren Vazquez SPA Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 46.392s
6. John McPhee GBR Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 46.493s
7. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 46.547s
8. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 46.551s
9. Romano Fenati ITA Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 46.592s
10. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 46.612s
11. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 46.694s
12. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 46.768s
13. Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 46.782s
14. Niccolo Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 46.840s
15. Philipp Oettl GER Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 46.967s
16. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 46.985s
17. Francesco Bagnaia ITA Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 47.041s
18. Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 47.068s
19. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 47.315s
20. Arthur Sissis AUS Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 47.419s
21. Alessandro Tonucci ITA CIP (Mahindra) 1m 47.454s
22. Livio Loi BEL Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 47.559s
23. Ana Carrasco SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 47.587s
24. Scott Deroue NED RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 47.797s
25. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 48.032s
26. Andrea Locatelli ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 48.186s
27. Matteo Ferrari ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 48.265s
28. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 48.614s
29. Luca Grunwald GER Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 48.752s
30. Jules Danilo FRA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 49.104s
31. Bryan Schouten NED CIP (Mahindra) 1m 49.891s
32. Gabriel Ramos VEN Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 50.005s
33. Hafiza Rofa MAL SIC-Ajo (KTM) 1m 53.100s

Full Moto2 combined Jerez test times:

1. Takaaki Nakagami JPN Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 42.206s
2. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 42.393s
3. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.472s
4. Xavier Simeon BEL Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.556s
5. Johann Zarco FRA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 42.616s
6. Luis Salom SPA Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 42.628s
7. Lorenzo Baldassarri ITA Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.639s
8. Alex De Angelis RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.699s
9. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 42.778s
10. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 42.822s
11. Maverick Viñales SPA Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 42.872s
12. Jonas Folger GER Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 42.910s
13. Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up (Speed Up) 1m 42.928s
14. Franco Morbidelli ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 42.936s
15. Julian Simon SPA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.024s
16. Marcel Schrotter GER Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 43.149s
17. Axel Pons SPA Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 43.187s
18. Mattia Pasini ITA NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 43.189s
19. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 43.211s
20. Louis Rossi FRA SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 43.211s
21. Josh Herrin USA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 43.622s
22. Gino Rea GBR AGT-Rea Racing (Suter) 1m 43.645s
23. Randy Krummenacher SWI Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 43.751s
24. Hafizh Syahrin MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 1m 43.812s
25. Azlan Shah MAL Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 43.938s
26. Ricky Cardus SPA Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 44.029s
27. Roman Ramos SPA QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 44.099s
28. Tetsuta Nagashima JPN Teluru Team JiR Webike (TSR) 1m 44.658s
29. Thitipong Warokorn THA APH PTT The Pizza SAG (Kalex) 1m 45.190s
30. Robin Mulhauser SWI Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 45.361s

1 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN Idemitsu Honda Team Asia KALEX 1:42.206 Day 3 Session 1
2 Sandro CORTESE 11 GER Dynavolt Intact GP KALEX 1:42.393 0.187 0.187 Day 3 Session 1
3 Thomas LUTHI 12 SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 SUTER 1:42.472 0.266 0.079 Day 3 Session 1
4 Xavier SIMEON 19 BEL Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 SUTER 1:42.556 0.35 0.084 Day 3 Session 1
5 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing CATERHAM SUTER 1:42.616 0.41 0.06 Day 3 Session 2
6 Luis SALOM 39 SPA Pons HP 40 KALEX 1:42.628 0.422 0.012 Day 3 Session 3
7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI 7 ITA Gresini Moto2 SUTER 1:42.639 0.433 0.011 Day 3 Session 2
8 Alex DE ANGELIS 15 RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 SUTER 1:42.699 0.493 0.06 Day 3 Session 2
9 Dominique AEGERTER 77 SWI Technomag CarXpert SUTER 1:42.778 0.572 0.079 Day 3 Session 3
10 Simone CORSI 3 ITA NGM Forward Racing FORWARD KLX 1:42.822 0.616 0.044 Day 3 Session 1
11 Maverick VIÑALES 40 SPA Pons HP 40 KALEX 1:42.872 0.666 0.05 Day 3 Session 1
12 Jonas FOLGER 94 GER Argiñano & Gines Racing KALEX 1:42.910 0.704 0.038 Day 3 Session 3
13 Sam LOWES 22 GBR Speed Up SPEED UP 1:42.928 0.722 0.018 Day 1 Session 3
14 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA Italtrans Racing Team KALEX 1:42.936 0.73 0.008 Day 3 Session 1
15 Julian SIMON 60 SPA Italtrans Racing Team KALEX 1:43.024 0.818 0.088 Day 3 Session 3
16 Marcel SCHROTTER 23 GER Tech 3 TECH 3 1:43.149 0.943 0.125 Day 3 Session 3
17 Axel PONS 49 SPA Argiñano & Gines Racing KALEX 1:43.187 0.981 0.038 Day 3 Session 1
18 Mattia PASINI 54 ITA NGM Forward Racing FORWARD KLX 1:43.189 0.983 0.002 Day 3 Session 1
19 Anthony WEST 95 AUS QMMF Racing Team SPEED UP 1:43.211 1.005 0.022 Day 3 Session 3
20 Louis ROSSI 96 FRA SAG Team KALEX 1:43.211 1.005 Day 3 Session 1
21 Josh HERRIN 2 USA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing CATERHAM SUTER 1:43.622 1.416 0.411 Day 3 Session 2
22 Gino REA 8 GBR AGT-Rea Racing SUTER 1:43.645 1.439 0.023 Day 3 Session 3
23 Randy KRUMMENACHER 4 SWI Iodaracing Project SUTER 1:43.751 1.545 0.106 Day 3 Session 2
24 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia KALEX 1:43.812 1.606 0.061 Day 2 Session 2
25 Azlan SHAH 25 MAL Idemitsu Honda Team Asia KALEX 1:43.938 1.732 0.126 Day 3 Session 3
26 Ricky CARDUS 88 SPA Tech 3 TECH 3 1:44.029 1.823 0.091 Day 3 Session 2
27 Roman RAMOS 97 SPA QMMF Racing Team SPEED UP 1:44.099 1.893 0.07 Day 3 Session 2
28 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA 45 JPN Teluru Team JiR Webike TSR 1:44.658 2.452 0.559 Day 3 Session 2
29 Thitipong WAROKORN 10 THA APH PTT The Pizza SAG KALEX 1:45.190 2.984 0.532 Day 3 Session 3
30 Robin MULHAUSER 70 SWI Technomag CarXpert SUTER 1:45.361 3.155 0.171 Day 3 Session 2
31 Alexis MASBOU 10 FRA Ongetta-Rivacold HONDA 1:49.314 2.956 0.052 Day 2 Session 2 – See more at: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=Jerez-Moto2-test:-Combined-three-day-times&newsid=11367#sthash.EJ7X136b.dpuf
1 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN Idemitsu Honda Team Asia KALEX 1:42.206 Day 3 Session 1
2 Sandro CORTESE 11 GER Dynavolt Intact GP KALEX 1:42.393 0.187 0.187 Day 3 Session 1
3 Thomas LUTHI 12 SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 SUTER 1:42.472 0.266 0.079 Day 3 Session 1
4 Xavier SIMEON 19 BEL Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 SUTER 1:42.556 0.35 0.084 Day 3 Session 1
5 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing CATERHAM SUTER 1:42.616 0.41 0.06 Day 3 Session 2
6 Luis SALOM 39 SPA Pons HP 40 KALEX 1:42.628 0.422 0.012 Day 3 Session 3
7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI 7 ITA Gresini Moto2 SUTER 1:42.639 0.433 0.011 Day 3 Session 2
8 Alex DE ANGELIS 15 RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 SUTER 1:42.699 0.493 0.06 Day 3 Session 2
9 Dominique AEGERTER 77 SWI Technomag CarXpert SUTER 1:42.778 0.572 0.079 Day 3 Session 3
10 Simone CORSI 3 ITA NGM Forward Racing FORWARD KLX 1:42.822 0.616 0.044 Day 3 Session 1
11 Maverick VIÑALES 40 SPA Pons HP 40 KALEX 1:42.872 0.666 0.05 Day 3 Session 1
12 Jonas FOLGER 94 GER Argiñano & Gines Racing KALEX 1:42.910 0.704 0.038 Day 3 Session 3
13 Sam LOWES 22 GBR Speed Up SPEED UP 1:42.928 0.722 0.018 Day 1 Session 3
14 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA Italtrans Racing Team KALEX 1:42.936 0.73 0.008 Day 3 Session 1
15 Julian SIMON 60 SPA Italtrans Racing Team KALEX 1:43.024 0.818 0.088 Day 3 Session 3
16 Marcel SCHROTTER 23 GER Tech 3 TECH 3 1:43.149 0.943 0.125 Day 3 Session 3
17 Axel PONS 49 SPA Argiñano & Gines Racing KALEX 1:43.187 0.981 0.038 Day 3 Session 1
18 Mattia PASINI 54 ITA NGM Forward Racing FORWARD KLX 1:43.189 0.983 0.002 Day 3 Session 1
19 Anthony WEST 95 AUS QMMF Racing Team SPEED UP 1:43.211 1.005 0.022 Day 3 Session 3
20 Louis ROSSI 96 FRA SAG Team KALEX 1:43.211 1.005 Day 3 Session 1
21 Josh HERRIN 2 USA AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing CATERHAM SUTER 1:43.622 1.416 0.411 Day 3 Session 2
22 Gino REA 8 GBR AGT-Rea Racing SUTER 1:43.645 1.439 0.023 Day 3 Session 3
23 Randy KRUMMENACHER 4 SWI Iodaracing Project SUTER 1:43.751 1.545 0.106 Day 3 Session 2
24 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia KALEX 1:43.812 1.606 0.061 Day 2 Session 2
25 Azlan SHAH 25 MAL Idemitsu Honda Team Asia KALEX 1:43.938 1.732 0.126 Day 3 Session 3
26 Ricky CARDUS 88 SPA Tech 3 TECH 3 1:44.029 1.823 0.091 Day 3 Session 2
27 Roman RAMOS 97 SPA QMMF Racing Team SPEED UP 1:44.099 1.893 0.07 Day 3 Session 2
28 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA 45 JPN Teluru Team JiR Webike TSR 1:44.658 2.452 0.559 Day 3 Session 2
29 Thitipong WAROKORN 10 THA APH PTT The Pizza SAG KALEX 1:45.190 2.984 0.532 Day 3 Session 3
30 Robin MULHAUSER 70 SWI Technomag CarXpert SUTER 1:45.361 3.155 0.171 Day 3 Session 2
31 Alexis MASBOU 10 FRA Ongetta-Rivacold HONDA 1:49.314 2.956 0.052 Day 2 Session 2 – See more at: http://www.bikesportnews.com/news-detail.cfm?newstitle=Jerez-Moto2-test:-Combined-three-day-times&newsid=11367#sthash.EJ7X136b.dpuf

