Brno, Czech Republic
Jonathan Rea has been drafted in to replace Casey Stoner during the Australian's absence due to the ankle injury he suffered at Indianapolis. The Ulsterman is to test the factory Honda RC213V at Brno during the official MotoGP test on Monday, and then again at Aragon in just over a week's time.
The decision to draft in Rea was made as a reward for his loyalty to Honda throughout the years. Rea has stuck with Honda in WSBK, and achieving strong results on a CBR1000RR that is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Rea winning the Suzuka 8 hours endurance race earlier this year was also greatly appreciated by HRC top management.
How many races Rea will get on the bike is still uncertain. Casey Stoner has now arrived in Australia, and is expected to have surgery on Wednesday. He is almost certain to be forced to miss Misano, and the following race at Aragon is also uncertain. None of the remaining rounds on the MotoGP calendar clash with World Superbikes, so though Rea would find himself with a full schedule, it would be possible for Rea to substitute for Stoner for the rest of the year, if necessary.
Below is the official press release from Honda, and a video statement from Rea courtesy of the Honda World Superbike team:
Jonathan Rea to test for Repsol Honda Team
Result and summary of the MotoGP race at Brno:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Brno:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at Brno:
Ben Spies has gone fastest in a very damp morning warm up session. It stopped raining shortly after the session started, so track condtions improved as warm up went on, but the track was still fully wet when practice ended. Spies finished ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi, after Rossi had led for most of the session.
2012 Brno MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Of Small Differences Making A Big Difference, And The Last Of The Contracts
Up until the start of MotoGP qualifying, it looked like Dani Pedrosa had the race at Brno just about wrapped up. The media center joke was that they might as well start writing his name on the trophy, so much faster was the Repsol Honda man. And then he crashed in qualifying, and started going an awful lot slower, in a tale that has echoes of Casey Stoner's time at Ducati.
The crash was relatively simple - "maybe I was on the limit too much," Pedrosa said, and Brno with its long corners, some flat and some downhill, means the riders are pushing the front for a lot of the time at the circuit - but the consequences were serious. Pedrosa returned to the pits, got on his second bike, and immediately had much worse chatter than before. Despite the setup being identical on both bikes. This is the kind of thing that Casey Stoner used to suffer at Ducati, two identical bikes that felt different, an issue that he never suffered at Honda. But the problem with hand-built prototypes is that apparently, even tiny deviations can cause a difference in feel, especially when pushed to their very limits by riders as sensitive as Pedrosa.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Brno:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Brno:
Results and summary of the qualifying practice at Brno for the MotoGP class:
Results and summary of the qualifying practice for the Moto3 class at Brno:
Pol Espargaro has topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class, putting nearly quarter of a second between himself and 2nd place man Scott Redding. Dominique Aegerter nabbed 3rd, while championship leader Marc Marquez was forced to settle for 4th, nearly four tenths behind Espargaro's time. Thomas Luthi ended in 5th, fractionally slower than fellow Suter rider Marquez.
The mystery of where Cal Crutchlow will end up in 2013 has finally been settled. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team today announced that Crutchlow will return with the squad for next season, alongside current Tech 3 Moto2 rider Bradley Smith. Crutchlow has signed a one-year extension of his contract with the team, while Smith has inked a two-year deal with Herve Poncharal's team. Crutchlow and Smith will contest 2013 on board Tech 3's satellite Yamaha YZR M1s.
The announcement of Crutchlow and Smith leaves only the San Carlo Gresini Honda seat unfilled for next season, while uncertainty also remains over Ducati's projected junior team. There has been much speculation concerning the Gresini ride: Alvaro Bautista is still in the frame for the ride, although names such as Andrea Iannone, Ten Kate Honda WSBK rider Johnny Rea and even current factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies have been linked with Gresini, though some of those names owe more to the fevered imaginations of the paddock rather than any basis in fact. The satellite Ducati situation is complicated: a decision is yet to be made on a structure, though the idea of Marc VDS moving up to serve as a MotoGP team with Scott Redding on the Desmosedici appears to have been put on hold, and very possibly shelved.
Below is the press release announcing the Tech 3 line up for next season: