It has been a long, hard weekend of negotiating in the paddock at Silverstone for a number of team managers. Especially for everyone involved in the situation revolving around the Go&Fun Gresini team, and the rider they have a contract with for 2015, Scott Redding. Meetings have been held with factories, team managers, riders and sponsors, in a bid to get everything back on track for next year.
At the core of the problem lies the impending loss of title sponsor Go&Fun by Gresini. Without the money the Italian energy drink firm brings in, Gresini can no longer afford the factory option Honda RC213V it leases from HRC. Without an RC213V, Redding will not ride for Gresini. And without bikes from Honda, Gresini will have to find another way of surviving in MotoGP.
Silverstone was the deadline HRC had given Gresini to tell them whether he would be racing with Honda next year. If Gresini could not afford the RC213V, this would give Honda the time to find an alternative slot for the bike. Rumors that Gresini would not be able to afford the bike had started a flurry of activity, both rumored and real, among other teams and factories. If an RC213V were to become available, there were teams who were willing to snap it up. If Redding were to become available, there were teams and factories who were keen to see him on their bikes.
The factory Ducati team eschewed the official IRTA test at Brno last week, in favor of a private test in Misano. There, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow got to work on the Desmosedici GP14, with Dovizioso continuing to work on the new developments of the bike, while Crutchlow focused on finding a base set up with the machine. After the test, Ducati issued the following press release:
Ducati Team wrap up two-day test at Misano
Today saw the conclusion of two days of testing organized by the Ducati Team at Misano World Circuit in preparation for the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini, scheduled for the Italian circuit on September 14th. Present at the test were the factory Ducati riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, as well as Andrea Iannone of the Pramac Racing Team and test-rider Michele Pirro.
Dovizioso took part in one and a half days’ testing at Misano, concluding his test schedule early this afternoon, while Crutchlow only went out on track in Monday’s sessions, before returning to the UK to undergo checks on his left shoulder, which was still painful after his crash during the Czech Republic GP at Brno two weeks ago.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’33.91 (116 laps)
World Superbike at Misano, the seventh round of thirteen, offered a chance for Ducati to finally get a win on the Panigale, and a fairy tale result in Italy would round out the excellent work they did in qualifying.
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races at Misano:
The track heated up for the second race and so did the racing.
Nineteen laps of World Supersport racing under a cooler 26º sun.
The World Superbike race was held over 21 laps.
Misano, or Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to give it its full name, was missed off last year's calendar, but its inclusion in the 2024 season was a welcome one. The first four qualifying sessions in World Superbike were led by an Italian on an Italian bike, with Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri sharing the spoils, giving local fans plenty to cheer about.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Misano:
Qualifying was, like the Superbikes, done under a 30º sun.
Superpole one, with the top two winning a place in the second superpole session, started in 30º weather.
Marco Melandri took the quickest time from Loris Baz, making this the fourth session with an Italian rider on an Italian bike going quickest. Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes were quicker than Davide Giugliano in this untimed session.
Raffaele De Rosa and Kenan Sofuoglu traded places at the top spot all morning, but as the session wound down De Rosa claimed the best time ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and Film Wilairot. Michael van der Mark took fourth place on the third Honda in the top four.