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: Rea announces American partnership for a full racing season.

After a year of being a true privateer in Moto2 there was high hopes that Gino Rea would have shown enough of his talent and all of his determination and land a good ride for the 2014 season.

With competition for seats fierce and paying to ride instead of rewarding talent becoming, sadly, much more common Londoner Rea has not been one to sit back and let his career fall by the wayside.

So, after shifting between Gino Rea Montaze Broz  wild-card rides and a stand-in stint at Arginano & Gines for the flyaway rounds; giving the Spanish team their best performances; Rea has at least guaranteed he will again be present on the grid and this time he will have more stability, via American involvement in his own project, easing his funding worries.

Gino Rea

In Moto2 again for 2014, Gino Rea announces his new project. Image via Flickr and by the excellent Jared Earle, used under the creative commons agreement and licencing rules.

One again a one rider team, Rea will be based in the USA and riding under the World Motors/AGT Rea Racing banner.

Texas based World Motors will run the team and will be the only U.S. based entry in the championship. They bring with them American sponsor money from AGT, a green technology lighting company.

This continues a slow burning trend of increased American interest and presence in the MotoGP Paddock. Following on from Attack Performance and GP Tech’s wild-card performances and the addition of Austin to the calendar, the inclusion of the first U.S team arrives with the promising Josh Herrin being signed to ride for Caterham, pretty much the running the opposite of the Rea Team with an American rider at a British based team.

Rea had made a tremendous start to his Moto2 career when he scored a podium in his debut season in 2012 at the Malaysian Grand Prix. His Team for 2013 then withdrew leaving Gino ride-less, forcing him to pick up his game which he did amicably, forming his own team to ride and gaining donations via his own website, which he designed. The Brit even spread his wings far enough to start his own coffee company!

Rea will once again be using FTR, but will not be alone in doing so in 2014 as the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team also switch to using the British chassis.

