MotoGP: Testing! Testing! Stoner back on a Honda in Motegi

Test Stoner 2013

Stoner back in action, of sorts. The Australian comes out of retirement to test for Honda at Motegi
Image shared via hrc_motogp, also available on Instagram and Twitter.

For the first time since the final race of the 2012 season Casey Stoner was back on a MotoGP bike – testing the 2013 Honda at the Motegi circuit in Japan alongside test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Wataru Yoshikawa and Randy De Puniet for Suzuki.

Starting out, according to those at the track, with the 2012 forks and shocks in place, the former two-time world champion is also due to try out the new 2014 prototype machine, but has for the time being been held up by the wet weather.

Stoner had the following to say on his return;

“It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps! We only managed to get one run in before the rain arrived which was a little disappointing. It was really nice to get that first run, it’s been nine months since I’ve been on a bike and it’s going to take me some time to get used to everything again! The bike and the track felt good and I hope that we can get some better testing in tomorrow with some dry track time and run some more laps.”

The development of next year’s Honda factory bike and production racer is due to continue at the private test tomorrow, weather permitting.


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

Gino Rea Federal Oil Gresini

Gino Rea in action at the 2012 Silverstone Grand Prix
Image via Flickr by JaredEarle used under creative commons license rules

Talented Brit Gino Rea has found himself without a ride for 2013 on the eve of the new season.

After reaching the podium last season in the wet at Sepang aboard the Fedaral Oil Gresini, Rea looked to be set to move to the new ESGP squad after testing with FTR, the British based team who were due to supply the chassis late last year.

According to Rea’s official Twitter account he needs to raise 150,000 euros to be able to ride, with no wage in that for himself, to plug the teams budget shortfall, while his personal sponsor Crimea pulled out their funding too when the situation started to look less than certain for 2013.

Rea told bikesportnews.com :

“Unfortunately the team failed to secure enough budget to complete the 2013 season and we lost our sponsor Crimea GP. It went downhill from there and now they’ve pulled the plug and I’m left with no ride.

“If I can find a sponsor or raise some funds we could continue but it’s getting very late. If I were to find a ride in World Supersport or World Superbike I would have to miss the first race because it starts so soon and the bikes are in the crates on the way to Australia. If anyone can help me you can email me at rearacing@sky.com.”

Rea also announced he was looking to start a sponsorship page to raise the necessary funds, a breakdown of which means that if just his Twitter followers alone were to contribute he would need just £7 from each of them.

Keep an eye on what Gino does next via Twitter here.

UPDATE: You can now help sponsor Gino Rea by visiting his sponsorship page here:


Romano Fenati back with Team Italia for 2013

After narrowly missing out on the accolade of ‘rookie of the year’ to Alex Rins after a close battle between the two this season, Italian teenager Romano Fenati can celebrate a secure future instead with the news he is confirmed to ride for his current team Team Italia FMI for the 2013 season.

The Italian teenager impressed in his rookie year with a string of strong results, including a race win at a wet Jerez and three further podium finishes.

Team Italia have made it their goal to nurture new Italian riders as there were few coming through the system after Andrea Iannone and the late Marco Simoncelli and have revealed that Fenati will have a new team mate next season in the shape of 15 year old Francesco Bagnaia, who will be sixteen during the winter break so able to race from the start of the season unlike new Marc VDS Moto3 signing Livio Loi or Eric Granado in this year’s Moto2 championship.

Bagnaia currently race in the CIV Moto3 Spanish championship and is third before the final round for the Monlau Competicion squad where he was the partner to championship winner Alex Marquez.

More on Fenati’s achievements so far here:


Valentino Rossi back on a Yamaha in the wet

It’s an image many had been looking forward to, Valentino Rossi back on a Yamaha!

The multiple world champion has not yet had a chance to show the world the return to form his fans around the globe had been waiting and hoping for – the image (from http://www.MotoGP.com, who have detailed coverage of the tests) shows Rossi during his run in the wet in Valencia, after which the Yamaha team elected to move on to Aragon – where the rain followed them.

‘The Doctor’ is yet to reveal much on his time at Ducati as he is not allowed to do so by contract – MotoGP contracts run until the end of the year, not season, and it is a part of the conditions involved in being allowed to test for Yamaha alongside Jorge Lorenzo who’s highlight at the Valencia test was being pictured eating an apple on the pit wall, followed by a crash in the wet at Aragon.

Valentino Rossi Test Yamaha Valencia

Valentino on his Yamaha test bike at Valencia

Moto2; Marquez storms from last to first for Valencia victory

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

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

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

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

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

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



Moto3: Kent steals win in dramatic final corner at Valencia

Valencia gave us an all KTM podium with Brit Danny Kent leading the way after catching championship winner Sandro Cortese by surprise going into the final corner and despite the German riders frantic final effort to slipstream back, the Tech3 Moto2 bound Englishman took the top step of the podium, meanwhile a courageous race from 17th saw Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin move through the pack, overtaking Brad Binder late on for third.

For a full fact packed race report follow the link to crash.net where you can comment and debate on all the action from the final Moto3 race of the season:


Moto2: Espargaro faster than a CRT in Phillip Island qualifying

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

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

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

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


Moto2 De Angelis,West and Rea make ‘crazy’ Sepang podium in red-flagged race-Marquez crashes out.

In torrential conditions the rain specialists- and those with local knowledge shone in the awful weather. In a race which was delayed and controlled by weather San Marino rider Alex De Angelis lead on the lap the race result was calculated from for forward Racing. Gino Rea was ‘frustrated’ as he had hit the front when the red flag came out, but was placed third and needed to move his bike from the number one spot in parc ferme! Although not fond of the tag ‘rain master’ Ant West lived up to his reluctant billing and looked strong in the wet pulling clean moves  and marching through the field to take second.

The championship battle will last to Australia at least as Marc Marquez slid out while in a position to take the title on his Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter. Initially distraught, instead of returning to the team garage a champion he arrived dejected on a scooter, Espargaro meanwhile was doing enough to keep his hopes alive but would have liked more points than his final position afforded him.

Special mention to the amazing fourth place ride by one time leader and Malaysian wild card rider Hafizh Syahrin who was unlucky not to make the podium for Petronas.

For full details and some great discussion read my full race report over at crash.net, available here:


MotoGP: Nicky Hayden reveals injury woes continue-fracture sustained in Aragon

The heart-in-mouth moment direct from Hayden’s twitter @NickyHayden69

Former world champion and current Ducati rider Nicky Hayden has revealed in the lead-up to the Japanese grand prix at Motegi that despite initially thinking he walked away from his horror crash in Aragon unscathed he has in fact sustained a fracture to his right hand to add to his injury woes.

The Kentucky Kid had been unable to slow down in Aragon’s speedy last corner, carried pace through he wet run-off area and few over the advertising wall, landing in an access road, see the original accident report here, with video footage:


Hayden injured the same hand in his crash during the Indianapolis qualifying session, which caused him to miss the Brno race.

The American revealed a new x-ray and scan brought the bad news:

“I thought I had escaped unscathed from the crash at Aragon, but unfortunately it looks like I picked up another injury, when I got home, my right hand was bothering me a bit, so I went for an X-ray and CT scan, and it turns out I have a fracture in my right radius. It’s definitely not the best situation, but as it’s not too painful and I have pretty good grip strength, I’m hopeful that it won’t cause too many problems this weekend. Racing’s full of ups and downs. We’ll try to ride this one out and hopefully get a decent result in Japan to get a little momentum going and get some confidence back.”


MotoGP: Nicky Hayden’s horror crash – is circuit safety good enough?


Nicky Hayden is one of my favourite riders, he always comes across as such an amiable person, so I would not be posting this video if any harm had come to him. By the nature that this crash is hard to watch as it LOOKS so bad I hope it serves as a note to Dorna/Aragon that more airfencing around the Motorland circuit as a precaution wouldn’t be a bad thing, whether the circuit and organizers feel to blame or not. Yes, it was a rare misjudgement by former world champion Hayden, but how can you possibly guess where a freak accident may occur? I’d like to think Simoncelli’s passing wouldn’t be in vain if safety was improved all over tracks, rather than just at accident hotspots (let’s not forget it Aragon’s case it is pretty much built around a massive brick wall to start with).

I was happy to be surprised/amazed at the news Nicky Hayden walked away from this more or less unharmed, especially as of late seemingly smaller offs have lead to many a broken bone.

Here’s hoping Hayden has a swift recovery from the injuries he was already carrying and will be fit and ready to race in Japan.