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Motegi’s Manga for MotoGP returns for 2014

09/10/2014

Motegi, and a lack of sleep due to the time difference, are almost here. So, as is now commonplace and hotly anticipated, that means it’s Official Motegi Manga time!

Again the artwork for the MotoGP race is exceptional, with Lorenzo looking particularly menacing in his quest for a win!

For more on the previous versions of the riders in previous years (including the ever popular ‘Crazy Crutchlow’!) try my previous blog posts listed below:

https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/motogp-turning-japanese-motegi-has-a-manga-poster-again-for-2013/

https://survivalofthefastest.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/motogp-arrives-in-japan-motegi-news-round-up/

Indy reports online now/ Edwards says goodbye to racing at home in camo

10/08/2014

What a weekend of racing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway brought.

There were many stand out performances with Marquez making it  a perfect 10, which also happened to be Spains 500th Gp win and 100th victory in the Premier class, plus Kallio beat Saarinen’s Finnish win record in Moto2  and Vazquez tasted victory for the first time in Moto3.

For all your race report needs I have been busy reporting over at crash.net with my Moto3 report here and Moto2 here

If you like your news all in one place you can try a slightly more condensed and combined round up at PaddockChatter here

If reading is not your thing at the end of a long race weekend here’s a final couple of  pictures from Twitter, in tribute to the fact that Indy marked Colin Edwards final race on home soil. He is awesome on and off track and will no doubt be missed widely as one of the big characters of the sport.He went full camo, very appropriate given his links as a tribute to the American troops and Texas Tornado Bootcamp!:

Then to wake you back up as you reminisce about Edwards long and excellent career I’ll finish with Dominique Aegerter’s luminous yellow leathers from the weekend, couldn’t miss him!:

 

 

 

 

MotoGP: Marquez joins the Indianapolis special helmet ranks

09/08/2014

He’s the championship leader annihilator, marching forward with a perfect record for race wins so far this season, so it’s really no big surprise that Marc Marquez has a special helmet ready to share for his American fanbase for the Indy race weekend.

The stars and stripes design is fairly standard for an American themed helmet, but the little graphic on the back featuring the phrase ‘USA special’ and a race marshal waving chequered flags is quite, well, special.

He gave a little reveal of it previously when he took it to watch the Indy mile and Tweeted this picture of it:

 

MotoGP: Monster reveal Lorenzo’s Indianapolis helmet

08/08/2014

The summer break is done for all of us and MotoGP returns this weekend in the USA at the IMS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway to you and I, and as I’ll be typing a lot this weekend I’m going with ‘Indy’.

Jorge Lorenzo is officially off holidays ( he even went hashtag crazy with #ByeByeHolidays so you know he means business!) and back at Yamaha with a new contract that was announced with more of a whimper than a bang despite the PR machines best efforts as it wasn’t much of a secret.

The Spaniard has even taken to flogging his sunglasses via social media with a handsome discount code to boot. But Lorenzo is now the frontrunner of the special helmet brigade! Not a market salesman! Never fear. He just hasn’t told you about it as Monster were left to do the work for him:

Sticking with the snakes it appears to be some type of metal take on his mamba theme.

Hopefully there will be some more specials this weekend that are yet to be revealed. It’s becoming less frequent in the USA with less Americans in the top class of racing. Sadly for all the MotoGP family tomorrow will include a Special livery for Colin Edwards final American race. All good things come to an end but after a long run in the championship the paddock will be missing some character. With Nicky Hayden out injured there will be no United States rider in MotoGP in Brno.

 

MotoGP: Pedrosa and Espargaro’s Catalunya helmet art celebrates coming home

14/06/2014

With so many Spanish riders in the MotoGP paddock there was bound to be a selection of special helmets doing the rounds in Spain.

The Espargaro brothers are Barcelona locals, their support of Barcelona FC is often apparent, while Dani Pedrosa is originally from Sabadell, just outside the city and very close to the Montmelo track.

The Repsol Honda rider not only had a pole to celebrate but a helmet celebrating his fanbase, a touching tribute showing what the Spaniards fans mean to him:

 

The helmet features the phrase ‘You don’t race alone’ an image in black and white of his fans with banners in the stands and his usual cartoon logo replaced with the fanclub sticker version. Possibly Pedrosa’s best helmet to date.