He will also not be the only Briton in the class after Scott Redding moved up to MotoGP and Danny Kent dropped back down for a stab at Moto3 glory as he will be joined by Sam Lowes at Speed Up.

Rea was, understandably elated:

“I couldn’t be any happier right now! 2013 was a difficult year for me and I’m over the moon that my hard work has brought me this amazing opportunity. Joining forces with Dave Peterson of World Motors Inc. and Martin R. de Rooy with the support of AGT (American Green Technology), to race in the full Moto2 Championship as a permanent team is just incredible. I am so grateful and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a very exciting time for us. We have worked extremely hard to make this happen and I believe we have the potential to do great things in 2014.

“This year we progressed a lot throughout the season and at the last race of the year as a privateer team, I showed what is capable by qualifying just 0.5 tenths from second position. I can’t wait to go testing and work logically and methodically with the bike, it’s something we never got to do this year.”

Full press release below where you can find out more about the new team and there are links too for all of this blogs previous Gino Rea content:

Previously on survival of the fastest:

Moto2:Recommended reading Gino Rea’s blog

Moto2: news and new merchandise from Gino Rea – Coffee

Moto2: Gino Rea has to wait for Le Mans to kick off season

Moto2: Gino Rea creates his own team for wild-card rides in 2013

Moto2: Gino needs you! Rea loses funding and place on 2013 grid

Don’t forget you can get involved to by visiting ginoreaclub.com or buying coffee (yes, coffee, why not?!) at ginoreacoffee.com

Press Release:

AGT REA RACING SET TO COMPETE IN THE 2014 MOTO2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH GINO REA​

AGT (American Green Technology) will back World Motors Rea Racing team in their entry to the 2014 Moto2 class of World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) on a full-season basis with their rider, Gino Rea.

Dave Peterson, President and CEO of World Motors, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, has joined forces with new Team Director Martin R. de Rooy in conjunction with Dave and Gino Rea of Rea Racing, to create World Motors Rea Racing LLC. Welcoming AGT on board as title sponsor, World Motors Rea Racing will be known as AGT Rea Racing in what will be the only American-based Moto2 World Motorcycle Grand Prix Racing Team.

AGT REA Racing will compete in what is arguably one of the most competitive motorcycling classes in the world with their debut race taking place under the floodlights of Qatar on March 23rd. Team owner Dave Peterson has expressed his excitement.

“We are excited to support our partner and rider Gino Rea in his quest for Moto2 glory in the 2014 World Championship,” states Peterson. “We’d like to thank AGT for all of their support and sponsorship. We look forward to a fun-filled and successful campaign”

Danny Bogar, CEO of AGT, compares the way in which AGT can transform the lighting industry to the rich history of motorcycling and the innovations in technology that are required to compete at an elite level. “Competing in business and sports is like anything else, you have to stay in the game and anticipate your next move and your competitors’ next move. Build a better bike or your competitor will build a better, faster bike. I like the parallels. It’s a fun sport that draws an international audience. We are happy to be a part of it.”

AGT Rea Racing rider Gino Rea has made a promising start to his Moto2 career. Debuting in Moto2 in 2012, he found the podium with a third place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix . Unfortunately, Gino’s team withdrew just before the 2013 season and he was forced to run his own team and budget. Joining forces with the Montáže Brož European Superstock 600 team for the latter part of the 2013 season, Gino benefitted from a more professional set up and the support of a bigger crew. Gino’s talent did not go unnoticed and he was invited to substitute for an injured rider in the Argiñano & Ginés Racing Team. Despite the challenge of getting to know a new bike, Gino more than proved his worth, scoring the team four valuable Moto2 World Championship points and delivering their best performances of the season.

Gino had this to say about the new partnership, “I couldn’t be any happier right now! 2013 was a difficult year for me and I’m over the moon that my hard work has brought me this amazing opportunity. Joining forces with Dave Peterson of World Motors Inc. and Martin R. de Rooy with the support of AGT (American Green Technology), to race in the full Moto2 Championship as a permanent team is just incredible. I am so grateful and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a very exciting time for us. We have worked extremely hard to make this happen and I believe we have the potential to do great things in 2014.

“This year we progressed a lot throughout the season and at the last race of the year as a privateer team, I showed what is capable by qualifying just 0.5 tenths from second position. I can’t wait to go testing and work logically and methodically with the bike, it’s something we never got to do this year.”

Peterson further states, “I am just recovering from the initial terror and trepidation of forming an international racing team. After years of dreaming about this, it’s wonderful to see it become a reality. I’ve always had such a great passion for MotoGP. With Gino’s considerable talent and AGT’s quest for world markets, the decision to form a world class Moto2 Grand Prix team was easy and finally a realization of my dreams.”

The 2014 MotoGP season kicks off at Losail International Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Qatar. www.motogp.com

Learn more about AGT & Gino Rea

About American Green Technology:

American Green Technology® is a leader in efficient technologies and the manufacture and import of “magnetic induction lights”, the most energy efficient mass lighting solution. Boasting a life span over 100,000 hours, induction lights reduce energy costs by 50-70% and virtually eliminate maintenance. Primary markets include municipal, industrial and commercial applications. More than 1,500 independent lighting professionals represent American Green Technology across the United States, and internationally in more than a dozen countries. For more information about AGT, visit www.agtus.org or call 269-340-9975.

 

And the award for the most crashes in MotoGP 2013 goes to…

The season is over and the first part of testing is done, so what to fill the early days off the off-season with?

First up – The Dorna Final Falls report.

The MotoGP organizers have collated all the data from Qatar to Valencia to provide an insight into a much asked question – who crashes the most in MotoGP?

No Spoliers here! The least crashy rider (Lorenzo) on the least crashy track (Qatar). what might have been with just one crash less (Assen) – quantity isn’t everything!
Image via Flickr by Fiat Yamaha Team and used under the creative commons licence.

As you would expect from such a huge grid Moto2 is the class with the most crashes, it has held that ‘honour’ every year since it was launched to replace the 250cc class in 2010.

The race weekend that was the scene of the most falls was Le Mans, registering 68 crashes over the three racing classes. Misano was a close second with 66, Putting the notion that the rain causes accidents aplenty to bed – both races were dry.

By comparison the opener in Losail, Qatar under tricky lighting conditions from being a floodlight night race has the least crashes, with just 34 to it’s name. Also scoring low was the next best – Indianapolis – and despite the riders still having safety concerns after some recent heavy crashes (which will hopefully become a thing of the past after getting their new asphalt laid!) it saw just 37 crashes over all three classes in 2013.

The corner which saw the most crashes was La Caixa (which is what my gravatar profile is represented by, the little picture in the top corner of this blog is the famous ‘La Caixa’ timing scoreboard, as taken by me at the track, though you can see the iconic symbol long before you arrive!).

Also known by the more boring ‘Turn 10’ the left hander at the Montmelo track in Barcelona saw an immense 28 crashes over the course of the 2013 Catalunya Grand Prix!

It was streets ahead of the nearest rivals both in Le Mans – turns 3 and 7 – which had 18 each.

Now the big one – the riders with the most crashes in each class (and despite his reputation there is no room for Axel Pons!)

Moto3 – Eric Granado – 19

Moto2 – Rafid Topan Sucipto – 26 (also the highest overall figure)

MotoGP – Yonny Hernandez – 20.

Eric Granado is still very young after initially joining Moto2 during the 2012 season when he had to wait to turn 16. His first year in Moto3 has clearly been a big learning curve after making the step down.

Sucipto actually tailed off his crashes in the last few races to put in some strong results, while it is also worth noting that Hernandez also crashed less when he departed the Paul Bird Motorsport team for Pramac Ducati. He gets to ride for them again next season where he could prove again to be one of Ducati’s least prolific crashers.

To complete the MotoGP top three, Marc Marquez came in second with 15, Cal Crutchlow third with 14.

At the other end of the scale, with just three crashes each were Andrea Dovizioso, Colin Edwards and; proving it’s not how often you fall but how hard that counts; Jorge Lorenzo.

 

Image of the GP- Phillip Island: What rules are for!

I feel for Marquez. No-one likes to see the black flag shown to them. It is demoralizing. It means there was a massive mistake made. With all the fingers pointing at YOU.

It appears his side of the garage thought they could interpret the special ‘come in on lap nine or ten’ rule differently. either that or someone can not read and/or count (-to ten!!) No-one is going to admit to that.

The rule was brought in for Safety.