Aleix Espargaro’s effort is slightly aimed at Twitter featuring the hashtag #WhereItAllStarted a refrence to Montmelo being his home circuit, an accompanying graphic of the track sits above it:

 

His leathers, bike and helmet are all also designed to support Special Olympics Catalunya – a local charity organisation set up to “promote the practice of sport among people with intellectual disability as a tool for social integration and to improve their quality of life”. A great cause.

Finally, as a helmet art bonus, down in Moto3 Isaac Vinales also had a different design on show for his home race, some excellent work by @SLGrafics :

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

Moto2/Moto3: Jerez starts with Rabat and Miller on top.

2014 Rins42 surgery

Out – Alex Rins is not at Jerez to have surgery on a cyst on his wrist. Missing in Moto2 is Gino Rea – he rode the Valencia test with a broken foot!
Image via Alex Rins Twitter account @Rins42

Moto2 and Moto3 got down to testing again as the paddock moved on to Jerez.

Moto2 saw Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat sitting at the top of the timesheets one the opening day of testing after sneaking the best time of the day at the damp track from Tom Luthi late on, though both riders impressed with sub 1m 43s times.

other performances of note were Speed Up rider Sam Lowes keeping on the pace in fourth and just one place behind him in fifth Maverick Vinales, the Moto3 graduate also finding his feet in the intermediate class.

Moto3 was lead by Austraian Jack Miller, fast as he seemed he would be once free of the Honda he impressed on last season. The Red Bull KTM rider was the only one to dip under 1m 47s, with Isaac Vinales his closest time rival after taking over from his championship winning cousin at Team Calvo.

Danny Kent (Husqvarna Ajo), Niccolo Antonelli (Go & Fun KTM) and Romano Fenati Sky/VR46 KTM)remained at the front too and showed why Honda saw such an exodus from their product after it’s lacklustre showing in 2013, while hinting that the KTM  bikes are all set to dominate once again.

Efren Vazquez was the top Honda rider in in sixth, while Red Bull Rookies champ Karel Hanika found his feet in Jerez, pushing up to eighth on the list on day one.

Full times for both classes below:

Jerez Moto2 Test Times Day One:

1. Esteve Rabat  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 42.747
2. Thomas Luthi  Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 42.989
3. Mika Kallio  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.320
4. Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up (Speed Up) 1m 43.449
5. Maverick Viñales  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.544
6. Takaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 43.570
7. Sandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 43.634
8. Julian Simon  Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.695
9. Simone Corsi  NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 43.748
10. Luis Salom  Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.793
11. Alex De Angelis  Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 1m 43.841
12. Anthony West  QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 44.178
13. Xavier Simeon  Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.226
14. Johann Zarco  Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 44.283
15. Dominique Aegerter  Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 44.338
16. Mattia Pasini  NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 1m 44.348
17. Nico Terol  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.394
18. Axel Pons  Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 44.412
19. Alex Mariñelarena  Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 44.499
20. Louis Rossi SAG Team (Kalex) 1m 44.518
21. Hafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 1m 44.553
22. Randy Krummenacher  Iodaracing Project (Suter) 1m 44.596
23. Jonas Folger Argiñano & Gines Racing (Kalex) 1m 44.601
24. Franco Morbidelli Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 44.617
25. Lorenzo Baldassarri Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 1m 44.912
26. Josh Herrin Caterham Moto Racing (Caterham Suter) 1m 44.951
27. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 45.112
28. Roman Ramos QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 1m 45.209
29. Azlan Shah Idemitsu Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 1m 45.298
30. Jordi Torres Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 1m 45.743
31. Thitipong Warokorn APH PTT  SAG (Kalex) 1m 46.027
32. Tetsuta Nagashima Teluru Team JiR Webike (TSR) 1m 46.378
33. Robin Mulhauser Technomag CarXpert (Suter) 1m 46.770

Jerez Moto3 Test Times Day One:

1. Jack Miller  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 46.975
2. Isaac Viñales  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 47.277
3. Danny Kent  Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 47.471
4. Niccolo Antonelli  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 47.480
5. Romano Fenati  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 47.735
6. Efren Vazquez  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 47.845
7. Jakub Kornfeil  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 47.910
8. Karel Hanika  Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 47.960
9. Philipp Oettl  Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 48.113
10. Alex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 48.186
11. Fabio Quartararo  Estrella Galicia 0.0 (Honda) 1m 48.232 * in for Alex Rins
12. Livio Loi  Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 1m 48.370
13. John McPhee  Saxoprint-RTG (Honda) 1m 48.547
14. Miguel Oliveira  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 48.660
15. Niklas Ajo  Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 1m 48.674
16. Francesco Bagnaia  Sky Racing Team by VR46 (KTM) 1m 48.859
17. Brad Binder  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 48.927
18. Eric Granado  Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 49.183
19. Arthur Sissis  Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 1m 49.299
20. Scott Deroue  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.591
21. Ana Carrasco  RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.598
22. Jules Danilo  Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 1m 49.625
23. Bryan Schouten  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 49.654
24. Juanfran Guevara  Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 1m 49.797
25. Zulfahmi Khairuddin  Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 1m 49.891
26. Alessandro Tonucci  CIP Moto3 (Mahindra) 1m 50.010
27. Luca Grunwald  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 50.104
28. Hafiq Azmi  SIC-Ajo (KTM) 1m 50.245
29. Alexis Masbou  Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 1m 50.326
30. Gabriel Ramos  Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 1m 50.372
31. Matteo Ferrari  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 50.405
32. Enea Bastianini  Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 1m 51.109
33. Andrea Locatelli  San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 1m 51.314

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)

Recommended Reading: Alex Briggs on Burgess -“He has probably forgotten more than I will ever know.”

MotoGP is full of characters, and not just on the race track.

In many ways it is inevitable that the bigger the rider, the more light will shine on those who have worked with them as their personalities show through in the paddock too.

Valentino Rossi’s right-hand man Uccio is so ubiquitous that if he wasn’t there you’d wonder why, and in the garage; to the end of this season after an unexpected split; you always expect a shot of Jeremy Burgess hard at work, so popular and well known that he was often the grid interview when the Italian wouldn’t comply.

Burgess had a lot of fellow Australians working under his guidance wherever the job of being ‘The Doctor’s’ mechanic took them, one of which was Alex Briggs.

Briggs has now been in the MotoGP paddock for 21 seasons so losing the guy who had been your boss for that time suddenly was shocking as an outsider. The mechanic has been kind enough to explore this in an excellent blog post on his personal website, wrenchracer.com.
Alex Briggs

Alex Briggs at Yamaha. Image via Fiat Yamaha Team’s Flickr account, used under Creative Commons agreement.

The post entitled ‘Thanks for that call’ is a touching account finishing with how Briggs came to work with Burgess after his fellow Aussie left a message for him to call, but mainly deals with how much of an influence Rossi’s head mechanic had on bike development and racing.

Many people in this paddock don’t know why they do certain procedures or how things became the way they are. They might say “oh well that’s how we have always done it!” but they don’t realize that that’s how JB wanted it done and his riders and team were winning so everyone started to take notice of what he was saying and then implement it”.

Without wanting to give too much away (it really is worth a moment of your day!) the quote above gives a great insight into where his post is at. Burgess has had one of, if not THE greatest racing mind in the paddock and whether alongside the Mick Doohan or Rossi his ideas have been game changing.

Briggs also hints at what ‘JB’ the person is like, giving just the slightest of mentions of his family life and his storytelling ability.

The full blog post is available here: http://www.wrenchracer.com/1/category/all/1.html

It is an insightful, smart and poignant read, enjoyable to the final full stop.

The post started as something too long for a tweet, but there’s plenty to see at Alex Briggs’ Twitter account too – https://twitter.com/Alex__Briggs

And if you have a bit of spare change to give then he also does ‘Movember’ ( growing a mustache to raise money for prostate cancer charities if you don’t have it round your way!) and you can donate by clicking here.

MotoGP: Marquez has special Motegi helmet design, and a poor choice of t-shirt!

Special helmet at the race where you might seal championship victory on Honda home soil = good idea.

Special t-shirt = oh so very, very bad.

Here’s the link to the offending Tweet on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/marcmarquez93/status/393659261353349120

And here’s the image in question:

Marquez Motegi T

Marquez helmet and questionable T-shirt. Image via Marc Marquez on Twitter. Editorial use only, under fair use act.

The helmet is a nice rising sun edition of his usual ant design and is therefore in red and white, making for a neat design change.

The T-shirt. Oh, the T-shirt. The Tweet translated says:

“Special helmet and shirt for a special GP in Japan, at home!!! 😉 Do you like?”

Well Marc, the helmet gets a big thumbs up, your choice of top, no.

He clearly means to show his love for the home country of his employers at a race which could prove to be very special for all of them. What he actually shows is ignorance at best. Where does he get his advice from?! Sack the stylist! (Wonder if he had a champion t-shirt printed in a bulk discount job at the same time…)

UPDATE : Image is also on the back of the helmet, so may not sell so well if released as a limited edition!