This image of the GP shows why:

MM rear tyre wear PI Kim Schwaner @schwaner

Tyre destruction. This picture doing the social media rounds purports to be an unaltered picture of Marc Marquez’s rear tyre, showing EXACTLY why those forced changes to the rules were brought in at Phillip Island.
Image via Twitter and posted by Kim Schwaner at @schwaner, used for reporting under the fair use act. UPDATE: now also shared by the rider himself and available to see at @marcmarquez93

This shows why it was so crucial to have that stop. Sure the race was a farce, but from a viewers point of view, if they hadn’t done it there may have been no race at all.

Much of the blame has to sit with Bridgestone/Dunlop, new surface should mean a tyre test, surely? Though you can also point fingers at just about anyone for a part of the mess that was the Australian GP.

As for Marquez, the tyre may show why he HAD to come in, but a black flag seems pretty severe, even if decided beforehand for such a different race. there are many other ways to say ‘You didn’t comply so you can’t win!’

He probably didn’t look behind enough exiting towards a speeding Lorenzo, but if they knew he had infringed the rules and would be disqualified he shouldn’t have been there at that point anyway, they could have held him in the pits.

Logic suggests his safest action would have been to just copy Lorenzo and follow him when he pitted. The Yamaha rider needed to beat him after all so copying his tactics would have kept him where he needed to be in the championship and still left him in contention for the win.

Poor Cudlin was shown the black flag when he hadn’t done anything wrong, which shows how far into farce the race fell. It was certainly different to watch.

Recommended reading: Why viewers are so important to motorsport

This week the blog posts I have read here on WordPress and thoroughly enjoyed have both been discussing the important part us, as viewers play – or should play – in the broader motorsport picture. After all if there was no-one to watch them they wouldn’t be worth the millions as an industry they are now!

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More of this? More money please! Motorsport, viewers and money is the hot topic this week!
Image by Image Nation Photography (Ben Henderson) via Flickr and used under the creative commons agreement

Over at AmerF1can an excellent Q&A with James Allen then analysed by the writer JohnPierre Rivera looks at F1 in America. As a UK writer i found it interesting to see sport viewership mirrored, F1 is considered ‘niche’ while our beloved football is free. ( For those outside the UK, here this was, and for the most part still is, reversed.

F1 is part free-to-air at our flagship broadcaster BBC, though these days there have to share the content with pay TV Satellite company Sky. Premiership football is now split across two pay services Sky and BT Sport.

There is much more to the post than this though it also deals with how long it has been since a successful U.S. driver made a mark on the championship ( which I thought drew interesting comparisons with MotoGP, somewhere where Americans have had more recent success, but still not readily watched ) what F1 can do to raise appeal and the impact of NASCAR and the American obsession with it’s oval racing.

Great stuff. Read more here: http://amerf1can.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/f1-and-america-an-interview-with-james-allen/

Also on WordPress this week and a great compliment to the above over at the F1 Broadcasting blog they dared to ask Dorna if they planned to show any highlights packages on mainstream UK t.v. after the main programming strand was acquired by BT Sport “free if you have BT Broadband” but not very free at all for most, with BT also announcing price hikes for their phone and broadband customers this week.

The reply (or lack of) to a simple question, not even a complaint is very telling and a great subject for a post.

Interesting again, more on this here: http://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/a-message-to-dorna-sports/

The general consensus is money, money, money. they like making it, we have to spend it to watch, yet we have very little say in the content we are provided.

In terms of MotoGP perhaps Dorna are making a case to cut out the middleman and take the content direct from them, then again BT Sport may cost a bit, but their content and interest in promoting British talent looks promising.

Maybe it’s our fault for getting too complacent and moaning about the BBC coverage while forgetting it was free for all? Maybe they should not have presumed their bid to provide the t.v. coverage would be the winning one?

Read, enjoy and discuss! Personally I would be interested to find out what motorsport coverage is like in different countries!

Moto3 and Moto2 Aragon qualifying reports online now!

Moto3 and Moto2 round-ups: Dominant performances leads to pole for Rins and Terol…

Terol Austin Aragon

Terol won in Austin, can he do it again in Aragon?
image via Mapfre Aspar

Well it’s a race weekend again, and you’ll probably keep up-to-date with the MotoGP goings-on, but what happened in the support class qualifying sessions.

To find out more about the excellent performances of Alex Rins and Nico Terol and how title race leaders  Luis Salom and Scott Redding both struggled you can check out my round up on PaddockChatter.com or for more in-depth coverage my Moto3 and Moto2 reports are available at Crash.net.

Hopefully both races will live up to the promise shown in qualifying!